Program Overview

Discover how an online public administration degree can help you succeed.

Our society depends on public servants. While elected officials make the news, professionals behind the scenes are the ones who can have the biggest impact. Now, get the skills and credential you need to make a difference with the online Bachelor of Science in Public Administration degree from Point Park University. Point Park’s online public administration degree is designed for your convenience, helping you keep work and family commitments while training for exciting career advancement.

Curriculum Overview

Our fully online public administration degree program is designed for public servants by public servants. Our courses are created and taught by professors with years of experience in their fields. With courses in public budgeting, public policy and decision analysis, Point Park’s online public administration degree gives deep insight into relevant public policy topics and prepares you with the real-world knowledge you need for a public administration career. Whether you are looking to move off the front lines and into management or whether you want to start your public administration career, Point Park’s online public administration degree will ensure the support you need in a flexible, fully online environment that works with your schedule.

Transform Your Experience into College Credit

Point Park University is proud to introduce a new Prior Learning Assessment and Advanced Standing/Experiential Learning Credit opportunities. Students can transfer credits from qualifying experiences including other college institutions, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST exams) or UEXCEL exams, Advanced Placement (AP) credit and experiential learning assessment portfolio submissions. Experiential learning credits are not considered current coursework for financial aid and they do not fulfill any of the minimum 30 credits that must be completed at Point Park University to graduate. In addition, experiential learning credits through portfolio submissions are capped at 18 credits.

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  • Next Start Date:January 4, 2020
  • Est. Program Length:2-4 Years
  • Credit Hours:120
  • Course Length:8 Weeks
  • Cost Per Credit:$480
  • Transfer Credits Accepted:Up to 90

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First Response

Point Park Online invites you to enjoy this humble interview with Public Administration Program Director and Associate Professor Robert Skertich, Ph.D.

Available Concentrations

EMS Administration Concentration

Advance beyond entry-level positions and become an emergency medical services administrator with a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration – EMS Administration at Point Park University. You will gain the skills community leaders are looking for to keep emergency services running smoothly.

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Fire Service Concentration

Become a community leader in fire service with Point Park’s Bachelor of Science in Public Administration with a concentration on Fire Service Administration. If you’re a firefighter wanting to move into management roles, this program gives you everything you need to advance your career.

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Thematic Core Courses (42 credits)
  • COMM 101 – Oral Comm. and Pres.
  • ENGL 101 – College Composition
  • UNIV 102 – University and Community Life
  • Explore the World
  • Investigate Science
  • Investigate Mathematics – MATH 150 – Mathematical Experience
  • Interpret Creative Works
  • Understand People
  • Succeed in Business
  • Appreciate and Apply the Arts
  • Discover Technology – CMPS 114 – Problem Solving with Information Technology
  • Senior Capstone
Course Description
This course included communication theory as well as speech preparation, delivery, and communication technology. Student learning focuses on researching, composing, and delivering formal and impromptu speeches and presentations. Topics include research, analyzing and adapting audiences, message construction, outlining, delivery of messages and effective use of visual aids and technology. This course will develop each student’s ability to communicate effectively with respect to audience and purpose. The major emphasis is on the preparation and delivery of presentations ranging from one-on-one pitches and small group discussion to large audience speeches.
Course Description
Students will write argument-based assignments leading to an independently researched project based on academic and professional goals. Students will be required to 1.) find and integrate a variety of sources, 2.) read and analyze these sources, 3.) develop strong thesis statements that reflect perspectives on topics or issues, and 4.) construct persuasive arguments that engage with the viewpoints of experts and commentators. As the term progresses, students will have the opportunity to re-think or revise the ideas and perspectives they explored in earlier writing assignments by engaging with peer feedback and revising earlier drafts. Placement recommendations will require students to take ENGL 101 as a three credit course OR in conjunction with an additional credit of lab or studio instruction. Students who earn F or NP grades in ENGL 101 will be required to re-take the course in conjunction with a one-credit Writing Studio course.
Course Description
This course introduces students to the different kinds of communities that people construct for themselves (e.g. social, political, artistic, etc.) and the values and dynamics that define such communities (e.g. cooperation, civility, tolerance, responsibility, etc.). The notion of what it means to be a responsible member of the community will actively be explored and discussed by engagement and analysis of multiple communities: the classroom community, the Point Park University community, and the Pittsburgh community. Students will also examine the responsibilities they have to their personal academic development.
Choose two of the following courses:

  • ECON 201 – Principles of Macroeconomics
  • GCS 175 – Intro to Global Cultural Studies
  • GCS/MLNG 205 – Languages of the World
  • HIST 201 – Western Civilization I
  • HIST 202 – Western Civilization II
  • PADM 210/POLS 204 – Public Administration
  • POLS 205 – World Geography
  • POLS 250 – Intro to Study of Gov’t Systems
  • PHIL 215 – World Religions
  • SOC/MLNG 260 – Japanese Culture
  • THEA 225 – History Theatre I
  • THEA 226 – History Theatre II
Choose one of the following courses:

  • CHEM 101 – General Chemistry I
  • NSET 110 – Intro to Natural Sciences I
  • NSET 111 – Intro to Natural Sciences II
  • NSET 120 – Environmental Science
  • NSET 122 – The Science of Light
Course Description
This course introduces logic and mathematical thinking as a way of posing, communicating, and solving problems. It relates mathematics to other branches of knowledge. Topics of exploration include problem solving, logic, number theory, business mathematics, and statistics. This course is intended to fulfill the core mathematics requirement if chosen by individual departments.
Course Description
Examines psychological foundations underlying the development of personal, professional, academic, and cultural world views, and examines how those world views influence questions that human beings ask and answers they find. Students will be asked to express their ideas in both oral and written form.
Choose one of the following courses:

  • EDUC 252 – Children’s Literature
  • ENGL 120 – Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 251 – World Lit: Novels
  • ENGL 252 – The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 253 – The Art of Poetry
  • ENGL 254 – The Art of Short Story
  • ENGL 255 – Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Literature
  • JOUR 225 – Deconstructing the Story
Choice One

  • PSYC 150 – Psychological Foundations

Choice Two

  • EDUC 220 – Family and Community Diversity
  • EDUC 228 – Educational Psychology
  • HIST 206 – Foundations in Feminism: Women’s History in Western World
  • PSYC 203 – Theories of Personality
  • PSYC 214 – Psychology of Emotion
  • PSYC 230 – Characterological and Psychotic in Film and Fiction
  • SOC 150 – Sociological Foundations
Choose one of the following courses:

  • BMGT 271 – The Money Thing: Life and Finances During and After College
  • BUS 404 – Business Ethics
  • CMPS 330 – Electronic Commerce
  • ECON 202 – Principles of Microeconomics
Choose one of the following courses:

  • ART 100 – Intro to Visual Arts
  • CINE 170 – Intro to Screenwriting for Non-Majors
  • COMM 290 – Seminar in Media Studies
  • COPA 250 – Exploring the Arts
  • EDUC 251 – Art and Music in Teaching
  • ENGL 200 – Creative Writing
  • ENGL 252 – The Art of Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 253 – The Art of Poetry
  • ENGL 254 – The Art of Short Story
  • MLNG 220 – French Literature in Translation
  • PHOT 101 – Photography for Non-Majors
  • THEA 230 – Introduction to Theatre
Course Description
A course on how Information Technology impacts organizations and how to use Information Technology to solve problems. Topics include: main concepts of Information Technology at a general level, online collaboration tools, application software, and information literacy as applied to searching and using the Internet. In addition, students will become proficient at an intermediate level in using application software. The student will learn each of the four software applications (Spreadsheets, Database, Word Processing and Presentation) and be able to apply them successfully to problem solving scenarios.
Course Description
Course chosen with advisor near completion of degree.
Departmental Major Requirements (27 credits)
  • PADM 206 – Nonprofit Organization
  • PADM 210 – Public Administration
  • PADM 211 – Principles of Management
  • PADM 214 – Public Budgeting and Finance I
  • PADM 301 – Methods of Public Management (OR) PADM 303 – Policy and Decision Analysis
  • Select any two POLS or ECON courses 6 credits
  • Select any two ACCT, BMGT, BUS or SAEM courses 6 credits
Course Description
This course is an introduction to leadership in nonprofit organizations (NPO). Topics include the theoretical, historical and legal foundations of NPOs, governance, fundraising, accountability, personnel and ethics.
Course Description
This course is an intensive study of governmental and non-profit organizations, including organizational structures and functions, including planning, budget, finance, management and leadership. The course emphasizes the interaction and interrelationship of agencies and administrators at all levels of government and the non-profit sector. Dual listed as POLS 204.
Course Description
Emphasis on the major theories and functions of management. Students develop an understanding of why management is needed in all organizations and what constitutes good management. Dual listed as BMGT 208. Pre-requisite: BMGT 101 or PADM 210.
Course Description
This course addresses the principles of governmental and non-profit organizations’ revenue, expenditure and budgeting. A special focus is placed on the planning and management aspects of budgeting, and the associated measurements and evaluation. Pre-requisite: PADM 210 or PADM 206 or permission.
Course DescriptionsPADM 301 – Methods of Public Management
This course applies quantitative analysis and forecasting methods to plan and evaluate decisions in public agencies. Additional topics include basic research design and techniques, and reading and interpreting research findings. Prerequisites: PADM 210 and MATH 150; ECON 201 or 202 or permission of the instructor.ORPADM 303 – Policy and Decision Analysis
This course will cover quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches to defining, structuring, analyzing and evaluating policies and decisions in government and non-profit agencies. Pre-requisites: PADM 210 and MATH 150 (or greater) or permission of the instructor.
General Concentration Requirements (21 credits)
  • Choose any six (6) PADM 300+ courses
  • Choose any one (1) PADM 400+ course
General Elective Requirements (30 credits)
  • Students may use general electives to complete a double major or one or more minors.

Students applying for entry into Point Park University’s B.S. in Public Administration program must meet the following requirements:

  1. Degree admission requires a satisfactory transcript from either a high school or postsecondary institution. Transcripts from postsecondary institutions must include a minimum of 12 earned credits or six months of training. A cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0 is required. Students with a lower GPA may be considered for admission by the program director based on additional information in support of the application.
  2. The University reserves the right to require an interview or supplementary materials for any applicant (degree or non-degree) and to use these as a means for making an admission decision.

Career Outcomes

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for public servants was $54,120 annually in 2015. By pursuing further education, you can tap into these rewarding careers through a variety of careers, including:
Fire Services Manager

More commonly known as “fire chiefs,” fire services managers are the highest administrators within a fire department. They are responsible for planning, organizing and executing fire prevention services, which may include such varied roles as establishing policies, planning goals, supervising staff, preparing budgets, supervising inspections, meeting with elected officials and responding to major emergencies.

EMS Manager

Emergency medical services (EMS) managers oversee administrative functions regarding EMS services in their community. They are often responsible for managing medical staff such as physicians, paramedics and nurses, creating budgets, fundraising, ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations, and other related duties. EMS managers require strong interpersonal and communication skills to be successful.

Budget Advisor

Also known as “budget analysts,” budget advisors help organizations use their financial resources successfully. They may analyze data, look at relationships between programs and their financial impact, give financial advice, conduct cost-benefit analysis and other related tasks. Budget advisors must have both excellent math and writing skills and must be able to communicate effectively.

Labor Relations Coordinator

Labor relations coordinators work as liaisons between employees and their companies. They are often responsible for negotiating collective bargaining agreements, organizing employee grievance procedures, representing their company during labor disputes, meeting with unions and drafting proposals for contracts. These individuals must possess excellent listening, speaking and negotiation skills.

Community Programs Director

Community programs directors organize and oversee social service programs. Among their responsibilities, they may identify needed program areas, develop program budgets, manage program staff, plan outreach activities and obtain data about program effectiveness. Community programs directors must possess excellent problem-solving, time management and interpersonal skills.

Non-Profit Director

Equivalent to the CEO of a company, non-profit directors oversee operations for entire non-profit organizations. They are responsible for providing overall leadership and may specifically manage general policies, financial oversight, development, outreach programs, staff management and more. Depending on the size and needs of their employer, a non-profit director may require a master’s degree and extensive management experience.

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Discover the Point Park University Online degree that will help you further your current career, or forge a new career path.

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