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Top Ranked School for Public Administration - San Antonio, TX

San Antonio 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

There are few schools found within a 25-mile area of San Antonio offering public administration programs. Based on school type, rankings and the amount of degrees awarded in the discipline, the top three schools are as follows:

  • Winner: The University of Texas at San Antonio is the winning school due to being a public institution, the options available to students for degree level in public administration and how many degrees in the field have been conferred.
  • Runner Up #1: St. Mary's University, located in San Antonio, is the first runner up on account of its regional ranking issued by U.S. News & World Report in 2014 and for the opportunities provided to students through the school's public administration institute.
  • Runner Up #2: San Antonio College in San Antonio follows for its low tuition rates and for being one of the few schools in all of Texas offering an associate's in the field.

School Comparison Chart

Category The University of Texas at San Antonio St. Mary's University San Antonio College
Ranking(s) #138 for its graduate public affairs programs in 2013, nationwide* #27 among regional universities in the West for 2014* N/A
Location San Antonio, TX San Antonio, TX San Antonio, TX
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $7,389 (undergraduate, in-state),
$15,813 (undergraduate, out-of-state),
$6,576 (graduate, in-state),
$19,212 (graduate, out-of-state)**
$13,886 (graduate)** $2,038 (in-district)
$5,500 (in-state)
$10,822 (out-of-state)**
Public Administration Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's and master's degrees Master's degree Associate's degree
Public Administration Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 41 (master's degrees only)** 18** 9**
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) 28% for Fall 2006 entering class** 57% for Fall 2006 entering class** 5% for Fall 2009 entering class**
Noteworthy Four departmental scholarships available for public administration students On-campus chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration One of only seven schools in Texas offering an associate's degree in public administration

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

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Winner: The University of Texas at San Antonio

  • The majority of departmental faculty hold doctoral degrees
  • The College of Public Policy holds an annual student research competition, with winners receiving recognition and cash prizes
  • Ranked in the top 100 schools under 50 years old (worldwide) by Times Higher Education in 2013

UTSA's public administration department reported 12 faculty members and over 200 students on its website in 2013. The university's newest degree program, a 120-credit Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA), is the only one of its kind offered within 40 miles of San Antonio. Undergraduate students must participate in internships, and previous sites include the San Antonio Food Bank, Texas Department of Human Services, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the 39-credit curriculum and an internship, Master of Public Administration (MPA) students must complete a comprehensive exam in order to graduate. A survey conducted by the university of 2006-2011 MPA graduates showed that 83% of respondents felt the public administration master's program had a positive impact on their careers. UTSA also offers a graduate certificate in nonprofit administration and leadership.

Runner-Up #1: St. Mary's University

  • The school's Institute for Public Administration, Politics and Policy provides students and faculty with opportunities for research and mentorship, as well as seminars, workshops, and other events
  • Legislative Internship Program allows students to intern with Texas state senators and representatives
  • Graduate assistantships are available

There are just five faculty members in the public administration department, but they include a retired San Antonio City Manager and a practicing attorney with years of experience. Students can pursue a Master of Public Administration as a single degree or enroll in a joint J.D./MPA program offered in conjunction with the Law School. As of Fall 2013, St. Mary's also began offering a Certificate in Public Communications, Public Policy and Public Leadership to supplement the MPA degree. MPA students are required to complete a 300-hour internship, though those who already have relevant work experience may instead complete a policy analysis or similar project.

Runner-Up #2: San Antonio College

  • Offers related certificate programs in budgeting and leadership for the public sector
  • The program requires a practicum, giving students an early start on work experience

Students enrolled in SAC's public administration program take courses in a variety of subject areas, ranging from history and government to management, human resources, computers, and urban planning. The two related certificate programs have additional courses in the areas of accounting, public relations, and law. Students who wish to transfer to a four-year school in order to pursue a BPA can take advantage of guided plans offered by the school's Transfer Center. School-specific guides are available for Texas State and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Another available service is the Virtual College of Texas (VCT), which allows students to take courses from community schools across the state.

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