Bachelor’s in Public Administration Degree Emphasis

Bachelor of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in Public Administration

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Bachelor of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in Public Administration is designed to provide skilled public service leadership in the local and state arena. Students in the bachelor’s in public administration degree emphasis at Grand Canyon University (GCU) examine the inner workings of local and state government, as well as the public policies that are necessary for sustaining and improving the lives of people in their local and state communities.

This public administration emphasis program allows you to explore the unique traits and needs of a public organization. The relevant administrative skills you acquire not only help you in operating a public agency, they will likely prove useful wherever your career may lead you.

Develop a Strong Understanding for How Governments Operate

As a student in GCU’s public administration bachelor’s degree emphasis, you gain a strong understanding of the political processes that keep the government running, as well as the role of citizens in these processes. GCU’s government and public administration degree also investigates political systems both domestically and around the world, and the issues that arise when global entities interact with each other.

Get More Information

Loading Form

Benefits of GCU’s Government and Public Administration Degree Emphasis Program

When you study government and public administration at GCU, you will apply a Christian worldview as you are immersed into the realm of public services. Additionally, you will gain core competencies in the public administration field that will allow you to examine the connection between your discipline’s professional code of ethics and Christian ethics.

The bachelor’s degree in public administration online and on-campus programs are led by experienced faculty who are dedicated to your educational success. As part of GCU’s mission, all graduates develop critical skills in effective communication, innovative thinking, servant leadership and global perspectives and ethics.

Graduates of the public administration emphasis degree gain specific competencies in the following domains:

  • American government
  • Political behavior
  • International politics
  • Government affairs
  • Public administration

At the conclusion of the program, you will complete a Government Capstone which is a writing intensive course that closely examines the unique issues that are relevant to legislatures and public agencies.

At GCU, you can choose to earn your emphasis bachelor’s degree in public administration online or on campus. Offered through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this government degree requires 120 credits to completion. Both the online and campus degree programs at GCU are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and meet the high standards in education excellence.

Whether you choose to pursue your public administration degree online or on campus, you will have opportunities to interact and connect with other students and faculty in the government and public administration program.

Learn to Sustain and Improve Public Policies for State and Local Communities

Graduates of the BA in Government with an Emphasis in Public Administration will demonstrate a strong understanding of the issues in and functions of public administration and the policies administrators implement.

Through the Christian worldview lens, graduates learn to develop and improve policies that contribute to community and human flourishing by:

  • Examining the origins, evolution and purposes of state constitutions
  • Recommending a course of action for implementing a state or local policy
  • Assessing the structure of local governments and their roles in intergovernmental relations
  • Explaining how Christian leadership concepts can contribute to a foundation for public service

The public administration bachelor’s degree emphasis provides foundational knowledge and skills in public policy, social services, budgeting, critical thinking and leadership. By earning your undergraduate degree, you will have a strong framework for pursuing a career in public administration or furthering your education with an advanced degree.

If your career goals require you to deepen your understanding of the law and public administration, you may consider earning a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Government and Policy. The online MPA complements and builds upon the topics covered in this bachelor’s in public administration degree, with specific focuses on:

  • Governance
  • Budgeting and finance management
  • Human capital
  • Influence and power
  • Public and nonprofit leadership

Potential Jobs for Public Administration Degree Emphasis Graduates

There are a number of available jobs for public administration degree emphasis graduates who demonstrate the necessary skills developed in a public administration emphasis program. Administrative skills are helpful when pursuing positions in public offices and departments, as well as private businesses with similar skill requirements. A few possible jobs for public administration degree graduates include:

  • Administrative services managers
  • City managers
  • Human resources managers
  • Fundraising managers
  • Medical and health services managers
  • Political scientists

Government and Public Administration Bachelor’s Degree FAQs

To learn more about the government and public administration bachelor’s degree emphasis, read our answers to these commonly asked questions.

A bachelor’s in government and public administration degree emphasis is the optimal choice for those seeking foundational knowledge and skills in the public administration field. If you are looking to gain advanced administrative skills in a specific area, or to pursue a higher-level position, you should consider earning your Master of Public Administration. GCU offers MPA emphasis programs in government and policy, healthcare management and nonprofit management.

The bachelor’s in public administration degree emphasis at GCU does not include math courses. However, in the Master of Public Administration degree programs, you can expect to take courses in economics, budgeting and financial management since many public administrators are required to manage financial resources.

The emphasis in public administration bachelor’s degree at GCU requires 120 credits to completion. The on-campus courses are generally 15 weeks long and the bachelor’s degree in public administration online courses are around eight weeks. As a full-time student, you can expect the program to take about four years to complete, depending on any available transfer credits.

If you are interested in working for the federal government, it would be in your best interest to first think about your career goals and the area(s) you are most interested in. There are many different degree programs you can choose from, whether it’s homeland security and emergency management, legal studies, state and local public policy, criminal justice or public administration.

Public administrators are responsible for implementing policies, influencing action and serving their communities. They also handle the budgets and build relationships with internal and external stakeholders. To help find success in your career as a public administrator, you should demonstrate a few key qualities, including:

  • Commitment to the organization’s mission and strategic vision
  • Conceptual skill
  • Attention to detail
  • Delegation
  • Innovation
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Communication skills
  • Servant leadership
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
[More Info]
Online: 7 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Campus: $8,250 per semester
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Online: $485 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
44 credits
Open Elective Credits:
36-42 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.


Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
  • COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • INT-244, World Religions: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics. It covers the constitutional foundations and governing institutions of the federal government. Throughout the course, students address common political themes, such as the nature and scope of governance, democracy, citizenship, and patterns of political behavior.

Course Description

This course compares and contrasts various systems of government in Western and non-Western countries, and explores political and diplomatic processes and how they affect international relations, nations, and localities.

Course Description

This writing intensive course surveys the development of the American Constitution from colonial origins to the present. Constitutional law in the broader framework of political philosophy is discussed. Major themes in this course are federalism, the doctrine of separation of powers, and the impact of Supreme Court decisions on society. Prerequisite: GOV-140.

Course Description

This course focuses on the structures, processes, and policy outputs of state and local governments in the United States, with special reference to Arizona political, social, and economic environments. Prerequisite: GOV-140.

Course Description

This course introduces the qualitative and quantitative methods used to research and study politics including hypothesis testing, inference, and causal reasoning. Prerequisite: GOV-140.

Course Description

This course studies the development of city government in the United States; the governmental organization of several typical cities; the problems of taxation, law enforcement, health, housing, welfare, planning, and zoning; and the future of cities.

Course Description

This course covers public policymaking in American federal government. It focuses on the impact of policy on public opinion, the media, interest groups, and governing institutions within the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches. Prerequisite: GOV-140.

Course Description

This course examines the political processes that determine who gets what, when, and how in society, and explores the issues and concepts that are used to develop and critique political theories. The classics as well as the more contemporary expressions of political thought are introduced.

Course Description

This course explores the theory and practice of governmental administration at the national, state, and local levels and the implementation of legislation. It examines the role of the bureaucracy in the federal government and the states.

Course Description

This course analyzes contemporary topics in federalism. Topics will vary but may include case studies on environmental, health care, transportation, and homeland security policies. Prerequisites: GOV-366 and GOV-376.

Course Description

This writing intensive course provides a broad overview of careers at the federal, state, and local levels of governing bodies and agencies. The course explores the role of a bureaucrat, legislative aid, lobbyist, or campaign worker. Issues that are unique to legislatures that make the law, and to public agencies that implement and enforce the law are also explored. This course examines selected theoretical and empirical topics in government. This course represents the culmination of undergraduate study within government. This capstone course needs to be completed at the end of program. This capstone course needs to be completed at the end of program. Prerequisites: GOV-364, GOV-307, GOV-358, GOV-378, GOV-140, and GOV-210.


GCU Campus Student

Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.