Public Administration

The National Center for Education Statistics Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code describes Public Administration as “A program that prepares individuals to serve as managers in the executive arm of local, state, and federal government and that focuses on the systematic study of executive organization and management. Includes instruction in the roles, development, and principles of public administration; the management of public policy; executive-legislative relations; public budgetary processes and financial management; administrative law; public personnel management; professional ethics; and research methods.” For more information on our graduates’ employment, NASPAA job placement data, and some examples of the types of jobs our graduates obtain see our employment data page.

Personal Growth and Career Enhancement

Public Administration programs offer training in skills applicable to many occupations. Sponsored by the US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA), the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) identifies a number of occupations associated with Public Administration such as: public relations and fundraising managers, general and operations managers, education administrators, medical and health services managers, occupational health and safety specialists, social and human service assistants, first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers, government program eligibility interviewers, human resource specialists, social and community service managers, regulatory affairs managers, and compliance managers. Whether you are interested in nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or labor relations, Public Adminsitration provides the skills needed to succeed.

Advantages to the Bachelor’s Degree:

A Bachelor’s of Public Administration would help you prepare for a job in a public agency, or even at the local/state government level.

  • Public Administration positions are available all around the country. Some of the fields that might  interest you are budgeting, management, communications, or public transportation.
  • This degree would give you a choice to work in the private or public sector. Non-profit organizations and governmental bodies have career paths that would benefit from someone holding a Bachelor’s in Public Administration.

Advantages to the Master’s Degree:

A Master’s degree in Public Administration would give you the opportunity to specialize in a topic of your interest which includes the nonprofit sector, community planning and leadership, or labor relations in the public sector.

  • This degree would help you reinforce leadership skills and could be applied through an internship offered at UIS and/or your current workplace.
  • This degree would open up career advancement paths in government agencies or the non-profit sector, allowing for better salaries and/or benefits.

Advantages to the Doctorate Degree:

The Doctorate Degree offers senior-level public managers a more in-depth look at the functions of governmental agencies as well as advanced experience and understanding of public management and public policy.

  • At the completion of the program, students should be able to prepare and produce independent research and analysis of real-world phenomena in the government and/or nonprofit sector.
  • Evaluate and integrate the theoretical literature from a range of public affairs disciplines as they apply to issues commonly addressed in public administration and related public affairs disciplines.



There are more than 50,000 nonprofit organizations in Illinois alone. That number will only rise as governments decrease spending and scope in social services and nonprofits are created to fill the void.

Labor Relations

Government agencies are currently in great need of trained specialists who can apply human resource and labor relations to the public sector. Many public agencies have their own personnel and labor relations offices with a need for employees trained in negotiations, grievance handling, personnel administration and contract administration. Unions desire people willing to provide organizing, leadership, and dispute resolution.

A Force in the Workplace

Our graduates hold executive, fiscal and administrative upper and middle management positions in local, state and federal agencies. They are also state-level legislators, police and fire chiefs, and directors of nonprofit organizations. Some students go on to earn advanced degrees – doctorates in public administration or public health, law degrees and more.

Quick Facts:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2017 Median Pay for Administrative services Managers was $94,020 per year.
  • The job outlook is looking prosperous as the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job market would increase by 10% between now and 2026. (The average is 7%)

For more information, please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics


UIS and Innovate Springfield

Innovate Springfield is now part of the University of Illinois Springfield. The downtown Springfield social innovation and business incubator is not only helping local startup companies, it’s also giving students a chance to grow their ideas. Follow this link to a short promotional video for  Innovate Springfield. Look for UIS PA faculty Dr. Kim Wiley and MPA students Hind Tamam, Sarah Daniels, Niccole Clements, Thomas Kenny, Alicia Harris, and DeAngelo Parks in the video.

Residential Simulation Lab

The new Lab is associated with the Child Advocacy Studies program (CAST) in the Public Administration Department at UIS. The facility is used as a tool for hands-on training in effective intervention techniques in child abuse and neglect scenarios for both professionals and students. For more information see the Chancellor’s Column on the new Residential Simulation Lab. The Simulation Lab was dedicated on April 25, 2016. UIS MPA grad Brittany Hilderbrand has authored a story on the Lab and its dedication for the Illinois Times. Dr. Betsy Goulet is the lead faculty member both for CAST and for the Child Protection Academy housed under the University’s Center for State Policy and Leadership. The Academy partners with the Department of Children and Family Services to help train investigators utilizing the new Residential Simulation Lab. The Academy is in its 5th contract year with DCFS and has trained 566 new child protection investigators.

Faculty Research

University of Illinois at Springfield Public Administration faculty are involved in a variety of important research areas such as budgeting, children’s rights, educational policy, environmental justice, land use and planning, and network administration.

Follow this link to view a list of faculty profiles and their recent publications.

Tracking student outcomes:

Our program utilizes an ongoing assessment of student learning process to ensure students are learning what they need to know as program graduates and to meet NASPAA accreditation standards.

Student completion outcomes are tracked and reported to meet NASPAA standards.

Student cohort degree completion outcomes:

Cohort academic year Initially
within 2 years
within 3 years
within 4 years
Total Students Graduated and Persisting to Graduation
2014-15 92 54 62 67 69
2013-14 104 25 60 72 81
2012-13 119 65 83 87 119
2011-12 119 78 92 96 119