Bachelor of Public Administration: Degree Overview

Bachelor's of Public Administration programs give students the directorial, research and hands-on experience and skills needed to impact social and public institutions.

Essential Information

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) degree will develop leadership, analytical, organizational, research and communication skills, and be able to enter fields in the private and public sector. Students can also typically choose from a multitude of concentrations that allow them to work in different industries. Some specialization options might include law enforcement and non-profit organizations. Their classroom instruction may be highlighted with internships or similar field exercises.

Bachelor's degree programs require a high school diploma or GED for admission, as well as SAT or ACT score. Students transferring into public administration bachelor's programs may have different admission requirements.

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Bachelor of Public Administration

With a B.P.A. curriculum, students learn to implement complex public programs, while troubleshooting community and governmental issues successfully. They also learn business management techniques and the moral implications behind those actions so that programs can function effectively. Possible course topics are:

  • Public policy and organizations
  • Human resource management
  • Social ethics
  • Urban planning and management
  • Fundraising for non-profits
  • Emergency management

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a B.P.A. program may work in many different industries, including nonprofit agencies, government, education, research institutions and businesses. Depending on the profession, the employment outlook varies. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employment for human resource managers was expected to increase 9% from 2014 to 2024, while human resource specialists were expected to see 5% growth in that time frame ( Some possible career options include:

  • Probation officer
  • Human resources director
  • Community service manager
  • Public relations specialist
  • Health service administrator

Continuing Education Information

Individuals seeking leadership positions in public administration may consider Masters of Public Administration programs. These programs include advanced classes and research projects. Additionally, they may allow students to concentrate on specialized areas.

Public administration bachelor degree programs focus largely on developing leadership, analytical, and communication skills. Graduates of such programs most often go on to find jobs in the public sector or pursue advanced degrees.

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