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Online Master of Public Policy and Administration

Educating tomorrow’s policy leaders in a practical, skills-forward online program.

York College of Pennsylvania’s Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) degree program provides a fresh approach to public policy and public administration studies. Our MPPA graduate curriculum combines theoretical frameworks with practical experiences, ensuring that students have a comprehensive understanding of their field.

Whether you are a recent graduate or a working professional seeking leadership positions, this fully online master’s degree in public policy and administration incorporates real-world training so you can develop and administer 21st-century public policies in government, nonprofit, private sector, or advocacy organizations.

Designed with working professionals in mind, the online MPPA degree program is highly customizable. Gain a greater understanding of the policy challenges and administrative issues facing your field or community, and put into practice applicable solutions in response.

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About the Online MPPA Degree

  • Key Courses

    Online Public Policy and Administration Degree Requirements

    Our online MPPA degree program teaches students techniques and strategies to analyze, understand, and advocate for policy, as well as manage public sector teams and projects. The program is flexible and delivered entirely online with hands-on learning opportunities that showcase both analytical and soft skills in communication and management.

    Your thesis project varies based on your experience level, completed either in an applied research setting or through an experiential learning component. The program includes 30 credits of core courses and 6 credits of elective courses, which students can choose based on their goals and personal work. These range from public health and private healthcare policy to education policy.

    Our faculty members are highly experienced and offer top-notch instruction in various career pathways. The online Master of Public Policy and Administration degree program can be completed in as few as four semesters, with options for full-time and part-time enrollment.

    Urban Planning Concentration

    This interdisciplinary online program contains core and elective courses from a range of perspectives that allows students from all industries to further their niche training. If you want to take on a policy role or advance to management levels in the urban planning field, demonstrate your elevated knowledge through an Urban Planning concentration pathway.

    Courses that may be required or available for students pursuing the Urban Planning pathway vary but may include:

    • MPA 512: History and Theory of Urban Planning
    • MPA 561: Advanced Geographic Information Systems

    Nonprofit Leadership Concentration

    Course offerings vary each semester based on online availability. Courses that could further your career in nonprofit administration, policy education, or other community causes include:

    • MPA 514: Nonprofits and Public Policy
    • MPA 515: Strategic Planning and Management
    • MBA 556: Executive Leadership

    Local Government Concentration

    Pursuing advanced knowledge to support your career in local government allows you to more effectively manage and implement policy and public programs for various municipal functions. 

    • MPA 513: Seminar on Local Government
    • MPA 517: Governmental Budgeting
    • MPA 518: Public Sector Organizations

    4+1 Degree Option for Undergraduates

    If you are a York undergraduate studying any major, including political science, economics, or public history, the College offers the online master’s in Public Policy and Administration program as a 4+1 degree. This allows undergraduate students to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in a total of five years.

    Contact the History and Political Science department chair to learn about the 4+1 program.

    Earn a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration Online With York College of Pennsylvania

    The online master's degree program in Public Policy and Administration at York College of Pennsylvania equips students with the necessary experience and training to become effective leaders in public service. By leveraging policy, graduates of this engaged and accessible program can make a tangible impact in their communities.

    Ready to begin or advance your career with an online MPPA? Review graduate program admissions requirements and begin your application today.

  • Career Opportunities & Benefits

    Careers for Graduates in the Government and Private Sectors

    Whether you are a recent graduate seeking more training and experience in public administration and policy, or you have experience in working with public programs, funding, or a cause you are passionate about, the skills you gain and the people you meet in the online Master’s in Public Policy and Administration degree program opens doors to career growth and success in fulfilling roles that make real impacts.

    Graduates of York’s online MPPA degree program are extensively equipped to enter or advance to roles in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, public policy programs, and private industry. Areas that graduates succeed in include:

    • Political office
    • Legislative operations
    • Management of government departments
    • City project management
    • Policy research
    • Media relations
    • Community outreach management
    • Funding management 
    • Consulting

    Prepare to excel as a manager or policy consultant in areas of private business or human services by tailoring your studies and research projects to gain practical skills. Bring your expertise in policy analysis and implementation to fields such as health, tech, manufacturing, media, education, insurance, and energy, or drive change through nonprofit management, advocacy work, policy research, or governmental relations.

    The online master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration ensures you knowledgeably tackle issues and provide solutions, whether you pursue elected office; manage public works, parks and recreation, or tax departments; or leverage local and federal policy to better the lives of individuals through nonprofit or private enterprise.

    Prepare for Advanced Professions and Further Education

    York’s practical and flexible online Master of Public Policy and Administration degree program is excellent preparation for students who will move on to further academic and professional training in pursuit of advanced careers in academics, politics, and urban development.

    Whether you are seeking certification in an advanced field or want to become further qualified for roles in policy research, higher education, or public service, use the online MPPA degree program as a springboard to programs and careers such as:

    • PhD in Public Policy and Administration
    • Research Associate/Fellow
    • Certified Urban Planner

    Salary and Career Outlook for MPPA Graduates

    Holding a graduate degree in policy and public administration is an ideal way to enter related fields at a higher salary point and skillfully perform in leadership roles. The online Public Policy and Administration master’s program can open pathways to roles with the following rewarding annual compensations:

  • Internships & Work Experience

    Conduct Public Policy Research

    Research and applied experiences are integrated into online classrooms, intentionally allowing students to complete projects relevant to their field. Analyze and provide a solution to improve the logistics of a function of your governmental office or agency, evaluate a community project’s effectiveness, or research the history of a certain policy that affects your industry.

    Apart from coursework, the Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy at York College provides ample opportunities for students to join research initiatives in service of local organizations and agencies. As a student-staffed, faculty-led organization, the Glatfelter Institute completes commissioned research as well as student-directed research agendas that make real impacts in the community.

    Learn about public policy research at York College of Pennsylvania.

    Become a York MPPA Scholar-In-Residence

    Every two years, the online Master of Public Policy and Administration program offers a qualified student a research residency for the entirety of the two-year degree.

    An incredible opportunity to advance a student’s education, the Scholar-In-Residence program provides full tuition remission, a rent-free unfurnished apartment, special research assignments, a shared workspace, and a monthly stipend.

    To qualify, you must apply to the online MPPA program, have earned a bachelor’s degree, and demonstrate an interest and/or experience in public policy or public administration. In each cycle, the research focus area of the ideal Scholar-in-Residence shifts.

    Learn about how to become this year’s MPPA Scholar-in-Residence.

  • Mentorship & Community

    Learn From Expert Scholars, Researchers, and Policymakers

    Students in the online public policy and administration program have firsthand access to learn from experienced public administrators on faculty and policy research experts.

    From the Glatfelter Institute to on-campus and virtual events, York College’s deep ties in the region foster current and future opportunities for students in the private sector and non-profit and government organizations.

    Center for Community Engagement

    York believes in connecting students to thought leaders in the community and experts in their field. Our Center for Community Engagement reflects this belief and is the central hub for networking opportunities and for finding ways to make impactful change through community connections.

    A recent effort between an MPPA student and the greater York, Pennsylvania community is the Urban Collaborative, a project focused on the empowerment of individuals through revitalized real estate and affordable housing.

    Learn about project- and community-based learning at York College.

    Employee Tuition Benefits

    York’s innovative and flexible graduate programs are invaluable to working professionals seeking career advancement. It’s just as beneficial to employers to invest in their talented employees and prepare them for the next step. We partner with several businesses and organizations to provide a discounted tuition rate for their employees, so reach out to your Human Resources department to determine if your organization is a participant.

  • High-Demand Skills

    High-Demand Skills for Careers in Policy and Public Administration

    As a student in the Master of Public Policy and Administration online degree program, gain real-world skills that facilitate successful policy interventions and effective management of public or private offices. From soft skills in presentation and vocal and written communication to hard statistical analysis, you’ll begin to apply valuable skills including:

    • How to effectively analyze and understand issues at the community level
    • Managing channels and individuals to influence legislative processes from local to national levels
    • Processes of public program evaluation from the perspectives of private entities and public service organizations
    • Execution and optimization of business imperatives including HR, strategic plans, and business financials
    • Administration of grant and funding acquisition
    • Functional leadership skills, from team dynamics, conflict management, and change management
    • How to apply cost-benefit and economic/statistical analysis on suggested policies

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an MPPA degree?

    A Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) degree is a type of graduate program that combines coursework in policy and organizational administration.

    Typically, graduates of MPPA programs are prepared to enter and advance careers in government administration, nonprofit or community organization management, or policy. These programs orient students to analyzing legislative policy and government programs, as well as professional leadership skills.

  • What is the difference between a master of public policy and a master of public administration?

    While the MPPA is a popular program for students interested in knowing both the analytical and practical procedures of advanced government and public works positions, two other degree types exist: the Master of Public Policy (MPP) and the Master of Public Administration (MPA).

    Policy-focused programs teach the design, evaluation, and implementation of policy and legislation, and administration-only programs prepare directors of government agencies and related professionals.

  • What can I do with an MPPA degree? Is getting an MPPA degree online worth it?

    Graduates of Master of Policy and Public Administration degree programs are equipped with the interdisciplinary skills necessary to work in roles ranging from data analysis, public media relations, and policy creation to public and private sector organizational management. If you’re interested in both the policy side and the execution side, an MPPA degree comprehensively prepares you.

    Earning a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree online is an accessible way to gain high-level skills in essential political and public service capacities. With fluid networking and research opportunities, York’s online MPPA degree program is just as valuable to your career and resume as a traditional in-person program.

Program Requirements

Required Courses and Degree Requirements for Graduation
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2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Contact Us
Graduate and Professional Studies
Josh DeSantis, D.Ed., Director, Graduate Programs in Behavioral Sciences and Education
Appell Life Sciences Building, Room 356
Phone: 717.815.1939

Sueann Robbins, Director of Graduate and Transfer Admission

Miller Administration Building, Room 128
Phone: 717.815.2257