Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration Degree Programs

Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration Degree Programs

Find top-ranked online bachelor’s in public administration degree programs for students looking to work in public relations, government, nonprofit leadership, and health services management as administrative specialists, public utility specialists, and general operations managers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Public Administration Degrees

Those who have an interest in government, public policy, and community development can earn a bachelor’s degree in public administration online or on campus.

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Students will take courses on public budgeting, ethics, financial management, courts and the criminal procedure, resource distribution, and often, a public administration capstone.

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Most programs require a minimum of 120 credits, which takes a minimum of four years to finish.

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After completion, graduates will be qualified to work in public relations, government, nonprofit leadership, and health services management as administrative specialists, public utility specialists, and general operations managers.

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Best Online Bachelor's in Public Administration Degree Programs
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Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Administration Degree Programs

  1. #2

    Liberty University

    Lynchburg , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    75K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

    Online Degrees

    BSBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice

    Concentrations

    • Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Government

    Concentrations

    • Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
  2. #3

    Troy University

    Troy , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/21

    Online Degrees

    BS in Political Science

    Concentrations

    • American Politics and Public Administration
    • International Politics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/21

    Online Degrees

    BA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    27K

    Online Degrees

    BAS in Applied Science

    Concentrations

    • Administration
    • Emergency Management
    • Logistics and Supply Chain Management
    • Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Interdisciplinary Studies

    Concentrations

    • Humanities
    • Public Administration
    • Technology Management
    • University Studies
    • Emergency Management
    • Industrial Leadership
    • Technology Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    84K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Human Resources Management
    • International Business
    • Management Information Systems
    • Marketing
    • Nonprofit Management
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Project Management
    • Public Administration
    • Sports Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  6. #7

    National University

    La Jolla , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    23K

    Online Degrees

    BPA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 180
    • Completion time: 4.5-5.5 years
    • Format: Online
  7. #8

    Barry University

    Miami , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/19

    Online Degrees

    BPA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #9

    Keiser University

    Fort Lauderdale , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    29K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    Online Degrees

    BA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  10. #11

    Lipscomb University

    Nashville , TN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/26

    Online Degrees

    BA in Professional Studies in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 126
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA/BS in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 126
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/20

    Online Degrees

    BS in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  12. #13

    Point Park University

    Pittsburgh , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

    Online Degrees

    BS in Public Administration

    Concentrations

    • EMS Administration
    • Fire Service Concentration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Professional Psychology; Criminal Justice

    Concentrations

    • Public Administration
    • Criminal Justice
    • Criminology
    • Criminal Law
    • Corrections
    • Policing
    • Juvenile Justice
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. #15

    Peru State College

    Peru , NE
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. #16

    Columbia College

    Columbia , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $24K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    7K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/20

    Online Degrees

    BAAS in Applied Arts and Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  17. Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    Online Degrees

    BA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 48
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  18. Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/22

    Online Degrees

    BA in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  19. Acceptance

    24%

    Median SAT/ACT

    1225/27

    Online Degrees

    BSAS in Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  20. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/18

    Online Degrees

    BS in Public Administration

    Concentrations

    • Disaster Preparedness And Emergency Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Administration

    Concentrations

    • Justice Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Administration

    Concentrations

    • Community Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Administration

    Concentrations

    • General Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Administration

    Concentrations

    • Healthcare Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Administration

    Concentrations

    • Long-Term Care
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  21. #22

    Dordt University

    Sioux Center , IA

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/24

    Online Degrees

    BA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Management
    • Construction Management
    • Finance
    • General
    • Human Resource Management
    • Information Systems
    • International Business
    • Marketing
    • Office Management
    • Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 159.5
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students