An online public administration degree prepares graduates to serve as executive managers in government agencies and nonprofit, public service organizations. It involves the systematic study of key aspects in administrative law, public policy management, executive-legislative relations, and professional ethics.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that administrators earned a median salary of $96,940 in 2019, much higher than the median salary of $39,810 for all occupations. The BLS projects a 6% growth rate for jobs in this sector from 2019-2029, higher than the national average. Graduates of an accredited onsite or online public administration master's program qualify for diverse jobs such as city manager, public policy analyst, and fiscal administrator. Overall, a master's in public administration opens up avenues of professional advancement for individuals interested in pursuing a career in public service.
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A master's in public administration qualifies degree-holders for leadership and top managerial positions in government, public policy agencies, advocacy groups, and nonprofit organizations.
Both degrees give students the chance to develop their leadership qualities. An MBA focuses on business management and increasing profitability, while an MPA focuses on public service management, as well as crafting and implementing public policies.
A master's in public administration typically comprises 36-42 credits and takes 2-3 years of full-time enrollment to complete. An online public administration master's program may take a shorter time to complete due to multiple starting dates, accelerated schedules, and asynchronous coursework.
Yes, a master's in public administration can be a challenging academic endeavor. Students need the ability to synthesize and apply the relevant aspects of varying fields into a unified framework.
Best Online Master's in Public Administration 2021
Students interested in pursuing a career in public administration can major in the field at all collegiate levels. Doctoral students can opt for a research-focused doctor of philosophy degree or a practice-oriented doctor of public administration program.
Attesting to the increasing popularity of public administration as a professional field, colleges and universities offer a variety of specializations within these programs. Specializations include public management, criminal justice administration, nonprofit management, and healthcare administration.
Why Get a Public Administration Degree?
Pursuing a master's in public administration requires a serious investment of time and money. However, a public administration master's degree often yields several professional and personal strongenefits. The list strongelow includes several reasons to get an online public administration degree.
- Ethical Professional Practice
- Because public administration involves a measure of public trust, a well-crafted curriculum includes foundational courses in the type of ethical strongehavior required of public administrators and similar positions.
- Build a Network of Peers
- Much of a public administrator's work involves coordination and cooperation. Completing a master's in public administration gives graduates a network of peers for collastrongoration and mentorship opportunities.
- Career Advancement
- Employers know master's degree-holders have in-depth knowledge and extensive training in their field of study, which is why they usually reserve top managerial and leadership jostrongs for applicants with a relevant postgraduate degree.
- Higher Salary
- Because master's degree-holders qualify for senior-level administrative positions, they also enjoy the higher salaries and comprehensive strongenefits that often come with such jostrongs.
- Professional Credistrongility
- A master's in public administration presents the holder as a knowledgeastrongle and committed professional who is fully invested in delivering timely and appropriate services to the public.
What Are the Requirements for a Public Administration Degree?
Admission requirements for an online public administration master's program typically include a bachelor's degree in public administration or related social science degree. Most schools require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT scores, a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and relevant professional experience.
Bachelor's level public administration enrollees typically complete a summer internship. Graduation requirements at the master's level can vary among schools, with many requiring candidates to write a thesis. Alternative culminating activities can include passing a comprehensive exam or completing a capstone project.
Professional Organizations for Public Administration Students
Public Administration draws from several professional arenas including economics, finance, psychology, and business. Practitioners need to constantly update their field knowledge to organize and manage the amount of information that impacts their work. Professional organizations give public administrators the tools to accomplish this goal through peer support, publications, and regional and national conferences.
American Society for Public AdministrationASPA's membership roster includes elected and appointed officials, city managers, civil servants, and nonprofit administrators. ASPA offers a summit for students and young professionals during the annual conference where they can explore job options, access career development resources, and take advantage of mentorship opportunities.
Association for Public Policy Analysis & ManagementAPPAM brings together members invested in advancing public policy and management through research and education. It boasts approximately 2,500 individual members and more than 100 institutional members. The organization maintains an extensive job board, produces podcasts and webinars on current and emerging issues, and publishes a digital directory of individual and institutional members to foster collaboration among members.
Public Management Research AssociationThis organization seeks to improve public governance by supporting high-quality interdisciplinary research on public management. PMRA helps members explore professional and academic opportunities through its journals and newsletters, and it provides networking opportunities during its regional and national conferences. The organization welcomes student members pursuing a degree in the field.
Students who pursue an online public administration master's degree often continue working while taking classes. However, many enrollees still need assistance with tuition and fees. The scholarships listed below represent only a small sample of financial assistance programs available to students enrolled in an on-campus or online public administration master's program.
Who Can Apply: The organization administers several funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an accredited public administration program. NFBPA gives preference to students enrolled in a historically black college or university. Students pursuing a degree in a related field such as political science or urban studies can also apply.
Who Can Apply: The program welcomes applications from seniors and graduate students committed to pursuing a career in foreign service. Acceptable fields of study include public administration, political science, and international affairs. Applicants need a minimum 3.2 GPA. Recipients must agree to a five-year service commitment with the U.S. Department of State.
Who Can Apply: Administered by the ASPA, the program accepts applications from students pursuing an accredited master's degree in public administration. Applicants must show a strong history and commitment to public administration and be an active ASPS member in good standing. Admission requirements include a personal statement, official transcript, current resume, and letters of recommendation.