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Master of Public Administration online


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.

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Program Overview

Lamar University’s Master of Public Administration online program provides you with the comprehensive education you need for advanced management positions. A valuable addition to your existing career—or a great start for a career change—this degree shows employers you’re serious about public service and committed to improving society.

icon $9,900* Total Program Cost
icon as few as 16 months Program Duration
icon 36 Credit Hours
icon $9,900* Total Program Cost
icon as few as 16 months Program Duration
icon 36 Credit Hours

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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 how they apply to public service
  • Social and political aspects associated with disaster policy and planning
  • 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 and problem solving government issues.

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

Related Degrees

Have questions or need more information about Lamar University’s online programs?


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.

$9,900 Total program cost

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

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.


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:

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8-Week Courses Program Start Date Application Deadline Document Deadline Payment Due Last Class Day
Fall II 2019 10/21/2019 9/26/2019 10/3/2019 10/14/2019 12/10/2019
Spring I 2020 1/21/2020 1/3/2020 1/10/2020 1/13/2020 3/13/2020
Spring II 2020 3/23/2020 3/2/2020 3/9/2020 3/16/2020 5/12/2020
Summer I 2020 6/1/2020 5/11/2020 5/18/2020 5/26/2020 7/6/2020
Ready to take the next steps toward earning your degree online from Lamar University?


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. Lamar University Office of Admissions will no longer require or college community college transcripts for graduate applicants. Official transcripts from all other institutions will be required. However, if a department or program wishes to review a community college transcript for decision purposes, the department or program may directly request the applicant to submit the official community college transcript(s) to the Office of Admissions for processing. 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 2.6 undergraduate GPA

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

View Admission Requirements +

  • All students seeking admission to the public administration degree program must first meet the required standards of the College of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also have the approval of the Department of Political Science.
  • Completed online application form (US or international) and pay a one-time application fee of $25.
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in political science, public administration, emergency management, or the equivalent. Applicants with degrees in other fields are required to have taken an American Government course.
  • GRE / GPA / TOEFL Requirements
    • Overall GPA of 3.25 or greater may be granted unconditional admittance to the program.
    • Overall GPA of 2.6 to 3.24 may be granted conditional admittance to the program and the student must maintain a GPA of 3.0 for each course in the first 9 hours of graduate coursework to continue in the program.
    • Overall GPA below a 2.6 must meet the GRE / GPA standards assigned for the College of Graduate Studies for Admittance according to the formula (GPA x 50) + (GRE Verbal + Quantitative) > or = 428.

Send all required documents to:

Lamar University Online Admissions
PO Box 10017
Beaumont, TX 77710


Submit electronically to


Coursework for this online MPA consists of 12 courses that total 36 hours and features public-private partnerships, leadership, policy formulation, state law and disaster policy. A thesis and non-thesis track are available.

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POLS-5330: Public Administration: Theory and Methods

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

POLS-5331: Public Organization

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

POLS-5332: Ethics and Morality in Public Administration

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

POLS 5340: Public Policy

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

POLS-5355: Applied Research Methods

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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

POLS-5333: Leadership in Public Administration and Non-profits

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

POLS-5334: Constitutional Law for Public Administration

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

POLS-5335: State Institutions

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

POLS-5336: Public-Private Partnerships

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

POLS-5337: Disaster and Hazard Management for Public Administration

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

POLS-5341: State Law and Policy

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

POLS 5342: Disaster Policy

Duration: 8 weeks  |  Credit Hours: 3

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.

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.

To successfully earn the MPA degree, students must complete 36 hours of graduate work. These hours include 15 hours of core coursework. The non-thesis track includes 21 hours of supporting coursework. The thesis track includes 15 hours of supporting coursework and 6 hours of thesis coursework.

* Distance learning fee is included in the tuition listed.

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