Public Administration

The Bachelor of Science in Public Administration prepares you to plan, direct, and coordinate supportive services in government, private, or nonprofit organizations. You will study communications, finance, politics, and other subjects that will serve you in a variety of administrative roles with a public service mission.

At UC, You Can

Whether you're already working in an administrative career or want to transfer military experience to a government or nonprofit position, we'll find a path for you. Our faculty are committed, passionate professionals with years of experience in Public Administration careers. 

image of RWU 2017 UC grad Greg Ehlinger“Prior Learning Assessment saved me a year in my educational timeline. I was able to get the credit I deserved from my associate’s degree.”


Greg Ehlinger ’17, Appraisal Analyst, Santander Bank
At UC: Public Administration
More: Going Back to Finish a Degree, Saving Time & Money

How You'll Get There

At UC, we support you on your individual path. Whether you are just starting out or picking up where you left off, we work with you to accomplish your goals. As you work with our faculty, each respected in their field, you'll build lasting connections that open doors to your success.

You'll receive one-on-one guidance from your advisor each step of the way. You may take advantage of our prior learning assessment, applying transfer credit, trainings and assessments, military experience, work experience, and self-taught skills toward your degree. 

You NeedYou Don't Need
  • An interest in organization, leadership, or strategy
  • Official transcripts from high school, college 
  • Entrance exam
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • Pre-requisites
  • Admission essay
  • Application fee

Sample Courses

Person speaking to and audience.
Effective Speaking Across Audiences
Person pointing to a poster in front of a group of people at a table.
Organizational Theory and Management
Capitol building and American flag.
American Government and Politics

Bachelor & Associate Degree Options

The Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration is designed for those in or seeking careers in public service that require various administrative skills including federal, state and local government agencies, nonprofit organizations and other public sector-oriented entities. Courses focus on building skills around the topics of budgeting, personnel and financial administration, the management of organizations, public service leadership, law, political and government institutions, ethics and global awareness that are critical for not only public administration, but all global citizens.

The curriculum of the BS in Public Administration program is based on the standards of the Network of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) and emphasizes the following public service values:  accountability; transparency; respect for citizen privacy; ethical actions and values; and participatory processes that encourage citizen engagement.

      10 core courses
        9 required courses
        3 major electives 

+  18 additional electives
_________________________
      40 courses (120 credits)

See Degree Requirements

6 courses = 18 credits

See Course Requirements

Any student may choose to pursue an associates degree, focusing in a specific program area. You may earn an Associate of Science degree by selecting your courses from the Public Administration bachelor's degree options and fulfilling the requirements below. 

      5 skills courses
      2 core courses 
      6 liberal arts courses 
+  7 electives  

________________________
    20 courses (60 credits)

See Degree Requirements

Common Add-On Certificates

You can easily add one of the following professional certificates to this degree without taking any additional classes. They allow you to earn your degree one step at a time, adding credentials to your resume along the way.

Designed for adults working (or seeking to work) in municipal and local government settings who need to upgrade skills, acquire new skills, or attain additional credentials. Prospective students may be interested in both the certificate and a bachelor's degree. Many may already have college degrees but want or need a more specific set of skills for their position. 

5 required courses = 15 credits

See Certificate Details

This flexible certificate could stand alone or be embedded into a bachelors degree, equipping you for any number of positions within an organization. You will learn skills like image management, crisis communication, advertising, public relations, and new media/communication technologies.  

5 required courses = 15 credits 

See Certificate Details 

In this professional certificate program, you will learn about contemporary issues in public safety and the ways organizations respond to the challenges. Courses cover public speaking skills and crime prevention along with specific public safety concerns such as drug use and youth gangs.

6 required courses = 18 credits

See Certificate Details 

In this professional certificate program, you will learn the specific skillsets needed to be an effective defender of homeland security. Learn strategies and theories of disaster management, counter-terrorism methods, crime prevention, and more.

6 required courses = 18 credits

See Certificate Details

Whether you've been working in the medical field for several years or are just starting out, a professional certificate in Health Services Administration will help you meet your goals. Perhaps you'd like to get a bachelors degree in the future, or maybe you already have your degree but want to shift your career path. This certificate opens up doors to effectively run health care facilities, a growing career path with high earning potential. 

5 required courses  = 15 credits    

See Certificate Details 

Whether you're a healthcare professional and want to gain more specific skills for your career, seeking a Bachelor's degree with a case management concentration, or are just starting out in this field, this professional certificate can help you reach your goals. 

5 required courses = 15 credits

See Certificate Details

Flexible Options to Suit Your Schedule

You may complete this entire program online, from anywhere, on your own schedule. Depending on the needs and interests of our students, we also offer in-person courses to bring your learning to life through face-to-face discussion. Our hybrid on-line and in-person courses give you the best of both worlds. Your advisor will help you determine which path works best for you. 

Your Career 

Studying Public Administration can lead to a wide range of careers with a wide range of salaries. Many people with this degree end up working in local, state, or federal government. 

While career outlooks depend on candidate experience and specific employer requirements, the table below reflects average salaries for people with Public Administration backgrounds in various settings including government, nonprofit, and private organizations*

ProfessionWhat You'll DoWhat You'll NeedAverage Salary 
Political or Organizational Fundraising Manager Coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for an organization.Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree preferred by some employers$131,570
Administrative Services ManagerPlan, direct and coordinate supportive services of an organization. Bachelor's Degree $106,050
Government Budget Analyst Prepare budget reports and monitor institutional spending.Bachelor's Degree$79,830
Human Resources SpecialistSupport hiring process and oversee employee relations, compensation and trainings.  Bachelor's Degree$66,790
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians Monitor environment and investigate pollution in sites. Associate's Degree or Bachelor's Degree and coursework in natural sciences$50,350

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. Job outlook: 2018-2028. Median salary: 2018

Individualized Support, More Affordable

At University College, you get the individualized attention of a private university at a more affordable cost. There are multiple options for financial aid, scholarships, and accelerated paths to get you to the degree you need. Some programs run by Roger Williams are awarded by simply applying for admission, while others are awarded to students through a more formal aid application process.

To ensure full consideration for all aid programs, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Tuition Costs & Fees: A valuable education you can afford
  • Financing Your Education: Filling out the FAFSA
  • Do You Live in Central Falls, Cranston or Pawtucket? Ask about RWU's lower-cost tuition agreements for residents of these communities.
  • Military: We can help you navigate the application process for tuition assistance, GI Bill benefits, and other tuition benefits, which include waived application fee and discounted tuition rates for service members and spouses, as well as financial aid.
  • Employers & Municipalities: Many employers, including municipalities, will reimburse tuition costs. Ask your HR team for details about your benefits.

image of Josselyn Velasquez-Florian, UC Career Pathway Specialist

Questions? Meet Josselyn

Everyone has questions.Our Pathway Specialist, Josselyn Velasquez-Florian, has answers. Call her at (401) 254-4807 or email jvelasquez-florian@rwu.edu