Public Administration

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) offers you the knowledge required to handle the difficult administrative environment that is government service today. This online degree program is ideal if you are currently in public management or public service, or are looking to enter this field from a different discipline. Your classmates will bring their own wealth of knowledge from many fields, and through the use of case studies, facilitated discussion, and other exercises, we build on this shared experience to produce a new generation of administrators ready to serve the public. This MPA degree promotes the core values of service, ethics, knowledge, competence, and diversity. Working across silos, networking among and between agencies and stakeholders, and strategically addressing the issues at hand is a fundamental theme of this online master’s program. The culminating goal is to teach you how to competently tackle hard questions, creatively solve them, and communicate your solutions through diverse public, private, and nonprofit networks.

The curriculum for this online master’s program is reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace. Course topics include:

  • Public policy
  • Research methods used in public administration
  • Ethics in government 
  • Public administration in society
  • Public management and finance
  • Law and public policy
  • Local political administration
  • Legislatures and legislative behavior
  • Administrative theory

The MPA capstone seminar will be your culminating requirement to earn this degree. The capstone seminar can be either a graduate-level thesis or creative project. Each must show your proficiency in the subject matter and mastery of program objectives.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve program specific learning outcomes and be able to:

  • Apply leading theories and approaches to managing public organizations and administering federal, state, and local levels.
  • Test the concepts, theories and methodologies to conduct research in the public sector.
  • Evaluate the philosophical and practical issues related to ethical decision-making in the public sector.
  • Formulate and articulate positions and issues that intersect the dynamics of politics, policy, economics, administration, and management in the public sector.
  • Compare and contrast the government and private sector budgeting process and funding of specific government programs and activities.
  • Analyze the role of federal administrative organizations - to include Congress, the president, the courts, and interest groups - in the public policy development and implementation.
  • Assess the emerging trend and implications of the private and not-for-profit sectors providing government services.
  • Formulate a strategy for developing a needs assessment, outcome expectations, program outcome evaluation, impact assessment, and strategic plan.

Degree at a Glance


Concentrations are designed to help you group courses together so you can further specialize in your field and pursue a more focused path to degree completion. You will be asked to select a concentration when you enroll in this program.

Explore the concentrations available for this program.


Disaster Management

Introduces the concepts of emergency management. Topics covered include the history of the field, hazard analysis, mitigation, planning, communication, and terrorism. Looks at the interaction, coordination, and facilitation between federal, state, and local agencies during preparation, response, and recovery operations. An historical viewpoint of emergency response organizational development is also covered.

Sample Courses

  • EDMG530 - Economics of Disaster
  • EDMG503 - Emergency and Disaster Planning and Management
  • EDMG509 - Interagency Disaster Management
  • EDMG502 - Emergency and Disaster Theory

Environmental Policy

Evaluates the major legal, regulatory, and policy framework that encompasses environmental programs and projects in the U.S. and with international political, commercial, and non-governmental institutions. Examines global environmental change, potential impacts on environmental policy and society, and the public and private economic costs and effects of environmental programs.

Sample Courses

  • EVSP503 - Environmental Policy, Regulation, and Law
  • EVSP501 - Environmental Management
  • EVSP502 - Environmental Economics
  • EVSP628 - Global Environmental Change

Health Policy

Introduces the role of public health systems in America, including federal, state, and local public health agencies, as well as current political, environmental, epidemiologic, legal, and ethical issues impacting the public health field. Covers the skills necessary to be an effective health care administrator.

Sample Courses

  • PBHE501 - Public Health in America
  • PBHE502 - Health Policy
  • PBHE601 - Health Care Administration

Human Resources

Offers an advanced study of human resource management with particular emphasis on the strategic planning process. Explores current practices in the workplace, including policy development with an emphasis on the interdependence of human resource and organizational operating functions. Additional topics include employment law, discrimination in the workplace, and practices used by companies to leverage their human capital.

Sample Courses

  • HRMT600 - Human Resource Management
  • HRMT602 - Employment Law and Labor Relations
  • HRMT603 - Human Resource Policy
  • HRMT605 - Strategic Human Resource Management Practices

National Security

Assesses the major concepts of strategic thinking that underpin the national security decision-making process in the U.S, including current challenges to national security interests, especially terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Also examines contemporary globalization, its links to emergent threats, and potential U.S. responses, as well as the implications of rising worldwide economic interdependence upon national security policy.

Sample Courses

  • NSEC501 - Institutions of National Security
  • NSEC503 - U.S. National Security
  • NSEC610 - National Security and Globalization
  • NSEC613 - Current and Emerging Threats to U.S. National Security
  • NSEC620 - Foundations in Military Strategy and National Security Policy

Organizational Management

Focuses on the concepts and methods of managing an organization, including techniques for structuring and resolving managerial problems in public and private organizations. Topics include human behavior principles in individual, group/team, and organizational settings; interpersonal relations, motivation, and decision-making in organizations; and the variables involved in crisis planning, communication, and management.

Sample Courses

  • MGMT603 - Organizational Development
  • MGMT604 - Organizational Crisis Management
  • MGMT601 - Organizational Behavior
  • MGMT600 - Organizational Management

Security Management

Probes contemporary issues in security management, such as background checks, budgeting, security liability, human resources issues, and equal opportunity rights. Topics include: the 9/11 Commission Report on terrorist attacks upon the U.S.; relevant security programs in the public and private sectors; and the tools necessary to effectively plan for, implement, monitor, and administer a security organization.

Sample Courses

  • SCMT507 - Assets Protection & Loss Prevention Management
  • SCMT508 - Evaluation of Security Programs
  • SCMT509 - Contemporary Issues in Security Management
  • SCMT553 - Security Program Administration

Admission Requirements

  • All graduate programs require you to have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • If you have a non-U.S. transcript, please view our International Admissions page for more information.
  • There is no fee to complete our admission application. View steps to apply.  

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an admission representative at 877-777-9081 or