Field of Study Overview

Do you want to make a difference in people's lives? Pursuing a major in the field of Public Administration and Social Service will prepare you for a fulfilling career of bringing help and hope to those that need it the most.

This major comes with a lot of responsibility, but also a great opportunity to help improve the lives of others. You will learn how to analyze, manage, and deliver public programs and services for the greater good of the community. Many of these programs will be centered on youth, teens, and family services.

Public Administration and Social Service is an interdisciplinary field. Be ready to dive into course work that includes classes on public policy, human behavior, psychology, communication, financial management and community development. No matter what direction you decide to go into upon graduation, your main responsibility will be to bring positive social change to local communities.

One of the majors available in this field is Community Organization and Advocacy, which involves the study of strategies to challenge and change the current community social system for the enrichment of its residents. Another field is Public Administration, where you will be prepared to run the executive arm of local, state, and federal government and learn how to create policies that will bring about positive change. A major in Public Policy Analysis allows you to study public policy decisions in order to be able to influence how those decisions are made. Another option is a major in Social Work that will prepare you for a career implementing programs to improve the overall quality of life for a variety of vulnerable populations.

Required Skills

A career in Public Administration and Social Services demands that you have great interpersonal skills. You need to be able to build the trust of your clients as you help empower them. Building and maintaining professional relationships will lead to your success. Practice empathy and active listening in order to deliver the best service possible to your client.

Much of your undergraduate work will involve team collaboration on group projects. Learn how to effectively communicate with others in a creative and clear manner. You will also need to develop problem solving skills and gain an advanced knowledge of government policy.


Graduates in this field can find work as community organizers, social workers, grant writers, or program directors. Some of these career choices will require a master's degree or more. No matter what direction you choose to go into, you will make significant social change in the community around you.

Career salaries will be very different depending on your career path and the level of education you receive. An average starting salary for someone in the field of Public Administration and Social Service is $34,505 with a mid-career salary of $50,455.


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Field at a Glance

  • Yearly Graduations
    (online) 8,610
    (associate) 1,830
    (bachelor) 36,863
  • Average Starting Salary
  • Average Mid-Career Salary

Explore Top Majors in this Field

Click Major to View Top CollegesPopularitySalary PotentialMajors Matcher
Community Organization & Advocacy Low N/AN/A
Human Services High N/AN/A
Public Administration Average Low N/A
Public Administration (Other) Low N/AN/A
Public Policy Low Good N/A
Social Work High Poor N/A

College Ranking by Field of Study

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Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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