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What to Expect From an Online MPA Program

What Is a Master’s Degree in Public Administration?

A Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) focuses on management of services at the local, state or federal level. Public administration courses can be beneficial for those in public or nonprofit sectors, as they focus on the techniques and knowledge necessary to lead large groups. Many who pursue a master’s degree are seeking to advance in their careers. A variety of schools offer online MPA programs for working professionals.

What Is the Value of an Online MPA Program?

An MPA degree can lead to job opportunities that are unavailable to those with only a bachelor’s degree. Graduates of MPA programs say they are better able to succeed in their jobs, have earned more respect from their peers and enjoy higher salaries than they would if they did not have a master’s degree, especially at the executive or director level. What’s more, many online MPA programs enable students to keep working while pursuing their degree. This enables students to immediately apply the lessons they learn in public administration courses to the work they are doing.

What Do You Learn in an Online MPA Program?

Public administration courses focus on the skills required for effective public management, including managing people, money, resources and programs to protect the public interest and address social concerns. Ethics, leadership, funding, grant writing, research, economics and public policy analysis are all topics covered by online MPA programs. Most programs integrate field activities to give students hands-on experience with a nonprofit or public service organization. Some programs give students the opportunity to write a thesis or assemble a portfolio to showcase their newfound skills and knowledge to potential employers.

An online MPA program introduces public service professionals to the most pressing issues in the field. Working professionals may find that the online format works for their busy schedules, and the skills they gain can be immediately applied to their careers. Those seeking to become leaders — or to become more effective leaders — may find an online MPA program is the right choice.

Learn about the Arkansas State University online MPA program.


Governing: Understanding the Value of the MPA and MPP Degree

Journal of Public Affairs Education: Serving Up Justice: Fusing Service Learning and Social Equity in the Public Administration Classroom

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