Master of Public Administration Degree – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What can I do with a Master of Public Administration?
MPAs work in a variety of management positions within the public sector. Common positions include human resources director, executive director, program administrator and consultant.
What is the difference between a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Business Administration?
The MPA is designed to specifically address the issues that managers in non-profits and governmental organizations will face; in contrast, the MBA is a generally focused degree in business administration that is usually geared towards preparing students to work in the private sector.
What are the prerequisites for applying to a master’s program in public administration?
Many programs require students to have taken courses in statistics, government or other fields closely related to public administration. All programs require students to hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and most specify a minimum GPA requirement. The exact requirements vary greatly from program to program.
Will I need to take the GRE, GMAT or other entrance exams in order to apply to a master’s program in public administration?
The majority, though not all, of MPA programs require students to take the GRE. Most schools specify a minimum required GRE score to qualify for admission.
How much does a master’s of public administration program cost? Is financial aid available?
Prices per credit hour can vary by hundreds of dollars between institutions, so it pays to do some research into the tuition rates of the schools that interest you. Master’s students at accredited institutions qualify for student loans from the Department of Education. Additionally, some employers provide tuition assistance to employees pursuing an MPA.
How long will it take me to complete a master’s of public administration program online?
This varies widely according to the program. Some accelerated programs allow part-time students to complete the program in as little as a year and a half. However, the majority of programs take full-time students at least two years to complete.
Will my diploma indicate that I received my master’s degree online?
No, not usually. The vast majority of universities that offer online graduate programs issue the same diploma to online students that they do to on-campus students.