Top Public Administration Master's Program - Phoenix, AZ

School and Ranking Information

Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs in and around Phoenix are offered mainly by public and for-profit universities. The following universities are considered the top three schools for MPA programs in the Phoneix area, based on rankings, student populations and number of degrees awarded:

  • Winner: Arizona State University is the top school in the Phoenix area for MPA studies because it is the only public institution in the city offering this type of program and it awards the highest number of MPA degrees among nonprofit or public schools in the area.
  • Runner Up #1: The University of Arizona is named the first runner up because it is the largest public school in the Phoenix area in terms of student enrollment to award MPA degrees and has a highly-ranked MPA program.
  • Runner Up #2: Grand Canyon University lands in the third spot due to the number of MPA degrees the school confers.

School Comparison Chart

Category Arizona State University University of Arizona Grand Canyon University
Rankings #129 (tie) Best National Universities (2015)* #121 (tie) Best National Universities (2015)* N/A
Location Tempe, AZ Tucson, AZ Phoenix, AZ
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public 4-year, private for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) Graduate: $10,818 (in-state), $22,652 (out-of-state)** $11,511 (in-state), $27,383 (out-of-state)** $7,924**
Public Administration Master's Degrees Awarded in 2012-2013 79** 34** 117**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2007 Entering Class 47%** 61%** 30%**
Noteworthy School of Public Affairs ranked #16 among national universities (2012)* Public administration program ranked #13 among national universities (2012)* Students have access to the Office of Career Services, which provides professional resources and knowledge

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report rankings, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: Arizona State University

  • Offers hybrid online MPA program
  • School offers an accelerated Bachelor of Science/MPA program
  • Multiple scholarships and fellowships available to qualified public affairs students

MPA students may choose a concentration in nonprofit administration or urban management. The program is available online with the exception of two weekend intensive courses. Courses address public service research, public finance, policy analysis, economics and organizational behavior. The program includes an internship.

Runner-Up #1: University of Arizona

  • Home to the National Institute of Civil Discourse
  • Accelerated bachelor's/MPA program available
  • Students have access to the MPA Student Association, which offers academic and professional support as well as social events

The MPA program is found in the School of Government and Public Policy offers the MPA program. MPA students may choose to focus on one of six concentrations, including collaborative governance, human services, and nonprofit management. As of 2013, the MPA program features a new curriculum that includes a capstone project. Courses include managerial economics, public policy development, statistics, public program evaluation and organizational theory.

Runner-Up #2: Grand Canyon University

  • Online courses available
  • Small classes sizes
  • MPA students can apply for multiple school-sponsored scholarships

Grand Canyon University's Ken Blanchard College of Business awards an MPA. Students may choose to focus on government and policy or health care management. Within the government and policy emphasis, students complete coursework in leadership, economics, governance, and budgeting. The health care management program examines health care policies, legal ethics, health care delivery models, and budgeting. The government and policy emphasis is only offered at the main campus.

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