Master of Public Administration

Recent Update: The MPA program now has its own website.    Click here for more detailed  information about this program.


Welcome to the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at Northeastern University! Founded in 1969, the MPA program integrates theoretical foundations with practical skills in the public sector.  The MPA program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).  The program is directed toward defining and developing analytical, conceptual and practical competencies for management and leadership careers in the public or non-profit sectors.

With classes scheduled after 5 PM, or provided online, the program is designed for both the full-time student and the public-sector professional who can attend classes part-time.

Our Mission

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 pledges 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.

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 and the study of public policy and administration. Our graduate students come from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds, and from every section of the United States and throughout the globe. Many students are, or have been, employed in the public and non-profit sectors.

Why our Program?

The MPA program is comprised of approximately 120 students served by full-time professors at Northeastern as well as part-time faculty who are accomplished professionals in the public sector. Areas of faculty expertise include public policy analysis, budgeting, U.S. government, community development, urban affairs, and a variety of other substantive public policy areas.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 MPA program’s curriculum and activities, we will reiterate and focus upon the inherent public responsibilities.

Online Program and Course Options

Students admitted to the MPA program have the option of pursuing the degree one of three ways: On the Boston campus, online, or through a combination of online and on-campus courses.  Admission standards and program curriculum requirements 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  general information about taking online classes, including frequently asked questions and an online course demo, please visit:


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 re-accredited through 2017.