An accredited online public administration degree can be very useful for students interested in working for the government, at a nonprofit, or with community organizations. Even those who are interested in entering the private sector can benefit from such a degree; because of the program's interdisciplinary focus, graduates are poised to excel at any job that requires knowledge of finance, management, human resources, marketing, or organizational behavior.
Whether you're just now considering going to college or have worked in the industry for years and would like to return to school, a degree in Public Administration from an accredited online college might be the way to go. To help you get started, we've used the U.S Department of Education's College Navigator database to compile a list of the 9 most affordable accredited online colleges that offer degrees in this area. There are dozens of online public administration degree programs out there, but not all of them are accredited – and certainly not all of them are affordable! The budget-conscious especially will enjoy this list, which is arranged from the most expensive to the least expensive school. For the purposes of this ranking, all public schools were assigned an approximate cost based on the average of their in-state and out-of-state tuition rates. You will be happy to know that all of these online colleges are also fully accredited and high quality, making them truly a "best value" in distance education.
Cheap Online Public Administration Degree Program Ranking
9. Walden University
B.S. in Political Science and Public Administration Online
Walden University's degree in Political Science and Public Administration is perfect for students who aspire to careers in government, nonprofit work, or community organizations. The online public administration undergraduate degree is available entirely through the online college system and includes interactive media to make learning engaging. Students have plenty of opportunities to customize the degree to their interests, and can choose from five concentrations: Social Entrepreneurship, Law and Legal Studies, Global Issues and Social Justice, Public Service through Civic Engagement, or Managing in the Public Environment. Those who are more interested in exploring a range of subjects can opt for the General Concentration. TopTenReviews gives Walden a 10/10 for the quality of its programs, and an 8.6/10 for its superior credentials.
8. Ottawa University
Online Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration
Ottawa University if another top online college that stands out for the number of concentrations in offers. At this school, students attending the college online who are majoring in Public Administration can choose from eight different specialties: Finance, Human Resources, Management, Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise Management, Healthcare Management, Leadership and Management, or Marketing. The school is currently under consideration for full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and offers a generous transfer policy to reward previous learning. U.S. News considers this accredited online college a top school for veterans and one of the best institutions in the Midwest.
7. Franklin University
Online Public Administration Degree Program
Franklin University's B.A. in Public Administration puts other top online colleges to shame when it comes to flexibility and personalization. This school offers learners an incredible 30 different areas of specialization, including Criminal Justice Administration, Management and Leadership, Healthcare Management, Public Safety Management, and Emergency Management and Homeland Security. This flexibility gives graduates the opportunity to find work in a diverse array of positions, from budget analysts to volunteer coordinators. All online public administration bachelor's degree courses are available completely online in a 6, 12, or 15-week format. The online college is particularly attractive to members of the military, as it has been named a "Military Friendly School" by Military Advanced Education Magazine for several years.
6. Kentucky State University
Online Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA)
Kentucky State University is a well-known public institution with a successful track record of providing a superior online education. One degree offered through the accredited online college is the BPA in Public Administration, which prepares graduates for work at all levels of government as well as non-profits. The convenient online curriculum only requires one internship, and only for students who aren't already employed full-time. Students can also transfer credits liberally from other institutions and may take courses on-campus in the evening if they desire. The school is currently #38 on U.S. News' list of top historically black colleges and universities.
Tuition: $6,276/yr (In-state) $15,072/yr (Out-of-state)
5. Park University
Bachelor of Public Administration Online
Park University's Hauptmann School of Public Affairs offers a B.P.A. in Public Administration that is ideal for students who are already working in the field. Even full-time working adults can easily earn their B.P.A. through the online college's flexible, self-paced program. Not only are all the courses available via the web, but those living near one of Park's campus locations can also attend classes in person. Yet another school that provides a list of specialities with the major, students at Park can chose to focus on Business Relations, Criminal Justice, Public Service, Fire Service Management, or Homeland Security. Students also have the unique opportunity to earn a supplementary certificate in Military History or Terrorism. Guide to Online Schools ranked Park 10th on its list of best online colleges, and Military Times ranked it 3rd for top online colleges for veterans in the same year.
4. University of Phoenix
Online Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Public Sector
The University of Phoenix is one of the largest postsecondary institutions in the nation, with more than 100,000 students attending the college online. With a myriad of degree programs to choose from, graduates of the university can pursue nearly any career they want. One such online college degree program is the B.S. in Business with a Concentration in Public Sector. This cheap online public administration degree mirrors traditional public administration curricula very closely and includes instruction in finance, public policy, program development, leadership, business law, organizational behavior, and more. All School of Business faculty hold at least a master's degree, and on average have 20+ years of experience as CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and in other corporate executive positions.
3. University of North Carolina Pembroke
Public & Non-Profit Administration (General) Bachelor's Degree Online
The University of North Carolina Pembroke offers a B.I.S. in Public and Nonprofit Administration though the innovative UNC Online system, which brings together the resources of a number of public institutions in the state. The online college delivers courses entirely via the internet, but students must have at least a 2.0 GPA average in order to take advantage of the school's program. Students must also have approximately two years of academic credits already completed (the equivalent of an associate's degree) before applying to complete their studies at UNC Pembroke. Students can choose to pursue a General or Financial Administration emphasis track and learn through an engaging combination of taped lectures, live classes, and 24/7 support resources. Pembroke fairs favorably compared to other top online colleges, and U.S. News currently recognizes as the 42nd best public school in the nation.
Tuition: $5,144/yr (In-state) $14,351/yr (Out-of-state)
2. Columbia College
Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration Degree Online
Columbia College is a flexible online college that offers an appealing alternative to traditional education for busy adult learners. The B.A. in Public Administration at CC caters to the needs of working professionals who can't attend classroom sessions, and even lets students substitute different courses for those that are only available on campus. Faculty provide superior instruction not just in political science and public administration, but also in management, psychology, and other interdisciplinary fields. Online public administration degree students augment lecture courses with internships that prepare them well for future work in both the public and private sectors. College Prowler gives this accredited online college a high "A" for its use of technology, and the school even offers some free/discounted software to students.
1. Thomas Edison State College
BSBA in Public Administration Online
TESC's B.S. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Public Administration, like all the online college's degree programs, is designed exclusively for adults. Although anyone interested in public administration may apply, the degree is most suitable for applicants already employed in a related industry. Attendees take such classes as Macroeconomics, Business Law, Statistics, Diversity/Global Literacy, Principles of Finance, Introduction to Marketing, and much more. Those with previous academic credits can often test out of online public administration degree classes through "Prior Learning Assessments." In 1994 The New York Times praised this affordable online college as "one of the brighter stars of higher learning," and gave it accolades as the "college that paved the way for adults."
Tuition: $5,700/yr (In-state) $8,395/yr (Out-of-state)
Resource: Public Administration Scholarships
For programs similar to these affordable online public administration degree programs, see Top 15 Cheap Online Management and Leadership Degree Programs (Bachelor's) and Top 10 Cheap Online Political Science Degree Programs (Bachelor's) 2019.
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.