18 Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy

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Students who want to take an online Bachelor’s in Public Policy should know that this program will equip them with the necessary tools and skills to think critically in situations that involve multiple participants in areas of governance, law, business, and non-profit sectors.

Public Policy students, once they graduate, will know how to transform theories and ideas into real-world applications while having to deal with the issues that affect the public.


Arizona State University–ASU Online

Online BS in Public Service and Public Policy

Arizona State University is proud to be accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges and authorized by the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement.

Arizona State University is located in Tempe, Arizona and it is considered a prestigious global university and the number one university in the U.S. for innovation.

ASU Online is also considered number two in the U.S. for online undergraduate degree programs being that it offers excellent educational opportunities.

They offer Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Public Policy, and their graduates are equipped with the highest quality knowledge and skills to influence change in the public service sector.

Throughout the program, you will learn courses on public policy, civic leadership, and management and you are required to complete a total of forty classes with the required 120 credits.

The program’s featured courses are Public Service and Policy in the 21st Century and Leadership and Change.

After graduating, you can pursue a career in city management, community outreach, parks and recreation management, legislative positions, lobbying, among many others.

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Wilmington University

Online Bachelor in Government and Public Policy

Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Wilmington University is located in New Castle, Delaware, and it boasts its flexible and affordable online Bachelors in Government and Public Policy program.

If you are interested in admission, you would be glad to know that the students can customize their degree by choosing one of the two concentrations offered by the program: Social Policy or Compliance so as to fit in the career and goals of your choice.

Admission requirements set by the school’s admission staff include an undergraduate application, official high school transcripts, and a completed Math and English Skills Assessment, among others.

The program has forty courses with a total of 120 required credits to earn the degree and the students are required to maintain a minimum grade of C- for program core courses.

After graduating, students will have guaranteed admission to the Juris Doctor program at Widener University Delaware Law School.

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Utica College

Online BS in Criminal Justice-Public Policy & Leadership

Utica College is accredited by The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Utica College in Utica, New York, has to offer six specializations in BS in Criminal Justice – Public Policy & Leadership, followed by Legal Issues in Criminal Justice, Cyber Criminology and Policy, Homeland Security, White-Collar Crime, and General.

The online classes offered at Utica College are small, and they are designed that way for a reason.

Students and instructors study and work together virtually, promoting high quality personal and professional development.

The specialization in Public Policy & Leadership helps students develop and strengthen the leadership, management, and policy-making skills.

So as to get a degree, they need to complete a total of 120 required credit and then, they can pursue careers in Policy and Leadership such as victim advocate, first-line supervisor of correctional officers, correctional officer, and juvenile probation officer.

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Oregon State University

Online BS in Public Policy

The Oregon State University is located in Corvallis, Oregon and it features an online Bachelor of Science in Public Policy degree.

The Online BS in Public Policy program mixes economics, political science, and sociology in its core courses.

The benefits of learning Oregon State University online are numerous, being that the classes are developed by world-class faculty members well known for their research, expertise, and innovation.

The university boasts regional accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

It is worth mentioning that there are the same curriculum and diploma for e-campus students and on-campus ones.

The program requires 180 credits to get the degree and students may choose Environmental Policy, Rural Policy, and Social Policy as areas of specialization.

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Grand Canyon University

Online BA in Government-State & Local Public Policy

Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1968 and authorized by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

The Grand Canyon University is located in Phoenix, Arizona and it offers BA in Government with an Emphasis in State and Local Public Policy degree.

Both on-campus and online students will have a foundational knowledge of the American government, the American Constitution, and international affairs.

It is good to know that its focus is on the political and social landscape of Arizona.

So as to graduate, you will need to reach a total of 120 credits.

The university is considered a leader when it comes to providing online degree programs being that online classes conducted in an intimate setting, encouraging engaging discussions among instructors and students.

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University of Colorado Denver

Online BA in Public Service

The University of Colorado-Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Public Service program.

The University of Colorado Denver in Denver Bachelor of Arts in Public Service program is taught by instructors coming from the university’s School of Public Affairs.

The university boast being a high-ranking, one of the best in the U.S., public affairs school.

Students will get the needed skills and knowledge to thrive in public policy and public administration careers, but only after they complete a total of 120 credits and earn this degree.

Afterward, graduates from this program will be equipped with excellent communication skills, ethical decision-making, and cultural awareness which they can use to find jobs anywhere.

They will be able to choose between a nonprofit management specialization to local, state, or federal government careers.

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Liberty University

Online BS in Government-Politics & Policy

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

It is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, and it offers students a Bachelor of Science in Government – Politics & Policy degree.

This is a program through which students learn everything from political science and government systems to economics, public administration, and public policy.

Once they finish studies, they will excel in their careers in the public policy field.

However, not everyone is accepted to enroll.

The admission requirements are the following.

Applicants must have a 2.0 or above cumulative GPA for admission on Good Standing and also must submit an admission application, application fee, unofficial college transcripts with a completed official transcript request form, a high school self-certification form, and proof of English proficiency.

This online program requires students to complete 120 credits.

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Indian River State College

Online Bachelor in Public Administration- Public Policy and Leadership

Indian River State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Indian River State College is situated in Fort Pierce, Florida and it offers an online Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration.

The program has two concentrations: Emergency Planning and Management Concentration and Public Policy and Leadership and in order to earn a degree, students are required to earn 120 credits: transfer from associate degree (42 credits), general education requirement (36 credits), and major concentration courses (42 credits).

The concentration on Public Policy and Leadership teach students the efficient use of resources for local, county, state, or federal professionals and officials so that they can advance their careers.

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Regent University

Online BA in Government

Online BA in Leadership-Government & Public Policy

Regent University is accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College.

Since its establishment in 1978 in Virginia Beach, Regent University has grown into an amazing Christian institution that enrolls more than 11,000 students.

Besides on-campus programs, the offer online programs that are considered Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Virginia in 2019.

Regent University offers two of the programs: their Bachelor of Arts in Government and Bachelor of Arts in Leadership – Government & Public Policy.

Both of them are eight-week courses requiring 120 credit hours to graduate.

Tuition costs are estimated to be $395 per credit hour for full-time students, or those taking an average of 12 credit hours per semester, while part-time students taking only six credit hours per semester would have to pay $450 per credit hour.

For BA in Government, there is a concentration on International Relations & Foreign Policy, which has courses like American Foreign Policy and Comparative Foreign Policy.

It is a great chance for those interested in pursuing a career in foreign policy analysis.

For BA in Leadership – Government & Public Policy, Regent’s courses include Introduction to Public Policy & Administration, Ethics, Communication & Influence, Managerial Decision-Making, Leading Teams, and Strategic Planning.

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University of North Alabama (North Alabama Online)

Online BA/BS in Political Science-Emphasis on Public Policy & Administration

The University of North Alabama is one of the oldest public universities in the state.

The University of North Alabama was established as LaGrange College in 1830 and it has grown into an outstanding educational institution that encompasses four cities in Alabama.

The University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and its online campus, North Alabama Online, offers a four-year online Political Science degree that can either be a Bachelor of Arts or Science, and students can choose Political Science as their major.

Public Policy and Administration is a required course while there are additional courses that have to be taken, including Religion, Politics, and Public Policy.

One of the courses offered is The Introduction to Public Policy course designed to deal with how public policy is created in the United States.

Tuition for online programs starts at $277 per credit hour if you enroll in less than 11 hours, while those taking 19 hours or more are charged a flat rate of $4,155.

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Keiser University

Online BA in Political Science-Emphasis on Public Policy

Keiser University is a private university which has been established in 1977.

It is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and boasts the accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

It currently has over twenty campuses, the majority of them in Florida as well as two campuses in Nicaragua and China, plus an online division.

Keiser University’ offers a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science online program, which requires 120 semester credit hours and the tuition costs $792 per credit hour for both in-state and out-of-state students.

The program’s aim is to educate students on how to examine and analyze how the United States’ foreign policy affects the world today.

This means that it is ideal for students who wish to focus on public policy on a more global scale and they can choose courses like Intro to Public Policy, Middle East Foreign Policy, Urban Government Social Policy, and Issues in International Policy.

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Penn State World Campus

Online BA/BS in Political Science-Emphasis on Public Policy

Penn State World Campus is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

It is a huge educational institution that boasts a total of 24 campuses across the state.

Pennsylvania State University is one of the most prominent universities in the United States in terms of enrollment, meaning that it enrolled up to 99,000 in 2015-2016.

It also has its online division, the Penn State World Campus, that was launched in 1998.

The online campus has more than 150 degrees and certificates available to students worldwide, and according to the U.S. News & World Report, it is among top ten universities that offer online bachelor’s degrees.

Penn State World Campus’ Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Political Science are both designed for students who are eager to study the field of public policy.

The BA focuses more on political analysis and research, while the BS requires the application and synthesis of politics in areas like statistics and computer science.

Students can attend courses like Analyzing Public Policy in the United States, American Foreign Policy, and Policy Making and Evaluation.

The BA program also has additional courses related to energy, criminal justice, and security.

Tuition costs start at $555 per credit for students with fewer than 59 credits, while those taking more than 60 credits have to pay $596 per credit.

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University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Online Bachelor in Political Science-Emphasis on Public Policy

The Dartmouth campus of the University of Massachusetts is also very well-known as UMass Dartmouth.

This is a public university well-known that belongs to the top 20 rankings of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for civic engagement.

UMass Dartmouth is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE).

The University features its Bachelor of Political Science degree program that is designed to be completed in 120 credit hours, including a 3-credit internship in the student’s preferred institution.

UMass Dartmouth’s program is known for its affordable tuition, estimated to be $332 per credit hour.

This online school’s program offers four subfields to students, one of which is American Politics/Policy, with several public policy courses, such as Public Policy in America, Women and Public Policy, Ocean Policy, and Law, and Environmental Policy.

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Eastern Kentucky University

Online Bachelor in Political Science-Emphasis on Public Policy

The Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The Universit offers more than 40 online programs among which there is an 8-week, 120-hour online Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science program.

Whet it come to tuition it is estimated to be $409 per credit hour, while veterans and active duty military students who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree will have to pay $250 per hour rate.

Eastern Kentucky University’s online Political Science program has three available areas and one of them is Public Administration/Public Policy.

Once enrolled, students can select from a wide variety of other courses and electives that are best suited for their public policy concentration.

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University of Maryland University College

Online Bachelor in Political Science-Emphasis on Public Policy

The University of Maryland University College is proud to be accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

It belongs to the University System of Maryland that focuses on online and distance learning.

Since its establishment in 2000, its main physical campus located in Adelphi, Maryland has been boasting an offering of more than 120 programs, both online and on-campus and providing outstanding education.

If you belong to those students who are looking into a career in public policy, University of Maryland’s Global Campus has a Political Science Bachelor’s Degree, that focuses on areas like analysis and creation of policy development, defense policy, and the development of skills like research and writing.

Undergraduate tuition rates for Maryland residents are at $294 to $300 per credit, while students outside the state will have to pay higher rates at $499 per credit.

Furthermore, military service members in active duty, and their spouses and children, will need to pay a $250 rate per credit.

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University of Central Florida

Online Bachelor in Political Science-Emphasis on Public Policy

The University of Central Florida, located in Orlando is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The university has to offer more than 200 programs on ten campuses throughout Florida.

It boasts a total student population of 68,000 and it is definitely one of the public universities in the US with the highest number of enrollees.

Under the College of Sciences, University of Central Florida offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, designed to be completed in 120 credit hours.

Three concentrations are offered for Political Science students: American Politics and Policy, International Relations-Comparative Politics, and Prelaw.

Those interested in public policy may take the American Politics and Policy track, which will involve courses that include State Government and Public Policy, American Public Policy, Women and Public Policy, Space Policy, and Topics in Public Policy.

The International Relations-Comparative Politics concentration has courses on Immigration Policy, Human Rights Policy, Global Drug Policy, American Foreign Policy, and American Security Policy, among many.

The tuition is affordable at the price of $179.19 per credit hour for students within the state of Florida and $383.86 for those out of state.

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Troy University

Online BS in Political Science, American Affairs & Public Administration

Troy University is situated in Troy, Alabama, and it is a public institution founded in 1887.

Nowadays, it has developed into an outstanding educational institution with four campuses in the state.

It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).

Troy University launched its first few online courses in 1997.

Since then, it has developed 70 fully online degree programs and one of them is their Bachelor of Science in Political Science, American Politics And Public Administration degree.

Tuition costs start at $338 per credit hour and the courses can be completed in 9-week terms or 120 credit hours.

The program’s major requirements include courses on Public Policy Making, Comparative Public Policy, and Contemporary American Foreign Policy.

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The University of Maine

Online BA in Political Science-Emphasis on Public Policy

The University of Maine is a public university located in Orono, Maine.

The university belongs to the University of Maine System, which is composed of eight higher education institutions and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Their University of Maine Online division offers a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science that can be completed in 120 credit hours.

If you are a Maine resident, your tuition for online programs will be at $300 per credit hour, while it is  $375 for those out of state.

Thirty-six of the 120 credits must be used for subfields such as American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Political Theory.

All those four subfields offer courses on public policy, including Religious Thought, the American Identity, and U.S. Public Policy, Conduct of Foreign Policy, and Practicum in Engaged Policy Studies.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What am I going to study once I enroll in an online Bachelor’s in Public Policy program?

Once you enroll in any bachelor’s in public policy degree programs, you should know that the education will take four years to complete in the majority of cases, but still, it can be completed sooner at some colleges and universities.

Each university course track involves general education requirements and specialty programs.

Being that this is an interdisciplinary academic program, a bachelor’s in public policy involves insights in political science, economics, research methods, statistics, and other related fields.

If students get the knowledge of these relevant topics, they will be enabled to deal with the problems that plague society at large, meaning that they will find solutions to domestic public policy such as climate change, poverty, and health care.

The coursework typically provides the basis to analyze economic and political issues, knowledge of organizations and how to lead them, the foundations of policy-making, and the process of implementation.

In this program, they will be exercising responsible leadership that fosters positive policy change, while at the same time discussing management strategies, financial planning, and ethics at length.

Courses that students will take during their studies are public policy analysis, public administration, and social research are also expected to be covered by the coursework.

There are schools that offer a choice for specialization, meaning that you can choose to focus your education on the economic analysis of public policy, education and social policy, environmental policy, international and development policy, or politics and the policy process, among many others.

Public policy majors are expected to have numerous skills when they graduate, such as skills for policy-making, writing, public speaking, and communication skills for effective communication, the understanding of the roles and limitations of the government, nonprofits, foundations, and private organizations in the policy-making process and strategies to help them navigate the political and economic landscapes.

By an excellent public policy degree program is considered the one that teaches students the knowledge and skills needed for their future work.

Q. What kind of jobs can holders of an online Bachelor’s in Public Policy degree look for?

Upon graduation from a public policy program, you are expected to understand, analyze and determine the reasons behind public policy decisions that can affect lives, meaning that you will become integral in shaping important economic and social issues.

The field of public policy is broad, so the graduates of this degree program have a wealth of choices for the career paths, and those more involved in this field may choose to further their education by taking up an advanced degree in law school or a master’s in public policy.

Public policy graduates can work in general administration, criminal justice, political science, and healthcare administration.

Another option, while studying is to choose electives from an array of courses under a public policy or pick other areas of study and by furthering their education they will become able to find a job that pays well and offers career advancement.

We suggest that taking up an advanced degree is a smart choice.

A number of graduates will decide to build their career in the private sector, working for businesses and corporations, or in education sectors, and other non-profit organizations.

Public policy graduates can also become a part of the government administration/management department, nonprofit management, and legislative staff, lobbyists, management analysts, policy analysts, survey research, and strategic planner.

There are some other career options for those who want to help develop communities.

They can become urban and regional planners and examine population shifts and establish facilities necessary to accommodate them.

They can earn up to $73,050 per year.

Public policy graduates can become a social and community service manager and their job would be to coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations.

Their annual salary is around $65,320.

Some of the graduates might decide to work as public policy researchers, evaluating the potential impact of changing government policies and they are in most cases, employed by the state or federal governments, academic institutions, or the Brookings Institute and the RAND Corporation.

Most public policy majors who are employed by government agencies work as program administrators.

Q. What characteristics should people who enroll in a Bachelor’s in Public Policy program have?

Not everyone is able to do this work, being that as a public policy major, students in this program are expected to work in the public sector as policy analysts, administrators, and researchers, among many career choices.

These possible careers require students to have the qualities that will ensure their commitment and ability to finish the degree.

Some of the characteristics are related to their ability to think and act independently while keeping their minds open to other perspectives and alternative frameworks.

It is also important that they are willing to challenge existing narratives and develop new knowledge.

Some of the best qualities of public policy students are:

Good Organization and Negotiating Skills – students can easily navigate their college life and juggle different projects. They are able to make a distinction between what to prioritize and what can wait. They should know how to deal with their fellow students, peers, and professors and develop their negotiating tactics, as these skills will be of crucial important once they finally join the real world where influencing others and negotiating with different departments and organizations will be their main role

Creativity and Critical Thinking – Public Policy students are expected to encounter challenges and difficulties and they need to possess the creativity to cope with the stress and pressure of complying with their workload. It is also required, as they will be solving problems presented by policy issues,  that they must be able to think creatively around problems and be flexible enough to adapt to the changes.

A Sense of Leadership – Those who choose to deal with the public must have excellent skill in influencing and inspiring the members of society. This means that they need to be great leaders so as to make this job easy. Students of public policy should be able to take charge and have the initiative to make tough decisions, even under pressure as well as find solutions to different problems.

Teamwork – Even though they need to possess leadership skills they have to be able to work as a team, as well. These graduates are expected to work with different people who have different abilities and qualities so as to reach a common goal.

Interest in Politics and Policy Issues – This is considered as an essential quality of Public Policy majors. They have to possess their genuine interest and passion for politics and policy issues, they should read the news regularly and keep updated with the latest happenings related to the government, economy, environment, and health sector. This is important as it will sharpen their minds and equip them with the necessary knowledge.

Final Thoughts

Numerous educational institutions throughout the USA feature the Bachelor’s in Public Policy program available online which offers flexibility to adult learners who have their career and family responsibilities, and whichever of the above mentioned you choose, you will not regret your decision.

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