Online Classes in Public Administration with Course Descriptions

Studying public administration gives students the opportunity to build leadership skills and the broad managerial knowledge needed to work in public or non-profit sectors. Many schools offer online undergraduate and graduate classes in this field. View article »

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Video Transcript

Online Public Administration Courses

The following descriptions give an idea of what to expect from common online classes in public administration:

  • In a government relations class, students examine the impact of the federal government on creating and implementing public policies at the state and local levels. This course may review the history and philosophy of federalism as it relates to public administration.
  • A politics and public administration course lets instructors focus on the role that politics and government bureaucracies play in formulating public policy. Students taking these online classes in public administration review how politicians use bureaucracies to influence policy.
  • Distance learning classes in research typically cover basic research methods that public administrators use to identify and analyze problems. Researching urban public administration trends is also an area of focus.
  • In a public policy course, candidates review how public policy is created, implemented, and evaluated. Teachers emphasize policies that impact public agencies.
  • Course descriptions of online classes in fiscal administration and budgeting emphasize fiscal administration and budgeting and fiscal management in public agencies. Students learn to analyze the financial benefits and costs of public policies.
  • In a law and ethics course, aspiring public administrators review laws and regulations that impact the profession. Students also discuss ethics that will hold them accountable as professionals.
  • In a course on urban public administration, students examine public administration issues and problems of municipalities. These distance learning classes in public administration focus on the relationship between municipal agencies and government programs.
  • A public personnel administration course covers varied management philosophies and techniques. Students learn about management of both public and non-profit agencies. Affirmative action principles are explained. The techniques studied include job analysis, manpower analysis, and recruitment.
  • During a course on disaster recovery, students learn about governmental responses to disasters and emergencies. In particular, they analyze community service delivery strategies and how to coordinate efforts in order to maximize the effectiveness of recovery efforts.
  • A sustainable communities course introduces students to the field of environmentally sustainable community development. Students study different strategies for making social and landscape changes within a community that ensure future sustainability.

Program Information

Public administration professionals must possess skills and knowledge from a variety of areas. That's why online programs in public administration may offer classes from several departments, including urban affairs, political science, and public affairs. This is especially true at the master's level.

Undergraduate courses may be part of a Bachelor of Public Administration or Bachelor of Science in Public Administration program. Graduate degree programs, leading to a certificate or a Master of Public Administration (MPA), are widely available online. Some require students to have relevant work experience.

Distance learners studying public administration typically log on to a course management system. These virtual classroom sites contain lectures, assignments, and other supplemental materials. Some courses may require students to use web cams or headsets while attending live scheduled class meetings.

Future public administrators can prepare for the career by taking courses related to political practices and governmental activities. Online courses are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


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