Info Apply Share

Request Information

You need a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in Adler University programs.

Okay

Online | Master of Arts

Public Administration

Program Overview

Program Overview

Adler University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program delivers the core knowledge and skills necessary for effective and socially responsible policy implementation, organizational leadership, management, and finance in the public arena – including at the national, state, and local government levels.

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.

Adler’s MPA degree prepares students 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 are prepared for careers in a wide range of settings, from youth and professional sports, to government agencies and private practice.

Concentrations

Concentrations

As part of the online MPA, students will select from up to three specialized concentrations – Sustainable Communities, Crisis Management or Military and Veteran Services – tailored to their desired career path.

Sustainable Communities

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 levels.

Crisis Management

Crisis Management trains students to respond to and manage the impact of natural, accidental, or premeditated disasters and their effects on communities – especially those populations who are already vulnerable. Further, there is a special focus on serving those communities that are at-risk and/or marginalized during times of crisis. Students will learn to identify and foster psychological resiliency and advocate for healthy and resilient communities – especially in the immediate aftermath of an acute or chronic crisis. Additionally, students will develop or strengthen leadership skills that promote positive community growth and development.

Military and Veteran Services

The Military & Veteran Services concentration focuses on how to be socially responsible practitioners through engaging the military and veteran’s communities. As part of the concentration, students gain a unique perspective and context into how the military interacts with larger social, organizational, cultural, and technological systems. Students learn to draw on all sub-disciplines of administration to understand the variables that affect the military and governmental/non-governmental veteran’s sectors. Further, this concentration incorporates the contributions of clinical, experimental, social, industrial/organizational, and engineering psychology.

Curriculum

Curriculum

The Master of Public Administration program is 36-credit hours. Successful completion of this program includes the courses listed below.

Core Coursework
  • Theories of Public Policy and Administration
  • Political Economy and Economic Analysis in Public Policy Development
  • Ethics in Public Service
  • Organizational Theory and Public Personnel Management
  • Public Finance
  • Research Methods: Models and Analytics
  • Research Applications
  • Public Management and Leadership
  • Capstone Experience in Public Administration
  • Social Justice Practicum I-IV
Concentration Coursework
  • Elements of Sustainability and Livable Communities
  • Tools for Sustainable Development
  • Strategic Planning for Sustainability
  • The Psychology of Conflict and Operations Other Than War
  • Supporting Functional Needs Populations in Disasters
  • Leading in Times of Crisis
  • Ethics, Morality and Social Justice in the Military
  • Culture and Diversity in the Military
  • Continuum of Care for the Military, Veterans, and their Families

Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University course catalog here.

Social Justice Practicum

Social Justice Practicum

Doing is learning. A unique and proven program designed to give students real world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200 hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given a number of civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After which, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes

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.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Applicants are required to have:

  • A baccalaureate degree, by the date of matriculation, earned from an accredited college or university, or an equivalent degree from an international college or university.
  • A GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale) in their baccalaureate degree.
    • Applicants with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 will be considered for conditional admission by submitting two letters of recommendation from a current professor, supervisor, and/or someone who can attest to the applicant’s ability to be successful in a graduate program. Exceptions may be made for applicants with a conferred graduate degree.
    • Applicants with a GPA below a 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Two letters of recommendation**
Conditional Admission Status

Applicants admitted on a conditional basis must achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA in their first two courses in order to achieve full admission status and continue in the program. Applicants not meeting this standard may be dismissed from the university. Applicants admitted on a conditional basis are not eligible to repeat coursework until they achieve a full admission status.

Provisional Admission Status

Applicants admitted on a provisional basis must submit all outstanding collateral, as defined in their acceptance letter, prior to the end of their first course to achieve full admission status and continue in the program. Applicants not meeting this standard may be dismissed from the university.

**Letters of recommendation may be waived based on cumulative grade point average from your degree-granting institution.  Letters of recommendation should be submitted by professional references on letterhead.

Online Learning Format

Online Learning Format

Adler University approaches online learning with the same commitment to academic excellence and student support that has been the hallmark of our 65-year history. Our innovative online graduate courses deliver an engaging, interactive learning experience designed to accommodate your busy schedule.

Online learning offers a great deal of independence and flexibility, but that doesn’t mean that you’re alone. Our online student body is supported by the same administrative and academic staff who serve our on-campus students. Your instructors are also available to answer your questions, provide more information, and connect you with additional resources to help you succeed. In addition, your cohort classmates will be a source of ongoing support and collaboration as you progress through your degree program, and well after graduation.

Change the World From
Anywhere in the World

You may have a fulltime job, family obligations or other things that command your attention. We get it. That said, you have a passion to make the world a better place. We have online programs that are crafted and curated to give you skills to make it happen.

No matter where in the world or in life you are.

Adler is a tight knit community of radical thinkers and doers. Know, that as an online student, you are not alone. You are one of us. The work you will be asked to do, will be the same as every other Adler student. The skills you will learn will be just as powerful. And the degree you will receive, will speak just as loudly.

Take the next step

Explore More

Highlighting the Importance of Socially Just Public Policy

Adler University Chicago Campus professors, Joseph E. Troiani, Ph.D., and Valerie Werner, Ph.D., offer insight on how public policy affects citizens and communities—especially during a global health crisis.

Learn More

Adapting, Learning, and Leading During a Crisis

Online Campus faculty and staff offer guidance for how individuals and organizations, who are able to during this time, can adapt to virtual work, stay connected, and provide leadership to ensure individual, organizational, and community health.

Learn More

Taking Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Beyond Compliance

Kendra L. Smith, Ph.D., recently joined Adler University as an adjunct professor, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and research on advancing equity and inclusion in communities—and a passion for social justice.

Learn More