2017 Most Affordable Online Colleges for MPA Programs

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These 25 most affordable schools offering online MPA degrees have tuitions below $12,000 a year. Columbia Southern University is the most affordable option, offering a Master of Public Administration for $5,220 a year. University of West Georgia also has a tuition under $6,000 a year, offering an MPA for $5,616 annually. Students can study public administration with specializations in criminal justice, healthcare administration, and non-profit management at a number of schools on this list; California State University-Dominguez Hills, ranked #12, offers all three of these tracks.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our 2017 rankings of the most affordable online public administration bachelor's degrees. View our methodology or learn more about SR Education Group.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank College Annual Tuition
#1 #1 Columbia Southern University Annual Tuition $5,220
#2 #2 University of West Georgia Annual Tuition $5,616
#3 #3 Georgia College & State University Annual Tuition $6,084
#4 #4 Randall University Annual Tuition $5,850
#5 #5 University of South Dakota Annual Tuition $6,630
#6 #6 Strayer University Annual Tuition $6,740
#7 #7 Arkansas State University-Main Campus Annual Tuition $6,912
#8 #8 Southern Utah University Annual Tuition $5,352
#9 #9 Metropolitan State University Annual Tuition $7,800
#10 #10 University of Illinois at Springfield Annual Tuition $8,045
#11 #11 Lincoln University - MO Annual Tuition $8,200
#12 #12 California State University-Dominguez Hills Annual Tuition $10,800
#13 #13 The University of Texas at Arlington Annual Tuition $8,288
#14 #14 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Annual Tuition $9,396
#15 #15 Stephen F. Austin State University Annual Tuition $8,879
#16 #16 Belhaven University Annual Tuition $9,630
#17 #17 Hodges University Annual Tuition $9,900
#18 #18 California State University-Long Beach Annual Tuition $10,000
#19 #19 Lewis University Annual Tuition $10,080
#20 #20 Texas A & M International University Annual Tuition $10,185
#21 #21 CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice Annual Tuition $10,500
#22 #22 Sul Ross State University Annual Tuition $10,980
#23 #23 University of Mary Annual Tuition $11,010
#24 #24 University of Colorado Denver Annual Tuition $11,250
#25 #25 Western International University Annual Tuition $11,375
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  • Annual Tuition: $5,220
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Example Classes:
    Administration of Public Institutions; Local Government Planning; Public Administration Ethics; Public Policy; Quantitative Research Methods
  • Annual Tuition: $5,616
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 54%
  • Example Classes:
    Administrative Law and Procedures; Public Budgeting and Financial Management; Public Organizational Theory; Public Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation; Research Methods for Public Administration; Theory of Public Administration and Ethics

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,084
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Example Classes:
    Leadership and Organizational Behavior; Public Administration and Public Service; Public Finance and Budgeting; Public Personnel Management; Public Policy Analysis; Quantitative Techniques in Public Administration

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  • Annual Tuition: $5,850
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: TRACS
  • Acceptance Rate: 43%
  • Example Classes:
    Executive Leadership; Leadership and Organizational Culture; Legislative Process; Public Budgeting and Finance; Public Policy Implementation; Public Program Management
  • Annual Tuition: $6,630
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Example Classes:
    Administrative Law and Government; Budgetary & Fiscal Management; Executive Public Administration; Facilitation and Conflict Management; Organization and Management; Public Personnel Management
  • Annual Tuition: $6,740
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Example Classes:
    Constitutional and Administrative Law; Leadership and Conflict Resolution; Modern Public Administration: Managing Public and Nonprofit Organizations; Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation; Public Budgeting and Finance; Public Personnel Management

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  • Annual Tuition: $6,912
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Example Classes:
    Administrative Behavior; Grant Writing; Public Budgeting & Finance; Public Information Management; Public Policy Analysis; Techniques of Public Administration Research
  • Annual Tuition: $5,352
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  • Example Classes:
    Administrative Law; Critical Thinking and Ethics in the Public Sector; Public Human Resource Management; Public Policy Analysis; Public Sector Economics; Research Methods for Public Administration

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  • Annual Tuition: $7,800
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Example Classes:
    Economics of Social Issues; Information Management, Evaluation, and Public Accountability; Nonprofit Governance and Management; Public Ethics and the Common Good; Strategic Human Resources Management: Public and Non-Profit
  • Annual Tuition: $8,045
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Example Classes:
    Analytical Tools; Budget and Finance; Human Resource Management; Information for Decision Making; Organization Dynamics; Public Policy for Managers

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,200
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Example Classes:
    Administrative Theory; Constitutional Law; Organizational Psychology; Public Admin in the Political Process; Public Policy Process and Analysis; Public Sector Budgeting
  • Annual Tuition: $10,800
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
  • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  • Example Classes:
    Administration and Public Policy Analysis; Administrative Theory and Behavior; Environment and Practice of Public Administration; Public Budgeting; Public Management; Quantitative Methods in Public Administration
  • Annual Tuition: $8,288
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Example Classes:
    Ethics in Public Service; Financial Management in the Public and Non-Profit Sectors; Non-Profit Institutions; Public and Non-Profit Human Resources; Public and Non-Profit Human Resources Law; Public Budgeting

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  • Annual Tuition: $9,396
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 84%
  • Example Classes:
    Analytical Techniques; Leadership and Public Policy; Organizational Leadership and Administration; Public Budgeting; Public Leadership and Ethics; Public Personnel Administration

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  • Annual Tuition: $8,879
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  • Example Classes:
    Applied Methods for Public Administration; Policy Systems and Evaluation; Public Administration Methods; Public Budgeting and Financial Management; Public Personnel Administration; Survey of Public Administration

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  • Annual Tuition: $9,630
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 48%
  • Example Classes:
    Administration of Financial Resources; Economics and Public Policy; Organizational Behavior; Principles of Executive Leadership; Public and Administrative Law; Public Policy Analysis
  • Annual Tuition: $9,900
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Example Classes:
    Executive Leadership & Decision Making; Governmental Budgeting and Finance; Labor Relations, Negotiations, and Contract Issues in Human Resources; Management of American, State, and Local Government; Professional Ethics, Social Responsibility and Diversity; Public Administration: Function and Structure

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
  • Acceptance Rate: 31%
  • Example Classes:
    Government Budgeting and Finance; Public Sector Personnel Administration; Public Works Facilities and Urban Policy; Research Methods in Public Administration; Seminar in Organization Theory and Behavior; Seminar of Policy Issue Analysis

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,080
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 56%
  • Example Classes:
    Ethics, Integrity, and Social Responsibility; Fiscal Management for Public Safety Administrators; Public Safety Administration and Management; Public Safety Law and Civil Liability; Public Safety Leadership - Theory and Practice; Public Safety Training - Management and Development

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,185
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 48%
  • Example Classes:
    Administrative Ethics; Communication for Public Administrators; Human Resources Management in Public Administration; Organization Theory; Principles and Politics of Public Budgeting; Public Policy Development and Implementation

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  • Annual Tuition: $10,500
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Acceptance Rate: 34%
  • Example Classes:
    Assessments, Audits and Investigations in Human Resources; Bureaupathology; Ethics Integrity and Accountability; Public Sector Account and Auditing; Public Sector Inspection and Oversight
  • Annual Tuition: $10,980
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 52%
  • Example Classes:
    Intergovernmental Relations; Local Government Administration; Public Administration Survey; Public Budgeting and Finance; Public Policy Analysis
  • Annual Tuition: $11,010
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Example Classes:
    Ethics; Human Resource Management; Law in the Managerial Environment; Management and Organizational Behavior; Marketing; Operations Management
  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Example Classes:
    Economics and Public Finance; Ethics and Leadership; Managing Conflict and Change; Nonprofit Financial Management; Organizational Management and Behavior; Policy Process and Democracy

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  • Annual Tuition: $11,375
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NCA HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Example Classes:
    Corporate Power, Politics, and Negotiations; Ethical Leadership and Corporate Responsibility; Information Resource Management; Managing Public Policy; Strategic Management in the Public Sector

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Recommendation rate refers to the percent of students who said they would recommend this school based on reviews submitted to our partner site, GradReports.com.
This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.