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BS in Business - Public Administration: Degree Overview

Discover how students can earn a bachelor's degree in business with a focus in public administration. Learn about the topics that are generally included in the curriculum and explore the employment outlook data for industry professionals.

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Essential Information

Public administration specializations are available through Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration programs. A public administration specialization provides students with a background in public bureaucracy and administration processes. These degree programs are designed to prepare students to handle problems, tackle issues and lead personnel in a business environment. Classes are sometimes offered online. The curricula might consist of seminars, capstone courses and internships, depending on the program. Schools typically require a high school diploma or equivalent for entry into a 4-year program.

Course Topics

Students learn how to make decisions that will be efficient and effective, as well as allow an organization to keep growing and thriving. Most programs offer training in global business, allowing students to prepare for work in companies that do international business.

In addition to business and public administration courses, students complete general education courses, such as communications, English, humanities, social sciences and math. The program explores accounting and budgeting, administrative law, collective bargaining and local planning. Additional courses students may complete include:

  • Public finance
  • Business policy
  • Management principles
  • Public policy
  • Marketing
  • Organizational behavior
  • Project management

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The focus of this type of degree program is preparing students to work in nonprofit organizations, but training can also be used to pursue work in the public sector. Individuals may work in various fields, including accounting, purchasing and information technology. Graduates could have gained the communication, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to handle public affairs. They may find work in:

  • Small businesses
  • Government agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Global corporations

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides information about some public administration occupations. For instance, it states that employment of social and community service managers is expected to grow 27% between 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov), while that of administrative services managers could grow 15% over the same period. Salary information provided in May 2012 by the BLS indicates that social and community service managers earned a median annual wage of $59,970 and administrative services managers $81,080.

Continuing Education Information

Some schools may allow students to combine a bachelor's and master's degree program in public administration. Master's degree programs explore problems in public personnel administration, public program evaluation and administrative law. Graduate degree programs may be available in hybrid and online formats allowing students scheduling flexibility. Additionally, graduate certificate programs are available to bachelor's holders in areas such as nonprofit studies.

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