Brian Holcombe
Norwich Graduate, Class of 2018

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Master of Public Administration

Leadership is key to strong communities. Unlock your ability to serve.

The need for strong public servants in government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and not-for-profits is greater than ever. That’s where Norwich University’s online Master of Public Administration can help. Our program is designed to help you develop the skills you need to build better cities and towns, stronger government, and more successful not-for-profits.

Our online Master of Public Administration delivers our tradition of values-based education on a flexible online platform while connecting you with professionals from around the world. With Norwich, you can develop the key public administration skills you need to effectively manage in a demanding and evolving system.

Strong Commitment to Our Program Mission

The mission of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at Norwich University is to prepare and support diversified adult learners who are military and non-military, to become knowledgeable, innovative public sector leaders. The MPA program develops leadership characteristics driven by fundamental public administration values, including those that are at the core of Norwich’s history and tradition. Norwich MPA faculty members are academically and professionally prepared to advance the mission with practitioner-oriented educational experiences available through state-of-the art, on-line course delivery and external partnerships. Culminating experiences of a Capstone Project, portfolio development and Residency week complement the MPA online delivery method, providing the opportunity for problem solving, a retrospective on coursework, face-to-face collaboration and networking. (Adopted January 22, 2016, Updated April 4, 2018). Click here to view the program's Diversity Philosophy and Strategy.

Download a free brochure for more information about this program.


  • Master of Public Administration

Quick Info

Week Residency

Visit campus for culminating experience


Maximum number of students per class


Average time to program completion


Next Start Date


Application Deadline

Why Norwich?

Tailor your studies based on your career goals and personal interests with seven concentration options.

Build your exit portfolio, which is designed to show your skills, competency and application of program concepts to real-world challenges.

Apply to one of four start dates per year.

Learn from a faculty that includes former and current leaders in the military, and heads of city, state, and federal departments; criminal justice organizations; and nonprofits as well as respected researchers and scholars.

Benefit from enhanced classroom experiences and practical learning, including a partnership with The MITRE Corporation.

Join a university with a long tradition of public service education and leadership.

Benefit from a university recognized as offering Best Value with respect to high academic quality and low net cost of attendance, according to U.S. News & World Report.*

*Rankings are based on undergraduate programs and on students who received the average level of need-based financial aid.


Accreditation & Recognition

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Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.).

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Recognized for academic excellence, U.S. News & World Report ranks Norwich University in the top 100 for Regional Universities in the North. Rankings are based on undergraduate programs.


Scholarship Opportunities

Norwich University offers a range of opportunities to help you lower your overall tuition costs. Contact our admissions team today to learn more about the below options. Please note that scholarships are not additive. In addition to the below scholarships, students may also be eligible for discounts if their organization partners with Norwich University.

Achievement Scholarship

Recognizing your past academic and professional achievements, the Achievement Scholarship is for newly enrolled students. You could receive a $4,200 scholarship, which will be distributed equally over the courses of the program. To be considered for this scholarship opportunity, submit your application package (application form, resume, letter of intent, and essay (if applicable)) for your program of interest at least one week prior to the upcoming application deadline. The Scholarship Selection Committee will review all application materials and select the recipient. 

Norwich Alumni Scholarship

Norwich University alumni and their spouses, parents, and children are eligible to receive our Alumni Scholarship. The scholarship is award for each term of enrollment at $425 per term.

Active Duty Military Scholarship

Active duty, National Guard, and Reserve personnel are eligible to receive a $250 award for each term of enrollment in an online master’s degree program.



Core Curriculum

Norwich’s online MPA program curriculum is composed of six courses, each of which is delivered over 11 weeks for a total of 36 credit hours. Students master one course at a time, to create a strong foundation of knowledge and context for future topics.

Our graduates can:

  • Implement solutions to real-world administrative challenges immediately.
  • Demonstrate a broad foundation in areas such as organizational leadership and change, strategic planning, ethics, and financial management and data analysis.
  • Apply sharpened critical thinking and writing skills.

Leverage critical leadership skills that build the foundation for public administration in nearly any sector.

Core Curriculum

Students will complete the following three courses prior to choosing a concentration. Students choosing the Policy Analysis and Analytics concentration only complete Foundations of Public Administration & Policy (AD511).

Choose Your Concentration in Public Administration

After completion of the core curriculum, students focus their studies on a concentration of their choice.

Criminal Justice and Public Safety

Our criminal justice and public safety concentration is designed to help you develop the skills you need to pursue or further your career in law enforcement or even transition into another area of public service. Explore the best practices of law enforcement agencies, corrections administration, and public safety management.

Fiscal Management

Fiscal intelligence is essential in public administration, which is why our fiscal management concentration covers key topics necessary to balance budgets, analyze financial performances, and develop your financial decision-making skills.

Municipal Governance

Build the financial and managerial skills necessary to effectively run and positively impact local governments. Students first complete Municipal Governance (AD543) followed by choosing one elective from the course list below.

Nonprofit Management

This concentration is for those who are interested in focusing on nonprofit management and specifically developing skills to lead within the nonprofit sector. Among the topics to be covered are strategic planning, fundraising, stakeholder engagement, governance and performance management. Students first complete Leading the Nonprofit Organization (AD542) followed by choosing one elective from the course list below.

Policy Analysis and Analytics

Our policy analysis and analytics concentration is designed for professionals interested in the planning and implementation of policies as a public administration leader. Our curriculum allows you to analyze critical data, build you decision-making skills, and utilize real-world software such as SPSS, SAS, R, and Python to perform data analysis. Students will take all five courses listed below and will complete their capstone and exit portfolio within the concentration.

Announcing a New Collaboration with The MITRE Corporation 
The College of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Norwich University is proud to work with The MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit company that manages multiple research and development centers for the federal government. The purpose of this relationship is to build and enhance the policy analysis and analytics courses and experiences of the students by allowing them to work on problems and issues of interest to MITRE and its government sponsors.

Public Administration Leadership and Crisis Management

Develop the skills you need to be at your best during a crisis situation and learn to lead at every level. Build your management, financial, and communication skills, explore ethical decision-making, and learn how to design and implement large-scale action plans.

Procurement and Government Contract Management

The concentration focuses on the methods and processes of procurement and contract management at all levels of government management - federal, state, and local.

The College of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Norwich University has developed the courses within this concentration based upon NIGP’s publications and current standards in order to support the educational goals of the public procurement professional.

Capstone Paper or Project

Students in most of the concentrations will enroll in this capstone course as their sixth and final course of the program, and be assessed on an exit portfolio that consists of written work completed throughout the course of the program. Students in the Policy Analysis and Analytics concentration will complete their capstone work and exit portfolio within their concentration.


Our online Master of Public Administration program ends in a residency at the historic Norwich University campus in Vermont. During this time you will have the opportunity to meet with fellow students, faculty, and program staff in both formal classroom and informal settings. Academic recognition ceremonies and commencement cap off the week, and family and friends are encouraged to attend.

Norwich covers the cost of all meals and accommodation on campus.


At a Glance

  • No GRE/GMAT required
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher

Admissions Requirements »

Eligibility Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited U.S. institution, or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution, as evaluated by WESIERFSpanTran, or CED.
  • If English is not your first language, proof of English language proficiency is required.  This can be demonstrated in one of three ways:
    • TOEFL - a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 80 (Internet-based test) is required.*
    • IELTS – a minimum composite score of 6.5 is required.*
    • The applicant holds a baccalaureate or master’s degree from a college/university/institution in which the primary language of instruction was English.

Please Note:  All eligibility requirements are expected to be met unless noted in specific articulation agreements or memoranda of understand (MOUs).

Application Process

We encourage you to contact an admissions advisor (see below) if you need help at any stage of the application process. You will be required to submit the following items:

  • Application form
  • Resume that includes 3 professional references with contact information
  • Official transcript of your undergraduate degree from a regionally or nationally accredited university
  • Letter of intent
  • Proof of English language proficiency if applicable (TOEFL)

To contact an admissions advisor:

Phone: 802-962-4330

Contact Admissions

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT
Extended hours available by appointment

Call: 1-802-962-4330

  • student writing in notebook
    Transfer Credits
    You may receive the equivalent of up to 12 semester credits for study conducted elsewhere. Norwich complies with VA regulations and guidelines as it pertains to transfer credits.
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    International Admissions
    Norwich University welcomes students from all countries who want to study through our online programs. You must complete all steps in the admissions process.
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    Norwich Alumni Benefits
    Reconnect with Norwich to complete your master's degree. As apart of our alumni community, you are eligible for a $2,500 scholarship and other benefits.

Non-Discrimination Statement

Norwich University, in compliance with Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or physical handicap in any of its policies, practices, or procedures.

Tuition & Fees


Norwich provides a top-notch educational experience; we also work hard to help make it affordable. There are many ways to get financial aid and several strategies to help you finance your education. Norwich is committed to making this often-difficult process easier for you.

Tuition at a Glance

  • Credit Hours: 36
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $719

2021-22 Tuition and Fee Schedule - Master's Programs

Rate Per Credit
Additional Expenses Total

Technology - $300/term
Library - $75/term
Graduation - $150/one-time


Careers & Outcomes

Career Opportunities for Master of Public Administration Graduates

Today’s public administrators must be strategic and flexible to respond to the needs of their communities, navigate complex ethical and legal issues, and operate within increasingly limited budgets. Luckily, these skills are well-compensated. The average mid-career Master of Public Administration holder earns $62,142 per year, and Norwich Master of Public Administration graduates have noted earning more than $90,000.

A degree from Norwich’s online Master of Public Administration program can help you advance within your current organization or serve as the foundation for a variety of careers in nearly any sector.

Our graduates work in a variety of roles, including*:

Career Roles

  • Analyst
  • City Engineer
  • Community Social Services Assistant
  • Deputy Chief
  • Development Administrator
  • Community Intervention Specialist
  • Director of Operations
  • Director of Public Works
  • District Director
  • District Division Chief
  • Executive Director
  • Field Director
  • Force Management Officer
  • HR Specialist
  • Investigator/Detective
  • Joint Operations Center Officer in Charge
  • Lead Fire Inspector
  • Lieutenant
  • Operations Manager
  • Owner/Senior Consultant
  • Parks and Recreation Director
  • Payment Management Branch Chief
  • Program Examiner
  • Public Affairs Specialist
  • Regional Director
  • Regional Team Manager
  • Senior Budget Analyst
  • Streets Foreman

Our alumni have held positions at top organizations, including*:


  • Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
  • De Leon Springs State Park
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Massachusetts Senate
  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S. Navy
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • U.S. Secret Service
  • Vermont Agency of Human Services
  • Vermont Army National Guard
  • Vermont State Police
Public Sector

  • Broussard Police Department
  • Carlisle Early Education Center
  • City of Los Banos
  • City of Maple Valley, WA
  • County of San Joaquin
  • Dartmouth Police Department
  • Indiana Secretary of State
  • Milwaukee County Housing Division
  • Ministry of Education Spain
  • Phelpf Company
  • Raynham Police Department
  • Southwest
Nonprofit Sector

  • Alzheimer's Association, Washington State Chapter
  • Burlington County Board of Social Services
  • Capstone Community Action Head Start
  • Grassroots Vermont
  • Public Health Management Corporation
  • Tri County Community Action Programs Inc.
  • Salvation Army
  • Save the Children
  • Veterans Inc.

Read more about our MPA student outcomes.


*Source: Data represents responding MPA graduates from Norwich University's Residency Graduate Survey, fielded June 2017 and June 2018. Total numbers of graduating students was 67, with a response rate of 78%. Unknown placement of graduating students is 22% (15 students did not respond).

Student Consumer Data - Graduation Rates for Master of Public Administration

Faculty & Staff

Our online Master of Public Administration gives you the opportunity to learn from a faculty of experts. Our faculty includes former and current leaders in the military, and heads of city, state, and federal departments; criminal justice organizations; and nonprofits as well as respected researchers and scholars in areas ranging from white-collar crime to public health policy.

We have an in-house instructional design team that work hand-in-hand with program faculty and staff to ensure an efficient and interactive online learning experience in each course.

Advisory Board

A team of distinguished professionals from the industry and field offer their expertise and guidance as advisory board members for the Master of Public Administration program.



Get to know the graduates of Norwich's online Master of Public Administration program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What courses can I take in the public administration program?

Students can choose from a variety of courses specific to the field of public administration. Course topics include strategic planning, finance, organizational leadership, public policy development, and evaluation.

What concentrations may I specialize in?

Students can choose from one of seven concentrations: criminal justice and public safety, public administration leadership and crisis management, fiscal management, nonprofit management, municipal governance, policy analysis and analytics, and procurement and government contract management.

Is there a thesis or capstone option?

The final seminar offers students the opportunity to apply their learning in two tangible ways: the preparation of a capstone paper that offers a practical or theoretical solution to a program, operation, or policy; and the writing of a paper suitable for publication in a professional journal.

How long is the public administration program?

The program’s six courses (each six credits) take approximately 18 months to complete. Depending on when you start the program, you can expect your degree to be conferred in 18 to 24 months.

How have graduates of the program applied their degree?

Master of Public Administration alumni are employed by organizations such as the Air National Guard, Barnes ANGB, Catholic Charities, City of Houston, Department of Defense, United States Senate, USAID, and U.S. Navy.

How are public administration program faculty members selected?

All public administration program faculty members have advanced degrees (most are terminal) and are subject matter experts in public administration. They represent a wide variety of academic disciplines including: public administration, justice administration, philosophy, public affairs, criminology, education, law, and human services. They must demonstrate a wide range of university/college-level teaching experience and a history of leadership in academia, the private sector, or the public sector.

What are the eligibility requirements for applying to the program?
  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution, as evaluated by WES, IERF, or SpanTran.
  • The GRE is not required to apply, but may be requested based upon an applicant's undergraduate GPA.
  • If English was not the language of degree study, proof of English language proficiency and a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 80 (Internet-based test (iBT)) on the TOEFL are required, unless otherwise noted in specific articulation agreements.
How much will the online Master of Public Administration program cost?

Price per Credit: $719 
Term Tuition: $4,314
Technology Fee: $300/term
Library Fee: $75/term
Graduation Fee: $150/one-time  
Total Program Cost (6 terms): $28,284

Does Norwich accept transfer credits?

When you apply for admission to the Master of Public Administration program, you can submit transcripts and course outlines from previously attended institutions of higher education to be considered for transfer credits. Transfer credits will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may be accepted for up to 12 credits. Norwich complies with VA regulations and guidelines as they pertain to transfer credits.