There are two schools in the state Iowa that provide a Master of Public Administration program accredited by the North Central Association of College and Schools Higher Learning Commission (NCACSHLC).
Both universities are private institutions, including the state's biggest, Upper Iowa University, in Fayette. The other university is in the state's capitol of Des Moines, Drake University.
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Online MPA Programs in Iowa
Upper Iowa University provides an online Master of Public Administration through an official Online Program or Self-Paced Program (through the website or sent through email/postal mail).
The Self-Paced option provides a unique way to learn without an internet requirement and enrollment can last up to six months, but it does require proctored exams. Regardless of option, there is no need for any on-campus residency.
Upper Iowa University
The degree requires 36 semester credits to complete and students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to graduate. There are six required courses, and a final capstone project, all worth three credits each. The remaining credits are reserved for one of the following areas of emphasis: Emergency Management and Homeland Security, General Administration, Healthcare Management, Nonprofit Management, and Public Management.
Graduate admissions into the MPA requires students to have completed a Bachelor's degree with at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA, or 3.0 GPA over the last 60 credit hours. Other submissions needed are two letters of recommendation, photocopies of certificates (if needed), GRE or GMAT scores, and official or unofficial transcripts. The online graduate program is separated into six different sessions during the academic year (five eight-week classes and one six-week session in the summer).
Alternatively, there is also a standalone graduate certificate in Public Management that students can complete. This is a truncated version of the Master's degree that requires a class in writing, and students pick four courses from a set of electives, such as Organizational Behavior, Theories of Leadership, and Human Resources Management in Public Organizations. Standard admission requirements need to be met along with a grade of C or better in Elementary Statistics, and students need to finish the curriculum with a 3.0 GPA or better in order to get certification.
The College of Business and Public Administration offers a Master of Public Administration that can be completed in 36 credit hours. There are 21 credits toward the core curriculum and the remaining 15 credits are for electives in one of the following concentrations: Executive Leadership Development, Financial Resources, Healthcare Management, Human Resources, Nonprofit Management, Public Policy, or an individual specialization to customize the degree. Core courses cover topics such as human resources, budgeting, and leadership skills. The capstone project provides a way for students to implement what they have learned to current situations.
Program entry takes place in the fall, spring, or either of the two summer sessions. In order to be admitted into the program, prospective students should submit an application, resume, one-page essay over career goals, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts. Conditional admissions are given to those that do not meet the requirement of a 3.0 GPA over their final 60 hours of undergraduate coursework. While there is no online option to complete the program, the Drake University cohort in Ames provides a way to complete the curriculum during the weekends over the span of two years.