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Online Master of Public Administration and Leadership

Take your career to the next level. This online degree will provide you with the confidence and skills needed to lead your team, organization and community to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.

As a Master of Public Administration and Leadership student at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, you are part of a community committed to making the world a better place for all. Collaborate with your classmates, learn from diverse perspectives and experiences, and build on your foundation of knowledge to develop skills you can immediately put into practice to lead the change you are most passionate about.

Program Highlights

The Online Master of Public Administration and Leadership is designed for mid-career professionals who are passionate about public service and driving change in their communities.​​​​​

Gain applicable skill sets to immediately implement at work
Cultivate your leadership skills to make a bigger impact
Meet, collaborate with and build a network of others who are passionate about public service
Deepen your knowledge about how people, organizations and government interact to implement policy and provide services
Enhance the ways you present ideas and concepts to turn them into strategies for action


Curriculum is designed for maximum flexibility for working professionals. Each semester, students will typically enroll in a core course and a specialization or elective course, adding up to 32 credit hours (20 core course hours, 12 elective hours). Students typically complete the program in 5 semesters. With part time coursework, students can complete the degree in 6+ semesters.

View MPAL Advising Sheet

View Sample Course Syllabi

Core Courses

  • 6051: Introduction to Public Affairs and Orientation to the Program
  • 6060: Managerial Leadership in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
  • 6055: Judgment in Managerial Decision-Making (first six weeks)
  • 6045: Fundamentals of Budgeting & Financial Administration (second six weeks)
  • 6075: Data, Models and Evaluation
  • 7990: Capstone
  • 6530: Negotiation (first seven weeks)

Specialization Track

Public Management
  • Strategic Management (PUBAFRS 7557) - Required
  • Contract Management (PUBAFRS 7550)
  • Performance Management (PUBAFRS 7554)
  • Project Management (PUBAFRS 7555)
  • Public Management in a Hybrid World (PUBAFRS 7650)

Specialization Track

Public Policy
  • Policy Formulation and Implementation (PUBAFRS 6000) - Required
  • Public Sector Economics (PUBAFRS 6030)
  • Business Government Relations (PUBAFRS 5750)
  • Risk and Decision Analysis in Public Affairs (PUBAFRS 5770)
  • Project Management (PUBAFRS 7555)

Specialization Track

Criminal Justice Administration and Policy
  • Administration of Criminal Justice Policy (PUBAFRS 5506) - Required
  • Evidence-Based Practice in Criminal Justice (SOCIOLOGY 5950)
  • Offender Decision-Making and Prisoner Reentry (SOCIOLOGY 5925)
  • Criminal Justice Policy (PUBAFRS 7507)
  • Juvenile Justice System Policy (PUBAFRS 7508)

Specialization Track

Nonprofit Management
  • Nonprofit Management and Governance (PUBAFRS 7553) - Required
  • Nonprofit Financial Management (PUBAFRS 7533) - Required
  • Social Change Advocacy (PUBAFRS 5120) 
  • Fundraising and Philanthropy for Nonprofit Organizations (PUBAFRS 5590)*
  • Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations (PUBAFRS 5592)
  • Grant Writing (PUBAFRS 7501)*
  • Strategic Management (PUBAFRS 7557)
  • Performance Management (PUBAFRS 7554)
  • Project Management (PUBAFRS 7555)

*Currently in-person only

Apply Today

If you would like to confirm your eligibility before applying, email your resume to Include a short statement explaining how your resume reflects administrative or analytical experience.

Please also review the information below.

Application Deadlines:

  • Autumn cohort: June 15
  • Spring cohort: Nov. 1

Eligible individuals must have at least three years of administrative or analytical post-baccalaureate experience. Experience is assessed on an individual basis, however, the following indicators are useful in understanding how the Glenn College defines administrative OR analytical experience.

Administrative Experience could include:

  • Responsibility for personnel decisions (hiring/supervising/evaluating) in an organization
  • Responsibility for managing day to day program or organizational operations
  • Responsibility for formulating budget decisions in an organization
  • Increasing responsibility over time

Analytical Experience could include:

  • Responsibility for researching and writing reports that inform decision-making in an organization
  • Previous master's degree
  • Increasing responsibility over time

Email your resume to to confirm eligibility before applying. Include a short statement explaining how your resume reflects administrative or analytical experience.

If you’re not eligible, you may be interested in our professional development opportunities.


Master of Public Administration and Leadership (Online MPAL) Application

Program Code: PUBADM-MPL

The status will first become available two to three days after your application is received. Visit to check the status of your application during the admissions process.

Application Fee:

  • $60 for domestic applicants
  • $70 for international applicants
  • This fee is nonrefundable

Graduates of The Ohio State University applying to an online degree program are eligible for an application fee waiver.

View program affordability

View College and University Funding Opportunities

Ohio State's Scholarship Universe

The statement of purpose should address your academic and career goals, your interest in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and how your education and work experience qualify you for admission. There is no length requirement for the personal statement.

Resume or CV: Be sure to include work experience, volunteer activities, academics and professional honors, honorary societies, extracurricular activities, offices held, any publications and other significant activities.

Three letters of recommendation are required and should reflect the academic and, if relevant, job capability and experiences of the applicant. The letters should speak to the applicant’s ability to excel in an academic professional program. 


  • Letters must be submitted electronically using the online application (select “Public Policy and Management”).
  • While completing your online application, please provide your recommender’s name and email address. The Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions will send an email to the recommenders instructing them to complete a short assessment and upload a PDF recommendation letter. 
  • Inform your letter writers that they will receive an email from Ohio State once you submit the online application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure letters of recommendation are completed by posted deadlines. 
  • If recommenders experience difficulties accessing the link or using the online system, please contact the Office of Graduate & Professional Admissions directly at
  • Letters of recommendation sent directly to the Glenn College will not be accepted.

Upload transcripts from ALL of the universities and colleges you attended with your online application as an attachment. 

  • Transcripts are required, even for classes transferred from another institution, including classes attended during high school or completed through a study abroad program.
  • Transcripts are not required for coursework completed at Ohio State. 
  • Submit copies (front and back) of official transcripts. Please submit only scanned images of official transcripts issued by your institution’s registrar. Ohio State will not accept web reports, advising reports, self-reported scores or transfer credit on another school’s transcript.

Transcripts submitted with the online application are considered unofficial and, if admitted, you will be required to submit an official set of transcripts with statement of degree (if appropriate) prior to enrolling at Ohio State.

Student Services and Benefits: Ohio State's online students are eligible to receive support services and benefits from many organizations across the university.

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

Learn about the online student experience at Ohio State.

The online MPAL program is primarily offered as an asynchronous learning experience. However, on occasion a class may schedule synchronous sessions two to three times per semester to allow for deeper engagement between the instructor and students.

Attend an Information Session

If you're considering a master's degree at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, we encourage you to attend one of our upcoming graduate information sessions. Our team will discuss our degree programs, student benefits and the application process. To register, select the date below and you will be sent details about the location. All times listed are in the eastern United States time zone (Ohio).

Virtual Information Sessions (2024-2025):

In person Information Sessions (2024-2025):

Can't make it? Visit the Connect with Us page to learn more about how to get in contact to learn more about our graduate programs. 

Student Stories

Read about our MPAL students and how they're using their MPAL education

Meet Blake Petty

Recently promoted to Detective, Officer Petty began the MPAL program with a goal to excel into leadership and serve his community.

“We look at a problem or issue and see it from multiple perspectives. As opposed to a traditional class where you just learn from the instructor, we are encouraged to bring our experience to class and learn from one another.”

Looking for Professional Development?

The Glenn College is proud to support public administration professionals through a lifetime of leadership while building your passion and helping you develop new skills to improve public service.