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.
Drake University Master Online Master of Public Administration
100% online MPA. Finish in 2 Years.

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

Online MPA Programs with No GRE Requirements

There are multiple online MPA programs that do not require a GRE or GMAT for admission. To be 100% certain, be sure to speak with the admissions representative from all of the MPA programs you are considering see the GRE admissions requirements for their online MPA program.

Colleges that offer 100% online MPA programs can be found all across the country. For students that are interested in moving forward to their master's program without having to worry about additional testing can find no-GRE schools through a simple internet search. Over the years, more schools are dropping the GRE requirement, especially at the graduate level.

Are there NASPAA accredited MPA programs that have no GRE requirements?

Yes, there are online MPA programs with no GRE requirements that are NASPAA accredited. Most students that become involved in online graduate programs are returning students or professionals that wish to advance their career throughout higher degree programs. With that being noted, work experience is sometimes a more important factor in determining admissions than a standardized test. As you look for graduate programs that fit your standards, you should consider universities have NASPAA-accredited degree programs.

NASPAA accreditation can help ensure that you are receiving a high-quality education that can help advance you throughout your career. Here are few example of non-GRE programs:

More MPA programs are waiving the GRE requirement for 2023 and beyond

There are high quality schools offering the right types of programs without having to spend extra time preparing for a standardized test. If you performed well during your undergraduate studies or have prior work experience in the field of public administration, you could possibly be accepted into these programs through the standard application process. Universities that do not require the GRE are no less reliable than programs that do require this test.

As technology continues to advance and more online degree programs are provided, it is likely that you may see a reduction in the amount of schools that require the GRE for admissions. Having more programs available for students to enroll in may reduce pressure on schools to provide more strict requirements for admission. If you have already taken the GRE, but your timeframe has expired, non-GRE programs may be the best option for you to pursue even higher endeavors to help advance your career.

School Level Program Admissions
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
Anna Maria College Master Master of Public Administration - Criminal Justice

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

What is the GRE?

Simply holding an undergraduate degree in public administration is not always your only requirement for being accepted into MPA programs. For some universities, students must register for, complete, and obtain a high score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) – a standardized test administered to test advanced competencies – prior to being accepted into an accredited MPA program.

More on the GRE for Masters Degrees

For college students that have just completed their bachelor’s degree, this can be discouraging news in terms of moving forward to higher education. The last thing that a recent graduate wants to consider is additional testing after the completion of a 4 year bachelor’s program. What exactly is this test that is required by most graduate schools for acceptance? Here is what the test actually consists of and why some colleges require it for admissions.

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a standardized test that was created to test a student’s knowledge and competencies in particular areas. This test allows graduate schools to gain a better understanding of a student’s current standing in these particular areas, as well as gauge a student’s progress with other applicants in the same program. The GRE requires ample preparation and is best completed after a bachelor’s program.

Some students spend a large amount of time preparing for this exam, which can cut into important planning time for graduate-level education. Similar to the ACT or SAT exams required for undergraduate degree programs, this test is a general measure of an applicant’s abilities, but in the following areas:

  • Analytical Writing
  • Verbal
  • Quantitative

The Sections of the GRE

Each section of the GRE contains important components of graduate level education. The Analytical Writing section may require students to read over a particular topic and provide analytical insight into the issue throughout the section. Students are given 45 minutes to complete this particular section, which is typically completed on a computer using word processing software. There may even be certain testing locations that continue to use the paper and pencil approach, depending on their technology availability.

The Verbal section of the GRE may consist of questions that test your knowledge of basic vocabulary, sentence completions, and drawing conclusions. In most locations, the Verbal section of the GRE lasts 30 minutes, with 30 questions to complete.

Lastly, the Quantitative section of the GRE includes some of the basic components of mathematics, including problem solving, algebra, geometry, and statistical analysis. Depending on the level of education you have already received and your major, you may find that this test includes mathematical concepts unfamiliar to you. The point of this section is to determine what level you are currently in this subject.

Why do colleges require the GRE?

When you are working on your bachelor’s degree, you might be concerned with your current standing. Spending hours studying each week for tests and final exams, you know that your Grade Point Average (GPA) is an important score for determining your acceptance into later master’s program. However, there are other considerations that graduate schools review when deciding whether or not you should be accepted into their programs.

If you have spent any time reviewing graduate programs, you might find that some programs require that you have some work experience in a related field prior to becoming accepted. For most students, this is a requirement that is not easily completed. Most college students wait until their degree program is finished prior to searching for jobs within their specified field. In order to assist students with this requirement, some colleges have implemented the GRE requirement in place of prior work experience. This allows you the opportunity to apply for programs without the work experience requirement being fulfilled.

There are some college programs that require work experience in addition to the GRE. In some cases, this is due to a high number of applicants for the specific degree program. Consider this – if all applicants applying to the program have work experience, high GPAs, and relevant bachelor’s degrees, what else could the university use to pick qualified applicants for a limited amount of spaces? You might see some universities require letters of recommendation or personal statement letters, while others require test scores from the GRE.

Criticism of the GRE Standardized Test

The idea that universities can analyze your capabilities as a graduate learner by the results of one test is quite far-fetched. In fact, the GRE scores are just a portion of what is considered during the initial application process. Universities typically look at the full picture when deciding whether or not to accept you into their degree program. The best case scenario for upcoming applicants is having a great undergraduate GPA, reliable references, high GRE scores, or 1-2 years of professional experience in a related career field.

What is the Online MPA and why is a GRE required?

Online MPA programs are technologically-advanced and innovative programs that integrate standard public administration programs in an online setting. The use of computers and the internet allows universities to deliver instructional information through an online forum, which includes an interactive classroom, communication via the online classroom, and virtual submission of assignments. Although online degree programs are extremely convenient for students looking for flexible options, they do require that students take extra initiative to succeed independently.

One of the most fascinating aspects of online education is that it can accommodate a larger number of students than traditional programs. When considering the standard in-person university, students that are enrolled in educational programs must be provided with housing, instructors, and meal plans. Schools that take in large numbers of students must have the assets and resources to provide these amenities to incoming students. More students entering into these programs means more teachers must be hired, more housing must be arranged, and the school must maintain an appropriate level of food and supplies.

Does an Online MPA Program Need a GRE for Admissions?

In most cases, the GRE requirement can be found at traditional universities more often than online universities. Online programs that require the GRE may have a high application rate, which marks the need for a more selective admissions process. With more people looking to online education for their degree, the availability of online degree programs is growing at a steady rate.

The GRE’s most popular purpose is to narrow down the applicant pool for various graduate programs. Since the selection process is only based on a few different factors such as undergraduate GPA, work experience, and references/purpose letters, schools were in need of an extra screening device to help select the right applicants. This is where the GRE came into play.

Many MPA Programs Are For Adult, Part-Time Students

Online MPA programs are structured to accommodate independent learners. In order to succeed in an online learning environment, students must have independent learning skills and motivation beyond what is expected of students in traditional learning environments. Online degree programs that require the GRE may want to evaluate a student’s analytical abilities prior to allowing them into these flexible, yet challenging programs.

What are the Benefits of No-GRE MPA programs?

When you discover that your desired online degree program requires the completion of the GRE, it can be a disappointing fact. Although the purpose of this test is to better represent your abilities as a college student, it can be a burden that is unnecessarily added during an already hectic time. As you can see from previous sections, the foundation of the GRE seems to rest on a university’s need for better screening techniques – which can tack on extra work for you.

Since there are programs out there that offer the online MPA without the completion of the GRE, more students are looking for these options rather than the standard. Having no GRE requirement allows students to focus more on transitioning their mindset to graduate level without having to spend time preparing for another time-consuming exam. Since students already have to jump hurdles in terms of GPA requirements and employment experience, degree programs without this requirement can be a breath of fresh air for upcoming students.

What about adult students that are returning after several years? There are a large number of adult learners that are considering returning to graduate school after many years in the workforce. Once you take the GRE, your results are good for a period of 5 years. This means that if you allow 5 years to expire before going back to school, you may have to retake the GRE to be admitted to certain programs. Some adult professionals have learned this lesson the hard way.

With these facts in mind, it is easy to assume that no-GRE programs are a great option for students with very different backgrounds. New students that are working hard to get into master’s and doctoral programs can benefit from no-GRE schools due to their need for limited interference during the admissions process. Adult learners that are considering a revisit in graduation programs may cringe at the thought of having to re-take the GRE due to trivial timeframe issues. Overall, the benefits of programs that allow entry without GRE scores goes well beyond what you might expect.