Bachelors in Public Administration Online Degree Programs for 2022

Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration Career Options & Salary

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Overview of a Bachelor's in Public Administration

A bachelor’s is an entry-level degree to prepare students for the public administration field whether it is earned online or in-person. It’ll get public administration graduates into the workforce fast, though they still might have trouble finding work in management positions at the local, state, and federal level of government or non-profit organizations. Instead, public administration students should be focused during their online degree program or after their on-campus program on gaining any level of experience in the public sector or state and local government as public administration professionals. Students can use this degree to get a job in a variety of non-profit organizations or the public sector and to learn more about how public services work and where they’ll be able to find employment and lead as public administrators after completion of a graduate degree. You will be more than prepared to begin a master’s or apply for a management position once you’ve got some experience under your belt.

Core and elective public administration courses in these programs cover various subjects on top of general education, including:

  • Introduction to Public Policy
  • Social and Community Service
  • Public Service
  • Budget or Business Analysis
  • Making Policies that Work
  • Current Technology in the Public Sector
  • And More


  • Jobs in public administration and public policy may soon be in high demand
  • You can earn a bachelor's degree in public administration in four years or more quickly if you complete an accelerated online program
  • Online programs are also available for those who wish to study part-time and many offer financial aid
  • The fields of public administration, public service, public policy, and social and community service is growing rapidly
  • Most jobs for public admiistrators will continue to be safe from automation and are only accessible with the knowledge offered by a public administration degree


  • A master’s public administration degree is usually required for a better paying job in public policy
  • Those with a higher level degree will get the job before those who have only completed a bachelor’s in public administration program
  • Not a lot of colleges and universities offer public administration programs, online or otherwise

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What are the Best Online Bachelors in Public Administration (BPA) College Programs?


University of Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,381
    • Out-of-state: $28,659
  • Net Price: $10,075
  • Retention Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 53,372
  • Undergrad Students: 34,931
  • Graduate Students: 18,441
  • Diplomas Awarded: 280
  • Grads Salary: $75,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 17:1
  • University of Florida

Villanova University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $59,020
    • Out-of-state: $59,020
  • Net Price: $38,303
  • Retention Rate: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 92%
  • Total Enrollment: 11,032
  • Undergrad Students: 7,037
  • Graduate Students: 3,995
  • Diplomas Awarded: 2
  • Grads Salary: $84,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Villanova University

University of Central Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,368
    • Out-of-state: $22,467
  • Net Price: $11,108
  • Retention Rate: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 74%
  • Total Enrollment: 71,881
  • Undergrad Students: 61,401
  • Graduate Students: 10,480
  • Diplomas Awarded: 65
  • Grads Salary: $67,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 31:1
  • University of Central Florida

Arizona State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,348
    • Out-of-state: $29,438
  • Net Price: $14,653
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Total Enrollment: 74,795
  • Undergrad Students: 63,124
  • Graduate Students: 11,671
  • Diplomas Awarded: 89
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Arizona State University

Florida International University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,565
    • Out-of-state: $18,963
  • Net Price: $8,988
  • Retention Rate: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 58,836
  • Undergrad Students: 49,049
  • Graduate Students: 9,787
  • Diplomas Awarded: 113
  • Grads Salary: $66,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 25:1
  • Florida International University

University of Illinois Springfield

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,911
    • Out-of-state: $21,526
  • Net Price: $11,628
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,146
  • Undergrad Students: 2,654
  • Graduate Students: 1,492
  • Diplomas Awarded: 3
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 12:1
  • University of Illinois Springfield

Florida Atlantic University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,879
    • Out-of-state: $17,324
  • Net Price: $11,451
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Total Enrollment: 30,805
  • Undergrad Students: 25,457
  • Graduate Students: 5,348
  • Diplomas Awarded: 43
  • Grads Salary: $68,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 22:1
  • Florida Atlantic University

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,470
    • Out-of-state: $15,420
  • Net Price: $4,221
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Total Enrollment: 15,766
  • Undergrad Students: 13,662
  • Graduate Students: 2,104
  • Diplomas Awarded: 66
  • Grads Salary: $65,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 19:1
  • CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Central Michigan University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $13,200
    • Out-of-state: $13,200
  • Net Price: $15,758
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 17,311
  • Undergrad Students: 13,031
  • Graduate Students: 4,280
  • Diplomas Awarded: 14
  • Grads Salary: $67,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Central Michigan University

Northwest University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $33,980
    • Out-of-state: $33,980
  • Net Price: $21,825
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,184
  • Undergrad Students: 838
  • Graduate Students: 346
  • Diplomas Awarded: 3
  • Grads Salary: $73,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 10:1
  • Northwest University
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Certificate Vs. Bachelor’s

There are major differences between earning an online bachelor’s degree and earning a certificate, though both are available through online options. The first thing you should understand is that, when studying to earn an online bachelor’s, you will have to take general classes such as math, English, writing, etc., and if you choose a concentration or a major, you will also have to complete those courses as well. In addition, graduating with an online bachelor’s does not limit you to one career path; there are many different routes you can take after obtaining an online or on-campus bachelor’s degree. However, when you are studying to earn a certificate, all your classes will be focusing on one specific area while preparing you for a career in that field.

What Public Administration Bachelor’s Degrees are Available Online?

There are more than 60 Bachelors in Public Administration Programs available in the U.S. However, because most schools do not offer these programs, students may choose another online area of study that still falls under the same umbrella, such as:

  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • International Relations
  • Anthropology
  • American Studies
  • Pre-Law

Admission Requirements

The Bachelor of Science (BS) focuses on science and technology-related disciplines. However, what is considered "science’ or ‘liberal arts’ can vary from university to university, so an online or in-person public administration degree at one school may be marked as a BS, while at another university, the same degree is marked as a BA. Students who typically specialize in public health administration and natural sciences will be better equipped for a career in science-based, clinical fields, such as, biostatistics, research, and epidemiology. The curriculum is similar to what’s involved with a BA program, but may also include coursework in statistics, math, chemistry, or other.

The typical pre-requisites for a degree program may include an ACT or SAT score, high school transcripts, an associates in public administration and letters of recommendation. For admission into any online or on-campus public administration program, students may also be required to submit a personal statement.

How long does it take to earn a Public Administration Bachelor’s Online?

To earn an online bachelor's in public administration, 120 credits are required, which can take 4 years for a full-time student to achieve. However, most students who are interested in a BS or BA in this specialization will continue to obtain a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) for which there is a bachelor to masters dual programs available that you can complete in 5 years. These programs often offer at least some online courses and allow students to earn two degrees in less time than it would take to earn them separately; therefore, you can get into the public health workforce faster.

Potential Careers in Public Administration with a Bachelor’s

  • Social & Community Service Manager
    This is an entry-level management position for graduates with a public administration degree. These managers oversee the administration of community and social service programs for non-profit organizations and government agencies.
    Median Annual Salary: $50,800
  • Social Worker
    Social workers assist individuals and families in coping with mental health, housing, nutritional, and other life challenges. They should have at least an online bachelor's degree and often work abnormal or flexible hours.
    Median Annual Salary: $48,000
  • Health Educator or Community Health Worker
    These professionals work in hospitals, non-profits, government health agencies, community clinics, and other health-related settings. They teach members of a community about the health benefits and adopting healthy behaviors. Some of these positions are moving toward online health assessments and other similar online education. At least an online bachelor's degree is often required as well as additional credentials.
    Median Annual Salary: $46,200
  • Social & Human Service Assistant
    Social and Human Service assistants perform similar duties to social workers, and they support individuals and families with case management in rehabilitation areas or similar. They typically work in non-profit organizations or government agencies and generally assist social workers with their duties.
    Median Annual Salary: $34,500
  • Administrative Services Manager
    The role of an administrative services manager is to coordinate all services and office personnel, so operations run efficiently. Their day-to-day duties include overseeing administrative staff, planning and maintaining the administrative aspects of the office, and performing other necessary tasks to ensure the office runs smoothly. These professionals are also responsible for office machine maintenance, mail distribution, conducting office supply inventory, record-keeping, and more.
    Median Annual Salary: $62,800

Options to Advance

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for administrative services managers will increase by 10% by 2026. This growth will result from the ongoing need for municipal government services that include public works, fire protection, schools, criminal justice systems, libraries, transportation, public health, and housing and development due to population growth. Once you have obtained your bachelor’s degree online you can advance to receive a Master's in Public Administration (MPA) where the following jobs will be available to you:

  • Public Administration Consultant
  • Marketing Director
  • Director of Administration
  • City Manager
  • International Aid Worker

An MPA has a wide range of public administration jobs available for graduates. Those majoring in public administration can be seen as ethical individuals who want to make a difference in society. While working as a public administrator, you will earn top wages and have the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life.

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