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.

Program Courses

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.

View all courses.

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:

  • Assess the leading approaches to managing public organizations.
  • Evaluate the moral, legal, and ethical aspects of decision-making in the public sector.
  • Evaluate the government budgeting process and funding of government programs and organizations.
  • Appraise the role of government organizations in public policy development and implementation.
  • Develop solutions to a public issue that take into account multiple stakeholders and decision-makers.
  • Implement the core concept of public service by providing evidence of service to the public or nonprofit sector.
  • Critique a difficult political situation and offer creative and innovative solutions that take into account multiple stakeholders and decision-makers.
  • Implement the core concept of public service by providing evidence of service to the public or nonprofit sector
  • Assess the part diversity, or lack thereof, plays in public administration.

Degree at a Glance

Concentrations

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.

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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
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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

  • EVSP501 - Environmental Management
  • EVSP502 - Environmental Economics
  • EVSP503 - Environmental Policy, Regulation, and Law
  • EVSP628 - Global Environmental Change
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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
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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
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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
  • NSEC612 - National Security and Diplomacy
  • NSEC613 - Current and Emerging Threats to U.S. National Security
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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

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

Need help?

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 info@apus.edu.


Graduate Tuition Rates  

Per credit hour: $350 | $325 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fee Details

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, we offer a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

As an accredited university, we accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Transfer Credits 

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

The university has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.