Master's Degree 101: Public Administration

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

What can you learn in a Master of Public Administration?

What is Master of Public Administration?

A Master of Public Administration, abbreviated as MPA, is a master’s degree that prepares students for careers in public affairs. MPA graduates will be ready to work as experts in top-level positions at the municipal, state, and federal level of government. MPA holders can also work as top-level officials in nongovernmental organizations or private businesses. 

The Master of Public Administration can be thought of as an equivalent of the MBA in the public sector. An MPA, as such, is designed for prospective graduate students that have already earned their bachelor’s degree at an accredited university or higher education institution. 

Why should I earn a Master of Public Administration?

Prospective graduate students who are thinking about working from the inside for the federal, state, or local government should consider an MPA program. Prospective graduate students who are interested in helping a community or fighting for a specific cause at the policy level can also consider an MPA. 

What will I learn in a Master’s Degree program in Public Administration?

The MPA program was originally formed to train students so that they could improve efficiency in the government at various levels. The MPA will include courses that are business-related, such as management, economics, and finance; politics-related, such as political science, public policy, international affairs; and humanities focused such as sociology and anthropology. MPA students will also learn about regional and urban planning, law, and more.

Throughout the course of an MPA, students will sharpen their leadership and management skills, build national and international professional networks, and become experts in topics of the public sector.

What kind of jobs can a Master of Public Administration degree holder work?

MPA graduates can work in various sectors and at almost any level—local municipal, state or federal. MPA graduates can work as city managers, county administrators, recreation managers, urban and regional planners, community relations manager, economic development directors, budget managers, and more.

MPA graduates can also work as researchers of political science and public administration. 

The MPA program provides students with great flexibility in the job market. Students can choose the sectors that they are most passionate about—such as politics, education administration, healthcare administration, international economic development, urban-planning—and work for organizations and businesses at many levels.

MPA students are ready for leadership roles which means they are poised for executive-level positions.

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