MPA vs. MPR: Program Comparison
Learn the differences between a Masters in Public Relations and a Master of Public Administration.
There are many similarities between the MPA and MPR, but several substantial differences. Many with an MPA or MPR may work in the same field, for the same organization, and even on the same team, but they likely will have very different responsibilties.
American University's Online MPA Program is a NASPAA accredited MPA program. Graduate with your MPAP in 24 months with a foundational skillset to build on for life, strengthening your ability to adapt to changing needs and advance within or across sectors. 100% Online.
Earn your MPA online from USC Price and learn to design and run new public systems and programs; evaluate, develop and implement new policy; and track, allocate and raise public funds. Graduate in as few as 24 months. Bachelor’s required.
Earn a top-ranked Master of Public Administration online from UNC-Chapel Hill without relocating. MPA@UNC can be completed in as few as 18 months and no public service experience is required to apply. Advanced degree GRE waivers are available to those who qualify.
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Degree programs that cater to public service can have very different views and overall goals depending on their focus. These programs are both important parts of effective-running organizations that desire to have every facet of their operation covered by educated professionals.
While each has its own specific focus in terms of services provided to the organization, both contribute to better functioning business and agencies overall.
What is the MPA?
The MPA program provides learners with the opportunity to become more effective leaders, better managers, and valuable assets to the companies in which they serve. Through MPA programs, students can learn more about the inner workings of organizations, including those found at the government level, business, and even specific fields such as health care or education. If you are interested in this type of degree program, you can absorb information regarding how these agencies operation, how they budget their spending, and the process through which employees are hired, trained, and managed.
What is the MPR?
The MPR program is different from the MPA program in that it focuses on the public view of individuals and organizations in comparison to what goes on behind the scenes. MPR programs help students understand that effective communication is sometimes vital to the public’s perception of a company and the service it provides to the public. This program can train professionals to represent singular clients, such as politicians or even celebrities, businesses, or public service agencies. Communication and technology research is a huge component of this specific program, while leadership techniques may also be touched upon throughout.
The Master of Public Relations vs. the MPA
These 2 degree programs are very different in regards to their delivery of service. While both play a large role in the improvement of services, each has its own specific responsibility to the company or individual in which is serves. If you are interested in learning about corporate organization and techniques, the MPA program may be a better option. If you are a great public speaker and want to use your communication skills in a public domain, the MPR program may be what you choose.
Are There Online Master of Public Relations Programs?
Our team of education experts has conducted research on the available online programs to help you find options for pursuing your degree. While online degree programs are becoming more popular each year, the quality of degree programs is still the main focus when choosing to pursue your degree via the online domain. Quality educational programs should be from well-known universities and have the proper accreditation.
What About the Online MPA?
The online MPA program is an excellent choice for professionals that are already working in the field, or just do not have the extra time for pursuing traditional degree programs. One university that offers a flexible program for interested students is Villanova University. This university offers an online MPA that can be accompanied by a career-specific concentration. This degree program requires that students complete 36 credit hours in order to graduate. Students can choose from specialties such a City Management or Non-Profit Management, which can provide a more focused perspective on the field that is chosen.
The University of Florida offers students the option of pursuing their MPR in an online environment. This option is important for students that are interested in public relations, since it takes into consideration the need for flexible and workable school scheduling. The online MPR at this university consists of 12 week semesters, which allows students to complete the entire program within 2 years at full-time enrollment. Students must complete 33 credit hours in order to graduate from this specific program.
What can you do with the MPA?
Before you ever choose a degree program, you should have a good idea of what you want to do with your degree after you have graduated. In the field of public administration, the possibilities are endless in terms of what you can do and where you can exhibit your skills in leadership, policy formation, and organizational efficiency. Our team has listed some of the more popular career titles below, but this is not an exhaustive list by far. There are many opportunities within non-profit agencies, healthcare, finance, education, business, and government for you to choose from.
- Chief Executive
- Finance Manager
- Human Resources Director
- Community Health Director/Manager
- News Analyst
What can you do with the MPR?
The MPR program is an extremely innovative degree program that can provide students with skills that are useful in many domains. Public relations as a whole involves communicating on behalf of clients to help improve image and act as a liaison between producer and consumer. MPR programs can assist with finding careers that involve media relations, speech writing, press associate, political lobbying, and much more. In the list below, some popular careers are listed for you to browse. Depending on your personal skills and where you want to work, there are plenty more career options for you to choose from.
- Public Relations Manager
- Public Relations Specialist
- Marketing Specialist
- Director of Communications
- News/Political Writer
What is the MPA?
The Master of Public Administration is a degree program that helps to train students to become helpful and efficient public service professionals. Public administration can include education into government agencies – such as the different sectors that are directly influential to the public, non-profit organizations – which can include a look into how they operate and proper management techniques, and private businesses or services to the public. An interesting component about public administration programs is their versatility in terms of potential work environments. Students that have completed public administration degree programs are suitable for careers that provide leadership to employees within many different types of organizations that provide a service to the public. This is not limited to government-related public service programs, but also private businesses, healthcare services, education, and even consulting firms.
Regardless of which path you plan to take for your career, the topics covered in MPA programs can potentially assist you with learning more about being an effective leader, what it takes to be an effective public service professional, and becoming an effective part of a large team that provides specific planning and policy development for different sectors of the general public. MPA programs can also help students better understand the various restrictions placed on public service agencies, the budgeting restraints that sometimes interfere with public service, and the complex issues that can arise throughout a career.
The Master of Public Administration can be found at traditional universities and through an online setting. The implementation of online degree program is due to the need for more convenient options, since a majority of people going back to college are already settled into a full-time career. Traditional options may also be a good option for individuals that are coming straight out of high school or have the option of balancing their education with a flexible career. The rise in interest in this field, particularly for leadership positions, has created a greater supply of these programs through different colleges across the country. If you are interested in becoming a part of this hugely popular degree field, read more into our guide below.
What topics are covered in the MPA program?
If you are considering the MPA program in comparison to other public service disciplines, you might be interested in the type of coursework you will be engaging in throughout the degree program. Sometimes an overview of the curriculum can also help you better understand more about the types of careers you can obtain after completing your degree program.
Depending on where you indulge in a Master of Public Administration degree, you are likely to find variations in the curriculum. Each university provides coursework based upon what is required for accreditation, which is provided by the NASPAA. Curriculum for public administration program typically involved a look into several of the vital components of effective organization operation, such as financial courses, leadership, policy development, and ethics. The coursework that is provided for each program can help students understand what goes in to making these agencies effective in their individual practice. Some specific courses are described in the paragraph below.
At one university offering the online MPA, students may be expected to take courses such as Urban Politics and Government, Strategic Planning, and Leadership Ethics. As you can see from these example courses, students involved in this major may be subjected to learning about the organizational properties of local government agencies, as well as information about specific planning strategies and leadership. Some others courses you might see in these programs include Administration Communication and Personnel Management. With a MPA degree, you can learn skills that can assist you in becoming a truly effective leader in many different facets of public service.
What is the MPR?
In business and other areas of public service, one topic that is important to gathering interest in products and services is public relations. Public relations is an important part of staying in contact with consumers, partners, and interest parties that can have a direct effect on the popularity of the central program. This branch of public service and business is a vital branch for companies that want to help promote positive attitudes regarding their service and help to increase awareness and consumption of goods.
The Master of Public Relations is a degree program that helps students gain the skills to promote interest within their organization. Unlike marketing, which is focused solely on connecting consumers with goods, public relations is a tool that can be utilized in many different facets of society – rather than just business. With a MPR degree, you could find employment in political areas – providing a connecting voice between politicians and the public, the government – communicating new policies and regulations to the public in formal and informal ways, or even business – representing corporate directors or public interest topics that are important for the consumer.
The skills learned in these degree programs can help to influence your ability to communicate effectively with your target population. In order to be knowledgeable within your domain, you might have to choose a specific concentration to help sharpen your skills in a particular area. Regardless of what you choose for your specialization, the most important part of your degree program will likely be your ability to exchange helpful information in a way that promotes your clientele in a positive and inviting light.
What topics are covered in the MPR program?
When you enroll in an online MPR program, you should be prepared to take courses that are structured to increase your skills in communication, technology, and the media. Some of the courses required through this degree program are designed to test your ability to think critically and respond effectively during interviews and presentations. Public relations is all about providing a voice to service agencies that are related to the public. However, public relations specialists can find careers representing organizations, celebrities, politicians, or even brands. Regardless of the client, public relations is all about promoting their purpose from a positive perspective in order to encourage consumption and popularity.
Some of the courses in this degree program include Communication Techniques for Leaders, which is a course designed to teach students effective leadership skills, public speaking skills, and motivational speaking techniques. Each of these courses can help students gain better public speaking skills and even encourage persuasive writing. Reputation Management is another course that is common throughout this degree program, since much of public relations is supportive and protecting the reputation of the individual or company in which you are employed.
More topics that are vital within this degree program are focused around the use of technology and the media as a source of spreading the word. Most people have social media accounts and the media is still a popular source of information regarding the government, business, and entertaining. For public relations specialists, useful integration of these sources is outlines through courses like Social Media Practices, Media Communication, and Knowledge and the Media. In addition to courses that are specific to different forums, courses regarding the law and ethics of public relations may also be found within these degree programs.