Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Enrich your Public Administration Career and Help your Community
#28 Best Public Affairs Programs, U.S. News & World Report
Two Specialization Options
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- Duration 30 months
- Cost per Credit $950
- Credit Hours 36
- Ranked in the 2023 Best Public Affairs Programs by U.S. News & World Report
- Flexible 7-week online courses, ideal for working professionals
- No GRE required
Train to Lead and Manage Diverse Public and Nonprofit Organizations
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.
What You’ll Learn
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.
David Hayes: Good evening, everyone. Welcome to the University of Delaware’s Virtual Open House for our Online Masters of Public Administration program. My name is David Hayes and I am an admissions counselor to help provide information for UD’s online programs. I also go over making sure you meet all the requirements before applying and provide additional information if you are missing any.
For tonight’s agenda, you’ll get to meet some of the staff and faculty from the University of Delaware. We will then talk about why Delaware is a great choice. Next we will go over an overview of the program. We’ll then explain some highlights of the curriculum. You’ll also get to hear information regarding career outcomes and then the application process and its details. And then we will finally wrap it up with a Q&A section at the end. So if you have any questions, you can type them in a Q&A section and we will answer those at the end.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you very much, David. My name is Alisa Moldavanova and I’m an MPA program director and associate professor in the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware. My own research and teaching area includes a variety of subjects in the public and nonprofit management field, and I also currently conduct research on how public and nonprofit sector organizations contribute to advancing community sustainability goals. I also research the questions of organizational resiliency and how organizations are able to improve their strategic and professional management to be able to cope with the stress that exists in the external environment to be able to continue functioning and delivering the public services now and for the generations to come.
I myself have an MPA degree and I’m excited to be here today on this webinar with my colleagues and current students as well as program advisors so we can discuss some of the program highlights and share some of the things that we find exciting about this program. And I’m now going to transfer this to my colleague Steven.
Steven Peuquet: Thank you Alisa. I’m Steven Peuquet. I’m actually a retired professor in the Biden School after spending 36 years as a full-time professor. I’m now teaching part-time in the online MPA program and in other programs in the Biden School. I’m an economist and urban planner with a very strong interest in housing policy and issues of poverty, as well as the social determinants of health, which is essentially focused on the effect that different neighborhoods and communities have on individuals health and wellbeing.
I teach the economics course in the online MPA program. The primary goal of that course is to expose students to a variety of very important and fundamental issues in economics with a particularly strong focus on microeconomics, which is a very important subject matter for students that are involved in public administration as well as public policy. I’ve done research in the area of homelessness and have worked internationally as well and very much enjoy working with online MPA students.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you, Steven.
Breck Robinson: Hello everyone. My name’s Breck Robinson. I’m an associate professor in the Biden School. My background’s a little different. I am actually a private sector person that’s been trapped in a public sector school for the last couple of years. My PhD is in finance. I have an MBA, a master’s in economics as well. My area of teaching in our program primarily revolves in with respect to financial management economics just like Steve. And I also teach the statistics course all for our master’s students. I also created a course in personal finance for our leadership program, which I teach at the undergraduate level. My primary research area has been in financial institutions, banking, housing, finance, community reinvestment. I’ve been a visiting scholar at the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. When I was a young lad, I was a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. I’ve been at the university for a long time. I was kidnapped as a child and I’ve been here for 28 years.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you, Breck. Jessica?
Jessica Sowa: Hi, I’m Jessica Sowa. I’m a professor here in the Biden School. I joined the faculty in fall of 2020, which was obviously perhaps not the most ideal time joining the faculty, but I have never regrets about it and I’m thrilled to be here and I’m thrilled to be back here in person. I’ve been teaching online actually probably for about 12 years. I started teaching online post tenure and I actually found it really as fun to try to think about how to create an engaging learning environment in a fully online classroom. So that’s something I love to push myself to think about. My areas of research are public and nonprofit management. Human resource management is my primary focus. I study high performance work practices in human service organizations, volunteer management and basically all sorts of different ways to try to create positive learning environments for public service employees so they can pursue the public good.
I also, when I was an undergraduate, I was a political science major and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for a living and I stumbled into the MPA and really fell in love because for me it’s where we take big ideas and actually make them work. I try to keep that love still alive for many years past down the road, I won’t say 20 plus years, trying to help students tap into that and think about what it means to actually serve the public good in so many different ways. I think we’re really blessed to do this for a living and we hope you join us.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you very much, Jessica. As you can see, all of our faculty have quite a rich and diverse professional background. Many of our faculty also have experience of working and engaging in public service outside of their academic environment, which makes their expertise especially relevant to those of you who are choosing this area. Everyone is very excited about this program. David also already had a chance to introduce himself, but he will be a point of contact when it comes to enrollment and admissions, so he will have a chance to talk about more later during this presentation. I’m especially excited to welcome the current UD MPA student in this program, Emily Thomas, who has graciously agreed to join the webinar today. I would like to ask Emily to introduce herself and tell us a bit about your current employment and where she’s at in the program.
Emily Thomas: Hi everyone. Thank you for having me. My name’s Emily Thomas and I’m currently in my last course in the MPA program. So I’ll be graduating at the end of the fall session. I work at Delaware Technical Community College in the office of the president as the college-wide director of grants. So I oversee the administration of all pre and post-award of federal and state grants that the college receives, and I’m happy to be here.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you so much, Emily. One of the goals for this presentation is for us to tell you a bit more about the program and how the program is structured, as well as what kinds of skills and competencies you can learn through the courses in the program. But before we go into the program curriculum, I would like to briefly highlight several important features of the UD Masters of Public Administration Program, specifically the online program.
First, this is a top ranked program. It has been ranked consistently in the U.S. News & World Report as one of the top online programs. We have also several areas of professional specialization that have been ranked separately. This includes non-profit [inaudible 00:08:37], public budgeting, and finance and leadership and public management. This means that our coursework in these areas is especially strong.
The program is also accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, and it is the only accredited MPA program in the state of Delaware. Currently, it is the only accredited program in the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration. The accreditation is important because it tells you that the program nationally defined standards and that the program delivers the content that’s rich and practically relevant. It actually does a very good job in placing students in the job market or enhancing their career prospects.
The program is held in the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, and that means that the students and the program will have multiple opportunities to engage in interactions and networking with faculty and students in other Biden School programs. We have a number of professional development activities that the Biden School offers to students and alumni. MPA students, including online MPA students are always invited to participate in these kinds of events. This includes professional development opportunities, additional fellowships and things like that, but also opportunities to interact and be mentored-
Alisa Moldavano…:That, but also opportunities to interact and be mentored by experienced professionals, faculty members, as well as part-time faculty members. Another highlight of our program is that it is run as online asynchronous degree program, and it can be completed in slightly more than two years, in about two and a half years. The program coursework is designed in a way that allows working professionals to combine the classes with their full-time employment or part-time employment. The way that we do it, we offer seven-week courses online asynchronous courses, so the students are able to take twice as many courses that they would usually take in a different degree program because they can take two classes per semester and finish the program faster.
The courses are delivered by a mix of full-time and part-time faculty members. Our full- time faculty members, you have met several of them on this call today. They are award-winning scholars, researchers, and instructors. Our full-time faculty members are experienced public administration practitioners. That’s something that we are really proud about that we are able to combine the faculty research and teaching expertise with the hands-on experience that many of our part-time faculty have.
It is also important to know that the program offers the same tuition rate for those students who come from the state of Delaware, as well as those who apply outside of the state. Not all MP programs are able to offer this, but this is something that we have. Of course, regardless of where you are located, you may be in Connecticut or you may be in Michigan, this would be a great program for you to consider because you would get the same tuition rate and you can complete this program fully online and fully asynchronously.
I’d like to now talk a bit briefly about the program curriculum. The program curriculum comprises 36 required credit hours, and that includes 27 courses, which we define as core courses and 9 credits of specialization courses. As you can see by looking at this table, most of our courses have both the public and nonprofit in the course title. That’s actually another highlight of this program because the program is designed to support a variety of careers in both the governmental organizations and the nonprofit organizations. All of our courses deliver competencies that are applicable to both of these types of organizations.
In terms of general overview and curriculum priorities, you can see that the curriculum emphasizes a variety of skills to include human resource management, financial management, economics, but we also emphasize the importance of innovation, technology, and performance management, and program evaluation as some of the special skills. In addition to going through the 27 credits of the core curriculum, students also have an opportunity to choose between the two program specializations. We have a general specialization and a health systems management specialization. The health systems management specialization is rather new. This is something that we added to the program last year, but we expect that we will have a fair number of students specializing in health systems management because it’s an excellent and vibrant sector of economy. That’s something to consider if you are considering this program.
We have three courses that support each of the specializations. The general specialization includes courses that help students to develop their decision-making and analytical skills applicable to a wide range of organizations in the public and the nonprofit sector. The health systems management specialization includes courses developed specifically to students who are seeking to enhance their analytical and managerial competencies necessary for the leadership in public and nonprofit healthcare. These classes include the health policy, population health, and health economics. I would like to now invite my colleagues to talk a bit about each of their classes and to share maybe some of the highlights from the classes that they’re teaching. Stephen, would you like to go first?
Steven Peuquet: Sure, I’d be happy to. The course that I teach is called Economics in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors, and it is focused on providing a very strong theoretical and practical understanding of economic theory and economic principles. It’s very strongly oriented towards microeconomics, but there is as well a fair amount of discussion of macroeconomic issues. My background is in urban and regional economics as well as urban planning. I’m very focused on and very interested personally in how the environment around where people live affects their life chances and their health and their welfare as well. My interest in issues like poverty and housing, affordable housing in particular, finds its way into this course. I use a lot of examples that pertain to those topics, but my entire career, I’ve been very engaged in the broader community, so there’s a lot of practical examples that I infuse into the course.
I really am strongly committed to the idea that universities and colleges have a responsibility to be engaged in the broader communities in and around their universities as well as nationally and internationally. I bring that kind of mindset into the course where we talk about economics, but in a very practical sense, the knowledge and the expertise that you’ll gain in the class is not just strictly theoretical, it’s practical as well. How does this information pertain to the real world and how can students utilize these principles and concepts as they’re engaged in their everyday employment settings?
That’s essentially economics in the public and nonprofit sectors, and very pleased to be able to teach it. I enjoy teaching it every time I have taught it, and I try to make it as interactive as well. Even though it’s asynchronous, I have offered real-time question and answer sessions. Students can log in to those sessions, but they can always send me a text message or an email message, and I’m happy to respond as quickly as I can to inquiries made by students. Thanks.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you very much, Stephen. Jessica, would you like to tell us a bit about your class?
Jessica Sowa: Sure. I’ve taught the Human Resource Management in Public and Nonprofit Sectors for the online program. My course is I try to always combine a variety of exercises to help people understand both the theory and practice of managing people and organizations. I love teaching the HR class. I’m an HR evangelist because even if our students are going to go to work specifically in HR, everyone manages someone. Understanding the principles to how to do effective management is really critical for me.
I try to do a number of hands-on projects, especially because my students are in practice a lot of times for the online program, so assignments that build on each other, so doing an analysis of a job and then building a performance appraisal assignment off of that, interviewing a manager to see some of the HR challenges, different assignments that tap both writing and analytical skills. One of the assignments I really love that I use in this class is I have students actually design a training that they tape and then deliver to me as their final project. They’re able to do a kind of audio-visual component and really practice research, design, and that overall putting all the pieces together. That’s how I approach the course.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you very much. Breck.
Breck Robinson: Sure. I teach the Quantitative Analysis in Public and Nonprofit Sectors course. It is a course that for the most part it’s a challenging course. Most of our students tend to be not as, do not enjoy the quantitative stuff as much, but what we do in this course is the goal is to get students familiar and comfortable with collecting, analyzing data. And so, the way that I do the courses is that there’s a lecture part, which is more getting students familiar with different types of quantitative tools and concepts. We do homework associated with that. Then, there’s also a computer lab component where the students get a chance to actually do use computer software as a way of analyzing the data and the concepts that we discuss in class, being able to analyze and look at those concepts using computer software. And so, we talk about a lot of different statistical issues and data issues.
Breck Robinson: A lot of different statistical issues and data issues that in many instances, students will be using or that they use in their jobs because everything’s become more quantitative. You need to be able to quantitatively explain and analyze things in order to make a case for everything, for resources, to be able to talk about how program has impacted society or impacted a group. And so we go all the way up to, we talk about regression analysis, the students do it using computer software. And so it’s a course that is very interesting and interactive because I don’t see how you can talk about statistics without actually seeing it done in action.
So that’s what we did with that in this course is to try to get… And we also try to not only get students to understand and feel comfortable with data, but we also read articles about how these statistical tools are used in the academic research, but I use articles that are very applied. Everything from looking at the impact of medicine on COVID, we talk about articles in sports that use different types of statistical techniques, and just as a way of showing that these tools actually have real world application. Yeah, so that’s another quantitative analysis course.
Alisa Moldavano…: Great. Thank you so much, [inaudible 00:21:38]. And I think to wrap up this discussion about the curriculum, I should probably mention to you all that the curriculum is structured in a logical way, meaning that the students typically start the program from one of the general classes. For example, the seminar in public administration. So those students who may be new to the public sector, that gets them into the public sector, it gives them an idea of the various actors that are included in the provision of the public services. But then what we do, students take some of the specialized courses about some of which you heard as part of this presentation, and then students finish up the curriculum by going into their specialization options. And one of the last classes in the program the students take is the capstone in public administration. And the capstone provides an opportunity for students to apply the skills and knowledge that they gain through the entire MPA program curriculum to a very specific project.
And typically students choose a project that’s based on their workplace, something that they want to do for a long time or some idea that they have and they would like to explore. And what they can do in that class, they can really work with the capstone instructor to focus on that idea and use their knowledge that they gained in the MPA program to really make this idea work. So we provide an opportunity in the final class in the program, the capstone class, to apply a lot of these ideas and skills and techniques that people learn in a variety of classes to a very specific project. So now I would like to shift a bit to discuss where our graduates end up or aspire to end up. So when we think about the Masters of Public Administration degree, we typically think about governmental employment and nonprofit sector employment.
And I would say about 97% of all of our graduates end up in the public or in the nonprofit sector. But we also have program students and program graduates who end up in the private sector as well. So an example of a student who would end up in a private sector would be somebody who works as a governmental relations specialist in a private corporation. Or somebody who feels passionate about the field of corporate social responsibility. So these are the examples of the fields or the professions that our students often find even in the private sector. And somebody with an MPA degree also, especially as a degree that combines the public and nonprofit competencies, is quite mobile, meaning that students are able to switch the sector if they choose to do so. We are proud to share that a hundred percent of all of the Biden school graduates are employed or pursuing further education.
And that includes the Masters of Public Administration Program and the online Masters of Public Administration Program. Most of the students that we have in the online program are the students who aspire to move to more leadership types of positions from frontline positions, which is why they’re getting this degree that prepares and delivers the leadership and management competencies. As you can see, based on this slide, we have the graduates who have gone into governmental employment, which includes the state, local, and federal government. But we also have a fair number of graduates who have gone into the nonprofit sector, focusing on specific functions or areas of the nonprofit sector, as well as pursuing the CEO track. And we also have a fair number of current students and program graduates who are going into the field of fundraising and development. And it is actually one of the growing fields, and it’s one of the fields that have healthy employment track, where somebody can start from the frontline position, but then they can grow all the way to the Chief Fundraising Officer or Chief Development Officer for the organization.
I also have a couple of examples of positions that people take once they graduate from the MPA program, and you can see some of these examples on the screen. But what I would like to do, I would like to invite Emily to talk a bit about your experience in the program. This is the last semester in the program for Emily, so she will soon be a program graduate. And what I’m curious about and what I would like to ask Emily to reflect on, is to talk a bit about your experience in the MPA program courses, specifically focusing on the online courses, the competencies and the interactions with program faculty, and also talk a bit about how this coursework has enhanced her ability to excel in her current place of employment, and how it supports your future career plan.
Emily Thomas: Thank you. So I, as I said, work for Delaware Technical Community College, which is a state agency. And what drew me to the MPA program originally, I think Dr. Sowa touched on in her introduction, was that it’s a field that is really concerned with understanding what the issues are and implementing solutions that will actually work in real time. So for me, I think one of the most valuable components of the MPA program has been the combination of not only the academic and technical concepts, but also applying those foundations of public policy and research to issues that affect my organization. So just to give an example, you mentioned the capstone course, which focuses on a project that benefits our organization, but I found that it was a thread through a lot of our courses. So in our performance management and program evaluation course, I was able to create a program evaluation design that used performance measurement and program evaluation modeling techniques to address a problem that I had identified in my organization.
And the process of just working through that using and applying those academic concepts to a concrete issue was I think really valuable and helped me to develop my critical thinking skills and just gave an example of what it looks like to work through that process, not just on a conceptual level. I think also some of the courses that faculty members mentioned here tonight were pretty challenging for me. The quantitative analysis course and economics course were a little bit outside my comfort zone, but developing those technical skills I think is really essential to public service because we need to understand what the issues are that are facing our communities, and understand the evidence-based solutions that will actually bring results. So I actually use those skills every day in my current position. And even though it was a challenge, I think working through it was really valuable and helped me to become more well-rounded and competent as a public servant.
And so currently I am in my role at Delaware Tech, and I think the program helped me to clarify what my goals are a little bit. My background is in fundraising. I’ve worked in fundraising for community colleges for about 10 years, and I’m interested in branching out into more leadership roles. Specifically, a lot of my work has focused on reentry students and students who are incarcerated. That was the focus of my capstone project, and that process helped me to just gain a better overall understanding of the issues that are facing our current students, and also gave me an understanding of what I’m looking for in the future as a public servant. I think that’s an area that is really expanding, especially because of some changes at the federal level to the Pell Grant Program.
Emily Thomas: Changes at the federal level to the Pell Grant program that is previously incarcerated students weren’t eligible and going forward, they will be. So that’s definitely one of the areas that I’m interested in branching out into. I had a colleague who said a person can only apply for so many grants in their life, so I’m definitely looking to branch out from fundraising and just into more leadership roles, possibly executive director positions, or other roles in my own organization, and this program, I think, has prepared me very well for those opportunities when they come up. But I actually am getting ready to go on maternity leave in the next couple months, so that’s my next big step. And once I come back, I’ll be looking to the future in my work in public service.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you very much, Emily, for sharing this extremely helpful insights and a bit of information about how you are using the program competencies in your current employment. I was wondering if sometimes students or even prospective applicants contact me with a question about I really would like to start a graduate program and I’m really interested in your MPA program, but I work full-time and I am not sure if I will be able to keep up with the coursework and all of the obligations that I have. And some of our students have other obligations outside of the workplace, right? So they’re caregivers for someone or they have children. It’s a new experience of [inaudible 00:31:41] taking our courses and holding a full-time job. What is your assessment of that situation? What would you tell to these students? Is it manageable? Is it doable? Can somebody in a full-time employment be effective and successful in this kind of program? And also, maybe you have a couple of pieces of advice that you would give to people who are in this type of situation who are contemplating to apply to the MPA program.
Emily Thomas: Sure. Yeah, I definitely think the program is manageable. I have worked full-time the entire time I’ve been in the program, and I have taken a few semesters off here and there. The staff and faculty were really flexible about that. It didn’t set me back at all. I think obviously, the online format makes it very flexible. The asynchronous nature of the courses and also the seven-week course format, I think, is helpful to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel for each course and keep you motivated. As far as advice, I would say get things done early, because the weeks do go by quickly. Definitely reach out to faculty because in my experience, they’re really responsive and I think there’s an understanding that almost everyone in the program is a working professional, and so there’s just a respect and acknowledgement of that, that I found that all the professors were really helpful in that way. But yeah, I definitely think it’s a program that fits well with a full-time job or a part-time job. It has that flexibility, and the flexible course format is definitely helpful.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you very much, Emily. And I must also add that I heard from some other students that students in the same cohort, they often get through the program together, right? So they’re able to connect. Although most of the classes are asynchronous, there is an opportunity sometimes to meet other students in professional development events or even as part of the virtual office hours that professors conduct. But certainly, as I learned from many of our students are able to communicate with each other and even reach out to recent graduates for advice when it comes to courses and how to succeed in the program. And we will be sure, as a program, to support these kinds of opportunities so you can connect with program alumni and current students if you are contemplating to start this program. So now I think it’s a good time for us to focus on the application, and I’m transferring this back to David.
David: Hello again, everyone. So yes, as I said earlier, I do work with the admissions team as an enrollment counselor. So basically, the very first initial call I like to have with students is just to talk to them about their interest in the program, just making sure this is exactly what they’re looking for, just trying to figure out where they’re looking to go, their career opportunities, their goals, things like that. And then also, we talk about what Emily and Alisa was talking about, just the flexibility of the program as well, and how they can make sure that they can maintain going through classes as well as working on the program and working at the same time. So with the application requirements we have, you need to make sure you have a personal statement. It needs to be at least no more than two pages long, so there’s no full requirement on how long it needs to be written.
You need to have a updated resume, three letters of recommendation. With those three letters of recommendation, you want to make sure they’re either professional or academic. If you have no work experience, definitely have at least one academic reference. And then you’ll need to have your unofficial transcripts, make sure that they also have the conferred degree date on it so we can verify that program, that degree is conferred. And then the application fee, which is $75. For the application process, it is a rolling application system, so students can apply anytime whenever they want to for spring, summer, or fall, as early as about almost a year. We like to try to tell students to not apply super early, that way your application isn’t just sitting there while other applications are getting reviewed beforehand, because we do prioritize what term is coming up next. So if you are looking to apply for the fall and it is right now in December, we would definitely say wait until about April or March or March or April, and then start working on the application.
But we do have three different terms. With that being said, you don’t have to wait until the application deadline as well, because as soon as you complete your application, you can go ahead and get a decision within about two to four weeks. But if there are not many applications, then you can also receive a decision as early as within one week as well. We do have my contact information down here, my direct phone number, as well as my email address. And then we also have our website, so you can take a look at the courses. If you ever have any questions, you’re more than welcome to reach out to me directly. And then also, on our very last slide, we have our general email address and our phone number, and I can still get in contact with you that way as well.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you very much, David. And before we transition to the last slide, I’d like to open this up for any comments or questions. In case if we have any questions in the chat, we can address these questions now, but also, I am opening this back to my colleagues and all the other attendees in case if there is anything else that you would like to add, now would be a good time.
Breck Robinson: Sure. I’d like to congratulate Emily on her new addition. Congratulations.
Emily Thomas: Thank you.
David: Yes. Congratulations, Emily.
Emily Thomas: Thank you.
Alisa Moldavano…: Congratulations.
Steven Peuquet: Let me just add that having been with the Biden School for 36-plus years, one of the things that has kept me so interested and involved in the school and at the University of Delaware has been the commitment that the Biden School has to making a difference in society. When we teach classes, and this has been mentioned by several of the speakers, we really are focused on how to use theory and practice skills and technology to truly make a positive difference in the communities that we seek to serve, no matter what our job roles might be in the future. So I have to say that ethic is very prominent within the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration.
Alisa Moldavano…: Thank you so much, everyone, and I would like to wrap up this presentation by thanking you for your attention and once again sharing the contact information. You’re welcome to contact David if you have any questions about the application process, and you’re welcome to reach out to me and I would be happy to connect you with relevant faculty members as well, if you have any general questions about the program. We will look forward to hearing from you and we will look forward to seeing some of you in our classes. Thank you very much.
View Our Latest Virtual Open House
Meet the Program Director and learn about the curriculum, career outcomes, and how to apply for our Online Master in Public Administration (MPA).
Serve Your Community in Rewarding Public Administration Careers
With your master’s degree in public administration from UD, you’ll be ready to advance in positions that help shape policy and implement effective solutions in the government, nonprofit and private sectors. MPA graduates work for mission-driven organizations and engage in socially meaningful careers that advance common good.
- 100% of Biden School graduates are employed or pursuing further education.
- Mayors, city managers, county administrators and governors earned over $100,000, on average, in 2020.1
Two Specialization Options
Learn to Address Complex Administrative Challenges
Focus on Emergent Needs
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
Fully Online Application
No GRE required
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|
We’re Committed to Affordability
$950 Per Credit Hour
We work hard to keep our tuition affordable while maintaining the highest academic standards.
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.Learn More
- 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.
“For me, one of the most valuable components of the MPA program has been the combination of not only the academic and technical concepts, but also applying those foundations of public policy and research to issues that affect my organization.”
-Emily Thomas, 2022 MPA Graduate
Director of Grants, Office of the President, Delaware Technical Community College
“[The MPA program] really helped me out a lot, especially with how the courses relate back to my organization.”
-Christopher Shore, Current MPA Student
Social Practitioner, Club Nova Community, Inc.
“For me, the move to asynchronous was the perfect choice…I had the benefit of being able to look at any school in the country… It was the curriculum of this program that sold me and made me want to apply. They are all things you do in the real world, and you do in your job… The most challenging classes have been the most rewarding.”
-Kate Bradley, Current MPA Student
Manager, Legislative Affairs, New Jersey Department of Children and Families
Faculty Are Readily Available to You
Our faculty are highly qualified and highly engaged citizens of the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration. Committed to the practice of Public Administration, they are deeply engaged in work with governments and nonprofits, bringing those experiences to their courses.
What it’s Like to Study Online
We pride ourselves on teaching and innovation, so you’ll encounter an advanced digital curriculum delivered by experts. Knowledgeable staff members are available to answer questions by phone, chat and email, and you can access technical support 24/7.UD Online Student Experience
Answers to Common Questions
We’ve provided answers to the most commonly asked questions about UD’s online programs. If we missed anything, you can get in touch with a knowledgeable admissions counselor by phone at (844) 237-1338.
You can earn your degree in as few as 30 months full-time or complete the program part-time at your convenience.
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.
The first step toward applying for this program is to complete your online application through the graduate student Application Management System.
Yes, this program accepts up to nine transfer credits with the approval of the program director.
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.
Yes, the online MPA degree offers two specializations – general (or public management) specialization and health systems management specialization. Both specializations comprise nine credits or three classes.
The general specialization allows you to:
- Develop essential decision-making and analytical skills for public and nonprofit managers.
- Understand ethical standards by which the public leaders’ actions are judged.
- Learn about the roles that public administration, policy analysis and policy research play in society.
- Learn about 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 health systems management specialization teaches you to:
- Understand the U.S. healthcare system
- Analyze how health policy and reform affect the U.S. economy
- Evaluate, design and implement e-services in the healthcare industry
- Use healthcare information technology and public health data to manage and improve population health
- Understand legal, regulatory and ethical concerns in population health management