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College of Arts and Sciences

Public Administration

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Be a Leader With the Kent State Online MPA Program
Hone your public-sector leadership skills with a well-rounded graduate education. Earn a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in as little as two years or a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management in as little as one year. Help build a better tomorrow for everyone.
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Affordable and Applicable
The Kent State online MPA program helps you quickly build highly marketable skills for the nonprofit and public service sectors. Fifty percent of our graduates have received or expect to receive a promotion within six months of graduation. Advance your public service career while making a difference in your community and increasing your earning potential.1
I recommend this program to anyone who is interested in public administration—the instruction and content have been excellent, and the online format makes it very doable with a full-time job and busy schedule.
Leslie B. MPA ‘19

Grow Into the Leader You Know You Can Be

With 100% asynchronous courses, the Kent State online MPA program is designed to be flexible, so coursework fits into the rest of your life, and you can finish what you started, no matter how busy life gets.

Our Program Flexes Around Your Life

Kent State University’s online MPA program gives you the flexibility to learn what you need, when you need it, and still maintain your busy lifestyle. You can start with a graduate certificate, and then transfer 12 credits from the certificate to your MPA when you decide to continue your education.

Focus on What You’re Passionate About

Customize your learning experience in our NASPAA-accredited program to focus on what interests you most and build on the skills you’ve already acquired.

Online and Connected

Build relationships with classmates and professors that will help you throughout your career through the opportunities for networking, discussion and collaboration built into the powerful learning management system.

Make a Real Impact on the World

The need for public administration professionals is evident. About a third of the job roles in the U.S. are public service occupations, and the nonprofit sector is one of the largest in the country. 2, 3

Kent State’s online MPA program will help you develop the advanced expertise required of senior management in these arenas:

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Government (all levels)
  • The military
  • Businesses serving the public sector

Whether you are more interested in healthcare and social assistance, educational services, the arts and humanities, or advocacy, the skills and connections you gain in our program can help you advance your career and make a real impact in the world.

Careers Snapshot

These are some of the directions you can take in your career with a degree from the Kent State online MPA program.

Public Policy Analyst
Non-Profit Executive Director
Public Relations and Fundraising Manager
Coursework in the Kent State online MPA builds your skills in leadership, public policy formulation and program management practices. You also gain knowledge of finance, personnel management and strategic planning.
The program comprises 36 credit hours,* including:

  • Eight core courses
  • Three elective courses
  • One final capstone project
*Those without substantive full-time administrative experience in a public service organization (as assessed by the MPA program coordinator) must complete at least three credit hours of an internship in addition to the required 36 credit hours of coursework.
Create a custom course list for your online graduate certificate in nonprofit management, which comprises 12 credit hours. The curriculum can help you develop these essential leadership skills:
  • Recruiting, selecting, leading and managing people in public organizations
  • Developing and managing budgets for nonprofit and public organizations
  • Fundraising and resource development for nonprofit organizations
Course credits you earn in the nonprofit management graduate certificate program may be applied to your MPA when you decide to continue your professional education.
Committed to Your Success

Kent State has been helping students achieve their dreams since 1910. We are committed to giving our students unsurpassed support to ensure success. When you earn a Kent State University degree, you join more than a quarter-million alumni who are creating the future we all want to see.

The Kent State online MPA program is one of the elite few accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), assuring you of an academically rigorous, relevant program of study that will serve you well in your career.

We are proud to have earned the Military Friendly® gold designation for the level of service we offer members of the extended military community and all our students.

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Move Forward With the Kent State Online MPA Program

Professors for the Kent State online MPA program are connected, engaged practitioners and researchers with expertise in diverse areas. With their varied interests, experiences and connections, our faculty can help you chart your course to a successful nonprofit management career.

  • 92% of graduates are satisfied with our programs7
  • Benefit from one of the most affordable programs in Ohio8

At just $676 per credit hour for Ohio residents and $686 per credit hour for out-of-state students, Kent State MPA online tuition combines with the caliber of our program to create outstanding educational value.

Program Flash Facts

The Kent State online MPA program will help you become the strong, informed public leader who drives decisions, progress and policy. Our program:

  • Has no GRE requirement
  • Is open to people with bachelor’s degrees
  • Offers asynchronous online flexibility
  • Has a part-time workload with focused, seven-week courses
  • Offers three start dates: January, May, August
Build Your Career with a Degree Built Around You
Call Us

A phone call with one of our Admissions Outreach Advisors will make it even easier, call +1 330-672-8671
To submit a successful application, check out the Graduate Degree Student Checklist
Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.
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1. Based on a limited sample of self-reported data from alumni of the Kent State University online MPA from graduating cohorts between 2015 and 2018, including respondents who indicated they expect to change employers within six months from the time of their response.
2. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from
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7. Based on a limited sample of self-reported data from Kent State alumni from graduating cohorts between 2016-2020.
8. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from

Related Reading from the Kent State Online Blog

Check out one of our featured blog posts below
A Master of Public Administration career, and others in the nonprofit sector, present incredible opportunities to identify specific needs in a community and find ways to solve them.
There are many reasons to choose to pursue a career in the public sector rather than in the business world. Often, people are drawn to public or nonprofit careers because doing so gives them an opportunity to do good and enact change for the better.