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The School of Public Administration at UNO has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools (2013 edition) as one of the nation's top programs. Public Affairs rankings, UNO ranked 33rd nationally and tied for 23rd place among public institutions.

♦ Information technology and management ranked sixth nationally among 15 similar programs and third nationally among public universities;

♦ Public management administration ranked 21st nationally;

♦ City management and urban policy ranked 14th nationally;

♦ Public finance and budgeting ranked 6th nationally;

♦ Nonprofit management ranked 11th nationally.




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UNO Magazine

Welcome to the School of Public Administration


The mission of the School of Public Administration is to strengthen public service in a democratic and diverse society. This mission is accomplished through offering nationally-recognized, student-centered educational programs, generating distinctive original research, providing quality service to the university and the profession, and engaging communities in public service programs and activities. The School of Public Administration:

  • Educates students at the master’s degree level to manage and lead public and nonprofit institutions.
  • Educates students at the doctoral level to contribute to the advancement of the field as scholars in academic institutions.
  • Educates students at the master’s degree level to address human and physical dimensions of urban areas.
  • Educates students at the bachelor’s degree level to become aviation and transportation professionals.
  • In cooperation with the UNMC College of Public Health educates students at the master’s degree level to manage and lead in health sector.
  • In cooperation with the Division of Continuing Studies educates students at the bachelor’s degree level in leadership and non-profit administration.
  • Contributes to the advancement of basic and applied research through discovery, integration and application of ideas to societal problems.
  • Serves the State of Nebraska, the United States and other nations through educational exchanges, professional training, research and outreach activities.
  • Fulfills the School’s state-wide mandate through delivery of course work, professional education and outreach to all areas of Nebraska.


Today's public service professionals address and solve the critical issues confronting contemporary society. Working in the government, nonprofit and private sectors, they are the stewards of our democratic way of life. They have the courage to make tough decisions regarding the allocation of resources while ensuring social equity. Public service professionals plan and implement innovative, efficient, and effective strategies affecting a broad range of constituencies ranging from the most vulnerable populations to those most affluent. They protect our natural resources, build our cities, and lead our communities.

An education from the School of Public Administration will prepare you for a career in public service. With a strong foundation in academic theory and applied research, you will learn the tools of visionary leadership and effective management. Hands-on experiential learning and internships will provide you with the ability to craft innovative solutions.


Our highly ranked Master of Public Administration program is one of the largest in the country. The full degree is offered in Omaha, Lincoln and online. The School's Ph.D. in Public Administration has successfully placed graduates in faculty positions at leading universities in the US and abroad.

Our nationally recognized Aviation Institute can also propel your career in the right direction. Whether your career is in consulting, management or the cockpit, you will be prepared for top positions in the industry.

If your interest is focused on urban areas, the School offers a Master of Science in Urban Studies. The program provides students with the necessary technical skills as well as an understanding of the overarching issues of urban growth, social equity, and economic and community development.


Students of public administration go on to hold positions of influence in the public and nonprofit sectors. Alumni hold key positions such as:

  • Legislator
  • Executive director
  • Agency head
  • Community organizer
  • Congressional staff
  • Airport manager
  • Planner
  • City manager
  • Budget analyst
  • Director of philanthropy
  • Tribal cultural resource specialist

Innovative Instruction

With the expanded demand for relevant and accessible professional education, the School responded by offering three degrees online. Our MPA is one of the first such accredited online programs in the country, and was recognized by our accrediting body as a “leader in distance education.” We also offer one of the very few online bachelor degrees in nonprofit administration, and just recently made the MS in Urban Studies available online.

Technology is not limited to the online degree programs. Faculty incorporate technology into their courses in a myriad of ways, creating a lively, modern approach to learning. Students are able to access course materials anywhere, anytime. Because of this, students are deeply engaged in a dialogue with faculty and with each other about ideas.


The School not only teaches collaboration, it does it. Together with the School of Social Work, we were the first unit in the university to offer a dual degree (MPA/MSW). We also offer a dual masters degree with Information Science, and are a major partner in the Masters in Public Health degree. We also collaborate with civil engineering, political science, criminology and criminal justice, business, and community and regional planning.

For current practitioners, we offer professional training programs for municipal clerks, city administrators, county commissioners, and training leading to the Certified Public Manager® designation.

A World-Class Faculty

Faculty members in the School are highly regarded as national and international scholars, with many in leadership roles of prominent scholarly and professional associations. Their research is significant and timely. Recent topics include: citizen participation, sustainable development, “new philanthropy,” network governance, mediation, risk management, infrastructure financing, and health disparities. Faculty have connections to universities in China, the UK, Norway, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Thailand, Denmark, and Moldova.

Academic Options

School of Public Administration

Master of public administration ( Omaha , Lincoln , On-line )

Graduate Certificate in Public Management

Ph.D in public administration

Urban Studies

Aviation Institute

Division of Continuing Studies

Solid Accreditation

The Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) accredits the Aviation Institute's undergraduate degree in aviation administration. The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) has accredited the MPA program continually since 1980 and describes the degree as a “model program.” The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits the MPH program.

We invite you to join us to move your career and our society forward ~ John R. Bartle Ph. D., Director School of Public Administration.


For more information, please contact:

Meagan Van Gelder, Ed.D.
Academic Program Coordinator
School of Public Administration
University of Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68182-0276
(402) 554.2625
(800) 858.8648 x2625 (Iowa or Neb.)


last updated 10/19/2012 by Melanie Kiper