Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Credit Hours
Month Completion
Class Type
Next Start Date
May 20, 2024
Placement Tests
GMAT/GRE not required for admission

Bring your passion to life with an online master's in public administration degree

Government and nonprofit positions account for one-quarter of all American jobs. What attracts such large numbers? The potential impact the work has on people. Yet no mission-oriented institution can do without a leader to drive change and empower transformation. Franklin's Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program prepares you to take on public administration leadership much the same way an MBA prepares a business executive. Choose the program that helps you advance community interest -- and your career.

Program Availability

On Site

Customizable Program

Enrich your MPA with your choice of electives.

14-Month Completion

Finish your MPA faster.

Unique Leadership Focus

Learn management and leadership skills not taught by other programs.

Unique Curriculum

Learn decision-making and problem-solving skills not taught by other programs.

Proven Outcomes

96% of our graduates work in a PA-related position.

Master of Public Administration Degree Overview

Develop an advanced skillset to lead a variety of organizations

Government and nonprofit sector jobs account for an astonishing 25% of total U.S. employment. What attracts such large numbers to these organizations is the positive impact that their services can have on the public. At the center of these mission-oriented institutions are leaders driving change and empowering teams and volunteers to transform their communities.

Franklin's transfer-friendly online Master of Public Administration degree is the graduate degree program of choice for government and nonprofit organizations seeking leadership talent. Franklin's online MPA program equips you to tackle the specific leadership challenges faced by public administration professionals -- similar to the way an MBA prepares you for an executive position in business. You'll learn to create administrative plans, make management decisions, and achieve organizational goals for the advancement of community interest.

Prepare for a career as a government or nonprofit manager

Because Franklin offers a current, applied curriculum focused on preparing you to be a real-world practitioner, upon graduation you’ll be ready to enter the workforce and immediately take on the top issues facing government and nonprofit organizations. You’ll gain the skills employers look for in the areas of public and nonprofit leadership, organizational analysis, policy-making, budgeting and financial management, and personnel administration.

Our balanced master's in Public Administration online degree program curriculum teaches you both government and nonprofit skills and competencies, including navigating the political system from an organizational and professional perspective; real-world ethics and professionalism; critical thinking and process improvement; fundamental budgeting and financial analysis; and practical leadership skills. We also emphasize critical skills that are not addressed in most other programs, including methodological reasoning, strategic organizational communication, and applied analytical techniques for decision making and problem solving.

At Franklin, you’ll also be engaged in case studies and simulations, giving you incredibly valuable experience in management decision-making, financial analysis, and management.

Customize your online Public Administration graduate degree to align with your desired functional area

In addition to a curriculum overseen by an expert Advisory Board comprised of nonprofit CEOs, governmental officials, and community leaders, such as former Columbus mayor Greg Lashutka, you can enrich your Public Administration master's degree by choosing to take two elective courses to develop expertise in any of Franklin's graduate programs including Criminal Justice Administration, Healthcare Administration, or Human Resource Management.

Transfer up to 12 credits and finish your MPA faster

If you have taken graduate-level courses, you may be able to transfer credit and save time and money toward your Franklin master’s degree. Franklin offers course-for-course credit to satisfy elective and core course requirements for the Master of Public Administration degree. To see if your previous coursework can be used to satisfy degree requirements, you’ll need to submit a transcript, a syllabus and course descriptions for the course(s) you’d like to have evaluated for transfer credit. Your admissions advisor will be happy to assist you in any way.  

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Future Start Dates

Start dates for individual programs may vary and are subject to change. Please request free information & speak with an admission advisor for the latest program start dates.

Summer 2024
Recommended Register By:
May 10
Fall 2024
Recommended Register By:
Aug 9
Spring 2025
Recommended Register By:
Feb 7

Your Best Value Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Choose Franklin's Master of Public Administration and get a high-quality degree that fits your life and your budget.

Take One Class at a Time

Balance your education with your life and finish in 14 months.

Finish Fast


Realize your career goals sooner and reap the benefits.

Affordable Tuition


Affordable tuition rates for the Master of Public Administration provide value and quality.

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Search below to see if you could save tuition through an employer or professional organization partnership.

Total Tuition
(After Partner Discount)

Tuition Guarantee

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Highly Recommended


98% of graduating students would recommend Franklin to their family, friends and/or colleagues

Source: Franklin University, Office of Career Development Student Satisfaction Survey (Summer 2023)


Public Administration Master's Degree Courses & Curriculum

36 Semester Hours
Major Area Required
PUAD 701 - Foundations of Government & Nonprofit Administration (4)

As students in PUAD 701, you will examine fundamental public service values that differentiate the mission and purpose of public and nonprofit organizations from that of private, for-profit organizations. The course focuses on applying public administration and organizational theories to analyze administrative problems faced by leaders and managers implementing government and nonprofit programs. You will learn to think systematically about selecting alternative options for delivering public services and improving organizational performance. Finally, you will develop the fundamental computing, writing, information literacy, and presentation skills required for effective academic and professional communication.

PUAD 710 - Managing Personnel & Information Systems (4)

Students learn fundamental concepts and tools for managing the two most important organizational resources: people and information. The course emphasizes application of human resources concepts and tools for attracting, retaining, and developing employees and improving organizational performance in government and nonprofit organizations. Information technology concepts and tools for managing government and nonprofit organizations are also examined. Fundamental legal, ethical, and political obligations for managing human resources and information systems and technology are also evaluated.

PUAD 715 - Methodological Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis (4)

Students learn to apply fundamental methodological concepts and analytical tools necessary for contributing to administrative and policy discussions, critically assessing quantitative and qualitative research, and making informed administrative and policy decisions. The goal is to have students become confident applying statistical concepts and tools for critical analysis and professional decision-making. Students also apply concepts and tools necessary to evaluate and use appropriate evidence to make effective administrative and policy arguments. Finally, students develop skills for effectively communicating analysis methods and conclusions with colleagues, elected officials, the media, and the public.

PUAD 725 - Management Decision Making Methods (4)

Students learn fundamental concepts and tools for systematically analyzing administrative problems and making decisions that improve organizational performance. Specific techniques for analyzing common administrative problems are learned and the relevance of accounting for public values in such analyses is examined. Students also learn to use project management tools for effectively managing administrative projects. Finally, students develop skills for effectively communicating management analysis methods and conclusions with colleagues, elected officials, the media, and the public.

PUAD 740 - Financial Management & Budgeting (4)

Students learn to use fundamental budgeting, accounting, and financial management concepts and tools necessary for leading and managing public and not-for-profit organizations. Students learn to use analytical techniques for making administrative and policy decisions in the public interest. Students also examine the competing values and politics that underlie and impact financial decisions and the financial condition of organizations in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Finally, students develop skills for effectively communicating financial analysis methods and conclusions with colleagues, elected officials, the media, and the public.

PUAD 745 - Strategy, Collaboration, & Communication (4)

Students learn to think strategically about leading organizations operating in a public environment where collaboration is required to achieve organizational goals. The course focuses on using strategic and network management concepts and tools to improve organizational performance and advance the public interest. The importance of strategically managing organizational communication is also examined. Finally, students develop skills for effectively communicating strategic planning methods, approaches, and decisions with colleagues, elected officials, the media, and the public.

PUAD 750 - Leading Government & Nonprofit Organizations (4)

Students learn to think and act as ethical leaders within a public service context. The course focuses on putting administrative decisions and organizational plans into action. Students learn to use leadership concepts and tools and interpersonal skills for working with individuals and groups to effectively execute administrative plans and make decisions. Students also develop knowledge and skills for communicating and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders; particularly elected officials, the media, interest groups, and the public.

PUAD 790 - Public Administration Capstone (4)

Students use the public administration concepts and tools learned in prior courses to analyze an important administrative or policy implementation problem and propose a course of action for effectively addressing it. The course emphasizes applying relevant concepts and tools to analyze the problem and then synthesizing the conclusions to create a written analysis and proposal for addressing the problem.

Major Electives

Students must complete PUAD 701, PUAD 740, and PUAD 715 before taking elective courses. Students may take a course from the list below or any graduate courses offered at Franklin to meet the elective requirement, except for graduate capstone courses. Students must meet the prerequisite requirements for any graduate elective course or must obtain approval of the appropriate program chair to admit them into the course by waiving any prerequisite requirements.


CJAD 720 - Criminology Theory & Solutions to Crime (4)

Students will evaluate contemporary criminology theories and apply them to formulate prevention, treatment, and crime control models, within a framework of cultural diversity. Crime data relationships and patterns will also be integrated with biological, psychological, and sociological theories of criminal behavior in a critical evaluation of contemporary criminological theories. Policy formation and implementation will also be addressed.

OR CJAD 730 - Adult & Juvenile Penology (4)

Students evaluate contemporary prison and punishment models and theories of punishment. Students compare and contrast prison systems and develop solutions to penology challenges, such as overcrowding and the detrimental impacts of prison life. Finally, students analyze penal administration and accountability.

OR CJAD 740 - Strategic Policing & Contemporary Crime Control Strategies (4)

Students learn how criminal justice policy issues are framed, identify participants in the policy process, and discover how policy is made. Evaluating the impact of cultural and global criminal justice trends and challenges, students will assess various crime control models and develop proposals to address accreditation, white collar crime, public health and transnational challenges.

OR HCM 735 - Healthcare Delivery Systems (4)

The course provides an extensive overview of leadership in the U.S. health services system. The focus of the course will be on the role health services leadership plays in the delivery of healthcare services, to include managing with professionals, financial management, services utilization, and other aspects of the U.S. healthcare system. The student will explore the key theoretical and practical elements of leadership as well as current issues clarifying how the U.S. health services system is organized, managed, and financed.

OR HCM 742 - Healthcare Laws and Ethics (4)

In this course students will develop a strong foundation in health law, enabling them to deal with the common legal, practical, moral, and ethical issues that healthcare organizations face on a daily basis. Topics will include statutory law, rules and regulations, tort law, criminal law, contract law, civil procedures, and trial procedure.

OR HCM 752 - Health Policy (4)

This course will explore the essential conceptual and analytical understanding of health policymaking and politics, including their impact on health administration and leadership. Selected policy issues will be explored through the application of political concepts and behavioral models, including a system model of policymaking. The emphasis will be on understanding the health leader?s approach to the policymaking system, become involved in it, and work through it to attain their objectives and those of their organization.

OR HRM 701 - Human Resource Management (4)

This course provides a framework for an in-depth understanding of day-to-day, practical approaches/aspects of problems/challenges that impact the human resource management field. Topics include recruiting, hiring, training, retaining, rewarding, and promoting employees; compensation and benefits; employment planning, performance management systems, and succession planning; labor relations; and managing organizational relationships.

OR HRM 702 - Employee Rights, Responsibilities, Discp (4)

The primary purpose of this course is to introduce the principle theories and practices in the area of employment and workplace law. Topics include the federal and state laws associated with hiring, firing and discipline, medical leave (including FMLA, ADA and worker's compensation), discrimination, harassment, immigration, labor law, unemployment compensation, workplace privacy. Additional topics may include workplace investigations, workplace violence and employment-related legal processes, including EEOC Charges and lawsuits.

OR HRM 703 - Labor Relations: Process & Law (4)

This course examines employment relations from a historical perspective including the creation and rise of unionism, the evolution of collective bargaining, recent civil rights acts affecting the workplace, and concludes by envisioning what the future may hold regarding employee, employer relations. Topics include the role and responsibilities of the HR manager with regard to employment relations, the legal framework of contract negotiations and administration through the lens of the National Labor Relations act and strategies and tactics used for union avoidance.


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Microcredentials Align with Job Essentials

In today's dynamic work environments, adaptive professionals thrive. A microcredential - either as a stand-alone course or integrated into your degree program - is a short, skill-specific recognition that enables you to demonstrate your competency in a distinct area. Like Franklin's degree programs, microcredentials are aligned with market and industry demand to ensure what you learn can be put to use right away. Microcredentials are easily shared via digital badges and can be stacked to create a unique portfolio of in-demand skills.

Master of Public Administration Program Details

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Career Opportunities

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts produce accurate and timely analysis and evaluation of economic data to determine trends, make forecasts, and prepare annual budgets.

Fundraising Manager

Fundraising managers develop strategies, nurture relationships, and oversee campaigns and events designed to increase donations to nonprofit organizations or organizational initiatives.

Community Service Manager

Community service managers identify in-demand services and programs, oversee administrative aspects of the program, and pursue funding sources.

Public Administration Employment Outlook


From 2021-2031 jobs in Public Administration are expected to increase by 7%

All Occupations

4,590,933 jobs
4,932,197 jobs
Show Details >

Computer and Information Systems Managers

538,074 jobs
610,038 jobs


59,189 jobs
62,490 jobs

Social and Community Service Managers

183,971 jobs
216,370 jobs

General and Operations Managers

3,287,190 jobs
3,667,260 jobs

Personal Service Managers, All Other; Entertainment and Recreation Managers, Except Gambling; and Managers, All Other

967,375 jobs
1,041,748 jobs

Source information provided by Lightcast.

Public Administration Knowledge & Skillsets

Gain in-demand skills sought by employers with curriculum that teaches you:

Get College Credit for What You Already Know

The certificates and training listed below are relevant to this degree program. Search our database to view pre-evaluated credentials and see how a license, certification or professional training saves you time and money toward your degree.

Online Master's in Public Administration Frequently Asked Questions

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