Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

by Genevieve Carlton

Updated October 20, 2022

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An online bachelor's program in public administration trains students for fulfilling careers in public service, business, and the nonprofit sector.

Public administration majors work in urban development, homeland security, social services, and communications. By combining a focus on government with administrative training, the degree builds strong decision-making, analytical, and leadership skills. Earning a bachelor's in public administration online may appeal to busy students and working professionals seeking career advancement.

This page ranks the best bachelor's in public administration online programs for 2021. Prospective students can use this ranking to find the right fit for their interests, budget, and career goals. This article also introduces public administration degree concentrations and graduation requirements, as well as the different career paths graduates can pursue.

The Best Online Public Administration Programs

#1 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, Florida International University facilitates distance learning across 67 online degree programs. Undergraduate students can choose from 36 online bachelor's programs. Learners looking for advanced, remote study relevant to the public administration field can enroll in the school's online bachelor of public policy and service program. The public administration program accommodates full- and part-time study.

Learners complete industry-relevant classes throughout their studies, gaining broad and specific knowledge of the public administration field. Enrollees also complete general education classes, gaining a well-rounded education. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree, choose electives, and declare minors and concentrations.

The benefits of a bachelor's degree are varied, including increased job opportunities and higher earning potential. The college notes a median salary of $41,500 for graduates six years after finishing their studies. The college reports that the average undergraduate pays $9,888 in tuition and fees yearly, after aid. Students can meet with leaders in the public administration department to discuss application materials, admission requirements, and other relevant information.

Florida International University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 39,863

Total Online Programs: 67

Online Bachelor's Programs: 36

Admission Rate: 58%

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

Northern Arizona University

  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, Northern Arizona University facilitates distance learning across 70 online degree programs. Undergraduates choose from 18 online bachelor's programs at the public, four-year institution. Learners looking for advanced, remote study relevant to the public administration field can enroll in the school's online BAS in public administration program. The public administration program accommodates full- and part-time study.

During the public administration program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the field. Students also complete general education requirements, gaining additional knowledge. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

The benefits of a bachelor's degree are varied, from increased job opportunities to higher earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $36,900 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Public administration students typically pay $14,236 for tuition and fees, on average, per year. Students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid.

Northern Arizona University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 14,098

Total Online Programs: 70

Online Bachelor's Programs: 18

Admission Rate: 85%

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,018
Out-of-state
$16,613
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
30,733
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

California Baptist University

  • Riverside, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

California Baptist University enrolls distance learners in 39 programs. The college offers 24 online bachelor's programs, reaching 6,112 distance learners worldwide. Learners looking for advanced, remote study relevant to the public administration field can enroll in the school's online bachelor of arts in public administration program. This program offers customization to help students earn a degree that meets their needs.

During the public administration program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the public administration field. Students also complete general education requirements, gaining additional knowledge. Learners can explore electives, minors, and concentrations with their academic advisor to individualize their degree.

Graduates greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. At the college, students can expect to earn a median salary of $40,000 six years after graduation. To learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, students should contact the financial aid office.

California Baptist University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 6,112

Total Online Programs: 39

Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Admission Rate: 78%

Average Tuition
In-state
$32,942
Out-of-state
$32,942
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
11,045
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#4 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

National University

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in La Jolla, California, National University enables online learning across 98 online degree programs. Of these online programs, 40 offer an undergraduate-level education. Learners looking for advanced, remote study relevant to the public administration field can enroll in the school's online bachelor of public administration program. Working professionals and busy students will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. Enrollees also complete general education classes, gaining a well-rounded education. Learners can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree connects graduates with numerous job opportunities and a higher earning potential. According to the institution, enrollees can earn a median salary of $51,900 six years after finishing their degree. Prospective students can contact the public administration program to learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

National University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 8,769

Total Online Programs: 98

Online Bachelor's Programs: 40

Admission Rate: 89%

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,320
Out-of-state
$13,320
Retention Rate
50%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
16,670
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

Park University

  • Parkville, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Missouri, Park University offers many top-ranked bachelor's programs. The college boasts 22 fully online bachelor's programs. Learners in the bachelor's in public administration program are prepared for the demands of the public administration field through rigorous study.

The public administration program supports flexible study for learners from all walks of life. The program curriculum equips students with industry-relevant knowledge. Students can also choose elective classes or pursue a minor to further their learning.

Undergraduate students pay approximately $7,999 in tuition. At the accredited institution, students can access external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid.

Park University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 8,894

Total Online Programs: 58

Online Bachelor's Programs: 22

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,999
Out-of-state
$7,999
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,415
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
78% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

Columbia College

  • Columbia, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Columbia College supports highly ranked bachelor's degree programs from its main campus. Located in Missouri, the private institution boasts 23 online bachelor's degree programs. Distance learners looking to earn an online degree in public administration can enroll in the bachelor's in public administration program.

The public administration program connects students with a supportive online learning community, while enabling flexibility. Enrollees can customize their learning through electives, minors, and other modifications.

Undergraduate students pay approximately $10,912 in tuition. The school's accreditation status allows students to access funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships.

Columbia College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 7,568

Total Online Programs: 33

Online Bachelor's Programs: 23

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,912
Out-of-state
$10,912
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
9,913
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

University of La Verne

  • La Verne, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of La Verne, located in California, facilitates online learning throughout four online degree programs. Two of these online programs offer an undergraduate-level education. Students looking for an individualized education relevant to the public administration field can enroll in the online bachelor's in public administration program. The program prioritizes flexibility through full- and part-time study options.

During the program, students complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the public administration field. Students also complete general education requirements. Learners can customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree enables graduates to access higher-paying jobs and more employment opportunities. The institution reports a median salary of $45,800 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Learners can meet with leaders in the department to discuss application materials, admission requirements, and other relevant information.

University of La Verne at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,743

Total Online Programs: 4

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Admission Rate: 55%

Average Tuition
In-state
$43,440
Out-of-state
$43,440
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
7,396
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#8 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

Point Park University

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking to enroll in a competitive bachelor's degree program should consider Point Park University. The private college supports 10 online bachelor's programs from its main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The bachelor's in public administration program is an attractive option for students seeking to advance in the public administration field.

The public administration program balances rigor with flexibility. Students can collaborate with their academic advisor to find classes that complement their career interests. Enrollees can benefit from electives, minors, and other modifications to their studies.

Undergraduate tuition at the school averages $31,180. Learners can access numerous funding opportunities through the accredited institution.

Point Park University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,707

Total Online Programs: 22

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 73%

Average Tuition
In-state
$31,180
Out-of-state
$31,180
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
3,929
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#9 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

Franklin University

  • Columbus, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners seeking competitive online study in public administration should consider Franklin University's online BS in public administration. The private college supports 32 online bachelor's programs from its main campus in Columbus, Ohio. The bachelor's in public administration is one of 32 programs providing a premier education.

The public administration degree supports flexible study, meeting the needs of every learner. Students work with their academic advisor to ensure their studies suit both their academic and professional goals. Enrollees can benefit from elective classes, minors, and other modifications to the curriculum.

Undergraduate tuition at the school averages $9,552. Enrollees can access internal and external funding opportunities to defray the cost of their studies.

Franklin University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,809

Total Online Programs: 56

Online Bachelor's Programs: 32

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,552
Out-of-state
$9,552
Retention Rate
47%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,031
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

University of Hawaii - West Oahu

  • Kapolei, HI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Kapolei, the University of Hawaii - West Oahu offers many top-ranked bachelor's programs. The public institution boasts three online bachelor's degree programs. The online bachelor of arts in public administration is an attractive option for learners seeking to secure a career in the field.

The rigorous curriculum enables flexible study through an adaptable curriculum. In consultation with their academic advisor, students can modify their course load to suit their needs. Electives, minors, and other adjustments can benefit students and help them meet their career goals.

Undergraduate tuition at the institution is $20,304. Distance learners at the accredited school qualify for federal financial aid programs and other forms of aid. The college reports that students receive an average of $5,886 in financial aid.

University of Hawaii - West Oahu at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,159

Total Online Programs: 3

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Admission Rate: 84%

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,344
Out-of-state
$20,304
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
84%
Students Enrolled
3,049
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
71% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#11 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

Upper Iowa University

  • Fayette, IA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Upper Iowa University enrolls distance learners in 57 programs. Of these online programs, 21 offer an undergraduate-level education. From its campus in Fayette, the school offers an online bachelor's in public administration. Students in the public administration program can complete classes at their own pace, with the option for part-time enrollment.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. Learners also develop broader knowledge and skills, preparing them for life after their degree. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their studies through modified courses, electives, minors, and concentrations.

After earning their degree, graduates benefit from greater access to employment opportunities and higher earning potential. The institution reports that graduates six years out from their degree earn a median salary of $41,200. Prospective learners can explore funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, and other opportunities by connecting with the Office of Financial Aid.

Upper Iowa University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,916

Total Online Programs: 57

Online Bachelor's Programs: 21

Admission Rate: 51%

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,810
Out-of-state
$30,810
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
4,279
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#12 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

St. Petersburg College

  • Clearwater, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners seeking competitive online study in public administration should consider St. Petersburg College's online bachelor's in public policy and administration. The institution prides itself on its leadership in online learning, offering 12 online bachelor's degree programs.

The rigorous curriculum enables flexible study through an adaptable curriculum. Students have the option to choose a minor and select electives as part of the public administration program.

Undergraduate students can expect to pay $7,774 in tuition. Enrollees can access internal and external funding opportunities to defray the cost of their studies. On average, enrollees receive $8,559 in financial aid.

St. Petersburg College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 16,980

Total Online Programs: 42

Online Bachelor's Programs: 12

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,943
Out-of-state
$7,774
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
28,853
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#13 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

Indian River State College

  • Fort Pierce, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Indian River State College provides flexible study opportunities to distance learners across 14 degree programs. Online undergraduate students can benefit from studying in one of 10 online bachelor's degree programs. From its campus in Fort Pierce, Florida, the school offers an online bachelor's in public administration program. The public administration program accommodates flexible study, so enrollees can learn at their own pace.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing public administration-specific coursework. Students gain field-specific and broad knowledge and skills, preparing them for life after their degree. Learners can work with their academic advisor to customize their studies through modified courses, electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree enables graduates to access higher-paying jobs and more employment opportunities. The school reports a median salary of $27,900 for graduates six years after completing a bachelor's degree. Typically, undergraduate students pay $984 in tuition and fees each year. To learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, students should contact the financial aid office.

Indian River State College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 7,541

Total Online Programs: 14

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,496
Out-of-state
$9,360
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
16,942
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#14 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

University of Maine at Augusta

  • Augusta, ME
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Maine at Augusta, a public, four-year college, supports online learning across 30 online programs. Undergraduate degree-seekers can choose from 13 online bachelor's degree programs. For students looking to advance in a public administration-adjacent career, the online bachelor of science in public administration is a wise choice. Working professionals and busy students will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing public administration-specific coursework. Students also fulfill general education requirements, gaining additional knowledge. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

Graduates can easily grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. The college boasts a median salary of $26,000 for graduates six years after completing their studies. The average undergraduate pays $10,046 yearly in tuition and fees after aid. To learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities, prospective students should contact the public administration department.

University of Maine at Augusta at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 3,298

Total Online Programs: 30

Online Bachelor's Programs: 13

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,170
Out-of-state
$17,340
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,361
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#15 Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration

Barry University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Barry University is a private, nonprofit, four-year college offering a variety of competitive bachelor's degree programs. Located in Miami, Florida, the private institution boasts five online bachelor's degree programs. The bachelor of public administration is an attractive option for students seeking to advance in the public administration field.

The program prepares public administration students for the demands of the field. Students can work with their academic advisor to modify coursework to meet their academic and career goals. Enrollees can customize their learning through electives, minors, and other modifications.

Undergraduate public administration students typically pay $29,700 in tuition. Public administration students gain access to internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid, through the college.

Barry University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,208

Total Online Programs: 21

Online Bachelor's Programs: 5

Admission Rate: 51%

Average Tuition
In-state
$29,700
Out-of-state
$29,700
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
7,401
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Best Online Bachelor's

Online Public Administration Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%

Affordability - 15%

Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Featured Online Public Administration Programs

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Public Administration Degree?

Online bachelor's programs in public administration prepare majors for entry-level careers in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors. During a public administration degree, enrollees explore the policymaking process and local, state, and federal government agencies.

Public administration majors also learn about the nonprofit sector and gain valuable skills for careers in public relations, communications, regulatory analysis, or financial management. Many colleges offer specializations such as nonprofit management, emergency management, and public policy analysis to prepare graduates for specific career paths.

In addition to major coursework, undergraduates can choose electives, a minor, and internships. The blend of project-based assignments, research projects, and experiential learning prepares students for the workforce. Graduates interested in continuing their education can enroll in master's in public administration programs or doctoral programs in public administration.

Skills Taught to Public Administration Majors

Soft Skills

  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving

Hard Skills

  • Public policy analysis
  • Program evaluation
  • Project management
  • Team management
  • Program implementation

What's the Difference Between a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Public Administration?

Some colleges offer bachelor of arts (BA) and bachelor of science (BS) degrees in public administration. Both majors introduce undergraduates to core topics in government and public service administration. With either degree, graduates can pursue civil service and nonprofit careers or continue on to master's degrees in public administration.

However, BA and BS degrees typically have different graduation requirements. In a BA program, majors take more humanities and foreign language courses. A BS program includes more social science and natural science classes.

What to Expect From a Public Administration Major

Public administration majors study government, public policy, program evaluation, and policy implementation. Enrollees build strong organizational management and leadership skills. Each degree-seeker selects a specialization or electives to customize their degrees. Many programs also incorporate internships to add an experiential learning component.

Public Administration Bachelor's Degree Concentrations

During a bachelor's in public administration online degree, each enrollee selects a concentration. These specializations prepare graduates for career paths in government, business, and the nonprofit sector.

Nonprofit Management

A nonprofit management concentration trains undergraduates in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, program development, and nonprofit financial management. Majors also study grant writing, staff management, and program evaluation. The concentration prepares graduates for careers in the nonprofit sector, including social services and community development.

Public and Business Administration

Undergrads interested in private sector careers or think tanks and lobbying organizations can choose a concentration in public and business administration. This subfield emphasizes business administration skills, including strategic leadership, organizational management, and financial management.

Public Policy

A public policy concentration applies analytical skills to government programs and policies. Students learn to evaluate public policies with modern research methods, including qualitative and quantitative data. Students also explore developing, implementing, and revising public policies at different levels. Graduates work as policy analysts, legislative assistants, and compliance managers.

Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Branch

Public administration majors can focus their studies on the different branches of the federal, state and local governments. During these programs, enrollees examine the functions of government and how the different branches collaborate. Graduates can work as legislative assistants, civil service workers, and case administrators.

Emergency Management

Government agencies play a central role in disaster planning and emergency management. Undergraduates learn to create emergency response plans, respond during emergencies, and mitigate the harm caused by natural or human-made disasters. The concentration leads to opportunities in federal emergency management departments, local public health organizations, and disaster response agencies.

Homeland Security

Public administrators staff the nation's homeland security agencies to protect national security. Degree-seekers study national security threats, including terrorism, cybersecurity, and national disasters. They also learn about homeland security organizations. Graduates can pursue work in crisis management, immigration, and intelligence roles.

Public Administration Curriculum

During a bachelor's in public administration online, undergrads take classes in public fiscal management, policy analysis, and policy implementation. Common courses for public administration majors include:

  • Political theory
  • Policy development and implementation
  • Public fiscal management
  • Public policy analysis
  • Executive leadership in the public sector

Choosing an Online Program

Prospective students considering a bachelor's in public administration online should evaluate factors such as cost, program length, delivery method, and specialization options to find a program that suits their unique needs. Other factors like internship options, alumni networks, and career goals can also help students narrow their choices.

Applicants should always choose accredited online colleges. The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration grants accreditation to public administration programs.

Public Administration Careers

A public administration degree prepares graduates for government, nonprofit, and private sector employment. Undergraduates often complete internships to develop practical experience. As a versatile degree that strengthens leadership, decision-making, and analytical skills, public administration majors can pursue careers in human resources, public relations, nonprofit management, and community services.

Earning potential for public administration careers varies depending on the role and the candidate's experience. However, many roles in public administration pay above-average salaries, as demonstrated by the following information.

Public Administration Careers
Career Median Annual Salary (2020)
Compensation and Benefits Managers $125,130
Human Resources Managers $121,220
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $118,430
Top Executives $107,680
Medical and Health Services Managers $104,280
Administrative Service Managers $98,890
Postsecondary Education Administrators $97,500
Social and Community Service Managers $69,600
Public Relations Specialists $62,810
Real Estate, and Community Association Managers $59,660

Common Questions About Bachelor's Degrees in Public Administration Online

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration?

A bachelor's degree in public administration prepares graduates for careers in local, state, and federal government. Common employers include social services agencies, city management departments, and nonprofit organizations.

What's the Difference Between Public Administration and Political Science?

A public administration degree emphasizes management within organizations, while a political science degree analyzes and researches political organizations. Both public administration and political science majors study American government and political institutions.

What's the Difference Between Public Administration and Business Administration?

Both public administration and business administration emphasize leadership skills, organizational management, and data analysis. Public administration majors focus on public and nonprofit sector roles, while business administration majors focus on private enterprises.

What's the Difference Between Public and Private Administration?

Public administration refers to government and public service careers, including employment in publicly funded nonprofit organizations. In contrast, private administration refers to private businesses.

Portrait of Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton

Genevieve Carlton holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University. After earning her doctorate in early modern European history, Carlton worked as an assistant professor of history at the University of Louisville, where she developed new courses on the history of science, Renaissance Italy, and the witch trials. Carlton has published five peer-reviewed articles in top presses and a monograph with the University of Chicago Press. She also earned tenure with a unanimous vote before relocating to Seattle. Learn more about Carlton's work at genevievecarlton.com.

Header Image Credit: SDI Productions | Getty Images

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