Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Administration

An online public administration degree provides the required knowledge for students who desire roles in the public sector as administrators. Students in accredited public policy degree online programs take the same curriculum as traditional students with the added benefits of lower cost and schedule flexibility.

Related work experience is important for any managerial or leadership role, and public administration is no different. Employers look for prospective employees who possess the skills and background to positively impact a team. Through your public administration degree, you’ll gain strong analytical and communication skills, acuity, and a leader’s confidence to tackle a variety of public policy jobs. The number of positions in the field is projected to increase by 8% over a 10-year span. You may find yourself forming and managing a nonprofit organization, launching a social program, or helping to implement new policy. You’ll be qualified to lead as a charity officer, a social researcher, or in civil service or educational role.

A public administration degree online program will also prepare you for an advanced degree. By studying online, you’re provided a cheap, accommodating option that saves you time and money. Through an accelerated program, an online public administration bachelor’s degree can be earned in less than four years.


20 Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Public Administration
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1

Florida International University

Value Score 7.30
Average Tuition $4,721
Net Price $9,785
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 50%
Enrollment Rate 39%
Retention Rate 39%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 53%
Number of Online Programs 13

Florida International University offers an affordable public administration degree online for students who want to work for the government or nonprofit organizations. Distance learners can earn a bachelor’s in public administration (BPA) through FIU’s school of international and public affairs, where classes are taught asynchronously. Students also have access to interactive technology, allowing them to interact with their professors and collaborate with their classmates in real-time.

A fully-online degree program, FIU’s BPA requires 120 credits, 60 of which must be public administration credits. Coursework includes studies in managing global cities through urban governance principles, budgeting for the public sector, and an integrative seminar that includes analysis of either public policy or a public management challenge. Applicants must have either an associate in arts degree or 60 semester hours of college credit at an accredited institution. Those who hold an associate in science degree must complete FIU’s core curriculum requirements before earning their BPA. Students must also demonstrate second-semester college competency in either a foreign language or American Sign Language. Upon acceptance to FIU, students are paired with a success coach who helps guide them throughout their academic career.


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2

Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies

Value Score 6.17
Average Tuition $5,040
Net Price $19,228
Graduation Rate 40%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 45%
Enrollment Rate 67%
Retention Rate 67%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 39%
Number of Online Programs 23

Located in Fayette, Missouri, Central Methodist University's College of Graduate and Extended Studies offers a bachelor’s of arts in public administration through its college of graduate and extended studies. This program is designed for students who are committed to performing public service at the national, state, and/or local levels. Coursework in finance, government, and economics teaches students to understand and shape policy.

Students who earn this affordable public administration degree online must complete a minimum of 124 credit hours. In addition to classroom studies, learners engage in hands-on projects, field experiences, and internships where they practically apply their coursework to real-world challenges. Applicants are required to submit a high school transcript and either SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must have earned either 60 or more credit hours from an accredited institution or have an associate degree with a 2.0 GPA in transferable classes.


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3

Regis University

Value Score 5.78
Average Tuition $33,110
Net Price $20,275
Graduation Rate 73%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 66%
Enrollment Rate 15%
Retention Rate 15%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48%
Number of Online Programs 23

The bachelor’s of science in public administration at Regis University is an online degree program that prepares students to enter public service. Learners develop an understanding of public finance, ethics, and community influences on government while also strengthening their analytical skills to determine how public policies will impact people’s lives.

This degree is a specialization within the university’s business program. Learners must complete 128 credit hours to graduate, including a senior capstone project. Upon completing their studies, students are ready to work in the fields of city and county management, lobbying, human resources, policy analysis, and grant writing. Admission into the program requires a high school diploma and either transferable credit from an accredited college or equivalent work experience. Students who do not meet these requirements may send a letter to the assistant dean to request an exception.


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4

St Petersburg College

Value Score 5.74
Average Tuition $2,428
Net Price $9,416
Graduation Rate 31%
Student to Faculty Ratio 22:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 52%
Number of Online Programs 10

St. Petersburg College offers a public policy degree online that prepares students to assume leadership roles in public safety organizations. SPC’s bachelor’s degree in public safety administration is designed for students who already possess a relevant associate degree or certificate and want to pursue an affordable online public administration bachelor’s degree.

Offered in a series of eight-week sessions, this accelerated program allows students to earn their degrees quickly. Additionally, academic credit can be rewarded based on previous experiences or training. Students can choose to specialize in one of several specialties, including fire science, criminal justice, emergency management, and homeland security. Coursework teaches students to manage budgets, develop and assess programs, and improve human resources and productivity. Program acceptance requires 60 credits from a regionally-accredited institution with previous coursework in general education, composition, math, and public safety.


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5

Troy University

Value Score 5.74
Average Tuition $6,888
Net Price $11,430
Graduation Rate 34%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 92%
Enrollment Rate 41%
Retention Rate 41%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 50%
Number of Online Programs 14

Troy University offers a public administration degree online through its college of arts and sciences. The university’s bachelor’s in political science - American politics and public administration program teaches students critical thinking skills and a deep understanding of citizens’ rights and duties. Graduates are prepared to work in fields related to public service, teaching, government, and international relations.

Learners choose to concentrate in either American or international studies, each of which require 36 credit hours in classes that examine political theory, world politics, and political theory. Students pursuing specialized coursework in American politics and public administration also enroll in classes that explore the branches of the U.S. government and the American political process. Alternatively, students in the international politics track focus on international conflict, the international political economy, and international law. First-time college students can be admitted unconditionally if they earned a 2.0 GPA in high school and received an ACT score of at least 20 or an SAT score of at least 1030. Transfer admission requires that students have at least 24 semester hours of non-developmental college credit.


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6

Northern Arizona University

Value Score 5.72
Average Tuition $9,462
Net Price $11,930
Graduation Rate 52%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 77%
Enrollment Rate 22%
Retention Rate 22%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 41%
Number of Online Programs 24

The bachelor’s in public administration at Northern Arizona University emphasizes experiential learning by linking theory to specific problems and case studies. This cheap, online public administration degree can be completed fully online or through a hybrid program comprised of online and face-to-face classes.

Learners must earn 120 units to satisfy graduation requirements. Classes cover topics like organizational theory and application, public policy formulation and strategies, and managing change in 21st century organizations. These courses strengthen students’ critical thinking and analytical abilities to prepare them for leadership roles in public and nonprofit sectors. Those who possess an associate degree may transfer 64 units toward this degree program; NAU will also accept up to 75 transfer units from an Arizona community college. Graduates from this program are prepared work in human resources, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.


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7

Park University

Value Score 5.58
Average Tuition $11,070
Net Price $14,473
Graduation Rate 29%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 40%
Enrollment Rate 28%
Retention Rate 28%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 71%
Number of Online Programs 20

Park University offers a bachelor’s of public administration through its school of public affairs. Learners can select an interdisciplinary area of emphasis, such as criminal justice or homeland security, while completing coursework in topics like budget and finance, administrative law, and American national government.

Students pursuing this 45-credit online public administration degree can also earn a certificate in terrorism and homeland security from the school’s department of criminal justice. This certificate teaches students to effectively identify and solve problems related to terrorist threats and national security. Although Park offers this public policy degree online, students can also opt to take blended courses, where 20-40% of the traditional face-to-face classroom time is replaced by online coursework. Admission into this program requires a high school diploma (or equivalent) with a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Senior undergraduates with a 3.6 GPA can also enroll in up to nine credit hours of graduate classes, which can count toward both undergraduate- and graduate-level requirements if they plan on earning an advanced degree.


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8

University of Maine at Augusta

Value Score 5.54
Average Tuition $6,510
Net Price $9,071
Graduation Rate 12%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 69%
Number of Online Programs 11

The bachelor’s of science in public administration offered by the University of Maine at Augusta prepares students to work as town managers, sheriffs, and commissioners. This degree program can be completed entirely online. Distance coursework is accessible through the Blackboard learning management system.

Students with an associate degree in a health care discipline, criminal justice, justice studies, paralegal studies, fire science, computer technology, or social services can transfer their degrees into this four-year program; these associate degrees transfer as a block, rather than course by course. Students who transfer an associate degree must complete just 60 additional credit hours of coursework to earn their bachelor’s in public administration. Alternatively, distance learners without an associate degree complete 121 credit hours, which is equivalent to four years of full-time study.


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9

California Baptist University

Value Score 5.49
Average Tuition $28,574
Net Price $25,711
Graduation Rate 60%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 65%
Enrollment Rate 40%
Retention Rate 40%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 46%
Number of Online Programs 18

California Baptist University offers a bachelor’s of arts in public administration that teaches students critical thinking and problem solving skills so that they can address the complex and diverse needs of society. This online public administration bachelor’s degree emphasizes real-world experiences to prepare students to work in a variety of public sector careers. Moreover, the curriculum at CBU is delivered through the lens of Christian ethics and beliefs.

This degree program requires the completion of 48 major units and usually takes about 16 months to finish. Classes explore topics such as the political economy, public personnel managements, and career and professional development. Students are also required to take courses that cover the Bible and Christian thought. Admission to this program requires either 24 transferable college credits or a high school diploma with a GPA of 2.0 or higher.


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10

Indian River State College

Value Score 5.41
Average Tuition $2,496
Net Price $1,614
Graduation Rate 36%
Student to Faculty Ratio 26:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 33%
Number of Online Programs 7

The bachelor’s of science in public administration at Indian River State College teaches students how to effectively manage people and projects on the local, state, and national level by covering topics such as public finance, ethics, conflict resolution, and organizational administration. Learners in this online public administration degree program can concentrate in either emergency planning and management or public policy and leadership.

Students in the emergency services track complement their studies by taking classes in public sector labor relations and administrative law, while those who concentrate on public policy and leadership enroll in classes that explore policy development and urban planning. Both concentrations require learners to participate in a capstone project. In addition, students must complete common prerequisite courses in computing, economics, and American government prior to graduation.


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11

University of Maryland-University College

Value Score 5.32
Average Tuition $6,696
Net Price $12,299
Graduation Rate 8%
Student to Faculty Ratio 22:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 97%
Number of Online Programs 28

The bachelor’s of science in public safety administration at the University of Maryland prepares students to manage emergencies, including the complexities that arise when homeland security is threatened. Graduates from this program are prepared to join first responder organizations involved in corporate security, emergency management, fire service administration, and homeland security.

Distance learners pursuing this public administration degree online are provided with a global outlook on current public safety issues. Students learn about risk management, ethics, decision making, and strategic planning by taking a total of 60 major-related credits. Students also complete additional classwork in the humanities, communications, math, and computing. This program is best-suited for individuals who have already worked in the field of public safety and want to further their skills and careers.


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12

University of La Verne

Value Score 5.30
Average Tuition $37,100
Net Price $12,375
Graduation Rate 64%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 47%
Enrollment Rate 19%
Retention Rate 19%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 17%
Number of Online Programs 3

The University of La Verne, located about 35 miles east of Los Angeles, offers a public administration degree that can be completed online. This academic and professional degree program offers basic coursework related to the theory, applications, and practice of public sector management. Students pursuing this public administration degree online must complete 40 semester hours, 28 of which are core requirements in subjects like statistics, business ethics, and administrative processes. The remaining credits are electives, which cover a variety of topics such as political parties and interest groups, American democracy, and Constitutional law. Distance learners must also enroll in a senior seminar course, where they complete a project under the guidance of a faculty member as a culminating activity. Online coursework is accessible through the Blackboard learning management system.


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13

Franklin University

Value Score 5.27
Average Tuition $11,616
Net Price $24,279
Graduation Rate 5%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 84%
Number of Online Programs 28

Ohio’s Franklin University offers a bachelor’s of science in public administration. Students pursuing this public policy degree online are prepared for public policy and administration jobs in nonprofit and government agencies. Degree seekers learn about program management, fiscal responsibility, and political advocacy. This degree requires the completion of 124 semester hours, including a capstone course where students analyze an administrative challenge within a government or a nonprofit setting. Students can further customize their education by completing a related minor, such as criminal justice administration and health care management.

Online coursework is accessible through Franklin’s BlueQuill learning management system. Distance learners can also join relevant professional organizations and associations, such as the American Society of Public Administration. Popular careers following graduation include working as budget analysts, community relations specialists, and volunteer coordinators.


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14

University of Hawaii-West Oahu

Value Score 5.23
Average Tuition $6,912
Net Price $6,184
Graduation Rate 29%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Admissions Rate 70%
Enrollment Rate 40%
Retention Rate 40%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 68%
Number of Online Programs 3

The University of Hawaii affords online learners the flexibility and convenience of completing a public administration degree online and at their own pace. Its bachelor’s of arts in public administration is a transfer program best-suited for students who have completed two years of college studies from a school in the University of Hawaii community college system. Graduates of this program are prepared to enter supervisory and management roles.

Students may select one of four concentrations. The justice administration concentration includes classes in criminal law and correctional administration, while those who opt to concentrate in general public administration learn about administrative law and public communication campaigns. The concentration in health care administration requires classes in managed care and health analysis, and the emergency management concentration examines the social aspects of disaster and hazard mitigation.


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15

Columbia College

Value Score 5.17
Average Tuition $8,240
Net Price $12,231
Graduation Rate 46%
Student to Faculty Ratio 32:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 67%
Number of Online Programs 23

Columbia College’s bachelor’s of arts in in public administration prepares students for careers in political science in the fields of economics, management, human services, and sociology. Students pursuing this public administration degree online cover an array of topics and engage in experiential learning that provides hands-on experiences. Graduates can pursue positions on the federal, state, and local levels and are suited to work as urban planners, hospital administrators, and nonprofit fundraisers.

Offered through Columbia’s history, philosophy, and political science department, this degree consists of 38-41 semester hours in general education classes, six semester hours in foreign language coursework, and 51 semester hours in the public administration core. Core topics include macroeconomics, public decision making, and ethics in public administration. In addition, students must complete a culminating experience course. Distance learners are encouraged to declare a minor in a related field, such as criminal justice administration or business.


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16

Upper Iowa University

Value Score 4.95
Average Tuition $27,323
Net Price $21,682
Graduation Rate 41%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 66%
Enrollment Rate 23%
Retention Rate 23%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 76%
Number of Online Programs 11

The center for distance education at Upper Iowa University offers a bachelor’s of science in public administration. This blended degree plan combines online and face-to-face courses and helps students increase their understanding of public organizations and public programs. Graduates learn to adapt to changing political and social conditions and function as well-informed, politically-sensitive administrators.

Students in this degree program can select a general track or choose from one of several specializations. Students pursuing an emergency management emphasis learn to manage and mitigate the physical and human consequences of natural and human-caused hazards, while enrollees who select the policy and politics concentration focus on the development and implementation of federal public policy. UIU also offers concentrations in fire science and law enforcement. Online coursework at UIU is accessible through the D2L learning management system.


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17

Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies

Value Score 4.88
Average Tuition $9,500
Net Price $13,177
Graduation Rate 40%
Student to Faculty Ratio 28:1
Admissions Rate 76%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 56%
Number of Online Programs 8

Northwest University is a Christian liberal arts college located just outside of Seattle. Its bachelor’s of arts in public safety administration program integrates business skills into a curriculum that focuses on preparing students to assume public policy jobs in law enforcement, fire, corrections, and security. Every course offered at NU has a unique component that helps students understand how the subject relates to the Christian faith.

The coursework in this 120-credit program emphasizes a problem-identification approach to teach students how to develop strategies that produce long-term solutions. Up to 70 credits can be earned based on prior military, college, and police training and experiences. Admission requires an official high school and/or college transcript with a minimum 2.3 GPA; students with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.3 can still apply, but they may be admitted on academic probation.


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18

Point Park University

Value Score 4.71
Average Tuition $27,000
Net Price $18,437
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 71%
Enrollment Rate 21%
Retention Rate 21%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 26%
Number of Online Programs 7

Located in downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park University offers a bachelor’s of science in public administration that prepares students to assume key positions as public servants. This is a fully-online public administration bachelor’s degree program that is typically completed within two to four years.

Each online course is eight-weeks long, and the curriculum includes classes in public budgeting, policy and decision analysis, and principles of management. Students can follow a general public administration track or concentrate in either emergency management services (EMS) administration or fire service. Students in the EMS track focus on risk reduction and new regulations, while students pursuing a fire service emphasis can pursue National Fire Academy certification. Each track also requires students to complete a capstone project. Distance coursework is accessible through the Blackboard learning management system.


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19

National University

Value Score 4.63
Average Tuition $12,744
Net Price $23,483
Graduation Rate 30%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 29%
Retention Rate 29%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 69%
Number of Online Programs 36

San Diego’s National University offers an online public administration bachelor’s degree, which prepares students to work at the federal, state, and local levels within a myriad of sectors, including nonprofit organizations and the government. Students must complete at least 180 quarter credits to graduate, 70.5 of which are general education requirements. Major-related coursework includes classes in government relations, urban environments, and adaptive leadership in change. Students must also complete a two-month long senior research project.

Enrollees are encouraged to supplement their education by completing a minor in a variety of related topics, including law, accounting, and finance. Additionally, the school offers a BPA/MPA transition program, which allows qualified students to transition into the master’s of public administration program by enrolling in two master-level courses as electives during their undergraduate study. Online classes at NU are accessible through the Blackboard learning management system.


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20

Roger Williams University

Value Score 4.31
Average Tuition $29,976
Net Price $28,376
Graduation Rate 64%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 78%
Enrollment Rate 14%
Retention Rate 14%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 13%
Number of Online Programs 7

Roger Williams University, based in Bristol, Rhode Island, offers an online bachelor’s of science in public administration for students who are interested in pursuing public policy jobs that require administrative capabilities. This program teaches students about personnel and financial administration, budgeting, and organizational management. Distance learners also take classes that examine law, political institutions, and global awareness.

This program is delivered through the university’s school of continuing studies and emphasizes transparency, civic engagement, and ethics. Learners must earn 120 credits to graduate, including in classes that discuss city management, organizational theory, and American government. Students can also pursue a certificate in municipal management, which is designed for adults working in municipal and local government settings. Admission into the program requires a high school transcript or GED. The university also accepts up to 90 transfer credits towards bachelor’s degree.


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