Major in Public Administration

Major in Public Administration


As a student at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government, you will tackle real-world problems in engaging classes led by world-class faculty. The curriculum of the Bachelor of Science in Public Administration is designed with tomorrow in mind, providing you with the in-demand knowledge and expertise to lead change.

By majoring in Public Administration, you can prepare for an exciting and fulfilling career in government and nonprofit management. Courses focus on leadership, administration, and public policy in the political setting of public management. The B.S. in Public Administration requires completion of 52 credits, including eight core credits and a senior seminar.

Additionally, you may deepen your knowledge through one of the following optional concentrations:

  • Administration and Management
  • Economic Policy Analysis
  • International Political Economy
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Public Policy
  • US Government Institutions
  • Individualized Concentration (where you may create your own concentration, with approval from your department)

Learn more about degree requirements.


Our faculty’s passion for public service and policymaking matches that of our students. They are scholars in the disciplines of policy, government, and international affairs who seek to make a difference and serve. So much so, that they often refer to themselves as “pracademics,” scholars who connect learning with practice, provide council and commonsense for Washington, D.C., policymakers, and prepare their students to be successful leaders. We call that impact-driven scholarship.

First and foremost, however, the Schar School faculty members are committed to quality teaching. As a result, you will get to know your professors here and form mentoring relationships with them. That will help you do better in class, make wise decisions about internships and careers, and glean wisdom to be successful in life.



One of the best ways to find a job after graduation is to complete an internship that will offer you real-world experience and the chance to build a professional network. Schar School students intern at a variety of places, including:

  • Capitol Hill legislative offices
  • Executive Office of the President of the United States
  • Fairfax County Government
  • Partnership for Public Service
  • The U.S. Senate

You can earn up to six academic credits of internship toward your degree.



A degree in Public Administration from George Mason University will give you the credentials to land a great job after graduation. Our public administration graduates are hired by some of the most prestigious companies, nonprofits, and government agencies in Washington, D.C., and beyond, including:

  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Marine Corps
  • Loudoun County Circuit Court
  • FedBid, Inc.

As a Public Administration graduate, you will also have access to a growing network of more than 16,000 fellow Schar School alumni who have the careers you want, who work as leaders for the organizations you want to work for, and with whom you can network and develop relationships.


Photo of Joseph Fernando

“It was a huge turning point for me when I transferred [to Mason]. I got appointed as a student senator and started to grow more relationships with my professors. I started growing and getting more experience.”
—Joseph Fernando, BS in Public Administration '20 


Schar School Bachelors Degree in Public Administration student Chanel Gagne

"I knew that I wanted to pursue a government major and the location is so prime, being so close to the D.C. metro area. There are so many different types of perspectives, as well [as people] you're going to meet here."
—Chanel Gagne, BS in Public Administration '16

Camden Layton, BS in Public Administration '20

“Our faculty [in the Schar School] is legendary. The professors have taught me so much about how higher education is tied with Congress.”
—Camden Layton, BS in Public Administration '20



Van Metre Hall photo

Schar School Public Administration Program Ranked No. 11 in the U.S.

The Schar School's Public Administration program is ranked No. 22 in the world, No. 11 in the U.S., and No.1 in the Washington, D.C., region by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Photo of Undergraduate Schar School of Policy and Government students

Mason Undergraduate Students Gain First-Hand Lobbying Experience in Richmond

During the annual Mason Lobbies Day, undergraduate students took meetings with state representatives and staff to advocate for various issues facing the Commonwealth's higher education system.

Schar School Bachelors Degree in Public Administration student Joseph Fernando

Schar School Public Administration Major Interns with the Senate
Upon transferring universities, Joseph Fernando didn't realize what opportunities he would encounter—including two internships at the Senate and one at End Citizens United.

Schar School Bachelors Degree in Public Administration student Camden Layton

Introducing Student Body President, Public Administration Major Camden Layton
Layton had found his calling in higher education policy, planning to improve the school's relationship with the community and develop new strategies to improve student life.