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Jim Hanchett
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Chad Dorshorst
SPEA Connect

Last modified: Monday, June 11, 2012

IU launches online master's degree from No. 2-ranked School of Public and Environmental Affairs

June 11, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs is launching an online Master of Public Affairs degree through SPEA Connect, becoming the highest-ranked MPA program to make its degree completely available in an online format.

John Graham

John D. Graham

Print-Quality Photo

The online MPA, approved recently by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, will give students and working professionals access to one of the world's leading public affairs programs, allowing them to continue their careers while learning new skills and furthering their education. SPEA's graduate programs are ranked No. 2 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

"Online education enables SPEA to effectively reach working professionals and allows us to help fill a critical need in their professional development and careers," SPEA Dean John D. Graham said. "Our MPA program produces graduates with strong problem-solving and analytical skills and is additionally coupled with a sound interdisciplinary approach. Our online MPA students will meet the same standards for quality and academic rigor as their on-campus peers."

The online MPA addresses the fact that, in today's challenging economic environment, many professionals are unable or unwilling to commit to a full-time graduate program that could force them to uproot families and put their careers on hold. SPEA Connect, a joint initiative between IU Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, allows learners around the world to earn a prestigious degree without having to relocate.

"We believe our online MPA is an ideal opportunity for mid-career professionals, whether they are located in Washington, D.C., or Kinshasa, Congo, to further their knowledge and career prospects without having to leave their families and jobs," Distinguished Professor James Perry said. Perry is the director of online education at SPEA and worked closely with his faculty colleagues to design and deliver an online curriculum that will meet the diverse needs of online students and working professionals.

Not only will the online MPA provide broader access to a SPEA education, the degree will offer great value when compared to its residential and online peers.

"As a top-ranked public affairs program, SPEA is highly sensitive to the potential debt burden that graduate education can bring, and SPEA Connect's tuition levels have been set to reflect the public nature of our school," SPEA Executive Associate Dean David Reingold said.

In addition to the online MPA degree program, SPEA Connect allows students the opportunity to pursue online graduate certificates in public and nonprofit management. SPEA Connect also plans to offer an online graduate certificate in public budgeting and financial management in the near future.

About the School of Public and Environmental Affairs:

SPEA is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2012 "Best Graduate Schools" by U.S. News & World Report, SPEA ranks second and is the nation's highest-ranked professional graduate program in public affairs at a public institution. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top 5 listings. SPEA's doctoral programs in public affairs and public policy are ranked by the National Academy of Science as the best in the country.