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Public Administration Degree Online BS in Business Administration Concentration

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Register By: October 22 Classes Start: October 24

Earn a Public Administration Degree Online

  • $320/credit (120 credits)
  • No application fee or SAT/ACT scores required
  • Program accredited by ACBSP
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • Gain valuable communication and public interaction skills
  • Fill a growing need for public administrators with specialized skillsets

Public Administration Degree Concentration Overview

Are you ready to be the face of change and gain an understanding of social issues and strategies? In Southern New Hampshire University's online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration with a concentration in Public Administration, you'll learn how administrators make policy and enforce programs to help build and strengthen communities and society.

This online degree gives you a solid business foundation and develops your knowledge of government structure, administrative management, fiscal budgeting, community dynamics, politics and public policy. After completion of the program, you'll be prepared to pursue a career path or advance your current career in public service.

The BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Public Administration is a unique field of study that incorporates tools and theories from diverse disciplines, such as public policy, political science, organizational management, and business administration. The tools of public administration are similar to those in business-related fields, but its goals are uniquely the public good and public welfare.

In the public administration concentration, you'll learn how to:

  • Justify the development and maintenance of public policy and programs
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data
  • Utilize appropriate communication tactics to inform, negotiate with and persuade constituents on public programs

With a public administration degree, you'll strengthen the skills that help you make informed recommendations for policies and programs based on the best interest of stakeholders such as the community, constituents and businesses.

Your public administration degree will prepare you to back up your ideas for policies and programs through an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. It will also give you the tools to communicate strategies for informing, negotiating with and persuading constituents on public programs.

Career Outlook

Public administrators play an important part in ensuring that laws, regulations, civil rights, municipal budgets and health and safety codes are enforced to protect the communities they serve. According to the Princeton Review, a degree in public administration could lead you down a number of diverse career paths at both a state and local level, including working in federal housing, law enforcement, labor relations, health care and social services.1 Additionally, the skills you'll learn in your public administration degree program, such as management, problem-solving, decision-making, organization and leadership, will serve you both in your career and in your life.

Dr. Michelle Caron with the text Dr. Michelle Caron"The BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Public Administration degree prepares students to serve as and support municipal managers, legislators, solicitors, treasurers, emergency management officials, environmental agencies, health departments, grant writers, elected or appointed officials, public information officers, community and economic development officials and state and federal governments." Says Dr. Michelle Caron, associate dean for business at SNHU.

In a rapidly changing world and economy, Dr. Caron also notes there is a growing need for public administrators with knowledge of public policy development, fiscal management and program evaluation, in particular. Employers also seek employees with specialized skillsets within this career path including problem solvers, decision makers and solutions-driven thinkers to achieve public objectives and ensure that needs are met diligently and fairly.

"What sets public administration apart from other business-related fields is that this concentration prepares you to develop, shape and implement public policy for government institutions, non-profit organizations and businesses. It also explores how the public influences policy, how to interact with them and their impact on decision-making,” says Dr. Caron.

Michael Ramella with the text Michael Ramella For Michael Ramella '20, the BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Public Administration offered an opportunity to advance an already established career.

"Before the pursuit of my bachelor’s degree, I knew that I had obtained the highest level I could without a degree," he said. "What I lacked is what I believe many adult learners lack – not a lack of intelligence but a lack of education demonstrating that intelligence. The workplace is still set to reward those with a degree and I needed the education to move even further forward."

Today, his degree helps him bring newfound confidence to the workplace.

"I work alongside people with Ivy League degrees every day," he said. "My degree and education are competitive with theirs and no one questions the validity of my education. I obtained a competent education at SNHU that has given me the confidence to share knowledge and ideas no matter where the audience has a degree from."

An online public administration degree can help prepare you for a number of tasks in a public administrator or administrative services role, including:

  • Supervising clerical and administrative staff
  • Setting goals and deadlines for your department
  • Developing, managing and monitoring records
  • Recommending changes to policies and procedures
  • Monitoring facilities to ensure safety and maintenance
  • Making sure facilities meet environmental, health and security standards and comply with regulations

One of the benefits of earning your BS in Business with a concentration in Public Administration is that it opens the door to a variety of career options. Whether you're looking to work in a sector of the government, make a difference in the town you live in or serve a specific community or nonprofit, here are just a few ways you could put your degree to use to protect the needs of the public.

  • Urban and Regional Planner - Urban and regional planners are responsible for developing programs and budgets that help create communities and revitalize facilities for public use. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), urban and regional planners earned a median annual wage of $75,950 in 2020.2
  • Social and Community Service Manager - According to the BLS, social and community service managers are responsible for coordinating and supervising programs and organizations that support public well-being. They earned a median annual wage of $69,600 in 2020.2
  • Budget analyst - A budget analyst helps public and private institutions organize their finances. Working as a budget analyst for the public would mean ensuring that proposed budgets align with the greater good of the broader community. According to BLS, budget analysts earned a median annual wage of $78,970 in 2020.2

Additionally, by enrolling in SNHU's public administration degree program, you'll be eligible to join the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) to fast-track your career and begin building your own network while completing your coursework.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Public Administration Degree Concentration

Courses & Curriculum

In the coursework for this program, you'll develop skills and strategies to make informed recommendations for policies and programs based on the best interest of the community, constituents and businesses. Emphasis in this program is placed on intentional communication, working within constraints and managing external influences in the decision-making process.

The courses for SNHU's public administration degree online include Policy Analysis and the Role of the Public and American Politics and Public Fiscal Management. The business core, in addition to your 5 concentration courses, can also set you up for success in this life-changing and personally fulfilling field.

This concentration also includes authentic projects and interactive activities that have been developed and delivered by experienced public administrators who demonstrate an ability to connect aspects of the public administrator role to various real-world scenarios.

“Coursework builds from analyzing key theories of the role of government and regulation in developing public policy, to program development and evaluating its success,” says Dr. Caron.

In this program, you'll discover how ethics drive conduct with the public administration field and analyze the processes and techniques used to secure and manage public funds.

You'll also utilize scholarly sources to support your ideas and inspire new ones.

"The takeaway I refer to most often is to do your research," said Michael Ramella '20. "I instill it in my college freshman son and high school junior daughter as well. It’s not good enough to just have an opinion. You need to be able to show that there is some basis of scholarly evidence that lead you to your decision."

Ramella noted the value in being taught by instructors who care about the success of their students.

"The instructors have been great with providing guidance and direction along the course of my 4 years and 2 degrees at SNHU," he said. "I don’t necessarily like a lot of 'hand holding' and they were able to quickly determine what the right amount of intervention was for my needs. The consistent feedback helped to form the skills I needed to finish the coursework."

Learning online also gave Ramella the opportunity to learn from professionals of diverse backgrounds.

"Being able to interact with professors from all around the country helped to provide different views and considerations that I wouldn’t have had in a regional classroom," he said. "Having the resource of professors serving in a variety of different institutions helped make my education of higher ed stronger."

Chris Insco with text Chris InscoChris Insco '21 similarly applauded the support he received from his instructors.

"Every instructor I had at SNHU was amazing," he said. "Some pushed me harder than others but I think that is to be expected because they see the full potential that each student has and brings to the class."

Ultimately, this push was what Insco needed to excel as an online student.

"Studying online was a new venture for me versus being in a classroom but it was good to get that kind of exposure of having to be self-efficient and having the self-discipline to be able to complete the assignments and tasks on time," he said.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

  • Business core: Business programs require learners to complete the business core program, which includes a variety of business-specific courses. This program focuses on 10 core competencies to prepare you for success wherever you go.
  • General education courses: All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, you'll learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
  • Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.

Earn math credits for what you already know: Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment.

Earn prior work experience credit for accredited Certified Manager Program (CPM)* from the National Certified Public Manager® Consortium (NCPMC)

*State restrictions may apply.

Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.

We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits 
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)* $675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.