United States On Campus Public Administration Graduate Programs & Schools

Students planning to study public administration at the graduate level may have a few potential options, from online programs to hybrid learning. However, for some students, earning an MPA, doctoral degree, or public administration certificate on campus may be a perfect choice. Below, learn more about public administration degree types you may encounter, plus some potential features of campus-based learning. You’ll also find some Campus Public Administration Graduate Programs listings worth checking out. If you’re hoping to enhance a current career in public administration or prepare to pursue new opportunities in an exciting field, this info may be a great place to start!

What public administration programs might I consider?

If you’re hoping to pursue a graduate degree or certificate, here are a few campus Public Administration Graduate Programs types you may encounter:

Master’s in Public Administration, or an MPA Degree – Political scientists often earn an MPA, which stands for master of public administration. (The average entry level education is a master’s degree.)[i] In fact, about 17% of political scientists, an area that may include job titles like International Affairs Vice President, State-Federal Relations Deputy Director, and Technical Director, said they needed to earn a master’s degree for their current roles.[ii]

So what is an MPA, and what might I learn in this program?

An MPA is a master-level degree that may feature multiple disciplines. MPA programs often include courses in areas like statistics, research, policy formation, and program evaluation.i Here are a few more potential areas an MPA degree program may cover:

  • Leadership ethics
  • Urban planning
  • Organization theory
  • Financial management
  • Economics
  • Public sector organizations
  • Nonprofit administration
  • And more!

Doctor of Public Administration Programs – Earning a

doctoral degree typically calls for several years of study and original research, culminating in a dissertation. [i] About 78% of political scientists said they pursued a doctoral degree for their current rolesii, as did 74% of postsecondary political science teachers.[iii] Of course, not all public administration doctoral programs are the same; here are two types you may encounter:

DPA (Doctor of Public Administration) – Doctor of public administration programs may focus on both the theory and practice of public administration and public service. They may feature courses in public management and public policy, plus research design and methodology, and more!

PhD in Public Administration – A PhD in public administration program may be very research-focused, with the aim of contributing new knowledge to the field. Candidates may study quantitative and qualitative research methods, in addition to core subjects and potential areas of concentration.

Public Administration Certificate – A graduate certificate program is typically a non-degree course of study that may help you enhance your knowledge of a particular area. For example, if you are currently working in the field of public administration or you’re hoping to prepare to pursue a new opportunity, you could potentially earn a certificate in areas like public financial management, human resources, public sector service, healthcare policy, etc.

Why earn a certificate, MPA, or PhD in public administration on campus?

Online learning and hybrid learning may be great, but there could be a few potential reasons why learning on campus could be perfect for you:

Community – Public administration is a field where making a difference in the community may be particularly important! From your immediate campus to surrounding neighborhoods and partner organizations, your college or university may offer many ways to belong. You could potentially live in campus housing, join a service organization, or even pursue a possible internship or campus job. You might even want to attend college sports and cheer on your team!

Social benefits – Hoping to pursue a potential role as a public leader? If so, networking while in a doctoral program or MPA degree program may be good practice for the future, or a way to form lasting relationships with peers who share your interests and concerns. You may meet classmates and professors who inspire you. You might even be able to join campus organizations full of passionate and committed people, just like you.

Resources – College campuses may offer useful academic resources – like libraries, tutoring services, and writing centers. They may also have resources for a healthier you, like fitness facilities and health professionals on staff. And you may also find common areas for hanging out or studying, like campus coffee shops and quiet lounges.

How do I choose Campus Public Administration Graduate Programs?  

That’s a tough question to answer, considering that every student may be looking for something slightly different in Campus Public Administration Graduate Programs. However, there may be a few criteria worth keeping in mind as you evaluate MPA programs, public administration doctoral programs, and public administration certificate programs that interest you!

Academics and concentrations – Does your prospective MPA, doctoral, or certificate program offer the concentrations and courses you’re interested in? Depending on your professional goals, some programs may suit your interests better than others. Read program descriptions carefully, and talk to program representative to learn about what your prospective school has to offer!

Reputation and accreditation[iv] – Does your prospective program have a good reputation when it comes to student outcomes, or the way the school handles students concerns? You may wish to check with the Better Business Bureau or your state higher education agency to learn more. Plus, make sure your school is accredited by an organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Location and campus – Naturally, you’ll have to find a campus that’s within commuting distance of where you live, or else plan to relocate. If you’re willing to relocate for grad school, think about factors like cost of living, availability of housing, and whether you think you’d enjoy living in the area. If possible, take a tour of the campus to get a feel for what it might be like to learn there.

Campus Public Administration Graduate Programs​: Take the next step!

Below, you’ll find some Campus Public Administration Graduate Programs listings that may interest you! Use the left sidebar to sort by degree type, such as masters, doctoral, or certificate. Good luck on the next leg of your journey in the field of public administration!

Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm#tab-4 | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3094.00 | [iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1065.00 | [iv] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider

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