National University’s Master of Public Administration degree can be earned entirely online. The university welcomes applications year-round, and offers monthly start dates for maximum flexibility. Courses are delivered in accelerated, four-week course sessions. The program requires a minimum of 54 quarter units of study and culminates in a capstone MPA project.
The interdisciplinary curriculum includes core courses such as Ethics, Financial Management and Grant Administration, and Urban Planning and Redevelopment. Students may specialize in human resource management, which requires courses such as Compensation and Benefits and Legal, Ethical, and Safety Issues. The organizational leadership specialization includes courses such as Conflict and Power Dynamics and Leadership in the 21st Century.
What Are the Typical Admissions and Application Requirements for an MPA Program?
As with most Master’s degree programs, Master of Public Administration programs typically require applicants to hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Most graduate programs have a minimum requirement for cumulative grade point average, which typically falls around 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. When compiling MPA applications, individuals can often expect to compile materials including transcripts, resumes, and letters of recommendation, and scores from tests such as the Graduate Record Exam. Some programs also require personal statements and/or writing samples that demonstrate commitment to the study of public administration. Because the programs outlined above are delivered fully or partially online, some of them are designed specifically for full-time working professionals in the public sector. These programs may require applicants to hold a current position or a sufficient number of years of relevant professional experience in the public sector.
What Job Titles, Duties, and Salaries Can I Expect With an MPA Degree?
Public administration is a broad field, but it often involves work in settings such as community and nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Broadly speaking, public administration degree-holders may move into roles as administrative service managers or financial managers in the public sector.
Administrative services managers lead the services an organization provides, from the planning stage to implementation. Job requirements may vary by the services and scope of the organization, but a bachelor’s degree and relevant, progressive work experience is a minimum requirement for most positions. The demand for individuals to fill administrative services management roles is growing at a projected 10-year rate of seven percent, which is faster than the average growth rate across all industries. In 2018, administrative services managers made a median salary of $96,180, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Financial managers assess and coordinate finances for an organization. Job duties for financial managers may include preparing financial reports, directing investments, and creating plans and strategies for an organization’s financial future. A bachelor’s degree and lower-level experience in accounting, auditing, or financial analysis is typically required for the job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for competent financial managers is growing at a projected 10-year rate of 16 percent, which is much faster than average. Financial managers earned a median salary of $127,990 in 2018.
Many public administration professionals work in nonprofit organizations. A suitable nonprofit-based career for MPA-holders is public relations and fundraising management. On the public relations side, PR and fundraising managers are in charge of materials that manage an organization’s public image, such as press releases and media communications. On the fundraising side, these managers create fundraising campaigns that lead to donations and funding for the organization and their services and projects. The job outlook for financial managers is growing at a projected 10-year rate of eight percent, and financial managers made a median salary of $114,800 in 2018.
In government, from the regional to global level, legislators take charge of introducing, developing, and implementing laws and policies. While legislators often need to be elected, an MPA degree can help individuals gain the skills and knowledge needed to create policy in various communities and spheres. While salaries may vary by government level, legislators made a median annual wage of $24,670 in 2018.
What Kinds of Skills Do Public Administrators Need?
Leaders in the public sector can help highlight, address, and propose solutions for some of the most significant issues facing organizations, communities, and the world. Such issues may include health care, social policy, and urban development and infrastructure. Leaders are responsible not only for recognizing these issues, but also for responding to them effectively by creating positive change. Leaders must be able to analyze information, communicate effectively, manage funds, plan and implement effective policies, and strategize for short-term and long-term success.
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