For those with aspirations of a career in case management, human resources, logistics manager, or a financial manager then a public administration degree is just the beginning. A degree in public administration can take you in many different directions and allows you to move up in your career. These online degrees are perfect for individuals who keep a busy schedule but want to complete their degrees on their own time.
We’ve compiled a list of the most affordable universities to attend when earning an online Public Administration Degree. These schools are focused on your success which is proven by the quality of time with professors and their student satisfaction rates. You’ll gain stronger communication skills, understand ethics, and learn research methods. These reputable second-tier institutions will instill confidence in you that will advance your career in a multitude of ways.
All schools considered for these rankings
- Are regionally or nationally accredited
- Offer at least one fully online bachelor’s in public administration degree (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
- Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.
Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in 2020
2021 Most Affordable Online Public Administration Degrees
|Rank||School||Average Net Price|
|#2||Fayetteville State University||$5,858|
|#3||Dalton State College||$6,272|
|#4||Florida International University||$8,311|
|#5||Florida SouthWestern State College||$9,027|
|#6||University of Maine at Augusta||$10,917|
|#7||University of North Carolina at Pembroke||$12,339|
|#8||Albany State University||$13,066|
|#9||College of Coastal Georgia||$13,174|
|#10||SUNY Empire State College||$13,412|
|#11||University of West Alabama||$13,975|
|#12||Peru State College||$14,823|
|#13||Fort Valley State University||$14,940|
|#14||University of Phoenix||$15,123|
|#15||Eastern Oregon University||$15,205|
|#16||Georgia Southern University||$15,795|
|#17||Central Methodist University||$15,975|
|#19||Southern Illinois University – Carbondale||$16,843|
|#22||Mount Vernon Nazarene University||$20,503|
10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Public Administration Degrees
1. Columbia College
Average Net Price: $11,250
School Type: Liberal Arts College
School Accreditation: HCL Accreditation since 1918
Acceptance Rate: 90.2%
Columbia College is located in New York City, New York, but it offers a well-rounded online program for earning your public administration degree. According to ccis.edu, the degree available includes both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, which makes the college a perfect fit for students working toward careers in government, urban planning, city management, hospital administration, international relief agencies, and other high-profile and rewarding positions.
According to ccis.edu, the interdisciplinary curricula include courses in management, psychology, political science, public administration, and other related disciplines. The private school was established in 1794, and the school is currently ranked #3 in the nation according to usnews.com.
The college’s online program is regionally accredited, and your degree will receive favorable attention regardless of the class format. Each part of the college, including its online programs, falls under the HLC accreditation. The online campus complies with the same high standards, and the standards actually have more requirements than the brick-and-mortar educational programs.
2. Fayetteville State University
Average Net Price: $7,556
School Type: State Public University, Historically Black
School Accreditation: Regional Accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, AACSB Accreditation, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
Acceptance Rate: 68.5%
Fayetteville State University, which has its main campus in Fayetteville, North Carolina, offers thorough online degree programs in public administration. According to collegetuitioncompare.com, the courses are available to juniors and seniors who have earned enough credits for junior status from another college program, which includes online programs, community colleges, and regular universities. According to uncfsu.edu, Fayetteville’s online program isn’t automatically available even for regular students of the college who have completed the core curriculum. The coursework for the online program must include 75 percent of the upper-division coursework required for a degree in public administration
The online public administration courses include work in accounting, criminal justice, fire and emergency services administration, English, history, intelligence studies, nursing, political science, sociology, psychology, and interdisciplinary studies. Niche.com rankings place the college at #21 out of 1,674 educational institutions and 187th as the college with the best professors out of 1,596.
The college enjoys a ranking of #89 in the prestigious U.S. News and World Report rankings, but more importantly for those studying business administration, the ranking of its online MBA program is #45 from U.S. News. Only two North Carolina universities rank any higher.
3. Dalton State College
Average Net Price: $11,836
School Type: State Public College
School Accreditation: Accreditation by the SACSCOC
Acceptance Rate: 100%
Dalton State College is a smaller college that offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree program, and according to usnews.com, the college ranking varies for its various programs from #71 to #91. Online students have access to a range of analytic and conceptual tools, and they work as individuals, teams, and units to learn the ins and outs of business administration to qualify for jobs that include General Manager, Business Analyst, Business Manager, Human Resources Manager, Corporate Recruiter, and School Administrators.
According to daltonstate.edu, the institute ranks in the top 28 schools out of 121 colleges ranked in the South. The school also earned a #40 ranking for social mobility, a term that measures social success by the number of Pell Grants that its students receive.
The college also earned the #40 ranking for Social Mobility, which measures the success of students who receive the federal Pell Grant, and is listed on the Best Regional Colleges South ranking. According to collegefactual.com, the school ranks slightly below average in comparisons of the value of a degree vs. the cost of your education.
4. Florida International University
Average Net Price: $10,376
School Type: Public University
School Accreditation: Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission, the SACSCOC
Acceptance Rate: 57.5%
Florida International University, which is located in Miami, was established to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a busy urban environment, but the university offers a respected online degree program for business administration. According to accreditation.fiu.edu, the university is reviewed every 10 years for its accreditation, and the school ranks high in rankings against its competitors.
According to usnews.com, the school ranks #187 among U.S. universities.
According to pa.fiu,edu, Florida International offers an outstanding online educational program as part of its Department of Public Policy. You can earn a bachelor’s degree, MBA, or doctorate in highly specialized fields that include Public Management, Homeland Security and Management, Human Resource Policy and Management, Community Development, and International and Comparative Public Administration.
The core faculty includes multiple Ph.D. holders and those with other advanced degrees. Many have extensive government experience, and some have resumes that include experience administering international organizations. These skilled administrators are perfect for preparing students to meet the real-world challenges of public administration.
5. Florida SouthWestern State College
Average Net Price: $2,753
School Type: Public State University
School Accreditation: Accredited by the SACSCOC
Acceptance Rate: 79%
Florida SouthWestern State College has its main campus at Fort Myers, but its online public administration programs are available anywhere. According to fsw.edu, many other specialty agencies accredit the school like the Commission on Dental Accreditation, the Commission on Allied Health Education Programs, and the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions. That makes the online business administration major an excellent choice for those considering health-related administrative careers.
According to an article posted at fsw.edu, the college offers a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Public Safety Administration. The basic degree prepares students as managers and leaders with scientifically sound backgrounds for administrative purposes. A Florida SouthWestern State College BS degree in public Safety Administration includes courses in law enforcement, legal studies, safety and security, and emergency medical services to prepare you for a career in public safety. Once you’ve earned a degree, you can matriculate into the post-graduate program at the FSU College of Criminology and Criminal Justice where you can pursue a Master of Science degree.
The college is unranked regionally according to usnews.com. However, niche.com awards the institution a grade of “C,” which is based on its academic. However, as the lowest-priced online program on this list, many people are willing to overlook a so-so grade.
6. University of Maine at Augusta
Average Net Price: $9,269
School Type: Public University
School Accreditation: Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education
Acceptance Rate: 97.8%
The University of Maine at Augusta offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration. According to uma.edu, the accreditation applies to the overall school. According to another post at uma.edu, the faculty brings many decades of experience in public administration to their courses, and the staff is supplemented with real-world administrator lectures by Maine officials that have included the Deputy Secretary of State and Clerk of the Maine House of Representatives. Transferring students who want to pursue a degree in public and business administration need the equivalent of an associate degree in a healthcare discipline, criminal, social or human services, computer technology, or related fields.
According to usnews.com, the school ranks from #41 down to #52 for various schools and departments. The school’s online programs are exceptionally well developed according to uma.edu. That’s because distance and online programs have been available at the college for more than 30 years.
The public administration programs require an internship in the state of Maine unless you can prove that another state offers reciprocal privileges to students that conform to the internship requirements. The majors available include accounting- and management-oriented studies.
7. University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Average Net Price: $6,977
School Type: Public Institution
School Accreditation: Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Their Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC
Acceptance Rate: 81%
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke has equal accreditation for its business school, and only about 5 percent of business schools typically receive accreditation according to uncp.edu. According to usnews.com, the school ranks #73 among regional schools of the South.
Niche.com gives the school a grade of “B” for academics and an “A” for student diversity. The school was founded in 1887 for educating American Indians, and the campus and online programs attract a diverse student population.
The online programs include five bachelor’s degrees in public administration and related fields like criminal justice and sociology. Earning a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Management might be your first step because the college also offers an MPA, Master’s in Public Administration.
8. Albany State University
Average Net Price: $5,487
School Type: Public University
School Accreditation: Accredited by the SACSCOC
Acceptance Rate: 65.7%
Albany State University is accredited for its baccalaureate, master’s, and specialist degrees according to asuams.edu. The university offers both master’s and baccalaureate degrees in public administration according to albany.edu. The Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration provides a strong overview of the relationships between administrators and government agencies, economics, public policy organizations, civil rights activists, and financial topics. The college also offers a master’s degree.
According to usnews.com, the school ranks from #103 to #133 among regional universities in the South. It is also ranked as #91 in social media performance and #50 to #62 in top public schools. The school ranks #57 among historically black schools.
9. College of Coastal Georgia
Average Net Price: $11,835
School Type: Public Institution
School Accreditation: Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the SACSCOC
Acceptance Rate: 87.2%
According to ccga.edu, the College of Coastal Georgia maintains a standardized list of education codes that follow recommendations of the U.S Department of Education National Center for Educational Statistics. According to ccga.edu, the online program offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Workforce Management and Leadership. The school offers a strong faculty and input from key public and private sector partnerships. Students may specialize in Nonprofit Management and Leadership or Public Policy.
According to usnews.com, the college ranks from #70 to #91 among colleges of the South. The college, whose main branch is located in Brunswick, Georgia, offers practical instruction in how to write grants, raise funds, and plan a program or project. The Public Policy concentration covers topics that include Homeland Security liaising, developing environmental policy, and understanding Constitutional Law.
10. SUNY Empire State College
Average Net Price: $10,943
School Type: Public Liberal Arts
School Accreditation: Accredited by the Middle States Commission, an Organization that Ranks Colleges in the Middle Atlantic States
Acceptance Rate: 63%
SUNY Empire State College is accredited by a voluntary regional association that consistently assures students that schools offer excellent educations according to esc.edu. The online public administration degree program provides students with competencies in many areas that include public and social policymaking, dealing with governmental agencies, fire science, and public and social policy.
Advanced graduate certificates are available for post-graduate work in various related fields, and the college offers a master’s degree program with specialties in Public and Social Policy, Community and Economic Development, and Work and Labor Policy.
According to usnews.com, the college ranges in regional ranking from #136 to #176. The school, which is located in Saratoga Springs, New York, gets the ranking from the annual list of Best Colleges in Regional Universities North. According to collegefactal.com, the school also earned regional “Best” badges for the most popular online programs, general business education, public administration degree and social service program, and physical sciences.