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Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)

At-A-Glance Heading link

Application Deadline August 15, 2024
Start Classes August 26, 2024
Completion Time In as few as 16 months
Credit Hours 54 (13 courses)
Tuition $407 per credit hour
Degree Type 100% Online Master's

Curriculum Heading link

The Online Master of Public Administration (MPA) program provides graduates with the core knowledge and skills needed by leaders of public organizations. The program is housed within UIC’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, and the curriculum incorporates emerging topics in public service and recent research in the field. With accelerated 8-week terms you can complete the degree fast while working.

The program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of public management, policy analysis, budgeting, financial management, and organizational leadership. These skills assist graduates in becoming effective leaders and problem solvers in their communities.

The Online MPA offers two concentrations, allowing students to develop a deep understanding of public or nonprofit management.

Concentrations Heading link

  1. The Public Management concentration provides students with generalized knowledge in organizational theory, principles of management, program evaluation, and special topics in decision-making, strategic management, project management, and leadership in public organizations.
  2. The Nonprofit Management concentration provides specialized expertise in the nonprofit sector including theory, history, management, fundraising, and financial management. Students examine the relationships between nonprofit organizations and government entities, such as the civic base of the nonprofit sector, intergovernmental and inter-sectoral relations, advocacy, lobbying, and budgeting for contracts and grants.

Learning Outcomes Heading link

  1. Lead and manage in the public interest
  2. Participate in, and contribute to, the policy process
  3. Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make evidence-informed decisions in a complex and dynamic environment
  4. Articulate, apply, and advance a public service perspective
  5. Communicate and interact productively and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large
  • 13 courses total Students have the option of completing the program at a pace that fits their needs.

  • 16 months Full-time students can complete the entire program in as little as seven consecutive 8-week terms, or 16 months.

Courses Heading link

The MPA program provides students with a range of skills that can be applied in various fields and sectors. Here are some of the skills that students may gain from the online MPA program: analytics, communication, leadership, management, policy analysis, and ethics and accountability.

The online MPA program consists of 13 courses (plus two 1 credit professional development seminars), and students have the option of completing the program –with a public management or nonprofit management concentration – at a pace that fits their needs.

All courses are offered in convenient, accelerated 8-week terms throughout the year, giving students maximum flexibility. Full-time students typically take two 8-week courses at a time, and part-time students complete one 8-week course at a time. Full-time students can complete the entire program in as little as seven consecutive 8-week terms, or 16 months.

Click the arrows below to view MPA program requirements and elective courses for the concentrations.

Core Courses Heading link

Public Management Concentration Heading link

Nonprofit Management Concentration Heading link

Public Service Careers Heading link

Long considered the public sector equivalent to the private sector’s MBA degree, an MPA degree offers the analytical and leadership skills necessary to pursue a variety of career opportunities. Whether you want to become a city manager, a budget or policy analyst, government services consultant, healthcare administrator, nonprofit director or community leader, an MPA degree from UIC will get you there.

Our graduates currently serve in the following roles:

  • Budget/ Financial Analyst
  • Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer or Chief Financial Officer
  • City Manager or Commissioner
  • Compliance Officer
  • Director of Strategic Initiatives or Community Outreach
  • Environmental, Economic or Analytics Consultant
  • Education or Healthcare Administrator
  • Executive Director
  • Fundraising or Policy Manager
  • Policy, Data, or Management Analyst
  • Project Manager or Public Relations Manager
  • Urban/Regional Planner

PayScale reports an average annual wage of around $75,000 for professionals with an MPA credential. There is the potential to earn more as a financial manager, business operation specialist, management analyst, community service manager, and data analyst, averaging over $105,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

NASPAA Accredited Heading link

Our online MPA is accredited by NASPAA, the field standard for academic program review in public affairs. Accreditation signals that a program has undergone a rigorous mission- and outcomes-based process and made a long-term commitment to quality education. Programs seeking accreditation must be in substantial compliance with the standards of the field. The accreditation process is designed to foster continuous assessment and improvement, even after accreditation has been achieved. This review processes helps ensure our program continues to evolve with the needs of public service, providing the strongest possible academic curriculum.

Job Growth Heading link

The demand for graduates with expertise in management, finance, data analysis, project management, and public policy is projected to increase at nearly 6% from 2021 – 2031, faster than the average for all occupations according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For financial managers, community service managers, or management analysts the projected growth rate is projected at 11%, with other occupations held by MPA graduates seeing growth rates between 4% and 7% according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • 6% Increase Demand for MPA graduates.

  • 11% Growth Demand for financial managers, community service managers, or management analysts.

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The Online MPA is a Full Cost Recovery Program and is not eligible for tuition waivers by University of Illinois employees.

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