• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

A masters degree in public affairs from MU can help you further your existing career in government or nonprofit public service. If you believe positive collaboration across the public, private and nonprofit sectors is the best way to serve society, this may be the degree for you.

Potential careers:

  • Public administration 
  • Social services 
  • Government relations 
  • Policy analysis 
  • Public health management 
  • Non-profit management 

Course work covers: 

  • Ethical leadership 
  • Organizational dynamics and leadership 
  • Collaborative governance 
  • Public policy strategy 
  • Economic analysis 
  • Financial management 

Classes are nine weeks long. Students typically take one class each 9-week session and finish the program in two years.

Admissions & Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. More than three years of progressively responsible experience related to public affairs.
  2. Completed baccalaureate or advanced degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  3. Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
  4. If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 80 (internet-based test) or an IELTS score of at least 6.5.
  5. Transcripts of all previous college or university education. Upload unofficial transcripts in your online application. If you are accepted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
  6. Statement of interest describing why you wish to pursue an MPA, your volunteer and leadership experiences, any lapses in employment or schooling, plus a short biographical statement and any other information you feel might support your application.
  7. Statement of career eligibility: (250-350 words) describing your professional experience related to public affairs and progress in the field. Some examples of topics to address: Discussion of positions you have held and for how long. Discussion of duties you performed in your job, and the responsibilities held. Elaboration on how you have progressed in terms of promotion or increased responsibilities. Reflection on how your work experience relates to the field of public affairs. (This is especially important for applicants who have work experience in fields that don't seem directly related to public affairs.) What has your experience taught you about public service?
  8. Résumé or CV demonstrating more than three years of progressively responsible experience related to public affairs.
  9. Three letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of three people who can attest to your professional competence, academic preparation and potential for graduate work. Graduate Studies will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

To apply to this program:

Online MPA courses are offered in 9-week sessions.

Application Deadlines

November 1
March 1
June (Summer)
May 1
July 1
September 1


  • ECONOM 1014Principles of Microeconomics3 Credits

    A basic examination of the economy at the individual consumer, firm and market level. Simple economic models used to analyze the workings of the economy. Topics include opportunity costs, gains from trade, efficiency and markets, non-competitive markets, game theory, the importance of free trade, the markets response to economic shocks and the effect of government intervention. Not open to students who have completed ECONOM 1024, ECONOM 1051, or AG_EC 1041.

  • AND EITHER STAT 1200Introductory Statistical Reasoning3 Credits

    Statistical concepts for critically evaluation quantitative information. Descriptive statistics, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression. Students may not receive credit if they have received or are concurrently receiving credit for a higher numbered course offered by the Statistics Department. Math Reasoning Proficiency Course. Prerequisites: grade of C- or better in MATH 1050 or MATH 1100 or MATH 1120 or MATH 1160 or MATH 1180 or exemption from College Algebra by examination.

  • STAT 1300Elementary Statistics or equivalent3 Credits

    Collection, presentation of data; averages; dispersion; introduction to statistical inference, correlation and regression. Students may not receive credit if they have received or are concurrently receiving credit for another course offered by the Statistics Department. Math Reasoning Proficiency Course. Prerequisites: grade in C - or higher in MATH 1100 or MATH 1120 or MATH 1160 or MATH 1180 or exemption from college algebra by examination.

  • PUB AF 8150Collaborative Governance3 Credits

    Political, economic, and social context of government and public service; examines theories and models of collaborative governance and implications for policy-making, public management, and public service delivery. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • PUB AF 8160Organizational Dynamics and Leadership3 Credits

    Focuses on understanding human action in administrative situations and on developing personal capacities for effective action in varied and difficult organizational situations. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • PUB AF 8170Public Policy Processes and Strategies3 Credits

    Processes through which public demands are generated, converted into public policy, and implemented. Examines the intersection of politics, policy, and management as well as the diverse strategies and tools of public action. Graded on A-F basis.

  • PUB AF 8185Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs - Mid Career3 Credits

    Applications in research methods for graduate students in public affairs mid-career program. Topics include: measurement; quantitative description; problem definition; the policy research processes; basic analytical tools commonly applied in public affairs; multivariate analysis and other advanced quantitative techniques; evaluation of policy research products. Graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: instructor's consent.

  • PUB AF 8195Economic Analysis for Public Policy - Mid Career3 Credits

    Application of tools of economic analysis to understand and interpret the behavior of government, consumers and producers. Sources of economic inefficiency, including market failures and limitations , and policy solutions. Prerequisites: instructor's consent.

  • PUB AF 8210Public Service and Democracy3 Credits

    This course examines some of the challenges of public service in a liberal democracy. It addresses basic questions about the design of institutions through which public power is exercised and about the ethical and administrative obligations of people who work within those institutions. The aim of the course is to provide students with tools for thinking about such questions, and practice addressing them. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • PUB AF 8530Strategic Management of Public Service Organizations: People, Information and Money3 Credits

    Presents the rationale for strategic planning, and techniques and processes to develop and implement strategic planning in the public sector. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • PUB AF 8520Human Resources Management and Development in Public and Nonprofit Sector3 Credits

    Examines the political, economic, and legal context of the personnel function, as well as the technical aspects of the personnel administrator's job. Stresses the dynamics of bureaucratic organizations. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • PUB AF 8720Budgeting and Financial Management in the Nonprofit Sector3 Credits

    Nature and environment of public and nonprofit financial administration. Principles of accountability for management of public and nonprofit funds; management and investment of cash balances; special problems related to long- and short-term debt. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • OR PUB AF 8510Public Budgeting and Taxation3 Credits

    Intensive study of the institutions, processes, politics, and social and economic impact of public taxation and expenditures.

  • PUB AF 8540Local Government Management3 Credits

    Organization and division of service responsibility within local governments. Problems of managing delivery of services with special emphasis upon program implementation, productivity, planning, responsiveness. Graded on A-F basis.

  • PUB AF 8710The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector3 Credits

    Provides an overview of the history, function, size, scope, development, and management of the nonprofit sector. Historical, political, economic, and social perspectives are used to examine the meaning of voluntarism, charity, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector. Graded on A-F basis.

  • PUB AF 8610Group Dynamics and Conflict Resolution3 Credits

    Focuses on the study of group psychology in the context of communities and organizations. It provides a specific examination of the emergence and resolution of conflict. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • PUB AF 8620Organizational Analysis and Change3 Credits

    Investigates processes and methodologies of organizational diagnosis, intervention strategies, and the role of a change agent. Graded on A-F basis.

  • PUB AF 8630Organizational Change in a Community and Global Context3 Credits

    Examines changing organizations in their task environments, which include communities and the global economy. The phenomenon of ambiguous boundaries between public and private as well as nonprofit sectors will be investigated as these profound changes impact organizational behavior. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • PUB AF 8830Grant Writing I3 Credits

    Provides students with knowledge regarding the process of seeking grant funding. Students will work in small groups to complete a letter proposal. They will experience the peer review process both as applicant and reviewer. Graded on A-F basis only.

Tuition & Fees

Missouri Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $367.60
  • Fees: $57.07
  • Total: $424.67
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1102.80
  • Fees: $171.21
  • Total: $1274.01
Missouri Non-Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $367.60
  • Fees: $57.07
  • Total: $424.67
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1102.80
  • Fees: $171.21
  • Total: $1274.01
Tuition rates are subject to change.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Earn a quality education online

    With more than 100 online programs to choose from across our four campuses, our online students have incredible access to career-advancing education. Our online courses are developed and taught by the same excellent faculty and instructors who teach the courses on campus. Whether you’re looking for an undergraduate education, graduate education, or a certificate program to further your career, one of our four campuses has an option to fit your needs.

  • Learning that fits your schedule

    Online learning provides students with the flexibility and freedom to attend classes whenever and wherever you are, in a way that is convenient for you. You can save time and money by being able to continue working and by avoiding relocation, travel and commuting costs. Courses must be completed in scheduled time frames, but in most cases, you can log in and complete course work whenever doing so best fits your schedule. Online education means learning on your terms – not the other way around.

  • Service you expect from a renowned University

    Our goal is to provide our online students with an excellent academic experience, without forcing you to make sacrifices in other areas of your life.

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