Online Master of Public Administration

Expert leadership in the public sector begins with the right education and training. If you want to become a public sector executive and oversee groups or organizations committed to serving the public interest, discover how Anna Maria College can help you achieve your dream career. Learn to lead, manage and create long-lasting societal changes with an online Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Anna Maria College. As the accepted professional credential for public service professionals, the MPA is also essential for many elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.

Our online MPA does not require a GRE (or other entrance exam); it offers five specializations and a mid-career track.

*David Forsberg, M.B.A. (Former Dean of the School of Business, 2013 -2015) discusses the powerful impact of combining the right education and exposure in a public administration career.

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What is a Master of Public Administration?

A Master of Public Administration (MPA) prepares you with leadership skills required to run a company or organization within the public sector. MPA programs teach students executive leadership and management skills with a focus on government and nonprofit organizations, as well as contemporary public policy issues. Graduates of such programs will be able to apply these skills in areas specific to the field of public administration, such as policy making and analysis, government finance management and public sector labor relations.

Anna Maria College’s online MPA prepares individuals to serve as managers in the executive arm of local, state/provincial, and federal/national government, and in the nonprofit sectors. The rigorous curriculum lays the groundwork for fundamental public administration skills such as executive organization, budget planning, strategic management of human capital and public policy. This, alongside our experienced faculty of thought leaders and industry experts, will prepare you to successfully lead.

Get an inside look at what past and current students are experiencing in the Capstone, the final course in the MPA program.

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MPA vs. MBA: What’s the Difference?

Although both degrees focus on leadership and management development, MPA programs typically attract students who have a strong interest in politics and public service. Because the topics covered in MPA and MBA degree programs are so similar, many people think of an MPA as an MBA for nonprofit and government workers. The difference between MPA and MBA coursework is that MPA curriculum focuses on the application of business administration skills to the public service sector.

Impactful MPA Specializations

Professions within the public sector reach far and wide, across many industries. Anna Maria’s master in public administration offers the choice of diverse specializations that give you critical knowledge in your specific area of interest:

  • General Track – The General Track specialization includes a broad study of public sector management topics and is designed to offer maximum career flexibility for students who could see themselves entering multiple fields after graduation. Find out more about General Track Courses and Career Outlook.
  • Criminal Justice – Current law enforcement officers seeking career advancement or professionals looking to enter the field will gain valuable criminal justice leadership skills that the top agencies and law enforcement departments are looking for. Find out more about Criminal Justice Courses and Career Outlook.
  • Emergency Management – The Emergency Management concentration integrates the study of emergency management skills and techniques to produce graduates who are capable of leading during times of crisis. Find out more about Emergency Management Courses and Career Outlook.
  • Fire and Emergency Services – Combining foundational management development with an in-depth study of fire and emergency services administration, this specialized degree is a highly valuable credential for aspiring fire and EMS leaders. Find out more about Fire & Emergency Services Courses and Career Outlook.
  • Homeland Security – Students in the Homeland Security MPA program will learn how to anticipate, prevent and react to situations that threaten the safety and security of the nation, including attacks by foreign and domestic terrorists. Find out more about Homeland Security Courses and Career Outlook.

A Wide Variety of MPA Career Opportunities

Anna Maria’s online MPA specializations offer the most current information to prepare you for a variety of career paths in whatever field you choose. MPA graduates can pursue a number of different titles within government agencies, nonprofit organizations or private corporations, such as:

  • Chief Development Officer
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Emergency Services Director
  • Emergency Management Specialist
  • Public Works Director
  • Fire Chief
  • Chief of Police or Detective
  • City Planning & Management
  • Economic Development
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Financial Management

Continue reading about the career opportunities a Master of Public Administration may help you achieve.

Obtain Vital Leadership Practices

With Anna Maria College’s online MPA, you’ll obtain key knowledge in high-level areas such as executive leadership, ethics, public policy and strategic planning. Courses are delivered by professors with decades of combined experience in multiple levels of public sector organizations. Our online MPA allows you to:

  • Gain an advantage with a curriculum built on the latest trends, public sector leadership and policy
  • Learn from an experienced team of professors sourced from within the industry
  • Study when you want, where you want with a convenient all-online format – perfect for working adults

The Direct Track for Anna Maria College's Master of Public Administration is a total of 36 credit hours. For those who qualify, a Mid-Career Track is available in which only 30 credit hours are required.

Mid-Career Track: Your Work Experience Counts

If you have at least four years of administrative or managerial work experience in public administration or in one of the concentration areas, you may be eligible to waive up to two courses from the online MPA requirements. That means you could earn your online Master of Public Administration degree in as few as 10 courses instead of 12.

Completion of the U.S. Fire Administration’s Executive Fire Officer program may qualify you for admission to the online Master of Public Administration program and earn you up to 6 credit hours toward an MPA with a Fire and Emergency Services specialization.

Transfer Credits

Accepted and matriculated students may be able to transfer up to six credits from a regionally accredited institution towards the required credits for a master’s program based on certain conditions. Alumni of Anna Maria College may be able to transfer up to nine credits towards their Anna Maria College master’s degree. To learn more about this option please reach out to an admissions adviser.

Learning Outcomes

Anna Maria College aims to provide an exceptional academic experience for current and future public service leaders. By focusing on leadership and management practices that are most relevant (and most effective) in public sector organizations, Anna Maria College’s Master of Public Administration will develop graduates who are capable of meeting the challenges faced by today’s public sector leaders.

Learn more about the MPA’s mission, goals and educational objectives as outlined by Anna Maria College.

Start Now!

Gain the academic knowledge and practical skills you need succeed at the highest levels of leadership with the online MPA from Anna Maria College. Click here or call 877-265-3201 to speak with an admissions adviser.

We are authorized to offer our online programs in most areas in the U.S., but are still awaiting full approval from a few select states. To determine if you are located in a state in which Anna Maria College is authorized to confer an online degree, please visit