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Best 15 Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 2021

August 6, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Why Choose a Master’s Degree in Public Administration?

A master’s degree in public administration is a great choice for those who enjoy managing and working with people. With this degree, students develop their leadership skills and may learn new habits helpful to working in finance, legal, health, communications, or other career fields.

Working in public administration, you may have the option to hold a position in the government, news media, or entertainment field. You may choose to work in the public or private sectors. There is a wide range of jobs available, from working in public transportation to speaking on behalf of the health field at conferences.

Choosing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those working in the administrative services and facilities field can expect to earn a median wage of $96,940 annually. Most people in this field have at least a bachelor’s degree. The job outlook is good, and the BLS expects jobs in this field to grow by 6% between 2019 and 2029. That means an additional 21,200 jobs may be available in that time.

Below are our top 15 choices for schools with a master’s degree in public administration. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this list, let us know. We’ll help you search to find the right program.

The Best 15 Schools with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration

MPA Programs with NASPAA Accreditation

1. Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University offers an online master of public administration with a low tuition rate and flexible degree track. The 36-credit-hour program can be completed in as few as 18 months.

  • Tuition (in-state): $4,986
  • Enrollment: 13,356
  • Accreditation: NASPAA, HLC

2. California State University- Dominguez Hills

California State University in Dominguez Hills offers an online MPA degree that has a curriculum in public administration, public budgeting, and more. This program requires a capstone project and comes with two flexible study options. 

  • Tuition (in-state): $7,176
  • Enrollment: 17,977
  • Accreditation: WASC, NASPAA

3. Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University offers an online Master of Public Administration consisting of 39 credits. This program is available completely online, and it offers concentrations in fire and emergency services, general studies, and other areas. 

  • Tuition (in-state): $9,900
  • Enrollment: 14,980
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, CHEA, NASPAA

4. University of Missouri – Columbia

The University of Missouri in Columbia offers a 33-credit-hour program for its Master of Public Administration. The school offers 9-week courses in areas such as collaborative governance, public policy strategy, and more.  

  • Tuition (in-state): $9,264
  • Enrollment: 30,014
  • Accreditation: HLC, NASPAA

5. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University offers an online MPA program that has a 97% satisfaction rate. The school is particularly popular with military-affiliated students and personnel, who make up around a quarter of the student body.

  • Tuition (in-state): $10,207
  • Enrollment: 23,675
  • Accreditation: NASPAA, SACSCOC

6. University of Texas – Arlington

The University of Texas in Arlington offers a 39-credit-hour program in public administration. This program is designed to be finished within two years and has a rigorous curriculum, including a hands-on semester spent completing an internship in the field.

  • Tuition (in-state): $8,474
  • Enrollment: 48,635
  • Accreditation: NASPAA

7.  Kent State University

Kent State University offers an online program in public administration that is designed for adult learners. It is flexible and focuses on helping students complete the degree in just two years.

  • Tuition (in-state): $11,766
  • Enrollment: 27,716
  • Accreditation: NASPAA, HLC

8. DePaul University

DePaul University offers a Master of Public Administration online designed for people already working in the public sector. The MPA can be customized into one of several areas, such as emergency management or international public management.

  • Tuition (in-state): $19,584
  • Enrollment: 22,064
  • Accreditation: NASPAA, HLC

9. University of Colorado

The University of Colorado offers an online master of public administration degree online. This includes concentrations in crime analyst, gender-based violence, local government, and more. 

  • Tuition (in-state): $11,826
  • Enrollment: 37,883
  • Accreditation: NASPAA, HLC

Other MPA Programs Worth Considering

1. Sul Ross State University

Sul Ross State University offers an MPA program online that can be specialized for each student’s particular interests. The program focuses on criminal justice, homeland security, and other flexible options.

  • Tuition (in-state): $3,900
  • Enrollment: 2,406
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

2. Indiana State University

Indiana State University offers an online MPA program with just 39 credit hours, including an internship. They require a three-credit internship for those who have no previous government or non-profit experience, and a capstone project is also part of the program. 

  • Tuition (in-state): $7,542
  • Enrollment: 12,144
  • Accreditation: HLC

3. Belhaven University

Belhaven University offers a 36-credit-hour MPA degree. This is a Christian school and offers coursework in ethics and society, administrative law, and more.

  • Tuition (in-state): $10,170
  • Enrollment: 4,574
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

4. San Diego State University

San Diego State University offers an online master of public administration degree that is a 16-month program. This program is designed for people who are interested in working in the nonprofit or governmental sector. The school will waive the internship requirement if the students are already working as full-time professionals. 

  • Tuition (in-state): $7,176
  • Enrollment: 35,544
  • Accreditation: WASC

5. Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University offers a military-friendly environment on its campus and in its online courses. Students in the MPA program can opt to join specialized areas like quantitative decision-making and managing change with emotional intelligence.

  • Tuition (in-state): $16,700
  • Enrollment: 19,362
  • Accreditation: HLC

6. Liberty University

Liberty University offers a Christian-centered approach to this master’s program. Its online MPA program has specializations in public and nonprofit management, business and government policy, and more. 

  • Tuition (in-state): $7,980
  • Enrollment: 85,586
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

Ranking Methodology

The schools here have been ranked based on their tuition and enrollment rates. Schools were scored with points on a scale from 1 to 15. Schools with lower tuition and enrollment rates scored more points. In the end, those points were added together and ranked to get the list you see here.

Keep in mind that this list is not guaranteed. While every effort has been made to provide you with an accurate listing, it may change at any time.

Interested in learning more about these rankings?

Do you want to know more about these rankings and how your school ranked? Would you like to have your school added to one of our lists? Let us know. We’d be happy to speak with you about adding your school to our list or correcting any incorrect or outdated information on this list.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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