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Best School for a Public Administration Degree - Miami, FL

Miami, FL, has few schools with programs in public administration. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings, and tuition info.

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School and Ranking Information

Students interested in studying public administration near the Miami area have five schools to choose from. The following schools are considered the top three based on their rankings, program levels offered and number of degrees awarded in public administration:

  • Winner: University of Miami is the top choice because of its national university and graduate public affairs program rankings by U.S. News & World Report. It offers a master's degree.
  • Runner Up #1: The first runner up is Florida International University, a 4-year, public school. It's ranked second because of its graduate public affairs program rankings and because of the percentage of undergraduate students that received financial aid. It offers a bachelor's, master's and doctoral program, as well as certificates.
  • Runner Up #2: Barry University, a private not-for-profit school, comes in at number three because it offered the most financial aid to undergraduates among the three schools. It provides a bachelor's and master's degree.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Miami Florida International University Barry University
Rankings 87th among graduate public affairs programs (2012),
47th among national universities (2014)*
67th among graduate public affairs programs (2012)* N/A
Location Coral Gables, FL (4.9 miles from downtown Miami) Miami, FL Miami, FL
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $30,784 (graduate)** $6,417 (in-state, undergraduate), $18,816 (out-of-state, undergraduate); $10,269 (in-state, graduate), $21,791 (out-of-state, graduate)** $28,160 (undergraduate), $16,290 (graduate)**
Public Administration Degree Levels Offered Master's degrees** Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; certificates** Bachelor's and master's degrees**
Public Administration Degrees (all levels) Awarded in 2011-2012 7** 232** 186**
Most Popular Public Administration Program in 2011-2012 N/A Master's degree (116 awarded)** Bachelor's degree (104 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2006 Entering Class 81%** 43%** 41%**

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator

Winner: University of Miami

  • Dual degree programs allow students to earn their bachelor's degree and MPA in five years or their Master of Public Health (MPH) and MPA within 2.5 years
  • Alumni work as leaders in national government, state, and local sectors

Through its Political Science Department, the University of Miami offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. The 2-year and 48-credit curriculum covers such topics as public and non-profit sectors, political analysis, government ethics, and budgeting. An internship is required. Students learn skills in educated judgment, analysis of public policies, and an understanding of the public profession.

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Runner-Up #1: Florida International University

  • Pi Alpha Alpha, public affairs and administration's national honor society, has a chapter at FIU
  • MPA can be earned jointly with a Juris Doctor of Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • NCES showed in the 2011-2012 school year, 93% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid

The School of International and Public Affairs' Department of Public Administration provides bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs, as well as certificate options. The Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration is an online offering, with a curriculum consisting of courses in policy and management, public sector budgeting, and communication skills. Students take courses in finance, statistics, ethics, urban studies, and policy design. They can arrange for a supervised internship at a public or nonprofit organization for academic credit. An associate's degree is required for admission.

The Master of Public Administration allows its students to specialize in fields such as public or human resources management, development of communities, and homeland security. Students complete the program with an internship and courses covering public finance, program development, and public administration economics.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs is structured for students to research and analyze public policy initiatives. The core curriculum involves subjects such as economic development and development administration, and students design a specialization area.

Runner-Up #2: Barry University

  • NCES showed in the 2011-2012 school year, 98% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid, which is the highest of the three profiled schools

Barry University's School of Adult and Continuing Education administers undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate certificate programs in public administration. The Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) program coursework addresses administrative law, public planning issues, budgeting, and matters related to human resources. There is also a 21-credit post-baccalaureate certificate program in public administration, which is structured for working professionals and individuals interested in not-for-profit organizations who don't have a BPA.

The Master of Public Administration program can be completed online and requires 36 credits. Students complete the program with an applied capstone project. Graduates have the practical skills and theoretical foundation in public administration to pursue private and public sector opportunities.

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