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2024 Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools

594 Colleges in the United States
98,583 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$40,520 Avg Early-Career Salary
If you plan on majoring in public administration & social service, you won't be alone since the degree program is ranked #14 in the country in terms of popularity. As a result, there are many college that offer the degree, making your choice of school a hard one.

College Factual looked at 594 colleges and universities when compiling its 2024 Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools ranking. Combined, these schools handed out 98,583 degrees in public administration & 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 & 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. We derive our Best Overall Public Administration & Social Service School rankings by rolling up our degree-level rankings after weighting them by the number of degrees awarded at each school.

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

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools list to help you make the college 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 & 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
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 best schools in the country for getting a degree in public administration & 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 #2 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means UChicago is a great university overall.

There were about 586 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at UChicago in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration & social service major at University of Chicago earn $15,181 above the average college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

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

2
Harvard crest
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
386 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$88,923 Median Starting Salary

Every student who is interested in public administration & social service has to take a look at Harvard University. Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of #6 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means Harvard is a great university overall.

There were roughly 386 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Harvard in the most recent data year. Those public administration & social service students who get their degree from Harvard University earn $48,403 more than the average public administration & social service graduate.

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

3
Duke crest
Duke University
Durham, NC
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
269 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$59,518 Median Starting Salary

Duke University is a good option for students interested in a degree in public administration & social service. Located in the large city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #7 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

There were approximately 269 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Duke in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration & social service students who get their degree from Duke University make $18,998 more than the average public administration & social service graduate.

More information about a degree in public administration & social service from Duke 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 pursuing a degree in public administration & social service has to take a look at 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 2,217 colleges nationwide means Princeton is a great university overall.

There were roughly 221 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Princeton in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration & social service students who get their degree from Princeton University make $22,300 more than the typical public administration & social service student.

More information about a degree in public administration & 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 very large public university located in the midsize city of Berkeley. A Best Colleges rank of #18 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great university overall.

There were approximately 311 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at UC Berkeley in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from University of California - Berkeley earn a boost of approximately $21,044 over the average income of public administration & social service graduates.

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

6
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 city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of #11 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means USC is a great university overall.

There were about 1466 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at USC in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from University of Southern California earn a boost of around $33,666 over the typical income of public administration & social service graduates.

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

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

Northwestern is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Evanston. A Best Colleges rank of #5 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

There were approximately 229 public administration & 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 get an earnings boost of around $31,351 over the typical earnings of public administration & social service majors.

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

8
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 fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #14 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

There were about 876 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Columbia in the most recent data year. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from Columbia University in the City of New York get an earnings boost of approximately $22,528 over the average income of public administration & social service majors.

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

9
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 city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. This university ranks 4th out of 142 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were roughly 777 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at NYU in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration & social service degree program at New York University make $19,730 above the typical graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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

10
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
92 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$62,723 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #9 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great university overall.

There were about 92 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Carnegie Mellon in the most recent data year. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from Carnegie Mellon University earn a boost of approximately $22,202 above the typical earnings of public administration & social service majors.

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

11
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 & social service students who graduated with this degree at UMB in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from University of Maryland - Baltimore receive an earnings boost of approximately $9,776 over the typical income of public administration & social service graduates.

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

12
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 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 2,217 schools nationwide means UPenn is a great university overall.

There were roughly 270 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at UPenn in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration & social service program at University of Pennsylvania make $24,864 above the average graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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

13
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 city of Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #21 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means Brown is a great university overall.

There were approximately 127 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Brown in the most recent data year. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from Brown University receive an earnings boost of approximately $13,898 above the average income of public administration & social service majors.

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

14
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
152 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
7.9% Growth in Graduates

Cornell is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Ithaca. This university ranks 3rd out of 142 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were roughly 152 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Cornell in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration & social service degree program at Cornell University get $24,056 above the typical college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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

15
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
296 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
7.1% Growth in Graduates

Located in the suburb of Saint Louis, WUSTL is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #17 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means WUSTL is a great university overall.

There were about 296 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at WUSTL in the most recent year we have data available. Students who receive their degree from the public administration & social service program make about $42,327 in their early career salary.

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

16
Yeshiva crest
Yeshiva University
New York, NY
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
282 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
24.5% Growth in Graduates

Yeshiva is a medium-sized private not-for-profit university located in the large city of New York. This university ranks 17th out of 142 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were approximately 282 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Yeshiva in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration & social service major at Yeshiva University earn $8,804 above the standard graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration & social service from Yeshiva University

17
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 6th out of 63 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were about 343 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Boston U in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration & social service degree program at Boston University get $10,790 above the typical graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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

18
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
223 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
36.8% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city of Los Angeles, UCLA is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 5th out of 168 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 223 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at UCLA in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from University of California - Los Angeles earn a boost of about $18,366 above the average income of public administration & social service graduates.

More information about a degree in public administration & social service from University of California - Los Angeles

19
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 large suburb of College Park. This university ranks 2nd out of 36 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There were about 235 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at UMCP in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration & social service students who get their degree from University of Maryland - College Park earn $20,715 more than the average public administration & social service grad.

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

20
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. This university ranks 1st out of 36 schools for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There were about 65 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Johns Hopkins in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration & social service major at Johns Hopkins University earn $37,033 more than the standard college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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

21
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 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

There were about 674 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at U-M in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration & social service major at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor earn $8,153 more than the average college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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

22
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
352 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
1.4% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city of Austin, UT Austin is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 115 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There were about 352 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at UT Austin in the most recent data year. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from The University of Texas at Austin get an earnings boost of approximately $6,008 over the average income of public administration & social service graduates.

More information about a degree in public administration & social service from The University of Texas at Austin

23
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
787 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$42,753 Median Starting Salary

IU Bloomington is a very large public university located in the small city of Bloomington. This university ranks 3rd out of 42 schools for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

There were about 787 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at IU Bloomington in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration & social service major at Indiana University - Bloomington make $2,233 above the standard college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in public administration & social service from Indiana University - Bloomington

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 large suburb of Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 5th out of 109 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There were approximately 114 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at Villanova in the most recent data year. Those public administration & social service students who get their degree from Villanova University receive $22,531 more than the average public administration & social service graduate.

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

25
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
571 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
13.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city of Denver, DU is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 3rd out of 33 schools for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

There were about 571 public administration & social service students who graduated with this degree at DU in the most recent year we have data available. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from University of Denver receive an earnings boost of about $4,633 above the typical income of public administration & social service majors.

More information about a degree in public administration & social service from University of Denver

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

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28
29
30
31
32

33

34
35
Georgetown crest
Georgetown University
Washington, DC
36
37
The American University crest
American University
Washington, DC
38
39
40
Trinity Bantams crest
Trinity College
Hartford, CT
41
Virginia Tech crest
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

42

43
U of U crest
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
44
45
46
47
Syracuse crest
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY
48
Vanderbilt crest
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
49
50
Hunter crest
Hunter College
New York, NY

Remaining Award Winners

This list represents the rest of the schools awarded a Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 594 different United States public administration & social service schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Anna Maria College Paxton, MA
52 University of St Thomas Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
53 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
54 University of Nevada - Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
55 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
56 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
57 University of Kentucky Lexington, KY
58 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
59 Borough of Manhattan Community College New York, NY
60 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
61 William & Mary Williamsburg, VA
62 Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA
63 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
64 Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
65 Seattle University Seattle, WA
66 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
67 The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth, MN
68 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
69 Minnesota State University - Moorhead Moorhead, MN
70 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
71 Aurora University Aurora, IL
72 Florida International University Miami, FL
73 Widener University Chester, PA
74 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
75 Clemson University Clemson, SC
76 University of Georgia Athens, GA
77 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
78 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
79 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
80 University of Nevada - Reno Reno, NV
81 University of Maryland - Baltimore County Baltimore, MD
82 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
83 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
84 Baruch College New York, NY
85 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
86 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
86 Walden University Minneapolis, MN
87 St Catherine University Saint Paul, MN
88 California State University - Sacramento Sacramento, CA
89 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK

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 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Knoxville, TN
91 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
92 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
93 Golden Gate University - San Francisco San Francisco, CA
94 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
95 Baylor University Waco, TX
96 Bethel University Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
97 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
98 Western Washington University Bellingham, WA
99 Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny, IA
100 Smith College Northampton, MA
101 Indiana Wesleyan University - National & Global Marion, IN
102 Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA
103 California State University - Northridge Northridge, CA
104 Quinsigamond Community College Worcester, MA
105 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
106 University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD
107 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
108 University of Delaware Newark, DE
109 Montclair State University Montclair, NJ
110 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
111 Rhode Island College Providence, RI
112 Fresno Pacific University Fresno, CA
113 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
114 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
115 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
116 Auburn University Auburn, AL
117 Columbia Southern University Orange Beach, AL
118 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ

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
Other U.S. Territories
Great Lakes

View All Rankings >

Public Administration & Social Service Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
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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