Find the Best Online MPA For You
A master’s degree in public administration primes public service professionals to become influential leaders on a local, state, and federal level. While it is traditionally aimed toward government employees, the demand for MPA graduates from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and nonprofit organizations has been emerging over the years. This means greater practicality and versatility for those thinking of earning a master’s degree in public administration.
The first step is choosing the best online MPA for you is understanding how a MPA program is structured. From executive, part-time and full-time to completely online MPA programs, there are many options to consider – some students prefer the feel of a physical classroom, but depending on their level of flexibility around time and location, many find online to be a better fit.
Next, choose the right institution for you. Many students reference MPA Rankings and these are certainly a good place to start if reputation and brand are important to you. Learn about a few top ranked schools offering an MPA!
School Profiles for Online MPA Programs
- American University
- Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College
- Columbia University
- Georgetown University Public Policy Institute
- Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
- Indiana University
- Kansas University
- Marist University
- MPA@UNC: The University of North Carolina School of Government
- Northeastern University
- NYU Wagner MPA Program
- Ohio State University
- Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
- Princeton University, The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
- Syracuse University, The Maxwell School
- The George Washington University Trachtenberg School MPA Program
- University at Albany
- The University of Colorado Denver
- University of Georgia
- University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy
- University of Missouri
- University of Nebraska-Omaha
- University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Southern California Price School
- University of Utah
- University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs
Concentrations of a Master of Public Administration Degree
After choosing your institution, there are many specializations and types of institutions/careers to consider. Exploring these specializations while earning your degree may help you decide which direction to take your career. Here are a few concentrations that you can choose to focus on while earning your degree:
- Nonprofit Leadership
- Nonprofit Management
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
- Policy Formulation
- Federal Budget
Benefits of an Online MPA Degree
A growing number of colleges and universities now offer online MPA degrees. For busy professionals who are unable to enroll in a traditional brick-and-mortar graduate program, online MPA degree programs offer several advantages, including:
- Flexibility: Online MPA programs remove the time and place constraints that are associated with a traditional campus setting. An online MPA degree program allows students to log in to classes at their own convenience, anytime. In addition to eliminating the need for commuting, many students find that breaking up class time by logging in whenever it's convenient throughout the week allows them to fulfill personal and professional responsibilities with far less strain.
- Accessibility: Online MPA programs provide increased access to class materials, allowing students to re-visit and review class lectures, presentations and discussions at any time. This aspect of online learning offers a clear advantage over traditional classrooms, which usually only leave students with the notes they themselves have taken along with any handout material provided by their professors.
- Connectivity: In high-quality online MPA programs, every effort is made to establish a deep connection between individual students, their peers and faculty members. Class sizes are kept small and networking between students is highly encouraged. Increasingly, state-of-the-art technology is being leveraged to bring online MPA degree programs to the same level, if not higher than, competing brick-and-mortar programs.
According to a Babson Survey Research Group and College Board study, enrollment for online courses is currently at an all-time high. In 2010, more than 6 million students were enrolled in online classes. In another survey of more than 2,500 schools, 65 percent of administrators said that online programs are an important part of their school's long-term strategy. A good example is the newly announced MPA@UNC an online accredited MPA offered by the UNC School of Government.