A Guide to Online Public Ad­min­is­tra­tion Degrees Accredited Online Degree Programs in Public Ad­min­is­tra­tion

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There are several benefits of studying public administration. A degree in public administration is well worth the time and money it takes to successfully graduate. Individuals who pursue online degrees in public administration often do so because they want to be the catalyst for change.

With the leadership and management skills that they earn in these types of degree programs, graduates can help to form public policy and apply it to the administrative processes that are used to govern cities, counties, states, and even portions of the federal government. Public policy is developed to ensure the community is managed effectively and that citizens are able to enjoy the freedoms awarded them by the Constitution.

The difference between public administration and public policy is not as complex as many people believe. Public administration is made up of the individuals who oversee and manage the offices that govern the community. Public policies are the guidelines and regulations that are followed to make sure the community is managed effectively and that everything goes smoothly. Both go hand in hand and work together to ensure that local governments continue to have the best interests of the community at heart. Individuals who work within the public administration are constantly enacting new public policies so that the community can continue to flourish over time.

Most Popular Schools with Online Public Administration Degree Programs

Quick Facts: Administrative Services Managers
2019 Median Pay$96,940 per year
$46.61 per hour
Typical Entry-Level EducationBachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related OccupationLess than 5 years
On-the-job TrainingNone
Number of Jobs, 2019325,900
Job Outlook, 2019-296% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2019-2921,200
Source: 2020 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2019-29 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Most Affordable Online Public Administration Degree Programs

What Can You Do with a Public Administration Degree?

You have several options to choose from if you decide to enroll in a public administration degree program. Not only do you learn leadership skills, you are taught to effectively manage many aspects of city, state, and federal government. This gives you an opportunity to oversee projects, make positive change when it comes to public policy, and the ability to work with other community leaders to improve the quality of living for the members of your community. As a member of your local government or non-profit organization, the leadership qualities you earned with your public administration degree will sufficiently prepare you to take charge and lead others when it comes to keeping the community moving forward.

With a public administration degree, you can work actively with other leaders to create new public policies that make your community a better place to live. This can mean making it more welcoming for new businesses to move into the area or making it easier for entrepreneurs to open new businesses that will bring more money to the community. Individuals who work within the public administration are continually trying to make the community as a whole a better place for both families and businesses to thrive. New businesses bring new residents. New residents buy new homes, thus perpetuating the cycle of success. Individuals in public administration roles can enact public policy that encourages growth on all levels in both the public and private sectors.

Degrees in Public Administration

When it comes to public administration degree programs, starting with the basics that are often found in an Associate’s degree will give you the head start you need to get your foot in the door. Enrolling in an online Associate’s in a public administration degree program will allow you to find a job within your chosen career path. Once you are able to start work, you will be able to gain valuable experience you can use on your resume. As you continue to pursue your education, the experience you gain while working will only further your progress. Over time, the ability to both work and learn at the same time will give you the opportunity to advance through the system at a much faster rate than if you were only able to attend class.

Online Associate’s Degrees

An Associate’s degree in public administration provides the most basic courses required for any type of degree program. The foundation is laid that includes generalized courses such as English, Math, and other classes that will ensure the student has the most basic skills in communication and management. Once those skills are established, the student can then begin to include the most basic courses that involve the skills that will be needed when they are trying to be of service to their community. Students will learn how to communicate, negotiate, work together as a team, and create new public policies for the better of the community at large.

With an Associate’s degree in public administration, students are paving the way for continued advancement. If they choose to enroll in an online degree program, they will enjoy the added convenience of a flexible schedule and being able to study when it is easier for them to learn without disruption. They can find work within their community and begin to use their newfound skills almost immediately. An Associate’s degree is just the first step a student can take to begin to establish their career as a public servant.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees

A Bachelor’s in Public Administration takes the learning process to the next level giving students an opportunity to learn more of the core concepts associated with this line of work. In this degree program, students are taught the basics of what is required to bring about change in the form of public policy and what is needed to keep local governments operating smoothly. Students are taught the importance of being able to communicate effectively and maintain open lines of communication between both the government and the public.

A Bachelor’s in Public Administration provides students with the ability to manage and oversee activities and events that have a direct impact on how a local government operates. The ability to identify potential issues and work with other community leaders to bring about positive and long-lasting changes are essential duties that are performed by individuals who are involved with the community at an administrative level. With a Bachelor’s degree, students are expected to be able to handle these situations and reach a positive and productive outcome. Being able to work in an administrative capacity within local or state levels allows for continued opportunities for advancement for those who are able to continually achieve the goals they have set for themselves and their community.

Online Master’s Degrees

Earning a Master’s in Public Administration means that a student has mastered the concepts, theories, and principles associated with the administrative side of public affairs. They are able to effectively manage, supervise, communicate, and build a positive rapport between local government and the citizens it oversees. The graduate is able to work with others to create positive change within the community through the implementation of new public policies and government programs. Graduates are also able to identify areas of improvement where new changes can be made over time.

A graduate who has earned a Master’s degree in public administration can work in either the public or private sector. Graduates who work with large corporations can work with community leaders to create positive change when it comes to bringing new business to a community or creating new jobs and employment opportunities. Bringing new business to the community is only the start. It improves the economic climate, encourages people to move to the area, and creates prosperity on many different levels. Economic growth is just one benefit of this type of interaction. Graduates will play an integral role in reshaping the future of the community as it continues to grow.

Online Doctoral Degrees

With a Doctoral degree in public administration, graduates can follow one of two main paths. They can use the experience they have gained by working in an administrative capacity and the education they have received and become an educator. By returning to the classroom as a teacher, they are able to shape future administrative graduates into productive and motivated advocates for change when it comes to public policy and the future of their communities. Some may choose to teach in a classroom setting while others may be more comfortable working with students through an online learning portal.

The other path available to graduates who earn a doctoral degree in public administration is to become a leader in their community. They can take the knowledge they have gained and put it to good use by running for public office, becoming an advisor, or working as a consultant for large corporations or other businesses who are wanting to become established in their area. As a community leader, having this type of degree makes it possible for the graduate to work towards the best interest of both their community and the individuals who manage its resources. They are able to provide sound advice on matters that require critical thinking and effective communication.

Accreditation for Public Administration

Accreditation is a process in which universities and colleges earn the acknowledgement that the public administration degree programs they offer are considered to be above reproach when it coes to accuracy and content. In order for a degree program to be accredited, it must pass a strict review to determine the accuracy of the information it contains as well as the value of its content. A course must offer valuable insight into every aspect of what public administration is, its impact on the community, and its level of effectiveness when it comes to teaching the necessary skills that graduates will need once they have earned their degree.

The accreditation process is not a one-time deal. Universities and degree programs are under constant scrutiny to ensure that the course materials being taught are current and evergreen. The review process for accreditation is ongoing to ensure that students are always gaining the most valuable and up to date information possible. Accreditation is a valuable tool that gives students the reassurance they need that they are choosing the best degree program possible.


Degree programs for public administration students are designed so that they have all of the required skills to work in an administrative role within their community. This includes giving them the information and skills that may be needed to obtain certain certifications and licenses that may be required if they are expected to perform certain duties. Students who enroll in a public administration degree program can take courses in a traditional classroom setting or online, whichever is more convenient for them. Getting used to an online format may make it easier to take certain certification and licensing tests since many of them are now offered in an online format.

Before a student graduates, they should be finding out what licenses and certifications they will be needing to enter the workforce. Having these credentials in place will make the application process go much smoother and will allow you to pursue the jobs you want without having to wait. It is also important to remember that if a graduate has already been working in their chosen career field, they may already have many of the skills they need. Making an appointment to take a certification or licensing test immediately after graduation ensures that the information is still fresh in their minds.


Scholarships for students who are earning a public administration degree are available. Students can also look for grant programs that may be available to them as well. Scholarships and grants are an ideal way to cut the cost of earning your degree. They do not have to be paid back like student or personal loans and will not be charged interest. They are considered financial gifts that are free to the students as long as they are used for educational purposes. Scholarships can be found in varying amounts depending on who is offering the gift and what type of degree program is being considered.

Scholarship programs normally only offer one-time gifts. Students may apply for the scholarship each year, but they may only receive it once. This is why it is so important for students to apply for several scholarships or grants each year. There are grant programs available that offer multiple year gifts. This works out well for students who are pursuing post-graduate degree programs and may be in school longer than the traditional two to four years. Students are encouraged to use these resources as much as possible so they do not have an excessive amount of debt once they graduate.


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Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?