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2023 Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools

597 Colleges in the United States
98,583 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$40,520 Avg Early-Career Salary
A degree in public administration and social service is more popular than many other degrees. In fact, it ranks #14 out of 38 on popularity of all such degrees in the nation. As a result, there are many college that offer the degree, making your choice of school a hard one.

College Factual looked at 597 colleges and universities when compiling its 2023 Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools ranking. Combined, these schools handed out 98,583 degrees in public administration and social service to qualified students.

Jump to one of the following sections: * Degree-Level Rankings

Choosing a Great Public Administration & Social Service School

Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools The public administration and social service program you select can have a big impact on your future. That's why we developed our collection of Best Schools for Public Administration & Social Service rankings. For our Best Overall Public Administration & Social Service School rankings, we roll up the results of our degree-level rankings, weighted by the number of degrees awarded at that level.

You may want to choose one of the degree levels below to find the schools of most interest to you.

Public Administration & Social Service Rankings by Degree Level

Associate Degrees in Public Administration & Social Service
Bachelor's Degrees in Public Administration & Social Service
Master's Degrees in Public Administration & Social Service
Doctor's Degrees in Public Administration & Social Service

Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision. If you'd like to restrict your choices to just one part of the country, you can filter this list by location.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

If you want to learn more about how we derive our rankings, see College Factual's Methodology.

Best Schools for Public Administration & Social Service in the United States

If you aren't interested in a particular degree level and want to know which schools are the overall best at delivering an education for the public administration and social service degrees they offer, see the list below. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Top Schools in Public Administration & Social Service

1
Duke crest
Duke University
Durham, NC
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
269 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$59,518 Median Starting Salary

It's hard to beat Duke University if you want to pursue a degree in public administration and social service. Located in the city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #3 out of 2,241 schools nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

There were roughly 269 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Duke in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service major at Duke University get $18,998 more than the standard college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Duke University

2
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
586 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$55,702 Median Starting Salary

University of Chicago is one of the finest schools in the United States for getting a degree in public administration and social service. Located in the large city of Chicago, UChicago is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #7 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means UChicago is a great university overall.

There were roughly 586 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at UChicago in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from University of Chicago earn a boost of about $15,181 over the typical income of public administration and social service graduates.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from University of Chicago

3
Harvard crest
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
386 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$88,923 Median Starting Salary

It's difficult to beat Harvard University if you want to pursue a degree in public administration and social service. Harvard is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of #12 out of 2,241 schools nationwide means Harvard is a great university overall.

There were about 386 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Harvard in the most recent data year. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from Harvard University receive an earnings boost of about $48,403 over the average earnings of public administration and social service graduates.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Harvard University

4
Princeton crest
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
221 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
6.8% Growth in Graduates

Every student who is interested in public administration and social service has to look into Princeton University. Princeton is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit university located in the small city of Princeton. A Best Colleges rank of #10 out of 2,241 schools nationwide means Princeton is a great university overall.

There were about 221 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Princeton in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from Princeton University make $22,300 more than the standard public administration and social service graduate.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Princeton University

5
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
311 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$61,564 Median Starting Salary

UC Berkeley is a fairly large public university located in the city of Berkeley. A Best Colleges rank of #17 out of 2,241 schools nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great university overall.

There were roughly 311 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at UC Berkeley in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service major at University of California - Berkeley make $21,044 more than the typical college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from University of California - Berkeley

6
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
65 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$77,553 Median Starting Salary

Johns Hopkins is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Baltimore. A Best Colleges rank of #9 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great university overall.

There were about 65 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Johns Hopkins in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service program at Johns Hopkins University earn $37,033 above the standard graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Johns Hopkins University

7
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
229 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$71,872 Median Starting Salary

Northwestern is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Evanston. A Best Colleges rank of #5 out of 2,241 schools nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

There were roughly 229 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Northwestern in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from Northwestern University earn a boost of approximately $31,351 over the typical income of public administration and social service majors.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Northwestern University

8
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
1,466 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$74,186 Median Starting Salary

USC is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Los Angeles. This university ranks 4th out of 170 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There were about 1466 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at USC in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from University of Southern California earn $33,666 more than the typical public administration and social service grad.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from University of Southern California

9
Brown crest
Brown University
Providence, RI
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
127 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
9.4% Growth in Graduates

Located in the midsize city of Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #11 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Brown is a great university overall.

There were about 127 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Brown in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from Brown University receive $13,898 more than the standard public administration and social service grad.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Brown University

10
NYU crest
New York University
New York, NY
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
777 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$60,251 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. This university ranks 3rd out of 143 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were approximately 777 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at NYU in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service major at New York University make $19,730 above the typical college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from New York University

11
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
92 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$62,723 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #8 out of 2,241 schools nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great university overall.

There were about 92 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Carnegie Mellon in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service degree program at Carnegie Mellon University earn $22,202 above the standard graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Carnegie Mellon University

12
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
152 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
7.9% Growth in Graduates

Cornell is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the small city of Ithaca. A Best Colleges rank of #13 out of 2,241 schools nationwide means Cornell is a great university overall.

There were about 152 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Cornell in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from Cornell University get an earnings boost of approximately $24,056 over the typical earnings of public administration and social service graduates.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Cornell University

13
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
876 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$63,048 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #14 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

There were about 876 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Columbia in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from Columbia University in the City of New York receive $22,528 more than the standard public administration and social service graduate.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Columbia University in the City of New York

14
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
296 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
7.1% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large suburb of Saint Louis, WUSTL is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 1st out of 48 schools for overall quality in the state of Missouri.

There were about 296 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at WUSTL in the most recent data year. Soon after graduation, public administration and social service degree recipients generally earn about $42,327 in their early careers.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Washington University in St Louis

15
Boston U crest
Boston University
Boston, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
343 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$51,310 Median Starting Salary

Boston U is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Boston. This university ranks 5th out of 63 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were approximately 343 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Boston U in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from Boston University make $10,790 more than the average public administration and social service student.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Boston University

16
UPenn crest
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
270 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$65,385 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #4 out of 2,241 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great university overall.

There were roughly 270 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at UPenn in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from University of Pennsylvania earn a boost of approximately $24,864 above the average income of public administration and social service majors.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from University of Pennsylvania

17
Georgetown crest
Georgetown University
Washington, DC
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
208 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
12.5% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city of Washington, Georgetown is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. This university ranks 1st out of 8 colleges for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There were approximately 208 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Georgetown in the most recent data year. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from Georgetown University get an earnings boost of around $30,225 over the typical income of public administration and social service graduates.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Georgetown University

18
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
674 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
5.2% Growth in Graduates

U-M is a fairly large public university located in the city of Ann Arbor. This university ranks 1st out of 57 schools for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

There were roughly 674 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at U-M in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor earn a boost of about $8,153 above the average earnings of public administration and social service majors.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

19
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
152 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$71,586 Median Starting Salary

GWU is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Washington. This university ranks 2nd out of 8 schools for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There were roughly 152 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at GWU in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service major at George Washington University get $31,066 more than the average college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from George Washington University

20
The American University crest
American University
Washington, DC
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
225 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
0.9% Growth in Graduates

The American University is a large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Washington. This university ranks 3rd out of 8 colleges for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There were approximately 225 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at The American University in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service major at American University get $24,001 more than the standard college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from American University

21
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
417 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$50,296 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city of Baltimore, UMB is a public university with a medium-sized student population.

There were roughly 417 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at UMB in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from University of Maryland - Baltimore earn $9,776 more than the average public administration and social service student.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from University of Maryland - Baltimore

22
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
235 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
30.2% Growth in Graduates

UMCP is a very large public university located in the suburb of College Park. This university ranks 2nd out of 34 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There were approximately 235 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at UMCP in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service degree program at University of Maryland - College Park make $20,715 above the standard college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from University of Maryland - College Park

23
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
340 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$48,407 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city of Seattle, UW Seattle is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 1st out of 51 schools for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There were roughly 340 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at UW Seattle in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service major at University of Washington - Seattle Campus make $7,886 above the average graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from University of Washington - Seattle Campus

24
Villanova crest
Villanova University
Villanova, PA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
114 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$63,051 Median Starting Salary

Located in the suburb of Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. This university ranks 4th out of 117 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There were approximately 114 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Villanova in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service major at Villanova University make $22,531 more than the standard graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Villanova University

25
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
834 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
2.5% Growth in Graduates

Rutgers New Brunswick is a very large public university located in the small city of New Brunswick. This university ranks 3rd out of 44 colleges for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

There were approximately 834 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Rutgers New Brunswick in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from Rutgers University - New Brunswick earn a boost of approximately $8,344 over the average earnings of public administration and social service graduates.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Rest of the Top 50 Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools

25
26
Trinity Bantams crest
Trinity College
Hartford, CT
27
28
Syracuse crest
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY
29
30
Yeshiva crest
Yeshiva University
New York, NY
31

32

33
34
35
36
37
38
Boston College crest
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA
39
40

41
Virginia Tech crest
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

42
43
44
Vanderbilt crest
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
45
46
47
William & Mary crest
William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA
48
49

Remaining Award Winners

This section represents the remainder of the colleges awarded a Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 597 different United States public administration and social service schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 Clemson University Clemson, SC
51 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
52 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
53 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
54 Simmons University Boston, MA
55 The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth, MN
56 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
57 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
58 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
59 Smith College Northampton, MA
60 Seattle University Seattle, WA
61 Montclair State University Montclair, NJ
62 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Knoxville, TN
63 University of Delaware Newark, DE
64 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
65 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
66 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
67 Aurora University Aurora, IL
68 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
69 University of Georgia Athens, GA
70 Hunter College New York, NY
71 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
72 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
73 Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
74 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
75 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
76 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
77 Baylor University Waco, TX
78 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
79 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
80 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
81 Dickinson College Carlisle, PA
82 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
83 Winona State University Winona, MN
84 Camden County College Blackwood, NJ
85 Walden University Minneapolis, MN
86 Widener University Chester, PA
87 University of Nevada - Reno Reno, NV
88 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
89 University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools award.

Rank College Location
90 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
91 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
92 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
93 Florida International University Miami, FL
94 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
95 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
96 Towson University Towson, MD
97 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
98 University of Kentucky Lexington, KY
99 Augsburg University Minneapolis, MN
100 University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI
101 Minnesota State University - Moorhead Moorhead, MN
102 Hamline University Saint Paul, MN
103 Auburn University Auburn, AL
104 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
105 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
106 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
107 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
108 Salisbury University Salisbury, MD
109 University of Nevada - Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
110 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
111 Western Washington University Bellingham, WA
112 California State University - Sacramento Sacramento, CA
113 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
114 Nebraska Wesleyan University Lincoln, NE
115 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
116 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK
117 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
118 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
119 East Carolina University Greenville, NC

Public Administration & Social Service by Region

View the Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

View All Rankings >

Public Administration & Social Service Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Social Work 58,326
Public Administration 16,905
Human Services 13,238
Public Policy 6,430
Community Organization & Advocacy 3,096
Other Public Administration 588

View All Public Administration & Social Service Related Majors >

Notes and References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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