Government and nonprofit management jobs have evolved from purely bureaucratic positions to more dynamic, entrepreneurial opportunities. Advancing technology presents new challenges for formal planning and procurement systems developed decades ago, and public administrators at all levels have to focus on customer satisfaction in addition to teamwork, planning, implementation, quality control and assurance, risk management, and more.

About Salem’s Online Public Administration Degree 

The MBA in public administration gives you the education you need to step into upper-level positions in public service or the nonprofit sector. You will start with a strong foundation in business management and build on that with tailored, in-depth coursework in areas like public policy analysis and public budgeting. An MBA in public administration can ready you to work in federal, state, and local government administrations or nonprofit management roles both domestically and abroad. Earning your MBA degree can also ready you to pursue the next step of your education with a Doctor of Business Administration.

We’ve designed our master’s in public administration degree program to be fully online, with a high-quality curriculum that aims to provide opportunities for professional growth and development; develop skills that allow you to conduct research and integrate theory and practice; and promote excellence in leadership, scholarship, work, and life. And we do all of this within a framework that fits into your current life and responsibilities with our unique, one-course-a-month schedule.

What Can I Do with an MBA in Public Administration?

A master’s in public administration degree can help expand your career opportunities to include advanced and senior-level positions, like:

  • City Planner
  • County Administration
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Policy Analyst
  • Parks and Recreation Manager
  • Public Affairs Specialist
  • Public Works Manager
  • Grant Administrator
  • Nonprofit Executive Director
  • Nonprofit Program Director

What Will I Learn in Salem’s Master’s in Public Administration Degree Program?

The MBA in Public Administration from Salem dives deep into the topics you will need to know in order to be a successful public administrator in whichever sector you choose. We cover the fundamentals of public administration, including the main analytic lenses, diagnostics, and applications used most in today’s public agencies. We also take a look at organizational design, leadership and ethics, the effect of public policy on communities, and the unique budgeting and financing challenges in public organizations. Everything you learn in our public administration degree program is brought together in a capstone course that lets you demonstrate your ability to combine what you’ve learned with a practical, ethical, and global perspective.

Your courses will cover topics like:

  • How to lead teams effectively and manage advanced projects
  • Strategies for effective communication and problem-solving in the face of competing needs and constraints
  • The essential elements of change management and how to make hard decisions with a global perspective
  • How to apply finance, statistics, logistics, supply chain, and risk and project management to public administration issues
  • Techniques for solving complex business problems, improving teamwork, and maximizing value for all stakeholders

What Public Management Classes Will I Take?

The MBA in public administration requires the completion of 21 core semester credits that include:

  • ACC515 Accounting for Managers
  • BUS500 Applied Business Statistics
  • BUS699 Enterprise Strategic Planning and Change Management
  • ECO570 Managerial Economics
  • FIN560 Financial Management
  • MKT530 Marketing Management
  • BUS600 Organizational Behavior, Leadership, and Ethics

You will also take 9 credits in the public administration specialization:

  • MGT605 Fundamentals of Public Administration
  • MGT610 Public Policy Analysis
  • MGT615 Public Budgeting and Finance

How Long Will it Take to Get My Master’s in Public Administration Degree?

On average, a full-time student can earn their public administration degree online in less than 12 months. However, we recognize every student is different, with different circumstances. It’d be best to contact one of our admissions advisors to discuss your specific questions and goals.

Why Choose Salem University?

Since 1888, Salem University has built upon our tradition of accessible, affordable higher education by constantly innovating and looking to the future. We aim to develop lifelong learners who embrace problem-solving with a global perspective. We offer:

  • Accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs of study with continuous enrollment via distance education or on-campus
  • A unique one-course-a-month format that allows students to focus on a single subject at a time and build their knowledge in a way that feels natural
  • Online courses are structured to work within the constraints of full-time employment, allowing you to earn your degree with minimum disruption to your busy schedule
  • Supportive faculty and staff who serve as thought leaders and mentors
  • A beautiful 100-acre campus situated in the Smoky Mountains where programs of study are available for campus residents and commuter students

Admission Requirements

Admission to Salem is open to all qualified applicants regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or ability/disability. Anyone wishing to attend Salem can obtain the necessary application from the Office of Admissions or apply online. The completed application should be submitted to the Office of Admissions at the earliest possible date. The University admits students on a rolling, monthly start basis. Acceptance is within the discretion of Salem University; some programs have additional admissions requirements.


This course is accredited by ACBSP.

Take The Next Step

If you’re interested in getting started on your master’s in public administration degree from Salem University, now is a great time to request more information or, better yet, chat with us live.