Get a Masters in Public Administration Online

For professionals who are interested in a career in government or nonprofit organization work, earning a master’s degree in public administration can be an excellent choice.

Public administration refers to how public policies are implemented by civil servants within the US government. There are public administrators that manage all aspects of public policy and governance in the US government, as well as the state and local governments.

A master’s in public administration (MPA) degree will typically focus on government organization, finance and administration. People who graduate with an MPA degree are qualified to get many types of government and nonprofit jobs in the local, state and federal government.

Many people with MPA degrees are interested in a particular part of public administration, such as health care, environmental policy or international aid and relief.

What Public Administration Professionals Do

A public administration career can span all types of fields and interests. Whatever your interest or career direction in public administration, you will find that earning your MPA degree will gain you entry to higher paying positions with more responsibility.

  • Government Employment — If you work with the federal government, you may work as a budget analyst or a policy advisor. There also are many jobs that focus on providing some type of government service to citizens. Most of these careers to get to the managerial level will require you to have your MPA and several years of experience.
  • State and Local Government — One of the common jobs at the state and local level is that of city manager. City managers and people under them supervise the operations of a local government. The local government is set up according to the city council. People who work high up in city government almost always have a master’s degree, and they use their training and experience to figure out what programs are needed and can be improved. These types of positions may also be referred to as ‘city planner’.
  • Associations — Many people with MPA degrees prefer the nonprofit sector and work in an association. One of the advantages of working for an association is that you can select an association that caters to one of your particular career interests. If you can think of a topic, there is more than likely one of more associations that is geared towards that interest or field.

Earn Your MPA with No GRE Online

Many MPA degrees today can be earned online within two years, and many of those will not require you to take the GRE examination. This will save you months of study time and the cost of the exam, and any prep courses you may have needed to take.

Easily earn a Masters in Public Administration or MPA degree from the following accredited schools online and on your time. Click request information to learn about tuition and financial aid, courses & curriculum, admissions and starting dates.


If you are earning your MPA degree, it is good if the program has been accredited by the NASPAA – the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration.

Master’s in Public Administration Overview

An MPA will help students to have a better understanding of vital administrative concepts, enforcement of public policies, as well as political management.

Many MPA programs feature specialities in public policy, education policy, management of nonprofits, and urban planning. The majority of MPA programs can be completed online in two or three years. Generally, you should have a bachelor’s degree in public administration or public policy, but you can have a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Overall, an MPA degree will cover topics related to laws and regulations that affect how public programs are financed, as well as matters related to government relations and leadership in politics. You will have the opportunity to hone your organizational, communication and skills in decision making. Common coursework in MPA programs include these subjects:

  • Government organizations and institutions
  • Management of organizations
  • Policy and economic analysis
  • Public budgeting and finance
  • Processes in policymaking

If a career in public administration is for you, please review the recommended MPA programs below:

#1 University of San Francisco

The highly rated and respected MPA degree from the University of San Francisco is designed for experienced professionals who want to advance their career in public service. This accredited program from the University of San Francisco is 21 months in length with 38 credits. It is ranked among the best public affairs programs by US News and World Report.

The program is provided entirely online if you choose, but you also can take classes in person, including Saturday classes. It provides you with the skills that you need for major leadership positions in local, state and federal government, and also nonprofits.

More information:

  • Campus: San Francisco, CA; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition: $1130 per credit hour
  • GRE/GMAT Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: Master of Public Administration

#2 University of Southern California

The MPA program from the University of Southern California is designed to train professionals to be public administration leaders who will be able to solve the most pressing social problems in America.

The program successfully connects deep public administration research to solutions in the real world so that you can be the most effective public administration professional. Students will learn to develop and demonstrate strong leadership as they also manage difficult leadership, finance and human resource issues.

USC is one of the top research universities in the US, and the public administration school at USC is a major part of that. The faculty in the Sol Price School of Public Policy rank third at USC as far as research grants per capita. This online MPA degree connects cutting edge research to public administration policy and management.

Students who graduate from this two year program will have the skills to:

  • Contribute to policy changes that help society
  • Manage and lead for the good of society and overall improve quality of life
  • Use their analytic reasoning skills to solve difficult public policy problems
  • Promote efficiency and transparency in public service
  • Take on an upper management job in public service

More information:

  • Campus: Los Angeles CA; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Western Assocation of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition: $660 per credit hour
  • GRE/GMAT Required: Yes
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: Master of Public Administration

#3 University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota offers a two year, accredited MPA degree that consists of 36 credit hours. The majority of classes are asynchronous and can be completed on your schedule. There is one live class held one evening each week.

The UND MPA program is currently ranked as the #12 online MPA degree according to several sources.

This degree focuses on preparing the student for administrative roles in all areas of federal, state and local government. Major topics that are covered are:

  • Public policy ethics
  • Public administration leadership
  • Fiscal management
  • Public policy issues
  • Theories of management
  • HR development

More information:

  • Campus: Grand Forks ND; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $435 per credit hour
  • GRE/GMAT Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: Master of Public Administration

#4 University of Colorado Denver

If you want to further your career in public administration and you also need to find an online MPA program that fits your busy schedule, the University of Colorado Denver could be a good fit for you.

This is a two year online program that can be completed without visiting campus. Major concentrations include:

  • Local Government
  • Crime Analyst
  • Homeland Security
  • Environmental Policy
  • Gender Based Violence
  • Nonprofit Organizations

You can complete this program in 12-18 months if you take the accelerated option. It is not recommended that you are working if you decide on the accelerated format.

Another option is the MPA Executive degree program. This program is made for senior level professionals who want to improve their leadership skills, and also want to enhance their knowledge in public policy and management.

The executive program is designed for several types of leadership executives and managers:

  • Public and nonprofit professionals at the executive level of federal, state and local government agencies who want to study public management and policy
  • Senior professionals who are thinking about a change of career in public administration
  • Managers who may be promoted in the near future and want to improve their leadership and management skills

Your required classes include these:

  • Introduction to Public Administration and Public Service
  • Organizational Management and Behavior
  • Research and Analytic Methods
  • Economics and Public Finance OR PUAD 5503 Public Budgeting and Finance
  • The Policy Process and Democracy
  • Leadership and Professional Ethics
  • Evidence-Based Decision-Making

More information:

  • Campus: Denver CO; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $489 per credit hour
  • GRE/GMAT Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: Master of Public Administration

Earning an MPA degree is a strongly recommended way to enjoy a dynamic and rewarding career in public service. If you want to move into upper level management in any government or nonprofit organization, earning your MPA is nearly always a smart career move.

Additional Listings of Online MPA Degrees with No GRE

School Name Per Credit Cost NASPAA Min Time GPA
University of San Francisco $1,130 Yes 24 Months 3.0
Rutgers $919 Yes 24 Months 3.0
University of Baltimore $900 Yes 18 Months 3.0
Norwich University $760 No 18 Months 3.0
Wichita State $705 No 24 Months 3.0
California Baptist University $589 No 12 Months 2.8
Grand Canyon University $500 No  20 Months 2.8
Washington Adventist University $465 No 21 Months 3.0
Ohio University $353 Yes 18 Months 3.0
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Written by Robert Sanchez
Robert Sanchez is's Chief Editorialist. Robert Sanchez has over 10 years experience in the Healthcare field and more recently has become an avid writer advising on career and job topics in this exciting field.

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