Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration Online
from USC Price

Pursue an Online MPA from a top-ranked Public Affairs School

The Price School Master of Public Administration develops collaborative and innovative leaders to manage complex organizations and serve the public good, at home and abroad.

This mission has at its core the following social responsibilities:

  1. Serve the public good, advance democracy, and improve social justice through research, scholarship, and service.

  2. Prepare competent administrators of integrity who engage and improve diverse communities.

No. 4

Best Public Affairs School ¹

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Why Public Administration?

Professionals in this industry help address some of our nation’s most pressing issues, including health care accessibility, immigration, infrastructure, urban development and social policy.

Public administrators run government agencies, nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations at the ground level. They are experts at identifying areas for improvement in their communities and organizations and ensuring change is implemented. They help carry out policies that keep systems running efficiently — across all sectors. 

Specifically, they might:

  • Evaluate, develop and implement policy
  • Communicate with community leaders and constituents to identify issues
  • Ensure strategic solutions are implemented to systemic challenges
  • Track, allocate and raise funds

Careers in Public Administration

An online Master of Public Administration from USC Price can lead to advancement across a wide array of industries and professions. Nonprofits, government agencies, public policy organizations and private sector businesses all have roles suitable for MPA graduates.

To learn more about where our alumni work and how this degree could help you advance your career, visit our Careers page.

94% of recent online USC Price MPA graduates have secured employment.1

Where Our Online Alumni Work¹

35%   |   Nonprofit Domestic

29%   |   Private Sector

21%    |   City/County/Local Government

8%    |   Federal Government

6%    |   State/Provincial/Regional Government

Where Your MPA Can Take You

Recent alumni are putting their MPA to work in many ways.

Top Fields of Employment for Online MPA Graduates1






This data is self-reported by Summer 2017, Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 alumni of the online MPA program from USC Price. The data was pulled and calculated in June 2019 by the USC Price Office of Career Services.

Be A Leader in Your Community

Advance your career in public service with a degree from USC Price.

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The Online Master’s Curriculum

USC’s Master of Public Administration online, which delivers classes face-to-face through our videoconferencing platform, will equip you to enter or advance within this field. You will study topics like:

  • policy and program evaluation
  • public financial management and budgeting
  • urban planning and social policy
  • local government and nonprofit management

With two certificate options, the curriculum is designed to allow maximum flexibility so you can tailor your education to your career goals.

24 months to complete

2 certificate options

2 residencies

1 capstone

A lot of other programs I’ve been in try to make you into one specific type of leader. This program allows you to choose what type of leader you want to be.

— Trenton Jackson, USC MPA 2016 Graduate, Online Program

Why Public Administration?       |        Certificates      |        Curriculum        |        Admissions        |        Network


At USC Price, we seek students who are motivated to effect positive change in their communities. We have three start dates per year: January, May and September.

We require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and GRE/GMAT scores to apply, but test waivers are available for those with five or more years of managerial work experience and a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

During each application period, the admissions team offers an Early Decision deadline, which allows you to receive a decision and start planning for your future sooner. If you apply for the Early Decision deadline, we will waive the $90 application fee. If you are interested in a $90 application fee waiver, please reach out to your admissions counselor to learn more.

Veteran Services

The program is also a great fit for veterans looking to transition to civilian work. USC has been named the No. 5 best college for veterans by U.S. News & World Report.²

USC Price is also proud to partner with the Veterans Benefits Administration, providing VA Yellow Ribbon benefits to qualified students. Our curriculum equips veterans with the foundation they need to move into public administration work while allowing them to customize their course sequence to the industry they’d like to enter.

Summer Application Deadline
April 1, 2021

Fall Application Deadline
August 1, 2021

Summer Classes Start
May 5, 2021

Fall Classes Start
September 1, 2021

Your community needs you. Take the next step with USC Price.

Program Delivery

Public administration is undergoing a digital transformation. In order to advance as a public servant, you will need to be able to communicate (with organizations and public citizens), share information and leverage data virtually. Our online coursework will equip you to work and communicate in a digital environment.

Your Online MPA Network

Earning your MPA online doesn’t just mean advancing your education—and career—from anywhere. It also means joining a rich network of USC Price faculty, alumni and students who have been driving change in their communities for decades.

A Distinguished Team of Faculty

The USC Price School has a team of full-time faculty members from a diverse array of disciplinary backgrounds and research interests. Our professors are current and former:

  • consultants
  • economists
  • research directors
  • policy advocates

Faculty are passionate about preparing the next generation of public servants—and will be available to you inside and outside the MPA classroom to provide academic and professional guidance and mentorship.

Dedicated Cohort Coaches

The cohort coach program, which is unique to USC, pairs you with a USC alum to serve as your guide throughout the MPA program. Your coach can: 

  • Advise you on time management, study skills and best practices in MPA online coursework
  • Provide guidance for interacting with your professors
  • Help you explore career options and expand your Trojan network

These USC coaches help ensure your online graduate experience is as seamless as possible.

Why Public Administration?       |        Certificates      |        Curriculum        |        Admissions        |        Network

An Extensive Alumni Network

USC Price alumni are united for life—and stay closely involved with the school long after graduation.

“The Trojan Family is just that: an actual family. We’re so close knit. We look out for each other. It feels like they’re my brothers and sisters.”

— Trenton Jackson, USC MPA 2016 Graduate, Online Program

“The Trojan Family is not just USC Price students. It’s also the faculty and the alumni. I have the privilege of being an alumna and being able to work with the current students and mentor them.”

—Jennifer Page, USC MPA 2014 Graduate, Online Program

“There is a lot of wisdom in each cohort here. I learn from them every day and hope they learn from me, too. I hope we can help continue to build the Trojan Family.”

—Steve Ozinga, USC MPA 2017 Graduate, Online Program

Take the Next Step

Request information today to learn more about the online Master of Public Administration program from USC Price or contact an admissions counselor at Phone Number: 1-213-740-0550 or [email protected].

¹ U.S. News & World Report, ranked in 2021
² U.S. News & World Report, ranked in 2021