There are two colleges in the state that offer a Master of Public Administration program and are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA): College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina.
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Online MPA Programs in South Carolina
There are no primary or 100 percent online MPA programs offered in the state. However, the College of Charleston does offer some online coursework.
You might consider viewing the top online NASPAA accredited MPA programs, or viewing some of the featured schools on this site - they are currently accepting applicants to their respective online MPA program.
University of South Carolina - Campus Based MPA
39 credit hours are needed to earn the MPA degree at USC, with all courses being offered in a traditional on-campus setting. There are generally around 30 students enrolled at one time in the program, with an exact number of 34 in the Spring of 2018. The concentration of Emergency Management and Planning is available for nine hours, which would be part of the 15 or 18 hours of electives needed. The program can be completed within two years for full-time students.
Prerequisites of statistics and American government courses are needed to enter into the program. These either need to be satisfied beforehand or they will be taken at the school and will not count toward the degree. An internship and capstone course is needed to satisfy all the requirements. There is an accelerated MPA option for undergrads that want to get a Bachelor's and Master's in Public Administration at the same time. Select courses will count as double-credit and this program can be completed in a total of five years.
13 of the 15 graduates found employment in various levels of government, military, or the private sector following the 2017-18 academic year. Organization examples include the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the US Department of Justice, the South Carolina Medical Association, and various local positions in South Carolina and Georgia cities.
Available Online Public Administration Programs for South Carolina
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List of South Carolina Public Administration Programs
- Clemson University: Master of Public Administration (MPA) Clemson
- College of Charleston: Master of Public Administration (MPA) Charleston
- South University-Columbia: Master of Public Administration (MPA) Columbia
- Strayer University-South Carolina: Master of Public Administration (MPA) Greenville
- University of South Carolina: Master Of Public Administration Columbia
College of Charleston: MPA with Multiple Specialized Courses
In order to obtain the Master of Public Administration at COC, students need to complete 39 semester hours of coursework, or 13 courses. 21 of those are separated into a core curriculum and 12 of them are from elective courses in these areas of specialized study: Nonprofit Administration, Arts and Cultural Management, Municipal Government and Urban Planning, and Environmental Policy and Administration. The other three are satisfied through an internship that can be waived for those that meet employment requirements by the school.
There are two different versions of the MPA offered. The traditional format has a full semester schedule with mostly evening classes, and is geared toward full-time students that need to satisfy the internship requirement or part-time students. The new executive format offers current workers the ability to change or advance in their career by only attending fall classes for a seven-week span that includes online coursework and in-person classes on Saturdays. In order to qualify, students must have five years worth of relevant experience. Both MPA paths can be completed in two years.
59 percent of the students that enrolled back in the 2013-14 academic year graduated within two years, and 69 percent completed the program in three years. Most of the 2016-17 graduates went toward nonprofit domestic-oriented opportunities, with the next highest being state and city government.