20+ Best Online MPA Accredited Degree Programs
Looking for the best MPA program online means you are looking for quality above all else. Just having a good idea of what is available is good, but the best thing is to find the best-rated MPA programs that are accredited by the top organizations in the country.
There are definitely many quality MPA programs you can choose from, so it can be difficult to choose the best one. You also may find that you will also see master of public policy programs, or MPP, which can make you wonder which degree is best for you.
Below are our most highly recommended MPA programs based upon many hours of research and analysis. Remember – if you do think about any university that is not on this list, you need to be sure that the program is highly reputable and fully accredited.
24+ Best Online MPA Accredited Degree Programs
University of Southern California (Featured!)
USC Price’s online Master of Public Administration prepares students to identify areas for improvement in their communities and ensure change is implemented. This includes learning to design and run new public systems and programs; evaluate, develop and implement new policy; and track, allocate and raise public funds. In 2019, USC Price was ranked a #3 program for public affairs by U.S. News and World Report.
Rutgers University (Featured!)
Are you seeking a top-tier online master’s program that can help propel your future in public administration? Choose the Online Master of Public Administration program at Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration, and you can do more than broaden your understanding of the field and its relevant issues. You can also acquire the specialized expertise to define public problems and implement practical solutions.
This 100 percent online and NASPAA-accredited program gives you the flexibility to advance your knowledge—and your career—without having to put your life on hold.
#1 Cleveland State University
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) Cleveland State University offers an online Master of Urban Planning, Design and Development that will provide you with strong public administration and policy skills that can be transferred to many types of public organization. This fully accredited online MPA program will help you to fully understand policy planning, how to use your management skills to overcome common urban issues, and also how to use your honed analytical skills to solve the most complex policy problems.
#2 Indiana University
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) Indiana University offers a highly regarded Master of Public Affairs degree that produces graduates that have the skills that they need to be successful in public affairs and to become leaders of the organizations for which they work. This MPA program will turn you into a public affairs professional who can work effectively with teams of policy professionals and also can communicate effectively with many types of colleagues. This MPA program has an applied focus that will teach you how to solve the complex problems of society using many different disciplines – from political science to economics to management science.
#3 American Public University
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) American Public University has a unique online Master of Public Administration that focuses on administrative theory, policy development, and many special case studies. This program will offer graduates of many types of undergraduate programs the chance to become highly proficient in many aspects of public administration. You will have a full understanding of both the goals and challenges of public administration and how they relate to planning, organization, management and analysis.
#4 University of North Carolina
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) At the University of North Carolina, you can earn a fully online Master of Public Administration from one of the top universities in the US. You will learn how to lead many types of government agencies and other organizations that serve the interests of the public. You will have the chance to interact with some of the best public administration staff in the world, as well as a highly talented and accomplished student body.
#5 Drexel University
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) Drexel University offers a Master of Science in Public Policy that combines many aspects of both an MPA and an MPP degree. The curriculum in this online program focuses on a research class and also eight online case study research programs. You will work a great deal on case study methodology and practice, and you will need to choose a case to study for the entire two year program. You can choose several specializations, such as education policy, science and technology, information policy, environmental policy and city management.
#6 California State University – Dominguez Hills
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) If you are looking to work, lead or manage a nonprofit or an office of government, or perhaps lead an international organization, be sure to consider a Master of Public Administration from California State University – Dominguez Hills. The curriculum of this accredited MPA program is fully online and includes courses in public administration fundamentals, applied statistics, financial resource administration, practice of public administration, and public management.
#7 California State University-Long Beach
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) At California State University-Long Beach, you will develop a broad knowledge of public administration and also strong competencies in the administrative processes of government at many levels. You will develop your skills in applying knowledge and leadership principles to provide solutions to complex problems of public policy and administration. You also can focus on Urban Affairs or Public Works Administration in your MPA program.
#8 California State University of San Bernardino
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The MPA program at California State University of San Bernardino is a very broad spectrum program that will ready students for a rewarding career in public administration in many types of government organizations. The classes that are the focus of this online program are Research Methods in Administration, Public Administration Theory and Practice, Public Financial Management, Public Sector Management, Public Budgeting and Finance, Management of Public Organizations, Administrative Regulations and Public Policy Analysis.
#9 University of Colorado-Denver
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The University of Colorado-Denver has a Master of Public Affairs degree that will prepare you to be part of the next generation in public service and criminal justice to help to provide solutions to some of the most difficult public policy problems today. Some of the specializations that are available include education policy, homeland security, domestic violence, climate change, and local government.
#10 University of San Francisco
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The Master of Public Administration at the University of San Francisco will provide both mid career and aspiring young professionals with a chance to obtain an advanced managerial education that is applicable to the public sector, nonprofit and many health care organizations. This online MPA program is fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration. Classes include Leadership Ethics, Quantitative Methods, Policy Analysis, Public Sector Budgeting, Human Resource Planning, Economics and Finance for Public Managers and Program and Policy Evaluation.
#11 University of Texas-Arlington
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The University of Texas-Arlington focuses on the formulation, analysis and implementation of advanced public policy at various urban institutions. The curriculum in this online, accredited MPA program is made to help you develop your leadership capacity and to understand the political, social and economic aspects of the urban public administration environment today. You also will learn how to apply current management theories and types of analysis to the most complex public policy problems.
#12 Northeastern Univ
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The Master of Public Administration at Northeastern Univ is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The online program is designed to help you develop analytical, conceptual and practical competencies for both management and leadership careers in the public and nonprofit sectors. You will be fully prepared to be highly effective in a diverse professional environment in either the public or nonprofit arena. Most students find that they can complete this program in two years online, full time.
#13 Central Michigan University Global Campus
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) With the Master of Public Administration from Central Michigan University, you will be readied for an exciting and rewarding career path in leadership or management of many types of public institutions, from finance to public policy to health care. Some of the common classes that you will take include American Public Policy Making, Foundations of Public Administration, Public Personnel Administration Practice, Public Budgeting and Finance, Program Analysis and Evaluation, and Organization Theory in Public Administration.
#14 Florida Gulf Coast University
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The MPA at Florida Gulf Coast University is an interdisciplinary, online program that will prepare professionals for administrative leadership positions in both the public and nonprofit sectors. The curriculum of this accredited graduate degree program gives you both a theoretical background and practical application in public policy and administration analysis. You also will learn about personnel administration, research methods, budgeting, data analysis and program planning/evaluation.
#15 Indiana State University
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) Indiana State University offers a Master of Public Administration that is suitable for working public administration professionals with experience in public and nonprofit organizations and want to advance their career with a graduate degree. If you do not have public or nonprofit sector experience, you will need to finish a 3 credit internship in a public administration position. Required classes include Organizational Behavior, Public Personnel Administration, Budgeting in Governmental Agencies, Seminar in American Government, and Seminar in Empirical Theory.
#16 Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The Master of Public Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will prepare leaders in both the public and private sectors by providing them with a truly interdisciplinary education that stresses professional practice all through the curriculum. This accredited MPA program will stress both the social and physical sciences into a top tier graduate education that will prepare you to be fully attuned and prepared for the ever changing public administration and policy world of the 21st century.
#17 John Jay College of Criminal Justice
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers a Master of Public Administration degree that aims to inspire you to the very highest levels and ideals of citizenship and public service. You will have the chance to learn vital professional and political knowledge and skills that are needed for effective public service today. In addition to the regular MPA program, you also can choose to focus on a special MPA Inspector General Program that will ready you with the key disciplines and perspectives of public administration from an oversight point of view.
#18 University of Texas-Pan American
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) University of Texas-Pan American offers a Master of Public Administration program that is fully online, and will prepare you for many types of leadership roles in every level of government and nonprofit groups. If you are committed to having a dynamic career in a government agency or a nonprofit organization, you will find this accredited MPA degree as the perfect choice. Most graduates are able to complete this fully online degree in less than two years.
#19 Arkansas State University Jonesboro
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The Master of Public Administration at the Arkansas State University Jonesboro will enhance your individual, organizational, social and governmental skills in both the public and nonprofit areas. You will be provided with strong management skills and also a strong public administration philosophy to by a dynamic leader of many public organizations. This accredited degree program is designed to be completed online and to result in a degree in 24 months.
#20 Villanova University
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The Master of Public Administration at Villanova University is a program will teach you how to lead various departments of the local, state and federal governments, as well as non-governmental organizations and nonprofits. You can learn largely through e-learning with recognized scholars and practitioners who will help you to better develop your analytical, decision making and management/leadership skills. You also will learn everything that you need to develop programs, influence organizational change and solve problems.
#21 Marist University
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The MPA at Marist University features the innovative iLearn system that will allow you to interact a great deal with classmates and instructors. The online MPA courses in this program are offered in two, eight week rounds in the Spring and Fall. The purpose of this fully accredited MPA program is to integrate the knowledge of key theories across all disciplines of public administration, and to develop all of the skills that you need to manage public and nonprofit groups effectively.
#22 Penn State
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The MPA program at Penn State is set up to assist you in enhancing your abilities to understand, analyze and control the environment of your organization so that you can manage it more effectively, and to bring positive, progressive change to both the public and nonprofit areas. The curriculum stresses finance, organizational governance and administration, and also provides you with plenty of real world experience. The program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.
#23 Kent State University
(This Program is 100% Online. Highly Recommended) The Master of Public Administration program at Kent State University consists of 36 semester hours that you can complete in two years online. Some of the key classes in this accredited graduate program include Introduction to Public Administration, Public Budgeting and Financial Management, Personnel Management, Program Evaluation, Methods in Public Administration, Strategic Planning, Personal Accountability in Public Service and Public Sector IT Management.