Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration Overview

A master of public administration, or MPA, is a graduate degree that trains you to work as a manager in local, state and federal governments, and also in nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and nonprofit organizations. The coursework in an MPA degree is a mixture of master of business administration courses in management (finance, human resources, strategy), and master of public policy courses focused on government/nonprofit organization issues, and also public policy concerns (policy analysis, economics). People with an MPA will usually spend time analyzing information, overseeing expenditures, implementing policy, and generally work on serving the interests of the public. The MPA is usually a two year program.

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Master of Public Administration Salary

The average salary for a professional with a master of public administration, or MPA, is approximately $55,000 per year. Your exact salary will vary depending on where you work and the job title. Some typical positions and salaries with an MPA include:

  • Director of finance: $69,000
  • Program analyst: $64,000
  • City manager: $78,000
  • HR specialist: $56,000
  • Contract specialist: $55,000

Master of Public Administration Jobs and Careers

In their careers, people with an MPA will often work on helping organizations fulfill the needs of the local population, implement better technologies, keep costs to the public treasury down, and help to provide better response to disasters and emergencies.

Some common job titles for professionals with an MPA are:

  • City auditor
  • City manager
  • Consumer safety inspector
  • County manager
  • Criminal investigator
  • Customs inspector
  • Labor management relations specialist
  • Systems analyst

People with an MPA may work at EPA, the US postal service, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Master of Public Administration Online Programs

Online programs provide you a very convenient, highly flexible way to attain your MPA, while continuing to work full time. Some of the top online master of public administration programs include:

Featured Online School Offerings

  • Arkansas State University at Jonesboro- Masters of Public Administration
  • Walden University: Master of Public Administration
  • University of Phoenix: Master of Public Administration
  • University of Liverpool: MPA in Public Management
  • Grand Canyon University:  Master of Public Administration
See our Top Accredited Online MPA Degrees, fully accredited locally and/or nationally. See our list of No GRE Masters in Public Administration programs.

Master of Public Administration Requirements

Most applicants for a master in public administration have more than two years of work experience. You generally will be expected to have a 3.0 GPA from your undergraduate work, and will need to have had classes in political science, microeconomics, and computer spreadsheet classes. In your MPA program, you will likely take courses in economics, managing politics, policy and organizations, budgeting and finance, statistics, public policy analysis, and quantitative analysis. You also may need to complete a capstone project and/or internship.

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Master of Public Administration Scholarships

While it is true that more scholarships are available to undergraduate students, you still can qualify for substantial financial aid for your master of public administration. Schools that offer scholarship assistance include:

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