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Doctor of Public
Administration (DPA)

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100% ONLINE DPA

Complete your studies on your own time.

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NEW START DATE EVERY MONDAY

Start your first course when it’s convenient for you.

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41 MONTHS TO YOUR DPA

Finish your DPA in just 18 courses.

National and Northcentral have merged, and this program is now offered by NU. Learn more.

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Doctor of Public Administration

Prepare for executive-level leadership roles with the fully-online Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) degree program at National University. No GRE/GMAT required. This advanced degree provides a deep understanding of public administration values and practices, including administrative law, public management theory, and the principles of organization and management.

The DPA concentrates on the most essential and timely administration topics, such as budgeting, information technology, personnel management, policy analysis, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and qualitative analysis. It’s all offered within NU’s unique one-to-one learning model, giving you the attention, personal guidance, and ongoing support necessary to get the most from this comprehensive curriculum.

Elevate Your Public Administration Expertise

Our DPA degree program will help you build the skills and experience needed to pursue executive leadership roles, find practical solutions using evidence-based research, and contribute to the body of knowledge within the public administration field.

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Course Details

  • Credit Hours: 54
  • Courses: 18
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 41 months

The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) program can be completed in 54 credits. Each foundational course runs 8 weeks, and dissertation courses run 12 weeks. 

Course Sequence

This program can be completed with a minimum of 54 credit hours, but may require additional credit hours, depending on the time required to complete the dissertation research. If needed, additional courses will be added to the student degree program in alignment with the SAP and Academic Maximum Time to Completion policies. Students who do not complete their program in accordance with these policies may be dismissed.

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Degree Requirements

The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better.

The DPA degree programs have the following graduation requirements:

  • A minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed through NU
  • Grade Point Average of 3.0 (letter grade of “B”) or higher
  • Satisfactory completion of the DPA Pre-Candidacy Prospectus
  • University Approval of Dissertation Manuscript and Oral Defense completed
  • Submission of the approved final dissertation manuscript to the University Registrar, including the original unbound dissertation manuscript and an electronic copy
  • Official documents on file for basis of admission: a conferred master’s degree from an accredited academic institution
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credit hours accepted by the University
  • All financial obligations must be met before the student will be issued their diploma and/or degree posted transcript. 

The DPA provides a deep understanding of public administration values and practices, including administrative law, public management, budgeting, information technology, personnel management, policy analysis, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and qualitative analysis. With these skills, the range of occupations you’ll be qualified to pursue include:

  • City Manager
  • Executive Director
  • Program Manager, Specialist, or Coordinator 
  • Director or Manager of Human Resources
  • Quality and Compliance Manager
  • Management Analyst
  • Budget Analyst
  • Accountant
  • Auditor

According to Emsi labor market analytics and economic data1, public administration jobs span a variety of governmental, educational, medical, and private industry settings, including: 

  • Local, State, and Federal Government
  • Public Sector Contractors
  • Management Consultants
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Health Care Providers and Insurers

SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at https://www.economicmodeling.com/company/ (Report viewed: 2/24/2022).

DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

DISSERTATION PROCESS

Faculty assists each NU Doctoral student to reach this high goal through a systematic process leading to a high-quality completed dissertation. This process requires care in choosing a topic, documenting its importance, planning the methodology, and conducting the research. These activities lead smoothly into the writing and oral presentation of the dissertation.

A doctoral candidate must be continuously enrolled throughout the series of dissertation courses. Dissertation courses are automatically scheduled and accepted without a break in scheduling to ensure that students remain in continuous enrollment throughout the dissertation course sequence. If additional time is required to complete any of the dissertation courses, students must re-enroll and pay the tuition for that course. Continuous enrollment will only be permitted when students demonstrate progress toward completing dissertation requirements. The Dissertation Committee determines progress.

Program Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of National University’s Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) program, you’ll be able to:

  • Evaluate current problems and ethical issues in public organizations
  • Formulate domestic and global solutions to public service and policy issues
  • Create practical strategies for public organizations from evidence-based research
  • Contribute to the applied literature within the field of public administration

Admissions

Enrolling in a university is a big decision. That’s why our dedicated admissions team is here to guide you through the admissions process and help you find the right program for you and your career goals.

To that end, we’ve simplified and streamlined our application process, so you can get enrolled in your program right away. Because we accept and review applications year round, you can begin class as soon as next month, depending on your program and location of choice.

Learn more about undergraduate, graduate, military, and international student admissions, plus admissions information for transfer students. You can also learn more about our tuition rates and financial aid opportunities.

To speak with our admissions team, call (855) 355-6288 or request information and an advisor will contact you shortly. If you’re ready to apply, simply start your application today

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We’re proud to be a veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 200,000 alumni worldwide.

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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.

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