Northern Kentucky University Master of Public Administration
Northern Kentucky University Master of Public Administration Program

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) is an applied 36-credit-hour degree that develops students for public service careers. NKU MPA students and alumni manage and lead in: local, state and federal government agencies; community and economic development groups; hospitals and health care entities; arts organizations; foundations; and other nonprofit organizations. It is the only MPA program in the Northern Kentucky / Greater Cincinnati region accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), "the global standard in public service education."

The NKU MPA degree can be completed in a fully online format or in a hybrid format with a mix of in-person and online classes. While earning the MPA degree, our students can readily acquire certificates in Nonprofit Management and Emergency Management as well as various micro-credentials.

Through active learning including capstone projects, service learning, student philanthropy, applied research, and internships, students expand their knowledge and skills. In addition, students deepen their public service values through extracurricular speakers and events, service and social activities by our student organization, mentorships, and other connections with our alumni network and our chapter of the Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA) global honor society.

Flexible Schedules and Small Classes

The NKU MPA program is flexible in terms of each student's educational goals and timeframe. Most students work full time and complete the degree in two years by taking six (6) credit hours per semester in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students can accelerate this pace by taking nine (9) to 12 credit hours per semester, or they can choose a slower pace by taking three (3) credit hours per semester and/or by not enrolling in summer sessions.

With classes no larger than 20 students, NKU MPA students develop strong relationships with faculty and classmates, many continuing years after they graduate. In-person and online synchronous classes are taught on weekday evenings to accommodate students' work schedules. Other formats include online asynchronous classes, independent study, and study abroad.

Engaged Faculty, Students, and Alumni

NKU MPA faculty regularly present at academic conferences and publish journal articles, books, and reports. Also, they serve national and international bodies such as the Fulbright Program, Pi Alpha Alpha Steering Committee, NASPAA's Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA), and the Advisory Board on Graduate Education for the International City and County Management Association (ICMA). Our faculty is quite diverse with 57% Women and 71% People of Color.

NKU MPA students are selected for scholarships, fellowships, and awards from groups affiliated with the ICMA, American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), and others. NKU MPA alumni have been recognized for their leadership and service by ICMA, ASPA, Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL), Leadership Council for Nonprofits, Leadership Kentucky, and the Cincinnati Business Courier's Forty Under 40 and Second Act awards.

Graduate Certificates and Micro-credentials

Students at NKU can earn Nonprofit Management and Emergency Management graduate certificates, each of which requires 18 credit hours. They can earn a dual MPA degree and graduate certificate for a total of 39 credit hours, which saves time and tuition dollars. (If the degree and certificate were earned separately, the total credit hours would be 54 credit hours.)

In addition, NKU MPA students can readily earn micro-credentials consisting of six (6) to nine (9) credit hours that can be shared on social media accounts such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Some micro-credentials that add value to the MPA degree are: Arts Administration; GIS and Mapping; Disaster Readiness; Serving Veterans and Families; Cyber Security; and Rural Leadership.

Northern Kentucky / Greater Cincinnati Region

NKU is part of the Cincinnati metropolitan statistical area that includes counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana and a total population of 2.2 million. This area is often at the top of rankings for best places to live and work due to job opportunities, affordability, and entertainment options such as parks, museums, performing arts, and professional sports.

Northern Kentucky University
Master of Public Administration Program
Highland Heights, KY