Public Administration is of the hottest master's degree programs in the United States, coming in as the #19 most popular major in the country. So, there are lots of possibilities to explore when you're trying to determine where you want to get your degree.
For its 2024 ranking, College Factual looked at 257 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for public administration students pursuing a master's degree. Combined, these schools handed out 12,290 master's degrees in public administration to qualified students.
Choosing a Great Public Administration School for Your Master's Degree
Your choice of public administration for getting your master's degree school matters. Important measures of a quality public admin program can vary widely even among the top schools. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:
Overall Quality Is a Must
A school that excels in educating for a particular major and degree level must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges for a Master's Degree ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.
Average Early-Career Salaries
Average early-career salary of those graduating with their master's degree is one indicator we use in our analysis to find the schools that offer the highest-quality education. After all, your master's degree won't mean much if it doesn't help you find a job that will help you earn a living.
Other Factors We Consider
In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:
Major Focus - How many resources a school devotes to public administration students as compared to other majors.
Major Demand - How many other public administration students want to attend this school to pursue a master's degree.
Educational Resources - The amount of money and other resources allocated to students while they are pursuing their degree. These resources include such things as number of students per instructor and education expenditures per student.
Student Debt - How easy is it for public administration to pay back their student loans after receiving their master's degree.
Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or accredited by a recognized public administration related body.
Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for public administration students working on their master's degree.
The public admin school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best Public Administration Master's Degree Schools.
Best Schools for Master’s Students to Study Public Administration in the United States
Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities for pursuing a master's degree in public administration. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.
It's hard to beat Harvard University if you wish to pursue a master's degree in public administration. Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the midsize city of Cambridge.
Public Administration master's degree recipients from Harvard University earn a boost of approximately $48,243 above the average income of public administration graduates.
Northwestern University is a good option for students interested in a master's degree in public administration. Northwestern is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Evanston.
Those public administration students who get their master's degree from Northwestern University earn $13,283 more than the average public admin graduate.
New York University is one of the best schools in the country for getting a master's degree in public administration. Located in the city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population.
Public Administration master's degree recipients from New York University receive an earnings boost of around $23,288 above the typical earnings of public administration graduates.
Columbia University in the City of New York is one of the finest schools in the country for getting a master's degree in public administration. Located in the large city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population.
Those public administration students who get their master's degree from Columbia University in the City of New York make $21,473 more than the standard public admin graduate.
The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).