Top Public Administration Graduate Schools

Explore three schools with nationally ranked public administration and management programs, and find out what graduate degrees they offer in this field. Review information on what you should look for when choosing a quality school and discover the top 10 graduate schools for public administration majors. Schools offering Public Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What are Some Characteristics of Top Public Administration Graduate Schools?

Top public administration programs are often found in universities that have separate schools for not-for-profit and government management. Look for public administration programs with faculty who are active as scholars and practitioners. Good schools will provide research opportunities through research centers and study abroad programs.

What Are Three Top Public Administration Graduate Schools?

Indiana University in Bloomington, IN

The public management and leadership program in Indiana University's (IU) School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) was ranked second by U.S. News & World Report in 2019 (www.usnews.com). Faculty research groups explore topics in government and management, policy analysis, public finance and environmental science.

SPEA allows you to pursue a program leading to a joint master's degree. In this program, you'll earn a master's degree in public affairs in addition to a master's degree in library science, journalism or east Asian studies; additional subject areas are available. SPEA also offers five graduate certificate programs. Graduate degrees include:

  • Master of Public Affairs (M.P.A.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Affairs

University of Georgia in Athens, GA

The University of Georgia (UGA) was fourth in U.S. News & World Report rankings for public management and leadership graduate programs in 2019. Public policy analysis, public personnel administration, public management and local government administration are some areas of concentration.

M.P.A. students have traveled to South Korea to study urban policy. Faculty members have been involved in numerous research efforts, including a study sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council of the United Kingdom on local government performance in England.

UGA's Fanning Institute provides research on public policy issues like economic development and water use in Georgia counties. The Fanning Institute also offers community leadership programs to various populations, including migrant students and K-12 school administrators. Other UGA research centers include the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, the International Center for Democratic Governance and the Survey Research Center. Graduate degrees include:

  • M.P.A.
  • M.P.A./Juris Doctor (J.D.)
  • Ph.D. in Public Administration

Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University's (SU) Maxwell School offered the nation's first M.P.A. degree. In 2019, Maxwell was ranked first by U.S. News & World Report in the public management and leadership graduate programs category (www.usnews.com). Maxwell's faculty includes Fulbright fellows, Guggenheim fellows and one MacArthur fellow. You'll have access to multiple research centers, including the Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute, the Center for Policy Research, the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs and the Center for Environmental Policy & Administration.

You'll select a degree specialization, like social policy, public management or science and technology. Public administration graduate degrees include:

  • M.P.A.
  • M.P.A./Master of Arts in International Relations (M.A.-I.R.)
  • Ph.D. in Public Administration

Great Graduate Schools For Public Administration Majors

College/University Institution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition (2018-2019)*
Harvard University (Kennedy)4-year, Private Cambridge, MA$47,000
University of Kansas4-year, Public Lawrence, KS$11,000
University of Southern California (Price)4-year, Private Los Angeles, CA$45,000
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey--Newark 4-year, Public Newark, NJ$19,000
New York University (Wagner)4-year, Private New York, NY$45,000
University of Washington 4-year, Public Seattle, WA$16,500
Ohio State University4-year, Public Columbus, OH$12,000
University of Arizona 4-year, Public Tucson, AZ$13,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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