Whether it is at the local, state, or federal level, providing public service increasingly involves collaboration with multiple government agencies as well as private and nonprofit organizations. When you earn your master’s in public administration, you can be prepared to meet these challenges.

Walden’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is designed to help you develop the advanced competencies that are essential to becoming a successful leader in public administration. Develop the skills that can prepare you for cross-sectoral governance and enable you to deliver services to citizens through plans that are transparent, efficient, and ethical. As an MPA student, you can learn effective ways to balance budgets, develop and negotiate contracts, manage conflict, and build partnerships.

Prepare to advance your career and gain the knowledge to translate policies into programs that work for the public good. Through in-depth research and practical coursework, you will acquire the organizational capabilities you need to administer and oversee diverse and complex agencies.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

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  • Discover Walden’s MPA

    Image of a building with a U.S. flag, the capitol, a courtroom, an office building.

    Find out how Walden’s MPA can prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed as a public-service professional.

    Watch now.

  • Free ASPA Membership

    ASPA logo

    MPA, MPP and Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration students receive a free one-year membership to the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

    Learn More

  • How I Use My MPA

    "Through my coursework, I literally learned how to run my organization, including how to work with politicians and how to apply for government grants. Walden has taught me how to run a successful organization."

    Jasmine Anderson
    2012 Master of Public Administration (MPA) Graduate

    Learn how MPA graduate Jasmine Anderson is using her Walden degree to effect positive social change.

  • Transfer credits for your masters program

  • Curriculum

  • Tuition and Fees

  • Highlights

  • Learning Outcomes

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General Program

A broad understanding of the field of public administration can help prepare you for a range of career options at federal, state, and local agencies as well as in the private and nonprofit sectors. In the General Program, you will have the opportunity to gain cross-sectoral management and communication skills that can be applied domestically and globally.

Completion Requirements

  • 46 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (40 cr.)
    • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

    Estimated time to completion is 15 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

    Courses

    Note: The specializations are optional for the MPA program. Students who choose not to pursue a specialization will complete only these courses.

    *For elective courses students may choose any specialization course within the MPA program

    Criminal Justice

    Study the evolution of crime and gain an understanding of its impact on today’s communities and the challenges it presents to public administration agencies. The Criminal Justice specialization explores the key components of an efficient justice system, including effective leadership, policy development and implementation, and collaboration across private and public sectors. You will examine major court decisions to understand the conflicts that can arise from trying to ensure public safety while protecting individual freedoms.

    Completion Requirements

    • 61 total quarter credits
      • Foundation course (1 cr.)
      • Core courses (40 cr.)
      • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
      • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

    Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

    Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

    Core Courses

    The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

    Emergency Management

    Designed for public safety administrators and emergency responders who want to move forward in their careers, this specialization examines vital emergency management issues and contingency planning. As a student, you will learn strategies for maintaining public safety during times of disaster and analyze current ethical issues that public administrators may face when a crisis occurs.

    Completion Requirements

    • 61 total quarter credits
      • Foundation course (1 cr.)
      • Core courses (40 cr.)
      • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
      • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

    Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

    Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

    Core Courses

    The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

    Global Leadership

    With a specialization in Global Leadership, you can prepare to take an active role in helping global south regions or developing areas of the world achieve progress and modernize. Explore sustainability frameworks and models, learn skills for building capacity for community change, and gain strategies for making effective and timely management decisions in complex and precarious conditions. This specialization also gives you the opportunity to develop, manage, and lead a strategic plan for an international public or nonprofit organization or for a U.S. organization with an international focus.

    Completion Requirements

    • 61 total quarter credits
      • Foundation Course (1 cr.)
      • Core courses (40 cr.)
      • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
      • Capstone Course (5 cr.)

    Estimated time to completion is less than two years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

    Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

    Core Courses

    The program’s courses are 11 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

    Health Policy

    The Health Policy specialization focuses on the steps that are involved in developing, financing, and delivering health services in the United States. Gain an understanding of the issues that public administrators face at the local, state, and federal levels and the legal and regulatory challenges that can occur when trying to implement changes within public health systems. This specialization explores accountability among organizations and the ethical choices that are involved in the health policymaking process. Coursework focuses on the leadership and strategic planning skills that are necessary to maintain productive collaboration across all sectors.

    Completion Requirements

    • 61 total quarter credits
      • Foundation course (1 cr.)
      • Core courses (40 cr.)
      • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
      • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

    Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

    Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

    Courses

    The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

    Homeland Security Policy and Coordination

    Expand your knowledge in the area of public conflict management and communication. By exploring crisis management policy and the National Incident Management System (NIMS), you can learn effective strategies to lead cross-sectoral organizations through crisis situations. This specialization examines such topics as organizational management, strategic planning, and cross-cultural communication.

    Completion Requirements

    • 61 total quarter credits
      • Foundation course (1 cr.)
      • Core courses (40 cr.)
      • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
      • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

      Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

      Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

      Courses

      The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

      International Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)

      Explore the role of nongovernmental organizations in the global political landscape. This specialization addresses topics that include communicating and interacting effectively across cultures. You will study the structures and missions of NGOs throughout the world and focus on analyzing and synthesizing theories of ethics and social justice.

      Completion Requirements

      • 61 total quarter credits
        • Foundation course (1 cr.)
        • Core courses (40 cr.)
        • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
        • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

      Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

      Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

      Courses

      The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

      Law and Public Policy

      The Law and Public Policy specialization explores the relationship between statutes and case law and the impact that legislation and court systems can have on public policy. Explore fundamental legal concepts and current topics in law as well as U.S. Supreme Court cases that have had a major precedential effect on individual rights. As a student, you will gain an understanding of legal research and how it is used as a foundation to help support public policy. This specialization will introduce you to the legal challenges you may face as a leader and enable you to learn the strategic planning and organizational management skills you will need to help overcome these challenges.

      Completion Requirements

      • 61 total quarter credits
        • Foundation course (1 cr.)
        • Core courses (40 cr.)
        • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
        • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

      Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

      Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

      Courses

      The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

      Local Government Management for Sustainable Communities

      Become a catalyst of positive change for the environment and your community. Learn how local and state public policies shape how we live and thrive as a society. This specialization will enable you to gain the skills to develop effective strategies for promoting growth and enrichment in your community. Explore sustainability, livability, and practicality on the local and regional level and apply what you learn to the greater good.

      Completion Requirements

      • 61 total quarter credits
        • Foundation course (1 cr.)
        • Core courses (40 cr.)
        • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
        • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

        Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

        Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

        Courses

        The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

        Nonprofit Management and Leadership

        Nonprofit organizations face unique challenges that include funding initiatives, recruiting and retaining volunteers, analyzing public policy, and advocating for reforms in legislation. In the Nonprofit Management and Leadership specialization, you’ll explore best practices for navigating through budgeting and finance issues, cultivating stakeholder relationships, and developing strategic plans that foster collaboration across sectors.

        Completion Requirements

        • 61 total quarter credits
          • Foundation course (1 cr.)
          • Core courses (40 cr.)
          • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
          • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

        Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

        Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

        Courses

        The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

        Policy Analysis

        Shaping public policy involves strategic planning and complex negotiations. This specialization focuses on the policy process, from setting agendas and using analytic tools to implementing legislation and gauging social acceptance. Gain a fundamental understanding of how to identify stakeholder interests and develop program evaluations as you focus on areas such as communications, healthcare, immigration, and transportation.

        Completion Requirements

        • 61 total quarter credits
          • Foundation course (1 cr.)
          • Core courses (40 cr.)
          • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
          • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

          Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

          Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

          Courses

          The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

          Public Management and Leadership

          Behind every successful government is an organized team of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals. Learn how to develop and manage effective government programs at the local, state, and federal levels. The Public Management and Leadership specialization will enable you to make a positive difference in communities through public governance that includes transparency, accountability, efficiency, and effective bargaining and negotiation.

          Completion Requirements

          • 61 total quarter credits
            • Foundation course (1 cr.)
            • Core courses (40 cr.)
            • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
            • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

          Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

          Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

          Courses

          The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

          Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace

          Keeping America safe is often at the forefront of public policy. The Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace specialization focuses on issues such as war, oppression, terrorism, and social injustices that can have implications across the nonprofit, private, and public sectors. Coursework will allow you to examine the roots of terrorism, the impact of media and technology during times of crisis, and the factors that can contribute to violent acts, including poverty, religion, and antisocial behaviors. This specialization provides a foundation for public administrators who are charged with implementing public policy in response to potential dangers that threaten human rights and individual freedoms.

          Completion Requirements

          • 61 total quarter credits
            • Foundation course (1 cr.)
            • Core courses (40 cr.)
            • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
            • Capstone Seminar (5 cr.)

          Estimated time to completion is less than 2 years. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress; credits transferred, if applicable; and prerequisite courses. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

          Visit the video gallery to learn more about some of the following courses.

          Courses

          The program’s courses are 12 weeks in length and are delivered in a prescribed sequence.

          Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
          Tuition 46 total quarter credit hours  $445 per quarter hour $20,470
          Books and Materials Estimated costs Included in tuition $0
          Technology Fee  Per quarter $120 $600
              Total $21,070
              Transfer up to 23 credits  $10,535
              Total with Maximum Transfer Credits $10,535

          20% off if you reside outside the U.S. Click here to find out more!

          *Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

          Maximum transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time.

          Tuition and fees are subject to change.

          Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

          Transfer credits for your masters program

          Developed by leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, the Master of Public Administration program focuses on enhancing your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills so you can:

          • Learn principles and processes related to finance, economics, and human resources and apply them to a variety of public service organizations and all levels of government.
          • Conduct and apply research to advance democratic processes and promote social change.
          • Communicate and interact productively with diverse and evolving workforces and communities.
          • Broaden your perspective of public service through global concepts and theories.

          As a student in Walden’s online master’s in public administration program, you can choose when, where, and how you learn thanks to our online format and MobileLearn®. Through this education technology, you can listen to coursework on your MP3 player, access your classroom from your iPhone, download coursework to your laptop, and more.

          Find out more about what defines Walden’s Master of Public Administration program:


          Free First Term

          Pi Alpha Alpha

          Learn more about the Walden chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society that recognizes Walden students for their outstanding academic achievement in public affairs and administration.

          Learn More

          Which Public Service Program Is Right for You?

          To help you prepare for a career in the dynamic field of public service, Walden offers two master’s degree programs. Combining theory with practice, these programs offer a relevant, contemporary approach to public service that is broad enough to help prepare you for a career in the private and nonprofit sectors or at a local, state, or federal government agency.

          As you decide between Walden’s Master of Public Policy and Master of Public Administration programs, consider which features best fit your career goals:

          Which Program is Right for You?
          View the PDF.

          Speak with Our Faculty

          Talk directly to School of Public Policy and Administration faculty about what it’s like to earn your degree at Walden.

          Learn More

          Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

          1. Describe key leadership concepts and theories that can be used to effectively lead and manage in the public sector.
          2. Determine appropriate skills needed for participating in and contributing to public and nonprofit policy processes.
          3. Critically evaluate strategies for resolving public policy and administration problems in a global economic and political environment.
          4. Develop ethical solutions to advance and improve the lives of citizens and organizations.
          5. Apply models that represent best practices in utilizing diverse perspectives in local, state, national and international public agencies.

          For assistance in deciding which online degree program fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.

          Discover Walden’s MPA

          Image of a building with a U.S. flag, the capitol, a courtroom, an office building.

          Find out how Walden’s MPA can prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed as a public-service professional.

          Watch now.