Master of Public Administration (M.P.A)

Master of Public Administration (Online)

Our unique public administration master’s degree prepares you for leadership roles in public administration, public policy and community service.

Study 100% online. Finish in as little as 1 year.

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Graduate Programs Virtual Information Session

Wednesday, September 11, 2024 
from 5:30 pm 
to 6:30 pm

Learn about the Merrimack College community, application process, financial aid, your program's curriculum, professional opportunities, fellowships and more!

Master’s Degree in Public Administration: Why Merrimack College?

Develop interdisciplinary skills.

Merrimack College’s public administration degree equips you with marketable expertise that you can adapt for a variety of roles. You’ll acquire practical skills in public administration, public policy, organizational leadership, finance, communication, data analysis, and more, gaining the ability to address complex problems and craft innovative solutions.

Specialize in issues that matter to you.

Our graduate degree in public administration grants you the freedom to focus on the public policy issues you care about most. The program culminates in a capstone project or internship that may include original research, public policy design, in-depth analysis, fieldwork or other hands-on activity.

Connect with public administration professionals.

Merrimack has active partnerships throughout the public administration community. You’ll interact with legislators, nonprofit directors, government officials, public policy experts, political advocates and other leaders.

Convenient and flexible options.

Our master of public administration was designed to fit your busy life. You can choose to earn your master’s in 1-2 years of full-time study, or complete the degree part-time at your own pace. Our online graduate program lets you pursue your MPA from anywhere.

Build strong faculty relationships.

You’ll study public administration in small classes led by attentive, highly engaged instructors. Our faculty experts include scholars such as Dr. Anne Boxberger FlahertyDr. Harry Wessel and Dr. Brad Miller, as well as veteran public administrators such as Andrew Maylor and Sarah Stanton.

Join a committed community.

Merrimack’s public administration graduate degree caters to a diverse, engaged and enthusiastic student cohort. Whether you’re just entering the workforce, seeking a promotion or migrating into public administration from another profession, our master’s degree in public administration will help you take the next step.

Program Format

  • Online (*On campus still available through Fall 2024)
  • 32 credits
  • Complete in as little 1 year full-time, or at your own pace part-time

Start Terms

  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Summer I
  • Summer II


Earn a MPA Degree That Empowers You to Make a Difference

Every academic program at Merrimack College reflects our decades-long tradition of socially aware, civically engaged education. The Master of Public Administration builds on this heritage, providing you with the tools to help your community govern itself effectively, respond to challenges, maintain a high quality of life and promote high ethical and moral values.

In addition to studying government administration and public policy, you’ll also develop expertise in nonprofit management, community outreach, philanthropy and other kinds of active citizenship.

You can apply our public administration master’s program to tackle almost any challenge confronting society, including (but not limited to):

  • Health care
  • Immigration
  • Economic development
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Workforce development
  • Environmental and climate issues
  • Social services
  • Gender equity
  • Public safety
  • Housing
  • Urban renewal

“I can’t emphasize enough how much the staff is involved in the graduate student experience at Merrimack. All of the professors I had throughout my graduate program always went the extra mile. Every professor genuinely wanted all of us to succeed. I felt like I had an army behind me that supported me throughout my experience.”

Careers in Public Administration, Public Policy and Civil Service

The U.S. Bureau of Labors Statistics (BLS) projects rapid job growth over the next decade in public administration, public policy, community service and related fields.

Like a master of public administration or similar degree, our Master of Public Administration will qualify you to exercise leadership in executive, managerial or supervisory positions. Merrimack graduates work in public administration jobs throughout the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Our alumni have gone to work for employers such as:

  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
  • Massachusetts State House
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • City of North Andover
  • Town of Andover
  • GroundWork (a Lawrence, MA nonprofit)
  • F.H. Cann and Associates
  • Stantec Consulting Services
  • Port Healthcare Center
  • Greene LLP
  • Hampton, NH Police Department
  • Merrimack College

Learning Outcomes: What You Will Learn in the Master’s of Public Administration and Public Policy

You will gain a foundation in public administration theory and research with an emphasis on practical applications. Complete in as little as 1 year full-time, or at your own pace part-time. With its well-rounded approach, the public administration master’s degree prepares you for a wide range of leadership roles in all kinds of organizations. Upon completing the program, you will have developed:

  • An Understanding of Public Administration: You will understand the roles and responsibilities of key actors in public administration and the framework of public administration under the law; analyze and critique concepts and realities of public service; understand the importance of diverse viewpoints and populations in the public sphere; will be able to exhibit a knowledge of leadership and management skill in public administration; and will present the role of public financial management and budgeting in a public setting.
  • Policy Expertise and Understanding of the Policy Process: You will understand the dynamics and implications of policy making, from development to implementation and evaluation; identify problems and challenges in policy making; assess and evaluate policy effects. In addition, you will understand the important relationship between policy and diversity, and the impact that relationship has on the public work force and the public at large.
  • Research Skills and Practices: You will develop the capacity to conduct ethical, responsible, and appropriate research using a variety of methodologies to answer questions in public administration; will conduct research will analyze and interpret results; and will disseminate results appropriately.
  • Communication, Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills: You will develop the ability to identify problems and possible solutions; critically incorporate and synthesize information from a variety of perspectives; analyze information to determine possible solutions to problems and comparative outcomes; and effectively communicate that understanding through oral and written proficiency.
  • Diversity and Ethical Frameworks for Public Service: You will understand and be able to identify a variety of ethical frameworks; will be able to apply ethical frameworks to a variety of settings; and, will develop an awareness of public service ethics and responsibilities. Included is an understanding of the importance of diverse viewpoints and populations in the public sector.

Grad Chat Podcast

In this episode of Grad Chat, we focus on Merrimack’s Master of Public Administration program, with two special guests: Taylor Galusha, a 2021 graduate of the program, and Bradley Miller, the program director for the Master of Public Administration. Tune in to hear their insights and experiences!

Merrimack College Master of Public Affairs Program Director Bradley Miller

Want to Learn More about the Master of Public Administration?

Contact the Merrimack College Office of Graduate Admission at

Schedule an Informational Call with the Program Director, Dr. Brad Miller

How to Apply

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