Master of Education in Counseling and Development with a Specialization in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling

Master of Public Administration

Earning an online Master of Public Administration from Lamar University is one of the best ways to advance your career and announce you’re ready for greater professional responsibilities. Our MPA leads to a wide variety of opportunities in policy development and implementation; disaster management; local, state, and national government sectors; research; and nonprofit organizations.

Limited Time Special Offer

PLUS: $1,000 in tuition savings on any LU online program Learn More >>

Limited Time Special Offer

PLUS: $1,000 in tuition savings on any LU online program Learn More >>

About the Program

Request Information
info icon
*All fields required.
call icon
or call 866-223-7675
Complete coursework
in as few as 16 months
36 credit hours
Total program cost $9,900*

The MPA program is designed for working professionals and allows you to decide when and where to attend online courses. This 100% online MPA program gives you the critical-thinking and decision-making skills you need to serve as a confident, competent leader for the public.

As a graduate of this MPA program, you will gain:

  • An extensive understanding of public affairs, policy development and economic analysis and how they apply to public service
  • Social and political aspects associated with disaster policy and planning budgeting and financial management skills
  • A general overview of organizational law and stages of the policy process
  • Intel and training on how to keep a hazard from turning into a disaster and the impact human settlement patterns, land-use decisions, and risky technology can have on vulnerable populations
  • The ability to assess and analyze the extent to which ethical and moral values are embedded in our democratic system

The degree’s 36 credit hours of coursework emphasize state policy, constitutional law, ethics and morality in public administration, as well as the leadership methods, strategy and administrative politics necessary to bring about change in high-performance organizations. Also examined: major theoretical and practical approaches central to managing public sector organizations, problems in government, political science, and an in-depth analysis of the U.S. Constitution.

Program Advantages:

  • 100% online courses give you the flexibility to study and attend lectures around your busy schedule
  • An accelerated, 8-week course format allows you to graduate faster than in a traditional campus-based program
  • MPA students can earn their degree in as few as 16 months
  • Same nationally recognized faculty who teach on campus
  • Lamar University is a recognized leader in online education, providing you with the opportunities to grow your career through high quality, affordable online degree programs

Distance learning fee is included in the tuition listed.

Related Programs:

Online Courses

Coursework for this online MPA consists of 12 core courses totaling 36 credit hours and features finance, ethics, economics, politics and law. Courses are designed to build on your leadership and management abilities, ability to plan and report public policy research, and critical-thinking skills when facing decisions involving vulnerable populations.

POLS 5330 Public Administration: Theory and Methods

This course focuses on defining and tracing the evolution of Public administration; examines the individual fields of study in public administration as well as the changes that have occurred over time; analyzes the concepts, theories, and practices integral to understanding the American bureaucracy and the political environment in which it operates. The course introduces the literature review process and establishes the base of public administration for successful completion of the Master of Public Administration program.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5331 Public Organization

This course introduces students to the major theoretical and practical approaches central to managing public sector organizations by reviewing the major topics, issues, and contributions in the literature on organizations and management with an emphasis on government organizations. It will consider problems in government but also emphasizes the many examples of successful management in these organizations, including some of the past and most recent reforms and improvements.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5332 Ethics and Morality in Public Administration

This course is a survey of the ethical nature and dilemmas of public administration in American society. It focuses on ethical dilemmas and concerns arising from the daily exercise of legitimate discretionary power as well as the conflicts that can emerge with personal moral beliefs. The overall goal is that students will be able to assess and analyze the extent to which ethical and moral values are deeply and widely embedded in our democratic system.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5340 Public Policy

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the study of public policy. The course will provide a general introduction to that subfield of political science. It will also acquaint students with contemporary debates regarding collective action, paternalism, policy competition, policy learning, and other issues of interest to policy scholars.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5355 Applied Research Methods

Application of knowledge of public policy and social science methodology to the planning, execution, and reporting of public policy research.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5333 Leadership in Public Administration and Non-profits

This course is a survey of the theories and skills for managing in public and nonprofit organizations. Focus is placed upon leadership and management approaches, strategy, decision making, power, and organizational politics to bring about change in high performance public organizations.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5334 Constitutional Law for Public Administration

This course provides in-depth analysis of the U.S. Constitution and focuses on specific constitutional amendments, doctrines, and landmark Supreme Court cases as they relate to public administration and administrative professionals. Particular emphasis is given to separation of powers; federalism; individual rights in administrative actions and adjudication; the delegation and non-delegation of administrative power by Congress to administrative agencies; judicial deference to administrative interpretations of statutes; and, the constitutional rights and liabilities in public administrative workplace environments.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5335 State Institutions

This course provides a general overview of the political systems of the American states, including state constitutions and the branches of state government. It will also focus on the relationship between states and the national government. Local governments, and their role in governance, and their relationship to states will be important components of the course as well.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5336 Public-Private Partnerships

This course focuses on management theories in the public and nonprofit sector. It includes theoretical questions surrounding decision-making processes and the competing values of managerial practices. The course also examines the concepts of bureaucracy in democratic governance and the complexity of tasks confronting public managers, i.e. the need to include private business and nongovernmental agencies in public management.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5337 Disaster and Hazard Management for Public Administration

This course is a survey of the theories and skills for public Administrators to better understand the factors that can impact the effectiveness of hazard and disaster management in the public interest. Focus is placed upon the theoretical paradigms and research conducted in the areas of risk perception, communication, and decision-making as it relates to hazards and disasters. This course will examine how risk perception, communication, and decision-making vary throughout the disaster management process to give the public administrator a solid foundation of how the decisions they make in everyday government operations can impact their effectiveness in keeping a hazard from turning into a disaster.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5341 State Law and Policy

A general overview of the origin and organization of law and lawmaking in the states provides a foundation to examining the stages of the policy process and the implications of public policy for both politics and society. Next, to delve more closely into the way state government and political organizations affect public policy, we’ll spend time investigating how Texas’s political culture shapes its policy choices. Finally, the intergovernmental response to social problems such as immigration, Medicaid, and recreational marijuana also warrants attention to the principle of American federalism and the interconnectivity federal, state, and local governments to responding to them.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
POLS 5342 Disaster Policy

This course is a survey of disaster policy in the United States for policy and planning decision-makers who must focus on the impact that human settlement patterns, land use decisions, and risky technology can have on vulnerable populations. This course focuses on the social and political aspects associated with disaster policy and planning.

Duration: 8 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Comprehensive Exam

Following completion of core courses, each student is required to take a competency exam that will demonstrate your ability to synthesize and apply material from the program. The exam is pass/fail and offered twice yearly.


There are several opportunities to begin Lamar University’s online MPA program. Find the start date that works best for you and apply before the application deadline associated with it.

Upcoming Start Dates:

January 22, 2019

Apply by December 20, 2018

March 4, 2019

Apply by February 27, 2019

April 15, 2019

Apply by March 14, 2019

Tuition & Financial Aid

For nearly a century, Lamar University has been committed to offering a high quality education that is also accessible to students at all levels of financial need. That's why we offer incredibly competitive tuition and pay-by-the-course options.


Total program cost depends upon transfer hours and program advisement relevant to program requirements. For more information, contact a Lamar University enrollment specialist.


Total Tuition

Financial Aid

Ready to get started on your degree program online, but need help finding ways to fund your education? We can help you discover student financing sources that include grants, loans and other payment options. Learn more about financial aid here.

In addition to the textbook, some courses may require ancillary course materials that may range up to $150 each. Use of additional resources are at the discretion of each professor.


Lamar University's online programs have specific requirements that applicants must meet to enroll in the online MPA program. Please review the admission guidelines carefully. For specific questions or more details, view our admission FAQs.

*All applicants must submit official, sealed, transcripts from each institution attended to the Admissions Office. All degrees must be from a regionally accredited institution. Send transcripts to: Lamar University, P.O. Box 10017, Beaumont, Texas 77710
Check to see if the program is offered to residents in your state before applying by clicking here.

Online Application

Submit your application and one-time $25 application fee online.

Bachelor's Degree

Undergraduate degree from an accredited university.

Minimum 2.5 Undergraduate GPA

Students with an overall GPA of 3.25 and higher may be eligible for a GRE waiver.

Official Transcripts*

Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.