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Flexible Program for Experienced Professionals

Executive Master of Public Administration Online

Midcareer students collaborating on classwork

Online Student Experience

The online executive M.P.A. program offers a flexible platform for a seamless learning experience. Students benefit from live classes, a one-click dashboard and a variety of customizable features—such as dark mode and adjustable video speed. The overall online experience allows students to share unique perspectives and work together to solve public service issues that affect their own communities—all in real time.

Students also benefit from a variety of professional development resources, including one-on-one advising, career development and access to our Maxwell alumni community of over 30,000 public service professionals.


Discover an online Executive MPA program designed for professionals with demonstrated leadership experience.

Admission Requirements

Applicants interested in the online executive M.P.A. program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or university. They must also have at least five years of work experience in a position with significant organizational responsibility. Common areas of experience include leading teams, financial management and strategic planning.

Admission Deadlines

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. Students can begin taking classes in January, April, July or October.

The Maxwell School encourages all applicants to submit their application as soon as possible to join the next cohort.




core courses


specialized courses

Online Executive MPA Curriculum

Students in the online Executive Master of Public Administration program learn the nuances of policy development and implementation; spearhead leadership initiatives in their organizations; and use evidence-based analysis to influence positive change.

Coursework and discussions examine challenges such as:

  • Integrating data analysis into management and policy making
  • Managing budgets within organizations and evaluating public expenditures
  • Upholding ethics and morality in sectors facing conflicting values
  • Leading teams and organizations collaboratively and engaging diverse stakeholders

Students learn to apply classroom learnings to real-world situations, and develop high-powered solutions to public service issues in their organizational roles. Upon graduation, students are fully ready to implement critical strategies and collaborate with other dedicated public servants in their field.


This program can be completed in as few as 15 months.

Core Courses

Executive M.P.A. online courses focus on leadership, management and analytical skills.

Fundamentals of Policy Analysis

Study a combination of basic economic principles and policy analysis techniques. Use cost-benefit analysis as a way to discover the rationale for and limits to public sector policies.

Managerial Leadership

Develop a foundational understanding of leadership theories and apply them to managerial situations to improve leadership skills and competencies within your organization.

Master’s Project Course

Integrate learned concepts—from across the online E.M.P.A. curriculum—to design an evidence-based master’s project paper that has practical application to a real-world organization. This capstone is generally taken at the end of the program.

Courses in Specialized Subject Areas

Specialized subject area courses cover topics that are relevant to current public administration challenges, and as such, they are subject to change. Courses include:

Public Administration and Democracy

Public Policy Process

Ethics and Morality in Public Affairs

Public Budgeting

Collaborative and Participatory Governance

Data-Driven Government

Human Resources Management for the Public Sector

Other elective course options may be available.

MBA, MPA and EMPA Online: What's the Difference?

Though an executive M.P.A., an M.P.A. and a master of business administration (M.B.A.) may offer their students and graduates similar benefits, the online executive M.P.A. program from Syracuse University gives experienced public service professionals robust skills to become well-rounded leaders in organizations across the nation. The Maxwell School prepares students to enhance their career, and pursue executive leadership positions in government, nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

Students graduate from our executive M.P.A. program ready to:

  • Effectively manage employees and financial resources
  • Use analytical thinking to assess and implement policy
  • Make ethical decisions and resolve conflicts

Online Executive MPA Program from Syracuse University

Completion Time: About 15 months

Degree Earned: master of public administration

Experience Level: Public service professionals with five-plus years of experience with progressively greater levels of responsibility

Skills Acquired: Public managerial leadership competencies, including managing human, financial and information resources; analyzing and evaluating social and political systems; and planning and coordinating executive actions 


Completion Time: About two years

Degree Earned: master of public administration

Experience Level: Early to midcareer public servants (one to five years of experience)

Skills Acquired: Public managerial skills, including strategizing for public policy, sociology and law; writing grant requests and public policy documents; managing projects; and community development


Completion Time: About two years

Degree Earned: master of business administration

Experience Level: Professionals in the private sector

Skills Acquired: Foundational business practices, such as analytical thinking; managing people, finances and projects; marketing; and business communications

Jonathan Leon

I am Maxwell.

The executive master of public administration at Maxwell has supported my professional and personal growth in the public sector. On top of growing and expanding my professional network, I have been promoted at my job, offered a seat on a nonprofit board, and accepted into three prestigious professional development opportunities.”

Jonathan Leon ’19 E.M.P.A. (ONLINE)

Senior Director, Georgia Regional Impact, Leadership for Educational Equity

Read more about Jonathan’s experience

Executive Master in Public Administration Careers

Graduates or our executive M.P.A. program occupy diverse E.M.P.A. careers in the following areas:

Nonprofit Sector

Meet the needs of diverse organizations. Oversee budgets, direct fundraising efforts to motivate teams.

E.M.P.A. graduates work in a variety of nonprofit areas, such as: 

  • Foundations and philanthropic organizations
  • Higher education institutions
  • Research institutions and think tanks
  • United Nations NGOs

Public Sector

Pursue leadership roles in the public sector and use your leadership skills to head government initiatives and analyze and implement effective policy. 

E.M.P.A. students can seek positions across the public sector, including:

  • Federal government
  • Local and state organizations
  • Military organizations

Private Sector

Act as liaison between public and private organizations and ensure that their organization supports the public good.

E.M.P.A. students graduate from the program with a skill set geared toward the following areas:

  • Corporate social responsibility
  • International banks
  • Public finance
  • Public sector consulting

Influence Positive Change as an Orange Leader

Public Administration and International Affairs Department
215 Eggers Hall