There are seven colleges in Florida that offer a Master of Public Administration program and are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
Florida International holds one of the biggest MPA programs in the state and features a fully online degree for those not in the Miami area. Tampa and Orlando are other popular cities home to universities that offer an MPA degree.
Online MPA Programs in Florida
There are five current NASPAA-accredited universities that offer at least a primary curriculum that can be completed online: University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, Nova Southeastern University, Florida International University, and Florida Gulf Coast University. Florida State is launching an online program beginning in the Fall of 2019.
Consider Featured Online MPA Programs
University of Central Florida
The School of Public Administration offers an online Master of Public Administration and Master of Nonprofit Management for one of the biggest schools in the country. A total of 178 students are in the program with nearly 70 percent of them enrolled part-time. The curriculum is geared toward being completing in two years, or five semesters (including one summer semester), for full-time students, but it generally takes three to four years for part-time. Most of the graduate job placement has been in state and local government opportunities.
42 credits are needed to graduate from the program, separated as core courses, electives, an internship, and a capstone project. Areas of emphasis to take electives in are other pathways in the School of Public Administration, such as Nonprofit Management, Urban and Regional Planning, and Emergency Management. Every class must be completed with a grade of B- or higher to count toward the degree and students need to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better.
Another option is a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration. This five-course curriculum can be counted with a Master's program in the future and entrants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and submit a resume and a goal statement explaining the purpose of getting certification. The entire program can also be completed online.
Campus Based Public Administration Programs in Florida
Florida International University
The Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs offers both an on-campus and online version of their Master of Public Administration. For the online format, students need to complete 42 credit hours with a cumulative 3.0 GPA and at least a “C” grade in each class to satisfy the degree. Along with the core curriculum of 18 credit hours, there are 18 credit hours worth of electives from the following specializations: Nonprofit and Community Development, Human Resource Policy and Management, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, International and Comparative Public Administration, and Public Finance, Procurement, and Contract Management.
An additional elective could be an internship for those that have completed less than three years of work experience. Other requirements to get admitted into the program include obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, three letters of recommendation, a resume, a three-page essay explaining career goals with an MPA (and demonstrating writing skills), and GRE or GMAT scores if necessary. Students are only admitted during the fall semester with a priority deadline on March 1st and final deadline on June 1st.
Florida State University
A Master of Public Administration can be obtained through the Askew School of Public Administration at FSU. 42 credit hours, divided up into 24 hours worth of core courses and 18 hours of electives, are needed to complete the program. Core courses include a methodology sequence that dives into research design and quantitative analysis in public administration and there is an applied research project. An additional three credits are needed for an internship if students have less than one year of work experience. An online MPA will be offered beginning in Fall 2019.
In the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years, at least half of the students that entered into the program were able to graduate within two years. The program is anticipated to be completed in two years for full-time students. 50 of the 59 students that graduated in those years have found job placement or continued further education. Most of the graduates have entered into state government or domestic-oriented nonprofit opportunities.