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Program Type: Graduate

Degree Awarded: Master of Arts in Public Administration Select the degree to view its requirements.

Department: Political Science, Criminal Justice & Organizational Leadership

Join NKU Master of Public Administration (MPA) students, alumni, and faculty in serving others, strengthening communities, and leading government and nonprofit organizations! The MPA is an applied 36 credit hour degree designed to prepare students for careers in public service and public management. Classes can be completed online or in a hybrid format and are small in size, permitting faculty to personalize instruction and allowing students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for competitive employment in the public and related sectors, including government agencies, hospitals, universities, and other nonprofit organizations. We are the only MPA program in the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati region accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), which is the quality benchmark for graduate programs around the world. Also, we are ranked #3 for Best Public Affairs Graduate Programs in the state of Kentucky by U.S. News and World Report.

MPA Student Information

MPA program earns re-accreditation for seven more years

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) has re-accredited NKU’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program for the next seven years, which is the maximum period of time allowed.   "NASPAA accreditation indicates that an MPA program meets certain benchmarks in terms of quality and value.  We are honored that NKU's program, once again, has received this mark of quality or stamp of approval because it is very important to prospective students, current students, alumni and employers,” said Dr. Julie Olberding, MPA Director.  “NKU’s program is one of only six in the state of Kentucky to have achieved this status." Read more...

Program Contacts

Missy Gish
Program Coordinator

Students in the Spotlight

Timothy Haizlip

Timothy Haizlip

Graduating Year: 2003

Education: Bachelor of Arts in History; Master of Public Administration

"I was introduced to the MPA program by Chief Bill Dorsey in my last semester of my undergraduate program at NKU. Introduction to Public Administration was my final elective. I had intended to earn my bachelor’s degree and move on, but he enocuraged me to look into the MPA program, which I did, and I fell in love with it. I feel very happy and fortunate we had that conversation, as I am certain I would not be where I am today, if it had not occurred. So a big thank you and to Chief Dorsey! "

Career: "I began my career at CVG, where I worked in Airfield Maintenance for 10 years before accepting a director’s position in Lansing MI, the year I graduated with my MPA. After stops in Louisville KY, San Jose CA, and Grand Rapids MI – and 18 years later – I returned home Northern KY and CVG in 2021 in my current role.  So, my career path has come full circle."

Find Your Passions & Build Your Future

students hanging out
  • Career Exploration & Active Learning: MPA students enhance their knowledge and skills through engaged and experiential learning including capstone projects, service learning, student philanthropy, internships, study abroad, and research with faculty members.
  • Our network: MPA students build valuable relationships with government and nonprofit leaders through our mentoring program, guest lecturers, special events and service activities. Our diverse network of students and alumni develop strong connections and make positive impacts in our region. 
  • Certificates: MPA students can readily earn specialized graduate certificates and microcredentials in areas such as: Nonprofit Management, Emergency Management, Arts Administration, Community and Economic Development, Leadership in the Public Sector, GIS and Mapping, and Serving Veterans and Families. 


Students walking down steps

Experience NKU

Our campus is more than classrooms. It’s a hive of activity and connections that instantly feel familiar. Come walk it, take it in, check it out.

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Financial Aid

A variety of financial assistance is available, from grants to scholarships, loans to veteran benefits.