Northern Michigan University offers one of the most affordable online Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees in the nation, according to a new ranking by bestvalueschools.com. NMU's program is offered 100 percent online. It is designed for both current public administration professionals and those who are new to the field, with a concentration in criminal justice, human resources, state and local government, or public management.
NMU ranked 25th among the 30 most affordable online MPA programs identified by Best Value Schools. The web resource for prospective students considered public and private institutions with average tuition rates of $20,000 per year or less. It also collected data in four categories: program popularity, concentration options, flexibility and affordability.
“The curriculum starts with a series of essential classes (e.g. Public Budget Management) to benefit students of all skill levels,” the rankings description reads. “Next, you'll have a chance to branch out by completing four electives. Select an assortment of topics or group your courses around a particular concentration. And when you're almost ready to graduate from this top MPA degree online, you'll wrap things up with a final capstone or thesis paper.”
This is the latest accolade for Northern's MPA program, which has appeared in previous national rankings for affordability and quality. It previously was included among the “Top 50 Schools for Online Master's Degrees in Public Administration” by topmanagementdegrees.com.
Northern MPA students expand their theoretical understanding of the field of public administration and develop essential competency in basic methodological and technical areas. They also select a concentration in a sub-field that will advance their career expertise. Pre-service students, or those without at least one year of prior relevant work experience, are required to complete a public administration internship.
Best Value Schools reports that the advantage of an MPA over other related majors is that students receive a unique blend of government and management training. The degree is ideal for students who want to work in administrative or policy positions within the nonprofit or public sectors.