Policy administrators create, implement, and manage the strategies and plans of organizations, both public and private, ensuring that they are effective and in accordance with current laws and guidelines. An online degree in public policy provides a comprehensive understanding of fundamental political and business-related skills, from team management and financial analysis to public accountability and ethical concerns. The field of public policy and administration is complex and encompasses many sectors and industries, making it possible to craft a degree that fits your interests and career goals while preparing you for positions in all levels of government, large corporations, or nonprofit organizations.

Because an online bachelor's in public policy and administration is preparation for management positions, a number of paths are available. Those who want to work in the public sector might consider a career as social and community service managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is projected to grow 10% in the next seven years.

Public policy and administration requires an interdisciplinary skill set that combines business strategy and management with a deep understanding of government regulations. There are many options for specializations to fit your interests, including public health, nonprofit fundraising, international political regulations, homeland security, criminal justice, and private-sector business relationships, among many others.

While advancement in these positions may require further education and experience, an online bachelor's in public policy and administration offers a strong foundation. Core topics include policy development and implementation, administrative law, public sector finance, team leadership, and public service values. A traditional aspect of social science and business degrees are co-educational and professional experiences, such as internships and conference participation. And because public administrators often work or lead teams, group work is often incorporated in the structure of the online classroom through synchronous discussions and other interactions.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Florida International University

Miami, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

FIU's completely online public administration degree prepares students to serve in public and nonprofit sectors by emphasizing budget management, policymaking, community involvement, and research. The program is suitable for students seeking to immediately start their careers or enter graduate school after earning their bachelor's degrees.

The program's 60 core credits include subjects like managing global cities, public sector budgeting, personnel skills, and administrative leadership. Students also take an integrative seminar course in which they conduct a research project and write a final paper. Individuals must complete a total of 120 credits, including general education requirements, to graduate with an online public administration degree. Most of FIU's online courses feature an asynchronous format, enabling students to view lectures, complete assignments, and participate in class discussions largely on their own time.

To apply, incoming first-year students must submit their ACT or SAT scores and high school transcripts demonstrating a minimum 2.0 GPA. Prospective transfer students must provide transcripts from any postsecondary institutions they previously attended and provide evidence of a 2.0 GPA or higher. If they hold less than 60 college credits, transfer applicants must also submit ACT or SAT scores and high school transcripts.

FIU provides all distance learners with a success coach who helps with issues like balancing life and school, developing organizational skills, setting goals, and securing tutors. Students can also access academic advising, financial aid help, a writing lab, and digital library services. FIU — located in University Park — is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Public Administration
Tuition: $213/credit in-state; $330/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (855) 348-6654
Email: onlineprograms@fiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

University of Hawaii - West Oahu

Kapolei, HI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

UH West O'ahu's online public administration bachelor's degreeprogram delivers a comprehensive foundation related to management and policy development within government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Students can choose from concentrations in general public administration, community health, justice administration, healthcare administration, and disaster preparedness and emergency management.

Coursework in this 120-credit online public administration degree includes subjects like writing for government, principles of public administration, research methods, bureaucratic politics, and constitutional law. In a community epidemiology and population health course, students learn how to integrate quantitative thinking and scientific analysis into their research to take an epidemiological approach when thinking about health outcomes of various populations within communities.

All students complete a senior capstone or administrative practicum, through which they use their newly gained knowledge and skills to complete a final project or paper. Many graduates move on to pursue a master's degree in public administration at UH Mānoa — another postsecondary institution in the state.

Incoming first-year students must provide ACT or SAT scores and official high school transcripts that reflect a minimum 2.7 GPA. They also must provide at least one letter of recommendation and a personal essay. Prospective transfer students should submit previous college transcripts that demonstrate a minimum 2.0 GPA. The university only accepts transfer students who have earned at least 24 credits from an accredited college or university.

UH West O'ahu is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The school's distance learners benefit from access to a full digital library, online tutoring, academic advising, career counseling, and IT assistance.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Community health; disaster preparedness and emergency management; healthcare administration; justice administration
Tuition: $303/credit in-state; $843/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.7 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (808) 689-2800
Email: uhwo.admissions@hawaii.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Central Methodist University

Fayette, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

CMU's college of graduate and extended studies offers a BA in public administration degree online that emphasizes hands-on learning through internships, projects, and field experiences. These provide graduates with a well-rounded education that prepares them for government, nonprofit, education, and public policy-focused careers.

The 120-credit program's curriculum covers topics like constitutional law, economics, social problems, public policy analysis, and urban and rural sociology. Students learn about various issues facing communities and societies in the United States and abroad, discussing current and potential public policy solutions to these problems. Students can also take some in-person classes at the university's Park Hills or Union campuses. All participants complete a two-credit government internship, during which they spend time learning directly from experienced public administration professionals.

Incoming first-year applicants must provide ACT or SAT scores and official high school transcripts. The program accepts transfer students with a minimum 2.0 GPA earned across roughly 60 credits from an accredited postsecondary institution. Students who do not meet these standards may receive approval for admission on a provisional basis.

Distance learners can access academic advising, a career development center, personal counseling, a technology help desk, a writing center, and veterans’ services. CMU's center for teaching and learning offers additional resources to support students' academic goals, including tutoring; disability accommodations; and help with improving time management, study, and test taking skills.

Located in Fayette, Missouri, CMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All distance learners pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their state of residency.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA or BS in Public Administration
Tuition: $260/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (660) 248-6251
Email: admissions@centralmethodist.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

University of Maryland - University College

Adelphi, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 9%

UMUC's BS in public safety administration degree prepares aspiring emergency management professionals to prevent and react to threats related to corporate and homeland security. This online program covers emergency management systems across all levels of the public and private sectors, giving future professionals the knowledge and skills needed to make sound decisions and plan effectively.

The program features 30 credits of major-focused courses with subjects that include contemporary safety practices, research and technology, public safety leadership, planning best practices, and legal and ethical issues in the field. A capstone course covers public safety issues and challenges, enabling students to take classroom knowledge and apply it to solve practical problems.

Although students generally take all of their classes online, they may opt to follow a hybrid format and attend some in-person sessions at one of UMUC's 23 campus locations in Maryland and Virginia. Students can take classes in whatever order they choose. Online courses feature an asynchronous format, which means learners can log on and complete assignments largely on their own schedule.

To apply, incoming first-year students must submit their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. The university allows students to transfer in up to 90 credits earned at accredited colleges and universities. However, online public administration students must complete at least 30 credits at UMUC. The university is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Public Safety Administration
Tuition: $294/credit in-state; $499/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Work Experience: Recommended

Contact
Phone: (855) 655-8682
Email: undergrad.advisor@umuc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

National University

La Jolla, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

NU's online public administration bachelor's degree program features accelerated, four-week classes that enable students to build key management skills relevant to the government and nonprofit sectors. Graduates leave the program with significant knowledge related to budgeting, resource management, community development, and research.

Learners who wish to take some in-person classes may do so at any of the school's 20+ campuses in California and Nevada. Students may also begin their studies in any month of the year.

The program includes 12 major-focused courses, which encompass 54 credits and cover subjects like organizational behavior, urban environments, policy development, ethics, and government relations. Toward the end of this online public administration degree program, students complete a senior research project that identifies and proposes a solution to a challenge in the field. Most students complete the 120 total credits required to graduate within four years.

Undergraduate students with GPA of 3.0 or higher may also participate in the school's BPA/MPA transition program, which allows them to get a jump start on an advanced degree. Learners may take up to two graduate-level classes and earn credit that counts toward both their bachelor's degree and a future master's degree.

NU requires all first-time college students to take the ACCUPLACER exam. First-year applicants must also provide high school transcripts. The university accepts transfer students who hold a minimum 2.0 GPA across all previous college-level coursework. Both in-state and out-of-state online students pay the same tuition. A nonprofit institution based in San Diego, California, NU is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Public Administration
Tuition: $370/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (877) 205-4867
Email: advisor@nu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Park University

Parkville, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 23%

Park University delivers a bachelor of public administration degree online that prepares students for entry-level careers or MPA opportunities. The program features concentrations in business relations, criminal justice, fire service management, homeland security, and public service. Students can complete each option completely online or through a hybrid format.

The 45 core credits within this online public administration bachelor’s degree program include classes on financial accounting, American government, personnel administration, public service values, and societal issues. Students also take 12 credits in their concentration. The bachelor's program comprises a total of 120 credits, with most students graduating in four years.

First-year applicants must submit their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Incoming transfer students should possess a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher. If they hold less than 60 credits of college-level coursework, they must also provide their high school transcripts or GED report.

Park's distance learners receive 24/7 technical support, along with access to academic advising, career services, online tutoring, a digital library, and writing help. All online classes feature accelerated eight-week terms, with start dates in January, March, June, August, and October.

The university offers the same per-credit tuition rate to all online students, no matter where they live. Active duty military, National Guard members, and military dependents receive discounted tuition, as do federal employees and their family members. Students can also access discounted laptops and other devices through the school's partnerships with CDW, Dell, and ThinkEDU. Park is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The university maintains campuses in Parkville and Gilbert, Missouri.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Business relations; criminal justice; fire service management; homeland security; public service
Tuition: $399/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (816) 746-2530
Email: onlineadmissions@park.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

NAU's online public administration bachelor's degree program prepares students for a variety of roles in nonprofit organizations and local, state, and federal government agencies. Learners take courses covering public sector communication, organizational theory, public policy ethics, budgeting and finance, and public policy formation. In a leadership class, students examine how individual leadership affects organizational change within the public sector and in nonprofit organizations.

NAU's distance learners can access 24/7 IT support, online tutors, and a digital library. Online classes feature multiple start dates throughout the year. Faculty deliver distance courses through an interactive structure, allowing students to work with their instructors and peers to engage in discussions and complete assignments. The school also boasts a competency-based online public administration degree, which gives students the ability to receive credit for demonstrating mastery of a subject. This can shorten degree completion times.

To graduate with a bachelor's degree, students must complete 120 credits — including 30 upper-division credits — and earn a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students must take at least 30 credits (including 18 upper-division credits) at NAU. Most full-time learners graduate within four years. First-year applicants must provide ACT or SAT scores and high school transcripts, and prospective transfer students should submit transcripts from any postsecondary institutions they attended in the past.

NAU — located in Flagstaff — is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All online students pay the same per-credit tuition rate, even if they do not live in Arizona.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor's in Public Administration
Tuition: $425/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (888) 628-2968
Email: admissions@nau.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Troy University

Troy, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 66%

Troy, located in southeast Alabama, offers an online BS in political science with a concentration in American politics and public administration. The 36 credits of major-focused coursework in this program include topics like political theory, political science research, state and local politics, and political opinion. Students can elect to take a class on Southern politics, which explores the history of the region's one-party political system, the role of Southern members of congress, and regional voting patterns.

To complete the public administration concentration, students take three courses focused on the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the U.S. federal government. The program also offers a concentration in international politics. Troy’s online public administration degree features accelerated nine-week terms and start dates throughout the year. Faculty deliver asynchronous online classes through the Canvas learning management system, enabling students to view lectures, participate in discussions, and complete assignments at their convenience.

First-year applicants must provide evidence of a minimum 2.0 high school GPA and an ACT score of at least 20 to receive unconditional admission. However, individuals with ACT scores of 17-19 and a minimum 2.5 GPA may receive conditional admission. Eligible transfer students must hold a 2.0 GPA across at least 24 credits of college-level courses.

All distance learners pay the same per-credit tuition, regardless of their state of residency. Students also receive access to career services, an IT help desk, online library services, online tutoring, and a Microsoft Office 365 subscription at no additional cost. Troy is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor in Political Science
Available Concentrations: American politics and public administration
Tuition: $338/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (800) 414-5756
Email: ask@troy.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

California Baptist University

Riverside, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

CBU Online's BA in public administration degree empowers students to think systematically about policy and political issues at local, state, national, and international levels. The 120-credit online public administration degree includes 48 major-focused credits. Core classes cover subjects like constitutional law, policy processes and analysis, personnel management, organizational theory, and public sector management.

A political economy course focuses on relationships between political decisions and the economy, exploring concepts like macroeconomics, market fluctuations, inflation, globalization, and monetary policy. Students also take classes on the Bible and foundations of Christian thought.

CBU Online's courses feature accelerated, eight-week terms, with classes available in both online and hybrid formats. Each calendar year includes three semesters. The school's distance learners can access online career services support for resume writing, interview skills building, and job searches. CBU also provides technical assistance, academic advising, and online tutoring.

CBU participates in the Fast Track to Success Program, which provides an easy transfer process that allows individuals with an associate degree to efficiently earn a bachelor's degree. Through this program, CBU partners with 19 community colleges across California.

Eligible applicants must hold a high school diploma (or GED) earned with a minimum 2.0 GPA. The program prefers that students hold at least 24 transferable credits before starting public administration coursework. Prospective students must provide their high school and/or college transcripts and meet with an admissions counselor.

The university offers the same tuition rate to in-state and out-of-state distance learners. CBU is located in Riverside, California, and holds accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: BA in Public Administration
Tuition: $589/credit
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous or asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (877) 236-1617
Email: cbuonline@calbaptist.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

University of La Verne

La Verne, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

La Verne offers a BS in public administration degree online that follows an accelerated format, allowing students to graduate in less than four years. Of the 120 total credits needed to earn a bachelor's degree, 40 are related to public administration-focused coursework. Core classes include the administrative process, urban environments, policymaking, change and conflict management, and statistics. Electives feature topics like local government management, business ethics, organizational behavior, business communication, and labor and management negotiation in the public sector.

Toward the end of the program, students complete a four-credit senior seminar in which they apply their newly gained knowledge to complete a final project or paper. This accelerated online public administration degree includes eight-, 10-, and 16-week terms with several start dates throughout the year. Students may attend online part time or full time and receive the same personalized attention as on-campus participants. Distance learners can access a veterans' success program, personal counseling services, career services, tutoring, and academic advising.

To apply as a transfer student, applicants must provide official transcripts from previously attended accredited colleges and universities. They may also submit military documents, placement test scores, or any other relevant information during the application process. The university offers credit for certain types of military training.

In addition to online courses, students may attend in-person classes at the school's locations in Bakersfield, Irvine, La Verne, Ontario, Rio Hondo College, Vandenberg AFB, and Victorville, California. La Verne is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration
Tuition: $645/credit; $250/credit for active-duty military
Credit Requirements: 128 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous or asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (909) 448-4086
Email: laverneonline@laverne.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

St Petersburg College

Clearwater, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 29%

St. Petersburg College represents one of the institutions in the Florida College System, located in Pinellas County, Florida. SPC offers an online public administration degree that prepares students for careers with public safety organizations. Through rigorous coursework, students learn the skills necessary to develop and evaluate programs, enhance human resources and productivity, address organizational issues, conduct strategic and operational plans, and manage budgets.

St. Petersburg College's public safety administration bachelor's program requires 120 credits and typically takes students four years to complete. Students may choose from the following concentrations: criminal justice, emergency management and homeland security, fire science, and cross discipline (a combination of concentrations). Core courses include public personnel management, program planning and evaluation, community relations theory and practice, managing conflict in organizations, public finance, and other public safety administration topics. In addition to these core courses, students also choose from a variety of elective and concentration-specific courses.

To be admitted to the program, students must possess 60 credits in a related field from a regionally accredited institution, including general education requirements and public safety related classes. Students typically complete these requirements through an associate program, but those without an associate degree in a related field must take additional lower-division public safety courses before progressing to the upper-division courses. Applicants must also hold a minimum 2.0 GPA in all postsecondary coursework.

St. Petersburg College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety Administration
Available Concentrations: Criminal justice; emergency management and homeland security;
fire science; cross discipline
Tuition: $123/credit in-state; $426/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (727) 341-4772
Email: publicsafetyadvising@spcollege.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Northwest University

Kirkland, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 65%

A private, Christian liberal arts university located in Kirkland, Washington, Northwest University offers an online bachelor of arts degree in public safety administration. This program prepares students to work in leadership positions with law enforcement, correctional facilities, fire departments, and other safety or security organizations.

NU's public safety administration bachelor's degree requires 120 credits of coursework and generally takes four years to complete. Major specific courses include public safety and local government, ethics in public safety administration, statistics in public safety, leadership in public safety organizations, criminal procedure, and crisis intervention. Online bachelor programs at Northwest University cost $445 per credit, regardless of student residency status. Online students can access financial aid in the form of federal loans, grants, and scholarships. Northwest University also offers tuition discounts to active duty military participants and veterans.

To apply for admission, students must submit their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. NU accepts transfer students and students with college credits earned in high school, including those from AB, IB, or CLEP exams. Students with 30 or more transferable credits from an accredited college or university do not require entrance exam scores (SAT or ACT). International students must take the TOEFL exam and score a minimum of 500.

Northwest University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety Administration
Tuition: $445/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (425) 822-8266
Email: info@northwestu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Roger Williams University

Bristol, RI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 37%

A private liberal arts university located in Bristol, Rhode Island, Roger Williams University offers an online bachelor of science in community development for students aspiring to work at the intersection of public health, public safety, education, transportation and housing, and government. This program provides students with an understanding of contemporary theories and practices that help to drive both policy and systems change.

RWU's community development bachelor's degree requires 120 credits of coursework and takes full-time students four years to complete. Core courses include elements and issues in community development, housing and development skills, nonprofit management, communication in organizations, and research methods in community based practices. Students must complete at least half of all major courses at RWU to earn their degrees.

To gain admission to the program, students must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent and submit official transcripts from previous educational institutions. RWU welcomes transfer students and allows up to 90 transfer credits from other institutions or prior learning experiences. In addition to formal educational activities, the university also recognizes informal experiences such as workshops, trainings, self-taught skills, military training, volunteer work, and work experience, which can be translated into course credit through Prior Learning Assessment.

Roger Williams University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Community Development
Tuition: $433/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (401) 254-3296
Email: tpalermo@rwu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Indian River State College

Fort Pierce, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

A state community college located in Fort Pierce, Florida, Indian River State College offers an online bachelor of science in public administration that builds upon the associate of arts degree in the same discipline. A degree in public administration prepares students to work in the management of public agencies, including criminal justice agencies, community organizations, and offices at every level of government.

Indian River State College's public administration bachelor's degree features two concentrations: emergency planning and management or public policy and leadership. Courses offered under the emergency planning and management concentration include emergency planning, administrative law, emergency services public policy, and public personnel management. The public policy and leadership concentration features courses like policy development and administration, public budgeting and finance, program evaluation in public management, strategic planning, and urban and regional planning. This program can be completed entirely online; however, each course typically requires at least one proctored exam.

To gain admission, students must submit their high school transcripts or its equivalent, such as a GED certificate. IRSU also accepts dual enrollment students who earn college credit while attending high school.

IRSC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Emergency planning and management; policy and leadership
Tuition: $117/credit in-state; $536/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (772) 462-4772
Email: info@irsc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Upper Iowa University

Fayette, IA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

A private university located in Fayette, Upper Iowa University offers a public administration degree online that equips students with the knowledge and skills to oversee public organizations.

UIU's public administration bachelor's degree offers students a choice of five concentrations: general, emergency management, fire science, law enforcement, or policy and politics. The general emphasis provides students with a broad foundation in state and local administration of public programs and policies, preparing them to become adept administrators. The emergency management emphasis focuses on the coordination of resources and management of consequences in the face of natural and man-made disasters. The policy and politics emphasis overlaps in content with the general emphasis but also includes material on the practical aspects of politics and policy. This emphasis pairs with UIU's pre-law minor and may be helpful for aspiring lawyers.

The fire science and law enforcement concentration serves students who already hold previous college coursework, training in law enforcement or fire science, or work experience in these two fields. Students then build upon these previous experiences by integrating management and social science perspectives with the administration of relevant public policies. To qualify for admission to these concentrations, students must hold an associate degree in a related field, training as a police recruit or fire science academy cadet, or 15 credits of related college coursework.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Public Administration
Available Concentrations: Emergency management; fire science; general; law enforcement; policy/politics emphasis
Tuition: $454/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 553-4150
Email: info@uiu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Point Park University

Pittsburgh, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 17%

A liberal arts university located in downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park University offers an online public administration bachelor's degree program that prepares students for careers as public servants in public administration, working with issues of budgeting, policy, and decision analysis. Graduates from this program may find work in positions like fire services manager, EMS manager, budget adviser, labor relations coordinator, community programs director, and nonprofit director.

Point Park University's public administration bachelor's program requires 120 credits of coursework and takes students roughly 2-4 years to complete. Learners can take courses entirely online over eight-week sessions. They may also choose between two concentrations: emergency management services (EMS) administration or fire services administration.

Major specific courses cover topics such as nonprofit organization, principles of management, public budgeting and finance, methods of public management, and policy decision analysis. Courses offered under the EMS concentration include EMS management, community risk reduction, safety and risk management, legal and regulatory issues in EMS, and quality and performance management. The fire services administration concentration boasts courses like the political and legal foundations of fire protection, fire prevention organization and management, communicating risk reduction, and applications of fire research.

To gain admission to the program, students must possess a high school degree or its equivalent with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students with a lower GPA may be considered for admission on a conditional basis.

Point Park University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Public Administration
Tuition: $455/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (855) 410-0098
Email: online@pointpark.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

University of Maine at Augusta

Augusta, ME Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

A public state university, the University of Maine at Augusta offers an online public health administration degree online that prepares students for administrative careers in government and nonprofit organizations. Graduates of this program move into positions such as commissioner, chief deputy secretary of state, clerk of the Maine House of Representatives, town manager, sheriff, police chief, fire chief, and airport manager.

UMA's public administration bachelor's degree requires 121 credits of coursework and takes roughly four years to complete. Students who hold an associate degree in a healthcare, criminal justice, social or human services, computer technology, or fire science discipline may transfer their degrees to fulfill half of the program's credit requirements. Additionally, students who already hold a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field may choose UMA's postbaccalaureate program in public administration that allows students to obtain a bachelor of science in public administration through 30 additional credits of coursework.

Major-specific courses in public administration include accounting for nonprofit organizations, grant writing, principles of management, American state and local government, public budgeting and financial administration, administrative law, and research methods. To graduate, students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA throughout their coursework.

The University of Maine at Augusta is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Public Administration
Tuition: $233/credit in-state; $291/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 121 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (207) 626-6773
Email: judy.clukey@mainegeneral.org
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Columbia College

Columbia, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

A private, nonprofit liberal arts and science college with a main campus located in Columbia, Missouri, Columbia College offers an online public administration degree that students can complete entirely online. This degree prepares students for future careers as policy analysts, lobbyists, city managers, healthcare administrators, urban planners, and several other administrative or management positions in nonprofit organizations or government agencies.

Columbia College's online bachelor of arts in public administration degree requires 120 credits of coursework and takes full-time students four years to complete. Major specific courses include industrial/organizational psychology, American social policy, environmental politics, principles of management, organizational theory and behavior, public administration and policy, and public financial resources management.

To gain admission into the program, students must submit official high school transcripts, a GED certificate, or evidence of satisfactory completion of college coursework. Students may also submit relevant AP or CLEP scores when applying. Columbia College welcomes transfer credits and provides a transfer equivalency portal for prospective students.

Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).


Program Overview
Program Name: BA or BS in Public Administration
Tuition: $375/credit; $250/credit for military
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (800) 231-2391
Email: admissions@ccis.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Franklin University

Columbus, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 6%

A private university headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin University boasts a public administration degree online that prepares students for future careers as administrators, managers, or leaders in government or nonprofit organizations. Through the program, students gain skills relevant to organizational leadership, fiscal administration, political advocacy, and program management.

Franklin University's public administration bachelor's degree requires students to complete 120 credits of coursework. Major area courses cover topics such as organizational supervision, performance management, constitutional law, foundations of government and nonprofit administration, and financial management and budgeting.

The curriculum also includes a capstone experience that requires students to create an administrative action plan to address their chosen administrative issues using the concepts and skills they learned throughout the program. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 overall GPA with at least a 2.25 in major coursework to graduate.

To gain admission to the program, students must provide official high school transcripts or their equivalent or an accredited postsecondary college or university. Franklin welcomes transfer students and allows up to 94 transfer credits from a previous institution. The university requires students to complete at least 30 credits of coursework in residence.

Franklin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS Public Administration
Tuition: $526/credit; $250/credit for current service members
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (877) 341-6300
Email: admissions@franklin.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Barry University

Miami, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

A private Catholic university located in Miami, Florida, Barry University offers an online public administration bachelor's degree program for students aspiring to work in public management with nonprofit or public sector organizations and agencies. Graduates with a bachelor's in public administration often obtain careers in law enforcement, fire services, emergency management services, urban planning, and other public organizations.

Barry's public administration bachelor's degree requires 120 credits of coursework and typically takes four years to complete. Students can take courses entirely online in eight-week terms. Major area courses include principles of public administration, values and ethics in public administration, research methods, public policy and administration, public budgeting and finance, and administrative law and process. The curriculum culminates in a capstone project. Students pursuing an online bachelor of public administration can submit an experiential portfolio, which allows working professionals to transfer their work experience into college credit. Students may earn up to 30 credits from an experiential portfolio.

The online bachelor of public administration program is housed in the School of Professional and Career Education (PACE) to meet the educational needs of working professionals. To gain admission to PACE programs, applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED, be older than 21 years of age, and boast a documented work history. Barry accepts up to 64 transfer credits from accredited associate programs and up to 90 credits from other degree programs.

Barry University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Bachelor of Public Administration
Tuition: $247/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Work Experience: 2 years

Contact
Phone: (844) 890-5951
Email: larney@barry.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Below is an overview of what coursework and specializations you can expect from degrees in public administration online programs. Note that these are guidelines only, and you should discuss your educational needs and goals with a school's academic and enrollment advisor.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION

Concentration Description Careers this concentration prepares for
Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management These professionals plan and implement guidelines that help alleviate the consequences of natural and human-made emergencies, from forest fires and hurricanes to social disasters and acts of terrorism. Coursework includes disaster recover, hazard mitigation, and business continuation. Internships are usually a requirement for this concentration. Emergency Manager; City Planner; Security Administrator
Public Health Policy As the field of healthcare changes, skilled professionals are needed to respond to new regulations, technological evolution, rising costs, and the increase in patient numbers. This concentration prepares graduates for positions in hospitals, clinics, and government organizations, among others. Registered Nurse; Public Health Advocate; Community Organizer
Public Service As a generalist track, graduates are prepared for a variety of careers in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Students learn governmental and fiscal policies and best practices in team management and community advocacy and organization. Law Enforcement; Fundraiser; City/County Manager

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION

Below are courses generally found in online bachelor's in public policy and administration programs. This section outlines the general degree curriculum, but it is always best to look at a school's specific requirements before applying.

  • Introduction to Public Administration: A common course in these programs, it prepares students for advanced coursework by introducing fundamental topics and skills in the development and importance of modern government operations at the local, state, and national levels. This is a useful class for the academic and professional development of all public policy administrators.
  • Administrative Leadership & Behavior: Public policy administrators are expected to have strong leadership skills, and this course prepares graduates for management and other organizational leadership positions. By diagnosing human and group behavior, students analyze and solve problems in an organization or a community, including motivating people to work towards positive change.
  • The American Government: This course introduces the political culture of the United States, including constitutional laws, structural guidelines, current trends in policy development, and conflict and consensus in the electoral system. A strong understanding of how our government functions is useful for nearly every position in this field.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION?

A online bachelor's degree in public policy is 120 credit hours or more, and includes general education requirements, major core classes, and courses in general electives and/or concentration areas. Internships are usually another requirement for this degree, and many programs offer opportunities through partner organizations. Students may also complete this requirement in their local community. Online programs usually have flexible transfer policies, and distance learners can often transfer many of their degree hours from community colleges or other institutions of higher education.

Because public policy and administration requires strong interpersonal skills, a cohort learning model may be implemented in the degree through group discussions and projects. However, distance learning also requires students to work independently, so finding a program with a combination of learning styles is an important feature to consider as you locate schools that best suit your needs.

When looking at potential colleges and universities, it is important to ensure the institution is accredited. Accreditation guarantees the quality of an education and how well the degree is received by potential employers. The best online bachelor's in public policy and administration have both national and regional accreditation. National accreditation is granted by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). This is the most popular form of accreditation, and it is impossible for a school to grant any academic degree without it.

While it is rarely the case that a college or university receives accreditation from only the DOE or CHEA, the two are not the same. The DOE is a government organization, whose stamp of approval is needed for schools to receive federal aid. The CHEA is a private institution that establishes another set of academic and professional standards, most of which concur with DOE stipulations. For more information, explore the DOE's and CHEA's websites.

Regional accreditation, though not as well-known, is equally as important, and ensures your degree is recognized by the state in which the school resides. Granted by one of seven national organizations, this level of recognition is important to employers, since many deal more closely with state regulations and policies than they do with national mandates. Finally, there is professional recognition in the field, which can come from a number of private organizations, including the Association for Public Policy and Management and the American Society for Public Administration.

CAREER PATHS

An online degree in public policy leads to a large number of diverse career paths that deal with government policies and their financial, cultural, and political impact on communities in the United States and abroad. Professionals in these fields are leaders who work with and motivate others. They also work within current laws and regulations to design and implement creative solutions to challenges facing their organizations.

Fundraiser

Usually employed by nonprofit organizations and government agencies, fundraisers create events and campaigns to raise money, goods, and services. They also work with designers to create materials that raise awareness and promote an organization's mission and needs.

Median Annual Salary - $54,130
Projected Growth Rate - 9%

Health Educator and Community Health Worker

These professionals promote wellness through education and other forms of individual and community engagement. They collect data in order to develop and implement strategies towards these goals.

Median Annual Salary - $44,390
Projected Growth Rate - 13%

Emergency Management Director

Professionals in this management position prepare and implement procedures to respond to natural disasters and other kinds of emergencies. They also work with government and other public officials to ensure these plans are effective.

Median Annual Salary - $70,500
Projected Growth Rate - 6%

EDUCATIONAL PATHS

For many career fields, a higher level of education usually means opportunities for advancement and higher salaries. According to the 2015 salary survey published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), individuals employed in the “Public Administration and Social Service Professions” category experienced a 21% increase in salary after gaining a master's degree. While official academic recognition is not the only factor, pursuing a graduate education opens more opportunities for professional development.

  • City Management & Urban Policy: Also known as city or urban planning, students in this master's degree design and create architecture and infrastructure in an urban setting while considering the environmental and quality of life implications.
  • Public Policy Analysis: Students in these programs use research and statistical methods to evaluate the impact of government or an organization's policy and procedures.
  • Homeland Security: These master's programs involve issues of public security at the national and international level. Course topics include public health preparedness, information security, and agricultural biosecurity, among others.

BACHELOR'S IN PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION SALARY

Careers in public policy and administration are expected to grow over the next seven years, as projected by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Below is median salaries for emergency management directors across the top five sectors. Current data suggests that employment in private companies and organizations yield higher salaries overall, though this does not factor the differences in job growth across these industries. Additionally, the numbers below do not take into account overtime, which is often required of employees in these industries.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Membership in one or more of these professional organizations grants access to networking opportunities, professional and academic resources, conference participation, and up-to-date research and literature. These organizations also frequently hold seminars, webinars, and other events for professional skill development, with the opportunity to gain certification in specific areas. For example, the Association for Public Policy and Analysis & Management holds a yearly “boot camp” designed to give undergraduate students a comprehensive crash course on current challenges and developments in the field.

Loans are a popular choice to finance a higher education, but it is not the only option. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you can find a variety of other methods that will help you avoid debt, including grants and scholarships through national organizations. Additionally, the field of public policy and administration is closely connected to service and advocacy, and a number of award opportunities are available at the state and local levels of government for those willing to serve in those communities. Financial assistance, including work-study positions, and paid internships, are also usually offered by individual colleges and universities.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the FAFSA is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Bachelor's in Public Policy and Administration Programs for 2018
Ranking School Location
1 Florida International University Miami, FL
2 National University La Jolla, CA
3 Regis University Denver, CO
4 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
5 University of Hawaii - West Oahu Kapolei, HI
6 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
7 University of Maryland-University College Adelphi, MD
8 University of La Verne La Verne, CA
9 Central Methodist University Fayette, MO
10 St Petersburg College Clearwater, FL
11 Indian River State College Fort Pierce, FL
12 Roger Williams University Bristol, RI
13 Park University Parkville, MO
14 Upper Iowa University Fayette, IA
15 Point Park University Pittsburgh, PA
Best Online Bachelor's in Public Policy and Administration Programs for 2017
Rank School Location
1 Florida International University Miami, FL
2 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA
3 Regis University Denver, CO
4 Park University Parkville, MO
5 University of Hawaii-West Oahu Kapolei, HI
6 National University La Jolla, CA
7 University of La Verne La Verne, CA
8 University of Houston-Clear Lake Houston, TX
9 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
10 St Petersburg College Clearwater, FL
11 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
12 Indian River State College Fort Pierce, FL
13 Columbia College Columbia, MO
14 Point Park University Pittsburgh, PA
15 Barry University Miami, FL