Are you someone who is looking to pursue a career wherein you can serve the community and help it grow in the direction of positive change and the common good? Then a degree in Public Administration is just the thing for you.
Many top-tier universities in the US have designed curriculum’s which can easily incorporate experienced professionals working in the field of public, private or non-profit organizations. These courses provide you with leadership and management skills along with critical analysis which is necessary for Public Service.
Public Administration Degree
A Bachelor’s, Master’s or a PhD degree in Public Administration prepares you for administration and leadership roles in government or non-profit organizations. Under these curriculum’s, you can learn to diagnose problems, analyse information, communicate the findings, choose correct policies and investment plans and much more.
Application for a Public Administration Degree in some of the top-most universities in the US can be done as follows:
Step 1: Fill a form with all your details.
Step 2: Submit your Personal Statement.
Step 3: Send the required transcripts for review.
Step 4: Submit your current resume (if you are an experienced professional).
Step 5: Submit a Letter of Recommendation (if applicable)
Step 6: Pay the application fee.
Step 7: Submit your TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores (if applicable).
Step 8: Submit your GRE score.
Which degrees can be pursued in Public Administration?
Any agency which aims towards improving the communities requires people in administration and leadership roles to develop services and policies that meet the need of the public.
Therefore, choosing the right program in Public Administration plays a crucial role in providing distinct opportunities for applicants in different sectors such as public education, health care, infrastructure, public transit and law enforcement. Through this, they can contribute meaningfully to their fields.
There are many programs available for selection, such as:
- B.Sc. in Public Policy
- B.Sc. in Urban Studies and Planning
- Bachelor’s in Public Administration
- BA in Public Administration
- Master of Leadership (ML)
- Master of Non-Profit Leadership and Management (MNLM)
- Master of Public Administration
- PhD in Public Policy and Management
- PhD in Public Administration
The Pro’s of a Public Administration Degree
Graduates and Postgraduates in Public Administration can pursue a career in many fast-growing sectors at the Federal, municipal as well as provincial levels.
This program helps you develop numerous skills which can be used throughout one’s career. Here are few examples:
Data Analysis and Handling:
It involves analyzing and studying the information for a better understanding of trends and thus, aid in better financial decisions.
Fundraising is the only source of finance for a non-profit organization. This degree enables you to create such campaigns, manage the cost associated with such events and identify and interact with potential donors.
A Public Administrator is required to coordinate and run projects, look after specific activities or manage a department in an agency. This program helps in inculcating these skill sets into their students.
A key skill required for Public Administration is good communication skills. Good presentation delivery and writing effective research reports can largely be a part of your job description.
Public Administration professionals are often expected to work together with other agencies, organizations to reach common goals. Hence, Public Administration programs prepare students to gain collaboration techniques and skills. This allows them to smoothly work with a diverse range of organizations and aid in improving professional relationships.
A Public Administration professional must work with different groups of people and organizations having different backgrounds, objectives and interests. This, at times, gives rise to conflicts. In these programs, students learn how to point out a problem and figure out the best possible resolution.
Since Public Administration is a complex job, it requires multitasking. Therefore, time management skills are important. It would help the students to pay attention to several important tasks simultaneously and complete them within the required timeframe.
Public Administration program enables students to pay keen attention to finding relevant information in lesser time and building strong databases.
What Is The Eligibility Criteria To Get Admission Into A Public Administration Program?
To get into Master’s Degree in Public Administration depends upon the universities that you choose.
Some basic requirements are as follows:
- Bachelor’s degree.
- All the previous transcripts.
- GPA score of 3.0-4.0 and above. (Approximately 83-86%)
- SOP essay which highlights the intentions of the applicant.
- Verification of financial availability.
- Professional (for working professionals) or academic (for students) Letter of Reference written by your past or current supervisors who know you and your work very well.
- Immigration documents(if any).
- GRE score.
- Good test scores like TOEFL, EILTS etc.
What Is The Average Cost Incurred?
A full-time Master’s degree in Public Administration in the USA can cost somewhere in the range of 11,000-50,000 USD. Extraordinary applicants with financial needs can avail many scholarships which are available depending on the university.
How Does The Faculty Help?
The faculty members and professors work in close association with the students to guide them and encourage them towards acquiring the proper skills and knowledge that the program requires.
They encourage students to take part in research and present papers at academic or professional conferences. They help in getting these scholarly papers published in journals.
Many universities provide options to take up the course online or in person. Some universities might also allow you to switch between specializations according to your professional needs.
Curriculums, especially postgraduate programs, are flexible enough to incorporate customization through which you can take up electives according to your career orientation. Internships, joint degrees and specializations needed for in-demand sectors are largely available.
Which Are The Best Universities In The USA?
Here is are handful list of such top-most colleges and universities in the USA offering programs in Public Administration.
- University of Central Florida
Public, Situated in Orlando, Average Cost – $8,618
- San Diego State University
Public, Situated in San Diego, Average Cost – $14K
- University of San Francisco
Private, Non-profit, Average Cost – $40K
- Baruch College
Public, Situated in New York, Average Cost – $2,264
- George Mason University
Public, Situated in Fairfax, VA, Average Cost – $20K
- Florida International University
Public, Situated in Miami, FL, Average Cost – $5,298
- John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Public, Situated in New York, NY, Average Cost – $2,699
- Syracuse University
Private non-profit, Average Cost – $35K
- Southern New Hampshire University
Private non-profit, Situated in Manchester, NH, Average Cost – $43K
- California State University, Northridge
Public, Situated in Los Angeles, CA, Average Cost – $8,523
- University of Kansas
Public, Situated in Lawrence, KS, Average Cost – $20K
Public, Situated in Indianapolis, IN, Average Cost – $21K
The duration of any program in Public Administration depends upon the degree you wish to pursue. The time duration of a Bachelor’s degree may be four years and a postgraduate degree is generally, shorter.
Some colleges and universities offer fast-track or executive programs which allow working professionals to gain more knowledge and skills in a shorter time duration. Some institutions also offer certificate programs and Diplomas.
What Are The Roles Of A Public Administration Degree Holder?
Having an MPA degree, you can work in different government organizations at the federal, local or state levels. There are many policy areas, elected offices and other public and non-profit organizations where you can get employed.
Conducting market research, grant administration, managing local government offices and policy analysis are some of the key roles.
Are There Any Career Opportunities In The Public Sector?
Public Administration is an interdisciplinary sector. Therefore, people who pursue this degree can apply their skills and knowledge to a broad spectrum as follows:
Administrative Service Manager
Duties: Their responsibilities include the effective running of an organization. Their work involves coordinating multiple activities such as bookkeeping, clerical work and security. These roles are generally present at the municipal level so that the city and town departments can be managed well.
Average Pay: $41.03 / hour
Duties: This role requires budget analysis of an organization or department for the sake of better financial planning. These roles demand reviewing the current budget and recommending improvements.
Average Pay: $68,538 / annum
Duties: They are responsible for soliciting donations by hosting campaigns. This can be done through other organizations under professional relationships or through the common public. The manager must plan such fundraising events, identify prospective donors and secure grants.
Average Pay: $46,770 / annum
Human Resources Manager
Duties: The role of these specialist professionals is to look at the hiring of new employees in an organization and train them appropriately. This largely involves assessing the potential of each candidate.
Average Pay: $27.32 / hour
A Public Administration degree enables its holders in developing important professional knowledge and skills. These help them in addressing a wide range of social issues.These programs help in preparing specialized professionals for the efficient construction of the backbone of the nation’s public sector and the upbringing of all the communities and sectors together.
- Can I complete my MPA program while working full-time?
Yes, many universities and colleges offer executive and fast-track as well as part-time courses which allow the applicants to work simultaneously. A full-time program along with a full-time job might not be encouraged.
- What is Policy Practicum?
The final term of the program requires the students to demonstrate their technical skills by providing effective service for an external client organization. This usually takes place in small groups.
- What is NASPAA Accreditation?
The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) is the organization which provides accreditation to Master’s degree courses in Public Affairs, Public Administration and Public Policy. It ensures excellent education and technical training in the public service sector to encourage young minds to be a part of the public services.
A NASPAA Accredited program ensures that a good curriculum is being taught in the program as it is a well curated program with best practices included. It also aids in the process of subsequent hiring of the degree holders, knowing that the professional has the best skill set, principles and knowledge.