Public Administration (M.P.A.)


Indiana State University offers an online master of public administration (M.P.A.) for working professionals who have experience in public or nonprofit organizations and now seek a graduate-level degree for career advancement.

  • The M.P.A. is a 36-credit-hour program (39 credit hours if an internship is required).
  • The online master's degree in public administration includes a focus in public and non-profit organizations. The program requires a three-credit-hour internship with a public agency, but only of those students without public or non-profit work experience.
  • Although the program may be completed in just over two calendar years of full-time study, most students complete the program in about three years of part-time study. The University allows part-time students to take up to seven years to earn the degree, although the program is typically completed in far less time.
  • The department may approve up to 9 credit hours—3 semester courses—or the equivalent for transfer into the student's program from other universities.
  • All seven core courses and the final capstone course are offered by political science department faculty. With approval, students may take elective courses outside the department. Both core and elective courses may be transferred from other institutions with the approval of the program director. The capstone course must be completed at ISU.
  • The program now offers elective concentrations in five other ISU online master's programs. They are public policy, nonprofit leadership, criminology/criminal justice, human resources development, and public health.
  • This online program is open to eligible students in the U.S. (including the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories). The program also is open to students in Canada (all provinces). The program is closed to students residing in countries other than the U.S. and Canada except for U.S. military and State Department personnel and their family members with APO/FPO addresses.

Most of our students are mid-career, full-time employees of public or non-profit organizations. The M.P.A. is meant to enhance their ability to:

  • Implement public and social policy to improve the lives of the general public
  • Deliver services to citizens through plans that are transparent, efficient, and ethical
  • Influence the direction of both public and private organizations
  • React to the complexities of government, configure budgets, and advocate for public services

In addition to the M.P.A., the University offers online graduate certificate programs in public administration and public personnel administration. Courses in either of these certificate programs can be applied toward completion of the master of public administration.

Course Delivery

Courses are delivered via the Internet by two methods: by purely asynchronous web format and by web-based videoconferencing. The elective courses may be offered in either format.

  • Web Format: Four core courses (PA 601, 605, 606, and 607) are entirely asynchronous Web courses.
  • Videoconferencing: Three other core courses (PA 600, PA 602, PA 604) require students to log in as participants in a Web-based conference during weekly class meetings. However, these courses are also posted in the online platform, Canvas, used by all Web-based programs at ISU.
  • Access to Canvas: Students may log into courses in Canvas at any time to send and receive emails, view assignments, and join class discussions. Students must have access to the following to enter classes with web-based videoconferencing components: access to high-speed Internet; headsets (or microphones and speakers); and PC- or MAC-compatible speakers. Web cameras are optional.

Required Courses

The Public Administration Program was established as a semi-autonomous unit within ISU's Department of Political Science in 1976. The full-time director of the public administration program manages both the M.P.A. degree program and the two PA certificate programs, and advises students. The program is currently a member of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) and is associated with the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

Financial Aid & Assistance

Graduate students may be eligible for federal student loans if they are admitted into graduate degrees (or first-time teacher certification programs) and meet other eligibility requirements. Certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid. Private alternative loans can help students pay college expenses that may not be covered by federal loan programs or other financial aid. For more information, visit financial aid.

In addition, students may be eligible for payment plans and veterans benefits.

Further Information

For further information and assistance, contact:

College of Graduate and Professional Studies
Indiana State University
(812) 237-3005

Related Links
MPA Program: An Overview
MPA Handbook and Other Details


The Graduate Catalog and Undergraduate Catalog of Indiana State University are the documents of authority for all students. The requirements given in the catalogs supersede information issued by any academic department, program, college, or school. The University reserves the right to change the requirements at any time.



College of Graduate and Professional Studies
Indiana State University
(812) 237-3005

Related Links
MPA Program: An Overview
MPA Handbook and Other Details