The online Master of Public Administration and Leadership (MPAL) program at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs offers a unique opportunity for mid-career professionals to advance their careers. The MPAL offers a flexible curriculum that equips students with the tools to effectively address management and leadership challenges in the workplace.

The MPAL curriculum:
  • Offers tools that students can immediately apply in the workplace.
  • Is designed to flexibly meet the needs of mid-career professionals.
  • Allows most students to complete the program within two years while continuing to work full-time.
  • Includes options for graduate specializations.

Are you eligible?

Eligible candidates for the MPAL program will likely have:
  • At least three years of significant post-baccalaureate experience in management, budgeting or decision-making in a professional setting.
  • Experience working in the public and/or nonprofit sectors.

To ensure you reach your fullest potential in the program, we will assess whether there is a good match between what the program offers and your professional and academic experiences, skills, and goals. While the Admissions Committee assesses each prospective MPAL student’s experiences on an individual basis, the following indicators are useful in understanding how the Glenn College defines significant administrative and analytical experience.

Administrative Experience:
  • Responsibility for personnel decisions (hiring/supervising/evaluating) in an organization
  • Responsibility for formulating budget decisions in an organization
  • Increasing responsibility over time
Analytical Experience:
  • Responsibility for researching and writing reports that inform decision-making in an organization
  • Increasing responsibility over time

Before submitting an application, prospective students should email their resume to to confirm eligibility. Please include a short statement explaining how your resume reflects administrative or analytical experience.

Online program availability may vary by state. For more information on state authorization requirements and disclosures related to online programs, please visit

If you do not have the above experience, consider our Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. The MPA equips young professionals and recent graduates with the applied skills valued by employers in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Want to learn more about the MPAL degree?
Join us for an informational webinar on Wednesday, April 22 at 12:30 p.m. 
Registration required

Is the MPAL a good fit for me?

Students who will benefit from the MPAL program will likely have the following attributes:

  • A desire to solve management challenges in the workplace.  
  • The ability to excel in an online learning environment.

Want to find out if you are ready for online learning? Take The Ohio State University's online readiness survey.

If online learning is not a good fit for you, consider our In-Career MA in Public Policy and Management program. The In-Career MA program offers in-person, hybrid and online class options for working professionals looking to improve their management and problem solving skills.

Additional opportunities for graduate professional development

If you have an interest in enhancing your management and leadership skills but are not ready to fully commit to a graduate degree program, consider one of these:
This chart is a sample program plan for students who begin autumn semester and finish within 5 semesters. Each semester, students will typically enroll in one or two core courses and a specialization or elective course. Core courses are hyperlinked with a short description of the course. To view specialization options, see the chart, “MPAL Specializations and Electives.”


Autumn Spring Summer Autumn Spring
6051: Introduction to Public Affairs and Orientation to the Program
(Credit hours: 4)
6060: Managerial Leadership in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
(Credit hours: 4)
6055: Judgment in Managerial Decision-Making (1st 6 weeks)
(Credit hours: 2)

6045: Fundamentals of Budgeting & Financial Administration (2nd 6 weeks)
(Credit hours: 2)

6075: Data, Models, and Evaluation
(Credit hours: 4)
7990: Capstone
(Credit hours: 3)

6530: Negotiation (1st 7 weeks)
(Credit hours: 1)
Specialization/ Elective Specialization/ Elective Specialization/ Elective Specialization/ Elective

MPAL Specialization and Elective Tracks

Public Management Public Policy Criminal Justice Administration & Policy Nonprofit Management (^)
*7557: Strategic Management
(Credit hours: 3)
*6000: Policy Formulation and Implementation (Credit hours: 4) *5506: Administration of Criminal Justice Policy
(Credit hours: 3)
*7553: Nonprofit Management and Governance
(Credit hours: 3)
7550: Contract Management
(Credit hours: 3)
6030: Public Sector Economics
(Credit hours: 4)
Sociology 5950: Evidence Based Practice in Criminal Justice
(Credit hours: 3)
7533: Nonprofit Financial Management
(Credit hours: 3)
7554: Performance Management
(Credit hours: 3)
5750: Business Government Relations
(Credit hours: 3)
Sociology 5925: Offender Decision Making and Prisoner Reentry
(Credit hours: 3)
5590: Fundraising & Philanthropy for Nonprofit Organizations
(Credit hours: 3)
7555: Project Management
(Credit hours: 3)
5770: Risk & Decision Analysis in Public Affairs
(Credit hours: 3)
7507: Criminal Justice Policy
(Credit hours: 3)
5592: Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations
(Credit hours: 3)
7501: Grant Writing
(Credit hours: 3)
(^) Currently only available in-person.

* Each specialization requires this course. Students can choose from the remaining courses, or other electives with approval, to complete the specialization.

© John Glenn College of Public Affairs
Page Hall, 1810 College Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210

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