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Degree Overview: Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Public Administration

Majors Overview May 21, 2015

Get information about Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree programs in Public Administration and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Programs in Public Administration

Those who seek careers in professional environments such as public service, nonprofit, corporate, and government organizations, would benefit from pursuing a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree program with a public administration focus. Apart from the general business concepts of finance, management, accounting and economics, the management of public policy and the principles of public administration are also covered in the program. A final thesis or independent research projects are requirements in some programs.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. Applicants with an undergraduate degree in business have better chances of getting into the program. Those who hold other majors may seek admission at many schools after completion of special admissions procedures, such as completion of prerequisite business classes.


An MBA program typically covers foundation coursework in business topics like marketing, finance, human resource management, business law, international business and economics. Additional courses in financial management, public budgetary processes and executive-legislative relations are requirements. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Business relations
•Enterprise management
•Public service personnel management
•Public service theory
•Public service ethics
•Legal aspects of public service
•Policy analysis
•Public budgeting

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek occupations in nonprofit groups and government agencies, apart from the private sector. They are ready for nonprofit administration positions, government careers, business management positions, public administration teaching positions, and criminal justice careers. They may choose from possible job titles such as:

•Police chief
•Fire Chief
•Court clerk
•Tax assessor
•Prison warden

Wage Outlook

In May 2012, tax examiners and collectors brought in an average annual wage of $50,440. Over the same time-period, court, municipal and license clerks earned $34,830 on average per annum (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In January 2014, police chiefs and prison wardens earned respective average annual wages of $84,260 and $44,910.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may opt for continued education by earning a public administration doctoral degree. Those already working in advanced public service positions who seek advancement into executive positions through intern experiences in various public administration positions, and research projects should look into doctoral programs.

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