MPA Programs with No GRE Requirement

Not all Online MPA programs require a GRE for admissions!

Want to ‘master’ the business side of public service? If so, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) may be optimal. For those already at work in the field, online MPA programs with no GRE requirements exist. These look at candidates from all sides and may be easier to apply to.

Online MPA Degree Programs – What Is a Master’s in Public Administration?

An MPA degree is a professional master’s degree. It studies a wide range of topics that leaders and managers need to know. That includes for profit and nonprofit organizations.

Then, how to apply these practices to public affairs, policy issues, and beyond. Often, this means studying finance, strategy, staffing, and transparency.

MPA programs often ready students to pursue mid to senior executive roles in areas such as:

  • Municipal, state, and federal government
  • Non-profits
  • Social enterprises,
  • International NGOs,
  • Banks
  • Museums
  • Healthcare

To lead in these areas, one needs a solid understanding of organizations. How they operate and how people in them behave. They need to understand organizational management. As well as the ethics and data research that go into making decisions at executive levels in real-world situations.

MPA vs. MBA: What’s the Difference?

A key difference between the MPA and MBA is the focus. Linked to this is the type of student that each program often appeals to.

Both the MPA and MBA aim to help students step into a role which asks for solid decisions. But MPA programs often attract people who want to study politics and public service. This may include nonprofit administration and health policy.

So, they focus on how to apply business and managerial practices to these areas. This takes a grasp of community need and how to serve the common good. It may also include areas of public policy analysis and public financial management. Also, the skills to know how to make trade-offs to do so.

MBA degree programs cover all angles and practices of running a business. Often, courses focus on how to get financing, manage costs and marketing.

A strong sense of how these gel with each other may then help managers with their bottom line. In the private sector, this is usually about making a profit. Not on how to improve things for society and the people in it (A.K.A. an MPA).

Is an MPA degree equivalent to an MBA?

The MPA degree is an equal credential to the Master of Business Administration (MBA). Yet whereas the MBA focuses on the private sector, the MPA degree is all about the public sector.

Both are professional rather than academic degrees. Meaning, they aim to hone practical skills for problem solving and making decisions.

But since the problems faced in public and private businesses differ, so do the curricula. Competencies range widely. There is a lot of flexibility in both options. A graduate program in one area may have some overlapping courses as the other.

MPA vs MPP: What’s the Difference?

An MPA degree focuses for the most part on managing programs that serve the public good. An MPP focuses for the most part on creating the policies that drive those programs.

Managing public agencies often asks for skills that assess community needs. This then helps a leader to develop policies and put them into use.

As such, an MPA often intersects topics from a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree. The MPP studies policy design and analysis from all sides.

Many graduate schools thus offer a dual J.D. (law degree) and MPA. A few offer combined MBA/MPA programs. So, in deciding which path to choose, your career goals are key.

Featured Online MPA with No GRE Programs

GRE RequirementsAccreditation
North Central UniversityNo GRERegional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission
Purdue University GlobalNo GRERegional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission
Aurora UniversityNo GRERegional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission
Seton Hall UniversityNo GREProgram accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPPA)
American UniversityGRE required. Applicants who received their undergraduate degree more than five years prior to their date of application may apply for a waiver and must then submit a statement describing their professional experience.Regional Accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Johns Hopkins UniversityNo GRERegional Accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Anna Maria CollegeNo GRERegional Accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
University of DelawareGRE not required for applicant with at least three years relevant professional-level work experience.Program accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPPA)
Saint Mary’s University of MinnesotaNo GRERegional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission
Ohio UniversityNo GRERegional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission
Grand Canyon UniversityNo GRE unless your GPA is less than 2.8Regional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission
Liberty University OnlineNo GRERegional Accreditation through Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Capella UniversityNo GRERegional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission
Colorado Technical UniversityNo GRERegional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission
University of the SouthwestNo GREProgram Accreditation through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)
UMassonlineGRE requiredRegional Accreditation through the New England Commission of Higher Education
University of New HavenGRE required for some majorsRegional Accreditation through the New England Commission of Higher Education
Lynn UniversityNo GRERegional Accreditation through Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Regent UniversityNo GRERegional Accreditation through Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

1. Northcentral University

NCU offers an online MPA with no GRE requirements.

The courses line up with industry standards and cover broad areas. This includes public policy processes, budgeting and human resources. Also, how people act in organizations and the ins and outs of assessing public programs. There are 12 areas of emphasis to choose from. Or you can go with an MBA and add a concentration in public administration.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits (12 courses)
  • Est. Program Length: 25 months
  • Start dates: Every Monday
  • Cost per credit: $2,148 per course plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

MPA Admissions Requirements at NCU:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Academic evaluation

2. Purdue University Global

Purdue offers an online MPA with no GRE requirements.

It focuses on the skills and tools needed to lead in a wide variety of public service fields. Courses cover areas such as ethics, budgeting, managing public funds and tactical planning.

MPA at a Glance

  • 55 quarter credits
  • Accelerated MPA format option
  • Course length: 10- week terms
  • Cost per credit: $420 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

MPA Admissions Requirements at Purdue:

  • Prerequisite courses in American government, statistics, public policy
  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 2.5 GPA or higher

3. Aurora University

Aurora offers an Online MPA with no GRE requirements. It features topics such as public finance, public policy and nonprofit management. There’s also an option to pursue a 3-course series on leadership. It goes into team building and change management themes.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Est. Program Length: 1 to 2 years
  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • Cost per credit: $565 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

MPA Admissions Requirements at Aurora:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Interview if requested
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

4. Seton Hall University

Seton Hall offers an Online MPA with no GRE requirements. It focuses on nonprofit management. Courses line up guidelines from the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC). They cover concepts of philanthropy, public service and beyond. There’s also a final capstone to help you apply theory into practice.

MPA at a Glance

  • 42 credits
  • Est. Program Length: Less than 3 years
  • Cost per credit: $1,310 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

MPA Admissions Requirements at Seton Hall:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Resume
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

5. American University

American offers an Online MPAP degree. A waiver for the GRE is possible. It is for those who earned a bachelor’s degree more than 5 years before applying. The program studies areas like political and legal contexts. Students also learn to analyze policy and solve problems. There’s a 3-credit final capstone where students complete a policy analysis for a client.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Cost per credit: $1,759 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

MPA Admissions Requirements at American University:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • GRE/GMAT or LSAT scores required. But waiver for GRE available to applicants who received their undergraduate degree more than five years prior to their date of application. Instead of test scores, they need submit a statement describing their professional experience.
  • 2 Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

6. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins offers an Online MA in Government degree with no GRE required. It explores areas of reform and ideas of how to make changes. The program melds theory and practice of government, politics with policy making. There are 3 areas of emphasis to tailor your studies and a final thesis. Students who already have related grad-level may apply for advanced standing. Other programs include a MA in Public Management and an MS in Government Analytics.

MPA at a Glance

  • 12 courses
  • Est. Program Length: 16 to 24 months
  • Cost per credit: $4,111 per course plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at Johns Hopkins:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • 2 Letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample (5 to 7 pages) Personal statement

7. Anna Maria College

Ana Maria offers an Online MPA with no GRE requirement. The general track focuses on public sector management topics. There are also several areas of emphasis including criminal justice and emergency management. A mid-career track is also available. This option may allow you to earn an MPA in as few as 30 credits or 10 courses.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Est. Program Length: 2 years
  • Cost per credit: $685 plus fees
  • Mid-career track option

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at Anna Maria College:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 2.7 GPA or higher
  • 2 Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume

8. University of Delaware

U of D (via the Biden School) offers an Online MPA. Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores if they have at least three years relevant professional-level work experience. The program stacks courses with hands-on learning. It may ready students for public service careers in all sectors. But there is an emphasis on the public and not-for-profit sectors. This helps students learn all aspects of making values-based decisions.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Est. Program Length: Less than 3 years
  • Cost per credit: $1,003 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at University of Delaware:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • GRE scores unless applicant has at least three years relevant professional-level work experience.

9. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Saint Mary’s offers an Online MA in Public Administration (MAPA) with no GRE requirement. It melds points of view and methods from both government agencies and nonprofits. Students can choose one focus or the other for classes in finance and human resources.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Est. Program Length: 2 years
  • Cost per credit: $625 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at Saint Mary’s

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 2.7 GPA or higher
  • 2 Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume

10. Ohio University

Ohio U offers an Online MPA with no GRE requirements. It focuses on data analysis over theory. Students study areas like public-private partnerships, and ways to measure outcomes. Plus, there’s a choice of 3 concentration areas.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Est. Program Length: 2 years

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at Ohio University

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

11. Grand Canyon University

GCU offers an Online MPA with a focus in government and policy. Applicants who do not meet the 2.8 GPA requirement need to furnish GMAT or GRE Scores. The program covers the inner workings of local, state and federal government agencies. It looks at ethics and leadership as well as finance, power and politics. These through the lens of a Christian world view.

MPA at a Glance

  • 38 credits
  • Est. Program Length: 2 years or less
  • Cost per credit: $530 per credit

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at GCU

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 2.8 GPA or higher
  • GRE or GMAT scores if applicant does not meet GPA requirement

12. Liberty University Online

Liberty offers an Online MPA with a focus in Campaign and Elections. There is no need for GRE scores. The program aims to train Christ-centered scholars and policymakers to be future leaders.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Cost per credit: $565 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at Liberty:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

13. Capella University

Capella offers an Online MPA with no GRE requirements. There’s a built-in master’s to doctorate pathway. The program does not have NASPAA or ASPA approval. But, it follows curricular guidelines and uses a uses a practitioner-scholar model.

MPA at a Glance

  • 48 quarter credits
  • Est. Program Length: 1 to 3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • Cost per credit: $540 per credit

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at Capella:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 2.30 GPA or higher

14. Colorado Technical University

CTU offers an Online MS in Management with a focus in public administration. It does not ask for GRE scores. Since the focus is on management, students study technical aspects of how to lead. Then take a handful of courses that link in areas of public administration and policy.

MPA at a Glance

  • 48 quarter credits
  • Est. Program Length: Classes begin every 8 weeks and run 5.5 weeks each. There are 6 terms.
  • Cost per credit: $610 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at CTU:

  • Applicants first speak with an admissions advisor
  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

15. University of the Southwest

University of the Southwest offers an Online MBA. Students can focus their studies on the public sector. The school takes a Christian point of view to leadership.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Est. Program Length: One year for accelerated format
  • Cost per credit: $625 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at U of Southwest:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • 500-word personal essay
  • Resume

16. UMassOnline

UMassonline offers an online MPP degree and does ask for GRE scores. It covers the policy process including research skills and analysis. Plus, areas such as finance and management for public sectors. Students may add to their degree with a certificate in areas like education or environmental policy.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Cost per credit: $553 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at UMassOnline:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • GRE or GMAT scores
  • 600 to 900-word personal essay

17. University of New Haven

U of New Haven offers an MPA program in their Boston campus. They also offer an online version. The school does ask for GRE scores. Courses aim to build skills in budgeting, planning, and policy. Other topic span public finance, personnel administration, collective bargaining, and more. A choice of 6 concentrations is available.

MPA at a Glance

  • 33 credits
  • Est. Program Length: Less than 24 months
  • Cost per credit: $940 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at UNH:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • GRE scores
  • 2 Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume (recommended)
  • 3.0 GPA or higher

18. Lynn University

Lynn offers an Online MPA with no GRE requirements. It focuses on themes like economic growth and privatization. Also, on regulatory and public policy, government ethics and more. Using iPad-powered learning, students may earn an MPA in as little as one year.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Est. Program Length: About one year
  • Cost per credit: $740 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at Lynn:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Resume

19. Regent University

Regent offers an Online MPA. GRE scores are optional. The program covers tools in budgeting, policy making, law, communication and management. There’s also a Christian world view and focus on servant leaders. This adds some coverage of Christian ethics and related areas.

MPA at a Glance

  • 36 credits
  • Est. Program Length: 18 to 24 months or 3 to 5 years if part-time
  • Cost per credit: $675 plus fees

Online MPA Programs:

Admissions Requirements at Regent:

  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Government issued ID
  • GRE or LSAT scores optional
  • Resume
  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
  • Build a foundation for a better career with GCU.
  • Learn on a flexible schedule built for you while building a foundation for a better career.
  • Master critical skills and learn from engaged faculty.
  • Develop a strong network that will help you professionally.
  • No Application Fee! Classes Start soon.

Arkansas State University

Aransas State offers an online MPA without the GRE. The program

MPA at a Glance:

  • 36 credit hours
  • Accelerated MPA format option
  • Course length: 18 months
  • Cost per credit: $317

Online MPA Programs

Master of Public Administration

MPA Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • 3.2 minimum GPA

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Edwardsville offers an online master of Public Administration that does not require the GRE.

MPA at a Glance:

  • 13 courses total
  • Accelerated MPA format option
  • Course length: 12 months
  • Cost per credit: $443

Online MPA Programs

Master of Public Administration

MPA Admission Requirements:

  • Application
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts
  • Bachelors degree

West Chester University

West Chester University offers an online Master of Public Administration program that does not require the GRE.

MPA at a Glance:

  • 39 credit hours
  • Accelerated MPA format option
  • Course length: 18 months
  • Cost per credit: $126.46 plus fees

Online MPA Programs

Master of Public Administration

MPA Admission Requirements:

  • Application
  • Resume
  • Goal Statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts

Texas A&M International University

Texas A&M International offers a Master of Public Administration without a GRE.

MPA at a Glance:

  • 42 credit hours
  • Accelerated MPA format option
  • Course length: 24 months
  • Cost per year: $10,468 for tuition and fees

Online MPA Programs

Criminal Justice, Sociology, Political Science, Public Administration

MPA Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelors degree
  • Completed application
  • Application fee
  • Personal statement
  • Personal interview
  • 3.0 undergraduate GPA

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers a Master of Public Affairs program that does not require the GRE.

MPA at a Glance:

  • 36 credit hours
  • Accelerated MPA format option
  • Course length: 7- week terms can be completed in 1 to 2 years
  • Cost per credit: $445 plus fees

Online MPA Programs

Master of Public Affairs and Security Studies, Public Policy, Global Security and Leadership

MPA Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Official transcripts
  • Proof of residency
  • Medical form

Rutgers University

Rutgers University offers a 100% online Master of Public Administration program with no GRE.

MPA at a Glance:

  • 42 credit hours
  • Accelerated MPA format option
  • Course length: 10- week terms
  • Cost per credit: $1,256 plus fees

Online MPA Programs

Master of Public Administration, Executive Master of Public Administration, PhD in Public Administration

MPA Admission Requirements:

  • Online application
  • Resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Application fee

Typical Coursework to Expect in an Online MPA Program

Considering an online degree? An MPA often covers the theory and practices based on emergent needs in public service. There is usually a core set of courses onto which one may add a focal point.

An online degree program may offer some flexibility. Most programs range from 30 to 36 credits. Full time students may get through these in about 2 years. But some schools offer an accelerated format for more experienced learners.

Core topics usually focus on how to design and run new public systems and programs. This requires methods to test, develop and put in place new policy. As well, some understanding of how to track, divide and raise public funds and support.

Another aspect of this graduate degree are the leadership courses. Leadership skills are critical in most cases. These frame management skills needed in public organizations. They often touch on decision making and also hone soft skills. Like being able to communicate and interact with diverse groups.

Choosing an anchor point may further refine your skills and knowledge. Here are a few examples of MPA concentrations:

  • Non-profit Management
  • Public Health
  • Urban Planning
  • Criminal Justice
  • Homeland Security
  • Local Government
  • Human Resource Management
  • Disaster Management
  • Administration Law
  • Nonprofit Agencies
  • Organizational Leadership

While an average MPA program may cover 10 to 12 courses, the following 6 courses are core courses.

1. Seminar in Public Administration

This type of class may introduce the scope and growth of public administration. Its structure, politics and entities. Students may also study the role and values of nonprofits in public service.

2. Public Policy

This type of class may look at the politics and markets of public policy. Students may study the process of making a policy. This may include ways to assess policy and the challenges of putting one into use.

3. Public Budgeting and Finance

This type of class may explore practical tools and concepts. Topics often focus on public budgeting, how to manage debt, and run a cost analysis. Students may also study revenue sources, taxation, accounting and planning.

4. Human Resources in Public & Nonprofit Sectors

This type of class may cover human resource planning. As well as common issues with volunteers. Things such as how to recruit, get staff to perform and be productive. It may also cover laws, rights and duties of employees.

5. Data Management and Analysis

This type of class often looks at how public administrators make data-driven decisions. It may focus on research design, data gathering, analysis, and statistics. Students also study ways to make sense of and present findings.

6. Intergovernmental Relations

This type of class may look at the dynamics between federal, state and local levels of government. In so doing, it may look at these relationships through time to further discuss key issues. Side topics may span power sharing, locus of control and more.

Students may take other electives to round out their degree. This may include courses specific to their desired leadership positions or goals. Some students also explore various research methods. A capstone project may be a component of their education as well. The Master of Public Administration may be an opportunity for you. Look into this program’s offerings. Make the decision to get into a field that interests you.

All Partner Schools with MPA (or Related) Programs