2022 Guide: Online Masters in Public Administration (MPA) No GRE Required Degree Programs

A master’s in public administration (MPA) is a graduate degree that shares similarities with a master’s in business administration (MBA). The primary difference is the focus on the public service sector instead of private business. For a student earning an online MPA degree, they would take courses mainly over the internet instead of on campus. The following information includes everything someone needs to know regarding receiving an online master’s in public administration with no GRE requirement.

What Is an Online Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) No GRE Required?

A master’s in public administration (MPA) is a degree relating to the business side of government and public service. A master’s of business administration (MBA) is a similar degree except that the MPA is about jobs and careers in the public sector while an MBA is more for employment in the private sector. The MPA focuses on management positions that create policies, assess the needs of communities, and serve the public good. Sometimes, a person in this position is in charge of planning and coordinating activities that will help the organization run more efficiently and better serve the public. A person with this degree can also manage finances relating to a department or organization. With urban areas expanding rapidly, there is a growing demand for professionals who have degrees and skills in public administration.

It is possible to obtain an MPA either online or in person at a college. While some individuals will enter an MPA program directly after earning an undergraduate degree, many people in the MPA programs already work in the professional sector. Here, those who already work in a government or nonprofit position may choose to get an MPA to advance in their career. This is one reason online programs are so beneficial. Those who hold full-time positions will find it easier to get a master’s degree online rather than take classes in person, and they won’t need to live on campus or commute long distances to take classes. There are many MPA programs currently available, including those that are online. Some are part time, while others are full time; some people even enter an accelerated program to complete the degree in less time than usual.

The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is a general graduate school exam that many colleges and online programs require an individual to take before starting the program. The Educational Testing Service administers this test, which measures an individual’s overall readiness to enter a graduate program. Several areas or fields are part of the GRE test, including biology, mathematics, literature in English, and psychology. Note that not every online master’s program for public administration requires a GRE for admission. Some schools and programs will waive this requirement if the student has a high GPA or already has professional experience. Some schools simply waive the test entirely. In addition, many online master’s programs available in public administration do not require a student to take the GRE.

How Much Does an Online Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) Cost?

There are several online master’s programs for receiving an MPA, and each of these programs varies in requirements and tuition fees. For example, the University of Central Florida offers an online MPA with tuition costs averaging $13,747, while the online MPA at Liberty University has tuition fees of around $20,340. At the higher end, Central Michigan University has online MPA tuition costs of about $25,419. Note that while online degrees are normally less expensive than earning a degree on campus, some programs charge a higher rate for out-of-state students.

Berkeley Public Policy lists several items and fees that are sometimes part of the cost when getting an MPA. Some of the additional expenses students may need to consider include computers, books, housing, food, and transportation. A person working toward an online MPA may not have some of these projected costs or may have them at a reduction, which makes an online master’s in public administration generally less expensive than a traditional on-site program.

Average Salary for an Online Master’s in Public Administration

According to PayScale, annual salaries for an individual receiving an online master’s in public administration are about $69,000 as of July 2021. An Executive Director with an MPA would likely earn anywhere from $46,000 to $173,000, with a median salary of around $80,500. Someone working as a Program Manager in a nonprofit organization could expect to earn a salary between $39,000 to $78,000, or a median wage of around $53,600.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the average salary was about $68,100 as of August 2018 for occupations requiring a master’s degree, while those working as Administrative Services and Facilities Managers earn a median wage of about $98,900 as of May 2020. Thus, the average salary for a person holding an MPA was slightly higher than the overall average for people with any type of master’s degree.

PayScale lists other jobs a person may get with a master’s in public administration and the median salaries for each as of July 2021. A few of these include Human Resources Director at a median salary of about $89,600 and a Budget Analyst at around $62,700. Salaries depend on various factors, including job location, years of experience in other fields that may affect the position, and the specific area of public administration a person works in. For example, an individual working in human resources in New York or San Francisco could expect to earn a higher salary than a person in an entry-level position in a smaller city.

What Is the Job Outlook for Master’s in Public Administration Holders?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects excellent job prospects through 2029 for those with a master’s degree in public administration. Job openings are growing at a pace of 6%, which is faster than the national average. Many of the new openings and opportunities in this field will occur at the state and local level, but there are also job opportunities at the federal level. For example, a person holding an MPA may find work in City Hall, the State Capitol, the Transportation Department, or the Housing Authority, or they might get a job at a research, recreation, or law enforcement agency. Overall, the job outlook is very positive for those pursuing an MPA.

Courses in an Online Master’s in Public Administration

A person studying for an MPA can expect to take several types of courses. A few basic courses might include classes in public policy, ethics, and governmental regulations, but much of the coursework would depend on the area in which a person was specializing. For an individual pursuing an MPA in research, their courses may include statistics and data analysis. For someone earning an MPA in urban planning, their courses might include classes in diversity, urban design, and environmental planning. The following are a few of the general areas and classes a person studying for an MPA may take.

  • Communications Courses: Both verbal and written skills are essential when working in public administration. As a result, interpersonal communication, media communications, and intercultural communications are examples of courses in this degree.
  • Law Courses: It’s essential to understand the legal aspects of how governments and nonprofits operate. These courses would likely include learning about local, state, and federal regulations. A person might also study law regarding topics such as human resources and urban planning.
  • Statistics Courses: Statistics courses can help someone analyze and understand different types of data. This is important for many jobs in public administration, and it is especially important for someone in a research position.
  • Ethics Courses: Classes in ethics would provide a student with guidelines for making good decisions. Whether for allocating government resources or setting policies as a human resources manager, sound ethical choices are often part of the job.
  • Management Courses: Learning to effectively manage people and finances is essential for almost any position in which a person oversees staff and resources. Some sample classes a person might take at California State University Northridge include Public Budgeting and Financial Administration, and Public Human Resources Management.v

FAQs on an Online Master’s in Public Administration No GRE Required

The following are a few frequently asked questions regarding a master’s in public administration degree.

Summary Information

The following summarizes the information to know for an online master’s in public administration no GRE required.

When earning an MPA, students have several program options available. The time to complete each option would depend on the specific program.

  • Online, on-site, and accelerated programs are all available for a person seeking an MPA. A person might also enroll in a hybrid program, which would include taking classes online and in the classroom. There are also programs that are completely online for those who don’t want any on-site classes.
  • Programs typically take 36 to 48 months to complete. The accelerated programs will take less time but will likely require more commitment and time in the short term. Part-time programs are available for those who are working full time.
  • There are both private and public programs available for students. Sometimes, private tuition is more expensive, but that is not always the case. A person will also want to consider the size of the school and how many students are in the program. A larger program, even if it is primarily online, may allow interaction with more students through online discussion boards and real-time interaction platforms.
  • Students can also choose areas of specialty when getting an MPA. Different schools may offer specific areas of study, such as Public or Nonprofit Management, Public Sector Management and Innovation, National Security Policy and Management, Environmental Management, Human Resource Management, Data Analysis in Public Policy, and degrees in Health and Social Policy.

A master’s in public administration has several obvious benefits. The following are a few of the most prominent benefits of obtaining an MPA.

  • The first is the ability to get a high-paying job. The average pay for a bachelor’s degree in public administration is about $50,000 a year, while the average with an MPA is $69,000. This means the degree should pay for itself in two years or less. Receiving an online master’s in public administration is worth the time and expense for most people in the long run because of the higher pay.
  • The second benefit of receiving an MPA is that it will let an individual pursue several career options. A person with an MPA may choose to work in the private sector; however, most positions are likely in the public sector. This would include government positions, nonprofit organizations, and social service agencies. There are many jobs, career paths, and organizations open to a person with an MPA.
  • Earning an online master’s in public administration is normally less expensive than getting a degree on campus. This is because there are extra costs when learning at an on-site institution. Of course, besides tuition, a person earning an online MPA may need to pay for books, a computer and printer, and a Wi-Fi connection. Generally, though, online study is less expensive and easier to get than in-person learning.

The general costs are as follows:

  • Costs will differ from school to school. Some online MPA programs may cost as little as $10,000, while others may cost over $20,000. Receiving an online degree is usually less expensive than earning one on campus.
  • Paying for tuition is different in each program. Most times, a student will pay tuition at the beginning of each quarter or semester before classes begin. But some programs may allow students to pay on installment plans. This means the student can pay installments, or portions of the bill, over several months’ time. For example, if tuition costs $10,000, a student can pay $500 a month over a twenty-month period.
  • Even with different payment plans available, it is still often difficult for individuals to pay for their schooling. Fortunately, there are several financial aid options available. Federal Student Aid puts forth a checklist that every graduate student should go over when preparing to pay for their education. There are several types of loans, grants, and other types of aid often available for anyone pursuing an MPA, so students should always consider filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
  • Individuals who are already working full time and wish to further their careers should speak with their employer regarding financial assistance. Sometimes, employers will reimburse an employee if the person is seeking a degree that will ultimately benefit the company. If a person needs to work but doesn’t currently have a job, the individual may want to pursue a work-study position with a company.

University NameProgram’s NameGRE Required?
American UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationGRE Waivers Available Until Fall 2022
American UniversityMaster of Public Administration and PolicyGRE Waivers Available Until Fall 2022
Anna Maria CollegeMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Arizona State UniversityExecutive Master of Public AdministrationNot Required
Arkansas State UniversityMaster of Public Administration in Public ManagementNot Required
Aurora UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Baruch CollegeMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
California State University – San BernardinoMaster of Public AdministrationGRE Required for Students With 2.75 – 2.99 GPA
Capella UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Colorado Technical UniversityMaster of Science in Management – Public AdministrationNot Required
DePaul UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
East Carolina UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Eastern Kentucky UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationGRE Required for Students With Below a 2.75 GPA
Florida Gulf Coast UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Florida International UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationGRE Required for Students With Below a 3.25 GPA
Grand Canyon UniversityMaster of Public Administration – Government and PolicyGRE Required for Students With Below a 2.8 GPA
Grand Canyon UniversityMaster of Public Administration – Healthcare ManagementGRE Required for Students With Below a 2.8 GPA
Grand Canyon UniversityMaster of Public Administration – Nonprofit ManagementGRE Required for Students With Below a 2.8 GPA
Indiana State UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Indiana UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Indiana University – BloomingtonMaster of Public AffairsNot Required
John Jay CollegeMaster of Public Administration – Public Policy and AdministrationNot Required
Johns Hopkins UniversityMaster of Arts – Public ManagementNot Required
Kent State UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Liberty University OnlineMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Lindenwood UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Lynn UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
National UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
North Central UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Northern Michigan UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Norwich UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Nova Southeastern UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationGRE May be Required for Students With Below a 3.1 GPA
Ohio UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Park UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Penn State World CampusMaster of Public AdministrationGRE May be Required for Students With Below a 3.0 GPA
Post UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Purdue University GlobalMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Regent UniversityMaster of Public Administration – General Public AdministrationNot Required
Sam Houston State UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Seton Hall UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Southern New Hampshire UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Texas A&M International UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Texas State UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationGRE Required for Students With 2.75 – 2.99 GPA
University of BaltimoreMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
University of Colorado – Colorado SpringsMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
University of Colorado – DenverMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
University of DelawareMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
University of Louisiana MonroeMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
University of MiamiMaster of Public AdministrationGRE Waivers Available for Qualified Students
University of North CarolinaMaster of Public AdministrationGRE Waivers Available for Qualified Students
University of South DakotaExecutive Master of Public AdministrationNot Required
University of Southern CaliforniaMaster of Public AdministrationGRE Waivers Available for Qualified Students
Villanova UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationGRE Waivers Available for Qualified Students
Wayland Baptist UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
West Chester UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Wichita State UniversityMaster of Public AdministrationNot Required
Scroll to Top