Wayland Baptist MPA vs. Liberty MSM

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by PatsGirl1, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Hello all,
    I had a couple questions about the above two schools. They have two different programs in two different fields. WBU has the MPA degree and Liberty has the M.S. in Management degree offered. Price when you take into account credits is about the same (WBU is $300/cr x 37 credits; LU is $395/cr x 30 credits). I also applied and am looking at the M.S. in Management from Salve Regina ($380/cr x 36 credits). I will be paying for it on my own (no tuition reimbursement) so cost is a large factor to me; even a difference of a couple thousand dollars will matter.

    My situation: I worked in IT until just recently, when I accepted a job with my state’s government doing Human Services work. I was told that my current degree plans (M.A. in Adult Ed at NSULA) would not be counted as applicable to my job, i.e. no promotion points. I will still pursue NSULA on my own, but I would like to work on a Management or Administration degree, and I would like it to come from a school with a religious background if possible. After searching, I found WBU and LU in addition to Salve Regina.

    Here are the myriad of questions lol- Would it be better to have a general management degree? A general degree can work for both private business as well as government work, whereas the MPA does not share the same utility in the private sector. I like this job a lot and I am thinking of making civil service a career, but how can I be sure? What if in 10 years I’m not so fond of it and would like back in private business? The MPA will not be seen as highly as the MSM would be. Then again, if I DO stay, the MPA is the degree to have and the classes are directly applicable to the job- for example, Public Finance is a required class at WBU and I would incorporate a project from my daily job into the finance.

    I have researched the two to death, checked the archives here for feedback, etc. I am just not sure if the MPA has utility in private business at all. The kicker is, I don’t NEED a Master’s at my job at all. I can stay and accumulate time and move up the ranks. I want it for personal gratification, to help speed up my move in the ranks, and for future flexibility and utility. I am 27 and have about 35 more years of work. I have no idea what the future will hold but would like to be prepared and educated for whatever I decide to do.

    Any insight would be appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2009
  2. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    as a public sector employee myself I can tell you that any business degree will have applicability over an MPA. At the management level you will need accounting , financial, human resourses. Management is an acquired skill and while classes are good there is no substitute for dealing with personnel on a daily basis. In addition, a degree with a concentration in human resources will serve you well. I know you mentioned wanting a religious affiliation but a state school degree will have broader utility. Most positions as you move up will not have a positive education requirement but a masters can separate you from other competition.

    Aside from a DL option look at your local area. Many universities have a one year lock step masters in management option. $300 a credit is about right unless you look for an on-ground option.

    There are a couple of schools with a MS Administration that are less. Check out www.geteducated.com or holler back and I'll drag them out. Feel free to PM.
  3. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I work in the aerospace industry and have met several people with MPAs (and one DPA). Since much aerospace industry work involves working on govt contracts the MPA courses are relevant.

    But an MBA might be a better option in your curent situation (you can often include MPA courses as electives).

    APU has 36 hour MBA and MPA programs (and other masters programs that might fit your needs). http://www.apu.apus.edu/Academics/Degree-Programs/index.htm

    Later you could also pursue an MPA as a second masters - with the right school some courses could be transferred. Perhaps a NA degree would work for you as a second masters.
  4. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Kevin and Ian-
    Thanks for the feedback. I looked at Central Michigan's M.S. in Administration (since it's in my home state and has a good reputation here), but it's $425/cr for 36 credits. It's about $3500-$4k more than the other options I was looking at, and even though it's a small amount, to me it's a lot because of paying for it out of pocket.

    I looked at Amberton's M.S. in Managerial Science since it's $8100 or so, but they don't work with financial aid at all and I may need some small loans. Minot State has a waiting list, U of West Florida I can't remember why I discarded but I think it was the GRE, and Bellevue is a for-proft which I want to avoid if I can help it. AMU/APUS is a decent price, but I think I discarded it because of concerns with the name. I've looked at so many programs I can't totally remember off the top of my head. I looked at Columbia College of Missouri's MBA, but their GRE was the issue there as well. Everything else pretty much ends up costing more than I am looking for (at which point Central becomes the better option).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2009
  5. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    try MSA Missouri State


    Cost of Courses

    Fall 2008/Spring 2009 Fees Per Credit Hour
    Non-Missouri Residents

    M. S. in Administrative Studies

    500-599 level courses

    600-799 level courses

    Other Internet-based courses

    (The humor behind this school is my daughter is trying to get me to complete the MS PM from them so I can have degrees from schools with the following
    mascots: Lions, Tigers, and Bears (oh my!))
  6. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    California State University Bakersfield also offers an MS in Administration.
    This degree has been discussed before on another thread.
    Tuition is $110 to $160 per quarter unit
    Degree is 45 quarter units (equiv to 30 semester units).

    The California State University System is certainly a university that is well known (although perhaps not the individual school).
  7. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    What do you think of Cameron University's MBA? $250/cr and RA. I would need 45 credits (non-Business undergrad). http://www.cameron.edu
  8. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    we are going to run you in circles. Why Cameron? Several other MBAs are cheaper so if you want share the appeal maybe we can offer some thoughts. But there isn't anything wrong with the choice and it looks like you might be able to get 18 hours in management by taking one more class after the MBA.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2009
  9. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    I have a 3.06 GPA, so nothing spectacular. I would prefer to avoid the GRE or GMAT. I don't mind taking the "leveling" courses some schools require. And I would like RA. I'd like the per credit fee around $250-$300/cr, although I included Liberty because it evens out with their 30 credits.

    I've researched probably over 100 schools in the last 6 months and my head is spinning, honestly. I want good business courses that will educate me in business, be flexible, and assist with upward mobility. I'm better with "people oriented" parts of business rather than all hard numbers, but I can do that as well. I have an English undergrad, so a Business Master's would be a good compliment. I'm trying to pay most of it out of pocket, but I think I'd need maybe a small $2,000-$3,000 loan, so I would like a school that participates in Federal Financial Aid.

    "Silly" bonuses that I would really like but aren't vitally necessary: athletic teams at the school (I've noticed if a school has sports teams, it looks more "legitimate" to everyone else), I'd like to get a t-shirt that says "X Alumni", and it would be nice if I could attend graduation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2009
  10. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    take a look at this program:

    Saint Joseph's MBA-Leadership

    a little more expensive than what you are looking at but I think it is a unique program and well suited to folks who might want something a little less traditional in an MBA.

    It has the plus of having a beautiful campus.
  11. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    I'll have to check out SJCME. I also happened to be looking at Bellevue again and found out that they have an M.A. in Managerial Communication. That looks like a degree that combines my love of comm and some business courses, so I'm going to look into that too. It's more than I wanted to spend, but I'm beginning to give up on finding exactly what I want in my price range.
  12. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    It looks like Bellevue also has the MBA with like 12 different concentrations available (none of which are comm, sadly, but they do have an HRM one that would be interesting). I like how they have 3 survey courses for non-Business undergrads- that would be a good introduction for me.

    I suppose the MBA has more utility, right? Or is the MBA oversaturated in the market and a specific degree better? Ugh, this makes my head hurt.
  13. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    The MBA has more utility. No, the market isn't saturated, but be aware that the high salary jobs are still going to the top tier schools. You have a lot of years to work so I have no doubt you will see a return on any solid program.

    Take a look at the following site:


    you will find that degrees and graduate degrees are not as plentiful as folks want to believe. Still better than 30 years ago but not saturated by any means. As you go up in the workforce, degrees, and pedigreed degrees become more commonplace. It is always nice to have one (or two, or three), even if not from Harvard.

    I always point folks to the Microsoft jobs page. Folks will talk about Bill Gates being a college dropout but his HR staff still recruits folks with degrees. Something to think about.
  14. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    That's a cool site. I noticed in 2006 there were actually more Master's degrees in Education than in Business. I wouldn't have guessed that.

    I looked at the Managerial Comm degree course offerings and it looks like they're not offered every term like the MBA courses are, so it could present problems with trying to get classes finished in time.

    More food for thought... Thanks so much for all of your help!

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