A Full Review of MPA Programs Accredited by NASPAA

The MPA, or Master of Public Administration, provides advanced skills for professionals in the public sector. Many programs are geared toward experienced workers that have spent multiple years in their field, which can be policy development, health administration, finances, legal matters, and more. Students that do not have official work experience may be required to complete an internship during their studies.

What is NASPAA and Why Is It Important for MPA Programs?

NASPAA Accreditation for MPA ProgramsThe Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration is known as NASPAA, and is an established nonprofit organization based in Washington DC that reviews and designates Master's degrees in the disciplines of Public Policy, Public Affairs, and Public Administration.

NASPAA accreditation ensures to prospective students and employers that the MPA program has met rigorous guidelines to successfully prepare individuals for careers in the public sector.

Why Consider a NASPAA-Accredited Program?

Over 200 programs across the world in 10 countries have accredited programs from NASPAA. In order to receive this type of designation, the institution should already hold at least regional accreditation and must perform a self-study report to determine if they meet NASPAA qualifications. These programs should have a primary focus in one of the three basic disciplines, and they will consider accelerated studies, dual degree offerings, and executive-specific education.

Why Consider an Online MPA Program?

Since established professionals will typically seek out this type of program, more institutions are providing online opportunities for a more flexible experience. Students are able to complete most or all of their coursework online, and this leads to fewer visits on campus. Courses may be offered in the evening or weekends in a hybrid format, or they may all be fully available online.

Numerous MPA Specializations

Students looking for a particular specialization within public administration that may be limited in availability should consider online programs. Frequently, these institutions offer enrollment at multiple times throughout the year. This is usually available for both domestic and international students, but there may be some limitations based on the university.

Take Part-Time Classes While Working

Online MPA students generally have the option of cutting their employment to part-time while pursuing the program, or simply enroll part-time while maintaining full-time employment. Students will have to review the program information through the institution to see if this flexibility is an option where they are choosing to study. In some cases, students cannot switch between full-time and part-time enrollment.

Characteristics of a NASPAA-Accredited MPA Program

Seven different standards must be met by the program in order for NASPAA accreditation to be achieved. This includes determining a specific mission for their students to be successful at the next level, and they should have at least five full-time faculty members that provide the expertise gained throughout their experiences.

Core Courses But A Specialized Path

All Master's degree programs will have a specific path laid out for students to pursue. There is a core foundation that provides the essentials in advanced employment, and opportunities to pursue a concentration for a specific type of organization or field in administration and/or management. In terms of student enrollment and graduate employment, schools must be transparent in student outcomes and inform stakeholders on the decisions they make.

Keep An Eye Out For Online Resources and Tools

In addition to providing diversity and inclusion for stronger communication and social construct, the university should also have all the resources needed for student success. This includes having necessary library services, information technology, and constantly updating the program and curriculum to meet the latest developments in the industry.

Consider a Featured Online MPA Program


Review of Schools with an Online MPA Program that is NASPAA Accredited

Arkansas State University

The College of Liberal Arts and Communications offers an MPA with concentrations in Nonprofit Management and Public Management.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Transcript showing completion of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with 3.2 cumulative GPA is required. At least a C grade is required in US Government, economic principles, and college-level algebra. In some cases, a three-year degree is accepted, or a 3.0 GPA or higher for conditional admission. At least three letters of recommendation are needed with two specifically from an instructor. Statement on personal goals in public administration and how this degree will help achieve them.
  • Program Length: One to three years are required based on the amount of credits taken each term. Students are eligible to enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. The College of Liberal Arts and Communications also offers a five-year program with the Bachelor’s degree, which truncates the Master’s degree curriculum with courses that will count toward both degrees.

California State University-Dominguez Hills

The College of Business Administration and Public Policy offers online and on-campus MPA programs with concentrations in Criminal Justice Administration, Health Care Policy and Administration, Nonprofit Management, and Public Management.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: At least a 2.5 cumulative GPA or within the last 60 credit hours is required for admission into the college. Specific to the MPA department, a 3.0 GPA should have been earned in the last 60 credit hours. A grade of B or better is required for college-level math courses. If GPA requirements are not met, at least two letters of recommendation are needed. Other submissions needed are a personal statement (1-2 pages) describing why an MPA is being pursued and an updated resume.
  • Program Length: The online program is geared for students to complete in two years. The specialization in Public Management can be completed in just four terms, but the remaining specializations require courses in the fall, spring, and summer terms for two years. On-campus students will complete the program in three years with two courses per semester and courses taken in the evening.

Central Michigan University

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers an MPA program at the Mount Pleasant campus or online that students can complete with a concentration in Nonprofit Management, State and Local Government, or a general experience with customized electives.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Prospective students should hold a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher. Prerequisites needed include college-level statistics, basic economics, and/or research methods. Official transcripts should designate completion of these requirements. Three letters of recommendation must be from professionals in the public sector or professors. Current resume should detail prior work history and any volunteer activities. Personal statement should be 2-3 pages and detail how this MPA program will help professionally.
  • Program Length: 37 credit hours are required to satisfy the curriculum. Regardless of program format and concentration selected, students are able to complete the curriculum in two years. Part-time students will typically complete the program in three to four years, which accounts for 63 percent of enrollment.

Columbia University

The School of International and Public Affairs offers an MPA with numerous policy concentrations to choose from, including Economic and Political Development, Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy, and Urban and Social Policy.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: It is recommended that students have a Bachelor’s degree in the field of public administration and three to five years of real world experience. Applicants should submit a professional resume (with quantitative and language proficiency), three letters of recommendation, transcripts designating completion of an undergraduate program, and GRE/GMAT scores. Personal statement should include details on professional goals and why Columbia University was chosen. A video essay answering certain questions will also be submitted for review.
  • Program Length: Students complete the program in a span of 21 months. The curriculum is divided into required courses, policy concentration courses, and one specialization (data analytics, gender, management, etc.) requiring three courses. Since the majority of required courses are only offered during the day, full-time enrollment is needed for this program.

DePaul University

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers an MPA program with specializations in Emergency Management, International Public Management, Metropolitan and Urban Affairs, and Public Management.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Official transcripts should show that the student completed a Bachelor’s degree at an accredited university. Two-page personal statement should detail what career goals the student has and what they have already accomplished in the field both professionally and academically. Students pursuing the five-year program (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) can apply in the junior year when they complete 88 total credit hours and hold a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher.
  • Program Length: Students typically complete the program in two years and one quarter with one summer quarter. This is achieved by enrolling in two classes per quarter. 52 credit hours are required and four credit hours are typical for each course. The curriculum breaks down into 10 core courses and three courses for the specialization chosen.

DePaul University

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offers a graduate program in Public Service Management with concentrations in Emergency Management, Health Care Administration, Higher Education Administration, and Metropolitan Planning and Urban Affairs.

  • Master of Science in Public Service Management: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Application requirements include official transcripts that show the completion of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, two-page personal statement that details academic achievement and career goals, and an updated current resume that shows any work and volunteer experience.
  • Program Length: 52 credit hours are needed to complete the program. The curriculum is divided up into eight core courses and five courses dedicated to the specialization selected. Program is offered at the Loop campus or completely online for two years and one quarter. Internship option is completed in lieu of other courses and does not additional time to the program.

Eastern Kentucky University

The MPA degree offered by the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences is distributed on-campus and online with certifications in Community Development, Emergency Management and Disaster Resilience, and Interdisciplinary Studies.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Applications will need to be sent to both the Graduate School and where the MPA program is hosted. At least a 2.75 cumulative GPA should be held with a Bachelor’s degree, or as an alternative, a least a 3.0 GPA was earned in the last 60 credit hours of the program. Having at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA eliminates the need to submit GRE scores. In addition to official transcripts, at least two letters of recommendation and a 1-2 page personal statement describing career goals.
  • Program Length: Depends on the amount of credits that students choose over their tenure. 36 credit hours are required in the curriculum to receive the degree, with 24 core credit hours and 12 elective credit hours. Students are able to enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. Three courses per semester would equate to a completion time of two years.

Florida International University

The Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs offers an MPA program both on-campus and online with numerous specializations, including Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Human Resource Policy and Management, and Nonprofit and Community Development.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is needed with high academic merit. Prospective students with less than a 3.25 GPA over the last 60 credit hours of the undergraduate program must submit GRE or GMAT scores. Three-page essay should detail career goals after receiving an MPA degree. Updated resume and three letters of recommendation are also required for submission. Admission for students only takes place in the fall semester.
  • Program Length: 42 total credit hours are needed to complete the program. Curriculum is divided up into nine core courses and five electives, which include the specialization topics selected. A public administration internship can be pursued as an elective and may be required for students with less than three years of work experience. Length of tenure is determined by how many courses are pursued each semester, with one to four courses being an option.

Georgia College and State University

The Department of Government and Sociology has an online MPA program that prepares students for research, teaching, and other services within the public sector.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: All prospective students must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and submit an updated resume with detailed work experience. For regular admission, the undergraduate degree must have a cumulative 2.75 GPA or higher, and applicants achieving above a 3.0 cumulative GPA will not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Provisional admission is considered for those that do not meet these requirements, and requires the student to maintain a 3.0 GPA during their first semester.
  • Program Length: 36 credit hours are needed to fulfill curriculum requirements. This can be achieved in four semesters of full-time enrollment, equating to two years of studies. Up to nine credit hours can be utilized in the transfer process to waive required courses assuming the incoming credit is from an accredited institution and has been completed in the last five years.

Indiana University-Bloomington

The Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs provides an MPA program both online and on-campus with various graduate certifications that can blend as specializations, with online options being in Policy Analysis, Nonprofit Management, Public Budgeting and Financial Management, and Public Management.

  • Master of Public Affairs: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: For the online program, students need to submit an application, fee, and unofficial transcripts that show the completion of a Bachelor’s degree. A personal statement should show goals for the profession and why this particular degree will help achieve those. Three letters of recommendation should be from professors and/or established professionals in the industry. More writing samples are likely in the application proces. GRE and/or GMAT scores are optional for submission.
  • Program Length: The online program can be completed in a span of two to five years depending on how many courses are being pursued in a term. 48 total credit hours are needed to fulfill curriculum requirements; six total core courses will combine with electives toward a required specialization. An optional on-campus residency can be used as an elective and does not add on to the length of the program.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice at CUNY

Students can choose between two different MPA programs that are offered, and the discipline in Inspection and Oversight is also available online.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is required to enter the program. A 3.0 cumulative GPA should be earned for the entirety of the program or in the last 60 credit hours of study. Students who do not meet grade requirements may still be considered conditionally and will have to complete an introductory course and two core courses with a B average or higher to gain full admission. An essay of approximately 300 words should detail career goals that can be achieved by the program and prior accomplishments. Three letters of recommendation should be provided by professors or professionals in the industry.
  • Program Length: 42 credit hours are needed to complete the program. Certain courses may be waived if already earned, but the same amount of credit hours still need to be earned in the program. Courses that can be waived will be replaced with electives. Multiple specializations can be pursued in either the Public Policy and Administration or Inspection and Oversight discipline, but they must be under the specific discipline.

Kent State University

The Department of Political Science offers an on-campus and online MPA program with electives to customize the program toward nonprofit administration and communication technology.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Applicants will need to send an online form with a fee that varies based on domestic and international territory. Official transcripts should show the completion of a Bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. Conditional admission will be considered for applicants that have less than the 3.0 GPA required. Two-page letter of intent should describe why the applicant chose Kent State University, and there is an additional writing sample needed, such as a research report. An updated resume and three letters of recommendation are also needed, but a GRE or GMAT scores are not required.
  • Program Length: Students pursuing the online program can graduate in as little as two years based on the amount of credits taken in each term. 12 total courses are taken in the curriculum, with eight core courses, three electives, and a capstone project course. All coursework can be completed fully online, and courses are distributed in seven-week modules. An internship may be required for students without prior work experience, which will be added to the 36 total credit hours needed. Students have the ability to start in the months of August, January, and May.

Northeastern University

The College of Social Sciences and Humanities has a fully online MPA program with an optional concentration in Healthcare Management and Policy.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: In order to get into the MPA program, applicants must send unofficial transcripts that designate completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with high academic merit. Three letters of recommendation, updated resume, and personal statement detailing goals for the career are also needed in the application process. Admissions take place on a rolling basis.
  • Program Length: Students are able to enroll into the online program on a full-time or part time basis, which takes between one to two years to complete. An internship may be waived with proper work experience and electives will be taken instead to meet curriculum requirements. An optional co-op experience is possible in the program with an additional two semesters.

Penn State Harrisburg

Distribution of the online MPA is through the Penn State World Campus with certifications in Public Budgeting and Financial Management, and Public Sector Human Resources Management.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Official transcripts should designate the completion of an undergraduate program with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. GRE or GMAT scores may be required if applicants have lower than a 3.0 GPA. Three letters of recommendation are needed by references that are able to submit a brief review. Personal statement should be one to two pages that detail both academic and career goals in public administration. Updated resume should be between one to two pages.
  • Program Length: Students are able to enter the program in any semester that is convenient for them. Full-time and part-time enrollment is an option for students to pursue the degree. Nine credit hours are typical for full-time students, and anything below that is considered part-time. Students studying on a part-time basis are recommended to take courses in the summer semester to graduate at a faster rate. Two years are generally needed for the full MPA program, and graduate certifications can be finished within one year.

Rutgers University-Newark

The School of Public Affairs and Administration offers a completely 100 percent online MPA program with concentrations in Budgeting and Financial Management, Healthcare Administration, Nonprofit Management, and Public and Nonprofit Performance Management.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is needed for potential admission. Items needed to send in for review include the online application with fee, updated resume, official transcripts that show completion of prior degree, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement detailing why the applicant chose Rutgers University. No GRE scores are required in the application process at this time. Admission into the program takes place in the fall and spring semesters.
  • Program Length: 42 total credits are needed to fulfill degree requirements. This curriculum is divided up into 33 core credit hours and 9 credit hours dedicated to the concentration or other various electives. Online scheduling is flexible for students to take as many or as little courses desired in a given term.

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

The College of Arts and Sciences offers an MPA program that gives students the skills needed in budgeting, planning, and management for the public sector, such as government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Prospective students should have a Bachelor’s degree with a 2.7 GPA or higher in order to gain entry into the program. Applicants that fall between a 2.5 to 2.7 GPA will need to submit an updated resume, letters of references, and a personal statement detailing why they have chosen SIU-Edwardsville to pursue their studies. These additional items can help in the admission process.
  • Program Length: Students are able to customize their experience with full-time or part-time enrollment in the MPA program. 39 credit hours are needed for the entire program, which is divided up into 13 different courses. Seven of these courses are part of the core curriculum while the remaining six courses are reserved for electives. Most students pursue the degree on a part-time basis and complete the program in five years. The university allows students to complete the program in a maximum of six years.

Southern Utah University

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers an MPA program with concentrations in State and Local Government and Student Services in Higher Education.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: All applicants should have completed a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Students taking the program online and out-of-state should have at least one year of work experience. A personal statement should include prior work and volunteer activities and why the applicant chose Southern Utah University. Other documents should include three letters of recommendation, updated resume, application with fee, official transcripts, and a writing sample based on the topic of government operations as a business. Admission into the program takes place in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
  • Program Length: The online program is distributed through the Canvas learning management system through an asynchronous format where students will complete assignments and other coursework on their own time. Some parts of the program will require synchronous learning based on instructors. Length of the program depends on how many credits the student pursues in a given term. The majority of students enrolled in the program over the last five years obtain the degree in three to four years.

Texas A&M International University

The Department of Social Sciences offers an MPA program that prepares students for leadership and management roles in the public sector, culminating with a project or internship course.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Prospective student should have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with high academic merit. A personal essay of 300 words should describe what the applicant’s career goals are and what they can specifically achieve with this degree. Applicants will schedule and meet with the program director for an interview. Probationary status is considered for students not meeting all criteria and must hold a 3.0 GPA or higher through the first six credit hours.
  • Program Length: 42 credit hours is required to complete the program and only one C grade is accepted as long as at least a 3.0 GPA is retained. 11 courses will be geared toward core subjects and three additional courses will be electives that customize the program experience. Students will typically complete the program in four to five years, and the entire program must be completed in five years from the first course taken. An alternative graduate certification program specializes in Nonprofit Leadership and Management which can be completed in a shorter time frame.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The School of Government offers an on-campus or online MPA program with concentrations in Local Government, Public Management, Nonprofit Management, Public Health, and International Relations.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Applicants will need to submit unofficial transcripts showing the completion of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Statement of purpose must be 1-2 pages and explains professional goals and why the [email protected] program was chosen. Updated resume should include professional jobs and any volunteer work. Three letters of recommendation should be given from professors honoring academic achievement or established professionals in the industry. Prospective students should have a strong educational background in the US government prior to entering the program. Qualified applicants with enough work experience or high academic merit will be eligible for a GRE waiver in the admission process.
  • Program Length: Both the online and on-campus programs are identical with the only difference being in how the courses are distributed. 42 total credit hours are needed to complete the program, featuring 27 core course credit hours and 15 elective credit hours. An option immersion experience for online students can be attended at the Chapel Hill campus for 1.5 credits and will be counted toward the credit hour requirement.

The University of Texas at Arlington

Through the Urban and Public Affairs department, students can earn the MPA degree online in order to prepare for management positions at all levels of government or at nonprofit organizations.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Applicants should have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 GPA over the last 60 credit hours. Three letters of recommendation should be from professors or workers in the public sector. Other requirements include an updated resume, 250-word essay where the applicant explains their background in public administration, and preferred combined score of 1,000 for the verbal and quantitative GRE. The GRE can be waived if the applicant has a 3.25 GPA or higher over the last 60 credit hours or they met admission criteria with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Program Length: With a 39-credit hour program, the online MPA can be completed in as little as two years. An internship is required for students that hold less than one year of professional experience and is worth three credit hours. This internship can be waived for those that meet the work experience necessary. There are multiple start dates for the program and those applying can begin in the fall, spring, or summer, and still complete the degree within 24 months.

University of Baltimore

The online MPA is 100 percent available away from campus with concepts in public administration fundamentals, management and analytical skills, and a specialization in Public and Nonprofit Management.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Applicants must either have a Bachelor’s degree with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher, or have obtained an undergraduate degree with an additional 12 credits of graduate-level education with a 3.0 GPA or higher. This is ideal for students that hold graduate certification in a certain discipline. These accomplishments should be designated in official transcripts sent with the application. At least two letters of recommendation are needed by professors or established individuals in the public sector. Admission opportunities are available in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. No specific courses are required as prerequisites, but applicants should already have strong fundamental knowledge in computing.
  • Program Length: Students will be pursuing the same program regardless of online or on-campus format. Up to 39 credit hours are needed to complete the online MPA. The three-credit hour internship course will be needed for those that do not have work experience in the public sector. This can be waived for students that meet the criteria and may graduate at 36 credit hours. There is an alternative option to study in weekend formats in lieu of the traditional on-campus or fully online program structures.

University of Central Florida

The College of Community Innovation and Education offers a fully online MPA program that prepares students to become experts in the public sector as nonprofit managers, education directors, and program analysts.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Three letters of recommendation should come from professors or prior supervisors. Applicants should have some prior work experience, either as an employee or in volunteer work. Personal essay should be between 500-800 words and detail background in the public sector and why they are pursuing an MPA degree. Students should have strong computer literacy, especially when pursuing the online program. Hardware requirements include a modern desktop or laptop computer with high-speed internet access. Students are administered in the fall and spring semesters.
  • Program Length: 42 total credit hours can be completed in as little as two years. This curriculum includes nine core courses that all student will take, four electives, and a capstone project worth three credit hours. Students are not able to transfer to a different program format when being fully online, while students on-campus will have more flexibility with a potential hybrid model. There is an option to dual-degree in the Master of Nonprofit Management online in order to gain further expertise in a higher nonprofit position.

University of Colorado-Colorado Springs

The School of Public Affairs offers an MPA program with an opportunity to gain certification in Criminal Justice, National Security Intelligence, Nonprofit Management, and more.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Official transcripts should designate this achievement, and applicants should also send in an updated resume and two letters of recommendation from professors or prior employers. A 500-word personal statement should detail career goals and how the applicant has been able to overcome related specific challenges. Applications are accepted up to a week before the start of each semester, and students can begin the program during any semester.
  • Program Length: Students can complete the MPA program in a span of two to four years, which is based on enrollment preference. Many courses can be completed online and on-campus, but course availability alters throughout the year. At least 36 total credit hours are needed, which are divided up into 18 credit hours for core courses, 15 credit hours for electives, and the remaining 3 credit hours for the capstone project. An alternative thesis project to culminate the program can be selected, which decreases the amount of electives needed to 12 credit hours. An internship is needed for students that do not have a work background in the public sector, which adds an additional three credit hours.

University of Colorado-Denver

The School of Public Affairs has an online MPA program with concentrations in Education Policy, Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Environmental Policy and Management, Nonprofit Management, and more.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Application requirements will differ for prospective students that hold different work experience and academic backgrounds, along with international applicants. Typically, a Bachelor’s degree is needed to enter this program and some work in the public sector is recommended. Official transcripts should be sent that show the achievement of this requirement. GRE or GMAT test scores are generally needed, but applicants with already high academic merit may be able to waive this need. All items will need to be submitted along with an online application and fee. Students will be administered into the program on a rolling basis.
  • Program Length: Students can complete the online MPA program in as little as two and a half years, but the university allows for up to six years of study. 36 total credit hours are needed to fulfill degree requirements, which includes seven core courses all students will pursue regardless of concentration selected. An internship will add three additional credit hours for those without the proper work experience. Between 9 to 12 credit hours is the standard for full-time student enrollment. The curriculum culminates with either a capstone project that solves problems in a real-world situation or a thesis project that is completed over two semesters.

University of Delaware

The Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration has an online MPA program that prepares leaders and managers for positions in various organizations and levels of government.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: In order to be administered into the program, applicants should send an unofficial transcript that shows the completion of higher education completed and an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. GRE scores are needed if the applicant has less than three years of work experience. An updated resume should show all work and volunteer history. Three letters of recommendation should be from the academic and/or professional field, and one must be a prior supervisor. Personal statement should detail why the applicant chose the University of Delaware to pursue their studies. Technical requirements include having a Windows or Mac operating system with a web browser capable of support Flash software for the Canvas learning management system.
  • Program Length: This program is typically completed in 30 months and offers a flexible format for students to pursue. 36 total credit hours are needed to fulfill degree requirements, students have the ability to start in the fall, spring, or summer semester, and there are no on-campus residencies. In addition, there is a 4+1 program that allows the completion of undergraduate and graduate studies in public administration in just five years. This combines some course credits to remove duplicate foundational coursework at the graduate level. Other Master’s degree disciplines that can be considered in this format include Public Policy, and Energy and Environmental Policy.

University of Illinois at Springfield

The Department of Public Administration offers an online MPA program with the ability to pursue concentrations in Community Planning or Management of Nonprofit Organizations, or dual degree with a Master of Public Health program.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: At least a 2.5 GPA is needed with a undergraduate degree. GRE scores can help improve admission chances in certain situations, but are not required. Applicants considering the online format will need to submit an additional statement explaining why the online format was chosen. Current resume must detail accomplishments in the profession, both as an employee or volunteer efforts. Personal statement should consist of how the MPA program will help the specific applicant complete their career goals. There are deadlines to submit materials for the online program for fall and spring semester enrollment. Prerequisite requirements include prior completion in American government, basic statistics, economics, and computer competency.
  • Program Length: 36 total credit hours are needed to fulfill degree requirements for both the online and on-campus programs. At least a 3.0 GPA must be achieved in this program, and students can finish courses with a C grade or higher in a maximum of eight credit hours. Students considering the dual-degree MPA and MPH combination will need to complete 66 total credit hours of work. This is significantly lower than the total needed if both programs would be separated, which is 88 total credit hours.

University of Missouri-Columbia

The Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs offers an MPA program that can be fully completed online with the ability to gain a career in social services, policy analysis, and nonprofit management.

  • Master of Public Affairs: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a 3.0 cumulative GPA over the last 60 credit hours is required to be considered for the program. This also includes three years of work experience in public affairs. A statement of interest should include reasons on why the applicant is choosing to pursue the program. A statement of career eligibility should be between 250 to 350 words and describes in detail prior work positions and how they can relate to a public sector job. Three letters of recommendation should detail applicant’s proficiency in work and will be contacted for review. GRE scores are not needed for the application process. Students can be administered into the program at five different times during the year.
  • Program Length: 30 credit hours are needed to complete the program and there are no on-campus residencies required. Courses are distributed in nine-week modules for students to take one at a time. Overall, the program will take two years to complete in this format. For quicker study, there is an ability to pursue a graduate certification in Organizational Consulting and Change, Nonprofit Management, or Public Management.

University of Nebraska at Omaha

The College of Public Affairs and Community Service offers an online MPA with six different concentrations to consider, including gaining skills toward Emergency Management, Local Government, and Public Policy.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Applications should show completion of a Bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or during the final 60 credit hours of coursework. Students with a lower GPA may be administered, but this depends on their prior work history and other submission materials. Updated resume should showcase prior employed and volunteer work. At least two letters of recommendation should be submitted along with GRE exam scores unless applicants meet waiver criteria. Statement of purpose should detail professional goals and how the program through the University of Nebraska at Omaha will aid in career improvement or preparation.
  • Program Length: Typically, this program can be completed in two years plus one additional semester for full-time enrollees. Full-time students must take at least nine credit hours per semester. A time limit of 10 years is given to students who will enroll on a part-time basis online. 39 total credit hours are needed to fulfill degree requirements, and the curriculum is split up into 24 credit hours of core courses, 9 credit hours reserved for the concentration, and 6 credit hours of additional electives. Pursuing a dual degree with the Master of Social Work or Master of Managing Information Systems will add more credit hours to the schedule, but less are needed in total compared to the student taking these programs separately.

University of San Francisco

The School of Management offers an MPA degree available at downtown San Francisco with an optional concentration in Health Services Administration.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Transcripts should show the completion of a Bachelor’s degree or a similar four-year program at an accredited institution. Two letters of recommendation are required with a recommendation of one or both sources being prior supervisors, but academic faculty members are also acceptable. Statement of purpose should be 1,000 words and detail professional goals, why an MPA degree specifically, and reasons for choosing the University of San Francisco. An interview may also be set up to meet directly with a program faculty member. Optional submissions are a self-evaluation on the accomplishments the applicant has had in the public sector and a scholarship statement and potential eligibility to receive one. Students will be administered in the fall semester. At least two years of prior work experience is recommended before pursuing the degree, but this is not a requirement to get into the program.
  • Program Length: Students can complete the MPA program in 21 months with pursuing the downtown program. Courses are offered on Saturdays and requires 38 total credit hours to meet the curriculum criteria. Online students will more typically finish the degree in three years. Adding the Health Services Administration concentration does not add any additional credit hours to the base program.

Valdosta State University

Students can pursue the MPA program at the Valdosta campus or online with an internship requirement, and ability to pursue concentrations of Public Sector Management or Public Policy exclusively online.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Applications must be submitted online and require a fee for processing. Official transcripts should designate the completion of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher. GRE, GMAT, or MAT scores will need to be submitted for review. Three letters of recommendation should be from professionals the applicant has worked with in the past. Resume should detail both hired and volunteer work if applicable. Probationary status is considered for applicants that do not meet all requirements. After the application is approved, students will need to submit a university medical form unless they have enrolled in a program at VSU prior to applying for the MPA.
  • Program Length: 36 total credit hours are needed to fulfill degree requirements, which break down into 24 credit hours of core courses and 12 credit hours within a concentration. An internship will require 300 clock hours for students to receive real-world experience when applying what they have learned in their academics. These internships will take place at a government or nonprofit organization and are part of the traditional curriculum. Typically, a full-time student can complete the program in a few years. An average 3.0 GPA is required to graduate the program.

Wichita State University

The Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs offers an MPA program that prepares students for management, finance, or public policy positions at nonprofit organizations and/or government agencies.

  • Master of Public Administration: NASPAA Accredited
  • Admissions Info: Applicants should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university, and this should also include maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher in the last 60 credit hours. Candidates that do not meet the latter requirement will still be considered based on other submission materials. This includes other accomplishments on their transcripts, prior work experience, and multiple letters of reference from professionals or academics with experience in the public sector. There should be at least two letters of recommendation submitted, and a resume should detail all prior work experience. Personal statement should go into career goals that the applicant has set out for and why the MPA offered by Wichita State University will accomplish the mission.
  • Program Length: In total, there are 39 credit hours needed to be earned in order to receive the degree. Students have the ability to pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time basis. By taking at least three courses per semester, students will achieve full-time status and complete the degree in two years. This does not include the summer semester, which would offer just one course over the two-year time frame. For part-time enrollment, one to two courses per semester would equate to completion in three to five years. An additional internship may be considered for those who do not have enough prior work experience in the public sector.