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Online Master's in Public Administration MBA Program

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Register By: April 15 Classes Start: April 17

Learn to Lead with an MBA in Public Administration

  • Under $19k total tuition
  • Program accredited by ACBSP
  • Earn embedded credentials along the way
  • Optional live webinars led weekly by faculty
  • Applies business strategy to public policy
  • No GRE/GMAT required

Online MBA in Public Administration Program Overview

Gain the advanced knowledge you need to navigate the public sector at a leadership level with a Master of Business (MBA) in Public Administration from Southern New Hampshire University.

There’s no denying an MBA is the ultimate business degree. It provides the expertise you need to move across industries of all kinds. And if you’re interested in using your business degree for the good of the community, an MBA specifically concentrated in public administration is ideal.

This online master’s in public administration MBA program will teach you competencies essential to impactful leadership, strategic planning, and people and idea management that you can bring to local, state or federal departments.

“There simply isn’t a better option in higher ed for students interested in pursuing a career or advancing in the field of public administration. The curriculum is designed and delivered by experienced professionals to ensure you are gaining industry-recognized knowledge and skills that you can apply right away,” says Dr. Michelle Caron, associate dean for business at SNHU.

Leadership is one of the most important skills to have when seeking a career in public administration. Through the program coursework, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how to lead others with emotional intelligence and effective communication skills.

Strategy is another key ability. The coursework will teach you how to use business analytics to make data-driven decisions, as well as how to balance brand management and marketing strategy.

Beyond these high-level skills, you’ll learn how to guide public policy. You’ll also be provided with a holistic understanding of how business units function individually and cross-functionally, a lesson well-suited for success, as the public sector is keen on efficiency and compliance.

Each teaching will help prepare you for careers that involve writing policy, governing jurisdictions and more.

“The MBA in Public Administration program is grounded in real-world experience and context that is transferrable to federal, state and local government jobs, as well as private industry,” says Dr. Lorenzo Claxton, adjunct faculty at SNHU.

Learn how to:

  • Serve the public through strong leadership skills 
  • Analyze the relationship between government and business 
  • Make data-driven decisions based on key research 
  • Create policies that strengthen communities at all levels of government 
  • Assess the effectiveness of public outreach

This online master's in public administration is just one of 17 MBA concentration options at SNHU. Learn more about all our career-focused online MBA programs.

Career Outlook

“The MBA in Public Administration program affords you many career opportunities. You will gain tools needed to be effective in a political position. You can be a city manager. You can be a city or state commissioner, a board member in your local community or on the national level, a nonprofit CEO or entrepreneur,” says Dr. Michelle Caron, associate dean for business at SNHU.

And according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, job projections in public administration appear strong.

One public administration job that is projected to grow faster than average in the next decade is social and community service manager. The BLS reports a growth projection of 12% for this role through 2031 — that’s approximately 18,000 openings each year.1 Social and community service managers are responsible for coordinating and supervising programs and organizations that support public well-being. In 2021, they earned a median annual salary of $74,000.1

Similarly, the BLS reports the need for administrative services and facilities managers is projected to grow 7% through 2031.1 Those who held the role in 2021 earned a median annual salary of $99,290, as they planned, directed and coordinated activities to help their organizations run more effectively.1

"Advanced skills not only make you more marketable, but also enhance your advancement opportunities,” says Dr. Caron. “Global and national issues punctuate the need for trained administrative service managers at all levels in this growing, in-demand field.”

Other potential careers in this field include public administrator, public policy manager, policy analyst and political scientist.

“SNHU’s MBA in Public Administration is significant and gains attention because it links theory to practice that helps students apply lessons learned in the classroom to actual job problems that yield tangible results for corporations and public service organizations,” says Dr. Lorenzo Claxton, adjunct faculty at SNHU.

After you earn your master's in public administration online, you’ll have background you need to pursue a career in a wide variety of public sectors and departments, including:

  • Governance/legislature
  • Municipalities
  • City management
  • Fundraising
  • National security
  • Foreign services
  • Regulation/regulatory affairs
  • Public management and administration
  • Military
  • Education
  • Non-profit
  • Health and human services
  • Social and community services
  • Compliance management
  • Logistics

Regardless of the job you choose, your potential to help serve the common good will increase with an MBA in Public Administration.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Public Administration Degree Concentration

Courses & Curriculum

Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Business Administration (SNHU MBA) is designed to provide you with the knowledge you need to develop as a resourceful leader who engages in creative problem-solving. This means balancing people management, strategic thinking and operational dexterity in order to make data-driven, innovative decisions for the organization you serve. By the time you graduate, you’ll be prepared to solve sustainable, conscientious and fiscal issues using key skills that will achieve positive business results.

“Coursework is scaffolded and aligned with industry trends and standards for graduates to effectively navigate complex intergovernmental relations and challenges faced by policymakers and administrators at local, state and federal levels. Students learn how to assess policy implementation challenges and opportunities for delivery of quality public services,” says Dr. Michelle Caron, associate dean for business at SNHU.

If you're entering the MBA in Public Administration program without an undergraduate degree in a business discipline, up to two foundation courses may be required. The first course, Building Business Leaders, explores how to become a strategic business leader in alignment with an organization's mission, culture and values. The second course, Applied Business Statistics, focuses on the application of statistical techniques to analyze data as a means to making critical business decisions.

Beyond foundation courses, you'll need to earn nine total credits in concentration courses specific to public administration. These classes can be completed after MBA coursework or simultaneously.

Your required concentration courses will include:

  • PAD631 - Strategic Management in Public Service: Provides an academic foundation to applied strategic management in public service. You’ll learn to identify the factors that differentiate public service from the private sector, strategic planning and the implications those differences have for managers.
  • PAD633 - Intergovernmental Relations: Designed to demonstrate the challenges and strategies for governance and administration in an institutional environment of fragmented authority and dispersed power. You’ll examine the structure of American political institutions, the nature of complex policymaking, governance by networks and the consequences of competition between governments.

You can then select from either of the following courses to finish out your nine total credit requirement:

  • PAD630 - Foundations of Public Administration: Introduces the foundations and constraints that form the environment of the public administration. You’ll be encouraged to view governance issues through the eyes of a public administrator and be provided with basic skills to set the context of contemporary political, social, economic and administrative realities.
  • PAD632 - Foundations of Public Policy: Introduces the public policy process. You’ll develop an understanding of what "political" and "public policy" mean. You’ll also examine the complexity of policymaking at the national, state and local levels.

Instructors for these classes are experts in both business and public administration, and their lessons are designed to help you understand how the two work together.

“MBA in Public Administration students have consistent, overwhelmingly positive feedback about their instructors — how they’re engaged, responsive and available for help. Students also like how instructors share their professional expertise, because it helps them apply and retain lessons. ‘Making it stick’ is the gold standard that sets SNHU faculty apart from other schools,” says Dr. Caron.

As you move through each course in the MBA program, you’ll be offered various support tools and amenities.

These offerings include 24/7 access to tutoring support and optional live webinars led weekly by faculty. These webinars can greatly boost student success, as they provide an opportunity to discuss previous coursework and future assignments with faculty. They also allow the chance to ask questions on the spot and better understand the context of lessons within the greater MBA.

Along the way to your MBA, you’ll also earn embedded credentials. Built directly into your required coursework and included within course resource costs, embedded credentials will test your knowledge of industry platforms and tools, as well as technical and soft skills. Many of the embedded credentials are provided through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), a leading professional organization in accounting and business. Once a credential is completed, you’ll typically earn a badge or certificate, which can then be shared to your resume or social accounts, like LinkedIn.

Embedded credentials include:

  • AICPA Certificate in Human Intelligence - Coaching vs. Mentoring
  • Wiley Finance & Accounting Badge: Microsoft Excel© for Accounting
  • AICPA Certificate in Human Intelligence - Time Management
  • AICPA Power BI Series
  • IBM Badge - Statistics 101 - Cognitive Class
  • AICPA Certificate in Human Intelligence - Leading vs Managing
  • AICPA Certificate in Human Intelligence - Emotional Intelligence
  • AICPA Certificate in Human Intelligence - Critical Thinking
  • AICPA Certificate in Human Intelligence - Strategy Development & Implementation
  • AICPA Certificate Course in Robotic Process Automation Strategy for Business Leaders
  • AICPA Certificate Course in Power BI Series
  • AICPA Data Analytics Core Concepts Certificate
  • HubSpot Inbound Marketing Badge
  • Managing Change & Strategy Development and Implementation Certificate
  • AICPA Building Personal Resilience

You can work with your academic advisor to establish a class schedule that works around your commitments and create a timeline that allows you to reach your goals at your desired pace.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,881 $627 $9,405 
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs:
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

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