Rutgers Online Master of Public Administration


Pursuing an online Master of Public Administration degree with Rutgers University is a truly rewarding experience. By offering a variety of engaging concentrations, the program is tailored to give students the opportunity to study specific policy topics that truly interest them. One of the great goals in every classroom is to think about ideas theoretically and then to take those theoretical perspectives and think about how we would implement them in real world settings.

The Rutgers online master of Public Administration program focuses on 5 key areas of education:
- Foundational Courses,
- Research and Analysis
- Management
- Financial Management
- Capstone

The Rutgers Online Master of Public Administration Concentrations are as follows:
- Healthcare Administration
- Budgeting and Financial Management
- Nonprofit Management
- Public and Nonprofit Performance Management

Dr. Stephanie Newbold: There are five core areas that every MPA student will take classes in that focuses on central areas of public administration theory and practice. Our first area deals with foundational courses. So there are four courses here that help to explain, help to diversify, help to contextualize what Public Administration is and theory in practice. Our second area focuses on Research and Analysis. And Research and Analysis gives students the skill set to examine data, to examine quantitative and qualitative issues that are important for public sector management and public sector evaluation.

Our third area focuses on management so here we’re examining courses about what makes public organizations distinctive, how do we deal with personnel and budgetary factors and what does the public policy process look like both in terms of a theoretical application and in terms of a practical application and implementation processes. Our fourth area focuses on financial management. So here is where we engage students in public sector processes as it relates to the budgetary process. The final component of the MPA curriculum is the capstone project. This is where we focus on the application of theory to practice so students here engage a topic that’s of interest to them and they produce a major research product that demonstrates the connectivity between what they learned in the classroom in a real world setting.

There are a number of advantages for pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree online. The first is it’s 100% online so you never have to leave where you’re at to pursue your degree and so it makes achieving an advanced degree, a Master’s degree, very efficient and very effective. Secondly we have an award-winning faculty. Just because you’re not physically located in Newark does not mean that you cannot learn from the very, very best. And so having that advantage of being 100% online plus having our distinguished award-winning faculty be your instructors is a great way to think about learning Public Administration from Rutgers Newark. Another advantage is that we have an amazingly active alumni network. Our alumni help us in a number of different ways. They come back to campus for events for professional development opportunities but they’re also looking to help us with our current students, whether that be providing an internship or professional development opportunity or learning experience that could be very beneficial to you. So even though you may be pursuing your online MPA degree from Rutgers Newark, just because you’re not IN Newark doesn’t mean that we aren’t accessible and available to you to advance all of your professional development needs.

We have divided our curriculum in several different areas. The first area of our curriculum focuses on foundational courses. These are going to be the courses that really help explain, contextualize and understanding for what Public Administration is. Students have the opportunity if they so choose to have a concentration in the MPA curriculum. If you do not want to have a concentration you can simply take nine elective credits. But if you do want to have a concentration we offer four options for you. The first option is Health Care Administration. If you are interested in pursuing a career where Public Administration and Health Care Administration meet, than this would be a great option for you. Another concentration option is Budgeting and Financial Management. So if you see your career path is one that wants to focus on economic issues of Public Administration, this would be a great option for you.

Non-profit management gives you an opportunity to learn the distinctive elements of running a non-profit organization, how that might be different from running a public service organization. And one of the reasons that non-profit management is so important and enticing to a lot of students is that it gives you the opportunity to focus on a particular policy area that you feel is really important to a community, to a state, to a country at large. We often quip in our field that we cannot manage what we do not measure and we cannot measure what we do not manage. And so this particular concentration gives you a specific skill set, a specific way of understanding how we can measure, how we can evaluate, how we can determine what is being efficient, responsible and effective in public sector organizations.

We talk a great deal in Public Administration about public policy processing. We have to know how decision-making dynamics work, who is involved in the process and how do we effect change in that process. So understanding policy processes is really important but that’s just the first step. The next step is once we understand process, how do we focus on implementation. How do we take an idea and turn that idea into practice. It’s not enough to simply understand how something works in theory. We also have to understand how we put that theory into practice. And so one of the great goals in every classroom is to think about ideas theoretically and then to take those theoretical perspectives and think about how we would implement those in real world settings.

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