Top Ranked Master's in Public Administration Degree - Mesa, AZ

Mesa, AZ, has few schools with master's degree programs in public administration. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings, and tuition info.

School and Ranking Information

Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs are not available at any school located directly in Mesa, AZ, but they're offered by both public and for-profit schools found anywhere from 10 to 100 miles from the city. The following universities are considered the top three schools for MPA programs in the Mesa area based on rankings and number of degrees awarded:

  • Winner: Arizona State University claims the top spot because of its high public administration program ranking and the number of degrees it recently conferred in the field. It is also the largest school offering an MPA program in the area.
  • Runner Up #1: Named as the first runner up is the University of Arizona, due to its national ranking and public administration program ranking. It also has the second-highest enrollment among Mesa area schools with an MPA program.
  • Runner Up #2: Landing in the third spot is Grand Canyon University, a for-profit school that awards the highest number of MPA degrees in the area. It also offers the lowest tuition among the three schools.

School Comparison Chart

Category Arizona State University University of Arizona Grand Canyon University
Rankings 16th for top graduate public affairs schools, nationwide (2012)*,
139th for top national universities (2013)*,
4th for top up-and-coming schools (out of top national universities) (2013)*,
70th for top public schools (out of top national universities) (2013)*
37th for top graduate public affairs schools, nationwide (2012)*,
120th for top national universities (2013)*,
58th for top public schools (out of top national universities) (2013)*
Location Tempe, AZ (5.2 miles from Mesa) Tucson, AZ (97.9 miles from Mesa) Phoenix, AZ (17.1 miles from Mesa)
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public 4-year, private for-profit
Graduate Tuition & Fees in 2012-2013 $10,517 ( in-state),
$25,066 (out-of-state)**
$11,122 (in-state),
$26,533 (out-of-state)**
Public Administration Master's Degrees Awarded in 2011-2012 69** 43** 75**
Noteworthy Ranked in top 100 universities worldwide by the Center for World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities*** Home of the National Institute of Civil Discourse*** A Christian university, but accepts students of all faiths***

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **National Center for Education Statistics, ***Schools' websites.

Winner: Arizona State University

  • In 2012, U.S. News and World Report ranked several specialty programs: #2 for top city management and urban policy programs, #10 for top environmental policy and management programs, #15 for top nonprofit management programs, #16 for top public finance and budgeting programs, and #19 for top public management administration programs (out of top graduate public affairs schools, nationwide)
  • ASU is home to the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, which provides students with multiple research opportunities

The Arizona State University School of Public Affairs (SPA) offers a Master of Public Administration program that covers public service research skills, organizational behavior, public budgeting, and public affairs. Completing an internship is optional. MPA students may choose to concentrate on nonprofit administration or urban management. This program is also available in an online hybrid format, which allows students to complete all but 4 weekends worth of classes online.

Qualified students are eligible to apply for multiple SPA scholarships and fellowships. Additionally, top students may join the ASU Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Public Administration. ASU also offers bachelor's and doctoral degrees in the field, as well as a BS/MPA program in an accelerated format for high-achieving, qualified students.

Runner-Up #1: University of Arizona

  • Ranked #13 for top public management administration programs and #21 for top nonprofit management programs (out of top graduate public affairs schools, nationwide) in 2012 by U.S. News & World Report
  • MPA students must complete a 200-hour internship

The University of Arizona offers an MPA degree program through its School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP). Core courses include public organization theory, financial management, policy processes, and human resources management for public and nonprofit organizations. MPA students can select a concentration, like health and human services or natural resources. An internship and a capstone project are graduation requirements. Students who are currently employed may take evening classes. Additionally, students can join the MPA Student Association (MPASA) to get involved in community projects and network with their peers. UA also has an accelerated bachelor's degree/MPA program, as well as a doctoral program in public administration.

Runner-Up #2: Grand Canyon University

  • The MPA program boasts an 80% on-time graduation rate, according to the school's website
  • The MPA has two emphasis options: policy and government or health care management

The Grand Canyon University Ken Blanchard College of Business awards a Master of Public Administration. Major coursework focuses on leadership, human capital, and public governance. The policy and government emphasis has courses in administrative processes and intergovernmental relations, while the health care management program teaches health care economics, health policies, and health care delivery. Qualified students are eligible to apply for multiple GCU-financed scholarships. Additionally, students may choose to join one of GCU's student organizations focused on business, management, or development.

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