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Degree Overview: Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Public Administration

Majors Overview December 22, 2013

With a degree in public administration, students will be prepared for entry-level work in state, government, or local agencies. One of the degrees available is an Associate of Science (A.S.).

A.S. Programs in Public Administration

Students (including mid-career professionals) enrolled in Associate’s degree programs in public administration are provided with the educational background and skills necessary to seek administrative positions in the public sector.

Those who graduate from the program are imparted in-depth understanding of human service organizations, community action agencies and public sector institutions in the country. They are also taught about regulatory policies and economic trends in the country and how these affect public agencies.

Students who successfully complete Associate’s degree programs in public administration are also provided with the skills and practical knowledge they need to run an administrative department or staff. They are taught the fundamentals of budgeting, problem-solving, organizational management, human resources and financial accounting.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria relating to a 2-year degree program in public administration typically require applicants for admission to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework in an associate’s degree program in public administration includes core classes including American administrations, policies, and laws. Specifically, coursework may include subject areas such as:

•American state and local government
•Financial accounting
•Public program evaluation
•Administrative law
•Principles of public administration
•Introduction to American government
•Human resource management
•Business and public policy

Career Choices

Those who successfully graduate from an associate’s degree in public administration are typically prepared to seek entry-level jobs in the industry. Those who seek career advancement may gain work experience or opt for continued education by transferring the credits earned in the associate’s degree program to a baccalaureate degree program. They may seek various entry-level positions such as:

•Grant writer
•Human services assistant
•City planning clerk
•Information specialist
•Accounting or auditing clerk
•Legislative staffer
•Program administrator
•Occupational Safety Coordinator

Continuing Education Choices

Both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in public administration are offered by universities and colleges for the benefit of those interested in continuing their education. Those seeking teaching or research opportunities would benefit by earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the field.

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