Course Delivery

100% online

Total Credits

36*

Approximate Cost per Credit

$676 in state
$686 out of state

Time to Completion:

Graduate in as few as 24 months

An MPA Built for Working Professionals

Kent State's online Master of Public Administration (MPA) is one of only a select number of online MPA programs in the United States that is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Our program is designed for busy working professionals who want to gain the knowledge, skills and credibility necessary to advance a career in the public sector. Using learning techniques that help you apply what you learn in real time, this program positions you for senior management positions in local, state and regional governments, as well as in nonprofit organizations.

But what can you do with a master's in public administration? Regarded as the core professional credential for a management career in public service, this online degree from Kent State can help you:

  • Gain momentum in your public service career
  • Become a trusted authority in your workplace
  • Uncover exciting new ways to implement policy
  • Expand your professional network
  • Stand out to hiring managers
Military Friendly School '21-22 Bronze

NASPAA The Global Standard in Public Serivce Education

Online MPA at a Glance

  • Graduate in as little as two years
  • 100% online coursework
  • 36 credits total* (12 three-credit courses)
  • Eight required courses, three electives and one final capstone project
  • Courses last seven weeks each, with two courses taken sequentially each semester
  • Three start dates: January, May, August

*Students 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.

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Master of Public Administration

Kent State University’s online Master of Public Administration program helps equip you with the advanced expertise required of senior management in local, state and regional governments, as well as in nonprofit organizations.

Master’s Program Outcomes

Students in the online MPA program will learn to implement policies, projects and programs that resolve complex issues within organizations and public communities.

Between the required courses and the electives that comprise the degree, you’ll graduate with new knowledge and skill in many of these areas:

  • Public personnel systems and their underlying public service values
  • Budgeting and financial management
  • Theory and techniques used to evaluate government programs
  • Statistical methods and their use in public administration
  • Strategic planning as it relates to program design and implementation
  • Issues of morality and ethics associated with public service roles in a democratic society
  • Management of information technology systems in public sector agencies
  • The U.S. public policymaking process as it applies to nonprofit organizations
  • Theory, practice and skills for leading nonprofit and public organizations
  • Issues in public sector labor relations
  • The implications of information and communication technology in public organizations
  • Legal issues for nonprofit organizations in the United States
  • Key aspects of effective nonprofit governance
  • Successful strategies for fundraising and resource development for nonprofit organizations

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Career Outcomes with a Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration degree empowers graduates with the advanced expertise required of senior management in nonprofit organizations and local, state and regional governments.

Our graduates thrive in leadership positions in:

  • Government (all levels)
  • Nonprofit sector
  • Private sector
  • Military

Learn more about potential careers in public administration.

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission, students must have completed a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants with a GPA of 2.7 or higher will be considered for conditional admission. Contact an Admissions Advisor for more information about this process. The bachelor's degree may be in any area of study.

Further admissions requirements include:

  • Completed online application
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors and/or employers
  • Application fee: $45
  • Official transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample
  • Resume/CV
  • No GRE required for admission

The application process is simple and we’re here to guide you through it.

Our Admissions Advisors are available to answer your questions regarding admissions requirements for the program. If you have questions, please email us at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or call us toll-free at + 844-844-4073.

Schedule a Call      Download Admissions Checklist

Important Dates

Jul
05
Priority Application Deadline
Fall 2021 Semester
Aug
16
Application Deadline
Fall 2021 Semester
Aug
26
First Day of Class
Fall 2021 Semester

Application Resources

Online graduate programs in public administration application checklist

Our step-by-step application checklist will help ensure the success of your application submission.

Download Checklist

Application FAQs

Each applicant is required to create an account in the online application system, which allows people to save their applications and track the progress of materials submitted via the application system.

I am a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required application materials should be sent to the Division of Graduate Studies at:

Division of Graduate Studies
Kent State University
650 Hilltop Drive
Kent, OH 44242

Please be sure to include your full name and Kent State ID (9-digit number starting with 8) on all submitted documents. For questions, contact Graduate Admissions at +1 330-672-2661 or gradapps@kent.edu.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required documents should be submitted to the Office of Global Education at intladm@kent.edu or by mail to:

Office of Global Education
Kent State University
106 Van Campen Hall
625 Loop Rd.
Kent, OH 44242
USA

For questions, contact International Admissions at +1 330-672-7970 or intladm@kent.edu.

Courses

The Master of Public Administration degree is comprised of three major components:*

  • 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.

Required Courses (24 credits)

PADM 60371 Graduate Introduction to Public Administration

This course is designed to introduce students in the MPA program to the theory and study of public administration. Topics include: evolution and characteristics of the modern nation state, the critical role that public bureaucracies play in any nation-state, intergovernmental relations, formal and informal groups and their role in policy, legal-regulatory processes, historical evolution of public administration as an academic field, major paradigms in public organizational theory and internal organization dynamics. This course has no prerequisites and does not assume any previous knowledge of the subject matter.

PADM 60375 Public Personnel Administration

This course provides a foundation for leading and managing people in public organizations. This includes an examination of public personnel systems, and the public service values that underlie these systems. The emphasis is on skill development and techniques for public personnel managers, which include recruitment and selection, motivation, performance appraisal, diversity management, and cultural competence.

PADM 60377 Public Budgeting and Financial Management

This course focuses on two aspects of public finance: budgeting and financial management. Relative to budgeting, students are taught about budgets as mechanisms for resource control and allocations, as legal documents, different formats and cross-walking of formats, budget preparation, legislative review, budget implementation, and auditing. Relative to financial management, students are taught budget analysis, debt management, fund accounting, and forecasting.

PADM 60379 Program Evaluation I

Introduction to evaluation of government programs. Emphasis on familiarizing students with the theory and, specifically, the techniques utilized under different evaluation formats.

PADM 60381 Methods in Public Administration

This course is a graduate-level introduction to statistical methods and their use in public administration.

PADM 60574 Strategic Planning

This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of strategic planning as it relates to program design and implementation by public and nonprofit organizations. Consideration is given to concepts, frameworks, and methods of program/policy analysis; as well as understanding the institutional context, agency-environment linkages, and internal dynamics of organizations.

PADM 60470 Personal Accountability in the Public Service

This course is concerned with basic issues of morality and ethics associated with public service roles in a democratic society. The focus is on students internalizing their role in the public sector as stewards of the public trust. Topics covered include the dimensions of stewardship, maintaining personal honor, protecting the dignity and liberty of citizens, the dimensions of justice, anti-corruption devices and incorporating these dimensions as managers in their personal decision-making and throughout the organization.

PADM 60386 Public Sector IT Management

This course focuses on the management of information technology (IT) systems in public sector agencies. Specific topics covered include planning and acquisition of hardware and software and networks, organizational governance and implementation, information security and privacy legal issues surrounding IT management, service delivery and emerging enterprise technologies.

PADM 60475 Capstone Seminar

Taken in the last semester of study, the capstone course is a decision-making exercise in which students demonstrate their ability to integrate what they have learned in the MPA program in order to make administrative decisions that reflect a public service orientation. The course is offered over a 15-week format, and consists of a problem statement; a literature review and guiding framework; recommendations; and an implementation plan that addresses actions steps, timeline, personnel and budgetary issues, legal and ethical concerns, and a methodology for assessing the effectiveness of the proposal. At the conclusion of the course, students present their work electronically via web-conferencing technology.

MPA Internship Requirement (3 Credits)

Students 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.

PADM 60392 Internship in Public Administration

Required of all students without prior full-time administrative experience in public or nonprofit organizations (pre-service students). Formal field placement of 300 hours in government or nonprofit agency setting. Provides opportunity for students to gain professional experience and apply coursework via direct exposure to management and policy processes. Students with substantive full-time administrative experience in a public service organization (in-service students) are waived from this requirement with permission of the MPA Coordinator.

MPA Electives (9 credits)

Students choose three of the following elective courses in consultation with their advisor. With prior approval of the MPA Coordinator, students may also choose appropriate elective courses from other university departments.

PADM 60200 Nonprofit Advocacy

This course explores the U.S. public policymaking process as it applies to nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits influence policymaking or "advocacy" through a variety of methods, such as lobbying, campaigning, protesting and policy monitoring. The course explores how nonprofit organizations both shape and are shaped by public policy.

PADM 60310 Leadership in the Nonprofit and Public Sector

This course teaches students theory, practice and skills for leading nonprofit and public organizations. Topics include organizational theory and behavior, organizational culture, integrity and ethics, group dynamics, conflict management, and creating an environment that promotes diversity and inclusion.

PADM 60376 Labor Management Relations in the Public Sector

Prerequisite: PADM 60375

This course focuses on issues peculiar to public sector labor relations, including the impact of public employee unionism on traditional merit systems and personnel policy decision processes.

PADM 60382 Seminar in Public Administration

Study of selected problem areas in public service organizations with emphasis on understanding the factors contributing to them, their solution and literature bearing on the problems.

PADM 60387 Electronic Governance

An introduction to electronic governance with an emphasis on public administration. Examines the implications of information and communication technology in public organizations with regard to democracy, civic engagement, and performance improvement. Through case studies from the United States and across the world, students will become familiar with the factors and issues surrounding the implementation of electronic governance on a comparative basis.

PADM 60471 Nonprofit Law

Introduction to legal issues for nonprofit organizations in the United States, including types of IRS tax-exempt status; basic requirements for establishing/operating nonprofit organizations specifically in Ohio.

PADM 60472 Nonprofit Board Executive Relationships

Key aspects of effective nonprofit governance, major roles of nonprofit board members and their responsibilities, and governance structures.

PADM 60477 Nonprofit Financial Resource Development

Successful strategies for fundraising and resource development for nonprofit organizations. Students will be exposed to fundraising in practice and will write a resource development plan.

Technology

Courses are delivered through Canvas, our course management system. Course content consists of text, narrated PowerPoint presentations, video and audio, live chats, discussion groups, and other learning enhancements. To participate in this online program, you will need a computer and broadband internet connection. Your program may have further requirements that include the ability to record video and audio. If you have questions regarding technology requirements for the program, please contact your Admissions Advisor at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or toll-free at +844-844-4073.

Exclusive Opportunity for KSU Undergraduates: The Accelerated MPA Degree Option

Launch your career sooner than you expected to. In Kent State’s public administration program, juniors and seniors with qualifying GPAs can apply up to 12 credit hours of coursework toward the public administration bachelor’s and master’s degrees. By earning double credits, you’ll earn your online MPA earlier than anticipated, save money on tuition and fees, and be prepared to dive into your career ahead of your classmates and ahead of schedule. For more information, please contact an Admissions Advisor at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or toll-free at + 844-844-4073.

What Can You Do with an MPA?

View the MPA infographic to learn more, or read about the faculty teaching these courses.

Meet the Faculty

Tuition and Financial Aid

Ohio ResidentsOut of State
Per Credit HourProgram CostPer Credit HourProgram Cost
$676Approximate Cost: $24,336
$686Approximate Cost: $24,696

An additional distance learning fee for all students enrolled in a distance learning course is $12 per credit hour. Program tuition and costs are estimated and subject to change. For comprehensive tuition information, please refer to the tuition rates posted on the Bursar’s website.

We recognize that pursuing a graduate degree is a significant investment. Your Admissions Advisor can answer your questions on program costs, discuss how a Kent State degree compares to others and connect you with financial aid representatives when you are ready to discuss your financial options.

Please contact an Admissions Advisor for more information on tuition and fees either by email at onlinedegrees@kent.edu or toll-free at + 844-844-4073.

Schedule a Call    Download Application Checklist

Immersive Online Curriculum

Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.

Practitioner Faculty

Study with specialists, published authors and leaders in public administration and policy.

Public Administration Career Potential

Gain expertise in budgeting, financial management, public sector laws, strategic planning and ethics.

Admissions and Application Deadlines

Jul
05
Priority Application Deadline
Fall 2021 Semester
Aug
16
Application Deadline
Fall 2021 Semester
Aug
26
First Day of Class
Fall 2021 Semester