Public administration is both an academic discipline and a career field. As a field of study or practice, it has a wide and diverse scope. In general, public administration is concerned with public policy. A graduate level degree prepares civil servants for leadership in the public sector.
Public servants in leadership positions typically hold a degree in public administration. The Master of Public Administration (MPA) prepares students for a variety of positions in local, state and federal governments. An increasing number of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) also require public administration degrees.
In the past, MPA progams were typically offered as traditional resident programs on college and university campuses. However, a growing number of schools now offer an http://onlinempa.usfca.eduMPA degree through online study. The University of San Francisco (USF), California, is an example of a school where students can earn a public administration degree online.
The Master of Public Administration is designed to help professionals learn management principles and leadership skills to build or advance their public service careers. Schools like USF offer 100-percent online programs that allow students to complete their degree in just two years. As they learn important skills and principles relevant to public service, students also build their professional networks and develop their personal growth.
Traditional and online MPA programs are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. The NASPAA is a nationally recognized accreditor of master’s degree programs in public affairs, public policy and public administration. As such, it aims to "ensure excellence in the education and training of public servants."
Students enrolled in online degree programs explore the role of ethics in public service. They learn to develop effective and ethical public policy, build strong partnerships and address budgeting challenges. Other topics of study include social forecasting, human resources and emerging technologies.
Public administration degrees are designed to develop civic leaders who are committed to social justice, ethical responsibility, public service and governance. An MPA can open the doors to a variety of opportunities to address public needs. Whether students choose to study at USF or another online school, an MPA can help them achieve their personal and professional goals.
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