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An accelerated public administration degree allows students to earn their degree in a fraction of the time that would be required for a traditional degree program. Accelerated degree programs can be completed in as little as 18-months. This is 6-months less than the more common 2-year degree program. Accelerated degree programs work well for individuals who need to save time and be able to utilize their degrees as soon as possible.

Individuals who are already working in the field and are ready to advance to the next level already have some experience behind them. By enrolling in an accelerated public administration degree program, they are able to continue to work and study, learning what they need to know at a much faster pace. Having access to more knowledge in less time makes it possible for them to put what they are learning to good use and apply for advancement opportunities as they become available.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated Public Administration Degree Programs

Bachelor’s Degree Center editors are dedicated to bringing students to programs that will really impact their careers positively. For that reason, editors researched accelerated online bachelor’s programs from accredited, reputable institutions. Programs are ranked by tuition cost, student reviews, and potential salary.

1. Indian River State College

Indian River State College offers a BS in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Policy and Leadership that can be completed entirely through the school’s virtual campus. Classes for Indian River State College’s accelerated public administration degree include organizational behavior, state and local government, public relations, conflict resolution, policy development, public budgeting, urban planning, and a capstone project completed senior year. Students graduate from IRSC and find rewarding careers as compliance managers, urban planners, logistics managers, or regulatory compliance managers, to name a few.

Indian River State College (IRSC) was established in 1959 as a pubic higher learning institute. The college serves several counties in the Sunshine State – Martin, Indian River, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee. The school’s campus sits atop an old landfill.

What We Like: Aspen Institute recognizes Indian River State College as the best state college in the nation.

Degree: Public Administration – Public Policy and Leadership, BS

2. Arizona State University

Arizona State University Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Public Service and Public Policy that provides a number of related focus areas. These concentrations for Arizona State University ‘s accelerated public administration degree program include American Indian Studies, Business, Sustainability, Urban Studies, Homeland Security, Social Services Delivery, Public Policy, Law and Policy, Nonprofits, and Science & Technology. This public administration undergraduate degree from Arizona State University is available on-campus or entirely through the school’s distance learning platform. Students graduate from Arizona State University’s program and enter the workforce as city planning aides, operations managers, legislators, and legal support workers, to name a few.

Arizona State University is a public higher learning institution that was established in 1885 before Arizona became a state. ASU’s campuses in Tempe and Phoenix serve more than 51,400 students.

What We Like: The first schoolhouse for Arizona State University was four rooms that served 33 students.

Degree: Public Service and Public Policy, BS

3. Troy University

Troy University offers an American Politics and Public Administration bachelor’s program that offers students an option to complete this degree and a law degree in only six years. This accelerated public administration degree program from Troy University prepares students for rewarding careers in the foreign service, journalism, law, private businesses, and government work, among others. Troy University’s public administration degree is available on -campus and through the schools’ distance learning platform. Classes for this degree include foundations of political science, political theory, political science research, and the various branches of the United States Government.

Troy University (Troy) was founded in 1887 as a teacher’s school. Troy University’s campus is located Troy, a college-town and serves more than 17,900 students.

What We Like: In 2005, several local schools merged to form the new Troy University, which now maintains four campuses throughout the region.

Degree: American Politics and Public Administration

4. Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University offers a BS in Public Administration and Justice Studies that requires degree candidates to complete 120 semester credits to graduate, which includes a capstone project. Northern Arizona University’s accelerated public administration degree program includes classes in public administration, communication in the public sector, public budgeting, ethics and policy, and research methods in social sciences, to name a few. Northern Arizona University’s baccalaureate degree in public administration is available through the university’s distance learning platform. Students graduate from Northern Arizona University ‘s public administration degree and find rewarding careers as a program coordinator, an executive assistant, a county manager, a budget analyst, or a nonprofit program manager.

Northern Arizona University is a public higher learning institution that was established in 1899. As a teacher’s training school. The university’s small-city campus covers more than 650 acres and serves more than 30,400 students.

What We Like: Northern Arizona University’s campus was used as V-12 navy training facility

Degree: Public Administration Bachelor

5. Park University

Park University offers a Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) that offers several related academic tracks in Business Relations, Public Service, Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, or Fire Service Management. Core coursework for Park University’s accelerated public administration degree program includes administrative law, public management, statistics, financial accounting, budget and finance, and capitalism & societal issues, to name a few. Degree candidates enrolled in Park University must complete 120 semester credits to meet program requirements, of which 30 hours must be earned at Park University.

Park University is a private higher learning institution that was established in 1875. The university’s campus overlooks Missouri River and serves more than 11,100 undergraduate and graduate students. The landmark building Mackay Hall is built from limestone mined on campus.

What We Like: Park University offers students free tuition in exchange for working for the school as agreed.

Degree: Bachelor of Public Administration

6. University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix offers a BS in Public Administration that is available 100% online. The University of Phoenix’s accelerated public administration degree program includes classes in public sector communication, critical thinking in the public sector, politics and citizenship, grant writing, financial management, intergovernmental relations, and foundations of public administration, to name a few. Degree candidates graduate from the University of Phoenix’s bachelor’s degree in public administration to find rewarding work as operations managers, program managers, or regulatory affairs managers.

The University of Phoenix (UOPX) was established in 1976 as a for-profit higher learning institute. The university offers more than 90 academic and certificate programs – all online.

What We Like: The University of Phoenix is noted to receive the most Pell Grant Funding of any for-profit institution of higher education.

Degree: Public Administration, BS

7. University Minnesota -Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota offers a BA in Tribal Administration and Governance that can be completed entirely online. The University of Minnesota’s accelerated public administration degree program includes classes in American Indian Diplomacy, Organizational Management, Tribal Administration, and Fundamentals of Tribal Operations Management, to name a few. Total credits required to meet Minnesota’s undergraduate degree in public administration is 120. Students explore the policies and laws that influence tribal governments.

The University of Minnesota -Twin Cities was established under the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1851. The University of Minnesota is also a space-grant and flagship institution of higher education. More than 48,900 students attend classes offered by the University of Minnesota.

What We Like: The University of Minnesota -Twin Cities is recognized as one of the nation’s public ivy league universities.

Degree: Tribal Administration and Governance, BA

8. Barry University

Barry University offers a Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) that is one of Florida’s best accelerated public administration degree programs. Barry’s baccalaureate degree in public administration requires the completion of 120 semester credits, of which up to 90 credits can be transferred if eligible. Classes for this public administration degree program includes contemporary issues in public safety public administration, and the political process, among others. It is noted that Barry University offers credit for life experiences or any knowledge gained from lessons outside of the classroom.

Barry University was established in 1940 and is affiliated with the Dominican Roman Catholic Church. The university’s campus in Miami Shores serves more than 8,800 students on its 100+ acre property. Barry University operates two branch facilities in Orlando and Tallahassee.

What We Like: Barry University was originally established as an all-girls college.

Degree: Bachelor of Public Administration

9. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Charlton College of Business offers two accelerated public administration degree programs with its Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in Public Administration. Degree candidates must complete 120 semesters credits to meet the degree’s requirements. Core coursework for these public administration degrees includes microeconomics, civil rights in the United States, urban economics, public policy, plus an internship and a senior capstone project, among others.

UMass Dartmouth was established in 1895 as Southeastern Textile University. The school became a member campus of the University of Massachusetts system in 1991. UMass Dartmouth’s suburban campus covers more than 650 acres and serves more than 8,400 students.

What We Like: The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth operates satellite facilities in nearby Fall River and New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Degree: Public Administration, BA/BS

10. Regent University

Regent University offers a BA in Leadership Studies with an academic track in Government and Public Policy that is ranked among the state’s best baccalaureate program. Students enrolled Regent’s accelerated public administration degree program complete 120 semester credits in classes in US History, Statistics, ethics, systems thinking, innovation leadership, economics, the study of great leaders, research writing, the legislative process, and the American Judicial System, to name a few. Classes offered at Regent University run in 8-week sessions.

Regent University was established in 1977 and is an interdenominational evangelical higher learning institution. Regent’s suburban campus is home to more than 8,500 students.

What We Like: The campus of Regent University has been recognized among the most southern US college campuses.

Degree: Leadership Studies – Government & Public Policy, BA

What Are the Advantages of an Accelerated Public Administration Degree?

In addition to advancing into roles with more responsibilities, graduates will also be able to earn a higher wage and may even receive an increase in their benefits. With an accelerated public affairs degree program, students will still receive the same quality curriculum as other students who choose to attend the full two-year program. The primary difference is the amount of knowledge and learning material that is presented in each lesson. The lesson plans are extremely thorough and provide students with the required skills and abilities they will need to excel in a public administration role. They will be able to work in both public and private sectors and take on the same responsibilities as those graduates who have obtained a traditional degree.

What If I Don’t Need a Bachelor’s Degree?

Individuals who have worked in the public administration field for many years, may not need to return to school to earn a Bachelor’s degree. Instead, they may opt for a certificate of public administration program that gives them credit for their many years of experience. A public administration certificate validates what skills and abilities the students have learned while working within the career field of their choice. Working in the field gives the student an in-depth knowledge of their position as well as valuable insight and perspective that isn’t always achieved in a classroom setting. Earning a public administration certificate is an easy way to get the credit the student deserves without earning a Bachelor’s degree.

An online certificate in public administration provides much of the information taught in an Associate’s degree but may include additional information from more advanced programs, depending on what level of experience the student already brings to the table. Certificates in public administration can also be used in a variety of careers. Individuals may choose to work in city government, non-profit organizations, or in social and civil service organizations to create improved public policies and better neighborhood projects. No matter what capacity they choose to work in, the student who earns their certificate in public administration can utilize their experience and skills and have the credentials they need to back them up.

What Kinds of Jobs Are in Public Administration?

Public administration jobs take many forms. City planners and other public officials, especially those who work as auditors, assessors, treasurers, and clerks, have some form of degree that provided them with the management tools they use on a daily basis. In most cases, you will find that the individuals who hold these positions have some form of college education. While it may not be a pubic administration degree, certificates in public administration can be easily earned to provide them with the additional skills they need to be proficient in a public administration role. Online degree programs allow public servants to return to school, earn their degree, and continue to work, all at the same time.

Public administration jobs are not limited solely to city, county, state, or federal governments. These jobs can also be found in civil service organizations and non-profits that provide disaster relief and recovery operations to the public at large. Anyone who works with the public at large or who has a role in formulating public policy should consider earning at least a certificate in public administration. Online degree programs are also available that will provide the student with much-needed resources that will assist them in performing their day to day duties as a public servant.

Individuals who volunteer for non-profit organizations can earn a public administration degree and actually apply for a paid position within the organization using their years of experience as a volunteer as a valuable bargaining tool. Anyone who enjoys working with the public can look forward to a lucrative career as a public servant if they pursue the right degree program. Jobs can be found in almost every area of public service and are readily available to individuals who have a degree in public administration.

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