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What is Public Administration?

Serving the Public Good

Public administration is a field of study and a profession for individuals who wish to engage in meaningful public service, which, broadly defined, includes employees of government and not-for-profit organizations, elected officials, members of boards, community activists, volunteers, and philanthropists, among others.

Career Paths

What Can you Do with a Degree in Public Administration?

Public administrators and managers work in public sector departments and agencies at all levels of government (local, state, and federal) and nonprofit organizations in a wide range of service and interest areas. Knowledge and skills from the public administration field are easily transferrable to the private sector as well.

See Careers & Internships for more information.

Careers in government or nonprofit organizations can be in or be related to the following service or interest areas and more:

  • Administration / Management / Leadership of Public Organizations
  • Arts and Culture
  • Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Community and Economic Development
  • Education
  • Emergency Management / Disaster Response / National Security
  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Government Administration / Management / Leadership
  • Healthcare Administration / Health Policy and Management
  • Human Resources
  • Information and Technology Management
  • International Global Policy and Administration
  • Law Enforcement / Public Safety
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Philanthropy
  • Public Policy Analysis / Public Policy
  • Public Works
  • Social and Community Services
  • Urban Policy

Positions of administrators in the public sector – in government or nonprofit organizations – can include:

  • Budget Analyst
  • Business Administrator
  • Chief Executive / Operating Officer
  • City / Town Manager
  • Community Engagement Director
  • County Executive
  • Government Relations Specialist
  • Grant Writer
  • Labor Relations Manager
  • Legislative Aide
  • Performance Analyst
  • Policy Analyst
  • Public Affairs Director
  • Strategic Planning Director

Rutgers SPAA: Where Service Meets Leadership

Rutgers SPAA degree and certificate programs provide students with the substantive knowledge, analytical skills, and perspectives needed to respond effectively and fairly to major contemporary social problems as they relate to the public sector.

See Academics for more information.


How SPAA Alumni Serve

Read about what some of our alumni are doing with their public administration degrees from Rutgers SPAA and find out what "Public Administration is..." to them.

Alumni who serve in...