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By MPADO Staff
March 2018

An online master of public administration degree can be a great way to break into the next phase of your career. You continue to meet your professional and family obligations and do the required class work at your own schedule during the week. Upon graduation, you emerge back into your life with more spare time, but now eligible for all kinds of promotions and new job titles. This list of the top 30 affordable online MPA degrees was compiled to help you reach your goal with an eye on the bottom line. These schools have great tuition value and some offer special rates or discounts for online students, below the brick and mortar rate.

We organized this list around tuition value (10 points), individual attention (as evidenced by the student to faculty ratio, 10 points) and relevancy of the curriculum to the demands of the field (10 points). A bonus of five points was awarded for accreditation of the MPA program through the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration and for national recognition of the program. Schools that tied on points were ranked in order of decreasing tuition.

This list of the top 30 affordable online MPA programs was gathered using tuition and enrollment numbers (in the bullet points above the school review) pulled from the National Center for Educational Statistics, a government information website. Student to faculty ratio also comes from this site. Any tuition per credit hour rate quoted in the school review itself comes courtesy of that particular school’s website.

#30 – University of Louisiana at Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana


Website
Points: 23
Enrollment: 9,038
Tuition: $18,590
The University of Louisiana at Monroe has been serving the educational needs of the northeastern region of the Sportsman’s Paradise since 1931. With a student to faculty ratio of 21:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program including coursework in intergovernmental relations and program evaluation and policy analysis. Tuition for the online MPA at the University of Louisiana at Monroe is $500 per credit hour, including mandated fees. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#29 – Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina


Website
Points: 24
Enrollment: 23,406
Tuition: $18,424
Clemson University was founded in 1889 as an agricultural college and has gone on to become a nationally recognized research university. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, their online master of public administration is a 39-42 credit hour program that offers five specializations: regional sustainability, nonprofit management, local and state government, emergency management, and homeland defense and security. Tuition for the online MPA at Clemson University is a flat $638 per credit hour regardless of residency. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#28 – Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana


Website
Points: 24
Enrollment: 13,565
Tuition: $13,986
Indiana State University has the unusual mascot of the “Fighting Sycamores.” With a student to faculty ratio of 21:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program including coursework in organizational behavior in public agencies and public personnel administration. Students admitted to an online master’s program at Indiana State University are eligible to receive the in-state tuition rate of $396 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#27 – Northern Michigan University

Marquette, Michigan


Website
Points: 24
Enrollment: 7,865
Tuition: $11,360
Northern Michigan University sees the diversity of its academic and surrounding community to be an institutional asset. With a student to faculty ratio of 21:1, their online master of public administration is a 34-36 credit hour program that includes coursework in research methods of public administration and organizational theory. Tuition for the online MPA degree at Northern Michigan University is $518 per credit hour, with a price break of $466 for credits above 6 per semester, regardless of residency. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#26 – University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Pembroke, North Carolina


Website
Points: 24.5
Enrollment: 6,268
Tuition: $13,896
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke was founded in 1887 as a school to train native American teachers. With a student to faculty ratio of 15:1, their online master of public administration is a 39 credit hour program including coursework in human resource administration and policy studies. Tuition for the online MPA at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke is $735.77 for out-of-state students. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#25 – Murray State University

Murray, Kentucky


Website
Points: 25
Enrollment: 10,486
Tuition: $32,952
Murray State University was founded in 1922, and they place a high priority on excellent student learning opportunities. With a student to faculty ratio of 15:1, their online master of public administration is a 33 credit hour program including coursework in human resources administration and law in public administration. Online tuition for the MPA at Murray State University is $672 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#24 – Stephen F. Austin State University

Nacogdoches, Texas


Website
Points: 25
Enrollment: 12,742
Tuition: $12,240
Stephen F. Austin State University was chartered in 1917 to train teachers and today has more than 120 areas of study. With a student to faculty ratio of 20:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program that includes coursework in leadership in public administration and ethics in public administration. A typical 3 hour class in the online MPA program at Stephen F. Austin State University has an out of state tuition rate of $1470.50. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#23 – California Baptist University

Riverside, California


Website
Points: 26
Enrollment: 9,157
Tuition: $11,430
Most of the degrees offered by California Baptist University Online are designed to be completed in just 16 months. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program including coursework in public policy analysis and political economy. Tuition for the online master’s at California Baptist University is $607 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.

#22 – Troy University

Troy, Alabama


Website
Points: 26.5
Enrollment: 17,855
Tuition: $14,292
Known as Troy State University, until 2004, Troy University dropped the “state” from their name to better reflect their global aspirations. With a student to faculty ratio of 15:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program with seven available concentrations: public management, government contracting, justice administration, public health administration, nonprofit management, public human resource management, and national security affairs. Tuition for the online MPA program at Troy University is $494 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#21 – Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, Indiana


Website
Points: 27
Enrollment: 3,040
Tuition: $13,000
Indiana Wesleyan University is a private, nonprofit university founded by the Wesleyan Church in 1920. With a student to faculty ratio of 14:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program including coursework in financing public services and scholarly research and writing. Tuition for the online MPA at Indiana Wesleyan University is $531 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#20 – Anna Maria College

Paxton, Massachusetts


Website
Points: 27
Enrollment: 1,386
Tuition: $10,530
Anna Maria College was founded in 1946 by the Sisters of Saint Anne. With a student to faculty ratio of 11:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program with six available tracks: general, mid-career, criminal justice, emergency management, fire and emergency services, and homeland security. Tuition for the online MPA at Anna Maria College is $685 per credit hour. They are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

#19 – Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers, Florida


Website
Points: 27.5
Enrollment: 14,821
Tuition: $28,170
Florida Gulf Coast University boasts one of the highest graduate employment rates of any state university in Florida. With a student to faculty ratio of 22:1, their online master of public administration is a 36-39 credit hour program that includes two available concentrations: public leadership and management, and environmental policy and planning. Students who have completed six hours in the online MPA program at Florida Gulf Coast University are eligible to apply for a tuition fee waiver that exempts them from paying tuition each semester. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#18 – University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota


Website
Points: 27.5
Enrollment: 14,648
Tuition: $19,184
The University of North Dakota was founded in 1883 and currently offers more than 200 fields of study. With a student to faculty ratio of 21:1, their online master of public administration is a 34 credit hour program that offers three available tracks: general, health, and social entrepreneurship. Tuition for the online MPA degree at the University of North Dakota is assessed at the in-state rate of $320.33 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#17 – University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia, Missouri


Website
Points: 28
Enrollment: 33,239
Tuition: $23,172
The University of Missouri-Columbia was founded in 1839 as the first public university west of the Mississippi River. With a student to faculty ratio of 19:1, their online master of public administration is a 33 credit hour program that offers two specializations, public and nonprofit management and public policy. Tuition for the online MPA at the University of Missouri-Columbia is $360 per credit hour regardless of residency. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#16 – Southern Utah University

Cedar City, Utah


Website
Points: 28
Enrollment: 9,299
Tuition: $22,861
Southern Utah University opened in 1898 as a teacher’s college and delivers educational services to the residents of the Beehive State (and the internet) today. With a student to faculty ratio of 19:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program that includes coursework in public sector economics and administrative law. Tuition for a typical 3 credit hour course in the online MPA program at Southern Utah University is $1444. They are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#15 – Belhaven University

Jackson, Mississippi


Website
Points: 28
Enrollment: 4,758
Tuition: $10,080
All programs at Belhaven University are taught from a Christian perspective to better guide students to serve Jesus personally and professionally. With a student to faculty ratio of 11:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program that includes coursework in administration of financial resources and principles of executive leadership. Tuition for the online MPA program at Belhaven University is $540 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#14 – Hamline University

Saint Paul, Minnesota


Website
Points: 28
Enrollment: 3,852
Tuition: $8,532
Hamline University was the first university to open in Minnesota, and it produced the first college graduates ever matriculated in the land of 10,000 lakes. With a student to faculty ratio of 12:1, their online master of public administration is a 48 credit hour program with coursework including leading in organizations and public fiscal management. Tuition for the online MPA at Hamline University is $495 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#13 – Georgia College and State University

Milledgeville, Georgia


Website
Points: 28.5
Enrollment: 6,915
Tuition: $18,486
Founded as a women’s college in 1889, Georgia State College and University is a home for students driven to make the world a better place. With a student to faculty ratio of 17:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program including coursework in administrative ethics and leadership and organizational behavior. Tuition for the online MPA at Georgia College and State University is $338 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#12 – Washington Adventist University

Takoma Park, Maryland


Website
Points: 28.5
Enrollment: 1,090
Tuition: $11,250
Washington Adventist University was founded in 1904 with a charter from the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They welcome students of all backgrounds and faiths. With a student to faculty ratio of 9:1, their online master of arts in public administration is a 37 credit hour program that includes coursework in public sector research and public sector ethics. Online tuition for the master’s program at Washington Adventist University is $625 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#11 – Kent State University

Kent, Ohio


Website
Points: 29
Enrollment: 30,167
Tuition: $19,362
Kent State University was founded as a teacher education facility in 1910. With a student to faculty ratio of 21:1, their online master of public administration is a 39 credit hour program that includes coursework in program evaluation and strategic planning. The office of career exploration and development at Kent State University offers assistance in starting your professional job search in the most prepared fashion possible. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#10 – Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky


Website
Points: 29
Enrollment: 16,881
Tuition: $15,390
Founded to train teachers in 1906, Eastern Kentucky University wants to develop lifelong habits of curiosity and critical thinking in its students. With a student to faculty ratio of 16:1, their online master of public administration is a 39 credit hour program with available tracks in community development and a self-customizable concentration option. Tuition for the online MPA at Eastern Kentucky University is $611 per credit hour regardless of residency. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#9 – Valdosta State University

Valdosta, Georgia


Website
Points: 30
Enrollment: 11,375
Tuition: $15,750
Valdosta State University offers in-state tuition rates to students in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida. With a student to faculty ratio of 20:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program with three available concentrations: public policy, public sector human resource management, and public sector management. Tuition for the online MPA at Valdosta State University is $293 per credit hour, regardless of residency. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#8 – Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, Arkansas


Website
Points: 31
Enrollment: 14,085
Tuition: $9,252
Founded as an agricultural school in 1909, Arkansas State University has become a nationally recognized provider of online education. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program that includes coursework in administrative leadership and administrative ethics. Tuition for the online MPA at Arkansas State University is $267 per credit hour for residents of the US. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#7 – Texas A&M International University

Laredo, Texas


Website
Points: 31.5
Enrollment: 7,390
Tuition: $10,694
Texas A&M International University sits at the Gateway to Mexico, hence its status as international. With a student to faculty ratio of 22:1, their online master of public administration is a 42 credit hour program that includes coursework in administrative law and program evaluation. Out of state tuition for the online MPA program at Texas A&M International University is $492 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#6 – University of South Dakota

Vermillion, South Dakota


Website
Points: 32
Enrollment: 10,038
Tuition: $14,449
The University of South Dakota is the flagship university of the Mount Rushmore State. With a student to faculty ratio of 18:1, their online executive master of public administration is a 30 credit hour program that includes coursework in executive public administration and public personnel management. Tuition for the online MPA at the University of South Dakota is $444.25 per credit hour regardless of residency. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#5 – San Diego State University

San Diego, California


Website
Points: 32.5
Enrollment: 34,688
Tuition: $15,666
San Diego State University was founded in 1897 to train elementary school teachers and has developed a national reputation for academic excellence. With a student to faculty ratio of 29:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program including coursework in quantitative approaches to public administration and public financial management. Out of state tuition for the online MPA at San Diego State University is $994 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.

#4 – University of Colorado-Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colorado


Website
Points: 33
Enrollment: 12,559
Tuition: $20,153
The University of Colorado-Colorado Springs dates to 1964, and their MPA program is nationally ranked by US News and World Report. With a student to faculty ratio of 17:1, their online master of public administration is a 33-45 credit hour program that includes coursework in ethics and leadership, and the policy process and democracy. Tuition for the online MPA at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs is $665 per credit hour regardless of residency. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#3 – University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Website
Points: 34
Enrollment: 29,468
Tuition: $26,854
US News and World Report ranked the online MPA program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill 23rd out of all the programs in the nation. With a student to faculty ratio of 13:1, their online master of public administration is a 45 credit hour program that includes five areas of focus: community and economic development, international relations, local government, nonprofit management, and public health. Tuition for the online MPA at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is $1173.33 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#2 – University of Illinois-Springfield

Springfield, Illinois


Website
Points: 34.5
Enrollment: 5,428
Tuition: $16,640
The University of Illinois-Springfield was founded in 1969 and values the diversity of ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities in its community. With a student to faculty ratio of 15:1, their online master of public administration is a 36 credit hour program that includes coursework in issues in public administration and public policy for managers. Tuition for the online MPA program at the University of Illinois-Springfield is $453 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#1 – University of Nebraska-Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska


Website
Points: 36
Enrollment: 15,627
Tuition: $12,987
The University of Nebraska-Omaha has strong academic values and significant relationships with its metropolitan surroundings. With a student to faculty ratio of 17:1, their online master of public administration is a 39 credit hour program with seven concentrations available: aviation, emergency management, healthcare administration, local government, nonprofit management, public management, and public policy. There is also a specialization in criminology and criminal justice. Out of state tuition for the online MPA at the University of Nebraska-Omaha is $566 per credit hour. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

This concludes the list of the top 30 affordable online MPA degree programs.