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Online MPA Program Overview

Lead in the Public Sector and Change Your Community.

Gannon University's online Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is a flexible program that prepares you for managerial and leadership positions within the public sector, as well as in non-profits. The curriculum's interdisciplinary approach places a strong emphasis on the core business skills that are synonymous with exceptional leadership in the public sector. This unique approach competitively positions graduates in the job market and can distinguish them from other colleagues with a similar credential. Plus, with no application fee and GMAT waiver available to students who qualify, enrolling in Gannon's online MPA program is fast and stress-free.

Courses in the program help you develop problem-solving skills that can then be used to make informed, socially responsible decisions. The online Master of Public Administration can be completed in as little as one year and is fully accredited by The Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools — a testament to both the quality and rigor of this online MPA program.

The program is taught by field experts and former public administration practitioners who bring decades of combined experience and are committed to preparing the next generation of public administration professionals. Online students will have the same opportunity to interact with and learn from these field experts as our on-campus students, and will graduate with the same degree as those students who complete the MPA program at our campus in Erie, PA.

Online MPA Specializations

Gannon University's online MPA degree gives you the opportunity to expand your public administration expertise in two distinct areas — administration and organizational leadership. These specializations can position you as a subject matter expert in your chosen discipline, a trait that is highly marketable to potential employers.

Choose from two areas of specialization:

  • Administrative – The Administrative Track focuses on the accounting, financial management, and marketing side of public administration. Graduates will also learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of proposals and on-going programs using quantitative analysis and statistical methodology.
  • Organizational Leadership – The Organizational Leadership Track is for students who wish to become leaders in the public or private sector. In addition to learning how to lead, motivate, and empower others, students who choose this MPA specialization will also learn how different leadership styles affect the outcomes of policy implementation.

Should your interests span both specializations, you can select a custom track. This unique aspect of Gannon's MPA curriculum allows you to choose any three electives from the two specializations offered and seamlessly align your online MPA with your professional interests and academic goals.

What Makes Our Online MPA Different?

Gannon University's online MPA program goes beyond a generalist overview in public administration to truly develop industry subject-matter experts — leaders who are well prepared to solve the unique challenges that face government agencies, hospitals, and non-profit organizations. Other program advantages include:

  • Nationally recognized faculty
  • Interdisciplinary approach
  • Two targeted specializations — administrative and organizational leadership
  • Legacy of MPA leaders — program started in 1986
  • Comprehensive, student-centered approach

At Gannon, your success is our mission. Our small class sizes paired with an accessible expert faculty help ensure you get the personalized attention and one-on-one support to make your academic journey is an enjoyable one and to make sure you graduate prepared to have a long and successful career in public administration.

Career Outcomes: Salaries and Jobs

An online MPA from Gannon University can strengthen your current career or help you start a new one within the public or private sector. Careers for MPA graduates can be incredibly fulfilling, both in terms of personal enrichment and financial compensation. Job titles typically associated with MPA graduates and associated earning potential are listed in the chart below.1

Urban and Regional Planner


Social and Community Service Managers


Human Resource Manager


View More Career Info >>

Online MPA Outcomes: Real Results

Once you have completed the online MPA program at Gannon University, you will have the skills and confidence to effectively lead in a variety of scenarios for local, state, and federal governments as well as private businesses and organizations. Program outcomes include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ability to bridge the gap between private and public sectors to strengthen cross collaboration.
  • Acquire both theoretical and experiential perspectives to leverage technology and understand global cultures and concepts.
  • Understanding of public policy, strategic planning, budgeting, and basic legal principles affecting all facets of public administration.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the structure, responsibilities, and opportunities of public administration in a variety of public and/or private settings.

MPA vs. MBA: What's the Difference?

Although the MPA degree focuses more on public sector and non-profit management and administration than a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree both focus on organizational management and can be equally attractive to students interested in a management or executive level position within the public sector. The biggest differences between an MPA and MBA are the coursework emphasis and learning outcomes. Although you can apply the practical business management skills of an MBA to the public sector, an MPA degree will specifically prepare you to serve in executive positions in municipal, state, and federal levels of government. Some of the MPA courses that focus solely on public sector management and non-profit administration include:

  • Community Development Process
  • Elements of Public Administration
  • Ethics and Public Policy
  • Non-Profit Management and Leadership

Learn More About the MPA Curriculum >>

Get More Information on Gannon's Online MPA

To learn more about Gannon University's online MPA degree and how it can prepare you lead in the public sector, call (877) 497-5854 to speak with an admissions representative or request more information.

1 Information provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics