Public Administration, MPA (Public Policy)

Master of Public Administration Degree with a Concentration in Public Policy

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Fully Online
  • 39
  • $375.00
  • $617.00

Program Overview

The online Master of Public Administration program offers a concentration in Public Policy which is designed to develop the key skills necessary to design, implement, analyze and evaluate public policy. 

Students of the Public Administration, MPA (Public Policy) program will gain skills to: 

  • Develop, implement and evaluate public policy. 
  • Design strategies that are mutually beneficial to constituencies ranging from the most vulnerable to the most affluent populations.
  • Protect natural resources, build cities and lead communities.
  • Become a steward of the democratic way of life.

The Public Policy Concentration provides a foundation for understanding the policy process and gaining policy-relevant skills such as policy analysis, policy evaluation, strategic planning and research methods.

Students choose the online Master of Public Administration program because of the: 

  • High-quality curriculum from a distinguished, accredited university.
  • Low tuition from a convenient, accessible location.
  • Faculty members regarded as national and international scholars and leaders in the field of public administration. 
  • Flexible coursework offered 100% online, allowing for personal and skill development on a schedule that is conducive to busy professionals. 
  • A community of scholars and practitioners who share a deep commitment to effective teaching and rigorous research on public administration. 

Career Outlook: In today's working world, an advanced degree is essential. A degree in public administration prepares graduates for leadership positions in state and local government, health care administration, nonprofit management and human resources management. According to the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration, graduate education is expected to continue giving persons working or seeking careers in the public and nonprofit sectors a competitive edge. 

This program is ideal for professionals looking to work in areas such as:

  • Public service
  • Health care management
  • Federal, state and local government 
  • Nonprofit management 
  • Human resource management

Specific job titles may include: 

  • City Director
  • Policy Manager
  • Urban Planning and Development Director
  • Public Affairs Director

More about the Public Administration, MPA:

The mission of the School of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is to strengthen the public service in a democratic and diverse society by educating students to manage and lead public and nonprofit institutions effectively, ethically and democratically. The MPA degree is the recognized graduate degree for professionals in public service. 

A master's degree in Public Administration is more than a professional degree. It's a gateway to transforming society through a career in public service. The mission of the program is to strengthen public service in a democratic, yet diverse society by educating students who manage and lead public and nonprofit institutions effectively, ethically and democratically. 

The online MPA offers several concentrations, including:

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Local Government
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Public Management
  • Public Policy

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

  2. 3 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Previous work experience

  4. Taken the GRE

  5. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  6. A written personal statement

    What are the factors in your background that will help us understand your interest in a profession in the public or nonprofit sectors? What are your professional goals? Ten years from now, what do you hope to be doing professionally? How can an MPA from UNO help you to achieve these goals?

  7. letters of recommendation

  8. Official transcripts from all previous schools

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

  • Complete and submit the online application for admissions .
  • Pay the $45 non-refundable application fee.

Courses You’ll Take

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
PA 8090Organization Theory & Behavior3
A study of the various approaches to understanding public organizations and people in them with special emphasis on the design, functioning and management of public agencies.
PA 8400Public & Nonprofit Budgeting3
The purpose of the course is to familiarize public administration students with the basic characteristics and features of public budgets and enable them to deal competently with them.
PA 8990Capstone Project for Public Administration3
The purpose of this course is to allow students to integrate their graduate public administration course experiences into a project that reflects the cumulative knowledge gained from their class instruction. This class is intended only for students who are completing the master of public administration degree. The course can be taken as an alternative to comprehensive exams. Prerequisites: Completion of at least 30 hours in the M.P.A. program and school permission.
PA 8320Policy Evaluation3
PA 8320 is designed to have the students understand the role of evaluation in the policy process, to demonstrate how to conduct and implement evaluations of public programs, to illustrate the procedures for presenting an evaluation report to public officials and citizens, to introduce operational issues and problems associated with management of an office of policy evaluation, and to insure the exploration of conflicts and limitations inherent to public policy evaluation. Prereq: PA 8010, PA 8050, PA 8090, PA 8120 and completion of at least 24 hours in the MPA program. Not open to nondegree students.
PA 8300Policy Design & Implementation3
This course examines the formulation, adoption, implementation and evaluation of public policy. Important topics include the basic features of American government, the causes and determinants of public policies, the dynamics of decision-making in the public sector, the obstacles to "successful" public programs, and the criteria for the assessment of a public program's impact. Special emphasis is given to the role public manager’s play within the policy process. Prereq: PA 8010, 8050, and 8090 Not open to nondegree students.
PA 8120Analysis & Decision Making3
This course is designed to assist students develop their skills in quantitative analysis of information relevant to public affairs. The course introduces students to fundamentals of research designs, strategies of data collection and basic statistical analysis.
PA 8530Planning and Evaluation3
The basic question presented in this course is how we can use strategic planning and evaluation to build public and nonprofit organizations that function creatively and effectively, and that enhance the overall public value of their services. Prerequisites: PA 8100, PA 8050, PA 8090,and PA 8120 and PA 8300
PA 8330Policy Analysis3
Application of analytical techniques to the assessment of alternative courses of public action and the development and design of public programs; utilization and impact of expert analysis by public officials and political groups; impact and role of technical analysis in a democracy; management of policy analysis units within government.
PA 8100Advanced Management & Leadership for Public & Non-Profit Professionals3
This course is designed to advance students’ understanding and techniques about the role of leadership and ethics in the public and nonprofit sectors. Special attention will be paid on the application of theories of leadership and ethics to manage various boundary spanning activities including managing external relationships, collaborations/networks, performance, and innovation and change.
PA 8050Foundations of Public Service3
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the art and science of public administration and to enable the student to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities requisite to the pursuit of graduate education in public administration.
PA 8600Administrative Law3
This course explores and explains the legal procedures and liabilities associated with implementing public laws through rule-making and adjudication; explains the difference between managerial and legal reasoning; and covers federal and state judicial review of administrative action through analysis of case law.

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
PA 8206Community Organizing & Social Change3
This course will focus on various theories and applications of organizing communities and neighborhoods to effect change. Of particular interest is the role of engaging citizens in improving their communities.
PA 8436Municipal Administration3
The administrative structure and administrative practices of American cities covering such areas as finance, personnel, public works, public safety, health, utilities and planning. Prereq: PA 8010 and PA 8050 or permission of school. Not open to nondegree students. (Cross-listed with PA-4430.)
PA 8410Public Human Resource Management3
A study of the personnel process in American governmental administration. The processes and problems of recruiting, structuring and operating public bureaucracies are examined as well as problems in personnel leadership, neutrality, accountability and performance. Prereq: PA 8050 or permission of school. Not open to nondegree students.
PA 8010The Public Economy3
This course introduces microeconomic principles and applies these concepts to policy issues that are relevant for public and nonprofit managers and analysts, with specific focus on tradeoffs between values of efficiency and equity. Strengths and weaknesses of private markets in allocating resources are discussed. The roles of government and the nonprofit sector in the financing and provision of services are also examined, along with economic criteria for decision-making.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

Robert Blair, Ph.D.

Robert Blair has published numerous research articles and has also contributed chapters to several public policy texts. He has authored or co-authored more than twenty-five monographs, applied research studies and professional management publications. Blair works closely with Nebraska city managers and administrators, and the International City County Management Association on educational, applied research and professional development issues and has provided technical assistance to many communities and public agencies over the years.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterJun 02
  • Spring SemesterOct 02