School Level Program Admissions
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Master Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Become a practical leader at any level of government. Earn an MPA online in as few as 18 months. Scholarships available.
Syracuse University Master Executive Master of Public Administration
Prepares professionals for the challenges of leading organizations in the midst of dynamic global change.
American University Master Online Master of Public Administration and Policy
NASPAA Accredited. Graduate with your MPAP in 24 months.
The University of Texas Permian Basin Master Master of Public Administration (Online)
Complete in as little as 12 months, six start dates a year, cost-effective tuition.
Seton Hall University Master Online Master of Public Administration
NASPAA Accredited. No GRE Required.

Click to see more online MPA programs that are currently taking applications.

Learn about the key differences between the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Public Policy.

There are many sub-concentrations of public administration. This guide will help you figure out the differences between the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Public Policy.

One field in particular that is growing steadily in popularity is the field of public administration. More students are looking into this field as a means for obtaining leadership positions in public service organizations, or to advance their current standing at their place of employment.

Master's degree programs in public administration were designed to give students further education in fields that are involved with provide public services, such as local, state, and government agencies. Public administration programs are not limited to government-related organizations, though. Non-profit agencies, business, and specialty fields such as healthcare and finance also require educated professionals to help lead their facilities. Through MPA programs across the country, students can dive deep into curricula that can teach policy development and implementation, leadership, and fiscal management.

School Level Program Admissions
Drake University Master Online Master of Public Administration
100% online MPA. Finish in 2 Years.
Anna Maria College Master Online Master of Public Administration
5 tracks: MPA, Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, Emergency Management Administration, Fire and Emergency Services.
University of Delaware Master Online Master of Public Administration
NASPAA Accredited, 30-month online MPA program.
JHU Advanced Academic Programs Master MS Energy Policy & Climate
Anna Maria College Master Master of Public Administration - Homeland Security

Click here for other online MPA programs that are currently taking applications for 2022.

Starting from the very basics of organizations, public administration programs dive deep into the workings of structured working environments, ethics, personal treatment, and finance. The purpose of public administration programs is to help students better understand how these agencies are developed, maintained, and improved from start to finish. With an MPA or MPP degree, you could potentially learn how to become a management-worthy professional with the skills needed to properly analyze and maintain important public service organizations.

What is the MPA?

If you are looking for the right type of master’s degree program, but have not found the right one for your interests – you have stopped at the right place. Our team of education experts have over a decade’s worth of experience researching higher education programs. As a way of providing some advice into recommended degree programs, this guide provides a comparative outlook into 2 related, but very different, degree options.

What is the MPP?

In businesses and government agencies, there are several factors that coincide with the effective maintenance of both. The most prominent similarity between the 2 areas is the need for helpful and meaningful policies. Policies are typically put into place to help businesses maintain ethical standards throughout their operation and prevent mishaps during regular business. As society changes and service agencies evolve, there is a constant need for improvement and innovation in the development of public policies.

MPA graduates may have more knowledge into the inner workings of different public service agencies, which can contribute to providing better services to the public overall. The MPA degree program allows students to take courses that can deliver a better understanding of the various leadership techniques involved in organizational entities. In theory, students that are involved in MPA programs should be able to gain skills that are necessary for effective management of governmental and nongovernmental businesses throughout the United States.

What are some topics that are covered in MPA programs?

Explaining what public administration is as a whole is not always enough for you to understand what exactly goes into this degree program. There are currently several different degree majors that focus on public administration, public service, and policy development available for students to enroll in. In order for you to choose which degree specialty is right for you, you should research each program and what it provides in terms of career opportunities. The topics that are covered in MPA programs can sometimes provide a clearer picture of what you will be learning and what type of work you could be doing in the field upon graduation.

Just as you would imagine of businesses and public services agencies, there is a lot that goes into the planning and smooth operation of these important organizations. While in MPA programs, you can expect to take courses that are related to the various tasks expected of professionals in this field, such as financial planning, personnel management, and effective leadership. Public administration as a whole is related to the entire administrative functioning of public service organizations, which means there are diverse topics that come together to form a solid understanding of the entire part. The coursework for the MPA program has different facets of the public service field included within. This can include courses such as Budgeting for Public Service, Human Resources, Conflict Management, and Policy Research and Planning.

In addition to the personnel and budgeting coursework included in the MPA program, students might also take part in independent learning assignments that allow them to engage in problem solving, conflict resolution, and ethical functioning. A major part of becoming a leader within public service is having the ability to remedy problematic issues that arise regarding employees, business practice, or consumer services.

You might also delve into topics that are specifically related to government agencies, such as learning to evaluate the effectivess of government-sponsored programs or financial management. For leadership-driven degree programs, students might also take courses that can help them refine their leadership techniques, such as courses that focus on business ethics or those that help students learn more effective, team-focused management techniques.

More on the Masters in Public Policy

In government agencies, policies are implemented to help protect citizens, employers, and the general public. These policies are created using thorough research and consideration from educated professionals. The Master of Public Policy program is a great way for you to become involved in this highly regarded process within public service organizations. If you might be interested in playing a key role in the development, research, and interpretation of these important public policies, the MPP program might be right for you.

The MPP program can help learners gain more knowledge in the need for policies in all levels of employment, the methods for designing and developing helpful policies, and evaluating problematic situations in an effort to develop policies to improve the situation and prevent problematic issues in the future. The MPP program is a great option for learners that are seeking out a career that allows them to indulge in critical thinking, leadership, and research.

What are some topics that are covered in MPP programs?

While in a MPP program, you may find courses that are related to the development and implementation of policies in a range of settings. One university offering the MPP program requires that students take courses that are focuses on quantification and statistics, program research and evaluation, and organizational analysis. Quantitative coursework is important in Public Policy due to the financial standing of organizations playing a profound role in changing policies and developing more budget-saavy plans for struggling agencies.

Topics within this program may also include leadership instruction and project management. Since this degree program is catered towards those seeking leadership positions, students are likely to come in contact with courses that provide skills for taking these positions. Courses that focus on project management can allow students to take a more proactive role in team creation, analyzing strengths and weaknesses, and creating deadlines for effective project workmanship.

The MPP program may also include courses that focus on ethical practice and government regulations, since public policies are required to act in accordance to guidelines set by the U.S. Government. Students within this degree program may be expected to understand governmental policies that surround the formation of helpful public policies and programming.

What are the differences?

As you can see through the curriculum, the primary focus of both programs strays in 2 different directions. Each program provides valuable insight into the components of effeciently running businesses and organizations, but has a different outlook and responsibility than the other. While each program has its own specific purpose and actions, both are great options for individuals that desire to work in positions that can improve the public service field overall.

The MPA program is best suited for individuals that are interested in obtaining leadership positions in government agencies, businesses, non-profits, or other private organizations. The curriculum for this degree program focuses on leadership techniques, employee services and treatment, quality of service, and ethical workplace practices. MPA graduates can often find careers that are focused on the overall function of public service agencies, including the quality of employees and the services that they provide to the public. The fact that this degree program is designative towards the administrative side of public service says a lot about how widespread the degree can potentially be applied.

The MPP program was created to provide students with further knowledge into the research, development, and implementation of public policies in a professional environment. Public policy is a huge part of public administration, since it is the very backing on which these organizations function. It is up to MPP graduates to help create or improve public policies for public services agencies to follow. The MPP program may include courses that can teach students how to work within a budget, analyze an environment to determine the need for policies, and effective ways of implementing policies within disrupting current production or services.

All-in-all, both programs are vital to creating effective and knowledgeable professionals in a business environment. In a sense, public policy may help shape public administration positions within various fields within society. In order to large organizations to operate to their fullest potential, they must have employees that are seasonsed in all areas of basic functioning.

Are there online programs for each?

If you are trying to decide whether the MPA or MPP is the best option for you, convenient learning environments may be a large portion of your decision. Fortunately, both programs can be found in online format at universities throughout the united states. Theses programs are of great quality and contain accreditation from the NASPAA.

One of the most prominent online MPA programs can be found at the University of North Carolina Online. This online MPA program consists of a core component requirement of 27 credit hours, an elective requirement of 15 credit hours, a professional work experience practicum of 1.5 credit hours, and a final portfolio requirement of 1.5 credit hours.

This program is one of excellent quality as it taught by the same professors as the traditional program at this university. The University of North Carolina is known for its quality and has a high-standing reputation as an outstanding place to gain an education. Students that are enrolled full-time in this degree program may be able to complete it within 2 years.

American University online – based out of Washington, DC – is another excellent university that offers online degree programs to interested students. This university currently offers an MPP program completely online. This MPP program consists of coursework that is vital to the understanding of public policies from a theoretical perspective as well as from an analytical frame of mind. This program encourages learners to have an open mind and utilize critical thinking during and throughout the duration of their experience.

American University’s program is focused on molding students into award-winning public servants that have the potential to work in governmental research, legislature, public affairs writing and publicatoin, and policy research. This high quality online program is a great option for students that are interested in a career developing helpful and effective public policies.

What can you do with the MPA?

Determining your career options with the MPA requires you to really dive deep into your desires as a professional. From the previous sections, you may have learned that this degree program really focuses on the skills and attributes required for effective leadership and management techniques. Depending on the type of field you want to work in, such as healthcare, business, or government, you may find that there are numerous options for degree-holders at this level. Our team of educational experts has created a short list of employment possibilities below this section for you to review.

  • Public Health Administrator
  • Office Manager
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Campaign Official
  • Politician

What can you do with the MPP?

Just as with the MPA, there are diverse options for pursuing a career with the MPP. Policy is a huge part of any organization. They are created to help businesses provide fair services to the public, protect the environment, and follow all federal regulations. With that being said, policy development can be found in nearly every facet of government and organizations across the country. There are few prime examples of careers that can be obtained at this degree level below.

  • Politician
  • Attorney
  • Political Scientist
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Lobbyist