What is the MPA?

The Master of Public Administration is a post-bachelor’s degree program that helps to create educated and organized leaders in the public sector. While in this degree program, students can learn how organizations, government agencies, and public agencies operate from an internal perspective.

What is the MPS?

The Master of Political Science is an incredibly diverse degree program that provides continue education into the realm of national and international politics from a professional perspective. Political science is an intriguing field that helps students better understand the history and formation of the political system in order to help create effective political professionals. This degree program is best suited for individuals that are interested in pursuing careers in law, government, or higher-order political positions.

Primary Differences in Detail: The MPS vs. MPA

There are several key differences between both the MPA and MPS.

MPA More General

The MPA program is a great way for leading professionals to learn more about the overall functioning of business and organizations in different settings. This degree program outlines the important administrative functions of business, the inner workings of government agencies, and the financial functioning of non-profit organizations of varying types.

This program is also important for upcoming professionals that want to know more about fair treatment of employees, ethical considerations in the workplace, and effective practices for a smooth running operation. The MPA program can be applied to many different disciplines, which is part of what makes this program attractive to individuals that have not secured a specific field for their career.

MPS More Politics Focused

The MPS program is more directed towards knowledge of political science and its origins. Political science is also an important component in the stable functioning of society, since it has such an influence on the policy development, leadership, and regulations set forth by the U.S. Government. This field dives deeper into the meaning and theory surrounding politics and how these theories are applied throughout the country.

Political science professionals are typically more focused on finding careers working in law or government agencies as a primary career option. This field has an influential pull at the government level, due to the increased education opportunities in subject matters concerning different government agencies and political agendas.

While both the MPA and MPS programs are important for a fully-functioning society, each provides their own specific contribution to organizations and individuals. Public administration degree programs are better for individuals that want to contribute their expertise to organizations that want accurate leadership and knowledgeable insight during normal functioning. Political science degree programs are better for people that want to focus on the political aspect of the U.S. Government and careers that are related to public relations and negotiations.

Career Examples with an MPS

  • Attorney
  • Congressional Staff
  • Lobbyist
  • Post-Secondary Instructor
  • Consultant

Career Examples with an MPA

  • Program Manager
  • Program Coordinator
  • Research Specialist
  • Marketing Manager
  • Local/City Manager

About the Master of Public Administration

Degree programs focus on the inner workings of these types of businesses in order to properly prepare individuals to work in management level positions within them. Since public administration is mostly focused on the public service sector of society, students that enroll into these programs can gain a better outlook of the services that are designed for the public, what they consist of, and how they can be improved as society changes.

The MPA program is also a great option for individuals that are interested in pursuing non-leadership positions within organizations, such as those that are involved with public policy research, development, and implementation. Having an extensive understanding of how different types of agencies operate, how to maintain a large staff of employees, and how to properly manage fiscal and financial aspects of businesses can contribute to long and fruitful careers for individuals that choose this major when entering graduate school.

The MPA program is an excellent choice for students that are interested in pursuing careers in the public sector and is best paired with some professional experience in order to find the best careers after completion. Students that have little to no experience in the field of public service can also indulge in these degree programs. Most MPA programs provide students with the option of taking part in supervised work experiences or internships as part of their educational requirements.

What topics are covered in the MPA program?

If you choose the MPA program for your degree, you may find that the curriculum is unique in comparison to Public Policy, Public Affairs, and Political Science. Some of the coursework found within this degree program may focus specifically on the schematics of public service agencies and the regulations that surround them. While the topics within MPA programs can be diverse, the central topic of interest for these degree programs is leadership and policy implementation. Secondary topics such as financial management, human resources, and research are complementary to the need for extensive training in management and public policy as a whole. Some example courses for the MPA program are listed below.

You might see courses such as Organizational Theory and Public Service Leadership throughout your experience in the MPA program. These 2 courses can contribute to a learner’s further understanding of how organizations are laid out and the proper management techniques for such agencies. These courses can assist in teaching students more about why organizations are structured according to hierarchies, as well as how to function in accordance to public service guidelines. You might also see courses related to financial management and employee maintenance, which are also important for the valid operation of businesses – especially those with a large number of employees.

Some universities offer students the option of choosing a specialty for their degree program. Adding a concentration to your degree program can help focus your degree on the field you plan to work in, such as non-profit agencies, healthcare, or political organizations. With this being said, the courses that you take during your degree program can change depending on the type of concentration you choose, if you decide that one is better for you. Although the curriculum can vary depending on which college you are looking at, the course work specific to public administration programs can help you understand what exactly this degree can train you to do in your future careers.

What is the MPS?

The Master of Political Science is an incredibly diverse degree program that provides continue education into the realm of national and international politics from a professional perspective. Political science is an intriguing field that helps students better understand the history and formation of the political system in order to help create effective political professionals. This degree program is best suited for individuals that are interested in pursuing careers in law, government, or higher-order political positions.

This program dives deeper into the different components of political science such as the specific methodology of political entities, the inner workings of the American government and its politics, relationships with international countries and their leaders, and comparisons of political organizations world-wide. If you take part in MPS program, you can learn about the different sectors of the U.S. Government, what purposes they serve, and how officials are elected into specific positions.

The MPS program can also help students define the different types of political behavior, the history and formation of political parties, and how these parties have evolved into what they are in current times. This type of information can help contribute to a career in politics or even help professionals move forward into politically charged positions in local government or even Congress.

What topics are covered in the MPS program?

The Master of Political Science program can consist of a wide range of different courses depending on the university you enroll in. The different topics that are discussed in these programs are meant to help create more effective political professionals and encourage investigative learning throughout the course of a career.

Courses included in this degree program can include those focusing on American government organizations, such as Congress and the different political parties, and courses that look deeper into the creation and maintenance of political parties, lobbyists, and interest groups.

This degree program also encourages further learning into the research and analysis of current political science theories. This is typically done through independent learning experiences and thorough source research.

The implementation of global research in this program was encouraged due to the increase in communications with world-wide entities and institutions. This increase is primarily due to the convenience of communication due to the rise in technology. Students in this degree program have the opportunity to learn more about global political systems and how they compare to systems in the U.S.

Are There Online MPS Programs and Online MPA Programs?

If online education is what you are seeking, you can find both the MPA and MPS programs in this setting. Online degree programs integrate the latest technologies in the instructional process, potentially making your experience in degree programs more flexible. The popularity of online degree programs has skyrocketed over the last decade, with more and more universities offering these types of options for students that are working full-time jobs or have families to consider when making the decision to go back to school.

Online MPA programs that are accredited by the NASPAA are available through many universities across the country. One of the most popular programs is found at Penn State’s department of online programs. This MPA program includes a 36 credit hour requirement, which is broken up into 18 credit hours for core components, 15 elective hours, and 3 credit hour master’s project. This university also offers a 3 credit hour internship requirement unless students have received 2 years of work experience prior to enrolling.

If you are leaning towards the MPS program, there are also a large number of universities that offer this program in an online setting. Our team located one of the more preferred options for the MPS online, which is located through the University of Nebraska at Omaha. This MPS program requires that students complete 30 credit hours in order to graduate. It is available in both the thesis and non-thesis option, which students can choose after completing 15 credit hours within the program.

Whether or not a degree program is available online can be a deal breaker for students that need the convenience of online degree programs for their lifestyle. As with the majority of degree options, both the MPA and MPS can be found in online format at universities within nearly every state. In order to properly identify schools offering online degree programs, you should always consider the reputation of the university as well as the program accreditation as part of your individual screening process.

What can you do with the MPA?

In order to determine whether or not you want to pursue the MPA, you should take into consideration your career opportunities after completing your degree program. Professional capabilities are dependent on your personal skills, interests, and the type of work you would be interested in doing in the field. Public administration is an incredibly diverse field that can allow you to find careers working in the public domain, in business, working at the management level, or even in research. The fact is – public administration can play a role in any position that interacts specifically with the public or provides public services to the community. Some of the more popular careers for MPA graduates have been listed below for your review.

  • Program Manager
  • Program Coordinator
  • Research Specialist
  • Marketing Manager
  • Local/City Manager

What can you do with the MPS?

The field of political science can also be versatile in terms of career options. If you choose to pursue the MPS, you can choose from a wide range of career options that are involved with the organization of political parties, campaign support, lawmaking, education, and even public opinion. If you have great interpersonal skills, a career in political science could potentially take you to higher places in local government or beyond. Our team of education experts have researched some of the potential career options for MPS graduates and provides a few of the more popular options below. This list provides just a few examples, but can give you a better idea of the professional possibilities available to you if you choose to complete the MPS program.

  • Attorney
  • Congressional Staff
  • Lobbyist
  • Post-Secondary Instructor
  • Consultant