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Online Master of Public Administration, MPA

Delivered by the prestigious Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration, our online MPA program allows you to practice leading-edge management and problem-solving skills as you enhance your knowledge of the field. Plus, you’ll gain the professional experience you need to make values-based decisions in your ideal public administration career.


Program Outcomes


UD’s MPA online program teaches you to contribute solutions to the public challenges of our times through research and public service projects that involve you in experiential learning.

You will:

- Lead and manage in public governance

- Participate in and contribute to the policy process

- Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions

- Articulate and apply a public service perspective

- Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry

More information about the Online MPA

Health Systems Management

You can add a nine-credit specialization in Health Systems Management to your online MPA. You’ll gain the analytical and managerial tools to lead in public and not-for-profit healthcare organizations and related institutions.


General Specialization

You can add a nine-credit General Specialization to your online MPA. The General Specialization develops essential decision-making and analytical skills for public and nonprofit managers.

You can earn your degree in as few as 30 months full-time or complete the program part-time at your convenience.

Career Expectations

After completing the online MPA program from UD, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and leadership skills to help organizations through today’s most pressing challenges.

  • Move into a leadership position
  • Apply your skills immediately
  • Network with successful alumni
  • Access all of UD’s Career Services


Notable Alumni

Graduates in UD’s MPA alumni network have held impressive career titles such as Executive Vice President, Corporate Vice President, Director of Public Policy, CEO and Governor of the State of Delaware.


Known for Excellence

Our online MPA is ranked #28 in the 2023 Best Public Affairs Programs by U.S. News & World Report, including the Best Nonprofit Management, Public Finance/Budgeting and Public Management/Leadership programs.


Example Salaries

  • Government Officials/Chief Executives - $113,270 per year
  • Administrative Services Managers - $98,890 per year
  • Social & Community Services Managers, Local Government - $87,720 per year
  • Urban & Regional Planner - $75,950 per year

We’ve developed our top-ranked online MPA program to prepare you for numerous roles in local, state and federal government, organizations, nonprofits and more.

MPA graduates have the opportunity to impact individual organizations, communities, and a variety of policy areas from environment, to education, to social justice. 


Our graduates have gone on to pursue impressive public administration careers such as:

  • CEO

  • Non-Profit CEO

  • Policy Analyst

  • Government Relations Specialist

  • Fundraising and Development Professional

  • Grant Coordinators

  • Communications Specialists

  • Development Professional

  • Corporate Vice President

  • Director of Public Policy

  • Executive Vice President

  • Federal consultant

  • Governor

  • Mayor

  • Medical and health services manager

  • Nonprofit manager

  • Project Manager


Public Administration Career Outlook

  • Jobs for social and community service managers are expected to grow 15% from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than average compared to other occupational groups.

  • Over 28,600 new jobs will become available for administrative services and facilities managers from 2020 to 2030.

Urban and city planners will continue to be needed as new and existing communities require extensive development and improved infrastructure, including housing, roads, sewer systems, parks and schools.

Learn to Address Complex Administrative Challenges

Accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), the University of Delaware’s online MPA features an instructional approach that combines theory, research and application-based solutions.

In 36 credit hours of public administration courses, you’ll study topics including:

  • Human Resources in Public & Nonprofit Sectors
  • Leading Organizations in Public & Nonprofit Sectors
  • Financial Management in Public & Nonprofit Sectors



UAPP 684 Performance Management & Program Evaluation - 3 Credits

Increases knowledge of tools, techniques, and definitions for performance management, and program evaluation. Introduces indicators used by government and nonprofits and their use for accountability and improved effectiveness; furthers competence in areas of strategic planning, benchmark indicators, performance measurement, and evaluation; and explores linkages and alignments of systems for improved efficiency and effectiveness.


UAPP 689 Innovation and Technology in Management - 3 Credits

Considers the role of technology in the planning and administration of public and nonprofit organizations. Topics include technology planning and budgeting, data processing and analysis, databases, change strategy, policy issues with current and emerging technology tools for planning and management.


UAPP 690 Seminar in Public Administration - 3 Credits

Introduction to the field through the scope and evolution of public administration; the institutional, structural and political contexts of policy making; the role of nonprofit organizations in public service; the relationships and values of the public and nonprofit sectors.


UAPP 691 Quantitative Analysis in Public & Nonprofit Sectors - 3 Credits

Study of basic research design and data analysis techniques stressing applications in the public and nonprofit sectors. Includes research design, data acquisition, measurement, descriptive statistics, data collection, probability, exploratory data analysis, hypothesis testing, simple and multiple regression, correlation, and graphical procedures.


UAPP 693 Economics in Public & Nonprofit Sectors - 3 Credits

Develops microeconomics concepts and applies them to public issues, policies, and programs. Applications deal with a wide variety of topics, including health care, education, transportation, housing, community development, energy, and the environment. Emphasizes how microeconomic analysis can enhance decision-making.


UAPP 694 Financial Management in Public & Nonprofit Sectors - 3 Credits

Introduction to practical tools and concepts of financial management for public and nonprofit organizations. Topics include budgeting, capital budgeting, cost analysis, financial planning, investment decisions, debt management, financial reporting, financial statement analysis, and financial condition analysis.


UAPP 696 Human Resources in Public & Nonprofit Sectors - 3 Credits

Addresses strategic human resource planning and management issues in public and nonprofit organizations by linking critical activities like job design, recruitment/selection and compensation while strengthening performance management and productivity through appraisal and professional development. Also addresses competencies to lead a diverse workforce, including volunteers. Explores the legal rights and responsibilities of employees in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.


UAPP 697 Leading Organizations in Public & Nonprofit Sectors - 3 Credits

Addresses the knowledge and competencies necessary to lead organizations in a networked environment that included public, nonprofit, and for profit organizations in implementing public policy and public services. Explores the evolution of the study of organizations and leadership, as well as aligning the values and ethics of multiple organizations and sectors in the networks that now shape public governance.


UAPP 685 Capstone in Public Administration - 3 Credits

The Capstone course provides graduating students in the Master of Public Administration program with an opportunity to apply learned theory to actual practice. Collaborating with nonprofit and government organizations wherein the student works or has contacts, the student will provide research, data collection, and analysis services as part of their capstone project. The goal of the project is to demonstrate the application of public management theory and analytical skills in addressing a current issue or problem and to focus students in administration and management of public organizations.



UAPP 619 Contemporary Issues in a Global Society - 3 Credits

Focus on the “cutting edge” issues of urban affairs, public policy and public administration. The course features presentations by leading policy makers, policy researchers, practitioners and scholars with whom students engage in lively discussion. The course demonstrates the roles that public administration, policy analysis and policy research play in a complex global society.


UAPP 650 Values and Ethics for Leadership and Management - 3 Credits

Looks at the “ends” served by leaders in various contexts (including government, nonprofits, business, and media) and the ethical standards by which the leaders’ actions are judged. Examines cases of unethical conduct as well as cases of exemplary conduct.


UAPP 701 Public Policy - 3 Credits

This course examines the political economy of public policy, including the intersection of policy with politics and markets, and the institutional and structural dimensions of the policymaking process. The course also explores the challenges of policy implementation, and modes of policy assessment and choice.



UAPP 657 Health Policy - 3 Credits

Provides students with a basic understanding of the U.S. health system and gives them practical experience in analyzing how healthcare reform and health policy more generally affect various sectors of the economy.


SPPA 620 Policy Approaches to Population Health Improvement - 3 Credits

Focuses on the social determinants of health and health disparities, and the policies and systems that underlie population level health outcomes. Emphasis will be on policy approaches in domains outside of the health care system, including those that aim to reduce social inequities in health.


SPPA 621 Health Systems, Policy & Economics - 3 Credits

Provides basic concepts in microeconomic theory and analysis applied to health policy and the care delivery system in the United States. Addresses supply and demand issues for health services, payment systems and health insurance, and key public and private actors in the health sector.

We’re Committed to Affordability

$1,028 Per Credit Hour

Scholarships Available

In addition to a variety of scholarships, you could fund your program by receiving a grant, qualifying for federal or private loans, utilizing military benefits or pursuing employer tuition reimbursement. Our dedicated admissions and financial personnel will help you through the process, including enrolling in a payment plan if applicable.

Watch the Virtual Open House: Online Master of Public Administration (MPA):

Is the online MPA a well-recognized program?

Yes, UD’s MPA is ranked in 2021 Best Public Affairs Programs by U.S. News & World Report, including their lists of Best Nonprofit Management, Public Finance/Budgeting, and Public Management/Leadership programs.


Does the online MPA program accept transfer credits? If so, how many?

Yes, this program accepts up to nine transfer credits with the approval of the program director.


What are the start dates for the online MPA program throughout the year?

You may start this program in the fall, summer or spring semesters. Applications are accepted at any time up until a week before classes begin. Applicants are considered for admission on a rolling basis, which makes now the perfect time to apply.

Admission Requirements

Online MPA Application Process

Our graduate application system is designed to put you in control of not only the application but all documents associated with it. We have designated areas within the application where each required document should be uploaded. 

You’ll need:

- A completed online application

- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year university

- A current résumé

- Unofficial copies of your transcripts (we’ll need official versions once you’re admitted)

- Letters of recommendation

- A personal statement

- No GRE required 

Ready to Learn More?


Experience what it’s like to earn your Master of Public Administration in as little as 30 Months, all from the comfort of your own home.