Best Online Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) in California

An online master’s in public administration (MPA) provides you with the knowledge and educational requirements to advance your career in public administration in the public and private sectors. Public administrators can earn the degree they need online to achieve their career goals, on their own terms.

Finding a master’s in public administration in California helps Californians find the most affordable programs at colleges and universities they and employers know and trust.

An online master’s in public administration prepares students for a variety of careers in business, government, and public administration, with roles including legislator, property manager, public relations and fundraising manager, human resources manager, administrative services manager, and chief executive. MPA students engage with advanced public administration topics including state and national politics, public administration ethics, non-profit management and finance, organizational leadership in public and private sectors, and public health.

Some MPA programs offer concentrations in areas such as non-profit management, policy and change, international relations, city management, and public finance. Most programs include a professional experience component, and many require a final project or thesis. MPA programs typically take two years to complete and require 30-60 credits, though some can be completed on an accelerated timeline.

Nationally, Social and Community Service Managers make a median annual salary of over $67,150, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In California, public relations specialists make a median annual salary of over $69,681.

Most public administration jobs do not require licensure. Depending on their area of practice, many public administration professionals hold membership in professional organizations, which also tend to offer a variety of certifications. Such organizations include the Public Relations Society of America, CFRE International, the International Association of Business Communicators, the American Society for Public Administration, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, and the International Institute of Administrative Sciences.

Social and Community Service Managers Career Prospects in California
Job Growth by 2026No data reported
Job Growth by 202117.8%
Average Wage (Mean):
$76,787
Entry Annual Wage:
$53,075
Median Annual Wage:
$69,681
Experienced Annual Wage:
$94,920
Sources: the State of California Employment Development Department’s 2019 First Quarter Employment Projections and the State of California Employment Development Department’s 2020 First Quarter Employment and Wage Information

Find your online master’s in public administration in CA

Study confidently at a quality institution in California where you know you will receive training relevant to California laws and regulations, and with attention to current affairs in California.

Finding an online degree at a regionally accredited college or university will help ensure not only the acceptance of your degree by hiring professionals, but it will enable you to pursue an advanced degree should you someday want to take your education to the next level.

Here’s our list of online master’s degrees in public administration offered by regionally accredited colleges and universities in California  Sort to find the best, most affordable, and best value online colleges for public administration degrees.

California Master’s in Public Administration Frequently Asked Questions+

Why Should I Get a Master’s in Public Administration in California?

Earning a master’s in public administration in California allows Californians to benefit from in-state tuition prices, and save money while preparing for their careers.

How Long are California MPA Programs?

California MPA programs are typically two years long.

What is the Median California Salary for Public Relations and Fundraising Managers?

The median salary for California Social and Community Service Managers is $69,681 per year.

What Kind of California Licensing do Master’s in Public Administration Graduates Need?

Licensure is not generally required of public administration professionals, though professional certifications are attractive to employers.

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    1. University of Southern California

      Los Angeles, CA

      Program Score

      99

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment48,321 (14% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePrivate
      Number of Online Programs119
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$58,195 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Experienced Online School
      Diverse Student BodyFirst-Generation Student Friendly School

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MPA - Public Administration402-3 years
      See USC’s full list of online degrees!
    2. San Diego State University

      San Diego, CA

      Program Score

      89

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment35,544 (2% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePublic
      USDE Special Government StatusAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, Hispanic-Serving Institution
      Number of Online Programs9
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$7,510 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Diverse Student BodyDisability Friendly SchoolFirst-Generation Student Friendly SchoolAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving InstitutionHispanic-Serving Institution

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MPA - Public Administration362-3 years
      See SDSU’s full list of online degrees!
    3. Concordia University-Irvine

      Irvine, CA

      Program Score

      89

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment3,911 (50% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePrivate
      Number of Online Programs27
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$36,740 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      #4 Best California Online College#10 Best Value California Online College
      Experienced Online School
      Diverse Student BodyDisability Friendly SchoolFirst-Generation Student Friendly School

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MPA - Public Administration423-4 years
      See CUI’s full list of online degrees!
    4. California State University-Dominguez Hills

      Carson, CA

      Program Score

      83

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment17,977 (8% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePublic
      USDE Special Government StatusHispanic-Serving Institution
      Number of Online Programs24
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$6,946 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Top California Online College #3 Most Affordable California Online College#6 Best Value California Online CollegeAdult Student Friendly SchoolDiverse Student BodyDisability Friendly SchoolHispanic-Serving Institution

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MPA - Public Administration: Health Care Policy and Administration362-3 years
      MPA - Public Administration: Nonprofit Management362-3 years
      MPA - Public Administration: Public Management362-3 years
      See CSUDH’s full list of online degrees!
    5. Azusa Pacific University

      Azusa, CA

      Program Score

      83

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment9,297 (9% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePrivate
      USDE Special Government StatusAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, Hispanic-Serving Institution
      Number of Online Programs24
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$40,220 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Top California Online College
      Experienced Online School
      Diverse Student BodyFirst-Generation Student Friendly SchoolAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving InstitutionHispanic-Serving Institution

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MPA - Public Administration362-3 years
      See APU’s full list of online degrees!
    6. California Baptist University

      Riverside, CA

      Program Score

      82

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment11,045 (21% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePrivate
      USDE Special Government StatusHispanic-Serving Institution
      Number of Online Programs43
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$34,882 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Top California Online College A Most Affordable California Online College A Best Value California Online College
      Experienced Online School
      Diverse Student BodyFirst-Generation Student Friendly SchoolHispanic-Serving Institution

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MPA - Public Administration362-3 years
      See CBU’s full list of online degrees!
    7. Notre Dame de Namur University

      Belmont, CA

      Program Score

      74

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment1,363 (5% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePrivate
      USDE Special Government StatusAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, Hispanic-Serving Institution
      Number of Online Programs4
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$36,596 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      Diverse Student BodyDisability Friendly SchoolFirst-Generation Student Friendly SchoolAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving InstitutionHispanic-Serving Institution

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MPA - Public Administration362-3 years
      See NDNU’s full list of online degrees!
    8. Touro University Worldwide

      Los Alamitos, CA

      Program Score

      66*

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment1,940 (31% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePrivate
      Number of Online Programs19
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$14,600 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      #10 Most Affordable California Online CollegeA Best Value California Online College Adult Student Friendly School
      Experienced Online School
      Diverse Student Body

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MA - Public Administration362-3 years
      See TUW’s full list of online degrees!
    9. National University

      La Jolla, CA

      Program Score

      55*

      CA Relative Cost

      Key FactsAnswers
      Total Enrollment16,670 (36% fully online)
      Public or PrivatePrivate
      Number of Online Programs89
      AccreditationRegional: WASC Senior College and University Commission
      Average In-State Undergraduate Tuition$13,320 per year
      Net Cost by Income
      Source: National Center for Educational Statistics

      CAOnlineColleges.com Awards

      #9 Most Affordable California Online CollegeA Best Value California Online College Adult Student Friendly School
      Experienced Online School
      Diverse Student Body

      DegreeCredits NeededCompletion Time1
      MPA - Public Administration453-4 years
      MPA - Public Administration453-4 years
      See NU’s full list of online degrees!

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