Buffalo Online Public Administration Graduate Programs & Graduate Schools

Earning a public administration graduate program may be a great way to pursue your goals. But what if you have a nontraditional schedule, or you don’t live near a college or university that offers the program you are looking for? In that case, pursuing a graduate public administration degree online may be a path worth considering. Below, you’ll find more information about online MPA programs, certificate programs, and online doctoral programs in public administration that might be perfect for you. Learn what to potentially expect from the Online Public Administration Graduate Programs you choose, plus check out some program listings you may wish to know about!

What’s the difference between earning an online MPA, PhD, or graduate certificate?

You may have a few potential paths to consider, when it comes to studying public administration at the graduate level! Here are the basics on three Online Public Administration Graduate Programs types you may encounter:

Master’s in Public Administration Online– Also known as an MPA, an online master’s in public administration program typically covers both the theory and practice of public program administration. Online MPA programs may be of interest to those who hope to pursue potential opportunities in the field of political science, as well as those interested in the management and leadership of public and nonprofit organizations.

What you could potentially learn in an online MPA program:

  • Government administration
  • Human resources
  • Policy analysis
  • Program evaluation
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Administrative ethics
  • And more!

Did You Know: 17% of political scientists (like International Affairs Vice Presidents and State-Federal Relations Deputy Directors) said they needed to earn a master’s degree for their current role.[ii] The typical entry level educational requirement for a political scientist is a master’s degree.[iii]

Online Doctoral Programs in Public Administration[i]– Political scientists and others may pursue a doctorate degree, such as a PhD in public administration online. A PhD is typically a terminal degree that calls for both coursework and independent research. You may be able to pick an area of concentration, like program evaluation or healthcare administration.

What you could potentially learn in a doctorate public administration online program:

  • Public sector management
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Information resource management
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Theories of public policy
  • Research design
  • And more!

Did You Know: 74% of postsecondary political science teachers, like Government Professors, needed to earn a doctoral degree for their current role.[iv] The typical entry level education of a postsecondary level teacher is a PhD.

Public Administration Certificate Online – A graduate certificate is a non-degree credential that may allow you to study a particular area of professional interest – like social entrepreneurship or health administration. Earning a public administration certificate online may be a path worth considering if you have already earned a graduate degree in another field, or you’re hoping to enhance your preparation for a new or existing role.  

What you could potentially learn in a public administration certificate online:

  • Public budgeting
  • Public organization management
  • Environmental justice
  • Health policy
  • Administrative law
  • Program evaluation
  • And more!

Why study public administration online?

If you’re interested in public administration, you may hope to make a positive impact in your community by serving the public, pursuing a leadership role in a public or nonprofit organization, educating the next generation of active citizens, or something else entirely! But what if logistics get in the way of pursuing your education? Here are a few potential reasons why pursuing an online master’s in public administration, PhD, or graduate certificate program may be perfect for you:

You’re a busy parent – If childcare or other concerns stand in the way of pursuing classes on campus, perhaps online learning is worth looking into. While earning a public administration degree online, you could potentially pursue coursework at a time that works for you – like after the kids are asleep.

You work full-time – Students who work long hours or have schedules that change frequently may not be able to commit to campus-based courses at the same time every week. However, online learning may offer just a bit more flexibility. You could potentially study on your lunch break, or at night after work. And by pursuing coursework from anywhere with an internet connection, you could save yourself the commute to campus.

You learn best independently – That doesn’t mean you don’t need support from your professors and peers! However, if you have an independent streak, or if you learn better on your own rather than in a classroom, pursuing an MPA, doctoral degree, or public administration certificate online may suit your style.

How might I evaluate online MPA programs, doctoral programs, and certificate programs?

Ready to start exploring Online Public Administration Graduate Programs that may suit your interests and goals? Then you may want to keep a few criteria in mind as you evaluate prospective schools:

  • Academics and program features – Does your prospective school offer the concentration and coursework you are hoping for? What about resources and support services, like career counseling? 
  • Accreditation[v]– Is your prospective school accredited by an agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education? This may be one indicator of program quality. Plus, accreditation is necessary if you qualify for federal financial aid.
  • Reputation – Online doctoral programs in public administration, MPAs, and graduate certificates may be offered by public and private universities alike, some of which you may have heard of. Ideally, your prospective school will have a good reputation when it comes to factors like academics and student outcomes. You may want to check with your state’s higher education agency, talk to current and former students, or even ask people you may know in the field of public administration.
  •  Admission requirements and policies – Every program may have slightly different requirements, ranging from GRE scores to prior coursework in political science. Be sure to find out what’s required of you, before you apply.
  • And anything else that may be important to you! Check with the U.S. Department of Education for other criteria worth considering, and be sure to ask a program representative if there’s anything in particular you’re looking for in a graduate school.

Online Public Administration Graduate Programs​: The next step is yours!

Below, browse some Online Public Administration Graduate Programs listings that may interest you. Whether you’re hoping to pursue your MPA online, earn a doctorate public administration online, or peruse graduate certificate programs, you may find Online Public Administration Graduate Programs that're perfect for you!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-4 | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3094.00 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm | [iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1065.00 | [v] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider

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