Masters in Public Administration Programs in the State of Florida

Cole Neder

Cole Neder

Updated & Fact Checked: 05.21.2024

Introduction

Public administration in the State of Florida is a dynamic field that encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, extending beyond bureaucratic functions. It involves the strategic management and implementation of government policies and programs at multiple levels, reflecting the interplay between the state, county, and municipal agencies. Aspiring individuals seeking a career in public administration often find themselves at the crossroads of the public sector, non-profit organizations, or private entities, all working collaboratively to support governmental agencies in achieving their objectives.

MPA graduates in Florida often work on addressing the challenges posed by climate change through a multifaceted approach that involves policy development, strategic planning, and collaboration across various levels of government. Given Florida’s vulnerability to rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and other climate-related impacts, addressing climate change is a critical aspect of working in the field of public administration in Florida.

Individuals with MPA degrees also work on developing and implementing policies that address climate change at both the state and local levels. This includes creating regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promoting renewable energy initiatives, and integrating climate considerations into broader environmental policies. Florida’s susceptibility to hurricanes and sea-level rise necessitates robust resilience planning. MPA graduates collaborate with experts and communities to develop strategies that enhance the state’s resilience to climate-related impacts. This may involve updating building codes, improving infrastructure, and implementing measures to protect coastal areas.

Individuals who have graduated with MPA degrees in Florida also play a vital role in ensuring the smooth and fair conduct of national elections. Their responsibilities cover a range of activities, from voter registration to overseeing the execution of election processes. MPA graduates are responsible for overseeing the logistics of elections, including setting up polling places, managing early voting locations, and coordinating the deployment of election equipment. They ensure that all operational aspects run efficiently and effectively on Election Day. They work to facilitate voter registration, ensuring that eligible individuals have the opportunity to register before election deadlines. This includes online registration systems, registration drives, and outreach efforts to underserved communities.

In addition to managing the day-to-day affairs of government entities, MPA graduates in Florida play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of policies and programs. Their work involves collaborating with stakeholders, conducting extensive research, and staying abreast of evolving socio-economic trends to devise effective strategies. By fostering an environment of transparency, accountability, and efficiency, these dedicated individuals contribute significantly to the development and progress of the Sunshine State. In essence, public administration in Florida emerges as a vital profession that not only governs but actively participates in the betterment of society, embodying the essence of public service in its truest form.

MPA Programs in Florida

A Master of Public Administration degree opens opportunities for unique and rewarding management careers in the public sector, nonprofit organizations, and private entities that work closely with government officials. As an MPA student, you can choose to specialize in a diverse array of degree focuses, including human resources management, criminal justice, environmental planning, and nonprofit management, among other areas.

Various versions of Public Administration Masters programs are offered by 12 public and private educational institutions in the State of Florida. A summary of these programs, regardless of accreditation, mode, or cost, can be found here:

NASPAA-accredited MPA Programs

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) stands as a prominent global accrediting body, wielding its influence in evaluating and accrediting programs such as the Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Public Policy (MPP), and their related counterparts. At the heart of its mission is a commitment to ensuring the highest standards of quality and efficacy in public administration education.

Accreditation involves a thorough review of curriculum, faculty qualifications, and program outcomes. Currently, seven Florida institutions have earned NASPAA accreditation for their MPA programs, signifying their commitment to delivering quality education and aligning with industry standards. This accreditation is a reliable indicator for prospective students, affirming the programs’ relevance and providing a solid foundation for a career in public administration.

By meeting and exceeding NASPAA’s stringent standards, these accredited programs not only elevate the academic standing of the institutions but also contribute to the overall advancement of public administration education in the state. Prospective students seeking to embark on a career in public administration can rely on the NASPAA accreditation as a valuable indicator of the quality and relevance of the programs offered by these institutions.

The following is an overview of Florida’s seven NASPAA-accredited institutions. Tuition estimates are calculated on a per semester basis:

University of South Florida

  • Tampa, FL
  • Campus

Modality: On-Campus

Credit Hours: 39

GRE: Contingent on GPA

Resident Tuition: $3,882

Non-Resident Tuition: $7,894

Program Overview:
Class projects frequently entail partnerships with local governments or nonprofit organizations. Students at any career stage can engage in a mentorship program, teaming up with experienced senior administrators in the region. An internship program, strongly encouraged for all students and mandatory for those lacking pertinent management experience, often serves as a pathway to future employment opportunities.

More Details

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • Online + Campus

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 42

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $3,327

Non-Resident Tuition: $10,746

Program Overview:
With 178 students enrolled, nearly 70 percent are part-time, and the curriculum, designed for completion in two years for full-time students, typically extends to three to four years for part-time enrollees. Graduates primarily secure positions in state and local government roles. Courses cover focus areas including Nonprofit Management, Urban and Regional Planning, and Emergency Management.

More Details

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • Online + Campus

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 42

GRE: Contingent on GPA

Resident Tuition: $13,977

Non-Resident Tuition: $18,891

Program Overview:
The Master of Public Administration program primarily takes place at the Modesto Maidique Campus. However, students have the flexibility to combine on-campus and online classes, resulting in a hybrid MPA program. Course offerings encompass a diverse range, including Political, Social, and Economic Context; Policy Analysis and Program Planning; HR Management and Policy; Quantitative Applications; Public Finance and Budgeting, among others.

More Details

Florida Atlantic University

  • Boca Raton, FL
  • Online + Campus

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $3,346

Non-Resident Tuition: $9,240

Program Overview:
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) aims to provide professional education in leadership and management, covering essential aspects in social, economic, political, and international contexts. The MPA program also actively contributes to the advancement of public administration knowledge through research activities and collaborations with internal and external partners.

More Details

Florida State University

  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Online + Campus

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 42

GRE: No required

Resident Tuition: $3,632

Non-Resident Tuition: $9,044

Program Overview:
The MPA program at the Askew School holds full accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) and consistently garners accolades during accreditation reviews. Askew School consistently earns high praise from U.S. News and World Report. In the 2018 rankings, the Askew School was recognized as the leading program in Florida and among the top 5 in the Southeast.

More Details

University of North Florida

  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Campus

Modality: On-Campus

Credit Hours: 42

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $4,442

Non-Resident Tuition: $9,396

Program Overview:
Tailored to foster a comprehensive understanding of contemporary governance, the curriculum at the University of North Florida MPA program is crafted to empower students in the effective administration of public programs. For individuals with substantial governmental experience, the program offers opportunities to acquire new skills and gain a broader perspective on the responsibilities in public sector management.

More Details

Nova Southeastern University

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Online + Campus

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Contingent on GPA

Tuition: $9,513

Program Overview:
Administered through NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business & Entrepreneurship, the program is lauded for its success in placing graduates in areas such as urban or regional planning, emergency management, and social and community service management within six months of graduation. NSU, a leader in online education, emphasizes its commitment to preparing MPA students for roles in governmental organizations or the nonprofit sector, equipping them with analytical skills, statistical proficiency, and a comprehensive understanding of American government.

More Details

Online MPA Programs

Online MPA programs allow students to access course materials and lectures at their own pace and from any location with an internet connection. This flexibility is especially beneficial for working professionals or individuals with busy schedules. For working professionals seeking career advancement or a career change, online MPA programs allow them to balance work commitments with academic pursuits. This facilitates the integration of education into their existing professional and personal responsibilities.

There are nine MPA programs that offer an entirely online learning option in the State of Florida. Of that total, four of those programs are NASPAA accredited. A summary of the remaining five unaccredited programs can be found here:

Barry University

  • Miami, FL
  • Online

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Tuition: $15,480 (total cost)

Program Overview:
This practitioner-focused program places students at the center, guiding them in the analysis of public policy alternatives and the development of solutions for social, economic, and environmental challenges. Tailored for working adults, Barry’s MPA program is both affordable and accelerated, offering flexible admission requirements to provide an accessible pathway for individuals to achieve their personal and professional goals in as little as 14 months.

More Details

Florida Gulf Coast University

  • Fort Myers, FL
  • Online

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Contingent on GPA

Resident Tuition: $373 (per credit)

Non-Resident Tuition: $1,300 (per credit)

Program Overview:
FGCU’s Master of Public Administration stands as a professional degree program, equipping students for administrative roles in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Tailored to accommodate both those with significant in-service experience and those with limited or no prior exposure to such organizations, the MPA courses are accessible in an internet-based format, facilitating online degree completion for many students. The program offers two concentrations: a Public Leadership and Management Concentration, and a Community Resilience Concentration.

More Details

University of Miami

  • Coral Gables, FL
  • Online + Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Contingent on GPA

Tuition: $2,421 (per credit)

Program Overview:
The MPA program at University of Miami offers a fully online course option for full-time career public service professionals. Participants in our program will gain exposure to fundamental aspects of public service professionalism, including proficiency in technique, ethical principles, and leadership capabilities, equipping them to address future challenges effectively. The program is committed to delivering a quality graduate education, ensuring excellence across all realms of public service, encompassing government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private vendors.

More Details

Credit Hours: 30

GRE: Not required

Tuition: $2,000 (per course)

Program Overview:
The curriculum focuses on ensuring the efficient, effective, and strategic use of resources in local, state, and federal governments. The value of a master’s in public administration lies in the skills acquired, including qualitative and quantitative analytical abilities, policy analysis and evaluation knowledge, citizenship skills, and an understanding of public administrators’ prescribed roles. The program allows flexibility in pacing, depending on the number of courses taken simultaneously.

More Details

Florida Institute of Technology

  • Orlando, FL
  • Online + Campus

Credit Hours: 33

GRE: Not required

Tuition: $25,641 (total cost)

Program Overview:
Florida Tech’s master of public administration degree is a flexible program designed to assist goal-oriented individuals, including established professionals, in attaining leadership roles in governmental or nonprofit career paths. Participants acquire the skills and techniques necessary to design, implement, manage, and evaluate policies, programs, and services offered by public agencies. The program emphasizes core values such as teamwork, decision-making, communication, leadership, ethics, and diversity. Graduates typically embark on careers in public relations, politics, urban planning, consulting, foreign service, and public management.

More Details

Accelerated MPA Programs

A Master’s in Public Administration degree generally takes 2-3 years to complete as a full time student and 3-4 years to complete as a part time student. However, numerous programs in the State of Florida offer accelerated and dual-tract programs that enable students to finish their degrees in a shorter period of time. The primary advantage of accelerated MPA programs is the significant reduction in the time required to complete the degree. Traditional MPA programs often take two years or more, while accelerated programs can be completed in a shorter duration, typically 12 to 18 months.

The MPA program at the University of Miami is usually completed in 2 years, but can be completed in less than 18 months with transferable undergraduate coursework from the University of Miami. Barry University offers a self-paced option of complete classes, which allows full-time students to complete the degree in roughly one year. At Florida Atlantic University, full-time students have the option to complete summer courses to finish their degree in 18 months.

Affordable MPA Programs

A Master’s Degree in Public Administration can be a significant investment for both students and working professionals. Affordable MPA programs in Florida make higher education more accessible, catering to a diverse demographic of students who may be constrained by budgetary considerations.

Affordability reduces financial stress and opens the door to a broader range of individuals, fostering inclusivity and diversity within the MPA student body. Moreover, cost-effective MPA programs often appeal to working professionals and individuals with existing financial commitments, enabling them to pursue advanced degrees without incurring substantial debt.

For residents in the State of Florida, the University of Central Florida offers tuition at $3,327 per semester, one of the lowest in the state. Florida Atlantic University offers similar tuition to in-state residents at $3,346 per semester. Florida State University also offers tuition at $3,632 per semester.

All MPA Programs in Florida

School NameDegree Program NameStateCityNASPAA AccreditedOnline DegreeProgram Link
Barry UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationFloridaMiami ShoresNoNohttps://www.barry.edu/en/academics/business/public-administration-mpa/
Florida Atlantic UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationFloridaBoca RatonNoYeshttps://www.fau.edu/artsandletters/public-administration/mpa/
Florida Gulf Coast UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationFloridaFort MyersYesNohttps://www.fgcu.edu/cas/departments/pspa/pubadminmpa/
Florida International UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationFloridaMiami YesYeshttps://pa.fiu.edu/
Florida State UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationFloridaTallahasseeYesYeshttps://coss.fsu.edu/askew/current-students/master-of-public-administration-degree-requirements/
Jacksonville UniversityMaster Of Public PolicyFloridaJacksonvilleNoNohttps://www.ju.edu/publicpolicy/master-public-policy/index.php
Nova Southeastern UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationFloridaFort LauderdaleYesYeshttps://www.business.nova.edu/degrees/masters/public-administration/index.html
University of Central FloridaMaster of Nonprofit ManagementFloridaOrlandoYesYeshttps://www.ucf.edu/online/degree/nonprofit-management-m-n-m/
University of Central FloridaMaster Of Public AdministrationFloridaOrlandoYesYeshttps://www.ucf.edu/degree/public-administration-mpa/
University of MiamiMaster Of Public AdministrationFloridaCoral GablesNoNohttps://uonline.miami.edu/programs/master-public-administration/
University of North FloridaMaster Of Public AdministrationFloridaJacksonvilleNoYeshttps://www.unf.edu/coas/pspa/mpa/index.html
University of South FloridaMaster Of Public AdministrationFloridaTampaNoYeshttps://www.usf.edu/arts-sciences/departments/public-affairs/mpa/index.aspx
University of West FloridaMaster of Science in AdministrationFloridaPensacolaNoNohttps://onlinedegrees.uwf.edu/online-degrees/master-sports-administration/

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

Master of Public Administration (MPA) graduates in the State of Florida have diverse opportunities for full-time employment across various sectors, contributing to the effective functioning of local, state, and federal government agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations.

Graduates may find positions in city or county government agencies, working as city planners, budget analysts, or program managers. State government roles may include positions in policy analysis, legislative affairs, or program coordination. Additionally, graduates can pursue opportunities in federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Nonprofit organizations also offer fulfilling career paths, with roles in program management, community outreach, and grant administration. MPA graduates may engage in urban planning initiatives, contribute to emergency management efforts, or lead social and community service programs. The diverse skill set acquired through an MPA program equips graduates to thrive in managerial roles, policymaking, and public service, making them valuable assets to Florida’s public and nonprofit sectors.

MPA Programs in Other States