30 Most Affordable Master’s in Public Administration Online at Private Colleges 2020

| Staff

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In this article, we profile the 30 most affordable private colleges for online master’s in public administration degrees for 2020.

A master’s degree in public administration is designed to equip individuals for careers as public administrators and leaders in government, nonprofits, and related organizations. The cost of an online MPA depends on various factors such as state residency and institution reputation, but many online programs can be completed at an accelerated rate, which offsets the degree cost.

For the purpose of this list, we looked at 85 private colleges and universities that offered online master’s in public administration degrees or closely related programs, such as the online MBA with specialization in public administration. To be included in this list, schools must be regionally or nationally accredited and offer the online program we were assessing. Also, the graduate tuition and fees, as collected from the National Center for Education Statistics (College Navigator) must cost less than $20,000 per year.

Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Public Administration Online at Private Colleges 2020

Rank School Location
1 Columbia Southern University Orange Beach, AL
2 American Public University Charles Town, WV
3 Post University Waterbury, CT
4 Park University Parkville, MO
5 Western International University Tempe, AZ
6 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
7 Virginia International University Fairfax, VA
8 Belhaven University Jackson, MS
9 Purdue Global University (formerly Kaplan University) West Lafayette, IN
10 Concordia University Ann Arbor, MI
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Accredited Online College Programs

Below is our list of the 30 most affordable public administration master’s online degree programs from private colleges.

  1. Columbia Southern University
    Location

    Orange Beach, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Columbia Southern University's online master's in public administration program is designed to provide students with skills and knowledge needed in public, nonprofit, and governmental public administration careers. Three concentration options are offered so that students may tailor their program to meet career goals or personal interests. All courses are delivered online and include classes like administration of public institutions, organizational theory, public administration ethics, public finance and budgeting, public policy, and strategic planning. A total of 36 credits are required to satisfy degree requirements. Columbia Southern is an accredited member of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and is an institutional member of the American Council on Education (ACE). The school offers the most affordable online master's in public administration degree program on our list.

  2. American Public University
    Location

    Charles Town, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The public administration master's online degree program at American Public University is ideally designed for working students. Classes are delivered entirely online and taught by university professors. The program takes two years to complete and culminates with a capstone seminar and your choice of either a creative project or graduate-level thesis. Some of the required courses include administrative theory, applied research methods in public administration, ethics in government, law and public policy, local political administration, public administration in society, and public management. For those interested in tailoring their degree toward a specialized area of interest, several concentrations are offered, including disaster management, environmental policy, and health policy. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report recognized APU as among the top regional universities in the South.

  3. Post University
    Location

    Waterbury, CT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Post University offers accredited online public administration programs, including the master's in public administration. The degree may be earned completely online and in as few as 18-24 months. There is also an emergency management and homeland security concentration designed to prepare students on how to lead in times of emergency. Classes are taught by Post professors and include ethics in public administration, labor law and labor relations, public finance policy and application, public policy, research methods for public and nonprofit administrators, and risk management for public administrators. To be admitted to the graduate MPA program, students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Post is an accredited school that is also ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the North.

  4. Park University
    Location

    Parkville, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Park University's online master's in public administration program is offered through the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs and is designed to equip graduate students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in public administration. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with at least a 2.75 GPA. All classes are delivered online and taught by Park instructors. Some of the classes include ethical foundations of authority and responsibility, leadership development and organizations, and public affairs concepts and theory. The program also offers access to three concentration areas so that students may tailor their degree toward areas of interest. These concentrations include disaster and emergency management, nonprofit and community services management, and public management. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as a top regional university in the Midwest.

  5. Western International University
    Location

    Tempe, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Western International University offers public administration online master's degree programs that can be completed entirely online and in just 1.2 years. Courses are delivered online and start each month, so the completion time is more accelerated than most online MPA programs. Some of the courses you will take include ethical leadership and corporate responsibility, foundations in public administration, global communication for professionals, human behavior and resource administration, public and nonprofit financial management, and strategic management in the public sector. The institution is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. U.S. News and World Report recognizes Western International as an unranked institution.

  6. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Liberty University's public administration master's online program is designed to provide students with the tools needed to implement policy as a civil servant in the global community. The program consists of 36 total credit hours with an optional thesis requirement. All classes are delivered online and include community economic development, fundamentals of public administration, management of public sector organizations, public policy analysis, and strategic leadership and management. Taking classes in areas of specialty like business and government policy, disaster management, healthcare, law and public policy, and public and nonprofit management can help customize the degree. Liberty is ranked with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university, and many of the school's online graduate programs have earned top 150 rankings.

  7. Virginia International University
    Location

    Fairfax, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Virginia International University's public administration master's degree online program is designed to prepare students for careers in public management or related industries. Graduates of the program often seek employment as leaders in finance, human resources, or project management. Three concentration areas are offered so that MPA students may tailor their degree toward interest or to meet career goals. These concentrations include health care administration and public health, information systems, and public management. Some of the required courses you can expect to take include administration in public and non-profit organizations, financial reporting and decision making, legal and ethical environment of business, organizational theory and HR management, and public policy analysis and implementation. This is one of the more affordable online MPA programs on our list.

  8. Belhaven University
    Location

    Jackson, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of the most affordable public administration online master's degree programs on our list is the online MPA from Belhaven University. The graduate program consists of 12 courses, each offered in a manageable eight-week format, that are delivered entirely online. There is also an option to earn a concentration in human resources for those interested. Classes are taught by Belhaven professors and include administration of financial resources, economics and public policy, ethics and society, principles of executive leadership, public and administrative law, public policy analysis, and research methods in public administration. Admission to the program requires an earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better. Belhaven is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 78th best regional university in the South.

  9. Purdue Global University (formerly Kaplan University)
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Purdue Global's online public administration programs include the online master's in public administration. This program is designed to provide students with the skills needed to evaluate, implement, and manage policy in public administration. All courses are delivered online and taught by Purdue Global's experienced instructors. Some of the courses include finance and the administration of public funds, human resource management in the public sector, leadership in the public sector, and public administration and management. Multiple start dates provide flexibility, especially for working students and individuals with outside obligations that might interfere with schooling.

  10. Concordia University
    Location

    Ann Arbor, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Concordia University offers an accredited online master's in public administration degree designed to prepare individuals for careers in government service and nonprofit community agencies. Admission to the program does not require the GMAT or GRE scores, nor does the degree require a completed thesis. All classes are delivered online and are taught by Concordia professors. These classes include administrative law and process, budgeting in public agencies, intergovernmental relations, project management, and public human resource administration. There are also a series of MBA core courses that must be taken to earn the MBA with a public administration concentration. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Concordia as the 51st best regional university in the Midwest and the 59th best value school. Also, the online MBA (including public administration) ranks #184 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

This concludes our list of the 30 most affordable private colleges for online master’s in public administration degree programs for 202.

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