Masters in Public Administration Programs in the State of Louisiana

Cole Neder

Cole Neder

Updated & Fact Checked: 02.21.2024


Louisiana provides Public Administration graduate students with a diverse academic experience through institutions like Louisiana State University and Tulane University. These schools offer specialized programs, helping students gain a comprehensive understanding of public administration. Beyond academics, the state’s cultural offerings are notable, especially in New Orleans, known for its music, food, and festivals, providing students with opportunities for cultural immersion.

Professional networking opportunities are plentiful in Louisiana, serving as a hub for government, nonprofit organizations, and community initiatives. New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the state capital, offer dynamic environments for students to connect with professionals in their field, gaining valuable insights and expanding their networks. The state’s socio-political landscape presents unique job opportunities, allowing students to navigate administrative challenges in both urban and rural settings.

Louisiana offers a range of recreational activities, from exploring the historic French Quarter in New Orleans to enjoying outdoor pursuits in the scenic bayous and parks. This diversity extends to the professional realm, as students may find themselves working in the bustling administrative atmosphere of New Orleans or in more rural areas, each presenting its own set of challenges and learning opportunities.

The prevalence of local governments in Louisiana emphasizes community-focused governance. Public Administration students have the chance to engage with and contribute to the complexities of local administration, gaining hands-on experience in navigating the intricacies of public service at the grassroots level. Overall, pursuing a Public Administration degree in Louisiana provides a solid academic foundation while exposing students to the unique cultural, professional, and administrative aspects of the state.

MPA Programs in Louisiana

Attaining an MPA degree opens doors to fulfilling managerial careers within the public sector, nonprofit organizations, and private entities engaged in partnerships with government officials. The State of Louisiana offers several Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs that provide students with opportunities to develop skills in public administration, policy analysis, and leadership.

Aspiring students exploring MPA programs in Louisiana have several choices. The State of Louisiana hosts Public Administration Masters programs at five different public and private educational institutions. 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), a leading global accrediting body for graduate educational institutions, plays a crucial role in evaluating and accrediting programs like Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) to ensure the highest standards in public administration education. Accreditation involves a thorough assessment of curriculum, faculty qualifications, and program outcomes.

Currently, four institutions in Louisiana hold NASPAA accreditation for their MPA programs, demonstrating their commitment to quality education and industry standards. This accreditation serves as a reliable indicator for prospective students, affirming program relevance and providing a strong foundation for a career in public administration.

The following is an overview of the four NASPAA-accredited institutions in Louisiana. Tuition estimates are calculated on a per credit hour basis:

Grambling State University

  • Grambling, LA
  • Campus

Modality: On-Campus

Credit Hours: 45

GRE: Required

Resident Tuition: $1,262

Non-Resident Tuition: $2,766

Program Overview:
The program aims to develop critical thinkers capable of applying public administration knowledge, particularly in policy-making, evaluation, and execution, with an emphasis on ethical conduct in public management. Grambling State University’s MPA program offers concentrations in Public Management, State and Local Government, Human Resource Management, and Health Services Administration. Graduation requirements include completing 45 semester hours with a minimum GPA of 3.00, passing a written comprehensive examination, or opting for the Master’s Thesis Option in lieu of the examination.

More Details

Louisiana State University

  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Online + Campus

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $1,393

Non-Resident Tuition: $3,272

Program Overview:
The LSU MPA program offers students a comprehensive education to become effective public service leaders. Designed for those aspiring to work in government, non-profit organizations, and private entities dealing with governmental agencies and public policy, the program equips graduates with the skills to articulate and apply a public service perspective, fostering productive interactions with diverse workforces and communities. Students connect coursework to real-world experience through internships or practicums, enhancing their career readiness. An LSU MPA opens doors in various sectors, including all levels of government, non-profit organizations, universities, healthcare, and private entities engaged in governmental organizations and policy issues.

More Details

Southern University and A&M College

  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Campus

Modality: On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Required

Resident Tuition: $1,883

Non-Resident Tuition: $2,958

Program Overview:
Housed in the Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the program is delivered in a face-to-face setting with occasional online assignments, offering evening classes Monday through Thursday, reserving Fridays for research. Full-time students taking 9 hours per semester can finish in 2 years, while part-time students with at least 6 hours can complete it in 3 years. Concentrations in economics, healthcare, non-profit management, and public policy are available.

More Details

University of New Orleans

  • New Orleans, LA
  • Campus

Modality: On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $1,012

Non-Resident Tuition: $1,520

Program Overview:
The MPA degree is a flexible and practical professional degree designed for individuals interested in managing, leading, and serving the public. With a commitment to keeping class sizes small, ideally seminar-sized with 30-40 well-qualified students. Rooted in UNO’s urban mission, the program aims to enhance public service quality, particularly in the Greater New Orleans area, through academic programs, relevant research, and community outreach. The MPA faculty, known for academic excellence and practical experience, offer expertise in hazard policy, nonprofit leadership, and transportation administration.

More Details

Online MPA Programs

Choosing an online Master of Public Administration (MPA) program while living in Louisiana comes with practical benefits. The state’s diverse geography and cultural offerings provide unique travel opportunities, which an online program can accommodate. Whether students are in bustling urban centers like New Orleans or more rural areas, online learning offers flexibility without the need for commuting.

This flexibility is especially advantageous for those working full-time or managing other commitments. The ability to access coursework remotely allows for a more adaptable schedule, enabling students to balance professional responsibilities, explore different parts of the state, and pursue their MPA degree simultaneously.

Online MPA programs often incorporate real-world scenarios, letting students apply their learning directly to local contexts, enhancing the practical relevance of their education. Overall, the convenience and adaptability of an online MPA program align well with the varied opportunities and lifestyles present in the state of Louisiana.

In the State of Louisiana, two MPA programs offer a fully online learning option, with one of them being NASPAA accredited. Additional information on the remaining unaccredited program can be found here:

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Contingent on GPA

Resident Tuition: $1,044

Non-Resident Tuition: $2,389

Program Overview:
ULM offers a 36-hour online-only MPA program, catering to graduate students worldwide. With courses available in both eight-week and sixteen-week formats each semester, students have the flexibility to complete the degree in as little as 12 months. Open for enrollment every semester, the program requires participants to have essential tools such as Microsoft Office, high-speed internet, and computer equipment with audio and video capabilities, including a headset, microphone, and webcam.

More Details

Accelerated MPA Programs

A Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) degree typically takes 2-3 years for full-time students and 3-4 years for part-time students. However, various programs in the State of Louisiana offer accelerated and dual-track options, allowing students to complete their degrees in a shorter time frame. 

Enrolling in an accelerated track Master of Public Administration (MPA) program in Louisiana offers several advantages. The condensed time frame allows students to complete their MPA degree more quickly, making it a cost-effective and time-efficient option. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals seeking to enter or advance in the public administration field promptly.

Louisiana’s diverse administrative landscape, encompassing urban centers and rural areas, can be navigated swiftly through this accelerated program, allowing students to address regional challenges promptly. Additionally, completing the MPA program at an accelerated pace enhances the immediacy of applying newfound knowledge to real-world scenarios, contributing to the practical relevance of the education received.

For example, the MPA program at Louisiana State University is normally completed in two years (either in-person or online), but offers a 16-month accelerated program for on-campus students that have recently completed their undergraduate degree and have yet to begin the time commitment of a full-time job.

In addition, the University of Louisiana at Monroe formats their online classes in 8 and 16 week formats, allowing students to stack their course options and complete the degree in roughly one year.

Affordable MPA Programs

Tuition affordability is crucial for students pursuing a Master of Public Administration (MPA) graduate degree in the State of Louisiana for several reasons. Louisiana has a diverse demographic, including individuals with various financial backgrounds. Affordable tuition options make higher education more accessible, ensuring that a broader range of students, regardless of economic circumstances, can pursue an MPA degree. This inclusivity aligns with the state’s commitment to providing educational opportunities for all.

Moreover, many students considering an MPA in Louisiana may be working professionals or individuals managing multiple commitments. Affordable tuition lessens the financial burden, enabling these students to balance work, family, and education without accumulating substantial debt. This financial flexibility is particularly essential in a state where cost of living considerations may impact students’ ability to invest in their education.

Louisiana State University offers both an on-campus and online option for completing an MPA degree. For their online option, classes are cheaper than both resident and non-resident tuition at $697 per credit hour. 

The next best option for tuition affordability is the University of New Orleans. The institution, which is accredited by NASPAA, offers resident tuition at $1,012 per credit hour, and non-residential tuition at $1,520 per credit hour.

All MPA Programs in Louisiana

School NameDegree Program NameStateCityNASPAA AccreditedOnline DegreeProgram Link
Grambling State UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationLouisianaGramblingNoYes
Louisiana State UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationLouisianaBaton RougeYesYes
Southern University and A&M CollegeMaster Of Public AdministrationLouisianaBaton RougeNoYes
University of New OrleansMaster Of Public AdministrationLouisianaNew OrleansNoYes
University of Louisiana at MonroeMaster Of Public AdministrationLouisianaMonroeYesNo

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

Graduates with a Master of Public Administration in Louisiana have diverse career opportunities shaped by the state’s unique administrative landscape. Baton Rouge, the capital, is a focal point for state government roles, offering positions such as policy analysts, program managers, and administrative leaders. MPA graduates can contribute to shaping policies and initiatives that address the specific needs of Louisiana’s residents, taking into account the state’s cultural, economic, and environmental nuances.

Local government in Louisiana, encompassing cities and parishes, presents distinct opportunities. Positions in city management, community development, and public services allow MPA graduates to engage directly with the unique challenges and aspirations of different communities. Whether in urban settings like New Orleans or more rural areas, MPA professionals play a vital role in local governance, addressing issues like infrastructure, public safety, and community development.

Federal opportunities in Louisiana offer a broader perspective, with roles in agencies like FEMA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency. MPA graduates can contribute to federal initiatives that intersect with state and local concerns, such as disaster management, housing policy, and environmental sustainability.

Economic development work in New Orleans and its surrounding suburbs is a critical domain where MPA graduates can make a significant impact. Louisiana’s economic landscape, influenced by factors like tourism, energy, and agriculture, presents opportunities for professionals to drive sustainable development, foster entrepreneurship, and enhance the overall economic well-being of the region.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) government operations form another niche for MPA graduates in Louisiana. By engaging in transportation planning, infrastructure development, and regional coordination, professionals in this field contribute to the state’s growth while addressing unique challenges related to transportation and urban planning.

Louisiana has seen influential public figures with MPA degrees contribute to its governance. These individuals have played pivotal roles in shaping policies and programs to meet the state’s needs. While specific public figures may vary, the MPA has been a credential embraced by leaders who have navigated Louisiana’s complex administrative landscape, bringing both expertise and a commitment to public service. These figures often serve as inspirations for MPA graduates aspiring to make meaningful contributions to Louisiana’s governance.

  • City Manager or Administrator: City managers or administrators oversee the day-to-day operations of a city, ensuring efficient delivery of public services, implementing policies, and managing budgets. Graduates may find opportunities in cities like Baton Rouge, New Orleans, or Lafayette.
  • Policy Analyst for State Government: Working in the state government, MPA graduates can analyze and evaluate policies, providing insights to policymakers. Positions may be available within state agencies in Baton Rouge.
  • Emergency Management Specialist: Given Louisiana’s vulnerability to natural disasters, graduates may work as emergency management specialists, coordinating disaster response and preparedness efforts at the state or local level.
  • Grant Writer for Nonprofit Organizations: Nonprofits across the state, including those in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Alexandria, often seek skilled grant writers to secure funding for their programs and initiatives.
  • Environmental Policy Specialist in State Agencies: Graduates may contribute to environmental conservation and policy development by working for state agencies focusing on environmental protection and management. 
  • Community Development Specialist: In cities like New Orleans, community development specialists may work on projects related to housing, economic development, and neighborhood revitalization.
  • Higher Education Administrator: Louisiana’s universities and colleges, such as LSU and the University of New Orleans, may have administrative positions for MPA graduates, overseeing departments or managing institutional policies.
  • Budget Analyst in Government Agencies: Graduates can work as budget analysts, reviewing financial data, preparing budget reports, and assisting in fiscal planning for various government agencies.
  • Transportation Planner in Metropolitan Planning Organizations: MPA graduates can contribute to urban planning and transportation development by working in MPOs, such as the Regional Planning Commission in New Orleans.

MPA Programs in Other States