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Explore our Online Master of Public Administration.

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 online master’s in public administration, you can be prepared to meet these challenges.

Walden’s online Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program is designed to help you develop the advanced competencies that are essential to becoming a successful leader in public administration. Gain 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 a student working toward your online MPA degree, you can learn effective ways to balance budgets, write and negotiate contracts, manage conflict, and build partnerships.

Prepare to advance your career as you gain the knowledge to translate policies into programs that work for the public good. Through in-depth research, practical coursework, and a virtual city that simulates real-life scenarios, you can acquire the organizational capabilities you need to administer and oversee diverse and complex agencies.

Program Savings

Receive up to a $2,000 Grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on February 28, 2022. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Program Details

Curriculum – General Program Specialization

Course Code Title Credits
MMPA 6116
Foundations of Graduate Study

This course introduces students to graduate-level expectations and protocols for scholarly research and academic writing. Reflecting Walden's mission and vision of promoting positive social change, this course helps students build a foundation for success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. Course assignments focus upon students' professional goals, strategies for online student success, research skills, and academic integrity. Assignments are designed to build critical thinking skills and provide opportunities to apply academic lessons to real-world practice. Students are encouraged to take advantage of Walden's wealth of student support systems, especially the Walden Library and the Writing Center.

(3 cr.)
MMPA 6200
Principles of Public Administration

Public administrators work to increase the efficacy of public organizations on a local, regional, national, and international level. In this course, students actively collaborate on a team final project that facilitates their use of real-world tools, technologies, and communication formats needed in the profession of public administration. They engage in hands-on practice to enhance their aptitude in professional skills (e.g., research, critical reasoning, creative and flexible problem-solving, technology, responsible leadership, intercultural awareness, negotiation/conflict resolution, and collaboration). They explore the diverse political, social, and economic contexts within which public administrators carry out their responsibilities. Spring boarding from the American democratic model, students examine emerging topics and trends in global public administration, including governance, fiscal issues, ethics, and positive social change. They also examine the history, foundations, and theories of public administration as well as public policy and organizational environments.


  • MMPA 6116

(5 cr.)
MMPA 6405
Ethics and Social Justice

Ethics is a fundamental element of leadership. In this course, students consider some of the leading philosophical bases of ethics as well as foundational social justice themes upon which public service rests. Seminal texts and case studies used to illuminate the tasks leaders face as they seek to serve diverse constituents. Students confront the challenge of ethical decision making and moral action in a world characterized (among other things) by economic disparity, power imbalances, social privilege, and division due to race and/or religion. Applying concepts presented in the course, students engage in an in-depth assessment of emerging or persistent ethical and social justice issues, with the objective of demonstrating an ability to make recommendations which lead to positive social change.


  • MMPA 6116, NPMG 6116, PPPA 8000, PPPA 8000i, MMPA 6200, NPMG 6200, CRJS 6000, CRJH 6002, HUMN 8000, or HLTH 8003

(5 cr.)
MMPA 6451
Public Policy Analysis

Government officials, research programs, and NGOs are increasingly expected to make better and more transparent use of evidence in producing viable policy options within highly complex policy environments that are heavily influenced by power and politics. Public policy analysis has been described as the art and craft of speaking truth to power (Wildavsky, 1987) in seeking ways to promote positive social change in these complex environments. Policy analysis within this context requires several distinct skill sets: an understanding of the policy context, technical knowledge and analytical tools to identify and apply evidence ethically and with professional judgment, an appreciation and engagement of the concerns and contributions of diverse stakeholders, and the ability to develop and communicate practical policy advice.This course is framed around Bardach and Patashnik's eightfold path, which lays out a series of iterative, not necessarily sequential, steps to follow when analyzing a policy issue and uses design thinking to guide the process. Students examine key concepts of public policy analysis through evidence-based research to locate issues in relation to theory and current trends. This course provides project-based opportunities to practice and gain the skills and knowledge to use evidence to shape policy more effectively.


  • MMPA 6116 or HUMN 8000 or HUMN 6000 or HUMN 8001 or SOCW 8002 or SOCW 8002W or MMHA 6000 or MMHA 6000A or HLTH 8003A or HLTH 8003 or HLTH 8003E or HLTH 8003B or NURS 8003

(5 cr.)
MMPA 6420
Organizational Management and Leadership

Public and nonprofit leaders in all areas of public administration require a thorough understanding of the expectations of their roles as leaders and managers of diverse and complex organizations. Students use theoretical and applied perspectives from which they study the intricacies of these roles, including the distinction between leadership and management, organizational culture, change management, systems theories, and organizational development. Students gain a practical understanding of these topics through the application of principles and concepts to public, private, and nonprofit organizational settings.


  • MMPA 6200
  • MMPA 6405

(5 cr.)
MMPA 6431
Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector

Sound financial practices are crucial to managing scarce funds in both public and nonprofit operations. In this course, the term "public" is synonymous with government. Nonprofit organizations are included because they rely on special tax-exempt status conferred by the government and often receive government funding. Students in this course examine finance and budgeting concepts, policies, and practices related to organizations as well as the fiscal climate within which they operate. They assess theories for motivating major fiscal-policy debates, and they explore and discuss auditing practices, tax systems, financial management, budgetary reform, financial technology systems, the use of dashboards for financial reporting, and the impact of globalization on finance and budget. Students read and analyze budgets, financial statements, and reports. They contextualize their learning as they apply knowledge gained from their analysis to develop a new budget and financial plan for either a public or nonprofit organization.


  • MMPA 6200
  • MMPA 6405

(5 cr.)
MMPA 6465
Strategic Planning: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Coordination

In an increasingly complex world, leaders and managers in public and nonprofit organizations plan strategies to fulfill the organizational mission and enhance stakeholder satisfaction. Students in this course explore the role and process of strategic planning, including collaboration, cooperation, and coordination. They also examine the benefits, challenges, and pitfalls of strategic planning, in addition to the impact of globalization. Students apply these concepts to real-life scenarios and develop a strategic plan for a nonprofit or public organization.


  • MMPA 6200
  • MMPA 6405

(5 cr.)
MMPA 6480
Applied Research and Evaluation Methods

Organizational credibility, community trust, and fundraising are increasingly dependent upon demonstration of program effectiveness and success. Students in this course are introduced to research and evaluation methods in the public and nonprofit sectors to learn ways to measure and assess a program's effectiveness and potential success as well as to address problems or issues in the field. Students examine the strengths, limitations, and threats to validity; models, quantitative metrics, and tools used to evaluate programs and policies; and legal and ethical issues associated with research and evaluation methods. Using these parameters and other concepts presented in the course, students critically evaluate sample research, consider ways to communicate results to an intended audience, and reflect on trends and challenges that could affect future program evaluation.


  • MMPA 6200
  • MMPA 6405

(5 cr.)
MMPA 6435
Human Resource Management: Building a Capable Workforce

The acquisition, development, and retention of talent are critical elements in the success of any organization. In this course, students examine theories, approaches, and systems related to hiring, managing, training, and retaining employees in government and nonprofit organizations. Through the use of case studies, students explore topics that include legal and ethical considerations, diversity, performance management, the establishment and implementation of policy, technology, and conflict management. Students apply principles and concepts learned in this course to real-world situations encountered in public, private, and nonprofit organizations.


  • MMPA 6420

(5 cr.)
MMPA 6910
Master of Public Administration Capstone

In this course, students complete a capstone project using action research that fosters social change in public administration or nonprofit management and leadership. In the project they demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired in their master's degree program. The project employs an action research model. Students reflect on how the project and the program have contributed to their personal, scholarly, and professional growth.


  • All prior coursework

(5 cr.)

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.

Tuition and Fees

General Program Specialization

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost AMOUNT
Tuition 48 quarter credit hours $495 per quarter hour $23,760
Technology Fee Per quarter $160 $800


Effective February 28, 2022

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost AMOUNT
Tuition 48 quarter credit hours $507 per quarter hour $24,336
Technology Fee Per quarter $165 $825


*Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost between $1,000 and $1,400.


Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

Find Ways to Save

Program Savings

Receive up to a $2,000 Grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on February 28, 2022. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now


General Program

In the General Program, you will have the opportunity to gain cross-sectoral management and communication skills that can be applied domestically and globally.

Emergency Management

Examine vital emergency management issues and contingency planning.

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.

Nonprofit Management and Leadership

Explore best practices for navigating through budgeting and finance issues, cultivating stakeholder relationships, and developing strategic plans that foster collaboration across sectors.



FAQ About Walden’s Online Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program


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