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Top Ranked Public Administration Degree - Cincinnati, OH

Students interested in studying public administration in the Cincinnati, OH, area have few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

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School and Ranking Information

Within a 50-mile radius of Cincinnati, Ohio, there are about eight schools that offer with degree programs related to public administration. The following three schools are considered the top options based on school and program rankings, program options and the number of degrees awarded in the field:

  • Winner: The University of Dayton is the top pick among these schools. Though this university is situated about 40 miles from Cincinnati, it boasts a nationally ranked Master of Public Administration (MPA) program that allows students to complete internships and service projects. It also has accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.
  • Runner Up #1: Miami University in Oxford takes second place for its national university ranking from U.S. News & World Report. Its bachelor's degree program features a public administration student organization as well as internship opportunities in Cincinnati.
  • Runner Up #2: The third choice for prospective public administrators is Northern Kentucky University, which also offers internship placements and opportunities for participation in a related student organization through its MPA program. This school also awarded the most public administration degrees during the 2011 school year.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Dayton Miami University - Oxford Northern Kentucky University
Rankings Graduate public affairs program ranked #149, nationally (2012)
#112 among national universities (2014)*
#75 among national universities (2014)* #35 among public regional universities in the South (2014)
#77 among regional universities in the South (2014)*
Location Dayton, OH (39.4 miles from Cincinnati) Oxford, OH (25 miles from Cincinnati) Highland Heights, KY (11.6 miles from Cincinnati)
School Type 4-year, private not for profit 4-year, public 4-year, public
Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) $9,506 (graduate)** $13,594 (in-state, undergraduate),
$29,158 (out-of-state, undergraduate)**
$8,280 (in-state, graduate),
$13,914 (out-of-state, graduate)**
Public Administration Degree Levels Offered Master of Public Administration Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration Master of Public Administration
Public Administration Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 12** 22** 28**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (150% of Normal Program Time) for 2006 Entering Class N/A 80%** N/A

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

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Winner: University of Dayton

  • Graduate program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)
  • Awards course credits for government internships

The University of Dayton is a Catholic institution offering an MPA program through its College of Arts and Sciences. Graduate students pursuing this 39-credit-hour degree can complete six credits through government internships with such entities as museums, the state attorney general's office and the city's mediation center. Opportunities to participate in public service projects are also available to students already working in the public administration field. The curriculum features courses in fiscal administration, human resource management, intergovernmental relations and conflict management. Other course topics cover public administration ethics and administrative law.

Additional programs include an accelerated Bachelor of Arts/MPA program. The university also offers a graduate certificate in non-profit and community leadership to graduate students and undergraduate students with junior standing.

Runner-Up #1: Miami University - Oxford

  • Sponsors a student chapter of the Miami Association for Public Administration
  • Study abroad opportunities include programs in Africa, South America, Asia and Europe

Established in 1809, Miami University - Oxford is among the nation's oldest public institutions of higher learning. The university's undergraduate students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration that includes coursework in such areas as policy analysis, urban administration and public budgeting. Internship opportunities are also available with local governments, including Cincinnati's. The College of Arts and Sciences also offers a Master of Arts in Political Science with a 9-credit-hour concentration in public administration and policy analysis. Students in either program can participate in the Miami Association for Public Administration, a student organization that sponsors seminars and embarks on trips to area chapters of the American Society for Public Administration.

Runner-Up #2: Northern Kentucky University

  • NASPAA-accredited graduate program
  • MPA program features Cincinnati-area internship placements
  • Public Administration Student Society offers networking and service opportunities to MPA candidates

Northern Kentucky University's College of Arts and Sciences offers an MPA program that includes evening and weekend classes designed to suit the demands of working adults. Core MPA courses cover budgeting techniques, public policy analysis, administrative law and data analysis. Students can choose from one of several areas of concentration, including homeland security and emergency management, metropolitan governance, non-profit management or general public management. Internship opportunities are available in the Cincinnati mayor's office or city planning agencies. Students can also choose to complete a 12-credit graduate certificate in non-profit management. Up to nine credits earned in this program can be applied toward an MPA. Undergraduate students can choose to complete a minor in public service.

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