There are seven colleges in Kentucky that offer a Master of Public Administration program and are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
One of the biggest programs is located in Richmond, where Eastern Kentucky University's MPA degree is also available 100 percent online.
All of the biggest universities across the state holds an MPA program, including the University of Kentucky in Lexington and the University of Louisville.
Consider Featured Online MPA Programs
Online MPA Programs in Kentucky
A number of the NASPAA-accredited schools offer selected courses from the Master of Public Administration online, or standalone graduate certificates that can be completed away from campus. Eastern Kentucky University provides the only fully online Master's degree program in the state.
Eastern Kentucky University
The 100 percent online MPA program with no need to visit campus requires 36 credit hours to complete, and it is geared toward students who are looking to pursue a career in the nonprofit and public sectors. Job opportunities include a city manager, community services manager, budget analyst, and policy analyst. Each course takes eight weeks and provides plenty of flexibility to working professionals. For those transitioning into the program, up to 12 transfer credits will be accepted.
Examples of core courses include Research Methods, Public Sector Leadership, and Public Human Resources Management. There are two concentrations to choose from: Community Development, and Emergency Management and Disaster Resilience. Another option is meeting with a course advisor and selecting electives for a general degree. There is a field study requirement to complete the program, meaning students will select from either taking an internship or an applied research project.
University of Kentucky
In addition to the MPA, there are some online options through the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. There is a 100 percent online program, the Master of Public Financial Management. This 36-credit hour opportunity will educate professionals specifically geared toward handling finances of various public organizations, such as analyzing costs, auditing, and revenue forecasting. There is also a similar, standalone graduate certificate that requires 12 credits to complete.
University of Kentucky
A Master of Public Administration can be obtained through the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. The program is open to students regardless of prior work experience and only requires an undergraduate degree with an expected cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students should expect to complete the program within three to four years if they enroll part-time while continuing their professional work. Full-time students can complete the program within two years.
The curriculum consists of core courses, an area of emphasis, an internship for those that do not have work experience, and a culminating capstone project. There are a vast number of concentrations to customize the degree, such as Economic Development, Educational Policy, Health Policy, and Public Financial Management. Typically, the internship is completed during the summer months. There is a prerequisite of an economics class, and while it can be taken during the first semester, it will not count toward the 40 credit hours needed to complete the program.
University of Louisville
The Department of Urban and Public Affairs hosts the Master of Public Administration program. Various students that are admitted into the program come from various backgrounds, either already working or hold no working experience. Those that do not have any professional experience will need to take an internship. There are approximately 50 students that are enrolled at a given time in the program. Different types of concentrations are available when choosing electives: Urban Governance, Nonprofit Management, and Sustainable Urban Development.
To meet students’ needs, such as those currently holding jobs, courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening. There are some courses available online or in a hybrid format with customized meetings that are most convenient with other peers. In order to get into the program, prospective students must submit an application and fee, transcripts, GRE scores, and two letters of recommendation. It is recommended that they hold a Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Either the GPA or GRE can be waived if one score is sufficient enough to meet the requirement.
Example courses in the core curriculum include foundational material, Research Methods, Urban Policy Analysis, and Cultural Competency and Action. There are 42 credits needed to complete the program, and this generally takes four years for part-time students and two years for full-time. 90 percent of those that graduated from the program in 2018 held a job position within six months.