How do I get a Degree in Administration and Public Policy?

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  • Written By: Licia Morrow
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2018
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A professional level master's of arts or PhD can be earned in administration and public policy from many universities worldwide. A professional with one of these degrees is often qualified to work in a government agency or non-profit organization. A graduate of a public administration curriculum is educated and experienced in forming and facilitating policies that affect the public, at the local, state, or national level.

Degrees in administration and public policy can be earned at public, private, and online universities in many countries across the world. A university offering an administration and public policy degree usually has an independent public policy school within the college that prepares students through coursework and study. Some universities offer more focused degrees within their curriculum. A student might pursue a more specialized degree under the umbrella of public policy in areas such as policy analysis, urban and regional planning, social policy, or political economy. Several universities also offer joint degrees in which a student may earn his or her administration and public policy degree while simultaneously earning a law, public health, or social work degree.


Students often earn a public policy master's of arts or PhD after completing a bachelor's degree in another subject area. In order to enter the program, many students are required to take the Graduate Record Examinations®, or GRE®. Some universities have other testing requirements, including passing scores on law and management exams. At some colleges there may be prerequisite requirements that students must fulfill, such as economics or political science, before they will be accepted into the program.

Economics, law, international issues, finance, sociology, project development, research, business, and political science are all important parts of the coursework for any student pursuing a public policy degree. Depending upon the focus of the individual, students may take courses teaching non-profit or business organization financing, practices, and policy making. Additionally, students might be required to complete courses in human resources, government administration, mediation, labor law, and social policy.

Many universities also encourage students to participate in an internship, consisting of unpaid on-the-job experience, to round out their education and provide enough experience to enter the job market. Many highly competitive internship programs exist, such as the United States Presidential Management Internship Program, in which candidates are rotated through separate branches of the government at the federal level. The job prospects for this type of professional are positive. A graduate with an administration and public policy degree might be recruited by a local, state, or government agency, private business, or non-profit organization. Some professionals also gain positions working for international businesses.



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