Masters in Public Administration Programs in the State of Idaho

Cole Neder

Cole Neder

Updated & Fact Checked: 04.29.2024


As a future MPA graduate student, looking for an educational institution in the state of Idaho offers several advantages. Idaho’s MPA programs, such as those at Boise State University and Idaho State University, are known for their commitment to excellence in public administration education. These programs provide a comprehensive curriculum that combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills, preparing students to become effective leaders in the public sector.

Living in Idaho offers a unique blend of outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, and professional development opportunities. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore Idaho’s vast wilderness areas, including the rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and scenic rivers, which offer endless opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing.

Idaho is also home to vibrant cities and towns that offer a rich cultural scene, including art galleries, museums, theaters, and music venues. Boise, the state capital, is known for its lively downtown area, which features a variety of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.

In terms of professional development, Idaho offers a range of opportunities for MPA graduates. The state government, as well as local governments and nonprofit organizations, provide a variety of career paths in public administration. Additionally, Idaho’s strong economy and growing job market offer numerous opportunities for advancement and career growth.

MPA Programs in Idaho

Overall, choosing an educational institution in Idaho for an MPA degree provides students with a high-quality education, valuable networking opportunities, and the flexibility needed to succeed in their careers in public administration. An overview of the state’s three MPA programs- including location, accreditation, credit hours, and modality- can be found here:

NASPAA-accredited MPA Programs

NASPAA (the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) accreditation is a rigorous process that evaluates MPA programs based on a set of standards related to curriculum quality, faculty qualifications, student services, and program outcomes. While Idaho may not have NASPAA-accredited programs, it does not diminish the quality of MPA programs in the state. Many non-NASPAA-accredited programs still offer high-quality education and valuable opportunities for students.

While NASPAA accreditation can be a valuable indicator of program quality, it is not the only factor to consider when choosing an MPA program. Idaho’s MPA programs offer great opportunities for obtaining a high-quality education and building a successful career in public administration.

Online MPA Programs

Idaho’s MPA programs are designed to be flexible and accessible. Many programs offer distance learning options, allowing students to complete their degree while balancing work and other commitments.

Boise State University

  • Boise, ID
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NCCU

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $5,243 (PSR)

Non-Resident Tuition: $14,302 (PSR)

Program Overview:
The Public Policy and Administration program at Boise State University offers a professional graduate degree in public administration, the Master of Public Administration (MPA), which combines theory and practice. The program is involved in consulting services for the public sector through the Public Policy Center, with recent projects including the Idaho Public Policy Survey and the Mountain West Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Institute. The MPA is a widely recognized educational degree focused on public and nonprofit management.

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Idaho State University

  • Pocatello, ID
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NCCU

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $4,464 (PSR)

Non-Resident Tuition: $11,852 (PSR)

Program Overview:
The MPA Program at Idaho State University is committed to developing future leaders in public administration, equipping them with the skills to benefit Idaho communities. Key features include an extensive alumni network, mentoring opportunities, and career advancement through internship experiences. The program also offers distance learning options for students unable to attend in person, ensuring accessibility from anywhere. With faculty expertise in both theory and practice, students receive valuable guidance to excel in public service careers.

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University of Idaho

  • Moscow, ID
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NCCU

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $4,984 (PSR)

Non-Resident Tuition: $14,602 (PSR)

Program Overview:
The MPA degree at this institution is inclusive of students from all academic backgrounds, recognizing the diverse contributions individuals can make to public administration. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, a 3.0 GPA, three letters of reference, a reflective statement of professional interest, and a resume. The program is available on campus and online, allowing students to complete it in two years full-time or at a part-time pace, which is often preferred by working professionals.

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Accelerated MPA Programs

In Idaho, both Boise State University and the University of Idaho offer accelerated MPA programs. Boise State University offers an MPA 4+1 program for continuing undergraduates, allowing students to complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years. 

The University of Idaho offers a one-year Master of Public Administration (4+1 MPA) program for current University of Idaho students, providing a fast-track option for students looking to earn their graduate degree. These accelerated programs in Idaho provide students with a quick and efficient path to a rewarding career in public administration.

By completing the program in a shorter time frame, students can save time and money on tuition and living expenses. Accelerated programs often have a more intensive curriculum, allowing students to focus on their studies and gain valuable skills quickly.

Affordable MPA Programs

Tuition for in-state residents in Idaho is known for being incredibly affordable compared to many other states. This affordability is particularly beneficial for students pursuing higher education, including MPA programs, as it helps reduce the financial burden of obtaining a graduate degree.

Boise State University ($5,243 per semester), Idaho State University ($4,464 per semester), and the University of Idaho ($4,984 per semester) all offer competitive in-state tuition rates of around $5,000 on a per-semester basis. Affordable tuition rates enable students to focus more on their studies and professional development without being overly concerned about financial constraints.

All MPA Programs in Idaho

School NameDegree Program NameStateCityNASPAA AccreditedOnline DegreeProgram Link
Boise State UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationIdahoBoiseNoNo
Idaho State UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationIdahoPocatelloNoNo

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

With an MPA degree in Idaho, you can pursue a variety of careers in public administration, non-profit organizations, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Some unique job examples specific to Idaho include:

  • Water Resource Specialist: Idaho’s agricultural sector relies heavily on water resources. A water resource specialist would work to manage and protect water resources, ensuring sustainable use and compliance with regulations.
  • Rangeland Management Specialist: Given Idaho’s extensive rangelands, a rangeland management specialist would work to manage these resources, balancing conservation and land use needs.
  • State Parks Manager: Idaho’s diverse natural landscapes offer many opportunities for outdoor recreation. A state parks manager would oversee the management and development of state parks, ensuring they are maintained for public use and enjoyment.
  • Community Development Director: Idaho’s growing communities require effective planning and development. A community development director would work to plan and implement strategies for community growth and improvement.
  • Tribal Liaison Officer: Idaho is home to several Native American tribes. A tribal liaison officer would work to build relationships between tribal governments and state agencies, ensuring effective communication and collaboration on issues of mutual concern.

These are just a few examples of the unique career opportunities available to MPA graduates in Idaho. The state’s diverse landscapes, strong economy, and unique governance structures provide a range of exciting career paths for public administration professionals.

MPA Programs in Other States


South Dakota

North Dakota