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2023 Most Affordable Online Public Administration Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 11/16/2022
2023 Most Affordable Online Degrees Badge

An online bachelor’s degree in public administration is designed for students and established working professionals who want to pursue careers that serve the public. A public administration degree typically covers accounting, public leadership, and public policy. Prospective students can expect to learn leadership, technical writing, budgeting, and management skills. Graduates of a bachelor’s in public administration may obtain entry-level positions — like city clerks, budget analysts, community managers, and regional planners — or they may decide to pursue a master's degree in public administration.

View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for some inspiration, or check out similar programs to an online bachelor’s in public administration: public health, healthcare management, criminal justice, or management.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Dalton State College Dalton (GA) $3,204
# 2 #2 University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke (NC) $5,074
# 3 #3 Georgia Southern University Statesboro (GA) $6,169
# 4 #4 Fort Hays State University Hays (KS) $6,806
# 5 #5 Barry University Miami Shores (FL) $7,950
# 6 #6 Peru State College Peru (NE) $8,970
# 7 #7 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon (OH) $9,097
# 8 (tie) #8 (tie) Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches (LA) $9,600
# 8 (tie) #8 (tie) Southern New Hampshire University Online Manchester (NH) $9,600
# 10 #10 Southern Illinois University - Carbondale Carbondale (IL) $9,645
#1
#1

Dalton State College

Dalton (GA)
Annual Tuition: $3,204
Annual Tuition: $3,204
Annual Tuition: $3,204

Dalton State College (DSC) is a public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership - Public Service. Totaling 120-123 credit hours, the program can take full-time students four years to complete. DSC’s acceptance rate is 100%, and it has a 29% graduation rate.

At DSC, remote students complete coursework on eCore Online. The public service curriculum helps students develop leadership skills and knowledge in public sector management. Sample coursework includes Technology for Organizations, Public Finance, and Communications for the Workplace. Students must also complete a capstone course to graduate. Future job opportunities for graduates include contract administrators, public management consultants, and lobbyists.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 87%
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $5,074
Annual Tuition: $5,074
Annual Tuition: $5,074

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) is a public institution that offers an online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Public and Non-Profit Administration, which requires 120 credit hours. Full-time students can expect to complete the program in approximately four years. UNCP accepts 91% of applicants, with a 45% graduation rate.

UNCP facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning through the learning management system (LMS), Canvas. The public service coursework prepares students to assume positions in public policy and other related sectors. Some of the core classes are Organization and Management, Principles of Marketing, and Writing in Political Science. Prospective job outlooks for this program include public administrators, municipal analysts, and city clerks.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1080
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,435
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 853
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#3
#3

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro (GA)
Annual Tuition: $6,169
Annual Tuition: $6,169
Annual Tuition: $6,169

At Georgia Southern University (Georgia Southern), a public institution, prospective students can pursue an online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies - Public Administration that totals 124 credit hours. It can take four years to complete this program full time. Students can opt to minor in Public Administration instead of a concentration and combine it with any degree. Georgia Southern has an acceptance rate of 91%, with a 51% graduation rate.

Georgia Southern's online students complete coursework asynchronously and synchronously through the LMS, Folio. The public administration emphasis provides the foundation for students to explore their career interests in public service. Sample coursework includes Introduction to Public Administration, Public Budgeting and Finance, and Administrative Law. Alumni often pursue careers like regulatory affairs specialists, county zoning administrators, and public managers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,088
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,619
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#4
#4
Annual Tuition: $6,806
Annual Tuition: $6,806
Annual Tuition: $6,806

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a public institution that offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science - Public Administration totaling 120 credits. Students can expect to complete this program full time within four years. FHSU accepts 91% of applicants, with 57% graduating with a degree.

At FHSU, online students complete coursework, delivered in asynchronous and synchronous formats, on Blackboard. The program’s curriculum prepares students to become public servants in various industries. Some of the program’s courses are American Government, Research Methods, and Introduction to Public Policy. Students must complete a senior capstone and an internship before graduation. Potential career opportunities for graduates include public administrators, municipal analysts, and lobbyists.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,411
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,453
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#5
#5

Barry University

Miami Shores (FL)
Annual Tuition: $7,950
Annual Tuition: $7,950
Annual Tuition: $7,950

Barry University (Barry) is a private, nonprofit, Catholic institution that offers an online Bachelor of Public Administration. Requiring 120 credit hours, this degree takes full-time students at least four years to finish. Barry's acceptance rate is 65%, and it has a 48% graduation rate.

Barry facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning via the LMS, Canvas. The university's public administration curriculum helps students increase their chances of landing career opportunities in industries like public service and nonprofits. Sample coursework includes Principles of Public Administration, Public Budgeting and Finance, and Administrative Law and Process. Graduates of the program may pursue careers like county assessors, public managers, and contract administrators.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1080
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 233
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 408
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#6
#6

Peru State College

Peru (NE)
Annual Tuition: $8,970
Annual Tuition: $8,970
Annual Tuition: $8,970

Peru State College (PSC) is a small, public institution offering an online Bachelor of Arts or Science in Business Administration - Public Administration. Since it requires 120 credit hours, full-time students can expect to spend four years completing this program. The university accepts 100% of applicants, and still maintains a 44% graduation rate.

PSC’s online students complete coursework through Canvas. The curriculum covers the theoretical and practical concepts related to public administration. Sample coursework includes Organizational Ethics, Project Management, and American National Government. Alumni may become public administrators, city clerks, and lobbyists, to name a few options.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 616
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 238
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $9,097
Annual Tuition: $9,097
Annual Tuition: $9,097

Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU) — a private, nonprofit, and Christian institution — has an online Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration totaling 120 credit hours. Students who have already completed a significant number of college courses can finish this program within 21 months. MVNU’s acceptance rate is 72%, and its graduation rate is 61%.

MVNU facilitates online learning on the LMS, Moodle. The program’s curriculum is designed for career professionals who aspire to assume leadership roles. The program’s courses include Management and Leadership Techniques, Ethics and Law, and Public Service in Communities. The program’s graduates may pursue government, nonprofit, and accounting careers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Average SATs: 980 -1220
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 342
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 389
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600

Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSULA) is a public institution that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Unified Public Safety Administration requiring 120 credit hours. Full-time students can expect to take four years to complete this program. The university accepts 95% of applicants, with 40% of students graduating.

At NSULA, online students complete coursework, delivered in asynchronous and synchronous formats, on Moodle. The curriculum gives students the skills to assume public safety roles and allows students to choose from six concentrations, such as Geo Computation and Public Facilities Management. Sample coursework includes Personnel Management, Social Dimensions of Disaster, and Emergency Medical Response Planning. Graduates may enter a variety of roles, including cybersecurity analysts, emergency responders, and law enforcement officers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1210
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 3,643
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 896
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Annual Tuition: $9,600

Southern New Hampshire University Online (SNHU Online) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Public Administration. Full-time students spend about four years completing the 120 required credit hours. SNHU Online’s acceptance rate is 94%, and it still maintains a 40% graduation rate.

SNHU Online facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning through the LMS, D2L Brightspace. The public administration curriculum is designed for students who want a deeper understanding of policy and program development. Sample coursework includes American Politics, Public Administration, and Public Fiscal Management. Program graduates may pursue careers like emergency management officials, public information officers, and solicitors.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 86,849
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 19,526
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
#10
#10
Annual Tuition: $9,645
Annual Tuition: $9,645
Annual Tuition: $9,645

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale (SIU) is a public institution that offers an online Bachelor of Science in Public Safety Management requiring 120 credit hours. Full-time students can expect to spend at least four years completing this program. The university accepts 92% of applicants and has a 53% graduation rate.

At SIU, online students complete coursework on D2L Brightspace, which delivers the curriculum asynchronously and synchronously, depending on the class. Overall, the degree program includes practical coursework covering fire service management and supervision techniques. The program offers three concentrations: (1) Fire Service Management, (2) Emergency Medical Services, and (3) Emergency Management Administration. Sample coursework includes Ethics in Public Safety, Applications of Technical Writing, and Professional Development. Prospective job opportunities for graduates include emergency services managers, border patrol agents, and customs officers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1250
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,534
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 552
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

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