Public Administration (B.S.)

Public Administration (B.S.)
Lori Rudis in a black suit with her laptop at the statehouse
  Online Program

The public administration profession offers a range of career paths such as municipal management, law enforcement, firefighting, and even nonprofit roles that serve the community.

 Credit Hours: 120  |   Transfer: Up to 90 Credits  |   Tuition Cost

Seek Leadership Roles in the Public Administration Fields

This program is designed for those who have established a foundation or a career in these fields, and will build upon what you’ve already learned on-the-job and through prior study.

Updated in 2021, this program is now a four-year administration program with new courses related to public policy, leadership, human resource management, and public sector budget and finance.

Course Highlights

  • Introduction to Public Administration
  • Career Development and Life Planning
  • Introduction to Data Analytics
  • Change Management
  • Excel
  • Introduction to Ethics
  • Statistics
  • Public Policy Development and Implementation
  • Public Sector Budget and Finance
  • Human Resources in the Public Sector

…and more!


  • Regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, Inc. (NECHE).
  • Available fully online with select on-campus courses.
  • Affordable tuition.
  • Nationally ranked online programs.
  • About 89% of our students are transfer students. Making the most of your transfer credits is our specialty.
  • Career advising is available to all students and alumni. We also extend this service to those considering their college options.
  • Faculty who are subject matter experts and share their real-world expertise, helping you apply what you learn to your personal goals and career.
  • We’re experts at assessing credit toward your undergraduate degree – not only from previous college coursework, but also for other college-level knowledge demonstrated outside the traditional classroom.

Students pursuing an associate degree at their local community college are encouraged to explore our Transfer Pathway! This resource lists the courses your associate degree should contain at your community college.

View Your Transfer Pathway

  • Completion of our free, online application for admission
  • High school diploma, completion of a high school education in a homeschool setting under state law, or demonstrate high school equivalency.
    • Successful completion of one of the following exams will be required for demonstrating high school equivalency: the GED, HiSET, or TASC

For motivated undergraduate students interested in pursuing a graduate degree, you can pair this program with an accelerated M.S. in Leadership option that allows you to streamline the completion of your educational goals. This option allows students to complete their bachelor’s and graduate degrees in a fast-tracked five-year timeline.


If you're interested in enrolling in an accelerated graduate program, contact your advisor

Curriculum & Requirements

The Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration offers students depth and breadth in public administration, leadership, and public policy. The degree is designed to meet the educational needs of public administration professionals and includes an appropriate foundation for further graduate study for a Master’s in Public Administration or Master’s in Leadership. The outcomes-based program is built upon a foundation of essential public administration competencies that are integrated throughout the curriculum: public administration, leadership, public policy, ethics, strategic communication, human resource management, budgeting and finance, government relations, and community engagement.

This degree plan is a sample and does not reflect the impact of transfer credit or current course offerings. UNH CPS Online undergraduate students should develop individual academic plans with their academic advisor during their first year at UNH.

Sample Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
APST 405 Career Development and Planning 2
CMPL 402 Excel 2
ENG 420 The Writing Process 4
PADM 500 Introduction to Public Administration 4
General Education Course 4
COM 460 Interpersonal Communication and Group Dynamics 4
CRIT 501 Introduction to Critical Inquiry 4
HUMN 480 Introduction to Ethics 4
MTH 402
or MTH 504
or MTH 510
Math for Our World
or Statistics
or Pre-Calculus
Second Year
COM 480 Visual Communication 4
HRM 580 Change Management 4
MTH 504 Statistics 4
General Education Course 4
DAT 510 Introduction to Data Analytics 4
LD 600
or LD 660
Becoming an Effective Leader
or Leadership Theory
General Education Course 4
Elective 4
Third Year
CRIT 602 Advanced Critical Analysis and Strategic Thinking 4
PADM 600 Public Policy Development and Implementation 4
COM 665
or LD 725
Media and Strategic Communication
or Volunteer Leadership
Elective 4
PADM 645 Public Sector Budget and Finance 4
PADM 670 Human Resources in the Public Sector 4
Elective 4
Elective 4
Fourth Year
APST 705
or MGMT 706
Grant Writing
or Fundraising and Resource Development
IDIS 601 Interdisciplinary Seminar 4
Elective 4
Elective 4
MGMT 797
or MGMT 795
Integrative Capstone: Industry-Based Project
or Integrative Capstone: Industry-Based Internship
Elective 4
 Total Credits120

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 120 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 30 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.0 is required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: General Education Program
Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*GPA: Major and any state certification GPA requirements may be higher and are indicated in program details.
A minimum grade of C- is required in all Major coursework. Students are allowed a maximum of two course overlaps. Overlaps can be used between Major, Minor, and General Education requirements with only one overlap being utilized between the Major and Minor. Please note that Option requirements are considered part of the Major. Students must complete 16 upper-level credits in majors within the College of Professional Studies, Online.

General Education Program Requirements

A minimum grade of D- is required in all General Education coursework. Students are allowed a maximum of two course overlaps. Overlaps can be used between Major, Minor and General Education requirements with only one overlap being utilized between the Major and Minor.

All General Education requirements, including CRIT 602 Advanced Critical Analysis and Strategic Thinking and IDIS 601 Interdisciplinary Seminar, must be taken prior to the capstone.

ENG 420The Writing Process4
COM 460Interpersonal Communication and Group Dynamics4
COM 480Visual Communication4
CRIT 501Introduction to Critical Inquiry4
Select one of the following:4
MTH 402
Math for Our World
MTH 504
MTH 510
Knowledge of Human Behavior & Social Systems4
Knowledge of the Physical & Natural World4
Knowledge of Human Thought & Expression4
CRIT 602Advanced Critical Analysis and Strategic Thinking4
IDIS 601Interdisciplinary Seminar4
Total Credits40

Writing Program Requirements

All bachelor's degree candidates are required to complete four writing intensive courses as part of the University Writing Program Requirements as follows:

ENG 420
The Writing Process
One Writing Intensive course in the Major
One Writing Intensive course at the 600-level or above
One Additional Writing Intensive Course

Writing Intensive courses are identified with the label "Writing Intensive Course" in the "Attributes" section of the course description and/or a W following the course number.


Major Requirements

Prior to capstone enrollment, students are expected to complete the majority of their required major courses along with CRIT 602 Advanced Critical Analysis and Strategic Thinking and IDIS 601 Interdisciplinary Seminar. Students should consult with their advisor regarding specific major courses that may be completed with their capstone. Academic Advisor approval is required for registration to be processed.

Major in Public Administration
Foundation Courses
APST 405Career Development and Planning2
CMPL 402Excel2
DAT 510Introduction to Data Analytics4
HUMN 480Introduction to Ethics4
PADM 500Introduction to Public Administration4
Intermediate Courses
MTH 504Statistics4
HRM 580Change Management4
PADM 600Public Policy Development and Implementation4
PADM 645Public Sector Budget and Finance4
PADM 670Human Resources in the Public Sector4
Advanced Courses
APST 705Grant Writing4
or MGMT 706 Fundraising and Resource Development
LD 600Becoming an Effective Leader4
or LD 660 Leadership Theory
LD 725Volunteer Leadership4
or COM 665 Media and Strategic Communication
Integrative Capstone
MGMT 795Integrative Capstone: Industry-Based Internship4
or MGMT 797 Integrative Capstone: Industry-Based Project
Total Credits52


Open electives are courses students will need to take in addition to their general education and major requirements in order to satisfy the remaining credit totals for their programs. Open electives are defined as any credit course offered by the College not already included in the student's general education, major, option or minor. Students will need 120 credits total to graduate with a bachelor's degree from the Online Division of the College of Professional Studies.

  • Develop the ability to lead and manage in the public interest.
  • Participate in, and contribute to, the policy process.
  • Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make evidence-informed decisions in a complex and dynamic environment.
  • Articulate, apply, and advance a public service perspective.
  • Communicate and interact productively and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large.

Your Prior and Current Learning Counts

Many of our students can demonstrate college-level knowledge gained from military, workplace and volunteer-based training, and experiences. We are experts at helping students demonstrate learning and earning academic credit.

Learn More



Opportunities for Airmen

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Finish Your Bachelor's Degree With the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF)

The AU-ABC partnership between Air University and the UNH College of Professional Studies allows you to apply your CCAF Associate in Applied Science toward this online bachelor's degree. All CCAF degrees are transferable into this program. 

Learn More About Community College of the Air Force AU-ABC

Download Our Program Planning File 


Career Outcomes

Talk with your advisor to discuss how your program, experience, and goals align.