Bachelor of Public Administration

Available Online

The Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) is designed to meet the educational and professional needs of individuals in the public sector who are interested in professional or career advancement. The online public administration bachelor’s degree also prepares individuals for challenging and dynamic careers in government at the local, state, and federal levels. Individuals completing the public administration degree requirements are prepared for mid-level positions, teaching, or training assignments, or research in the government and nonprofit organizations.

BPA/MPA Transition Program
Students who are currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Public Administration program and have at least a GPA of 3.0 and are within six courses of graduation, may register for the BPA/MPA transition program by taking two MPA classes as electives during the BPA program. To be eligible, students must apply for and begin the MPA program within six months of completing their BPA program. Students may choose up to two of the graduate-level public administration courses (with the exception of PAD 631 and PAD 644). For students in the BPA/MPA transition program, the University will waive up to two graduate-level public administration courses taken as part of the bachelor’s degree, but these students must still meet the residency requirements for the MPA. Students must complete graduate level coursework taken as part of the BPA degree with a grade of “B” or better.

CAEL Portfolio
In partnership with the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), National University has developed a portfolio-based system of demonstrating that a student has achieved the course outcomes for University undergraduate courses. Credit may apply towards both the lower division and upper division credit requirements of the University's undergraduate degree programs unless specified otherwise in policy or limited by the state or jurisdiction of a student's residence. In our Portfolio program, students demonstrate that what they already know is equivalent to what they would have learned in an equivalent college course. The program is designed to be as flexible as possible to meet students’ needs. Students may have acquired this knowledge through past employment, independent reading and study, training programs or in-service courses, volunteer service, cultural or artistic pursuits, hobbies and recreational pastimes, community or religious activities, organizational memberships, adult education, non-credit courses, study abroad, military training not evaluated for credit by ACE, or other experiences. A portfolio enables students to identify and articulate this knowledge, and potentially earn credit for it. Students learn the process of identifying areas of course-equivalent learning and portfolio development skills through the PRLX2100X course offered through the Division of Extended Learning. The resulting portfolio is submitted for review by Subject Matter Experts for potential award of credit. For further information regarding the Portfolio program, please contact

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Synthesize the theories of public administration.
  • Analyze the operations and procedures of public management and nonprofits.
  • Develop skills in managing a public sector or nonprofit organization.
  • Apply the theories and practices in program and resource management.
  • Apply the theories and practices of accounting and budgeting in government and nonprofits.
  • Evaluate the role of community groups in local government.
  • Analyze ethical situations in the public sector.
  • Utilize research process to address a current problem in public administration.
  • Collect data, conduct a literature review, analyze data, write and explain findings, and present results orally and/or in writing.


To receive a Bachelor of Public Administration, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as described below, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, with a minimum of 70.5 units of the University General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, students may need to take additional general electives to satisfy the total units for the degree. Refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information regarding application and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.General Education Program Requirements The general education program consists of a minimum of 70.5 quarter units. Of the 70.5 units, students must complete at least 4.5 units at the upper-division level and 4.5 units in diversity enriched coursework. A plus [+] indicates a diversity enriched offering. All undergraduate students working toward any associate or bachelors degree must meet the University diversity requirement.
Preparation for the Major (3 courses; 13.5 quarter units)
Requirements for the Major (12 courses; 54 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):
Upper-Division Electives (4 courses; 18 quarter units)
Students are encouraged to take any minors or electives in the following prefix areas: CJA, MGT, HRM, ODV, LAW, ACC, FIN, BKM, HUB, LED, and ECO.