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Top Public Service and Policy Administration Degree Programs Online

If you’re interested in a career in public policy and administration, take a closer look at the career opportunities and salary potential for these online degree programs.

The public policy and administration field attracts motivated individuals who want to be involved in shaping public policy and administering programs that serve the public good. Degree programs focused on public policy administration are responding to the demand with a variety of online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs—and a rich selection of specialized subject matter options. With so many choices, online students can embark on a highly focused, continuous path for career advancement.

These examples of top online public service and public policy administration degrees feature similar strengths, including foundational studies, development of scholarly research skills, practical exercises, opportunities for field experiences and internships in the master’s programs, and face-to-face residencies in the doctoral programs.

Top Public Service and Policy Administration Degree Programs Online

  1. PhD in Public Policy and Administration
    Doctoral degree programs such as a PhD in Public Policy and Administration provide you with a comprehensive study of public policy theory, research, and practice in a global context. You can gain the skills needed to assume key positions such as college professor, academic administrator, or government affairs officer.* With a dozen or more specialized doctoral tracks, these online degree programs help you focus on your interests and career goals. You’ll have the guidance of a faculty of scholar-practitioners throughout your dissertation process, and have the opportunity to participate in face-to-face academic residencies with faculty, staff, and peers.
  2. Master of Public Administration (MPA)
    Master’s programs in public administration teach the critical thinking skills needed to provide public service at the local, state, or federal level. By earning an MPA degree, you will gain the knowledge to translate policies into programs that work for the public good. When choosing to earn your degree from Walden, you can choose from specializations in such areas as health policy, criminal justice, homeland security policy and coordination, nonprofit management and leadership, and emergency management. Earning an MPA can prepare you for diverse positions including city manager, public health administrator, health department manager, head of a nongovernmental organization, budget manager and more.1
  3. MS in Criminal Justice
    Online degree programs like this one help you understand the increasingly complex and sophisticated issues facing the criminal justice system today. You’ll study criminal behavior theory, victimology, cybercrime and Internet technology, homeland security issues, and organizational management and leadership skills. Master’s degrees in criminal justice often provide specializations that allow you to fine-tune your career focus in policy analysis, global leadership, emergency management, terrorism, or other important areas. Graduates can look forward to many career options and leadership positions throughout the criminal justice system.

Job Market for Public Administrators2

The job market for public administrators is projected to increase by 10% between 2016 and 2026. In 2018, the average median salary for public administrators was $96,180, and the top 10% earned more than $165,470.

Explore Walden University's online public policy administration degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Continue your education and advance your career goals. Earn your degree in a convenient online format that fits your busy life.

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

†Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Administrative Services Managers, Political Scientists, on the Internet at