Masters in Public Administration Programs in the State of Missouri

Cole Neder

Cole Neder

Updated & Fact Checked: 07.16.2024

Introduction

Obtaining an MPA degree in Missouri can be a rewarding experience, given the state’s diverse political landscape and the range of job opportunities available in public administration at the state and local levels.

Missouri has a unique political landscape, often considered a bellwether state due to its tendency to vote for the winning presidential candidate. The state government is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The governor leads the executive branch, which includes various state agencies responsible for implementing laws and policies. The Missouri General Assembly, consisting of the Senate and House of Representatives, makes state laws. The judicial branch includes the state’s courts, with the Missouri Supreme Court at the top.

Missouri has a variety of local governments, including counties, municipalities, townships, and special districts. St. Louis and Kansas City are the largest cities, each with its own city government. Counties are the primary units of local government, responsible for services like law enforcement and public health. Many cities in Missouri operate under a council-manager form of government, where the city council appoints a professional manager to oversee day-to-day operations.

Missouri offers a variety of recreational activities for residents and visitors alike. The state is known for its natural beauty, with attractions like the Ozark Mountains, the Missouri River, and numerous lakes and parks. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, and camping. Missouri also has a rich cultural scene, with museums, art galleries, music venues, and festivals throughout the year.

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  • NASPAA Accredited
  • 100% Online
  • Scholarships Available

American University

Online Master’s in Public Administration and Policy


American University’s nationally recognized and NASPAA-accredited master’s in public administration provides students with a master’s-level understanding of modern governance from an award-winning faculty working and teaching in the heart of government, Washington, D.C.

  • Fully Online or Hybrid
  • Top Ranked
  • No GRE/GMAT

Ohio University

Online & Hybrid Master of Public Administration Degrees


Ohio University’s MPA programs equip graduates for leadership roles in government, nonprofit organizations, and the public sector. Concentrations include:

  • No GRE/GMAT Required
  • 100% Online
  • HLC Accredited

Walden University

Online Public Policy and Administration Programs


Walden University’s Public Administration programs are taught by a distinguished faculty of scholar-practitioners, many of whom have senior-executive experience in government and public service. Programs include:

  • No GRE/GMAT Required
  • Top Ranked
  • Built for Leaders

Arizona State University

Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)


ASU’s Online Master of Public Administration provides students with a curriculum that covers leadership strategies, ethical decision-making, and effective management across various organizations.

  • Transfer Credits Accepted
  • Military Friendly
  • 100% Online

Purdue Global

Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Purdue Global’s Online MPA is designed to help practicing and aspiring administrators develop skills and techniques to provide leadership in a wide variety of public service fields.

  • Affordable
  • Transfer Credits Accepted
  • Accredited Program

Liberty University

Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Liberty University’s Master’s Degree in Public Administration Online is designed to equip students with a thorough background in the theories and practices essential for success in government and nonprofit roles. MPA areas of focus include:

  • Accredited Programs
  • Affordable Degrees
  • 100% Online

Southern New Hampshire University

Online Public Administration & Political Science Degrees


Stand up and be counted with a degree in public administration/political science from Southern New Hampshire University—and learn how to facilitate change from within the system. Program offerings include:

MPA Programs in Missouri

Missouri is home to several universities offering Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs, providing a range of options for students interested in pursuing careers in public service. Here’s a comprehensive overview of MPA programs in Missouri:

NASPAA-accredited MPA Programs

NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) accreditation is a prestigious designation for MPA programs, indicating that the program meets high standards of quality and has undergone rigorous evaluation.

NASPAA accreditation or affiliation can enhance the reputation and credibility of an MPA program, as it signifies that the program meets or exceeds established standards for curriculum, faculty qualifications, student outcomes, and program effectiveness. Students interested in pursuing an MPA in Missouri may consider NASPAA-accredited or affiliated programs for their commitment to quality education in public service.

In Missouri, several MPA programs are NASPAA-accredited or have NASPAA-affiliated status, including the following three institutions:

University of Missouri – Columbia

  • Columbia, MO
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NASPAA, NCACSHLC

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $4,500 (PSR)

Non-Resident Tuition: $11,250 (PSR)

Program Overview:
The University of Missouri’s Truman School, with a history of public service education spanning over a century, offers an MPA program aimed at preparing students for ethical leadership in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary teaching, research, and public service to provide students with diverse perspectives and experiences. Through coursework, students develop knowledge of policy processes, management principles, critical thinking, and analytic skills necessary for advancing in public service careers.

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University of Missouri – Kansas City

  • Kansas City, MO
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NASPAA, NCACSHLC

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $488 (PCH)

Non-Resident Tuition: $1,225 (PCH)

Program Overview:
The MPA program highlights include learning from award-winning faculty with extensive public service experience, the opportunity to earn a certificate in Health Leadership, Nonprofit Management and Innovation, or Urban Policy and Management alongside the degree, study-abroad opportunities to expand global knowledge and network, acquiring real-world skills such as policy analysis, program evaluation, leadership, and public finance, engaging in service learning and real-world problem solving, and earning a degree from a NASPAA-accredited program. The program can be completed on campus or online.

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University of Missouri – St. Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • Campus

Accreditation: NASPAA, NCACSHLC

Modality: On-Campus

Credit Hours: 40

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $614 (PCH)

Non-Resident Tuition: $1,460 (PCH)

Program Overview:
The Master of Public Policy Administration (MPPA) program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) prepares students for leadership roles in government and nonprofit sectors. Graduates go on to become city administrators, community development specialists, nonprofit executive directors, and directors of development. The program is NASPAA-accredited and ranked in the top third of graduate public affairs programs by US News and World Report, the highest in St. Louis. Led by 20 core faculty and adjunct instructors, the 40-credit-hour program offers courses in the evening or on weekends to accommodate busy schedules.

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  • NASPAA Accredited
  • 100% Online
  • Scholarships Available

American University

Online Master’s in Public Administration and Policy


American University’s nationally recognized and NASPAA-accredited master’s in public administration provides students with a master’s-level understanding of modern governance from an award-winning faculty working and teaching in the heart of government, Washington, D.C.

  • Fully Online or Hybrid
  • Top Ranked
  • No GRE/GMAT

Ohio University

Online & Hybrid Master of Public Administration Degrees


Ohio University’s MPA programs equip graduates for leadership roles in government, nonprofit organizations, and the public sector. Concentrations include:

  • No GRE/GMAT Required
  • 100% Online
  • HLC Accredited

Walden University

Online Public Policy and Administration Programs


Walden University’s Public Administration programs are taught by a distinguished faculty of scholar-practitioners, many of whom have senior-executive experience in government and public service. Programs include:

  • No GRE/GMAT Required
  • Top Ranked
  • Built for Leaders

Arizona State University

Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)


ASU’s Online Master of Public Administration provides students with a curriculum that covers leadership strategies, ethical decision-making, and effective management across various organizations.

  • Transfer Credits Accepted
  • Military Friendly
  • 100% Online

Purdue Global

Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Purdue Global’s Online MPA is designed to help practicing and aspiring administrators develop skills and techniques to provide leadership in a wide variety of public service fields.

  • Affordable
  • Transfer Credits Accepted
  • Accredited Program

Liberty University

Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Liberty University’s Master’s Degree in Public Administration Online is designed to equip students with a thorough background in the theories and practices essential for success in government and nonprofit roles. MPA areas of focus include:

  • Accredited Programs
  • Affordable Degrees
  • 100% Online

Southern New Hampshire University

Online Public Administration & Political Science Degrees


Stand up and be counted with a degree in public administration/political science from Southern New Hampshire University—and learn how to facilitate change from within the system. Program offerings include:

Online MPA Programs

Having an online-only program for an MPA degree in Missouri can offer several benefits for students, including flexibility, accessibility, affordability, career advancement, and networking opportunities. Online programs allow students to complete coursework at their own pace and on their own schedule, making it easier for working professionals or those with other commitments to pursue a degree.

Furthermore, an online MPA program can help students advance their careers in public administration or nonprofit management without having to take time off from work. Online programs also provide networking opportunities with faculty and peers through virtual classrooms, discussion boards, and online events.

However, students considering an online MPA program should also consider factors such as self-discipline, technology requirements, interaction, and accreditation to ensure a quality education and successful learning experience. There are many opportunities for online-only MPA degree formats in Missouri:

Lindenwood University

  • Saint Charles, MO
  • Online

Accreditation: NCACSHLC

Modality: Online

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Tuition: $551 (PCH)

Program Overview:
Lindenwood University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, offered exclusively online, is highly ranked and award-winning. Students can complete the degree in as few as 15 months with a full-time course load. The program prepares graduates for careers in local or state governments, the federal government, international agencies, policy think tanks, nonprofit organizations, and more. Graduates work in fields such as law enforcement, urban planning, social services, fire and safety, and public health.

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Accreditation: NCACSHLC

Modality: Online

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $10,881 (TTL)

Non-Resident Tuition: $21,879 (TTL)

Program Overview:
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is a 36-credit-hour program preparing students for careers in public service and providing professional development for administrators of public agencies and non-profit organizations. The program’s mission is to develop well-educated professionals for public service, excel in public and non-profit governance, and strengthen the profession of public administration. Graduates are culturally competent, and understand civic engagement and ethical leadership.

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Park University

  • Parkville, MO
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NCACSHLC

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Tuition: $695 (PCH)

Program Overview:
Park University’s Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) program- established in 1982- was the university’s first graduate degree. The program focuses on developing leadership skills and an understanding of the social and economic contexts in which public and nonprofit administrators work. It also provides training in budgeting, personnel administration, and data analysis. The program offers concentrations in Criminal Justice Administration, Disaster and Emergency Management, Information Systems and Business Analytics, Management Information Systems, and Nonprofit and Community Services Management.

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Southeast Missouri State University

  • Cape Girardeau, MO
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NCACSHLC

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Tuition: $365 (PCH)

Program Overview:
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a professional degree preparing students for management careers in government and nonprofit organizations. The program offers online, traditional classroom, or hybrid formats. While primarily for those pursuing careers in public or nonprofit administration, some graduates have successfully pursued doctoral degrees for academic careers. The program focuses on developing skills in strategic decision-making, ethical analysis, critical thinking, communication, leadership, and public service commitment. Students also have opportunities for scholarly and professional development beyond the classroom, working closely with faculty advisors.

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Webster University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NCACSHLC

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Tuition: $730 (PCH)

Program Overview:
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, offered by the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, is available online through asynchronous and synchronous modalities, as well as at select U.S. and international campuses, excluding the St. Louis main campus. The program provides a framework for leadership and management in the public service sector, examining the relationship between the public and non-profit sectors with the private sector.

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Accelerated MPA Programs

Accelerated programs are designed to allow students to complete their MPA degree in a shorter timeframe than traditional programs. These programs often offer more intensive coursework and may require students to take classes during the summer or complete additional credits each semester.

For example, the University of Missouri offers an accelerated MPA program that allows students to complete their degree in as little as one year. This program is designed for students who have a strong academic background and can handle the rigorous pace of accelerated coursework.

Affordable MPA Programs

Tuition for an MPA program in Missouri varies depending on the institution and program format (online or on-campus). Public universities in Missouri typically offer more affordable tuition rates for in-state residents compared to out-of-state students. Housing affordability also varies by location, with urban areas like St. Louis and Kansas City having higher housing costs compared to rural areas. However, overall, Missouri’s cost of living is lower than the national average, making it an attractive place to live and study.

The University of Missouri – Springfield offers resident tuition at $10,881 for the entire program, and $21,879 for the program for non-residents. Lindenwood University’s online program is only $551 per credit hour for all students. Southeast Missouri State University also offers tuition at only $365 per credit hour for all students.

All MPA Programs in Missouri

School NameDegree Program NameStateCityNASPAA AccreditedOnline DegreeProgram Link
Missouri State UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationMissouriSpringfieldNoNohttps://www.missouristate.edu/PSP/MPA/default.htm
Park UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationMissouriKansas CityYesNohttps://www.park.edu/
Saint Louis UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationMissouriSt. LouisNoNohttps://www.slu.edu/arts-and-sciences/public-social-policy/index.php
University of Missouri-ColumbiaMaster Of Public AffairsMissouriColumbiaYesYeshttps://catalog.missouri.edu/collegeofartsandscience/publicaffairs/
University of Missouri-Kansas CityMaster Of Public AdministrationMissouriKansas CityNoYeshttps://bloch.umkc.edu/graduate/mpa.html
University of Missouri-St. LouisMaster Of Public Policy AdministrationMissouriSt. LouisNoYeshttps://www.umsl.edu/gradschool/ppa/index.html

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

Job opportunities for MPA graduates in Missouri are plentiful, particularly in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and consulting firms. With its diverse local governments and state agencies, Missouri offers a range of positions in public administration, including city managers, policy analysts, program managers, and budget analysts.

MPA graduates in Missouri and the Midwest region have a range of unique job opportunities. They can pursue roles such as City Manager, where they oversee the operations of a city or town, including budgeting, planning, and community development. Another unique position is that of Grants Manager, responsible for researching, writing, and managing grants.

In the Midwest, there are also opportunities in Agricultural Policy, where graduates can work on issues related to farming, food production, and rural development. Additionally, MPA graduates can find roles in Environmental Policy, focusing on issues such as conservation, renewable energy, and sustainability, which are particularly relevant in the Midwest with its agricultural and industrial base.