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Public Administration Degree Program

Program OverviewProgram DetailsWhy Choose Franklin

Advance your career by leading mission-oriented organizations

For some, the heart of meaningful work lies in a single word: service. If you are someone who finds reward in more than just a paycheck, the Public Administration Major is the program of choice for you. The public administration degree program is designed to prepare you to be a leader and manager in government or nonprofit organizations.

The need for leadership in these mission-oriented entities couldn’t be greater. Given the large numbers of top managers entering retirement, new leaders equipped to tackle the most pressing issues of these organizations are in demand.

Franklin University’s Public Administration Degree Program is exclusively focused on preparing you to gain entry or advancement as an administrator, manager, or leader in a government or nonprofit organization. You’ll acquire the skills needed to help organizations fulfill their missions. These skills include organizational leadership, fiscal administration, political advocacy, and program management.

Gain specialized knowledge with relevant and customizable curriculum

At Franklin, we teach what many programs do not, including how to navigate the political system, implement policy, and apply ethical management practices. We offer a balanced yet comprehensive program, giving you both a government and nonprofit perspective.

With the bachelor's in public administration, you can also choose from more than 20 different areas of subject interest to customize your curriculum.

Acquire the skills that prepare you to lead the way

Franklin's degree in public administration will also give you hands-on experience with projects and skills you can immediately put into practice. For example, you’ll participate in a budgeting simulation in which you’ll act as the fiscal lead for a local government division. Your job is to develop and seek approval for budget requests and make critical decisions while navigating politics and pressure from colleagues, elected officials, and special interest groups. Along the way, you’ll learn to use essential tools, such as process improvement and project management tools, spreadsheets, and financial analysis techniques.

Classes are taught by top working professionals, so you can learn from both their challenges and achievements. Plus, leading professionals on our Advisory Board regularly review our curriculum to ensure it meets high professional standards and increases your employability. The Public Administration Advisory Board is comprised of nonprofit CEOs, governmental officials, and community leaders, such as former Columbus Mayor Greg Lashutka.

Earn your degree from a university built for busy adults

Earn your public administration degree on your terms by taking classes 100% online or pursue available coursework at one of our Midwest locations. Regionally accredited and nonprofit, Franklin was built from the ground-up to satisfy the needs of adult learners. Our seamless transfer process and team of academic advisors will help ease your transition to becoming a student, while our flexible course schedules help to balance your education with work, family, and life.Get started on your future today!

Gain The Skills Employers Desire

  • Political Advocacy
    • Help individuals, organizations, and groups develop a unified voice for policies and advocacy initiatives
    • Support effective relationships with public officials, community representatives, and media members in order to inform stakeholders about organizational programs and activities
    • Support government relations and advocacy initiatives
    • Assist with media relations and organizational communication
    • Produce educational materials and programs to inform and engage stakeholders in advocacy campaigns
    • Assist with developing and executing policy and advocacy strategies that increase support among policymakers and other key stakeholders
    • Collaborate with stakeholders to foster strategic relationships and improve organizational services
    • Collaborate with stakeholders in fulfilling organizational missions and goals
    • Work with government relations teams in developing effective, educational communications, events, and meetings
    • Monitor and analyze local, state and federal legislation, regulations, and other policies
    • Assist with developing comprehensive responses to pending legislation, rules, and related issues
  • Fiscal Administration
    • Perform administrative functions, including preparing budgets and fiscal reporting
    • Assist with identifying, obtaining, and managing organizational revenues and cash flow
    • Analyze financial and budget information, creating reports and preparing presentations to facilitate informed decision making
    • Review proposals, funding increase requests, new initiatives and capital expenditures, providing funding recommendations for new and existing programs
    • Assess fiscal and budgetary reports to identify ways to increase efficiency and maximize use of available funds
    • Navigate organizational and government budgeting processes to advance goals
    • Present budget and financial data in a clear, professional manner appropriate for various audiences
  • Program Management
    • Provide information and recommendations for strategic planning and operational decision making
    • Assist with administrative oversight and management of programs, ensuring compliance with applicable federal and state laws while achieving performance outcomes
    • Manage strategic and operational projects and personnel
    • Coordinate external and internal services and intergovernmental affairs
    • Help implement improved work methods, operating policies and procedures, programs, and services
    • Assess performance of programs and processes
  • Government & Nonprofit Leadership
    • Provide ethical leadership that promotes the public interest
    • Support strategic partnerships that advance the organizational mission
    • Coordinate the development of innovative programmatic strategies and solutions to organizational problems
    • Assist with administration of programs, including formulating and executing policy implementation plans and operating procedures
    • Participate in project management and program implementation to accomplish organizational objectives
    • Provide assistance in recruiting, training, and engaging volunteers
    • Promote democratic and constitutional values within communities and organizations

Career Opportunities

  • Administrative Manager

    Administrative Managers support smooth running operations by providing leadership and decision-making support to clerical personnel and administrative functions.

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  • Administrative Specialist

    Administrative Specialists provide clerical and operational support to other employees or managers, including scheduling meetings, arranging travel, preparing reports, and handling correspondence.

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  • Budget Analyst

    Budget Analysts review and manage financial resources and organizational spending to ensure operational efficiencies and enhance profit margins.

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  • Community Relations Specialist

    Community Relations Specialists help cultivate community support and build public awareness by planning and implementing community-specific programs, projects, and events.

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  • Deputy Assistant Director

    Deputy Assistant Directors oversee an organization’s fiscal and administrative work, supporting the development and implementation of strategic plans and policies.

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  • Development Coordinator

    Development Coordinators support executive leadership in the creation and implementation of short- and long-term fundraising plans, including writing grants, cultivating supporters, and coordinating activities.

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  • Environmental Supervisor

    Environmental Supervisors oversee the planning and implementation of environmental health and safety policies and manage associated personnel to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and limits.

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  • Field Supervisor

    Field Supervisors hire and manage employees, analyze outcomes, and develop corresponding programs and activities to ensure productivity.

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  • Parks and Recreation Program Supervisor

    Parks and Recreation Program Supervisors assist in planning and coordinating community recreational facilities, personnel, programs, policies, and activities.

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  • Volunteer Coordinator

    Volunteer Coordinators recruit, train, and supervise volunteers, including scheduling and recording activities, responding to requests, and resolving issues.

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Employment Outlook

In 2015 there were 145,532 job openings related to Public Administration. The previous year, 17,665 students completed programs in Public Administration. 

Occupations Job Openings (2015) Expected Growth
Chief Executives 5,337 3.74%
General and Operations Managers 83,437 12.45%
Administrative Services Managers 9,067 12.89%
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers 3,493 9.76%
Social and Community Service Managers 5,801 16.95%
Managers, All Other 11,931 8.31%

Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) - June 2016

Our Recipe For Your Success

Academic & Industry Experts

Classes are taught and designed by credentialed professionals with real-world experience.

  • Programs are designed by combining the insight of industry leaders with the academic expertise of our faculty, ensuring what you learn translates into on-the-job success.

  • Academic concepts and theories are brought to life through our teaching faculty’s professional expertise, and can be immediately applied in your career.

  • Faculty with industry experience teach our courses, not graduate students or life-time academics, so you learn not only the theories behind the practice but also how to apply them in real-world situations.

Relevant & Consistent Curriculum

What you learn is a reflection of the program you choose, not the format in which it’s applied.

  • All programs are designed for learning outcomes to flow from the program level into actual coursework.

  • This top-down approach allows credentialed professionals to customize assignments based on trending industry topics without deviating from a program’s core outcomes.

  • Regardless of your professor or the format of your class, you receive the same quality education.

Hands-On Learning Experience

Franklin's coursework teaches not only theories and concepts, but also how they apply to practical situations.


  • Professional course designers ensure that class activities such as learning simulations, case studies, interactive videos, and group exercises are relevant and appropriate.

  • A curriculum development team is dedicated to making sure all courses are intuitively designed so content is taught in a logical manner that facilitates your success in the classroom and beyond.

Continuously Evolving Programs

Consistent program reviews ensure our programs stay at the forefront of industry trends.

  • Survey results and feedback from student and faculty assessments are reviewed regularly so that our programs are always improving and up-to-date.

  • A structured review process helps identify industry gaps that guide curriculum enhancements allowing our academic and industry experts to regularly implement new industry trends.

  • Regular assessment provides hard data that is used to improve student learning and teaching methods.

Get the details

View curriculum, read course descriptions,
and meet program faculty.

View Program Details