Welcome to the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at Northeastern University! Founded in 1969, the MPA program is designed to integrate theoretical foundations with practical skills directed toward defining and developing analytical, conceptual and practical competencies for management careers in the public, non-profit, or private sectors. With classes scheduled after 5 PM or provided online, the program is designed for both the full-time student and the professional, who is attending classes part-time.
The information on this page is of use to current and prospective students alike. We also encourage you to peruse the other sections of our website, to gain further information on our department, our faculty, and the special programs and opportunities we offer our students. We look forward to working with you to help develop and sharpen the skills and capacities needed for a career in public service.
The mission of the MPA program at Northeastern University is to serve the needs of the public affairs community, including students, working professionals, faculty, and researchers, by providing a practice-oriented and research-based graduate educational experience. The faculty pledge the best instruction available in a set of courses designed to integrate theoretical foundations with practical skills. Our MPA Program will prepare students to be effective in a dynamic and increasingly diverse professional environment. We also commit ourselves to assisting students in every possible way to secure internships, post-graduate employment, and overall career advancement. Students, in turn, are expected to meet high levels of academic excellence combined with ethical and professional integrity. Committed to the ideals of public service and advancing the public interest, we seek students who share the same enthusiasm.
The MPA program at Northeastern University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, the membership association of graduate programs in public administration, public policy and public affairs. NASPAA’s two-fold mission is to ensure excellence in education and training for public service and to promote the ideal of public service. NASPAA accreditation signifies that a master’s program in public affairs and administration has gone through a rigorous process of voluntary peer review conducted by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA), and has met NASPAA’s Standards for Professional Master’s Degree Programs in Public Affairs, Policy and Administration.
The MPA program at Northeastern went through its most recent NASPAA accreditation review in 2010, and has been reaccredited through 2011.
Why an MPA degree?
The MPA is a professional degree. Acceptance into an MPA program signifies a high level of achievement in previous professional and academic efforts and demonstrates a commitment to excellence in public service. Our graduate students come from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds. We have students from every section of the United States and nearly every corner of the globe. Many students are currently employed in the public or non-profit sectors. To gain a sense of the many opportunities for public service offered through an MPA degree please click on the logo below to view some videos made by current MPA and MPP students from various schools across the country.
What does our Program offer?
At Northeastern University, three general themes underlie our efforts to help you develop and sharpen the skills and capacities you’ll need for a career in public service or in the nonprofit sector.
- We make every effort to provide students with effective and relevant instruction in a curriculum that integrates theoretical foundations with practical skills. In turn, we expect students to extend every effort in their courses to meet high standards of academic excellence.
- Our program is directed toward defining and developing analytical, conceptual and practical competencies. Practicing public administrators among our adjunct faculty and student body provide linkages with all levels of government, permitting us a unique opportunity to maintain a high level of professional relevance.
- Finally, We strive to emphasize the “public” dimension of public administration. We view ourselves as being distinct from the private sector, motivated first by ethical and democratic imperatives to serve the public interest. Throughout the Program’s curriculum and activities, we will reiterate and focus upon our public responsibilities.
The MPA program is comprised of over 130 students served by full-time professors at Northeastern University as well as part-time faculty who are professionals in the various fields of public administration. Areas of faculty expertise include policy analysis, budgeting, U.S. government, and public law, as well as a variety of substantive policy areas.
Online Program and Course Options
Students admitted to the MPA program now have the option of pursuing the degree one of three ways: all on the Boston campus, all online, or through a combination of online and on-campus courses. Admissions standards and curriculum requirements for both the online and on-campus programs are identical. Students may register for online course in the same way they would register for on-campus courses. Online courses are equivalent to on-campus courses and carry the same academic credit. Students are not restricted in the number of online courses they may take for the degree.
For information on Northeastern’s online MPA program please view our Online MPA Program Information Guide.
For more general information about taking online classes, including frequently asked questions and an online course demo, please visit www.northeastern.edu/online/about-us-faqs.asp.