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2022 Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools

780 Colleges in the United States
97,666 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded
$39,142 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 780 colleges and universities when compiling its 2022 Best Public Administration & Social Service Schools ranking. Combined, these schools handed out 97,666 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

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.

Featured Public Administration & Social Service Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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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

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
539 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

It is difficult to beat Harvard University if you want to pursue a degree in public administration and social service. Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Cambridge. A Best Schools rank of #10 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Harvard is a great university overall.

There were approximately 539 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Harvard in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service major at Harvard University get $47,958 more than the average college grad with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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

#2

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
206 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Any student pursuing a degree 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 city of Princeton. A Best Schools rank of #12 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Princeton is a great university overall.

There were about 206 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Princeton in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from Princeton University earn $23,958 more than the average public administration and social service student.

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

#3

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
721 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

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 city of Chicago, UChicago is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Schools rank of #7 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means UChicago is a great university overall.

There were about 721 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at UChicago in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from University of Chicago earn $15,325 more than the standard public administration and social service grad.

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

#4

Duke University

Durham, NC
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
301 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

It is difficult to beat Duke University if you wish 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 large student population. A Best Schools rank of #9 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

There were roughly 301 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Duke in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service degree program at Duke University earn $23,408 above the average college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
477 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

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

There were roughly 477 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at UMB in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service major at University of Maryland - Baltimore get $8,858 more than the standard college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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

#6

Georgetown University

Washington, DC
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
182 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of Washington, Georgetown is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #18 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Georgetown is a great university overall.

There were roughly 182 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Georgetown in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from Georgetown University earn $32,558 more than the standard public administration and social service graduate.

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

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
989 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #22 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

There were approximately 989 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Columbia in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service degree program at Columbia University in the City of New York earn $19,208 above the typical college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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

#8

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
286 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Northwestern is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the small city of Evanston. A Best Schools rank of #14 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

There were about 286 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Northwestern in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service program at Northwestern University earn $12,958 more than the typical college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

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

#9

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
140 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Cornell is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the small city of Ithaca. A Best Schools rank of #16 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great university overall.

There were about 140 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 $13,158 over the typical income of public administration and social service graduates.

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

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
1,718 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

USC is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Los Angeles. This university ranks 9th out of 203 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 1718 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at USC in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service degree program at University of Southern California earn $34,358 more than the average graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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

#11

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
10th Most Popular In MD
81 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Johns Hopkins is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Baltimore. A Best Schools rank of #19 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great university overall.

There were about 81 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Johns Hopkins in the most recent data year.

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

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
345 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

UC Berkeley is a fairly large public university located in the city of Berkeley. This university ranks 8th out of 203 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were roughly 345 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at UC Berkeley in the most recent data year. Degree recipients from the public administration and social service program at University of California - Berkeley make $19,225 above the typical college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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

#13

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
151 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #20 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great university overall.

There were approximately 151 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Carnegie Mellon in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from Carnegie Mellon University make $24,708 more than the average public administration and social service graduate.

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

#14

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
293 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #13 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great university overall.

There were roughly 293 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at UPenn in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from University of Pennsylvania receive $16,858 more than the standard public administration and social service graduate.

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

#15

Brown University

Providence, RI
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
115 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit university with a medium-sized student population. This university ranks 1st out of 10 schools for overall quality in the state of Rhode Island.

There were about 115 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Brown in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from Brown University make $18,858 more than the typical public administration and social service student.

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

#16

Stanford University

Stanford, CA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
40th Most Popular In CA
43 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Stanford. A Best Schools rank of #3 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Stanford is a great university overall.

There were approximately 43 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Stanford in the most recent data year.

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

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
275 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Located in the suburb of Saint Louis, WUSTL is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. This university ranks 1st out of 55 schools for overall quality in the state of Missouri.

There were roughly 275 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at WUSTL in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from Washington University in St Louis earn $3,358 more than the average public administration and social service graduate.

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

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
141 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Los Angeles, UCLA is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 11th out of 203 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were roughly 141 public administration and 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 receive an earnings boost of around $18,408 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 California - Los Angeles

#19

New York University

New York, NY
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
914 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 7th out of 160 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were roughly 914 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at NYU in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from New York University earn $10,558 more than the average public administration and social service grad.

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

#20

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In VA
169 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

University of Virginia is a fairly large public university located in the small suburb of Charlottesville. This university ranks 1st out of 73 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There were roughly 169 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at University of Virginia in the most recent data year.

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

#21

Boston University

Boston, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
376 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Boston U is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Boston. This university ranks 12th out of 72 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were approximately 376 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Boston U in the most recent data year. Public Administration & Social Service degree recipients from Boston University receive an earnings boost of around $13,792 above the average income of public administration and social service graduates.

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

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
639 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

U-M is a very large public university located in the city of Ann Arbor. This university ranks 1st out of 67 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

There were roughly 639 public administration and 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 and social service degree program at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor make $10,533 above the average college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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

#23

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
221 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Boston College is a large private not-for-profit college located in the city of Chestnut Hill. This college ranks 8th out of 72 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were roughly 221 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Boston College in the most recent data year. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from Boston College earn $8,058 more than the standard public administration and social service student.

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

#24

George Washington University

Washington, DC
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
181 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

GWU is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Washington. This university ranks 2nd out of 9 schools for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There were approximately 181 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at GWU in the most recent year we have data available. Those public administration and social service students who get their degree from George Washington University earn $31,408 more than the average public administration and social service graduate.

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

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
40th Most Popular In CA
42 Public Administration & Social Service Degrees Awarded

Located in the large city of San Francisco, Golden Gate University - San Francisco is a private not-for-profit university with a small student population. This university ranks 44th out of 203 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 42 public administration and social service students who graduated with this degree at Golden Gate University - San Francisco in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in public administration and social service from Golden Gate University - San Francisco

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

#26

American University

Washington, DC
#27

Villanova University

Villanova, PA
#30

Simmons University

Boston, MA
#31

Winona State University

Winona, MN

#32

Fordham University

Bronx, NY

#33

Trinity College

Hartford, CT
#34

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN
#37

Capital Community College

Hartford, CT
#38

St Olaf College

Northfield, MN
#40

Marist College

Poughkeepsie, NY

#43

Smith College

Northampton, MA
#44

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI
#47

Community College of Vermont

Montpelier, VT
#49

University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD

Remaining Award Winners

This list represents the remainder 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 780 different United States public administration and social service schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 Nebraska Wesleyan University Lincoln, NE
51 Viterbo University La Crosse, WI
52 Yeshiva University New York, NY
53 Passaic County Community College Paterson, NJ
54 William & Mary Williamsburg, VA
55 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
56 Minnesota State University - Moorhead Moorhead, MN
57 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
58 Brookdale Community College Lincroft, NJ
59 University of St Thomas Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
60 Bethel University Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
61 Dickinson College Carlisle, PA
62 Borough of Manhattan Community College New York, NY
63 University of Wisconsin - River Falls River Falls, WI
64 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
65 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
66 Clemson University Clemson, SC
67 University of Maryland - Baltimore County Baltimore, MD
68 Holyoke Community College Holyoke, MA
69 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
70 Pacific Lutheran University Tacoma, WA
71 Northeastern University Boston, MA
72 Hunter College New York, NY
73 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
74 The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth, MN
75 University of Delaware Newark, DE
76 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
77 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
78 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
79 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
80 University of Nevada - Reno Reno, NV
81 Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey Monterey, CA
82 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
83 Metropolitan State University Saint Paul, MN
84 Belmont University Nashville, TN
85 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
86 Brandman University Irvine, CA
87 Camden County College Blackwood, NJ
88 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
89 University of Minnesota - Duluth Duluth, MN
90 Baruch College New York, NY
91 University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Stevens Point, WI
92 Anna Maria College Paxton, MA
93 Westfield State University Westfield, MA
94 Salisbury University Salisbury, MD
95 St Catherine University Saint Paul, MN
96 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
97 Bristol Community College Fall River, MA
98 Western New Mexico University Silver City, NM
99 Gettysburg College Gettysburg, PA
100 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
101 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
102 Loras College Dubuque, IA
103 Concordia College at Moorhead Moorhead, MN
104 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
105 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
106 New York City College of Technology Brooklyn, NY
107 University of Maryland Global Campus Adelphi, MD
108 Siena College Loudonville, NY
109 University of New England Biddeford, ME
110 Elms College Chicopee, MA
111 Towson University Towson, MD
112 Luther College Decorah, IA
113 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
114 Mount Saint Mary College Newburgh, NY
115 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
116 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
117 Hudson Valley Community College Troy, 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
118 University of Denver Denver, CO
119 Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah, NJ
120 Norwich University Northfield, VT
121 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA
122 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
123 Seattle University Seattle, WA
124 Briar Cliff University Sioux City, IA
125 University of Georgia Athens, GA
126 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
127 Community College of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA
128 California State University - Northridge Northridge, CA
129 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
130 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
131 Castleton University Castleton, VT
132 Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA
133 Saint Martin’s University Lacey, WA
134 Bradley University Peoria, IL
135 California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
136 Harding University Searcy, AR
136 Erikson Institute Chicago, IL
138 Western Washington University Bellingham, WA
139 Springfield College Springfield, MA
140 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
141 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
142 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
143 Austin Community College District Austin, TX
144 National University La Jolla, CA
145 Aurora University Aurora, IL
146 Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon, OH
147 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
148 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
149 Nazareth College Rochester, NY
150 University of New Haven West Haven, CT
151 Tufts University Medford, MA
152 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
153 Stella and Charles Guttman Community College New York, NY
154 Stockton University Galloway, NJ
155 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
156 Saint Anselm College Manchester, NH

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 57,618
Public Administration 17,269
Human Services 12,645
Public Policy 6,199
Community Organization & Advocacy 3,114
Other Public Administration 821

View All Public Administration & Social Service Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to University of the Fraser Valley.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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