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In this article, we profile 50 accelerated online MPA programs for 2021.

Earning a master’s in public administration (MPA) prepares and equips you as a civil servant. MPA degrees carry moderate to high earnings potential, but salary depends on job location, level of experience, and career sector. With an online master’s in public administration, students gain knowledge and a skill set necessary for work as an administrator in government, nonprofit, and private organizations. The online format of an MPA program is ideally designed for individuals with outside obligations, such as work and family.

50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs Methodology

We reviewed over 150 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources that offered online MPA programs. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: accelerated program offerings (online MPA programs taking less than two years to complete or fast-track courses that run less than 16 weeks in length), accreditation (regional and/or national), and institution and/or program rankings with at least one major publication like U.S. News and World Report. We then listed the MPA programs according to raw affordability.

Below are the resulting selections for our 50 accelerated online MPA programs of 2021.

#50 – Syracuse University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Syracuse, New York

Website

Syracuse University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Fast online MPA programs – Syracuse University. Finish in 15 months!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $40,188

Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs offers an accelerated online MPA for mid-career professionals with 5-7 years of professional experience. This accelerated program can be completed entirely online in as few as 15 months in a flexible format that allows full-time professionals to earn their degrees quickly while maintaining their careers. The program is taught by the same faculty that teach on-campus courses. When the degree is conferred, there is no mention of courses being online. The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is ranked #1 in best public affairs programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

#49 – American University

Online Master’s in Public Administration and Policy

Washington, District of Columbia

Website

American University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Only 12 courses! American University offers an online MPA that’s fast and accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $31,113

American University’s School of Public Affairs offers a master’s in public administration online for individuals seeking upward career mobility from the skills and knowledge gained through a master’s degree in public policy and administration from a top institution. The program consists of 12 3-credit classes lasting eight weeks each. Each course consists of one learning unit per week with specific deadlines that keep the learner on track, yet allow for flexibility. Located in Washington, DC, the program is in the heart of where public policy is created at the Federal level. American University ranks #13 in best public affairs programs, #4 in public management and leadership, and #14 in public policy analysis by U.S. News and World Report.

#48 – Nova Southeastern University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Website

Nova Southeastern University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Nova Southeastern University’s online MPA takes less than 2 years to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $21,206

Nova Southeastern University offers an online master’s in public administration through its H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. The program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), which is the global standard for public policy and affairs programs. The program is for current or aspiring professionals who desire to lead programs, departments, and institutions that create, maintain, or otherwise influence public administration and policy at all levels. The program requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.1 GPA. Students with less than a 3.1 will be considered and are required to submit GRE scores. The program can be completed in less than two years.

#47 – Albertus Magnus College

Online Master’s in Public Administration

New Haven, Connecticut

Website

Albertus Magnus College - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Albertus Magnus College offers one of the fastest online MPA programs! Finish in just 18 months!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,704

Albertus Magnus College offers one of the fastest online MPA programs that can be completed entirely online in just 18 months while taking no more than two courses at a time. The 36-credit program is designed specifically for working professionals who need flexibility and rigor. Coursework is all geared towards the individual seeking a long-term career in public administration, leadership, or public policy, working for a non-governmental agency (NGO), non-profit, or government agency. Courses may include ethical issues in public administration, quantitative research for public managers, and labor-management relations. Albertus Magnus is ranked #88 in regional universities North by U.S. News and World Report.

#46 – Villanova University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Villanova, Pennsylvania

Website

Villanova University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Villanova University’s online MPA takes less than 2 years!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,606

Villanova University offers one of the best MPA programs that is delivered entirely online and can be completed in just two years. The program is geared towards full-time professionals seeking the skills and knowledge to become an effective leader within a public service environment. Candidates should have at least three years of professional experience in non-profit, public, military, or private industry and show the potential to be excellent leaders. The program is accredited by NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Courses include applied data analysis, human capital management, and public administration theory. Villanova is ranked #53 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#45 – Hilbert College

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Hamburg, New York

Website

Hilbert College - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
The accelerated online MPA program at Hilbert College runs 16 months!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,080

Hilbert College offers a master’s in public administration online designed to develop ethical leaders in world policy and public administration. The program’s all online coursework, in combination with its accelerated 16-month format, makes it an outstanding choice for the busy working professional. The program is based on a cohort model where students enter the program in September and start new classes every five weeks. In addition, there is an integrated research project throughout the coursework, unlike the traditional thesis that takes place in the last semester. Hilbert College is ranked #40 in regional colleges North by U.S. News and World Report.

#44 – Gannon University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Erie, Pennsylvania

Website

Gannon University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Gannon University offers one of the fastest online MPA programs on our list.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,850

Known as one of the fastest online MPA programs, the Gannon University offering provides a rigorous MPA that can be finished in just one year. The overarching goal of the coursework is to prepare students for a career in leadership in the public sector or a non-profit organization. There is no application fee and many students meet the criteria for a GRE waiver. Unlike many other programs that provide a generalist curriculum, the Gannon degree allows students to choose from specializations in administrative or organizational leadership. Gannon University is ranked #227 in national universities according to U.S. News and World Report.

#43 – Golden Gate University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

San Francisco, California

Website

Golden Gate University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Golden Gate University’s online MPA takes 18 months from start to finish!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,705

Golden Gate University offers an online master’s in public administration featuring an accelerated model allowing the student to graduate in just 18 months. The program is designed for working professionals seeking to become public sector or non-profit leaders. And with concentrations in law enforcement and security, urban innovations, or generalist, students can choose the pathway that best fits their career trajectory and aspirations. Required courses may include personnel management and labor relations, public enterprise management and public sector business relations, and public policy analysis and program evaluation. Golden Gate University ranks #243 in best public affairs programs, according to ranking publication U.S. News and World Report.

#42 – Norwich University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Northfield, Vermont

Website

Norwich University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Ranked with U.S. News! Norwich University’s accelerated online MPA program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,554

Working professionals looking for fast online MPA programs may find the 18-month offering at Norwich a good fit. The program is entirely online, except for a one-week residency that allows students to network with faculty and fellow students. In addition, students can choose from one of several concentrations such as criminal justice, municipal governance, fiscal management, public administration leadership, policy analysis, and more. And with a cap of 15 students per class, individuals are able to get the one-on-one mentorship and interaction with faculty that enriches their education. Norwich University is ranked #62 in regional universities North, according to U.S. News and World Report.

#41 – Fairfield University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Fairfield, Connecticut

Website

Fairfield University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Fairfield University – a top pick for an accelerated online MPA program!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,890

Fairfield University offers an accelerated online MPA that can be completed in just 1.5 years. Courses are taught in traditional 14-week semesters, as well as non-traditional 7-week iterations. The program welcomes both current and aspiring public administration professionals and does not require a specific undergraduate degree or major to apply to the program. Candidates must possess an accredited bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and have successfully passed an undergraduate statistics course. Applicants must submit a resume, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts. No GRE is required. Fairfield University is ranked #3 in regional universities North by U.S. News and World Report.

#40 – Lindenwood University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Saint Charles, Missouri

Website

Lindenwood University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
15-month accelerated online MPA! Lindenwood University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,100

Lindenwood University offers one of the best MPA programs in the nation for current or aspiring public service, non-profit, and NGO professionals seeking a rigorous program that can be finished in just 15 months by taking just six credits per term. The program is available entirely online, making it an excellent option for busy working professionals. There are no campus visits or residencies required. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 minimum GPA, official transcripts, letter of intent, and letters of recommendation. The GRE is not required. Featured courses include business-government environment, economic analysis for policymakers, and public finance and taxation. U.S. News and World Report ranks Lindenwood #298 in national universities.

#39 – Northcentral University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

La Jolla, California

Website

Northcentral University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Northcentral University’s online MPA takes 19 months to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,095

With a 19-month completion timeline, Northcentral University is one of the fastest online MPA programs in the country. The 36-credit program offers 10 specializations for students to choose from, such as financial management, homeland security, health care administration, and non-profit management. The specializations add value to the program by allowing students access to specialized skills and knowledge catered to their career interests. And with no residency requirements or group projects, students are truly in control of their own time and education. The application process is quick and easy and does not require the GRE examination. Northcentral is ranked #53 in regional universities Midwest by U.S. News and World Report.

#38 – Barry University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Miami, Florida

Website

Barry University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Barry University’s 100% online MPA moves at a fast pace.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,910

Barry University’s online master’s in public administration is a rigorous degree program offering outstanding faculty engagement for mid- and executive-level public administration professionals that can be completed in just 14 months. The 100% online delivery means students have the flexibility they need to pursue their education while keeping up with the demands of their careers. The practitioner-based model focuses on the practical skills and knowledge it takes to be a successful public service leader who is able to think deeply and critically. Barry’s program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). The institution is ranked #298 nationally by U.S. News and World Report.

#37 – Regent University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

Regent University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Flexible enrollment! Regent’s online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,952

Regent University offers a master’s in public administration online through its Robertson School of Government that helps students boost their leadership skills and knowledge of public administration. The program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). The courses are taught by public administration professors with years of practical experience in the field. Students have flexible enrollment options and can earn their MPA in 2-4 years. Core classes include, but are not limited to, Christian foundations of government, public budgeting and taxation policy, and public human resources management. Regent University ranks #298 nationally by U.S. News and World Report.

#36 – University of New Hampshire

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Durham, New Hampshire

Website

University of New Hampshire - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
A 16-month online MPA! University of New Hampshire.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,265

Ranked as one of the best MPA programs, the University of New Hampshire offers full-time professionals a 16-month program through its Carsey School of Public Policy. Admission requirements include transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and resume. Students requesting a graduate assistantship or tuition assistance are required to submit GRE scores. The curriculum is divided into four core, three advanced core, and five elective courses. Core classes may include foundations and theories of public administration, introduction to statistical analysis, and organization and management in public and non-profit sectors. U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of New Hampshire #143 nationally.

#35 – Franklin University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Franklin University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Franklin University’s online MPA takes 17 months!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,080

Working professionals researching fast online MPA programs may find the offering at Franklin University a good fit. The curriculum offers flexibility that allows students to choose from several courses depending on career interests and goals. In addition, the program can be completed quickly in just 17 months. Students with a minimum 2.75 GPA also save time and money by automatically qualifying for a GRE admission application waiver, which means no time and money wasted on expensive and laborious test preparation. Core classes may include foundations of government and non-profit administration, leading government and non-profit organizations, and methodological reasoning and quantitative analysis.

#34 – National University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

La Jolla, California

Website

National University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Accelerated and ranked with U.S. News! The online MPA at National University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,480

National University offers a fully online master’s in public administration. The program utilizes an accelerated format with 4-week courses that allow you to focus on one class at a time while keeping to a short completion timeframe. Students can earn the degree in two years or less and never take more than one course at a time. For current or aspiring public or non-profit professionals, the coursework covers leadership within the public sector while teaching critical skills and knowledge regarding public policy research, media communications, grant proposal creation, financial management, and more. U.S. News and World Report ranks National University #95 in regional universities West.

#33 – Strayer University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Washington, District of Columbia

Website

Strayer University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
No GRE requirement! Strayer University’s accelerated online MPA program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,135

One of the fastest online MPA programs, Strayer University offers a program that develops excellent leaders within the public and non-profit spheres. Students learn crucial skills and knowledge within the context of a public administration career, making the coursework extremely practical and relevant. Strayer makes the admission process easy with online forms and no GRE requirement. Candidates must show proof of an accredited bachelor’s degree with a 2.5 minimum GPA by sending in official transcripts and a current ID. Courses may include constitutional and administrative law, grantmanship in public administration, leadership and conflict resolution, and public personnel management. Strayer ranks #136 in regional universities North by U.S. News and World Report.

#32 – Colorado Technical University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Website

Colorado Technical University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Colorado Tech’s online MPA is affordable and accelerated.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,321

Colorado Technical University offers an accelerated online MPA that can be completed in two years or less. The program is appropriate for current or aspiring public service professionals desiring a career at the leadership level. Graduates have gone on to lead at all levels of government, non-profit agencies, and organizations that coordinate with government agencies. The 48-credit program is divided into 28 core classes and 20 public administration concentration classes. Courses may include budgeting and finance for public administration, graduate research methods for public administration, and public administration theory and practice. Colorado Technical University ranks #298 in national universities according to U.S. News and World Report.

#31 – Colorado Christian University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Lakewood, Colorado

Website

Colorado Christian University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Colorado Christian University offers a 15-month online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,029

With a completion time of just 15 months, the degree at Colorado Christian is one of the fast online MPA programs that combine Christ-centered teachings with limited government and free market philosophies. The 36-credit program is divided into 5-week courses so students never have to take multiple courses at once unless they choose to. Required courses include, but are not limited to, introduction to public administration and governmental law, leading organizational change, and public information and civic engagement. Candidates must submit an essay and official transcripts showing a bachelor’s degree. No GRE exam is required to apply. Colorado Christian ranks #68 in regional universities West by U.S. News and World Report.

#30 – Johnson & Wales University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Providence, Rhode Island

Website

Johnson & Wales University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
100% online! Johnson & Wales – offering an accelerated online MPA program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,734

Ranking #30 on our list of best MPA programs that can be completed in two years or less, Johnson and Wales University offers a program focusing on career skills needed to manage public service organizations. The comprehensive curriculum focuses on core functions of public service jobs as well as leadership development. Courses may include effective leadership, public personnel administration, public policy analysis, and strategic planning and leadership in nonprofit organizations. Courses are eight weeks long and allow students to focus on one course at a time. The degree is 100% online and requires no GRE to apply. The program welcomes students with bachelor degrees from all backgrounds.

#29 – California Baptist University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Riverside, California

Website

California Baptist University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Only 12 months! CBU’s accelerated online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,560

California Baptist University offers a master’s in public administration online with a completion time of only 12 months, making it one of the quickest programs available. The coursework provides an interdisciplinary perspective to give graduates a comprehensive view of leadership in the public service sector. The coursework is designed for 9-to-5 work schedules and family life and allows students to network with faculty and peers in real time to form lifelong bonds and networks. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree and 2.5 minimum GPA, transcripts, 500-word essay, and transcripts. Cal Baptist University ranks #40 in regional universities West according to U.S. News and World Report.

#28 – Lynn University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Boca Raton, Florida

Website

Lynn University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Lynn University offers an accelerated online MPA program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,420

Lynn University offers a fully online master’s in public administration that can be completed in just one year. The program welcomes applicants from all academic backgrounds and levels of experience working in public service or nonprofit agencies. The online delivery utilizes the latest distance learning technology and provides an iPad Pro to each graduate student with pre-loaded apps and textbooks. Students are welcome to keep their iPad Pro upon graduation. The coursework provides comprehensive skills and theories needed to become an effective manager and leader within a public service job. Lynn University is ranked #53 in regional universities South according to U.S. News and World Report.

#27 – Arizona State University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
ASU online accelerated MPA takes 19 months to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,608

With a 19-month timeline, Arizona State University offers one of the fastest online MPA programs in the higher education space. This executive level program is designed for those with 5-7 years of leadership experience in the public service and nonprofit sectors or for private sector professionals who deal extensively with government officials. The program is structured so students never take more than one course at a time, which allows them to balance their busy professional and family lives. In addition to the online coursework, students engage in 3-day in-person sessions in Washington, DC and Phoenix. Arizona State ranks #103 in national universities according to U.S. News and World Report.

#26 – Aurora University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Aurora, Illinois

Website

Aurora University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Aurora University – offering a fast track online MPA!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,600

Current or aspiring public service professionals researching fast online MPA programs may find the MPA degree at Aurora University an excellent option due to its dynamic online learning environment, engaging content, and 12-24 month completion timeline. Applicants from all academic backgrounds are welcome, with preference given to those with undergraduate degrees in political science or public policy. Courses may include administration of public institutions, government and community relations, public finance and budgeting, and public policy and analysis. The GRE is not required to apply to the program. Aurora University is ranked #298 in national universities according to ranking publication U.S. News and World Report.

#25 – Shippensburg University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

Website

Shippensburg University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Only 18 months! Shippensburg University’s online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,970

Shippensburg University offers a master’s in public administration online designed for working professionals to complete in as little as 18 months. The 36-credit program includes six core classes, four elective courses, and a six-credit internship. Students who work full-time in management level positions may qualify for an internship waiver. Those who are approved for a waiver will take a 3-credit course in place of the internship. Candidates should have a minimum 2.75 GPA along with relevant coursework or professional experience. Candidates with neither of these qualifications may be required to take an introductory course. U.S. News and World Report ranks Shippensburg #88 in regional universities North.

#24 – Northern Illinois University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Dekalb, Illinois

Website

Northern Illinois University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
No GRE and fully online! Northern Illinois University’s online master’s in public administration.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,280

Through its Department of Public Administration and School of Public and Global Affairs, Northern Illinois University offers one of the best MPA programs for working professionals seeking a fully online degree. The online program is designed for those with at least two years of professional experience in the public service sector. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with completed courses in U.S. government and statistics. Additional applications materials include three recommendation letters, statement of purpose, transcripts, and resume. The GRE is not required. U.S. News and World Report ranks Northern Illinois University in multiple categories, including #298 in national universities and #154 in top public schools.

#23 – Florida International University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Miami, Florida

Website

Florida International University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Finish in 12 months! Online MPA program at FIU.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,106

Florida International University offers an accelerated online MPA in a hybrid format that combines online coursework with convenient face-to-face courses that accommodate full-time professionals. The 36-credit program can be completed in just 12 months (three semesters). The program is administered by the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs and provides graduates with the leadership and public sector knowledge to take their careers to the next level. The typical student in the program has 5-10 years of public service experience, with many holding management-level positions. Students also work for nonprofit organizations as well as private entities that work with government agencies. FIU ranks #187 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#22 – Grand Canyon University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Grand Canyon University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
GCU’s online MPA is accelerated and affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,074

Grand Canyon University offers an accelerated online MPA that can be completed in approximately two years. The coursework features a focus on government and policy and will be noted on the transcript. Students learn how modern issues impact government policy and governance to help them develop pertinent leadership skills and policy knowledge. Courses may include economics for public administrators, public and nonprofit administration, and public budgeting and financial management. Graduates have gone on to positions as city managers, government administrators, policy analysts, charity managers, and more. Grand Canyon University ranks #298 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#21 – Belhaven University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Jackson, Mississippi

Website

Belhaven University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Ranked with U.S. News! Belhaven University’s online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,620

Fast online MPA programs such as the Belhaven University’s offering provides students with the leadership and policy skills and knowledge needed to be an effective public service or nonprofit leader. Graduates have gone on to careers as policy analysts, nonprofit executives, public administration managers, and more. Applicants should have a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree and a 2.5 minimum GPA. Once accepted and matriculated, students can choose from concentrations in finance and human resources. Courses may include administration of financial resources, economics and public policy, and state and local governmental administration. U.S. News and World Report ranks Belhaven University #53 in regional universities South.

#20 – Anna Maria College

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Paxton, Massachusetts

Website

Anna Maria College - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
With management experience, the online MPA at Anna Maria College can be cut shorter.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,530

Anna Maria College offers an online master’s in public administration that can be completed in just 1.5 years. The 12-course curriculum can be shortened to 10 courses for those professionals with four years of managerial experience in a public services-related career. The program has several concentration options to choose from such as criminal justice, emergency management, fire and emergency services, and homeland security. To apply, students must possess a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.7 GPA and submit two letters of recommendation, resume, and personal statement. The GRE is not required. Anna Maria College ranks #136 in regional universities North according to U.S. News and World Report.

#19 – Eastern Kentucky University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Richmond, Kentucky

Website

Eastern Kentucky University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Eastern Kentucky University’s online MPA is open to current and aspiring public service leaders.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,450

Featuring one of the fastest online MPA programs, Eastern Kentucky University offers a 100% distance degree program for current or aspiring public service leaders. In addition to the degree, students also can earn a certificate in a unique specialization, including community development, emergency management, or interdisciplinary studies. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of public Affairs and Administration and follows the standards put forth by the American Society for Public Administration. The accelerated format utilizes 8-week terms allowing students to earn the degree faster than most traditional programs. U.S. News and World Report ranks EKU #51 in regional universities South.

#18 – Trevecca Nazarene University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Nashville, Tennessee

Website

Trevecca Nazarene University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Trevecca Nazarene – an affordable choice for an online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,067

Fast online MPA programs like the one offered at Trevecca Nazarene University combine rigorous coursework with an accelerated format, allowing students to graduate in just 18 months. The curriculum provides a foundation that equips graduates to serve as public service leaders while also providing specific job skills and knowledge through concentration options such as data analytics, health care, human resources, management and leadership, and project management. Candidates must possess an accredited bachelor’s degree with a 2.75 GPA, along with successful completion of a college-level math and English course. The GRE is not required. Trevecca Nazarene ranks #298 in national universities according to U.S. News and World Report.

#17 – Corban University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Salem, Oregon

Website

Corban University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA programs 2021
Corban University’s online MPA takes 12 months to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,930

Corban University’s accelerated online MPA offers a practitioner-based master’s degree that is entirely online and can be completed in just 12 months. The blend of challenging classes and convenient, flexible scheduling serves as an excellent fit for busy working professionals. Courses include business strategy and entrepreneurship, finance reporting and control, leadership and organizational behavior, and public sector human resource management. Faculty have doctorate degrees and professional experience in the field that enables them to provide insight into the coursework from both academic and professional viewpoints. Classes are 8 weeks long and scheduled in a way that allows students to take just one course at a time. Corban is ranked #11 in regional universities West by U.S. News and World Report.

#16 – Purdue University Global

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Indianapolis, Indiana

Website

Purdue University Global - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
18 months! Purdue University Global’s online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,603

Ranked as one of the best MPA programs, Purdue University Global offers a fully online degree with four starts per year, which means accepted students do not have to wait to begin their educational journey. The accelerated program offers 10-week classes that allow students to earn their degree in just 18-months with a course load of just two classes per semester. Students can also attend part-time and take just one course per term. Core classes cover critical subject matter for current and future public service leaders such as budgeting of public funds, applied research, human resource management, and public policy analysis.

#15 – University of Louisiana

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Monroe, Louisiana

Website

University of Louisiana - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Fast-track classes! University of Louisiana’s online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,239

The University of Louisiana Monroe offers a master’s in public administration online featuring 8-week classes within a traditional 16-week format. The accelerated delivery means students take two courses per term, but never more than one class at a time. The entire program is online with no campus visitation requirements. Students working full-time find the program an excellent fit due to its flexible online delivery and outstanding faculty teaching and mentoring. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a 2.75 GPA, combined GRE score of 900 (old scale), transcripts, letters of recommendation, and statement. Students can earn a GRE waiver through multiple pathways. ULM ranks #298 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#14 – Murray State University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Murray, Kentucky

Website

Murray State University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Murray State’s online master’s in public administration is highly affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,114

Murray State University offers an online master’s in public administration with concentrations in economic development, health administration, non-profit leadership, public health, and public management. The coursework blends public administration theory with practitioner-based skills, resulting in knowledgeable professionals able to conduct research and apply it to the job. To qualify for unconditional admission, students must have a GPA of at least 2.75 and an undergraduate degree in political science, social sciences, or business. Students from other relevant academic backgrounds will be considered. The GRE is not a requirement for admission. U.S. News and World Report ranks Murray State #26 in regional universities South.

#13 – Touro University Worldwide

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Los Alamitos, California

Website

Touro University Worldwide - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Touro University offers a fast-track online MPA with 100% online delivery.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,000

Touro University Worldwide offers one of the fast online MPA programs that can be completed in less than two years. In fact, the average completion for students in the program is just one year, which means graduates can begin seeing a return on their investment right away. 8-week courses allow students to take multiple classes per term. The 100% online delivery means no need to expend time and money on costly residential requirements common at many other programs. The focus of the Touro program is to teach students the knowledge and skills needed to be effective public service and non-profit organizational leaders.

#12 – San Diego State University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

San Diego, California

Website

San Diego State University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Ranked and accredited! San Diego State’s online MPA programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,944

Working professionals researching fast online MPA programs may find the 16-month offering at San Diego State University an appealing option due to its national reputation and job placements upon graduation. The program is designed specifically for public service and non-profit professionals currently in managerial and leadership positions who desire a graduate degree to better their career and improve their on-the-job performance through more skill and knowledge. Administered by the School of Public Affairs, nearly all faculty have PhDs in the discipline and extensive research publications. U.S. News and World Report ranks San Diego State’s graduate program in public affairs #72 in the nation.

#11 – Wilmington University

Online Master’s in Management

New Castle, Delaware

Website

Wilmington University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Wilmington University’s online master’s in management is a good fit for those seeking MPA degrees.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,834

The master’s in management at Wilmington is similar to accelerated online MPA and may be a good fit for working professionals seeking a flexible degree designed for public service and non-profit career paths. The program offers concentrations in several areas, including non-profit management and public administration, giving the students the knowledge and skills to successfully lead these specific types of organizations within their unique contexts. Students from all academic backgrounds are welcome to apply, provided they have a bachelor’s degree and 3.0 GPA. Courses may include academic research writing, administrative law, and analysis of public policy. Wilmington ranks #298 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#10 – University of Oklahoma

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Norman, Oklahoma

Website

University of Oklahoma - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
36 credits and fully accredited! University of Oklahoma’s online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,577

The University of Oklahoma’s Department of Political Science offers a master’s in public administration online that can be completed through occasional online coursework in combination with face-to-face classes. The courses are all taught by respected University of Oklahoma faculty members, most of whom have PhDs in the field and significant research and professional experience. The 36-credit program is designed to be self-paced and offers both part- and full-time enrollment. The coursework has a professional emphasis that builds student’s capacities to lead and manage public service organizations and non-profit entities. U.S. News and World Report ranks Oklahoma #133 in national universities.

#9 – Troy University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Troy, Alabama

Website

Troy University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Finish in just 15 months! Troy University’s accelerated online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,506

Troy University offers an accelerated online MPA that is entirely online and can be completed in just 15 months. Students have a maximum of eight years to complete the degree. The program is 36 credits, or 39 if a student completes an internship. Courses may include ethics in public administration, foundations of public administration, and governmental budgeting and financial management. Designed for the working professional, all coursework is flexible and allows students to dictate when they complete assignments. Graduates have gone on to fill top positions in all levels of government or non-profit agencies. Troy ranks #51 in regional universities South by U.S. News and World Report.

#8 – Liberty University

Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Public Administration

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Liberty University offers an online MPA with criminal justice focus.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,400

Similar to an online master’s in public administration, Liberty University offers an online master’s in criminal justice with a concentration in public administration. The purpose of the degree is to train current and future criminal justice leaders with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively lead organizations and departments as a criminal justice administrator. The 36-credit program is fully online with an average completion time of just 15 months. Featured courses include communication and conflict, fundamentals of public administration, and public policy analysis. Liberty University ranks #298 in national universities according to college ranking publication U.S. News and World Report.

#7 – Lamar University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Beaumont, Texas

Website

Lamar University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Lamar University’s online MPA ranks with U.S. News.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,264

Lamar University offers one of the best MPA programs due to its accelerated online format designed so that the working professional can earn a degree from a respected institutional member of the Texas State University System. The program requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.6 GPA. Those with a 3.25 GPA or above qualify for a GRE test waiver when applying for admission. The online MPA consists of 36 credits (12 courses) that focus on a wide range of topics from public service leadership to public policy analysis. Core classes include, but are limited to, ethics and morality in public administration, leadership in public administration and non-profits, and state law and policy. Lamar ranks #298 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#6 – University of Colorado

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Denver, Colorado

Website

University of Colorado - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Accelerated online MPA programs at University of Colorado!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,069

The University of Colorado Denver offers an accelerated online MPA through its School of Public Affairs that can be completed in just one year through an accelerated format. The regular format allows students to complete in just two years. The program welcomes both current and aspiring public service professionals and offers tracks for those with no experience all the way up to senior-level management. Courses may include economics and public finance, evidence-based decision making, introduction to public administration and public service, and the policy process and democracy. UC Denver is ranked #227 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#5 – Clayton State University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Morrow, Georgia

Website

Clayton State University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
12 months to complete the online MPA at Clayton State.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,234

Clayton State University offers an online master’s in public administration with an accelerated 12-month time-frame that allows students to quickly complete the degree and begin seeing a return on their investment. The program provides a comprehensive curriculum covering the essential leadership and business skills needed to effectively lead at all levels of government and non-profits. Students with an accredited bachelor’s degree are welcome to apply. Other materials to submit include transcripts, statement of purpose, two letters of reference, and resume. Students with GPAs below 3.0 must have a combined GRE score of 300. Clayton is ranked #103 in southern universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#4 – Tarleton State University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Stephenville, Texas

Website

Tarleton State University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Affordability! Tarleton State’s online MPA takes 18 months and is highly affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,215

Working professionals researching fast online MPA programs may discover the 18-month offering through Tarleton State University a strong candidate due to its efficient timeline and comprehensive coursework. Students can attend either part- or full-time and can choose a thesis or non-thesis option. In addition, students can choose a hybrid or fully online experience, depending on their schedule or location. Example coursework includes advanced ethics in public administration, budgeting and finance, and human resource management. The current coursework is designed to develop broad leadership capacity within the context of a government or non-profit agency. Tarleton ranks #64 in western universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#3 – American Public University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Charles Town, West Virginia

Website

American Public University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
APU offers a fast-track online MPA program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,005

American Public University offers an online master’s in public administration with accelerated 8-week classes. The program is conducted entirely online in an effort to accommodate full-time professionals. Students from all academic and professional backgrounds are welcome to apply and there are no GRE test score requirements to be considered for admission. To further accelerate the degree, students can transfer up to 15 of the 36 credits needed to graduate – nearly cutting the coursework in half. Students can choose from nine concentrations, such as coaching and conflict resolution, disaster management, health policy, national security, public policy, and more. Grants are available for current and ex-military personnel.

#2 – Arkansas State University

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Website

Arkansas State University - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
Ranked and affordable! Arkansas State University’s online MPA takes 18 months.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,422

Landing just outside the top spot for accelerated online MPA programs, Arkansas State University’s program features an 18-month time-frame and is designed to enhance the career mobility of law enforcement personnel and public service professionals. The program has achieved the gold standard of public administration accreditation through approval from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). The 36-credit offering offers internship opportunities at the halfway point of the degree and are highly recommended for pre-service students. Those with professional experience in the field are not required to intern. Arkansas State ranks in several U.S. News and World Report categories, including #154 in top public schools.

#1 – The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Online Master’s in Public Administration

Odessa, Texas

Website

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin - 50 Accelerated Online MPA Programs 2021
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers a 12-month online MPA.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,038

Coming in at number one on our list of accelerated online MPA programs, the University of Texas at Permian Basin combines efficient coursework, rigorous inquiry, and affordable tuition, resulting in a comprehensive public administration graduate degree. Working professionals from all backgrounds and levels of experience are encouraged to apply and can complete the entire program in just 12 months. Coursework is designed to develop competencies in areas such as ethics, financial management, public policy analysis, and research. University of Texas Permian Basin ranks #68 in regional universities West and #32 in top public schools by U.S. News and World Report.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What jobs can you get with an accelerated online MPA degree?

An accelerated online MPA degree opens doors to various occupations that pay moderate to high wages. Similar to an MBA, a master’s in public administration teaches business and leadership skills within the context of a government or non-profit agency. Many MPA graduates move on to positions at all levels of government (local, regional, state, federal) with the hopes of moving into administration. Similarly, MPA graduates often move on to manage non-profit organizations as well as managing firms that regularly deal with government personnel. Common careers include city planners, city managers, policy analysts, government program coordinators, and statisticians.

Because the government is so vast, MPA graduates may work in several employment sectors, including criminal justice, education, health care, homeland security, and much more. Working at the federal level analyzing and developing public policy is also a common career path. Many online MPA programs offer specializations within their programs designed to give students the skills and knowledge in a specific area. Because MPA curriculum develops skills in accounting, economics, finance, policy, public relations, and leadership, graduates are well equipped to move into public service positions with great upward mobility. MPA graduates with internship experience often have better employment outcomes upon graduation.

What is the job outlook for individuals with an accelerated online MPA degree?

The job outlook for individuals with an accelerated online MPA degree vary by industry. The average growth rate for all occupations tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics through 2028 is expected to be 5% with some industries such as health care and information technology expected to be in the double digits.

MPA graduates often move into occupations with the federal government, which employs over 2 million people who carry out critical government functions such as food safety, emergency services, and scientific research. In total, there are over 350 federal government occupations. According to the United States Department of Labor, the average federal employee earns a salary of $85,000.

While the growth rate for federal government jobs is expected to be marginal, one of the main benefits is job security. The federal government is far less likely to lay off employees compared to private sector employees. MPA graduates with the option to move to high-employment areas should have outstanding job opportunities. Approximately 22% of federal employment is concentrated in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC – home to many federal agencies. In addition, 15% of federal workers reside in California and Texas. Other states with an above-average number of federal jobs include Florida, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

Are there professional associations students can join while enrolled in an accelerated online MPA program?

American Society for Public Administration – the ASPA offers a student discount through its website and is one of the leading organizations for public service professionals. The association provides professional development, networking, and research opportunities, and more through its membership services. In addition, students and new professionals have access to services specifically for them through the Founders’ Fellows program, which supports new professionals through conference attendance and research opportunities and presentations. The Student and New Professional Summit, which takes place during the ASPA annual conference, also serves as a support and networking system for students and new hires.

Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management – The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management was founded in May 1979 at a conference at Duke University, through the cooperation of 15 institutions. Since that time, the association has evolved into a comprehensive group of individuals and institutions that foster policy analysis and research, networking opportunities, career support, and one of the most respected journals in the industry – The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, which published its first issue in 1981. After years of being headquartered at Duke University, the association is now housed in Washington, DC and governed by a full-time executive director and staff.

How long does it take to earn an accelerated online MPA degree?

As with other accelerated online master’s degrees, the timeline to complete varies but is typically in the 12-18 month range. It should be noted that most students complete a program in 2-3 years due to outside demands such as work and family. Most programs require 36 credits to complete, which equates to 12 courses. It is important any potential candidate understand the program’s structure before applying as they vary greatly when it comes to course loads. Students who want to finish in 12-18 are required to attend full-time, which means taking at least six credits (two classes) per term.

Understanding the challenges faced by online students, many institutions utilize an accelerated course structure where students enroll in 8-week classes within a traditional 16-week semester. The result is a full-time course load of six credits in a term without ever taking more than one class at a time. Some programs have distilled courses down further to five weeks. Other programs follow a 16-week semester as well, but do not shorten the class time, resulting in full-time students taking courses congruently.

Conversely, it is important for potential online MPA students to understand the maximum time allowed to complete a degree. Most institutions allow up to six years to finish all coursework, which includes any semester the student is not enrolled.

How much money can I earn with an accelerated online MPA degree?

An MPA degree opens the door to opportunities for a fulfilling career with an attractive salary and benefits. According to the Office of Personnel Management, the average federal government worker earns a salary of approximately $85,000. And with more than 350 distinct careers, there are careers of all types to choose from.

Online MPA graduates often work for organizations known as non-governmental organizations, or NGOs. These organizations generally work toward social change through policy creation and analysis. The salaries vary greatly, but senior policy analysts earn well into the six-figure range, with salaries averaging $135,000 on an annual basis. For context, the average salary of all occupations tracked by the Bureau of Labor Relations is $39,820.

One of the great strengths of an MPA is its diversity and utility. Graduates learn useful skills needed for top positions in a wide range of industries. MPA graduates work in higher education, health care, human resources, information technology, and virtually any industry out there. That means salaries vary greatly but are generally well above the norm, given the fact MPA degrees are designed to help people fill leadership positions. When considering salary, MPA graduates should also consider high-paying regions of the country such as Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

BCO Staff
October 2020

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This concludes our list of 50 accelerated online MPA programs of 2021.