For those with aspirations of a career in case management, human resources, logistics manager, or 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 public administration degrees online are perfect for individuals who keep a busy schedule but want to complete their graduate certificate or online master 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 higher education institutions will instill confidence in you that will advance your career in a multitude of ways.

Methodology

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 2023

 

2024 Most Affordable Online Public Administration Degrees

RankSchoolAverage Net Price
#1Dalton State College$5,240
#2Florida International University$6,232
#3Fayetteville State University$6,623
#4Florida SouthWestern State College$8,547
#5University of Maine at Augusta$9,889
#6University of North Carolina at Pembroke$11,160
#7SUNY Empire State College$11,469
#8College of Coastal Georgia$13,258
#9Fort Valley State University$13,320
#10University of Phoenix$13,365
#11Albany State University$14,904
#12Eastern Oregon University$15,620
#13Peru State College$15,652
#14Georgia Southern University$15,851
#15Park University$16,069
#16University of West Alabama$16,258
#17Southern Illinois University – Carbondale$16,316
#18Barry University$16,942
#19Mount Vernon Nazarene University$21,698
#20Southern New Hampshire University Online$22,873
#21Central Methodist University$25,087
#22Columbia College$25,826
#23Liberty University$28,561

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Public Administration Degrees

1. Dalton State College

Average Net Price: $5,240

School Type: Public

School Accreditation: SACSCOC

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Dalton State College’s 100% online Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership degree with a Public Service Concentration readies students for public administration careers. The program prepares learners for roles in public safety, government, nonprofit management, public relations, and more.

Through courses in public policy, management, ethics, and organizational behavior, the curriculum provides foundational knowledge. Students also gain hands-on experience via public sector internships.

With self-paced online classes taught by expert faculty, learners can progress from anywhere globally. The 120-credit program concentrates 30 credits specifically on public service coursework.

For admission, a high school diploma and meeting general requirements suffices. Applicants with relevant experience or transfer credits may qualify with fewer credits.

Offered in 16-week semesters, the program allows transferring up to 60 credits. The average completion timeline is 4 years.

Bearing accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Dalton State College’s 100% online program empowers public service career success with flexibility and focused curriculum.

2. Florida International University

Average Net Price: $6,232

School Type: Public

School Accreditation: SACSCOC

Acceptance Rate: 64%

Florida International University powers public service careers through diverse accredited undergraduate and graduate public administration degrees.

At the bachelor’s level, the Bachelor of Public Policy and Service broadly covers policy, management, law, and more to equip students for public service roles. For exploring without fully committing, a Public Administration minor allows sampling select courses.

On the graduate side, the Master of Public Administration offers specializations in criminal justice, environmental policy, social welfare, and beyond to advance leadership careers. Dual degree options like the 5-year JD/MPA and MSCJ/MPA blend public administration with law and criminal justice respectively.

With Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration accreditation, FIU’s programs meet the highest public administration education standards. U.S. News & World Report also recognizes the excellence, ranking FIU’s MPA #9 nationally for online programs and its BPPS #4 in Florida.

Whether at the bachelor’s or master’s level, FIU delivers accredited public administration education that empowers graduates to make an impact in the public and nonprofit sectors.

3. Fayetteville State University

Average Net Price: $6,623

School Type: Public, Historically Black

School Accreditation: SACSCOC

Acceptance Rate: 82%

Fayetteville State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Public Administration Concentration and a minor in Public Administration and Policy.

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Public Administration Concentration is a 120-credit program that prepares students for careers in public service, government, and nonprofit organizations. Students in this program take courses in political theory, public policy, public budgeting, and public administration. They also have the opportunity to participate in internships and field experiences to gain hands-on experience in the field.

The minor in Public Administration and Policy is a 15-credit program that is designed to complement a student’s major in another discipline. Students in this minor take courses in public administration, public policy, and political theory. They also have the opportunity to participate in internships and field experiences to gain hands-on experience in the field.

Both the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Public Administration Concentration and the minor in Public Administration and Policy are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

4. Florida SouthWestern State College

Average Net Price: $8,547

School Type: Public

School Accreditation: SACSCOC

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Florida SouthWestern State College has its main campus at Fort Myers, but its online public administration program is 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.

Here are the specific requirements for each program:

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Public Administration Concentration

  • 120 credits
  • 30 credits in political science courses
  • 15 credits in public administration courses
  • 6 credits in electives

Minor in Public Administration and Policy

  • 15 credits
  • 9 credits in public administration courses
  • 6 credits in electives

5. University of Maine at Augusta

Average Net Price: $9,889

School Type: Public

School Accreditation: NECHE

Acceptance Rate: 100%

The University of Maine at Augusta empowers public service careers through two NASPAA-accredited public administration degrees:

The 60-credit Associate of Science in Public Administration furnishes foundational knowledge and skills for entry-level roles through curriculum covering topics like budgeting, policy, law, and management.

Building on the AS foundation, the 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Public Administration prepares students for advanced public administration positions through specialized tracks in criminal justice, environmental policy, human services, and more.

Offered on-campus in Augusta, online statewide and nationally, or via a hybrid format, flexibility allows students to choose the best learning environment for their needs.

With curriculum developed by experienced professionals, UMA public administration graduates go on to impact government, education, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations.

Alongside gold-standard NASPAA accreditation, UMA delivers flexible, career-focused public administration degrees backed by expert faculty and real-world learning for public service success.

6. University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Average Net Price: $11,160

School Type: Public

School Accreditation: SACSCOC

Acceptance Rate: 92%

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke powers public service careers through two specialized online Master of Public Administration degrees.

The Public Administration, Criminal Justice MPA readies students for roles across the justice system—from law enforcement to victim services. Learners tackle crime prevention, corrections, and more through a justice-focused curriculum.

Meanwhile, the Public Administration, Public Management MPA prepares students for leadership in government, nonprofits, and agencies by covering budgeting, policy analysis, strategic planning, and related topics.

With accelerated 18-month timelines, NASPAA-accredited programs, top rankings, and high job placement, UNCP delivers excellence and outcomes.

Admission requires a bachelor’s degree and 3.0+ GPA, transcripts, recommendations, and a statement. Costs vary based on residency.

With tailored curriculum and reputable credentials, UNCP’s online MPA programs equip graduates to advance and lead across the public and nonprofit sectors.

7. SUNY Empire State College

Average Net Price: $11,469

School Type: Public

School Accreditation: MSCHE

Acceptance Rate: 100%

SUNY Empire State College propels public service careers through three accredited public administration degrees:

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs provides broad training with a liberal arts approach, covering political science, economics, law, policy, and more. Students can specialize in criminal justice, homeland security, environmental policy, and related fields.

Offering technical knowledge, the Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs immerses students in budgeting, financial management, quantitative methods, and other specialized skills. Hands-on learning comes through internships and practicums.

With maximum flexibility, the Bachelor of Professional Studies in Public Affairs allows students to customize their training by selecting courses tailored to interests and goals. This degree caters to working professionals seeking to advance public sector careers.

Bearing accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, these programs equip graduates with problem-solving abilities, leadership skills, and other high-demand competencies.

For admission, a high school diploma, transcripts, recommendations, and meeting admissions requirements suffices.

With customized and career-aligned training backed by reputable accreditation, SUNY Empire State College prepares graduates to lead across the public and nonprofit spectra.

8. College of Coastal Georgia

Average Net Price: $13,258

School Type: Public

School Accreditation: SACSCOC

Acceptance Rate: 97%

The College of Coastal Georgia propels public service careers through its flexible, online Bachelor of Science in Public Administration degree. With specialized concentrations, the program prepares students for diverse roles in government, nonprofits, and public management.

Students can concentrate in:

  • Cyber Defense to gain security, risk, and network defense skills critical for the public sector.
  • Political Science to learn political theory, public law, policy, and administration for government and advocacy roles.
  • Public Management to master budgeting, HR, strategic planning, and leadership for managing public organizations.

The 120-credit degree blends general education, concentration courses, a capstone, and internship for well-rounded training.

Offered fully online at students’ own pace, CCGA makes public administration education accessible from anywhere.

Admission requires a high school diploma or equivalent, minimum GPA, application, transcripts, and recommendations.

With tailored concentrations and flexible delivery, CCGA’s BSBA in Public Administration equips graduates with specialized skills to advance public service careers.

9. Fort Valley State University

Average Net Price: $13,320

School Type: Private Nonprofit

School Accreditation: SACSCOC

Acceptance Rate: 72%

Fort Valley State University powers public service careers through two online public administration degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration (B.A. in PA) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

The 120-credit B.A. in PA readies students for entry-level government, nonprofit, and business roles in just four years. Coursework immerses learners in American government, public policy, organizational behavior, financial management, human resources, and strategic planning.

Designed for those with bachelor’s degrees in other fields, the 60-credit MPA propels students through an in-depth curriculum in two years. Advanced coursework dives into public budgeting, public law, policy analysis, program evaluation, and international public administration.

Offered fully online, both accredited programs allow students to complete coursework anywhere globally. As a historically Black university, Fort Valley State University empowers diverse learners to advance public service careers.

The B.A. in PA requires a high school diploma and minimum GPA, while the MPA requires a bachelor’s degree and minimum GPA.

With flexible delivery and focused curriculum, Fort Valley State University’s online public administration programs equip graduates to make an impact in the public and nonprofit sectors.

10. University of Phoenix

Average Net Price: $13,365

School Type: Private for-profit

School Accreditation: HCL

Acceptance Rate: 100%

The University of Phoenix presents a dynamic duo of online public administration degrees, catering to the career aspirations of students:

  1. Bachelor of Science in Public Administration (BPA): Crafted to equip students for pivotal entry-level roles within the realm of public administration, spanning government agencies, non-profit entities, and consultancies. The curriculum delves into an array of critical topics, including public policy, budgetary acumen, human resource management, and adept administrative prowess.
  2. Master of Public Administration (MPA): Skillfully tailored to cultivate individuals primed for mid- to senior-level positions in public administration, this program delves deep into strategic planning, leadership dynamism, and policy analysis, nurturing experts who will shape the future of the field.

Both these degrees, brimming with knowledge and opportunity, stand available for pursuit in a fully digital format, allowing students the flexibility to engage with their studies from any corner of the globe. The BPA typically unfurls its wisdom over a span of four years, while the MPA offers an expedited journey with an average completion time of two years.

For prospective candidates to embark on these enriching educational journeys, certain criteria must be met. A high school diploma or its equivalent is the foundational prerequisite, further supplemented by meeting distinct academic benchmarks, which vary depending on the specific degree program.

As for the financial aspect, the cost of embarking on an online public administration odyssey at the University of Phoenix comes with a degree of flexibility. It hinges on the chosen degree program and the number of credits a student elects to pursue, allowing learners to tailor their educational investment to suit their unique needs and ambitions.

Further Resources