Public administration is concerned with the organization and implementation of government policies and programs. If you wish to start or further your career in administration or management in the local, state, or federal government, you should consider getting a public administration degree. The education provided will prepare you to work in this field, and if you are already working in it, then a higher degree will enable you to progress further in your career.
On this page you can find out more about public administration programs, where the courses are, what jobs you can get and what you can earn. If you wish to find out more about studying at a traditional college or university go to the campus universities page.
What is studied in public administration programs?
Degree programs in this field are available at several levels. An associates degree can gain one an entry level job. But anyone interested in this field should at least consider a four year college degree, and bear in mind that those with more education will have increased job opportunities. Courses will probably include ones which cover: the foundations of public administration, public finance, human resource management, public-private collaboration, privatization, strategic planning, participative governance, contracting, and public policy formulation.
It is possible to take public administration as a major or a concentration in a business degree, designed to give graduates the knowledge, skills, and values to effectively apply various business principles and tools in the public administration setting.
Many may choose to complete their bachelors and go on to obtain a Masters or PhD degree later when they have gained experience in the field.
Career prospects for graduates of public administration
As a graduate of a public administration program you would have knowledge of public policies and good budget planning skills. In this way, you would be thoroughly prepared for a job where you can work for elected officials. While most graduates will obtain a government position, a few find jobs with schools and other private businesses or organizations. The private sector of this field can be quite interesting, and includes areas such as religious organizations, political groups, and other special interest groups. The responsibilities will be roughly the same in both sectors, private and public. Usually this job will require you to be responsible in a managerial type position for the people working under you, as well as making sure that goals are met. Typical jobs would include human resources manager, health care administrator, city manager, and municipal manager.
The expected salary and career outlook for those with a public administration degree will vary greatly depending upon ones degree, experience in the field, and job type. However, the median salary for those starting at entry level is around $45,000 in the first year. After ten years experience, this median salary grows to $74,000, and to $86,000 after twenty years of experience. This is definitely a job where skilled experience can be to your advantage. Keep in mind that salaries in government and education tend to be lower, with non profit organizations paying the least. While public administration is a broad field requiring a host of skills, those who get a good degree will have a competitive edge in the field.
List of schools and programs
Founded in 1959, California Lutheran University's dedicated, accomplished faculty works with small classes of students who are open-minded—and are seeking to grow as individuals. Everyone at Cal Lutheran is committed to helping each student pursue their passions to discover their purpose, and follow that purpose to transform their community—and the world.
- Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA)
An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. We serve more than 36,000 students from the U.S. and around the world and offer more than 140 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 20 certificate programs.
- DPA - Public Administration
- MPA - Public Administration
- PhD - Nonprofit Management and Leadership
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:
- Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
- Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
- Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).
- Master of Public Administration : Governmental Management
- Master of Public Administration : General MPA
- Master of Public Administration
- And more...
Walden degree and certificate programs are designed for working professionals. Submit the form on the right to learn how you can make a change and advance your career.
- Master of Public Administration - Public Management and Leadership
- Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration - Public Management and Leadership
- B.S. in Political Science & Public Administration - Global Issues and Social Justice
- And more...
As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.
- Public Administration (MPA)
- Business Administration (BBA)
- Business Administration (MBA)
- B.S.- Public Service Admin
Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose. Our 20,000 alumni, from more than 110 countries, are changing the world as accomplished professionals. Named a top-15 school nationally for online bachelor's programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), Regent is among the most affordable undergraduate Christian colleges (CCCU 2015). Fully accredited, challenging programs are available online and on campus. New classes begin every eight weeks.
- Master of Public Administration in Public Administration
- Master of Public Administration in Non-profit & Faith Based Organizations
- Master of Business Administration - Not-for-Profit Management
- And more...
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- BS in Business Administration - Management
- AAS in Business Administration
- AAS in Business Administration - Business
- And more...
- Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
- In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
- #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
- 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
- My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
- Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
- Doctor of Management - Non Profit Leadership
- Master of Business Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Management