Online Master of Public Administration

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Our Online MPA Program Builds Leaders

Your passion for service can help to transform our communities into equitable, protected, and healthy spaces for everyone. To apply your passion in the field of public administration, you need to lay a strong educational foundation that equips you with the skills to make an impact. Our mission is to build you into a confident and prepared leader so that you’re qualified not only to serve the public but to serve it ethically.

Ohio University’s online Master of Public Administration can help you develop the expertise and proficiency to address public needs in effective, efficient, and imaginative ways. We’ll show you how to take your big ideas and put them into action by guiding your development as a project manager, communicator, policy analyst, and financial mind. Because when you have an expert understanding of public administration and the professional acumen to back it up, you can lead a career of consequence for the communities you serve.

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Choose from four concentrations.

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No GRE or GMAT required.

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Complete your degree 100% online, in as few as 2 years.

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Benefit from the only public service school in the U.S. that partners with a college of business on a Center for Entrepreneurship.

Online MPA Scholarship Opportunities

MPA Partner

Certain state agencies, municipalities, professional associations, and private corporations have formalized an agreement with us to be considered MPA Partners. Employees of our MPA Partners will receive a $1,000 scholarship for one term. Click here to see a list of MPA Partners.


Veterans and active-duty military from any branch are eligible to receive a $1,000 scholarship for one term in appreciation for their public service.

Ohio University Alumni

Ohio University graduates can receive a $1,000 scholarship for their second or subsequent term of the program.

Why Choose OHIO’s Online Master of Public Administration?

Our online MPA program is uniquely attuned to cultivating pioneering, influential, and actionable leaders. At the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, our faculty and staff have dedicated decades to finding research-based solutions to challenges in the world, and that ongoing effort contributes to the foundations of your learning and the exploration of your particular interests.

We’re exceptionally prepared to help you learn the intricacies of public administration through a pragmatic approach grounded in a real-world application. Your passions will take center stage. Study the management of financial and human resources. Grasp how to take policy from planning to financing to execution and evaluation. Master the art of connecting public and private sectors as united partners. Determine how to cut through red tape with organizational excellence. These are the types of skills that translate to an enduring and impactful career, whether your goals lie in a town hall or the halls of Congress.

Our faculty members know the field’s obstacles and how to navigate them from firsthand experience. They’re field-tested professionals who are actively engaged in promoting public efforts that spark their interest. We want you to do the same, which is why we offer four distinct concentrations and a strong core curriculum to develop you into a well-rounded public leader.

Average salaries for careers in public administration.

The average salary for master’s in health administration graduates is $70,000. Here are seven public administration careers and their average salaries: property, real estate, and community association manager ($59,660); public affairs consultant ($68,800); administration service manager ($98,890); medical and health services manager ($104,280); public relations manager ($118,430); human resources manager ($121,220); and compensation and benefits manager ($125,130).

Rankings and Acknowledgements

  • In 2020, Viqtory Media named Ohio University one of the nation’s top military-friendly schools for the ninth consecutive year.
  • The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service tied for 58th on S. News & World Report’s list of the top public affairs graduate schools for 2020, placing OHIO’s online MPA in the top 20% of public affairs schools nationwide.
  • Our online MPA also ranked No. 18 among Guide to Online School’s Best Online Master’s in Public Administration Degrees.
  • In 2021, Best College Reviews ranked our Online MPA in Nonprofit Management No. 7.
  • In 2020, Online College Directory ranked Ohio University the No. 1 online college in Ohio.


2021 Military Friendly School

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12.3 million jobs

T2019 Nonprofit Employment Report

24 Million

The number of people employed in military, public, and national service at the local, state and federal levels across the U.S.

10.6 million

full-time employees working at the state and local government level

MPA Curriculum

Unlike other master’s in public administration online programs, we offer a curriculum built for real challenges faced by public administrators. Instead of teaching through hypotheticals alone, we focus on relevant topics, including data analysis, public-private partnerships, and measuring outcomes, so you’re ready to apply your knowledge and compete for a job that inspires you after graduation. We also offer four concentrations that reflect the current landscape of public affairs: Public Leadership and Management, Nonprofit Management, State and Local Government Management, and Crisis and Emergency Management.

Online Master of Public Administration Core Courses (27 Credits)

MPA 6200 Foundations of Public Administration 3 Credits
MPA 6010 Research Methods in Leadership and Public Affairs 3 Credits
MPA 5140 Organizational Leadership 3 Credits
MPA 5580 Public Sector Program Evaluation 3 Credits
MPA 5860 Public Budgeting 3 Credits
MPA 5850 Policy Analysis for Public Affairs and Leadership 3 Credits
MPA 5810 Public Private Partnerships 3 Credits
MPA 5590 Measuring Outcomes in Public and Non-Profit Organizations 3 Credits
MPA 6800 Strategic Leadership and Public Value 3 Credits

Public Leadership and Management Concentration Courses (9 credits)

Leadership in the public sector isn’t easy in a digitally enlightened, post-recession U.S. The public wants to know its dollars are spent wisely and effectively to achieve positive outcomes locally and across the nation. We understand this contemporary landscape, and we’ll teach you to blend efficacy and ethics while maximizing financial resources and personnel so that you can be a trusted voice capable of strategizing sustainable solutions.

MPA 5120 Public Human Resource Management 3 Credits
MPA 5830 Data Analytics for Public and Non-Profit Managers 3 Credits
MPA 5870 Financial Management in Government 3 Credits

Non-Profit Management Concentration Courses (9 credits)

Currently, 1 in 10 U.S. workers are employed in the nonprofit sector, which continues to add to its workforce. Nonprofits help to fill service gaps in communities, and you can help. You’ll learn to merge social responsibility and entrepreneurship in addition to how you can leverage the connective power of technology to raise funds and awareness for your efforts, making you an indispensable contributor to nonprofit strategizing.

MPA 5680 Nonprofit Financial Management and Resource Development 3 Credits
MPA 5890 Nonprofit Leadership and Governance 3 Credits
MPA 5660 Strategic Communication and Outreach for Nonprofit Management 3 Credits

State and Local Government Management Concentration Courses (9 credits)

Prepare to make a difference in the lives of everyday citizens as a leader in pivotal governing bodies. Whether enforcing laws or delivering services provided by state and local governments, you’ll be at the forefront of helping communities to flourish. Learn effective leadership, communication, and strategic management in order to respond to the dynamic needs of constituents and nuances of state and local governments.

MPA 5870 Financial Management in Government 3 Credits
MPA 5900 Special Topics: Civic Innovation and Citizen Engagement 3 Credits
MPA 5900 Special Topics: Public Sector Innovation in State and Local Government 3 Credits

Crisis and Emergency Management Concentration Courses (9 credits)

In managing the emergency and crisis situations of today, an integral factor toward positive outcomes is how you lead before, during, and after a critical event. Ohio University’s online Master of Public Administration program with a concentration in Crisis and Emergency Management blends academic knowledge, practical skills, and strategies for best handling various situations you may face while working in emergent settings. Our highly seasoned faculty members have been in pivotal roles in the preparation of high-profile emergency events, allowing you to benefit from their firsthand experiences.

The Crisis and Emergency Management concentration will prepare you to work with federal agencies, state and local governments, and community organizations to create, implement, and manage responses during emergency situations.

MPA 5900 Special Topics: Crisis Collaboration 3 Credits
MPA 5900 Special Topics: Crisis Leadership 3 Credits
MPA 5900 Special Topics: Crisis and Emergency Planning 3 Credits

What’s the OHIO Online Master’s in Public Administration Experience Like?


“This year, working with senior administrators at Ohio University, it’s made me more confident when I’m going into meetings, speaking up and not being just a shy note-taker in the background. I’m voicing my opinions and getting out of my comfort zone.”

– Thomas Raabe, Ohio University Online MPA Student

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“It gave me the experience of grant writing, policy briefs, basically doing all of the leg work of a non-profit.”

– Crescent Gallagher, Ohio University Online MPA Student


Hear More from Crescent

Meet the Online Master of Public Administration Faculty

headshot of Jason Jolley, , professor of rural economic development and MPA director at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service.

Students enrolled in Ohio University’s online Master of Public Administration program enjoy the opportunity to learn from talented faculty members with expertise in applying their academic research to finding policy solutions that address public needs and problems. That’s a fitting description of Dr. G. Jason Jolley, professor of rural economic development and MPA director at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service.

Dr. Jolley’s research interests include economic development, entrepreneurship, and public-private partnerships, to name a few. In addition to teaching, Dr. Jolley serves as a research fellow in the Center for Entrepreneurship and directs OU’s participation in the U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center. His passion is rural economic development in regions such as Appalachia, where he served as principal investigator on a subcontract with the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth to support a regional innovation cluster (RIC) project.

Does the MPA program at Ohio University include real-world components?

We frequently incorporate real-world case and project examples into the curriculum. We also leverage the information obtained from faculty research, partners, and professional faculty and staff employed with outside public and nonprofit agencies. As a result, the courses are always reinforced with up-to-date content, and students benefit from information and skills that they can immediately apply to their job roles.

What are some of the core issues public administration professionals are trying to solve?

Public administrators need to leverage government resources to improve the ways in which citizens live, work, and interact with each other. They also are concerned with the growth of the communities in which they reside and work to implement a policy for the improvement of citizen safety, engagement, and overall well-being. We anticipate that increased partnerships between public and private entities will strengthen the economic base of many communities, yielding increased job opportunities, better health care, and sustainable infrastructure.

What major challenges are you observing in the field of public administration?

Challenges include creating new ways to engage with the public as we continue to navigate through struggles brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current overwhelming contention between citizens and politicians on account of mistrust and misinformation. Another challenge is the inequality of government spending in rural communities.

Can skills and knowledge acquired in the MPA program be transferred to the private sector?

Absolutely. The skills and knowledge obtained by our MPA students are definitely transferable to the private sector. For example, effective leadership, budget consciousness, strategic planning, and program evaluation techniques are critical in every organization. Our students are exposed to projects and examples from each of these areas. In doing so, they’re well prepared to take on organizational challenges and to make evidence-based decisions in the public and private sectors.

As the director of the online Master of Public Administration program, what do you tell prospective students to interest them in pursuing a degree at Ohio University?

It’s definitely a great opportunity to enhance your knowledge of public administration while honing the critical skills that are needed to improve processes and be in service to others. Our world-class programs are recognized well beyond the borders of southeast Ohio. We’re also innovators in supporting community development, entrepreneurship, and leadership development — all of which make this a great university and place to gain knowledge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with an online master’s degree in public administration?

An online MPA opens doors to a wide variety of rewarding careers in both the public and private sectors. Some common career paths include operations management, city management, medical and health services, nonprofit program coordination, human resources directing, international aid consulting, and public administration consulting, to name just a few.

What is the typical salary for online Master of Public Administration degree graduates?

According to PayScale, the average base salary for MPA degree graduates is $70,000 per year.

Is the online MPA program accredited?

Yes. All Ohio University programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Learn more about our accreditation here.

How long is the online Master of Public Administration degree program?

OHIO is proud to offer an opportunity to complete your degree 100% online in as little as two years.