There are two schools that offer public administration programs in Minnesota and are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) heading into the 2019-20 academic year.
A Master in Public Administration can be obtained in the larger of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, at the University of Minnesota, while another is offered by Minnesota State University in Mankato.
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University of Minnesota
The Humphrey School of Public Affairs offers a Mater of Public Policy, a high-level degree that is geared toward students interested in working public service jobs at various levels. The program requires 45 semester credits to complete, featuring core courses, a concentration focus, electives, and an internship that requires 400 hours of real-work experience unless it can be waived. Courses are mostly held on campus, but there are some that are offered either online or in a hybrid online and on-campus format. Specializations are in:
- Advanced Policy Analysis Methods
- Gender and Public Policy
- Global Public Policy
- Politics and Governance
- Public and Nonprofit Leadership Management
- Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy
- Social Policy
Students also have the option create their own concentration with help from their advisors. This can be a combination of various concentrations offered by the program or they can pick other courses throughout the university that best suits their needs toward a specific profession. 74 of the 78 MPP graduates of the 2017-18 academic year have found employment or are continuing their education within six months of graduation. The vast majority of employment was seen in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Online MPA Programs in Minnesota
Minnesota State University in Mankato offers a multitude of options in order to complete their public administration program. In addition to their on-campus experience, the Master of Arts is also offered online, with a combination of the two, or by telepresence. Telepresence is a high-level videoconferencing system that provides an ability for two classrooms to feel like they are in the same place.
Other similar programs that can be completed at the university include a separate Master of Arts with a specialization in Urban Planning. This has a similar 36-credit curriculum with a difference in restricted electives offered. A certification in Urban Planning can also be completed for those looking for a career change. The 12-credit curriculum includes courses in Planning Process, Planning Law, Long Range and Strategic Planning, and Planning the Built Environment.
The University of Minnesota does not offer any primary or 100 percent online programs. The Humphrey School of Public Affairs does offer shorter graduate certifications that are transferable to some degrees in the following subjects:
- Early Childhood Policy
- Election Administration
- Human Services Leadership
- Nonprofit Management
- Policy Issues on Work and Pay
- Public Affairs Leadership
Minnesota State University-Mankato
A Master of Arts geared toward Urban and Regional Studies can obtained in Mankato and is used for opportunities in local government or in preparation for a Ph.D. There are multiple ways to complete the program: on campus in Mankato, online, having a hybrid of physical and online classes, and utilizing classrooms with remote technology. The curriculum can be completed with 36 credits that include restricted and unrestricted electives, an internship, research methods, and a capstone project.
- Foundations in Urban Management and Planning
- Urban Analysis
- Public Information and Involvement
- Organization Environment
- Urban Administrative Services
- Urban Finance Systems
- Unrestricted Electives (12 credits)
- Internship (1-6 credits)
- Urban Studies Studio (Capstone, 3 credits)
Internships must have 300 hours of real work experience to be completed. Waivers are given to those that have been working in a related position to their studies for at least two years.
Students can expect to complete the program in two years for full-time students taking six credits per semester. Roughly half of the students entering the program complete it at this rate and just over 72 percent have achieved these requirements within four years. 98.5 percent of graduates from the entire history of the program found employment within one year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Urban and Regional Planners that have obtained a Master’s degree will see their job outlook grow by 13 percent between 2016 to 2026.