Online Master’s in Public Administration and Policy

100% Online

24 Month Duration

Scholarships Available

NASPAA Accredited

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Learn to Lead

The online master’s in public administration and policy combines American University’s nationally recognized and NASPAA-accredited master’s in public administration and master’s in public policy degree programs into one foundational, highly marketable credential. With this program, you will achieve a master’s-level understanding of modern governance from an award-winning faculty working and teaching in the heart of government, Washington, D.C.

#13 Best Public Affairs Program U.S. News & World Report Public Affairs Graduate Schools (2024)

#4 Top Public Management & Leadership Program U.S. News & World Report Public Affairs Graduate Schools (2024)

At AU, you will gain a distinct advantage over the competition by mastering the disciplines of both public policy and public administration and graduate with a foundational skill set to build on for life.

Online Merit Scholarships

No Separate Application Required

Prospective students who have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or above (on a 4.0 scale) in their undergraduate program, or those with five or more years of active-duty experience in the military (regardless of their GPA score), can qualify for the Online Merit Scholarship in award amounts up to $12,000.*

A Professional Program for Your Future

The curriculum in the online master’s program will equip you with the real-world skills you need to succeed.

Courses you may take in this program include:

  • Foundations of Policy Analysis: Explore the scope, methods, issues, and evolution of policy studies
  • Budgeting and Financial Management: Learn about public sector budgeting and budgetary processes
  • Public Managerial Economics: Understand the concepts needed to be an informed consumer of microeconomics-based policy analysis
  • Organizational Analysis: Learn to diagnose administrative problems and devise practical solutions to enhance governance

Public administration and policy is a field that’s always growing and always in demand. In fact, employment of social and community service managers is expected to grow 9% from 2022 to 2032, which is much faster than average.1

Some jobs our graduates pursue include:

  • City manager – $97,882/year2
  • Director of Policy Analysis – $$96,747/year3
  • Non-profit executive director – $74,802/year4

Alumni Employers

As passionate change-makers, our alumni are responsible for using their policy skills to make an impact. You can join an incredible set of AU alumni who work in diverse roles across different public administration sectors and organizations.

  • Crossroads Treatment Centers
  • International Justice Mission
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Military Armed Forces
  • Volunteers of America
“I was able to apply new knowledge and skills toward all three of my careers and it has allowed me to advance my understanding of difficult policy topics and make well-informed decisions.”
– Justin Schultz, Regulatory Manager, 2021 Graduate

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Sources and Disclaimer

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Social and Community Service Managers.” Apr. 17, 2024. Retrieved May 15, 2024, from https://bls.gov/.
  2. Payscale. “Average City Manager Salary.” Retrieved Apr. 18, 2024, from https://payscale.com/.
  3. Payscale. “Average Director, Public Policy Salary.” Retrieved May 15, 2024 from https://www.payscale.com/.
  4. Payscale. “Average Director Non-Profit Organization Salary.” Retrieved Apr. 18, 2024, from https://payscale.com/.

*As part of your application process, your academic history and military experience will be reviewed to determine if the scholarship can be applied; there is no separate application to fill out. You’ll be notified of the scholarship status when you’re admitted to the program, or shortly thereafter. To receive the scholarship, which is applied equally across the fifth through eighth courses of the program, you must remain in good academic standing.