Skip to main content

Public Administration

Research guide for Public Administration

What is Public Administration?

Generally, public administration deals with the management of civil resources and policies, including government programs at local, state, national levels. Under CIP 2010 Code 44.0401, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) defines an academic program in public administration to be: 

"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."

Take a look at the links below from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic's Occupational Outlook Handbook to find out more about some of the varied career opportunities possible with a degree in public administration. People with public administration degrees may have additional degrees and experience in accounting, economics, finance, law, management, political science, or sociology.

Finding Web Resources with Google

If you're using Google to find websites, try including one of the following domains in your search to ensure the most high-quality results.

  • (websites for government)
  • (websites for U.S. institutions of higher education)



A search for government websites only involving the term "social security" looks like this:

A search for institutions of higher education websites only involving the term "public policy" looks like this:

In either case, you simply follow your search terms with the word "site," a colon, a period, and the domain you want.

You can also try and, but sometimes those sites can still be questionable.

Keep in mind that international higher education sites (for example, those from Canada, the U.K., Australia, etc.) do not use the .edu domain. Instead, try looking for the .ac (academic institutions) domain.