Public Administration

Master of Public Administration


100% Online

Learn From Anywhere

36 Credit Hours

to Graduate

Up To 12 Hours

Transfer Credit
Cost per Hour


Per Credit Hour

Make a Difference and Help Transform the Status Quo

The public administration field offers a wealth of opportunity as well as professional mobility. EKU’s 100% online master of public administration degree (MPA) provides the leadership and managerial skills needed to translate your ideas into effective solutions for your community.

EKU’s public administration program allows you to leverage your interests and work experience by acquiring in-depth specialization in a range of focus areas. Graduates are prepared to assume a variety of leadership roles within nonprofit, public sector and government institutions.

Career Outlook

Salaries of urban/regional planners are projected to grow 4 percent from 2021 to 2031. And salaries for social services managers are expected to see a 12 percent growth rate for the same time period.

— U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Common Job Titles for MPA Graduates

Public administration programs prepare students to work in social service and government agencies.

> Learn More About Career Opportunities

Job Titles Include:

  • Urban/Regional Planner
  • Economic Development Specialist
  • Nonprofit Director
  • Social Services Manager


Where Have EKU MPA Graduates Worked?

MPA programs provide essential skills for today’s work environment and allow you to bring your on-the-job experience into the classroom, helping you make your mark as a public servant.
> Learn More About Career Opportunities

Employers Include:

  • Kentucky River Foothills Development Council Inc.
  • City of Berea, Ky.
  • Batavia Township (Clermont County, Ohio)
  • Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

EKU Online Career Services

Career planning is tough, but with EKU you don’t have to tackle the process alone.

The EKU Office of Academic and Career Services is a one-stop shop for all of your career and professional development needs.

Services include:

  • Creating/Updating Your Resume and Cover Letter
  • Interviewing Tips and Coaching
  • Career Documents Review
  • Job Search

Learn More About Career Services



By submitting, you consent to EKU contacting you regarding our educational programs and services using email, telephone or text using the information you provided. 

Benefits of EKU Online

Providing a program that can be tailored to your career goals, EKU blends academic and professional preparation through course topics such as public sector leadership, public finance administration, human resources management, policy analysis and program evaluation, and administration, ethics and public policy.

  • Accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)
  • No GRE required-for students with a 2.75 GPA or above (on a 4.0 scale)
  • No application fee
  • Earn a certificate in an area of specialization as you complete your degree
  • Accelerated 8-week terms
  • Free textbooks through EKU BookSmart
  • Reduced tuition for active duty military members and their spouses
  • Personalized graduation plan
  • No campus visits required
  • Free online tutoring and career services assistance
  • Generous credit transfer policy
  • Our program is devoted to the high standards set by the American Society for Public Administration and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
  • Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the best universities offering online degrees
Accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration


EKU has received national reaccreditation by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). NASPAA is the only accrediting body for US programs in public administration, public policy, and public affairs, and has recently moved into international accreditation.

Accreditation demonstrates our commitment to the highest quality education in public administration. It also means that we consistently identify and track the knowledge, skills, and abilities we expect our students to achieve.

The EKU MPA Program makes a report to NASPAA every year which provides information about the program, the success of students -including job placements and graduation rates as we report them to NASPAA. The reports are linked below for you to read. Summary tables for graduation rates and job placement are below.

Certificates and Concentrations

Complement your master of public administration degree with a specialized certificate. Select one of four specialty areas, based on interests and career goals, and earn a certificate in that area as you complete your degree – at no additional cost.

Designed for working professionals, certificates are an excellent way to customize your MPA for your own needs. This maximizes your flexibility to gain a competitive edge in the job market.


EKU’s online public administration curriculum prepares students for a variety of rewarding career options that will allow you to improve your community and make your mark as a public servant.

Master of public administration courses are designed to provide skill sets that can be immediately applied to your job and are taught by instructors with real-world experience. Courses include public sector leadership, administration, ethics and public policy, public finance administration, human resources management, and policy analysis and program evaluation.

Degree Requirements

A total of 36 credits are required to graduate.

View the Public Administration program degree requirements by concentration:

Please review the admissions requirements before applying for this or any program. If you have questions about the program or are planning to register for classes, please speak to the program advisor.

Transfer Credits

Students may transfer up to 12 hours of credit from accredited institutions. Please note that a minimum of 15 credit hours in this degree program must be completed at Eastern Kentucky University.

Previously earned credits must be reviewed upon admittance to EKU for appropriate articulation. Learn more about transferring to EKU.

Sample Courses

For a full list of course descriptions please see section 7 of the University graduate catalog.

POL 875 – Public Sector Organizations and Management (3)
Survey of major theories as applied to government agencies and other not-for-profit organizations. Topics covered include classical texts and recent research on theories of organizational behavior.

POL 876 – Public Human Resources Management (3)
Study of strategies and techniques of public human resources management in the public sector and their relationship to pertinent laws, policies, and institutions, in the context of contemporary theories of organizational behavior.

POL 877 – Public Finance Administration (3)
An examination of the effects of economic, administrative, legislative and judicial factors on the fiscal operations of government. Study of the budgetary and financial decision-making process at the federal, state and local levels.

POL 879 – Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation (3)
An introduction to theories and methods of analysis relating to public policy and public program formulation, implementation, and evaluation. Topics include quantitative and non-quantitative analytical techniques.


Amanda Stoddard

Amanda Stoddard

Enrollment Advisor

Call or email Amanda Stoddard for information about the Public Administration Master’s Degree program.

Contact Info:

Application Deadlines

Term Application Deadline Classes Begin
Fall A August 1 August
Fall B October 5 October
Spring A December 5 January
Spring B March 5 March
Summer A May 1 May
Summer B June 5 June


Admission Requirements

Applicants who meet the criteria listed below may qualify for “Clear Admission” to the MPA program.
Applicants must:

  • submit a complete application
  • meet the general requirements of both the Graduate School and MPA program
  • have verbal scores of 145 or above, and quantitative scores of 145 or above on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Note: Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) are exempt from the GRE requirement.
  • provide two (2) letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic or employment experience
  • submit a statement of career goals and objectives

Students who fail to meet the targeted GPA or GRE scores specified above may be granted a probationary admission. The minimum condition for transfer from probationary admission status to clear admission status is the successful completion of at least nine hours of graduate course work with a grade point average of at least 3.0 and with no more than one grade, regardless of the number of course credit hours, of “C” or lower. Students must be removed from probationary admission prior to registering in any course work beyond an initial 12 hours. At least six hours of the first 12 hours must be in the common MPA core.

Additional Contact Information

Admissions: 859-622-2106
Academic Testing: 859-622-1281
Big E Central (Financial Aid & Student Account Services): 859-622-2361
Military & Veterans Affairs Office: 859-622-2345

MPA Program Information

Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Public Administration Program at Eastern Kentucky University is to maintain and build upon our tradition of national distinction as an exemplary MPA Program by:

  • providing a high-quality education for a diverse body of public and nonprofit practitioners and pre-service students in the theories that inform the field of public administration.
  • providing the tools and techniques of public service and administrative practice that enhance performance in the public interest through professional expertise, technical skills and ethical behavior; and
  • supporting the practice of public administration and its ability to serve the public interest, with emphasis on the local, state and regional level.

Graduate Assistantships, Scholarship & Award Opportunities

Graduate Assistantships

Eastern Kentucky provides a limited number of graduate assistantships to qualified students. Duties may include teaching, laboratory supervision, research or service related to a student’s program of study. Assistantship appointments are at the discretion of the hiring departments and subject to approval by the Graduate School. You should contact the hiring departments for availability and details on the positions. Students receiving a graduate assistantship will be notified by the Graduate School.

Scholarship Information

Robert L. Kline Memorial Scholarship

The Robert L. Kline Memorial Scholarship fund was established as a memorial to the late Robert L. Kline (1942-1993) through a generous donation by Mrs. Robert L. Kline and family. Dr. Kline joined the faculty of the Department of Government in 1969 and served as Chair of the department from 1986 until his death. The Scholarship provides continued recognition of Dr. Kline’s service to the Commonwealth, the University and the Department of Government.

The Robert L. Kline Memorial Scholarship award is at least $500.00 per semester, for two semesters. All amounts awarded will be applied directly toward the payment of the award recipient’s tuition or other approved academic expenses at EKU. Renewal is subject to the annual application process. The recipient will be announced on or about March 15 and the money will be available for the following Fall and Spring semesters.


  • Applicants for and recipients of the Robert L. Kline Memorial Scholarship must be enrolled at EKU
  • The recipient must be, and must continue to be enrolled as a part-time or full-time student in one of the degree programs offered by the Department of Government (Political Science, Paralegal, Public Administration) throughout the term of the award
  • The recipient must be at least a second semester student to apply. Graduate students are eligible if they have taken no more than 21 hours
  • The applicant must demonstrate good character, social responsibility and commitment to service to others and promise of high academic achievement


Awards are determined by the Awards Committee. No application is necessary.

Janet Patton Award

The award honors Dr. Patton’s contributions and commitment to the MPA program. This award is given each spring to a recent graduate or graduating student in the MPA program in recognition of outstanding scholarship in public administration, contributions to the MPA program, and high potential for excellence in public service. The award consists of a modest stipend and a certificate of achievement.


This award honors a Political Science student who has demonstrated high academic achievement and who has contributed to the department through involvement in departmental activities. The award consists of a modest stipend and a certificate of achievement.

Program Outcomes

The program outcomes are currently in chart form at the following link:

Student Success

EKU Online was right for me because it set a standard. It helped me stay focused. It helped me get here today. My master’s in public administration is going to help me achieve my career goals.

Maya JacksonEKU Online MPA Graduate

Online Military Students

EKU Online offers veterans and active duty military students an unparalleled online learning experience that provides accessibility, convenience and flexibility.

Special Tuition for Active Duty* Military
Eastern Kentucky University offers reduced tuition expenses to $258 per credit hour for undergraduate and $335 per credit hour for graduate courses to all service members currently serving on active duty.

*Active duty is defined as on federal orders for 180 days or more.

“I’d like to thank the EKU College of Justice & Safety for the opportunity to complete my degree online. It’s very user-friendly, and everyone has bent over backwards to make this happen.”

– 1LT Heath Bergmann, EKU Online Graduate

Heath Bergmann
  • “I can confidently say that — as someone who doesn’t even live in the United States — EKU’s online program has been extremely accommodating and flexible. I can discuss advising appointments over email, and I can have my textbooks shipped to my address overseas.” – Sydney Garner Lewis
  • “After the birth of our first child, I knew I needed to go back and finish what I started,” said McKenzie. “I was happy that I could pick up where I left off at EKU even though I lived in a different state.” – EKU Online student and mom
  • “I chose EKU because I am a unique student with unique needs, and EKU provides an avenue for students like me to succeed.” – EKU Online Psychology student Jason Tate
  • “I am very lucky to be apart of the MPA online program at EKU and would recommend this program to anyone in the administration field.” – EKU Online MPA student Madison Hill
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