There are four schools that offer public administration programs in Washington and are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) heading into the 2019-20 academic year.
The Pacific Northwestern state provides a Master of Public Administration in its biggest city, Seattle, as well as Cheney, home of Eastern Washington University.
Online MPA Programs in Washington
There are no primary or fully 100 percent online public administration programs offered in Washington. However, those looking for convenience with part-time enrollment, nearly all universities offer night and/or weekend courses and a way to complete the program in at least three years. Numerous schools also offer graduate certificates that take less time to complete.
Consider Featured Online MPA Programs
Eastern Washington University
Along with a complete Master of Public Administration program, EWU's College of Social Sciences offers graduate certifications in Public Management Development (PMD) and Regional Economic and Public Policy Analysis (REPPA). There are two separate curriculum offered for the PMD, with one being a 16-credit certification that sets the foundation for public sector concepts, skills, organization theory. The more advanced 36-credit option further dives into analysis, planning, budgeting, and administrative law.
A REPPA graduation certificate has a 28-credit curriculum that has required courses in Urban and Regional Economics, Population and Economy Planning Methods, Advanced Strategic Planning (or Public Policy Analysis), and Topics in Regional Economic Policy Analysis. 12 additional credits worth of electives are needed to complete the program, which include Economic Development, Health Economics, and Public Financial Management.
University of Washington
The Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy oversees the MPA program at the university. Its robust 72-credit hour curriculum core courses that involve management, leadership, budgeting, economics, quantitative methods, policy analysis, and program evaluation. An internship must include 400 hours of real-work experience and a capstone project showcases development in the program. Students can opt to focus on one of the following specializations or choose any 12 credits worth of electives at the university.
- Social Policy: Poverty, Education, and Social Welfare
- Public Policy Analysis
- Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy
- Environmental Policy and Management
- Public Leadership, Management, and Decision Making
- International Development
- Metropolitan and Urban Policy
- Public Finance and Budgeting
There is an option to waive specific courses, such as public policy analysis and quantitative analysis, if students can submit their prior work. However, 60 of 72 total credit hours of coursework must be taken at the Daniel J. Evans School. Part-time students must also complete the 72-credit curriculum, but there is an opportunity to graduate within three years if students can separate 24 credits worth of classes over three quarters each year. 93 percent of students that started in the 2014-15 academic year completed the program in three years.
Following the 2018 academic year, 90 percent of graduates were able to find employment or went on to further education within six months of obtaining their degree. Of those, 83 percent were placed in the government, social enterprise, and nonprofit sectors. 71 percent of graduates stayed in the state of Washington and 65 percent were received at least $55,000 in their full-time positions. Employment opportunities, like financial analysts, policy analysts, and project managers, were found at organizations such as the Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis on ethical standards of accountability in the public interest and creating positive relationships within the community. The 57-credit curriculum includes core courses, an area of emphasis in either government or nonprofit, and electives such as Behavioral Economics, Social Justice and Social Policy, and City Management. There is also a capstone project that culminates at the end of the program. Internships and independent study are offered as electives worth 1-6 credits.
85 percent of students in the program are working full-time jobs. Most students take take two courses per quarter (four quarters offered per year), and at that rate, 65 percent of them completed the degree within three years. Approximately 75 percent of graduates continue to work in the area, and job examples include being an executive director at Compass Housing Alliance, a budget analysis at Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, and a research analyst at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.