Master of Public Administration
Ranked 6th and 14th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in city management and urban policy and in public finance and budgeting, respectively, NIU’s MPA program is an excellent choice for students looking to advance their careers in the field of public administration. These rankings outperform all other public and private institutions in Illinois, as well as many other schools nationwide, so it comes as no surprise that one-third of all city and county managers in Illinois are alumni of the program.
The MPA degree program at NIU was one of the first to be fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), integrating both theory and practice into the course of study. Stressing both applied problem-solving and ethical administrative practices, and teaching skills that can be readily applied to a variety of work environments, the curriculum appeals to both pre-career students seeking entry-level management positions and mid-career executives wanting intellectual growth and career enhancement. The MPA program uses an executive format, meaning students take two eight-week classes at a time. This fosters intensive learning by allowing students to focus on fewer classes during a semester.
In addition to a public management core, the Master of Public Administration degree offers five different areas of specialization from which students may choose according to their interests:
- Strategic Public Management and Leadership
- Local Government Management
- Fiscal Administration
- Non-Profit Management
- Comparative Public Service
Recognizing the importance of experiential learning, students without at least 2 years of public management experience are required to enroll in the Master of Public Administration Internship Program. In exchange for an average of 20 hours of work per week, students gain invaluable hands-on learning experience at a government or nonprofit agency in addition to an average pay of $10.00 to $20.43 per hour.
Graduates of NIU’s MPA degree program can look forward to excellent job prospects, with career opportunities in federal, state, and local government, as well as in the private and non-profit sectors. A recent survey found that 95% of MPA alumni obtained full-time employment within six months of graduating.
Learn more about becoming an MPA student or pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Public Management!