At the master's level, professionals in the field of public administration can be involved in the implementation of helpful and vital public services that can assist people with gaining the support they need, leading communities through advocacy and management and even playing a role in the implementation of new policies directed at social improvement.
The best method for finding a career within this field is to obtain a Master's in Public Administration from an accredited university.
- USC's Online MPA Program - Earn your MPA online from USC Price, ranked #3 for public affairs.
- UNC-Chapel Hill's Online MPA Program - GRE Waivers available, can be completed in less than two years
- Norwich University - Online MPA Program - 8 different concentrations, graduate in as few as 18 months. No GRE or GMAT requirement.
- George Washington University - Online MS in Political Management - 100% online, learn at your own pace. No entrance exam for qualified applicants.
- American University - Online MPA Program - NASPAA accredited MPA program. Graduate with your MPAP in 24 months. 100% Online MPA Program.
This degree program can help students learn more about the financial aspects of government-led organizations, the regulations that may be present within nonprofit agencies and the differences between common business fields and those focused on governmental and nonprofit support. If you have a desire to help others within your community and are seeking a degree program that can lead you on the right path - the MPA program may be the best fit for what you hope to achieve.
Public Administration Programs To Consider
If you have already completed a Bachelor’s in Public Administration or other related field, the MPA can be a great option for learning more about the management techniques and skills required to succeed in this field. A large number of students may choose to pursue their degree through online degree programs, since they can provide the best level of convenience and flexibility.
People that are already working in the nonprofit sector and hoping to extend their possibilities in their current organization may find online MPA programs to be their best choice in comparison to traditional programs.
In the list below, you can read about different programs currently available in the U.S. Each of these programs provides reliable and reputable online MPA degrees that can assist you in obtaining the career of your dreams.
This list is not exhaustive, though. There are currently hundreds of MPA programs available throughout the United States for you to choose from. Completion times, price and location may be some preferred items to consider as you conduct your search, so be sure to take a look at these topics as you make your decision.
The online MPA at Rutger’s University can be a great option for students that are determined to become helpful and knowledgeable professionals in the nonprofit sector. The curriculum for this program may consist of topics that are related to implementation of services in the fields of healthcare, education and specifically nonprofit organizations. This program can be completed completely online and does not currently require completion of the GRE for enrollment. Most students that choose this program can complete their degree in around 2 years at full=time enrollment.
The University of Southern California
Students interested in pursuing an online MPA with multiple specialization options should consider USC for their program. This school currently provides specialization options such as Local Government Management, Nonprofit Management and Public Policy. Each of these options can be helpful to students with a specific career field in mind. This online program may require students to engage in around 2 years of additional coursework which can help strengthen their skills in personnel and financial management.
Online MPA programs may be the most popular option for upcoming students interested in the most convenient route to higher education. Ohio University can be a great option for students that are interested in pursuing better careers and more knowledge and experience within the nonprofit field. The MPA program at Ohio University is 100% online and can allow students to choose from specialization options that can help shape their program into one that is most beneficial for their goals. Most students that enroll in this program are graduated within 2 years.
Common Master’s Coursework to Expect
Some students may consider price and length of time to be some of the most important factors in their choice of degree program. However, there are many more constituents that may deserve your support as you browse through open and available programs.
Our team suggests taking a look at the curriculum of each program to ensure that you can gain the necessary skills and knowledge for the type of career you plan to pursue. Course work in degree programs can help you to better understand the fundamentals of your field and gain more insight into the groups of people that can be affected by the services that you provide as a professional.
Our team of educational experts has been reviewing and reporting on educational programs for over a decade. The goal of their research is to provide upcoming students with more information pertaining to their specific degree, so that they can make the best decision for their future.
Looking through current online MPA programs, our team has found that the curriculum for each may contain a lot of similar topics and factors regardless of where you enroll. If you take a look at the example courses and their descriptions below, you can see a few of the topics that can be covered by students enrolled in these programs. Consider whether these courses reflect what you would like to do as a professional in this field.
Human Resources in Public and Nonprofit Sectors
While similar to human resources courses within standard business programs, nonprofit and public human resources may contain some aspects that are specific to public administration fields. This course can help students be introduced into topics relevant to hiring and employee management within the nonprofit sector, including a look into employment laws, current legal issues and organizational requirements. This course can help prepare students to work with human resources departments in nonprofit agencies with various purposes.
Public Policy Analysis
Working in the public sector can present many different tasks to those employed within in. One of the common job roles of public administration professionals is to analyze the effectiveness of current public policies and determine if change is needed. This course can prepare students to effectively analyze current policies within their domain, identify areas that may be in need of change and implement planning to help promote positive change. This course may also look at the historical foundations of public policy within the United States.
As a student in MPA programs, you may be exposed to various courses that can help you comprehend how public organizations function, why certain actions and roles are required and the methods for achieving beneficial goals. This course can be helpful to students that are learning about human behavior in the organizational environment – including topics concerning the decision making process, conception of ideas and plans and systems analysis.
Career Options For Master’s in Public Administration Graduates
Taking the initiative to pursue a higher level degree can sometimes come with a lot of perks that cannot be found at the bachelor’s level. Students that successfully complete their Master’s in Public Administration may also qualify for upper-level positions in the U.S. Government, Public Service Organizations, Social Service Organizations or other Nonprofit Agencies.
Partnering your degree with previous experience in the public administration field can also contain many benefits that can assist you in obtaining better careers throughout your experience in this career field.
Some of the most common career options for MPA earners may be found in nonprofit agencies all over the country. Professionals at this level can be skilled assets in reviewing public policies, establishing community programs and services, managing large teams of public service professionals and even working for government agencies at the state and national level.
Your responsibilities at each of these levels can vary greatly, but may consist of providing effective management, reviewing the effectiveness of programs and establishing new and needed services for the people around you. Browse through some of the common job titles for professionals in this field below.
- Urban Planning Specialist
- Community Service Management
- Financial Management – Public Services
- Community Housing Official
- Social Service Management
- Political Scientist
How Much Does An MPA Graduate Make?
There may be many different factors to consider prior to choosing a degree major. Some students may make the decision solely based on their interests, while others may look at more tangible factors when making their choice.
In order to give you more information about this degree field and how it can be a beneficial choice, our team has reviewed some of the common career titles and their salaries. This information can help you get a better picture of what this type of degree can mean for you in terms of earnings, since this can be an incredibly important aspect for some prospects of public administration.
- Social and Community Service Managers: $64,100 on average per year (BLS).
- Urban and Regional Planners: $71,490 on average per year (BLS).
MPA Versus the Master’s in Public Affairs
Upcoming MPA students often have questions regarding their program in comparison to others that are within the same domain. One of the most common references for differentiation is between the Master’s of Public Administration and the Master’s of Public Affairs.
These degree programs may contain a lot of the same elements and sometimes even identical course work at some universities. Students may be concerned with whether or not one program can lead to a desired result or whether one program may be more beneficial than another.
The Master’s in Public Administration may be the best option for students that have had experience working in the public domain. This program may contain a lot of management-related topics that focus on the need for experienced leadership and direction.
Most students that enter into this program are seeking higher-tier positions in their current organization or simply wishing for management positions in their future. The curriculum for this program may be focused on building upon information that was learned through undergraduate degree programs or through work experience.
The Master’s in Public Affairs can also provide students with an in-depth look at nonprofit and public agencies. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to this field, regardless of whether they have gained relevant experience in the public domain or not.
This may be the degree program of choice for students that are transitioning from other degree fields and are hoping to gain more insight and information about this field within the standard 2 year timeframe. So, as a whole, the Master’s in Public Affairs could be a better choice for upcoming students that are new to the public field and are hoping to advance their understanding to the level of experienced public administration specialists.