One of the main concerns a working adult has when looking for a degree in public administration is finding an affordable public administration degree. One way to find an affordable public administration degree is to look for low-cost degree options by searching each prospective website and looking for prices. Generally, a person will notice that public colleges tend to have the lowest tuition costs. A person may also want to consider starting at a community college to earn basic credits. Then, he or she can transfer these credits to a public or private college.
Additionally, a person can see if his or her employer offers a tuition employer reimbursement program. This program consists of an employer reimbursing a student for part of his or her education. Usually, the employer will require that the employee remain employed with the company while the person attends college as well as for a designated amount of time after his or her education is complete in order to qualify.
Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Public Administration Degree Programs
As part of the Bachelor’s Degree Center mission of pointing students to the best degree programs for their career goals, BDC editors feature only respected, accredited colleges and universities. The Most Affordable ranking is presented strictly by tuition cost, according to current IPEDS data.
1. St Petersburg College
St Petersburg College offers a BS in Public Policy and Administration that is recognized among the most affordable public administration degree programs in the nation. This online undergraduate degree in public administration requires a degree candidate to complete 120 semester credits to graduate. Classes included in SPC’s degree include Constitutional Law, Diplomacy, American Civic Life, Policy Leadership, Public Personnel Management, Management Information Systems., plus a public policy capstone project.
St Petersburg College was founded in 1927. St. Petersburg College is a member campus of the Florida College Systems. The college’s campuses on the west coast of Florida covers more than 400 acres and serves more than 29,000 students.
What We Like: St Petersburg College maintains eleven campuses in the nearby locations of Tarpon Springs, Largo, Clearwater and Seminole.
Degree: Public Policy and Administration, BS
2. California State University, Domingez Hills
California State University, Dominguez Hills’s College of Business Administration and Public Policy offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration that provides degree candidates five academic tracks within the degree. These include Administration, Criminal Justice, Health Services, Public Personnel, or Public Finance. Coursework for this undergraduate degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills includes public policy, public finance, personnel finance, and the American constitution. California State University, Dominguez Hills’s public administration degree is recognized among the most affordable public administration degree programs.
California State University, Dominguez Hills was established in 1960. California State University, Dominguez Hills’s 300+ acre campus is located on the oldest land grant campus in the Los Angeles area. More than 16,900 students attend classes offered by California State University, Dominguez Hills.
What We Like: California State University, Dominguez Hills is a historical Hispanic-serving higher learning institution.
Degree: Public Administration, BS
3. Columbia College
Columbia College of Missouri’s Department of History, Philosophy, and Political Science offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Public Administration that prepares students for a career as a city manager, policy analyst, journalist, fundraising specialist, or lobbyist, among others. Columbia College is recognized as a best college for vets (and a member of the Yellow Ribbon program) and the college with the most 3rd secure campus in the nation. US News ranks Columbia’s online baccalaureate degree program among the best in the United States and the most affordable public administration degree program in the state.
Columbia College was established in 1851 by a legislative charter. Columbia College maintains forty campuses throughout the country and in Cuba, nearly half designed to directly impact military bases. This nonprofit higher learning institution serves nearly 10,000 students.
What We Like: About 1/3 of Columbia College’s students have a military background.
Degree: Public Administration, BA
4. California State University, Northridge
California State University, Northridge offers a BA in Public Sector Management (PSM) that is considered among the most affordable public administration degree program in the state and beyond. CSUN’s baccalaureate degree program in public sector management pulls from an interdisciplinary curriculum to develop competencies in the nonprofit or governmental sectors. Classes for this degree include Politics of Public Spending, Public Administration, Analyzing policy Problems, and Strategic Human resources Management, to name a few.
California State University, Northridge was established in 1958. The university’s suburban campus serves more than 38,200 students vying for the school’s more than 125 academic degrees. In 1994 the school sustained significant damage in the Northridge Earthquake.
What We Like: California State University, Northridge is recognized as one of the diverse higher learning institutions of higher learning in the nation.
Degree: Public Sector Management, BA
5. Florida International University
Florida International University’s Green School of International and Public Affairs Bachelor of Public Policy and Service offers a public administration undergraduate degree that has been named one of the most affordable public administration degree programs in the state and beyond. Degree candidates enrolled in Florida International University’s baccalaureate degree in public administration are required the completion 120 semester credits. Coursework for this degree includes managing global cities, public sector budgeting, administrative leadership, applied research methods, and an integrative seminar in public administration, to name a few.
Florida International University was established in 1965. FIU is recognized as one of the Sunshine State’s preeminent higher learning institutions and the second largest in the state. More than 58,500 students attend classes offered by Florida International University in South Florida.
What We Like: In terms of enrollment FIU is recognized as having the fourth largest study body in the nation.
Degree: Bachelor of Public Policy and Service
6. Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University offers a Bachelor of Public Management (BPM) degree that is considered among the state’s most affordable public administration degree programs. Classes for this undergraduate degree in public administration include Crime in School, Ethics and the Justice System, Public Sector Labor Relations, Public Budgeting and Finance, Public Management, and Funding for Nonprofit Organizations, among others. Applicants must have completed several courses prior to enrolling – statistics, macroeconomics, information systems, and the government of the United States.
Florida Atlantic University was established in 1961. FAU operates several satellite facilities in the South Florida region that serve more than 30,400 students. FAU’s alumni association boasts a total that exceeds 150,000 alumni.
What We Like: The campus for FAU in Boca Raton was once a military airfield from the 1940s.
Degree: Bachelor of Public Management
7. University of Illinois- Springfield
The University of Illinois-Springfield College of Public Affairs and Administration offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Public Administration that offers three distinction academic tracks. These academic tracks include Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy, Management of Public Policy and State & Local Government Management. The baccalaureate program from UI Springfield is offered as a dual integrated degree that includes a Master of Public Administration. The University of Illinois Springfield’s public administration degree is considered among the most affordable public administration degree programs in the state and beyond.
The University of Illinois- Springfield was established in 1969 by legislative action of the general assembly. UI Springfield is the newest campus in the University of Illinois System, with more than 5,300 students. The university offers more than 45 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
What We Like: The school’s campus is about five miles from Downtown Springfield and is located on a private homestead from 1845.
Degree: Public Administration, BA
8. University of Hawaii
The University of Hawaii offers a BA in Public Administration that offers students six related concentrations in General Public Administration, Justice Administration, Long-term Care, Health Care, Disaster Preparedness, or Community Health. Classes for this most affordable public administration degree program from the University of Hawaii include principles of public administration, administrative decision-making, human resources, administrative law, and public communication campaigns, to name a few. Students enrolled in UH’s public administration degree have the opportunity of completing an internship in a related area.
The University of Hawaii was established in 1907. UH operates a variety of educational facilities throughout the Hawaiian Islands include a training center, community colleges, and university education centers. The university’s student enrollment exceeds 50,100 students.
What We Like: Famous alumni of the University of Hawaii are President Barack Obama, Senators Tammy Duckworth, and Dan Inouye and entertainer Bette Midler.
Degree: Public Administration, BA
9. University of Maine at Augusta
The University of Maine at Augusta offers a BS in Public Administration that is considered one of Maine’s most affordable public administration degree programs. Students graduating from UMA’s undergraduate program in public administration find rewarding careers as an auditor, state treasurer, town manager, county administrator, or human resource administrator, among others. Degree candidates enrolled in this degree program must complete 121 semester credits to graduate.
The University of Maine at Augusta was established in 1965 by a legislative act. The University of Maine, located in Augusta, is a member school of the University of Maine System with an additional campus in Bangor. The school’s student enrollment exceeds 5,900 students.
What We Like: The University of Maine at Augusta offers more than 30 academic degree programs on its two campuses and online.
Degree: Public Administration, BS
10. University of Arizona
The University of Arizona School of Government and Public Policy offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Management and Policy that is recognized as one of the University of Arizona’s most affordable public administration degree programs. This undergraduate degree in public administration from Arizona provides degree candidates three concentrations from which to select – Public Policy, Environmental Policy, and Public Management. Students enrolled in Arizona’s program requires degree candidates to complete an internship. Students graduate to find rewarding careers in national security, environmental policy, health care policy, law enforcement, or national security, among others.
The University of Arizona was established in 1885 under the Morrill Land Grant Act before Arizona became a state. Nearly 46,000 students attend classes offered by the University of Arizona’s nineteen colleges/schools.
What We Like: The University of Arizona is also the flagship campus of the university system and a space-grant school.
Degree: Public Management & Policy, BS
How Much Can I Make With a Bachelor’s in Public Education?
A person may want to know what the average degree in public administration salary is, which varies from state to state, employer to employer, and position to position. However, Payscale.com states that the average public administration degree salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree is $64,848. According to U.S. News, a degree in public service salary for a public relations specialist is $60,000. However, the top 25 percent of earners for this public administration degree salary was over $80,000.
A public administration degree salary for a foreign service officer is $88,994 per year. In addition, the public administration degree salary for this position could be over $100,000 annually, especially over time. Another public administration degree salary a person should look at is how much an education administrator makes. In fact, an education administrator can make $70,662 or possible more.
A public policy degree salary is generally similar to the average salary of a public administration degree holder. For instance, the average public policy degree salary is between $40,000 and $60,000 per year.
These are just a few examples of a public administration bachelor degree salary. Some public administration degree jobs salaries are higher while some are slightly lower. A person could also amplify their public administration degree jobs salaries by earning a masters degree, which allows a person to take on more complex roles and a wider variety of roles.
Will a Certification Help My Career?
Besides a degree, a person can also earn certification in public administration. The certification in public administration allows a person to specialize. He or she can take on more positions. With a public administration certificate, a person has the potential to earn more money and is more prepared for a job in the field.
Fortunately, a person can earn public administration certification online, so he or she can still work in the field while improving his or her job outcome. The public administration certification online is also much shorter than completing an entire degree program, which can help someone who wants to better his or her credentials without taking on a master’s degree program.
Is a Public Administration Degree Worth It?
A person may wonder is a degree in public administration worth it. If the salary seems appealing, a person may answer yes to is a degree in public administration worth it. Additionally, a person may also answer yes to is a public administration degree worth it when he or she realizes that there are a number of job opportunities. A person can take on roles with the local government. A person even can take on a position with the federal government.
A person should also consider the opportunities available outside of government positions when answering is a public administration degree worth it. For instance, when a person answers is a public administration degree worth it, he or she should understand that government jobs aren’t the only ones available. A person can also take on a role with a nonprofit organization. There are even opportunities in education for those who possess this degree.
An individual may also want to consider the fact that a person can earn a public administration degree completely online. Therefore, he or she can earn this degree in his or her free time, even if he or she already has a full-time job, children, or other obligations.
Fortunately, with a public administration degree, and any degree at that matter, a person has the ability to find state and federal funding to help with the cost of education. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement for this program. Therefore, a person may have relatively little expense with this degree and will still reap the rewards that the degree has to offer, such as job opportunities and a lucrative salary.