Overview

Preparing students to be leaders 
and advocates for justice and equity.

Preparing students to be leaders
and advocates for justice and equity.

Master of Public Administration Program Highlights

  • Train to be a leader fostering positive change at all levels in public service.
  • Earn your degree in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.
  • Create a schedule that works for you with evening classes.
  • Gain extensive real-world experience with a unique focus on socially responsible practice.

Become a leader and advocate for social justice at all levels of public service with a Master of Public Administration graduate degree from Adler University. Channel your passion for improving your community by addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as income inequality, insecure housing, and environmental threats – all with the flexibility of an online program. And, choose a concentration – sustainable communities, military and veterans services, or crisis management – that aligns with your career aspirations.

The Adler University MPA program delivers the core knowledge and skills necessary for effective policy implementation, organizational leadership, management, and finance in the public arena – including at the national, state, and local government levels. Additionally, the curriculum prepares students to pursue opportunities at non-profits, research centers, consulting firms, community action groups, direct-service providers and other private-sector entities.

In order to become effective public administration professionals, students advance their abilities in leadership and advocacy and become participants in, and contributors to the process of developing public programs and organizations – including the analysis, synthesis, critical thinking, and problem solving that encourages the growth of a fair and just society. Students will also learn the critical skills of communicating and collaborating with diverse groups within a rapidly changing society, and how to articulate and solicit new perspectives that develop community-driven and support solutions to social, economic and environmental problems. Students complete a Social Justice Practicum as well as a Capstone project.

Graduates are expected to master core competencies in program development, evaluation, and management within the public service arena, as well as varied skills required for:

  • Evaluation research on program development and analysis of outcomes
  • Policy interpretation and implementations
  • Program development
  • Organizational leadership, administration, and management
  • Needs assessments with program participants and communities
  • Advocacy and political activism

The 36-hour program includes 27 hours of public administration core coursework and 9 hours of coursework across one of three unique concentrations.

Concentrations

As part of the MPA, students will select from two specialized concentrations – Sustainable Communities and Criminal Justice – tailored to their desired career path.

  • Sustainable Communities is for those who aspire to administration, leadership, and advocacy across a broad range of career opportunities in both the non-profit and public service sectors. Using Adlerian principles, you’ll learn the skills necessary to create sustainable economic development, environmental development and healthier communities at the local, state, national and international level.
     
  • The Criminal Justice concentration offers professional development in management and leadership within law enforcement and criminal justice for those seeking to improve crime prevention, reduce recidivism, and find solutions to community re-entry. By preparing public managers for leadership roles as change agents that bring together key stakeholders (i.e., community members, law enforcement and other criminal justice officials, and mental health professionals) in finding long-term, efficient, and compassionate solutions that support individual and community health and safety..

Careers

Adler’s online MPA degree prepares you for a variety of socially responsible careers in both public and nonprofit organizations. Graduates are prepared with the theoretical foundation and management and leadership skills needed to address some of society's most challenging social issues.

Graduates from the online MPA program can have successful and rewarding careers across a number of professional roles, such as:

  • Policy analyst or researcher
  • Program administrator
  • Veterans affairs lobbyist
  • Program analyst, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Community organizer
  • Nonprofit or for-profit community service provider
  • Project manager
  • Advocate, Activist
  • Policy strategist
  • Community development specialist
  • Municipal planner/developer 
  • Community leader
  • Government representative or legislator
  • Municipal, county or state-level governmental emergency manager

The range of opportunities in public service administration continues to grow: with national, state, and local governments; research centers; consulting firms; community action groups; and NGOs and direct service providers in the United States and around the world.

Professional Development & Training

As part of the online Master of Public Administration, you’ll participate in two experiences designed to apply your classroom learnings to real-world settings. During the Capstone project, you will work individually or as part of a team to improve a public policy or service.

Alfred Adler’s focus on community life, prevention, and population health serves as the inspiration for the Social Justice Practicum. You’ll gain real-world experience working alongside a partner organization to advance real social change in the community. Alongside the practicum, you’ll complete online modules that introduce you to social justice principles. The Practicum will conclude with a presentation of your findings.

Cohort Learning, Format, & Support

Our program is designed with working professionals in mind and can either be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. Classes are offered in the evenings.

When you enroll, you join a cohort or group of students who will take classes together throughout the course of the program. This cohort model emphasizes collaboration, communication, connection, and camaraderie among students.

Our program environment is characterized by Adlerian encouragement, empathy, genuine care, and good will, with the expressed purpose of supporting the personal and professional growth of each of our students based on their interests and professional focus.

Upon graduation, you will become a member of the University’s Alumni Association, which along with our Office of Alumni Affairs, provides extensive ongoing networking and professional development opportunities.