Online Master of Public Administration

Achieve Career Success with an Online Degree

Lifelong Learning for a Lifetime of Success

Lead the Way to a Better Tomorrow with an Online MPA Degree

Program Details: Fewer Than 2 Years | $714 Per Credit | 30 Credit Hours

Program Benefits

  • Two Unique Concentrations
  • Expert Faculty
  • Fully Online Courses
  • No Application Fee
  • Transfer Credits Accepted
  • Those having recently earned the Iowa Certified Public Manager® designation qualify for a reduced credit hour requirement

Drake University’s MPA program will prepare you to navigate the evolving landscape of public administration with the tools necessary to solve problems, analyze policies, and meet public service needs at the local, state, and federal levels in the private and nonprofit sectors.

The 30-credit hour program is offered entirely online and emphasizes courses in human resources, public policy, and more, empowering students to make an immediate impact on the communities in which they serve.


Online MPA Curriculum

Drawing on the expertise of the renowned faculty at the Zimpleman College of Business, the Drake MPA curriculum is enriched by experiential learning, team collaboration, and real-world scenarios. Adaptable in its design, students can tailor the degree program to align with their specific goals through career-focused curriculum in areas such as:

Public & Nonprofit Management – Expand your ability to lead and manage with confidence as you complete coursework that focuses on public administration, public policy and advocacy, exploring the changing nature of public service to maximize impact and building organizations with resiliency and talent to do good.

Healthcare Management – Gain an understanding of the evolving healthcare landscape through the completion of coursework consisting of health care administration, healthcare policy, ethics, law and advocacy and conflict resolution.

CPM-MPA Pathway – Learn what it takes to become a certified public manager in a blended format of in-person and virtual sessions. Our advanced curriculum has led the academic and administrative element of CPM since its establishment in the early 2000s.

Program Outcomes

Students will become:

  • Effective Communicators: Students can demonstrate the ability to effectively and appropriately communicate in a professional manner, using oral and written communications.
  • Ethical Stewards: Students can critically asses their ethical responsibilities as stewards of an organization
  • Data-driven, Strategic Problem Solvers: Each student can utilize a strategic perspective supported by qualitative and/or quantitative data when developing, evaluating, and implementing sustainable organizational strategies to achieve competitive advantage.
  • Global and Multicultural Citizens: Students will develop the ability to critically examine interdependent global systems to craft effective solutions to complex problems. Students will also cultivate an understanding of the role cultural differences play in determining appropriate and effective personal and professional interactions.
  • Proficient in the Field: Each student can synthesize knowledge in the different functional areas of the public sector and/or nonprofit organization to develop and improve sustainable organizations which serve the public interest.

Admission Requirements

  • Complete the online application.
  • Submit your official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities.
  • Submit an electronic copy of your résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • Submit a one-page statement detailing how a graduate education at Drake University will help you reach your academic and professional goals.
  • Submit contact information for two professional recommendations.

Explore our admissions requirements here.

Tuition Details

Drake University takes pride in delivering the best value education possible to our students. With our fully online MPA degree that only costs $714 per credit hour, you’ll be prepared to pursue your career goals with skill, knowledge, and confidence. Explore our tuition details here.

Exciting Career Opportunities with an Online MPA Degree

Getting an online Master of Public Administration degree at Drake University will prepare you for a wide range of exciting and fulfilling career opportunities that are in high demand. Overall employment of public relations and fundraising managers, for example, is projected to grow 6% from 2022 to 2032, which is higher than the average for other occupations.1

Depending on your concentration, there are many career paths you can choose. Here are some of the titles our graduates hold:

  • Public Sector Manager: $112,012 per year2
  • Nonprofit Manager: $64,838 per year3
  • Community Affairs Manager: $88,261 per year4
  • Nurse Manager: $114,626 per year5
  • Director of Patient Safety: $136,369 per year6
  • Volunteer Manger: $62,676 per year7
  • City Manager: $90,573 per year8
  • Chief of Police: $92,149 per year9
  • Director of Public Works: $112,737 per year10
  • Fundraising Director: $115,480 per year11

Faculty Spotlight

Lance J. Noe, MPA — Lance Noe joined Drake University in 2000 serving in both administrative and faculty roles. In addition to teaching courses within the Master of Public Administration degree program, Lance in 2001/2002 led the curriculum development effort for the nationally accredited Iowa Certified Public Manager® program. He continues to serve as the lead instructor and administrator for this professional designation and currently serves as Chair of the Master of Public Administration department.”

Lance also works with other Drake faculty and staff to develop curriculum and provide leadership for the Mandela Washington Fellowship — a U.S. Department of State program which each summer brings 700 leaders from nations in sub-Saharan Africa to study at select U.S. universities including Drake. Lance’s areas of teaching, consulting, research, and publications are focused on public and nonprofit administration. A recent contribution to the field of public administration education is as co-author of the text “The Craft of Public Administration (12th edition)” published in 2002/2003.

Education experiences include degrees and/or significant post-graduate coursework/research at Iowa State University, Drake University, and Florida Atlantic University.

Student Testimonials

Katie Niday, MPA — When Katie Niday wanted to transition into a new career, she looked to the online MPA program at Drake. “My advisor told me about the IT Management Focus, and it was the right coursework to help me achieve my goal.”  With the help of the online MPA program and career services at Drake, she landed a job in her desired field.  “My advisor helped me completely rebuild my résumé. I also was able to list her as a reference.”

Joan Flecksing, MPA — Drake’s online MPA program made earning a master’s degree a reality for Joan Flecksing. “I took over the kitchen table for a couple of years, but I was able to fit in the schoolwork while working full-time and caring for my two children.” Joan achieved her goal of obtaining a senior position shortly after earning an MPA degree from Drake. “I needed to access a larger, more challenging arena. I would have never gained that without my MPA degree.”


About the Zimpleman College of Business

Do well by doing good.

Drake’s Zimpleman College of Business equips you with the skills and experience to lead and innovate in government and nonprofit sectors to generate positive economic, environmental, and social outcomes. You will be prepared for the career you desire—one that aligns with your values, and generates economic opportunity and income for yourself and others.

Upon graduation, you will be equipped with the technical skills, business acumen, empathy, and experience necessary to innovate and lead in a globally complex, diverse, and dynamic world. You will be: 

  • Proficient in your field
  • A data-driven, strategic, and innovative problem-solver
  • An effective communicator
  • A socially and ethically responsible leader
  • A global and culturally competent citizen

In addition to university accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, the Zimpleman College of Business is an accredited member of AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Public Relations and Fundraising Managers.” Retrieved on December 7, 2023, from
  2. Salary: Public Sector Manager in United States 2023. Glassdoor. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
  3. Salary: Nonprofit Manager in United States 2023. Glassdoor. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
  4. Salary: Community Affairs Manager in United States 2023. Glassdoor. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
  5. Salary: Nurse Manager in United States 2023. Glassdoor. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
  6. Salary: Director of Patient Safety in United States 2023. Glassdoor. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
  7. Salary: Volunteer Manager in United States 2023. Glassdoor. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
  8. Salary: City Manager in United States 2023. Glassdoor. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
  9. Salary: Chief of Police in United States 2023. Glassdoor. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
  10. Salary: Director of Public Works in United States 2023. Glassdoor. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from
  11. Salary: Fundraising Director in United States 2023. Glassdoor. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from