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Master of Public Administration: Degree Overview

A Master of Public Administration program can help students understand administrative concepts, policy enforcement and political management. Learn about the program, career opportunities, and salary information.

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Essential Information

Many Master of Public Administration programs offer concentrations such as public policy, education policy, non-profit management, urban planning and more. Public administration master's degree programs can typically be completed in two years. A bachelor's degree from an accredited university is generally required for admissions to a master's degree program. Schools may also require scores from either the GMAT or the GRE.


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Master's Degree in Public Administration

The program explores the laws and regulations that affect the financing of public programs as well as issues in government relations and political leadership. Students will develop their communication, organizational and decision-making skills. Coursework may include:

  • Government institutions
  • Organizational management
  • Economic and policy analysis
  • Public finance and budgeting
  • Policymaking process

Popular Career Options and Salary Info

Upon completion of a Master of Public Administration, a graduate can pursue opportunities in government at the local, state or federal level, as well as with non-profit organizations. As potential leaders and policy makers, they may qualify for relevant employment in non-profit management, international relations, consulting, public finance, arts management, human resources or policy analysis. Some possible job titles could include:

  • Policy analyst
  • Project manager
  • Research coordinator
  • Manager of public safety
  • Economic advisor

Salaries for this degree are as varied as the job titles. PayScale.com reported the 10th-90th percentile range salaries for different job titles of individuals holding a Master of Public Administration. The website reported that those with the job title of executive director earned $38,453-$129,525. Non-profit organization program managers earned $38,008-$73,206. Individuals with the human resources director job title earned $51,795-$120,356 as of 2016.

Continuing Education

Individuals interested in an advanced degree can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration where they can research the effects of policy on organizations and governments. They can also explore and develop theories, publish their findings, become government consultants or seek opportunities as university professors.

Graduates of the Master of Public Administration program will have learned how to communicate and make decisions efficiently when it comes to laws and regulations of public programs in regards to financing. Students may be able to pursue careers in consulting, non-profit management, research and more.

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