USC Partners with Embanet to Launch Online Master of Public Administration Program

The University of Southern California’s (USC) prestigious School of Policy, Planning, and Development (SPPD) will be offering its renowned Master of Public Administration (MPA) program online through a partnership with Embanet, a leading global online learning services provider to the country’s top institutions. SPPD continues to rank among the best graduate schools in the country, and its MPA degree program was ranked seventh in the nation in the US News & World Report 2008 survey of public administration, public policy and public affairs programs. The online program will launch in Fall 2011.

A pioneer in online learning, Embanet has been partnering with prominent public and private institutions for nearly a decade, including among others Vanderbilt University, Boston University, George Washington University, and USC. In addition to the Master of Public Administration, Embanet supports USC’s online Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology, and its online Master of Communication Management, which will launch in Fall 2011. Embanet provides universities with capital, program and course conversion, marketing and enrollment services, online faculty training, student services, and technology hosting and support. Embanet will provide a full suite of customized services to support the new online MPA program.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to serve SPPD as we work with USC on another exceptional online program,” said Stephen Fireng, president and CEO of Embanet. “Consistent with the University and SPPD’s commitment to expanding online access to its elite degree programs, the online MPA will provide a significant opportunity for working professionals in government, non-profit and the private sector to advance their careers. The quality, selectivity and support of the online program will reflect the excellence of its on-ground counterpart.”

The total number of individuals in the government workforce grew 4.6% between 2004 and 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and in 2008, public sector employment accounted for about 16% of the national workforce. Public Administration professionals oversee many critical functions at the federal, state, and local levels, such as social services, transportation, education, environmental protection, and management of natural resources.

“Offering increased access to a world-class graduate program like the MPA through online learning is especially critical today, as communities face rapid change, environmental and security risks, and limited governmental resources,” said Jack Knott, Ph.D., dean of SPPD. “Embanet brings to the partnership an understanding of the academic rigors of the program as well as the deep expertise and support services that will allow us to provide our students with the outstanding experience they have come to expect from USC.”

Founded in 1995, Embanet ( is the world leader in providing a full range of online learning services to postsecondary educational institutions. Embanet preserves academic integrity and maximizes student enrollment and graduation by providing capital and expertise in program development, marketing and enrollment, student services and technology support. Headquartered in Toronto and Chicago, the company also has an office in Los Angeles to provide local and onsite service to its growing number of west coast partner institutions. Embanet serves over 50 colleges and universities, including many top research institutions such as: University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins University, Brandeis University, Boston University, George Washington University, Northeastern University, Ohio University, and Kent State University.