The Best 15 Public Administration Degree Programs in 2024

January 26, 2024 | Admin

Public Administration Degree

Why Choose a Public Administration Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in public administration prepares students to work in nonprofit organizations, social and civil service institutions, and government agencies.

Generally, this degree is available on campus, online or as a hybrid of both. Regardless of the method you choose, a public administration degree provides you with several opportunities in different fields. Some of the possible jobs include becoming a social and community service manager, working as a social worker or becoming a health educator in the public health sector..

Top 5 Public Administration Degree Programs

Rank School Location
1James Madison UniversityHarrisonburg, Virginia
2University of OklahomaNorman, Oklahoma
3Miami UniversityOxford, Ohio
4Lipscomb UniversityNashville, Tennessee
5 University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas

Choosing a Public Administration Degree

Why choose a public administration degree? The average salary of someone with a degree in public administration is $65,592. Those who go on to get a master’s in public administration typically see their average salary raised by around $18,000.

In this article, we have put together a collection of the top 15 schools for a public administration degree. The schools are ranked based on in-state tuition and enrollment.

The Best 15 Schools for a Public Administration Degree


James Madison University

  • Harrisonburg, Virginia

James Madison University offers a Bachelor of Science in public policy and administration as well as a master’s degree in the same field. The five-year master program requires 36 graduate credits for completion. Undergraduate students can begin to pursue the master of public administration degree at the same time as their other studies.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $10,848
Enrollment: 21,820
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University of Oklahoma

  • Norman, Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma offers a master of public administration as well as an undergraduate program and doctorate program in similar fields. The school offers an accelerated degree program as well. The master of public administration requires 36 credit hours of graduate credits.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $6,583
Enrollment: 28,079
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Miami University

  • Oxford, Ohio

Miami University offers a public administration major for undergraduates who are interested in understanding the issues of governance and in studying management of the public sector. To complete the program, students must complete at least 38 credit hours in the public administration degree. This is on top of normal coursework and electives. A GPA of 2.0 is required to graduate.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $13,677
Enrollment: 19,716
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Lipscomb University

  • Nashville, Tennessee

Lipscomb University offers a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Sciences and Bachelor of Professional Studies in Public Administration. These programs require students to complete 33 hours in the core curriculum as well as to meet the general education requirements and electives set by the school. To graduate, students need to collect 126 credit hours of coursework in total.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $18,414
Enrollment: 4,595
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University of Kansas

  • Lawrence, Kansas

The University of Kansas offers an undergraduate major or minor in public administration. It also offers a master in public administration. There is a Ph.D. program and a master of urban planning program as well. For the bachelor’s degree programs, students need to complete 27 credit hours in the public administration coursework.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $9,989
Enrollment: 27,552
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San Diego State University

  • San Diego, California

In as few as 16 months, students can complete a master of public administration at San Diego State University. The program is available online or on campus. Online, students have the option of joining the fast track program. This program has six, two-month modules with on-campus courses required at the beginning and end of the program.

School Overview

Tuition (MPA Online): $19,838
Enrollment: 35,544
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University of San Francisco

  • San Francisco, California

The University of San Francisco offers a Public Administration, Health Services Administration Concentration, MPA. The program requires 38 units to be completed, and it is normally finished within two years. The program focuses on teaching advanced managerial education.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $25,740
Enrollment: 10,636
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Swarthmore College

  • Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Swarthmore College offers a program in politics and public policy that focuses more on politics and political discourse as well as the way it affects the local, state and national levels of government. Some of the courses that are available include global ethical issues, global civil society, political psychology and introduction to comparative political systems.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $52,190
Enrollment: 1,594
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Florida International University

  • Miami, Florida

Florida International University offers Evening, Fully Online, and Executive options to earn a degree of Master of Public Administration. With a diverse student body, FIU MPA provides equitable and inclusive education opportunities for future public leaders. 59% of the students who complete the MPA program have been employed in management positions, and 99% of graduates are currently employed.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $8,912
Enrollment: 58,711
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Northeastern University

  • Boston, Massachusetts

At Northeastern University, students can join a master of public administration program. There is also a master of public policy available. The master of public administration degree program is made up of 40 credit hours and six months of work experience that can add to credit hours for a total of 42 overall.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $24,793
Enrollment: 22,207
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The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Richardson, Texas

The University of Texas at Dallas offers a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs. This program is designed to prepare students to work in government and nonprofit organizations, as well as other fields. The school also offers a master’s in public administration. The bachelor’s degree program requires 120 hours to graduate.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $13,874
Enrollment: 29,543
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Syracuse University

  • Syracuse, New York

Syracuse University offers a degree program in public policy, administration and international affairs. The school offers various levels of education in the degree program, including a 12-credit certification program as well as a master’s program. The master of public administration is a one-year program with an 18-month option.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $38,880
Enrollment: 22,850
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The Ohio State University

  • Columbus, Ohio

The Ohio State University offers a master of public administration at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. The courses follow a 7-week, half-semester format and are designed to be completed within two years. All coursework is normally completed within the first year, while the second year is used for the Capstone course.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $11,560
Enrollment: 61,391
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University of Pittsburgh

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The University of Pittsburgh offers a master of public administration with concentrations in energy and environment, policy research and analysis, public and nonprofit management and others. To graduate, students must collect 48 credit hours in major and degree courses. They also need to complete a 300-hour internship.

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $23,530
Enrollment: 32,686
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Johns Hopkins University

  • Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins University offers a Master’s Degree in Public Management that has 12 required courses and may take place online or on-site. The program also has certificates that students can seek during the program. Some include a Certificate in Intelligence, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management, and a Certificate in Government Analytics

School Overview

Tuition (in-state): $55,350
Enrollment: 27,079
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Ranking Specifications

Throughout this article, we have done our best to provide you with accurate information. Our ranking is performed by giving points to schools with the lowest number of enrollees as well as the lowest overall tuition. The schools’ points were added together and each of those categories to get their rankings. Keep in mind that these rankings may change and are subject to change at any time. The results are not guaranteed.

Is your school on this list? Do you have questions about the information listed here? If so, feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to discuss your ranking with you. If you would like to have your school ranked, please reach out.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

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