California Government Policy Management Campus Programs

Our government, whether local, state, federal, or international, is incredibly complex. Countless people must work together for communities to run smoothly and to address dynamic social, economic, and political issues and concerns. Governments and other organizations, such as nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, social enterprises, and businesses, depend on professionals with knowledge and skills in public service and affairs to navigate government’s immense complexity and to cultivate success. Keep reading for more information on Government Graduate Programs on campus.

Many professionals may develop their capacities to work in government through on-campus government, public administration, and public policy graduate programs. Through interdisciplinary studies in areas such as sociology, history, political science, philosophy, and others, students may learn how to act as public servants, provide effective governance, administer programs and services, navigate public policy, conduct research in the field, and otherwise promote governmental success.  

What Degrees in Public Policy, Public Administration, and Government, Might I Pursue on Campus?

You may be able to pursue graduate certificates, master’s degrees, and doctorate degrees in public policy, public administration, and government on campus. On-campus programs, no matter their level, typically offer courses on specific days and times, give students access to on-campus resources such as libraries and study groups, and enable students to learn through in-person interaction. Many students appreciate the structure, accessibility, and social nature of on-campus programs.

Here’s a bit more about each type of Government Graduate Programs on Campus:

On-Campus Government, Public Administration, and Public Policy Master’s Programs

There are four common master’s degrees in public policy, public administration, and government: the Master of Science (M.S.), the Master of Arts (M.A.), the Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.), and the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.). These Government Graduate Programs on Campus degrees commonly emphasize public administration, public policy, public affairs, or a more specific area of government such as diplomacy, homeland security, political science, governmental management, governmental leadership, or others.

Students typically complete M.S., M.A., M.P.P., and M.P.A. programs through two years of fulltime study. In on-campus programs, students might have options to take evening courses, weekend courses, or to attend part-time. Students typically complete core and elective coursework, the latter of which may help them concentrate or specialize their knowledge in a particular area.

To receive their master’s degree in public policy, public administration, or government, students might have to take a comprehensive exam, do an internship, write a thesis, or complete another type of capstone project. Check with your preferred programs for more specific information.

On-Campus Government, Public Administration, and Public Policy Doctoral Programs

There are two common types of government, public administration, and public policy doctoral programs: the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in public policy, public administration, or another area of government (such as health policy, political economy, or justice administration) and the Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.A.).

Students typically pursue a D.P.A. or a Ph.D. in public administration, public policy, or another area of government through four to six years of fulltime study. In some on-campus programs, students might be able to pursue their doctoral degrees on evenings, weekends, or through part-time study. Many doctorate programs comprise core and elective courses and support students in writing and defending a dissertation (an intensive and advisor-directed research project). To conclude their doctorate programs, students might have to defend their dissertations, take comprehensive exams, do an internship, do student teaching, or work as research assistants. Many Ph.D. and D.P.A. programs are research-intensive and emphasize interdisciplinary curricula.  

On-Campus Government, Public Administration, and Public Policy Graduate Certificate Programs

Many graduate certificate programs give students a sense of key theories, principles, and applications in government, public administration, and public policy. They might also help students gain knowledge in a specific area of government such as public affairs, diplomacy, or political economy.

Students typically pursue graduate certificates over the course of six months to one year by completing four to six courses. In on-campus programs, students might attend classes alongside students in master’s and doctorate degree programs. Graduate certificate programs might enhance students’ bachelor’s degrees or help them pursue basic knowledge in an area of personal or professional interest.

What Might I Study in an on-Campus Government, Public Administration, or Public Policy Graduate Program?

In graduate certificate programs, you’ll commonly study core theories, concepts, and applications in public administration, public policy, government, or areas of government such as homeland security, justice administration, or political economy. Some subjects you might study include public administration or policy, strategic management, governmental leadership, intergovernmental relations, international affairs, and others.  

In on-campus M.A., M.S., M.P.A, and M.P.P. graduate programs, you might study subjects such as economics, ethics, management, leadership, negotiations, politics, public policy, public administration, governance, political theory, and quantitative and qualitative research methodologies as part of your core curriculum. You might also study more specific topics within those areas such as:

  • Financial management
  • Program evaluation
  • Community planning
  • Decision analysis, modeling, and quantitative methods
  • Homeland security
  • Diplomacy
  • Politics
  • Elections

Many core curricula of master’s degree programs in government, public policy, and public administration are designed to help students develop a broad perspective of government overall or an area of government (depending on the program).   

Many on-campus M.A., M.S., M.P.P., or M.P.A. degree programs also allow you to pursue a concentration or specialization through your elective coursework. Some areas in which you might specialize or concentrate your knowledge include business and governmental policy, politics, democracy, institutions, international affairs, political economy, social policy, urban policy, local government, nonprofit management, health, and public finance.

In some on-campus programs, students might be able to pursue a dual degree and combine their public policy, public administration, or government degree with one in an area such as social work, nonprofit management, law, or management.

In on-campus D.P.A. and Ph.D. programs in public policy, public administration, and government, you might study many of the same subjects as you would in a master’s degree program, but perhaps in greater breadth and depth. You’ll also likely study subjects such as macro- or micro-economics and delve deeply into specific areas of public administration, public policy, and government. You may also take more advanced courses in research methodologies and technique for evaluation and analysis.  

You might concentrate or specialize your knowledge in a doctorate program in areas such as healthcare administration, program administration, administration of justice, or an area of public policy such as social, globalization, health, or environmental policy. 

What’s My Next Step for Pursuing Public Policy, Public Administration, or Government Graduate Programs on Campus?

You can begin your journey into graduate education here! Below you’ll find a list of on-campus graduate certificate, master’s degree, and doctorate degree programs in public policy, public administration, and government. You can also use our search tool to your left to find anything from graduate certificates in government to Ph.D. programs in public policy. Simply refine your Government Graduate Programs on campus search to browse by program level (certificate, master’s, or doctorate) or location (city, state, and country). Good luck! 

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