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Established in 1899, South University is a private, nonprofit institution with a long history of driving student success. 

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Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Prepare for a Career in Public Service

Our Master of Public Administration degree program can prepare you for a leadership role in local, state, or national nonprofits and government entities. Study organizational behavior, budgeting, management, and more as you plan for a future in public service. Take the next step today.

Program is offered at the following campuses. Select a campus to learn more.


Learn How to Lead Change in Your Community

As a profession and field of study, public administration encompasses the planning, management, and improvement of government and nonprofit services. At South University, our Master of Public Administration degree program can equip you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to take on management roles within government or nonprofit organizations, so that you are ready to drive change at the local or national level.

Offering one-on-one support and mentorship, our Public Administration instructors* use examples from their own experiences in public and nonprofit organizations to help prepare you to better serve your community, state, or country. Upon earning your Public Administration degree, you’ll be equipped to:

  • Analyze and address public administration issues by considering the economic, political, legal, and social institutions and processes impacting political leaders and public managers.
  • Understand and communicate the challenges faced in the public sector as well as potential solutions.
  • Build strategic alliances using effective teamwork and communication skills.
  • Apply quantitative analysis and critical thinking skills to solve organizational problems.

Study Essential Topics for Public Administration Careers

The courses in our Public Administration master’s programs are carefully selected and structured to prepare you for public administration careers. The curriculum covers a broad range of topics that include:

  • Strategic human resources management
  • Public administration definition and foundations
  • Public and non-profit organizational behavior
  • Public and non-profit budgeting and accounting
  • Research and data analysis in public administration
  • Non-profit fundraising and volunteer development
  • Grant writing and contract administration
  • Management of non-profit organizations
  • Program evaluation of public and non-profit organizations
  • State and local government and intergovernmental relations
  • Legislative and judicial process

The program also involves a capstone course that requires applying your newly learned skills to address case studies featuring public administration challenges. The cases may include organizational planning, strategy, decision making, and change management and can give you valuable problem-solving experience for entering public administration careers.

Choose How You Want to Earn Your Degree

Our Public Administration master’s programs are available fully online or through a mix of on-campus and online learning. In the blended modality, students meet with each other and their instructor on campus every other week, while completing online coursework during the time between their face-to-face meetings.

The on campus + online Public Administration degree program can be completed in 18 months. Alternatively, you can earn your master’s in Public Administration online in 15 months.

Public Administration Degree Program Requirements

To be accepted into our master’s in public administration online or blended on campus + online program, our requirements include a completed admissions application and:

  • An earned undergraduate degree from an acceptable accredited institution with a CGPA of 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • -or-
  • An earned undergraduate degree from an acceptable accredited institution with a CGPA of 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale during the applicant’s last 60 semester or 90 quarter hours earned on the bachelor’s degree or subsequent graduate work
  • -or-
  • An earned undergraduate degree from an acceptable accredited institution with a minimum combined GMAT score of 400 or GRE scores of 150 Verbal and 150 Reasoning
  • -or-
  • An earned graduate degree from an acceptable accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0)

Scholarships and financial aid are available to those who qualify. For questions about financial aid or admissions (including possible admission criteria exemptions for the Public Administration degree program), call 1.888.444.3404 or complete a request information form today.

What You Can Do with a Master’s in Public Administration

Curious about exactly what you can do with a master’s in public administration? A master’s in public administration is a graduate degree program that can help you develop the organizational and managerial expertise to qualify for management-level public administration careers and salaries. Public administration careers can involve work in a wide variety of nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

As for our master’s in Public Administration, jobs our graduates have held include:

  • Chief Executives
  • General and Operations Managers
  • Legislators
  • Social and Community Service Managers
  • Transportation Managers
  • Logistics Managers
  • Regulatory Affairs Managers
  • Compliance Managers
  • Supply Chain Managers

For a professional with a master’s in public administration, salary can vary based on factors like experience level, employment type, industry, and geographic region. Request information to learn more about our degree programs and how we help our students prepare for public administration careers.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

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