Program Summary

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Become an Industry Leader in Public Administration

There is an increasing need for leaders in the public sector as approximately 550,000 federal employees prepare for retirement. This transition is energizing the already strong demand for trained public administration professionals in the nonprofit and nongovernmental sectors.

A master’s degree in public administration (MPA) is the accepted professional credential for public service professionals. By earning this degree, you can gain the skill set required to become an effective and highly in-demand leader, with the flexibility to move between government and nongovernmental careers.

To help meet your career goals, Penn State World Campus has partnered with Penn State Harrisburg's School of Public Affairs to offer you an online MPA degree.

Penn State's Online Master of Public Administration Degree

Our MPA program is designed to help you enhance your ability to understand, analyze, and control your organizational environment to manage more effectively and to promote positive change in the public and nonprofit sectors.

In addition to blending theoretical and applied concepts, the curriculum covers organizational governance, finance, and administration while also providing "real-world" experiences for the novice administrator. The MPA program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), and offers elective courses from many areas including:

NASPAA Accredited seal
  • nonprofit management
  • policy analysis and evaluation
  • public budgeting and financial management
  • state-local government and administration
  • homeland security

Online Graduate Certificates

You may also apply for one of the online graduate certificates in public administration. Courses in the certificates are also part of the master's program, allowing you the flexibility to earn both at the same time — if you apply and are granted admission.

Students may earn the Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security, embedded in the Public Administration program, by choosing the 12 homeland security elective credits associated with the certificate. 

Master of Public Administration Video

Learn more about the World Campus public administration program in this video:

Who Should Apply?

If you are interested in a career in government, public management, health and human services, and other public or nonprofit organizations, and you want to make an impact on the issues and problems that affect the general public, this could be the program for you

Career Opportunities for Graduates

As an MPA graduate, you can hone your skills and knowledge to advance to middle- and upper-level management positions. Many MPA graduates work as administrators for government agencies, larger corporations in the public and private sectors, community organizations, or in a number of other areas such as tribal politics, charities, criminal justice, and academia.

MPA graduates also enter careers as grant writers, transportation managers, personnel administrators, policy analysts, and managers of various departments within cities and counties.

Typical jobs for the MPA graduate include:

  • accountant/auditor 
  • attorney  
  • bank officer  
  • benefits administrator 
  • college administrator 
  • consultant  
  • criminal justice administrator
  • financial aid officer 
  • health care administrator
  • hospital administrator
  • office manager 
  • political campaign worker
  • public health administrator