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B.A. in Public Administration

The public administration Bachelor degree is designed for those students who wish to pursue a career in the public and nonprofit sectors at the national, state and local levels. As a pre-professional program rooted in Arts and Sciences it is designed for students seeking entry level administrative or management positions, or who wish to pursue advanced degrees in a range of policy fields such as public and nonprofit administration, public law, public health, and public policy among others including information technology, security and disaster management. It also helps prepare undergraduates seeking careers in private sector corporations such as charitable organizations, universities, hospitals, health insurers, defense contractors, publicly regulated utilities, lobbying and consulting companies.

Our 42 credit degree program combines the theoretical and practical foundations of public administration. The curriculum focuses on government structure, management, budgeting and human resources, law, program evaluation, and public policy. Specific skill areas include research methodology and geographic information systems. Public Administration majors are required to spend a semester interning in a local agency which provides an invaluable opportunity to network and acquire on the job insight into the world of public administration.

Public Administration students broaden their perspectives on policy issues by taking at least 3 courses outside of the Public Administration curriculum, or by completing one of a number of certificate programs or minors available on campus, or by dual majoring, staying within the overall 120 credit graduation requirement of Rhode Island College, which is one of the most affordable 4 year institutions in the nation.

The academic goals of the Public Administration degree program are to:

  • Acquire an applied, comprehensive knowledge of the structure, responsibilities and opportunities of public administration in a variety of settings;
  • Acquire an ability to undertake both applied and theoretical research projects that result in well, researched and written executive administrative, legal and policy memorandums;
  • Acquire the ability to work effectively in collaboration with others in addressing public policy questions using administrative skills and knowledge  taught in the public administration curriculum.

Each of our majors has an advisor who helps guide the student throughout their time at Rhode Island College. Our courses are taught by full-time faculty occasionally supplemented by Rhode Island practitioners who bring their experience to classes as mentors, intern supervisors, as guest lecturers or as adjunct faculty.

Our students routinely are accepted into Graduate Schools locally and nationally such as University of Connecticut, University of Georgia, Johns Hopkins, Northeastern, Florida State University, SUNY Albany, and Harvard. Our program has a cooperative arrangement with the University of Rhode Island MPA degree program.

Our alumni work in federal, state, local and nonprofit positions in Rhode Island, throughout the New England Region and nationally. They serve as an important network for our graduates.

If you are interested in visiting the public administration program please contact Professor Francis J. Leazes Jr, Ph.D. at​​


Page last updated: November 25, 2015