Public Administration Jobs Requirements

Because the field of public administration is so broad, there are no specific certifications for public administration jobs. There are, however, mid-career and executive-level public administration education programs available to meet the needs of those in public administration careers. The two most common are the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP).

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The MPA and MPP are considered terminal degrees; people who earn them will most likely neither seek nor require additional education. Earning an MPA or MPP opens doors to a wide variety of career options. Both the MPA and MPP generally require four semesters of coursework, along with a summer internship, although there are some three-semester programs. There are also part-time programs that take longer to complete. Other post-graduate public administration degrees include the Master of Business Administration, Master of Social Work, Master of Public Health, Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Jurisprudence (a legal degree).

Ph.D. programs in public administration focus on training people to conduct high-level research. People earning a Ph.D. in Public Administration may seek jobs with universities, consulting firms, “think tanks” or policy institutes, and other jobs that require such skills. Many Ph.D. programs in public administration do not require students to first earn a Master’s degree.

The Mid-Career Master in Public Administration (MC/MPA) is an intensive one-year program designed exclusively for mid-career professionals. The MC/MPA increases the knowledge and skills of established professionals seeking to advance their public service careers or to move from the private sector to a leadership position in either the public or non-profit sectors.