Masters in Public Administration Programs in the State of Alaska

Cole Neder

Cole Neder

Updated & Fact Checked: 05.16.2024


When considering Alaska for pursuing an MPA degree, the unique environment and opportunities in the state offer several compelling reasons for students to explore this option. Alaska’s vast and diverse landscape provides a unique backdrop for learning and exploration. MPA students in Alaska have the opportunity to study environmental policy and management in a setting that is unparalleled in its natural beauty and ecological diversity. This hands-on experience can enrich their education and provide valuable insights into the complexities of environmental governance.

Alaska’s economy is driven by industries such as oil and gas, fishing, and tourism. The state’s unique economic challenges, including its remote location and harsh climate, make it an interesting case study for students interested in economic development and public finance. MPA students in Alaska have the opportunity to engage with these issues firsthand and develop innovative solutions to address them.

Alaska’s small population and close-knit communities create a supportive and collaborative learning environment for MPA students. The state’s strong sense of community and shared responsibility make it an ideal place for students to build connections and develop their leadership skills.

Alaska’s commitment to environmental conservation and sustainability aligns with the values of many MPA students. The state is known for its efforts to protect its natural resources and promote sustainable development, making it an attractive location for students who are passionate about environmental stewardship.

MPA Programs in Alaska

Alaska offers MPA students a unique and enriching educational experience, with opportunities to study environmental policy, economic development, and community engagement in a one-of-a-kind setting. An overview of both institutions that offer MPA programs in the state can be found here:

NASPAA-accredited MPA Programs

NASPAA accreditation can enhance the value of an MPA degree. Employers recognize NASPAA accreditation as a mark of quality and may prefer candidates who have graduated from an accredited program.

While Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs in Alaska are not accredited by NASPAA, they are still worthwhile and adhere to many components of NASPAA’s requirements. The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) both offer MPA programs that are designed to provide students with a high-quality education in public administration.

Online MPA Programs

Online MPA programs can be tailored to meet the needs of individual students. Entry-level students can choose a program that aligns with their career goals, whether they are interested in government, non-profit organizations, or the private sector. Mid-career professionals can select courses that build on their existing skills and knowledge, allowing them to advance in their current field or transition to a new career path.

University of Alaska – Anchorage

  • Anchorage, AK
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: AACSB

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $513 (PCH)

Non-Resident Tuition: $1,079 (PCH)

Program Overview:
The M.P.A. program at UAA prepares students for public service careers, offering service learning, research opportunities, and applied learning assignments. The curriculum covers current public policy and management issues at state and national levels. It allows students to specialize based on their interests and professional goals while being flexible for working students. The program offers concentrations in areas like public management, which delves into planning, organizational change, structure, and historical context in public administration.

More Details

Accreditation: AACSB

Modality: Online

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $9,234 (PYR)

Non-Resident Tuition: $19,422 (PYR)

Program Overview:
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a management degree tailored for individuals seeking a public sector career. It focuses on managing within political contexts and aligning with public interest objectives. The program helps students develop skills used by leaders to create, execute, and assess policies, projects, and programs that support ethical democratic governance, while managing organizational, human resource, and budgetary issues. The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) offers the MPA program fully online, accessible to students in Alaska and the Yukon Territory.

More Details

Accelerated MPA Programs

Both of Alaska’s main universities, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), offer Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs that do not feature accelerated options. Despite this, students can typically complete the MPA degree in about two years of full-time study. While not accelerated, the two-year timeline allows students to gain a thorough understanding of the field and prepares them for a variety of roles in public service.

Affordable MPA Programs

In Alaska, MPA tuition affordability may be a consideration for prospective students. The University of Alaska Anchorage ($513 per credit hour for in-state students) and the University of Alaska Southeast ($9,234 for in-state students) offer MPA programs with competitive tuition rates.

All MPA Programs in Alaska

School NameDegree Program NameStateCityNASPAA AccreditedOnline DegreeProgram Link
University of Alaska AnchorageMaster Of Public AdministrationAlaskaAnchorageNoNo
University of Alaska SoutheastMaster Of Public AdministrationAlaskaJuneauYesNo

What Types of Careers Can I Pursue With an MPA Degree in Alaska?

In Alaska, MPA graduates have unique opportunities to work in roles that are specific to the state’s economy, environment, and government structure. Some of these unique job opportunities include:

  • Tribal Affairs Coordinator: Alaska is home to a large number of Native American tribes and has a unique political and legal framework for tribal governance. MPA graduates can work as tribal affairs coordinators, liaising between tribal governments and state and federal agencies to address issues such as healthcare, education, and economic development.
  • Arctic Policy Analyst: Alaska is often referred to as the “Arctic state” due to its proximity to the Arctic region. MPA graduates can work as Arctic policy analysts, researching and analyzing policies related to Arctic development, climate change, and indigenous rights.
  • Rural Development Specialist: Alaska has many remote and rural communities that face unique challenges related to infrastructure, economic development, and access to services. MPA graduates can work as rural development specialists, helping to design and implement programs that address the needs of these communities.
  • Fisheries Management Specialist: Alaska is home to some of the most productive fisheries in the world. MPA graduates can work as fisheries management specialists, helping to develop and implement policies and programs to sustainably manage Alaska’s fisheries resources.
  • Energy Efficiency Program Manager: Alaska faces unique energy challenges due to its harsh climate and remote location. MPA graduates can work as energy efficiency program managers, overseeing efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy development in the state.

These are just a few examples of the unique job opportunities available to MPA graduates in Alaska. The state’s vast size, diverse population, and rich natural resources create a dynamic and challenging environment where MPA graduates can make a meaningful impact on the state’s future.

MPA Programs in Other States