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 ideal. 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.

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

To lead in these areas, one needs a solid understanding of organizations. How they operate and how people in them behave. As well as the ethics and data research that go into making decisions at executive levels.

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.

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. 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 can 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.

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

School Name

GRE Requirements

Accreditation

North Central University

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission

Purdue University Global

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission

Aurora University

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission

Seton Hall University

No GRE

Program accreditation through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPPA)

American University

GRE 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 University

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Anna Maria College

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges

University of Delaware

GRE 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 Minnesota

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission

Ohio University

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission

Grand Canyon University

No GRE unless your GPA is less than 2.8

Regional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission

Liberty University Online

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Capella University

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission

Colorado Technical University

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission

University of the Southwest

No GRE

Program Accreditation through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)

UMassonline

GRE required

Regional Accreditation through the New England Commission of Higher Education

University of New Haven

GRE required for some majors

Regional Accreditation through the New England Commission of Higher Education

Lynn University

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Regent University

No GRE

Regional Accreditation through Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Typical Coursework to Expect in an Online MPA Program

    Student Studying Online MPA programs no GRE

    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.

    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 an MPA are leadership courses. 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 Healthcare
    • Urban Planning
    • Criminal Justice
    • Homeland Security
    • Human Resource Management
    • Disaster Management
    • Organizational Leadership

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

    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.

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