35 Best Online MPA Programs [2020 Guide]

If you’re interested in a Master of Public Administration (MPA), you might want to consider online MPA programs.

Online MPA Programs

They can teach you the subjects and skills necessary to succeed in the field, but since they’re completely online, you can earn your degree from the comfort of your own home. They can be a nice alternative to attending campus-based classes.

Best Online MPA Programs

Government Program Managers in a meeting

Public administration is a diverse field, and as such, there are many different ways that you can both earn and utilize a master’s degree in it.

At its core, public administration is about serving the public. This frequently takes the form of government work, but you can also find employment in the private sector. You might work with a nonprofit, for example, or with social services or community programs.

Topics of study can include everything from law and policy to finance and economics. Specializations are available for things like healthcare, criminal justice, human resources, public education, community development and global politics.

Foreign Service Officer attending an international conference

As for career options, you’ll have quite a few. Do you want to effect change in your community? Become a case manager, urban planner or social services coordinator. Are you good with the press? Consider a career as a political consultant or public relations specialist.

Do you prefer working behind the scenes? There are always jobs for policy writers, tax examiners, administrative consultants and human resources specialists.

An MPA isn’t your only degree option, either. It’s simply one of the most common. You could also consider the following:

  • Master of Public Affairs (MPAff)
  • Master of Public Policy (MPP)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

These degrees commonly include specializations in public administration or a related subject.

Public Administration Careers & Salaries

Public Administration Careers & Salaries

According to PayScale, the average salary for an MPA holder is $67,310 per year. However, this number doesn’t take into account the earning potential of high flyers in the field. Managers, directors and executives can rake in more than $100,000 per year. Politicians can almost double that.

Long story short, with the right credentials and career options, public administration can be a highly lucrative field. It’s just a matter of what you do and where you work. Here are a few potential career ideas to give you a picture of job titles and salary ranges:

Careers Average Annual Salary
Government Program Manager $90,000
Budget Director $89,000
Foreign Service Officer $87,000
Management Consultant $87,000
City Manager $86,000
Human Resources Director $84,000
Program Analyst $78,000
Data Analyst $61,000
Grants Manager $57,000
Nonprofit Program Manager $54,000

Just keep in mind that salaries can and will change depending on things like location, job demand and industry growth. For example, a public administration degree with a concentration in healthcare might be worth more in a big city than a public administration degree with a focus on social services in a rural community.

Another thing to be aware of is if you are interested in a more research-based role, you may want to consider pursuing a traditional or online doctor of public administration degree.

Public Administration Specializations & Concentrations

Public Administration students listening to their professor in class

Every university is different, so there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to public administration degrees and their classes, credits and concentrations. You’ll have to look at specific degree programs to figure out what they’re teaching and how it might benefit you.

That said, if you’re looking to specialize beyond the scope of a general, all-purpose public administration degree, a few areas of study are more common than others.

  • City and County Management: Dedicated to governance, these classes look at subjects like law, policy and finance through a regional, government-focused lens.
  • Criminal Justice: Criminal justice classes can be beneficial to public administrators who are going into politics or corrections. This specialization might include everything from law enforcement topics to social and cultural studies.
  • Emergency Management: Commonly offered as a specialization for public safety and public administration degrees, emergency management tackles the administrative side of things like disaster relief.
  • Healthcare Administration: Also called healthcare management, this area of study is dedicated to the behind-the-scenes work of running hospitals, tracking patient data and organizing public health initiatives.
  • Homeland Defense and Security: Meant for future government workers in the security sector, this degree program focuses on law, technology, sociology and criminal justice.
  • Human Resources Management: Human resources is a common career path for MPA holders, and this specialization can prepare you for administrative work that ranges from finance to information technology (IT).
  • Nonprofit Management: If you’re interested in running a nonprofit, these business-heavy classes draw from a wide range of relevant subjects, including leadership strategy.
  • Public Policy: These classes dive into the development, creation, regulation and implementation of public policies, especially ones that are government-based.
  • Public Sector Management: Meant to train the senior staff of government-run programs and agencies, public sector management is a specialization that focuses on things like law, leadership, economics and organizational behavior.

These are just a few of the specialties that are available to public administration students. There are many more, and they vary by the college, so you might want to undergo additional research to see all of your options.

Choosing a Master’s in Public Administration Degree

Master’s in Public Administration Degree studying on her laptop

With so many universities offering degrees in public administration, how are you supposed to know which one is right for you?

The first thing to check is accreditation. An accredited college will be verified by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), so their database should be one of your first stops when browsing prospective degree programs.

You’ll also want to do your homework about the degree programs themselves. How many credits do they require? What classes do they offer? Are there any specialties that you can pursue? Is the program available online, and if so, what would that “e-learning” experience look like?

Last but not least, figure out if the university is a good match for you. Look at things like tuition prices and admissions criteria. Check their deadlines. These nitty-gritty details can be much more important than they appear, especially if you’re anxious to get started with an MPA program.

Master’s in Public Administration Curriculum & Courses

Public Administration student researching in library

Since public administration is a subject that draws from many different disciplines, its degree programs behave in a similar fashion. You could find yourself with all kinds of course options, including:

  • Introduction to Public Administration: This is a basic, entry-level course that covers the fundamentals of public administration. You might be able to waive it if you’ve already taken similar classes on the baccalaureate level.
  • Policy: Policy can play a big role in public administration work, and these classes can teach you everything from drafting laws to writing and researching grant proposals.
  • Organizational Behavior: An interdisciplinary course that’s offered to multiple majors, organizational behavior can be an important area of study for future leaders of all types.
  • Financial Management for Public Administrators: Your job might require budgeting, auditing, resource allocation, debt management and more. These classes will build your financial skills on the graduate level.
  • Research Methods: If you ever need to draw from data and statistics during the course of your public administration work, these classes will show you how it’s done.
  • Human Resource Management: Human resources classes are typically divided by specialties like staffing, recruiting, compensation and legal compliance, and depending on your career ambitions, they could be useful to you as a public administration student.
  • Legal Issues in Public Administration: There can be both legal and ethical dilemmas in public administration work, and these classes will give you a framework for understanding, analyzing and handling them.
  • Strategic Planning: Public administration can require a lot of decision-making, and a background in strategic planning can prepare you for the realities of things like risk assessments.
  • Government: On the graduate level, these courses can look at everything from law and policy to inter-agency relations and the general infrastructure of government.
  • Final Semester Capstone: Many MPA programs will require an internship or practicum in your final semester. If you’re taking the rest of your classes online, make sure to speak with an advisor about how this face-to-face element can be handled.

Depending on the school, you may or may not need a preexisting background in public administration to enter their graduate-level MPA program.

Admissions Requirements

Public Administration students studying together in university library

It isn’t easy to get into grad school, but it can help to have a keen understanding of what they’re looking for and how they’ll judge your application.

  • Transcripts: How were your grades as a bachelor’s degree student? A low GPA might not automatically disqualify you, but it could be a handicap.
  • Resume or CV: It can bolster your application to have professional work experience in the industry.
  • Test scores: Many grad schools require the GRE or GMAT. However, there are some that don’t, and there are others that are willing to waive the tests if you meet additional criteria.
  • Letters of Recommendation: The best letters of recommendation will come from school alumni or people within the field of public administration.
  • Statement of Purpose: A statement of purpose is the master’s degree equivalent of a college essay, so consider it your chance to really leave an impression on the admissions department.

You might want to start preparing for grad school several months in advance. It can take awhile to gather your transcripts, get your letters, apply for financial aid and submit your application.

Public Administration Professional Organizations

Public Administrators meeting at a conference

Professional organizations can be a great way to network while you’re a student. Some organizations even offer student memberships at discounted rates. Here are a few groups that might interest you as a public administration student:

If none of these organizations are striking a chord with you, there are others that you can check out as well. For example, you might join a government group that isn’t dedicated to public administration but will accept MPA students.

Public Administration Licensing and Certification

Public Administrator working on her laptop

In an increasingly competitive job market, even a master’s degree might not be enough to secure a callback. You might want to go the extra mile with a professional certification in the field of public administration.

  • American Institute of Certified Planners: The AICP is an institution for urban planners that offers a special, industry-recognized AICP Certification for those who can demonstrate their knowledge in the field.
  • Certified Management Consultant: Administered by the Institute of Management Consultants, the CMC is for professionals who want to distinguish themselves in areas like business, leadership and project operations.
  • Certified Professional in Learning and Performance: The CPLP is offered by the Association for Talent Development. Its exam covers 10 core competencies in human resources management, including technology, instructional design and performance improvement.
  • Certified Records Manager: Offered by the Institute of Certified Records Managers, the CRM is for administrative workers who specialize in data and data systems.

Certification is an optional process, but it can be a good idea for students who are already thinking about their future after graduation. Preparing for the job market today can give you an edge tomorrow.

Public Administration Scholarships & Financial Aid

Public Administration Scholarships & Financial Aid

Financial aid comes in many forms. You’re probably familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and you should continue to fill it out as a graduate student.

You won’t be eligible for certain grants and loans that are exclusive to undergrads, but you can still receive other forms of assistance, including the Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate or Professional Students.

Another option to consider is scholarships. Some are open to both bachelor’s and master’s students, and others are earmarked just for folks in grad school. There are even awards meant specifically for students of business, policy, government, foreign relations and other areas relevant to public administration.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your scholarship hunt:

These are just a few scholarships that can offset some of your college costs. Use them to generate more ideas about where you can look for additional funding.

What is Public Administration?

City Manager working in her office

As a wide-ranging field of study, public administration has been defined in many different ways. At its foundation, however, it’s about public service.

It could come in the form of politics and government policies; it could be related to social services and programs offered by nonprofits and community groups. At the end of the day, it’s about helping people either directly or indirectly.

What is a Master’s in Public Administration Degree?

lawyers working in the office

A Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a graduate-level degree that will demonstrate your understanding of subjects like law, economics, political science, finance, business and policy analysis.

You won’t necessarily need all of these subjects in your chosen career, but to get your MPA, you’ll need to have a broad understanding of public administration and everything that it entails.

You can also choose to concentrate your MPA on a specific area of study such as healthcare administration or human resources management.

What’s the Difference Between an MPA vs. MBA vs. MPP?

Budget Director meeting with colleagues

A Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a specialized degree. It will teach you general subjects like business, economics and political science, but everything will be channeled through the filter of public administration.

By comparison, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a broad-spectrum business degree. It might touch on public administration, but unless you’re studying the subject as a specialty, you might not see a lot of it.

A Master of Public Policy (MPP) is very similar to an MPA, and so is a Master of Public Affairs (MPAff). Their classes and credits usually have a lot of overlap. Some universities even combine their degree programs or only offer one type rather than the other, so make sure to check their academic catalogue before you apply.

Is an Online MPA Worth It?

Masters in Public Administration student studying online

An online degree isn’t for everyone, but it can offer a lot of benefits to the right kind of student.

If you’re an older adult, for example, who will have to juggle work and family on top of earning your degree, you might be drawn to online classes that have an individualized, self-paced format. If you’re interested in an MPA program from an out-of-state university, online classes can make it accessible to you without needing to travel.

Many online MPA programs are the exact same as campus-based ones. They’ll have the same professors, use the same textbooks and grant you the same degrees. They’re just earned digitally rather than through a classroom.

What Can You Do With an MPA Degree?

Project Manager discussing a project to his team

An MPA can qualify you for high-level careers in a variety of fields. Many graduates with this degree go into government work as managers, supervisors and program directors, but you can also join the private sector through businesses and nonprofits.

Your specific career options will depend on what you’ve studied and what you’re interested in doing. If you have a healthcare background, for example, you might become a hospital administrator or policy planner for a health insurance network in your city.

If you love politics, you can work as an analyst, consultant, interpreter or foreign service officer, or you could even become a politician yourself.

Are There Any Online MPA No GRE Programs?

Masters in Public Administration student studying on his laptop

While most grad schools have the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) as part of their admissions criteria, there are some universities that don’t require it.

There are many universities that offer traditional or online MPA programs no GRE for students who have strong GPAs and several years of professional work experience. Another possibility is that they’ll only ask for the GRE if you have a low GPA or no work experience.

It all depends on the individual policies of the school, so don’t be afraid to call and inquire about them.

Are There Any Affordable Online Masters in Public Administration Programs?

Masters in Public Administration student studying at home

You don’t have to break the bank to get your MPA. In fact, if you choose to enroll in an online program, you might find that it’s more affordable than a campus-based degree.

If you’re able to get out of things like housing and parking fees, for example, you could save a lot of money by being a distance learner. There are also schools that charge flat rates for online students regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.

It isn’t a guarantee that your online MPA will be cheaper than a traditional MPA, but it’s a possibility.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s in Public Administration?

Masters in Public Administration students studying together in university library

It usually takes between 1 – 3 years to get a master’s degree.

You’ll need between 30 – 60 credits depending on your specific MPA program, so your graduation timeline will depend on how many credits that you take per semester.

How Much Does an Online MPA Cost?

Like bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees are usually priced on a per-credit basis.

You might need to earn anywhere from 30 – 60 credits to get an MPA, so your total tuition price will depend on the specifics of your school.

Universities Offering a Master’s Degree in Public Administration Online

Each of the universities included below are regionally accredited and offer public administration master’s degree online.

#1  American University

American University campus

American University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1893, American enrolls more than 14,300 students across its 71 bachelor’s, 87 master’s, and 10 doctoral programs annually.

America University’s long list of distinguished alumni includes politicians, heads of state, diplomats, ambassadors, CEOs, researchers, journalists, and authors. The school has been named the most politically active school in the nation by Princeton Review’s annual survey of college students.

American University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

#2  Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University campus

The flagship school of the Arkansas State University System, Arkansas State University is a public research university with a student enrollment of nearly 22,000. A-State is located in Jonesboro, Arkansas. It offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across seven colleges with an emphasis on prioritizing small class sizes.

Arkansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#3  California State University – Long Beach

California State University Long Beach campus

Established in 1949, California State University, Long Beach is a public university located in Long Beach, California. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school as one of the top in the nation for having a racially diverse student body.

More than 38,000 students enroll across CSULB’s 81 bachelor’s programs, 67 master’s programs, and three doctoral programs annually.

CSULB is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.

#4  California State University – Northridge

California State University Northridge campus

California State University, Northridge is a public university situated in the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles. Founded in 1958, the university currently offers 134 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs across 70 different fields of study. In addition, the school has four doctoral programs.

More than 38,000 students enroll at Cal State Northridge each year.

CSU Northridge is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

#5  Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University campus

Central Michigan University is a public research university in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, dating back to 1892. CMU offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across eight divisions. Annual enrollment at CMU tops 21,000. The school is classified among the R2: Doctoral Universities for high research activity.

Central Michigan University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#6  Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University campus

Eastern Kentucky University is a public university in Richmond, Kentucky, with a history dating back to 1874. The nearly 16,000 students enrolled at EKU annually can pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.

Each year, EKU’s highly acclaimed, national recognized honors program sends the largest delegation to the annual National Collegiate Honors Council Conference.

Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#7  Florida International University

Florida International University campus

Florida International University (FIU) is a public research university located in University Park within Miami, Florida. A member of the State University System of Florida, FUI is South Florida’s only school to achieve the “Emerging Preeminence” designation by the Florida Legislature.

The school welcomes an annual enrollment above 58,000 students. FIU was founded in 1965.

Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#8  Indiana University – Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington campus

The flagship of the Indiana University system, Indiana University Bloomington enrolls nearly 40,000 students each year. IU Bloomington was founded in 1820. It is commonly referred to as being a “Public Ivy” university.

IU students can pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across 16 schools offering a total of 550 individual programs and majors.

Indiana University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#9  Kent State University

Kent State University campus

Kent State University is a public research university in Kent, Ohio, with an annual enrollment topping 35,000. Students can pursue 250 bachelor’s, 50 master’s, and 23 doctoral degrees across 10 colleges for a total of 300 degree options. Kent State was founded in 1910.

Kent State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

#10  Liberty University

Liberty University campus

Liberty University touts a status as one of the world’s largest Christian evangelical universities. Founded in 1971, Liberty’s annual enrollment tops 110,000.

Students can pursue a variety of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs on campus or fully online through the university’s 17 individual colleges. Roughly 94,000 of Liberty’s student body studies online.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#11  Marist College

Marist College campus

Marist College is a private liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, New York, that’s affiliated with the Roman Catholic Marist Brothers. Founded in 1929, Marist enrolls more than 6,600 students annually.

Marist students are offered a comprehensive liberal arts education consisting of 44 bachelor’s programs and 12 master’s programs. U.S. News & World Report ranks Marist as one of “America’s Best Colleges.”

Marist College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#12  National University

National University campus

National University is a private university based in La Jolla, California. Students pursue associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees across several colleges. In addition to robust online offerings, National University operates 28 academic campuses throughout California and Nevada.

NU was founded in 1971. Nearly 24,000 students enroll here annually.

National University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

#13  Northwestern University

Northwestern University campus

Northwestern University is a private research university located in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern’s long list of distinguished alumni includes Stephen Colbert, Meghan Markle, Zach Braff, Warren Beatty, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and George R. R. Martin.

NU is comprised of 11 schools offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs for nearly 22,000 enrolled students annually. The school was founded in 1851.

Northwestern University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#14  Norwich University

Norwich University campus

Founded in 1819, Norwich University is the oldest private military college in the United States. Located in Northfield, Norwich University is regarding as being the “birthplace of ROTC.”

Norwich offers 29 majors across six academic divisions for bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The university has graduated hundreds of future generals across all military branches.

Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#15  Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University campus

Old Dominion University is a public research university in Norfolk, Virginia, dating back to 1930.

The more than 25,000 students enrolled at ODU today can pursue more than 168 programs for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. In addition to robust online offerings, ODU is known for offering a robust campus life that includes many sports teams and student organizations.

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#16  Pennsylvania State University – World Campus

Pennsylvania State University campus

Penn State World Campus was launched in 1998 as the online campus of Pennsylvania State University. More than 14,6000 students enroll annually to pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across multiple schools.

World Campus graduates earn the same degrees as University Park campus students. U.S. News & World Report recognizes 12 Penn State World Campus degree programs as part of its Best Online Programs rankings.

Pennsylvania State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#17  Purdue University

Purdue University campus

Purdue University is a public research university in West Lafayette, Indiana, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across nearly 300 majors. A member of the Big 10 Conference, Purdue enrolls more than 43,000 students annually. Purdue was founded in 1869.

Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#18  Regent University

Regent University campus

Regent University is a private Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Founded in 1977, Regent offers more than 70 courses of study across eight academic schools for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Regent’s annual enrollment tops 8,600 students. Regent’s online MBA faculty has been ranked first nationally by U.S. News and World Report.

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#19  Rutgers University – Newark

Rutgers University campus

One of three regional campuses of Rutgers University, Rutgers University – Newark offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to more than 12,000 students annually across seven degree-granting schools.

While the history of Rutgers University – Newark dates back to 1766, the school officially came into existence in 1946. U.S. News & World Report has consistently named Rutgers University’s Newark campus the most diverse national university in the United States since 1997.

Rutgers is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#20  Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University campus

Sam Houston State University is a public university in Huntsville, Texas, offering 80 bachelor’s, 59 master’s, and 10 doctoral degree programs for a student population that tops 21,000 annually. Sam Houston State’s academic departments and programs are organized across eight distinct colleges. The school was founded in 1879.

Sam Houston State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#21  San Diego State University

San Diego State University campus

San Diego State University is a public research university in San Diego, California, dating back to 1897. SDSU’s more than 35,000 students can pursue more than 190 bachelor’s degrees, 91 master’s degrees, and 25 doctoral degrees.

SDSU has the highest enrollment in the San Diego metropolitan area. It has been ranked as one of the top 200 world universities for economics/business by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

SDSU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

#22  Texas A and M University

Texas A & M University - Commerce campus

Texas A&M University is a public research university in College Station, Texas, that was founded in 1876. A&M has served as the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System since 1948. Home of the George Bush Presidential Library, Texas A&M University enrolls nearly 70,000 students each year.

Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees are offered across more than 150 courses of study through 10 colleges and 18 research institutes.

Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#23  University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida campus

The University of Central Florida is a public research university in Orange County, Florida, offering nearly 200 options for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across 13 colleges. UCF has the distinction of being a space-grant university. Founded in 1963, the school enrolls nearly 70,000 students annually.

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#24  University of Colorado – Denver

University of Colorado Denver campus

A member of the University of Colorado system, the University of Colorado Denver is a public research university spread across Denver and Aurora. Nearly 25,000 students enroll annually to pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The University of Colorado Denver offers more than 140 degree programs across 13 schools and colleges.

The University of Colorado – Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#25  University of Delaware

University of Delaware campus

The University of Delaware is a research university located in Newark, Delaware, dating back to 1833. The largest University in Delaware, UD enrolls more than 24,000 students annually.

UD students can pursue 148 bachelor’s programs, 121 master’s programs, and 55 doctoral programs across eight colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked UD 39th among public universities.

The University of Delaware is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#26  University of Illinois – Springfield

University of Illinois Springfield campus

The University of Illinois Springfield is a public university in Springfield, Illinois, with a student population nearing 5,500. UIS students can pursue 27 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s degrees, and one doctorate program. A pioneer in online learning, the University of Illinois Springfield has been offering online degree options since 1999.

The University of Illinois Springfield is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#27  University of Miami

University of Miami campus

The University of Miami is a private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. The school currently offers 132 bachelor’s, 148 master’s, and 67 doctoral programs split between 12 colleges for research and professional studies.

Founded in 1925, UMiami currently enrolls nearly 18,000 students annually. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Miami 57th among national universities.

The University of Miami is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#28  University of Missouri

University of Missouri campus

The largest university within University of Missouri System, the University of Missouri enrolls more than 30,000 students across 300 degree programs for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees spanning 13 academic divisions.

Students can study at the university’s sprawling campus in Columbia, Missouri, or online. The University of Missouri is a rare school that is both a land-grant and space-grant institution.

The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#29  University of Nebraska – Omaha

University of Nebraska Omaha campus

The University of Nebraska Omaha is a public research university located in Omaha, Nebraska. Founded in 1809, the school offers more than 200 programs for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees spread across six colleges.

More than 15,000 students enroll at UNO annually. The Omaha Mavericks currently compete in 15 NCAA Division I sports.

UNO is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#30  University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill campus

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in North Carolina is the flagship of the University of North Carolina system. Founded in 1789, UNC is considered to be a “Public Ivy” institution. Students can pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in over 70 courses of study.

UNC’s impressive faculty and alumni list includes Nobel Prize laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rhodes Scholars, a U.S. President, a U.S. Vice President, multiple governors, and multiple members of Congress.

UNC-Chapel Hill is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#31  University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota campus

The University of North Dakota is a public research university located in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Established in 1883, UND is the state’s oldest university. Nearly 14,000 enrolled students pursue 224 fields of study covering 73 bachelor’s, 54 master’s, and 27 doctoral degrees at UND annually.

UND is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a doctoral/research-intensive institution.

The University of North Dakota is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#32  University of Southern California

University of Southern California campus

Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California is a private research university located in Los Angeles. USC enrolls more than 48,000 students annually across hundreds of concentrations for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral studies.

USC’s distinguished faculty list includes countless Nobel Laureates, Rhodes Scholars, MacArthur Fellows, Fulbright Scholars, and Turing Award winners.

The University of Southern California is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

#33  University of Texas – Arlington

University of Texas – Arlington campus

The University of Texas at Arlington is a public research university in Arlington, Texas, dating back to 1895. UTA is classified among the R1: Doctoral Universities for very high research activity. The school offers more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs for its annual student population of nearly 43,000.

The University of Texas at Arlington is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#34  Villanova University

Villanova University campus

Villanova University is a private Catholic university located in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1842, Villanova has an annual enrollment of more than 10,000 students.

Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs are offered. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Villanova 46th among the “Best National Universities.” The school is the alma mater of Jill Biden and Howie Long.

Villanova University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#35  Walden University

Walden University campus

Walden University is an online university headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across five colleges. Founded in 1970, Walden now enrolls roughly 50,000 students annually. A pioneer in online education, Walden began offering the nation’s first fully online master’s program in 1995.

Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Master’s in Public Administration Online

Masters in Public Administration student studying online

If you’re interested in taking your public administration career to the next level, a master’s degree can open a lot of doors in the field, and an online degree program can show you how to knock.

You can learn subjects like law, policy, finance and business. You can specialize in everything from healthcare to global politics. Depending on your credentials, your salary might be anywhere from $60,000 – $100,000 per year, and your job options might come from a wide variety of fields.

Public administration is a fast-growing field with a high level of earning potential. To take advantage of its opportunities, start looking into MPA programs.

Tony Stewart
WRITTEN BY
Tony Stewart