2022 Best Public Administration Schools

336 Colleges in the United States
16,183 Public Admin Degrees Awarded
$48,859 Avg Early-Career Salary
Public Administration is above average in terms of popularity with it being the #58 most popular degree program in the country. As a result, there are many college that offer the degree, making your choice of school a hard one.

College Factual reviewed 336 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for degree seekers in the field of public administration. Combined, these schools handed out 16,183 degrees in public administration to qualified students.

What's on this page:

Choosing a Great Public Administration School

Best Public Administration Schools The public admin program you select can have a big impact on your future. That's why we developed our collection of Best Schools for Public Administration rankings. In order to come up with a best overall ranking for public administration schools, we combine our degree-level rankings, weighting them by the number of degrees awarded at each level.

In order to find the schools that are the best fit for you, you may want to filter to one of the degree levels below.

Public Administration Rankings by Degree Level

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Public Administration Schools list to help you make the college decision. If you'd like to restrict your choices to just one part of the country, you can filter this list by location.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

If you want to learn more about how we derive our rankings, see College Factual's Methodology.

Best Schools for Public Administration in the United States

The schools below may not offer all types of public admin degrees so you may want to filter by degree level first. However, they are great for the degree levels they do offer. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Top Schools in Public Admin

#1

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
287 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Harvard University is a good option for students pursuing a degree in public administration. Located in the city of Cambridge, Harvard is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #10 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Harvard is a great university overall.

There were approximately 287 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Harvard in the most recent data year. Those public administration students who get their degree from Harvard University make $49,441 more than the standard public admin graduate.

More information about a degree in public administration from Harvard University

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
458 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Columbia University in the City of New York is a wonderful option for students pursuing a degree in public administration. Columbia is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of New York. A Best Schools rank of #22 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

There were roughly 458 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Columbia in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration degree program at Columbia University in the City of New York make $17,141 more than the typical graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in public administration from Columbia University in the City of New York

#3

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In MD
43 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Any student who is interested in public administration has to take a look at Johns Hopkins University. Located in the city of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #19 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great university overall.

There were approximately 43 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Johns Hopkins in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in public administration from Johns Hopkins University

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
175 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

University of Southern California is a great decision for students pursuing a degree in public administration. Located in the large city of Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #33 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means USC is a great university overall.

There were approximately 175 public administration students who graduated with this degree at USC in the most recent data year. Public Administration degree recipients from University of Southern California get an earnings boost of about $17,641 over the average earnings of public administration graduates.

More information about a degree in public administration from University of Southern California

#5

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
62 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

UPenn is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Philadelphia. A Best Schools rank of #13 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means UPenn is a great university overall.

There were about 62 public administration students who graduated with this degree at UPenn in the most recent data year. Those public administration students who get their degree from University of Pennsylvania earn $18,141 more than the typical public admin student.

More information about a degree in public administration from University of Pennsylvania

#6

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
85 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Evanston, Northwestern is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #14 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

There were roughly 85 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Northwestern in the most recent data year. Those public administration students who get their degree from Northwestern University receive $14,341 more than the typical public admin grad.

More information about a degree in public administration from Northwestern University

#7

New York University

New York, NY
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
248 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

NYU is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of New York. A Best Schools rank of #53 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means NYU is a great university overall.

There were about 248 public administration students who graduated with this degree at NYU in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration degree program at New York University make $18,241 above the standard graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration from New York University

#8

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
76 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #16 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great university overall.

There were approximately 76 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Cornell in the most recent data year. After graduating, public admin degree recipients generally earn an average of $49,100 in the first five years of their career.

More information about a degree in public administration from Cornell University

#9

Georgetown University

Washington, DC
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In DC

Georgetown is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Washington. A Best Schools rank of #18 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Georgetown is a great university overall.

There were about 5 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Georgetown in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in public administration from Georgetown University

#10

American University

Washington, DC
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
166 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Washington, The American University is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. This university ranks 3rd out of 9 colleges for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There were approximately 166 public administration students who graduated with this degree at The American University in the most recent data year. Public Administration degree recipients from American University receive an earnings boost of about $20,741 over the typical income of public administration majors.

More information about a degree in public administration from American University

#11

George Washington University

Washington, DC
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
71 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Washington, GWU is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 9 schools for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There were roughly 71 public administration students who graduated with this degree at GWU in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration program at George Washington University make $28,041 more than the standard college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration from George Washington University

#12

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
$31,392 Median Student Debt

Carnegie Mellon is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Pittsburgh. A Best Schools rank of #20 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great university overall.

There were about 23 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Carnegie Mellon in the most recent data year. Public Administration degree recipients from Carnegie Mellon University get an earnings boost of about $12,541 over the typical income of public administration majors.

More information about a degree in public administration from Carnegie Mellon University

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
16th Most Popular In CA
37 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Golden Gate University - San Francisco is a small private not-for-profit university located in the city of San Francisco. This university ranks 44th out of 203 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 37 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Golden Gate University - San Francisco in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in public administration from Golden Gate University - San Francisco

#14

Villanova University

Villanova, PA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
78 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Villanova is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Villanova. A Best Schools rank of #62 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Villanova is a great university overall.

There were about 78 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Villanova in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration students who get their degree from Villanova University receive $13,141 more than the typical public admin grad.

More information about a degree in public administration from Villanova University

#15

Boston University

Boston, MA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type

Located in the large city of Boston, Boston U is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 12th out of 72 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were approximately 9 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Boston U in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration students who get their degree from Boston University make $24,641 more than the typical public admin student.

More information about a degree in public administration from Boston University

#16

Marist College

Poughkeepsie, NY
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
82 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Marist is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit college located in the suburb of Poughkeepsie. This college ranks 19th out of 160 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were roughly 82 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Marist in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration program at Marist College make $22,841 above the average college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration from Marist College

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
79 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 4th out of 113 schools for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

There were about 79 public administration students who graduated with this degree at UNC Chapel Hill in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration degree recipients from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill receive an earnings boost of about $2,541 over the average earnings of public administration majors.

More information about a degree in public administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WA
224 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

UW Seattle is a very large public university located in the large city of Seattle. This university ranks 1st out of 58 colleges for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There were roughly 224 public administration students who graduated with this degree at UW Seattle in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in public administration from University of Washington - Seattle Campus

#19

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In VA
42 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Virginia Tech is a fairly large public school located in the city of Blacksburg. This school ranks 3rd out of 73 schools for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There were about 42 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Virginia Tech in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in public administration from Virginia Tech

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
777 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Located in the small city of Bloomington, IU Bloomington is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 3rd out of 48 schools for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

There were about 777 public administration students who graduated with this degree at IU Bloomington in the most recent data year. Graduates who receive their degree from the public admin program make about $47,700 in the first couple years of their career.

More information about a degree in public administration from Indiana University - Bloomington

#21

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
63 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

USFCA is a large private not-for-profit university located in the city of San Francisco. This university ranks 40th out of 203 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 63 public administration students who graduated with this degree at USFCA in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration program at University of San Francisco get $31,041 above the typical college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration from University of San Francisco

#22

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
218 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Located in the medium-sized city of Syracuse, Syracuse is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. This university ranks 15th out of 160 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were roughly 218 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Syracuse in the most recent year we have data available. Students who graduate with their degree from the public admin program state that they receive average early career earnings of $49,300.

More information about a degree in public administration from Syracuse University

#23

Anna Maria College

Paxton, MA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
101 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Anna Maria is a small private not-for-profit college located in the rural area of Paxton. This college ranks 44th out of 72 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were about 101 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Anna Maria in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration students who get their degree from Anna Maria College receive $41,141 more than the typical public admin student.

More information about a degree in public administration from Anna Maria College

#24

Clemson University

Clemson, SC
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In SC
43 Public Admin Degrees Awarded

Clemson is a very large public university located in the suburb of Clemson. This university ranks 2nd out of 50 schools for overall quality in the state of South Carolina.

There were approximately 43 public administration students who graduated with this degree at Clemson in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in public administration from Clemson University

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
11th Most Popular In MI

Located in the medium-sized city of Ann Arbor, U-M is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Schools rank of #40 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means U-M is a great university overall.

There were about 3 public administration students who graduated with this degree at U-M in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in public administration from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Rest of the Top Best Public Administration Schools

#26

Winona State University

Winona, MN
#29

University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD
#31

Baruch College

New York, NY

#33

Walden University

Minneapolis, MN
#35

Seattle University

Seattle, WA
#37

University of Delaware

Newark, DE
#38

Norwich University

Northfield, VT

#42

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS
#45

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA
#46

University of Georgia

Athens, GA
#47

National University

La Jolla, CA
#49

University of Dayton

Dayton, OH

Additional Award Winners

This list represents the remainder of the colleges awarded a Best Public Administration Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 336 different United States public administration schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 University of New Haven West Haven, CT

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Public Administration Schools award.

Rank College Location
51 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
52 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
53 The University of Texas at Tyler Tyler, TX
54 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
55 Hamline University Saint Paul, MN
56 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
57 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
58 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
59 Harding University Searcy, AR
60 Colorado State University - Global Campus Greenwood Village, CO
61 San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
62 Indiana Wesleyan University - National & Global Marion, IN
63 John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York, NY
64 University of Vermont Burlington, VT
65 Hudson Valley Community College Troy, NY
66 Drake University Des Moines, IA
67 Northeastern University Boston, MA

Public Administration by Region

View the Best Public Administration Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

View All Rankings >

Public Administration is one of 5 different types of Public Administration & Social Service programs to choose from.

Public Admin Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Public Administration 16,183

View All Public Admin Focus Areas >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Social Work 56,402
Human Services 11,421
Public Policy 5,931
Community Organization & Advocacy 2,888
Other Public Administration 643

View All Public Admin Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • 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).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to The Official CTBTO Photostream.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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