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Online Master of Public Administration in Urban Management

Oklahoma City Downtown Cityscape

Keeping pace with our ever-changing society, the fully online Master of Public Administration (MPA) in urban management envisions a future that’s more sustainable and equitable for all citizens. Our students are key to its advancement. The online MPA program helps you transform into a change agent—someone ready to lead and influence policy in local or municipal government, nonprofit organizations or the public sector—to not only serve diverse communities in Oklahoma and beyond, but to also help them thrive.

Central's MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The accreditation puts UCO’s MPA in an elite group—Central is one of only two institutions in Oklahoma to be accredited, and one of 208 programs globally. 

Available through the University of Central Oklahoma’s Connected Campus, this fully online version of our premier program suits working professionals seeking to advance their career and make a stronger impact. A research-based foundation introduces you to higher-level public administration theories while highlighting their practical applications in and outside of the classroom. Aligning with your personal drive is a flexible, customizable format: attend full or part time and specialize your knowledge through a range of electives in urban planning, government and development.

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About | Curriculum | J.D./MPA Program | Careers | Admission | Make an Impact

About UCO’s Online MPA Program

Growing your skills is just one part of UCO’s online MPA. To uplift everyone, we aim to cultivate ethical, transformational leaders who give all members a voice, think collaboratively and creatively and take action. 

A holistic approach paired with a specialization prepares you to go forth and make a difference. Coursework emphasizes the importance of civic engagement, collaboration, discipline, professional competence, diversity, cultural sensitivity, environmental stewardship, ethical leadership, global awareness, social justice and compassionate public service.

As you progress from the required public administration core to subjects exploring the complexities of urban management, you’ll:

  • Be led by full-time faculty dedicated to academic excellence and research;
  • Have opportunities to expand your experience through internships, field studies, institutes, workshops and independent studies;
  • Gain the skills necessary to adapt to the rapidly changing present public service environment;
  • Learn to solve problems collaboratively and through effective leadership;
  • See how to shape public dialog through quantitative and qualitative research; 
  • Refine your writing and public speaking skills; and,
  • Understand how to elevate diversity and social equity through policy in an urban environment.


The online MPA in urban management takes 36 credit hours to complete. You’ll dedicate 24 credit hours to required core courses and 12 toward subjects in urban management.

Whether you currently work in a field influencing policy or you aim to switch careers, the core courses broaden your existing knowledge of public administration theories and methodologies. You’ll become more familiar with political science-specific research methods, management and organizational theories and revenue sources. At the same time, you’ll discover more ways you can influence policy and organizational operation through executive leadership, policy analysis and human resources. 

As you venture into elective courses, you’ll have a chance to study the multifaceted aspects of how city government operates, both in relation to introducing policies and the effect on citizens:

  • Explore political, social and economical institutions in urban areas and their administrative and political environments;
  • Understand revenue sources and their allocation for state and local governments;
  • Learn more about the relationship among federal, state, metropolitan and local government organizations, including procedures and structures to current issues;
  • Become more familiar with the legalities of land use planning and controls, such as zoning and restrictions;
  • Get to know how political processes and sustainability influence urban development in the present;
  • Strengthen your crisis and disaster management skills by delving into key theories and philosophies for planning, implementing, communicating and evaluating such measures in local government and nonprofit organizations;
  • Gain a more nuanced grasp of diversity in U.S. urban areas, both from a population perspective and in relation to local political processes and representation; and,
  • See how to better promote sustainable economic development within your community and the world as a whole.

As the final portion for your degree, a capstone project allows you to apply the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired to investigate and present a solution to a pressing issue in urban planning or government.

View the complete list of courses and requirements for the online MPA in urban management

J.D./MPA Program

Enrich your understanding of urban policy, development and social justice by earning a juris doctor (J.D.) along with an online MPA. Through UCO’s partnership with the Oklahoma City University School of Law, you’ll have the opportunity to elevate your understanding of law and public administration to improve communities in the city and beyond. 

Interested students first enroll in UCO’s MPA program before applying to the law school. If you’re accepted, this format allows you to complete both degrees in less time than it takes to earn separate credentials. Learn more about this dual-degree program


You long for a career that leaves a lasting impression on society. Policy creates an avenue for doing that, with the online MPA in urban management gearing your knowledge towards improving city operations, programs and future development.

UCO’s online MPA trains our students to become successful contributors and policymakers in local, county, tribal, state and national governments, nonprofit and private sectors and the military. Policy organizations are currently experiencing significant overhaul: this shift has opened up demand for new voices and a change of direction, as well as an increased number of positions. The private sector further reflects these developments: as industries need to seriously think about inclusivity and sustainability, professionals who can drive financial success without losing sight of social and environmental impacts are integral.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified multiple paths where knowledge of public administration and urban planning are assets. Between 2019 and 2029, the marketplace is expected to need 7% more political scientists, 11% more urban and regional planners, and 17% social and community managers to propose and implement policy measures.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in applying to the online MPA program must have earned:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an appropriately accredited institution in any field; and
  • An overall GPA of 2.75; OR, 
  • A 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credit hours attempted.

A student may be admitted by one of the three following methods:

  • A minimum 2.75 GPA overall OR 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credit hours attempted;
  • A GRE score of 150 on the verbal portion, 145 on the quantitative portion and 4.5 on the writing portion; OR,
  • Possessing a master’s degree from an accredited university/college with an overall GPA of 3.0.

Make an Impact with an Online MPA in Urban Management from UCO

If you want the world to be a better, more supportive and sustainable place for its current and future citizens, acquire the skills for directing its progress with UCO’s online MPA in urban management. If you have any questions about the program, request additional information today.

MPA Program Accreditation

The UCO MPA is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) — the global standard for public service education. The NASPAA standard ensures programs promote public service values, bound in the pursuit of programmatic improvement and educational quality. Central is one of only two institutions in Oklahoma to be accredited, and one of 208 programs globally.