The Online Executive Master of
Public Administration From the
#1-Ranked Maxwell School1
The Online Executive Master of
Public Administration From the
#1-Ranked Maxwell School1
The Online Executive Master of
Public Administration From the
#1-Ranked Maxwell School1

Why Earn Your Executive MPA From Syracuse University?

The online Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) program from the top-ranked Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University prepares its students to drive change in their communities from the highest levels of their organizations.

Students learn from acclaimed faculty who are leaders in the field of public affairs and build genuine connections with their classmates while discussing ways to solve public service challenges. The program is designed for experienced professionals, and students can earn a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School online in as few as 15 months.

Learn more about the role of public administrators and the practice of policy making.

See how our students and graduates are responding to COVID-19.

For 26 years, the Maxwell School has been consistently ranked in the top two by U.S. News & World Report for graduate education in public affairs.2 In the 2022 released report, the school is ranked No. 1 in the nation for best public affairs programs1 and No. 1 in the public management and leadership specialty area.3

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The Maxwell School’s online Executive MPA program is designed for professionals with demonstrated leadership experience.

To be considered for admission, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and 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.

No GMAT/GRE scores are required to apply. We’re dedicated to supporting our students, especially during these challenging times. Explore available scholarships for the July and October 2021 cohorts by contacting your admissions counselor.

Application Requirements

To apply to the online Executive MPA program, candidates must submit the following:

The nonrefundable application fee is $75; however, applicants can contact an admissions counselor to find out if they qualify for an application fee waiver. To learn more about each requirement or our admissions process, visit our Admissions page.

Admissions Deadlines

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. Students can begin taking classes in January, April, July or October. We encourage candidates to submit their applications as early as possible to join the next cohort.

Program Start DateEarly Priority DeadlinePriority DeadlineApplication Deadline
January 2022Friday, September 24, 2021Friday, October 15, 2021Thursday, November 18, 2021
April 2022Thursday, December 23, 2021 Thursday, January 13, 2022 Thursday, February 10, 2022
July 2022 Thursday, March 24, 2022 Thursday, April 14, 2022 Thursday, May 12, 2022
October 2022 Thursday, June 23, 2022  Thursday, July 14, 2022 Thursday, August 11, 2022

Join Our Community of Experienced Public
Service Professionals

Learn how to navigate modern public administration challenges alongside a cohort of
ambitious leaders in the Maxwell School’s online EMPA program.

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Student Spotlight

Raissa Figueiredo has worked as a consultant for the departments of Homeland Security and Education. She aspires to advance into a leadership role in procurement policy, and the Maxwell School’s online EMPA has helped her develop the necessary skills in leadership and management to do so.

“Looking at other schools, I recognized Maxwell’s program as an ideal blend of coursework in leadership, management and specialized public administration study. The school’s national ranking and reputation for cultivating top-notch leaders and administrators was proof of its value and effectiveness.”

– Raissa Figueiredo,

Class of 2018

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A Curriculum for Experienced Public Administration Leaders




Core Courses


Specialized Courses

Students in the online Executive MPA program learn to formulate, implement and evaluate policy; lead and manage organizations; and use evidence-based analysis to make a positive impact on the public good.

Topics of study include 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

By exploring current case studies and collaborating with other dedicated public servants, students can apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world settings and immediately begin developing solutions to public service issues in their current roles.

The program can be completed part time in as few as 15 months.

Learn more about our curriculum.

Core Courses

Core 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 managerial skills and competencies.

Master’s Project Course

Integrate concepts from across the online EMPA 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.

Specialized Subject Area Courses

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

To learn more about each course and specialized subject area, visit our Academics page.

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Collaborative Online Learning

Since 2017, the Maxwell School has delivered an online Executive MPA program that expands on the quality of the renowned on-campus programs. Through a flexible online platform that features live classes, a one-click dashboard and a variety of customizable features, such as dark mode and adjustable video speed, students can meet in real time to share diverse insights and collaborate on solutions to public service issues that they face in their own communities.

Professional Development at the Maxwell School

At the Maxwell School, we are dedicated to helping our students succeed throughout their academic careers and long after graduation. Students can take advantage of a variety of professional development resources, including one-on-one advising, career development and connecting to our Maxwell alumni community of over 30,000 public service professionals.

Faculty Spotlight

Tina Nabatchi, named the inaugural Joseph A. Strasser Endowed Professor in Public Administration in 2018, has taught at the Maxwell School since 2007. Her academic interests include citizen participation, collaborative governance, conflict resolution and challenges in public administration.

Watch our video to learn more about our Maxwell faculty

“Maxwell has an incredible legacy in the [public service] field. We teach you a range of skills to excel in any organization, from policy, data and budget analysis to effectively navigating interpersonal relationships.”

Professor Tina Nabatchi

Ready To Become a Well-Rounded Public
Service Leader?

Learn how to drive effective policy change with an online EMPA from the Maxwell

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Degree Comparison

Earning an Executive MPA can have similar benefits to earning an MPA or Master of Business Administration (MBA), but the online Executive MPA degree from Syracuse University gives experienced public service professionals the resources to be effective leaders, wherever they’re located. Our program prepares students to take the next step toward executive leadership in government, nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

Students will graduate from our Executive MPA program ready to:

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

See how the EMPA, MPA and MBA degrees compare.

The 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 management 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

Careers in Public Administration for Executives

Graduates of our Executive MPA program are able to enact change through efficient project management and analytical decision making. They can use their Executive MPA degree to advance their careers in the following areas:

Nonprofit Sector

With a public administration background, professionals can meet the needs of diverse organizations by overseeing budgets, directing fundraising efforts and motivating teams. Students can use their EMPA to work in a variety of nonprofit areas, including:

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

Public Sector

Many of our students pursue leadership roles in the public sector and use their leadership skills to head government initiatives and analyze and implement effective policy. EMPA students can seek positions across the public sector, including:

  • Federal government
  • Local and state government
  • Military organizations

Private Sector

Students who pursue careers in the private sector act as liaisons between public and private organizations and ensure that their organization supports the public good. EMPA students develop a skill set that is relevant in the following areas:

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

In these roles and others, students can use their Executive MPA to drive positive change. Learn more about public administration careers.

The Maxwell Community Responds to COVID-19

Our students and graduates have stepped up at all levels of government and private industry to support communities across the country in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read about our incredible students bringing true meaning to the Maxwell School’s commitment to citizenship below.

  • As commander of his California city’s police department, Rafael is dedicated to providing security to hospitals battling the virus and ensuring that the city’s homeless population is being properly cared for.
  • In Boston, Brandi is a vice president at a catastrophe modeling firm, working to develop modeling tools to track and predict the impact of this pandemic.
  • Many current online MPA students, including Christopher in North Carolina and Natalie in California, are leading health centers across the country.
  • Stephanie serves in the Minnesota Army National Guard and is working tirelessly to plan its response to support communities across the state.

Ready To Become a Leader Who Influences Positive Change?

Take the next step toward advancing your public service career in the Maxwell School’s online Executive MPA program. Request more information today.