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Public Administration Online Master's Degree Program

Complete in as Little as

5 terms*

*2 terms per semester; each term is 8 weeks



$1,785 3-credit course

Active Duty Military

truED Preferred Tuition

Credit Hours Required


Application Deadline

Fall 1: Aug. 22

Classes Start

Fall 1: Sept. 2

Advance Your Career in Public Administration

Whether you work, or aspire to work, in government or nonprofit management, earning a public administration masters degree online can help you take your public sector career to the next level. Considered the “terminal” professional degree for leadership positions within the public service field, an MPA degree is a great fit for your goals. Individuals with MPA degrees affect public policy, urban planning and development, policy analysis and evaluation, public health regulations, and other areas of community development and nonprofit management.


An online public administration degree provides you the opportunity to advance your skills and build your resume while you continue to work and live your life. This MPA degree includes courses that address financial management, human resources, nonprofit management, public policy, and other aspects of local, state and Federal government as well as public organizations.

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Academic Excellence and Recognition

New England Commission of Higher Education Logo

Regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education

US News & World Report Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report

Military Friendly Badge

Designated as a Military Friendly School for our commitment to the military community ranks Champlain College Online among best schools with accelerated bachelor's degrees

Named the among the best schools with accelerated bachelor's degrees by

What Can You Do With A Master of Public Administration?

The job outlook for those with an MPA degree is positive, no matter the public sector career you are interested in pursuing. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts job growth of 9% for social and community services managers, 6% for economists, and 4% for urban and regional planners between 2022 and 2032. 


Potential Careers

  • City/County/State/Federal Manager/Executive Director
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Policy & Program Analyst/Advisor
  • Development Director/Grant Administrator
  • Director of Economic Development
women around a table discussing plans

Program Details

Having a master’s degree sets you apart from the competition and improves your long-term career potential. Learn more about the 100% online Master of Public Administration.

Champlain's online Master of Public Administration courses encompass the top skills needed by today's business professionals.

Professional Courses (33 Credits)

In this course students will focus on the key theories, practices, and trends in public administration. Topics include the historical development of public administration in the United States, politics of political institutions, management, leading in public administration, key roles and functions of public administration, organizational structure of government organizations, analysis of key public administration theories, understanding bureaucracy and its role, public administration reforms, and future trends.

In this course, students will explore the complexities of bureaucratic structures in public administration. They will delve into the origins, evolution, functions, and challenges of bureaucracy, emphasizing strategies for effective management, policy implementation, and change within these systems. Students will also examine the impact of bureaucracy on public service delivery, stakeholder engagement, and policy outcomes.

In this course, students will focus on the methodology for analyzing, developing, and implementing public policy. Topics include types of public policies, understanding the policy-making process, analyzing public policies, impact analysis of public policies, understanding the role of stakeholders in public policy, economic, social, and political factors influencing policy, and case studies in public policy analysis.

Students will examine public budgeting processes, financial management principles, and fiscal decision-making specific to the public sector. Topics include: the public budgeting process: formulation, execution, and auditing; revenue generation and sources of public funds; expenditure management and cost control; financial planning and forecasting; accountability and transparency; and the evaluation of case studies in public budgeting and financial management.

In this course, students will explore economic decision-making in the public sector, focusing on how public policy decisions impact public welfare. Students will investigate the application of economic tools, such as cost-benefit analysis, in government decision-making processes, income redistribution policies, and fiscal federalism.

In this course, students will focus on the unique challenges and opportunities of leading non-profit organizations and be engaged in strategic planning, governance, resource management, ethical leadership, stakeholder engagement, policy advocacy, and performance evaluation in the non-profit sector. Students will also explore the role of nonprofits in public service and community development, emphasizing effective leadership strategies that align with public service values.

Students use a framework to explore the dynamics of human interaction within and between organizations. Throughout the course, they will use a perspective that a key function of management is to negotiate for resources and use that perspective to develop collaborative relationships with employees, vendors, suppliers, and interested communities.

Students explore the development and execution of an innovative and imaginative business strategy for the future. They consider answers to questions such as, How do you identify an opportunity for a new business that meets an otherwise unmet need? What happens when an organization fails to change when faced with a challenge to their traditional model? How can you mitigate risk? What are the processes that organizations use to keep themselves focused on changing stakeholder requirements and needs?

The world of public administration is vast, and public administrators will likely find themselves in various public environments, each of which has their own unique challenges. In this course, students will compare urban and rural public administration economics, policies, community engagement strategies, and case studies, focusing on the unique challenges and opportunities in each setting, and have a unique opportunity to engage, first-hand, with urban and rural community stakeholders.

In this course, students will explore and participate in strategic planning in community settings while emphasizing participatory approaches, inclusivity, and localized decision-making, equipping students with the skills necessary to create inclusive, community-owned strategic plans.

This course is built around a project that is designed to apply, in a comprehensive manner, the core areas of knowledge around which the MBA has been built. The project may be performed for a current employer, a sponsoring workplace or as an internship as either a service-learning project for a qualifying nonprofit organization or another organization of the student's choosing.


The MBA 590 Capstone course must be taken only after all other courses in the program have been completed.

Graduates of the master of public administration degree online program will demonstrate the following industry-specific skills, knowledge, and competencies:

  • Distinguish the principles that govern public administration, the ethical factors involved, and the complex interaction between policy, authority, and the diverse needs of society.
  • Analyze public policies and economic strategies, including the integration of economic theories with practical policy-making.
  • Apply principles of financial management and resource allocation in public and non-profit settings.
  • Demonstrate influential leadership in both public and non-profit environments.
  • Differentiate governance structures, including the unique dynamics of urban and rural governance.
  • Engage and communicate effectively with diverse communities and stakeholders by fostering inclusive dialogues, understanding community dynamics, and building consensus.

Champlain College Online's business faculty, led by Department Chair Dr. Albert Orbinati, are expert practitioners in the field. Their industry expertise ensures that our business curriculum is aligned with the needs of employers, and reflects the skills today’s business professionals need for success. Classes led by our seasoned experts will give you real-world insight into the business world, and create a rich community of career-focused learning.

Tuition & Costs

Graduate Tuition Fall '23 - Summer '25

$595 per credit
$1,785* per course
$450 per credit military service members (family members see truED tuition)
$150 One-time graduation fee

*Based on a 3-credit course; cost will vary if course is a different number of credits

** Starting Summer 2024, not retroactive

See the graduate cost of attendance and fees here



What To Expect at Champlain Online

Expect Convenience

Go to school wherever and whenever is best for you, on the device of your choice.

Expect A Career Focus

Relevant and immediately applicable coursework gets you ready for your next career move

Expect Support

Your dedicated academic advisor provides the support you need to meet your academic goals

Expect Superior Faculty

Learn from practitioner faculty working in the field, with real-world experience and knowledge.

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Learn More About the Master of Public Administration

Learn more about what you can expect from our online master of public administration degree. 

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