Eastern Illinois University confers a cheap public policy master's degree that is perfect for pre-service and early-service professionals. This is a 100 percent online degree that can be completed in just one year with full-time study. Students may also choose to study part-time and complete their degree in two years. All courses are delivered asynchronously and are helmed by the same faculty that teach the traditional campus courses. Students will find that the program is flexible and allows for maximum freedom in terms of curriculum and final project choice. The program also allows for students who live close to campus to participate in a hybrid program, which will allow them to be eligible for graduate assistantships; this may help curb the cost of their tuition. Students can expect to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, a thesis or capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include International Policy Issues, Public Policy Analysis, and City and Urban Policy.
10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Public Policy in 2021
An online Master’s in Public Policy is for those passionate individuals who are passionate about making a difference in their communities and in the country and aim to make it their life’s work. Even at the undergraduate stage, these hardworking professionals can make a difference in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. From working with community centers to running for office, public policy professionals can be found working to build a better future for the country.
However, while an undergraduate degree may be enough for some career paths, an online master’s degree can help professionals reach the highest echelons of the field. These programs tend to run for around two years and are flexible enough that they can be completed by even the busiest professionals. With financial aid available as well as flexible term schedules, there’s no reason that a professional can’t find the perfect online program for them.
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10 Most Affordable Online Public Policy Master’s in 2021
Our Methodology, Explained
Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Metric Data Used Percentage Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30% Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10% Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30% Program Offerings Number of program options 20% Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Master’s in Public Policy Degree?
An online Master’s in Public Policy degree offers a professional several different career options. These can be in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Some of these include:
- Policy analyst
- City government elected official
- Nonprofit Executive Director
- Government affairs director
- Court Administrator
- Federal intelligence analyst
- Research Analyst
- Clinical research associate
- Nonprofit Chief Operation Officer
- Public Relations Consultant
- Municipal Budget Director
How Much Can You Earn in This Field?
There is a wide salary range for those in the field of public policy. Currently, this range is $43,000 for a grant writer to $155,000 for a chief executive officer. This range accounts for job positions, varying levels of work experience, different regions where work is available, additional skills and expertise, and more.
It is important to note that those who move into public policy at the master’s level will have an average salary of between $65,000 to $75,000 with no prior work history. Professionals with more work experience may command between $85,000 to $92,000. This does not include benefits or bonus forms of compensation.
There is also a difference between public sector jobs and private sector jobs. Professionals working in public sector jobs, on average, are paid less than their private-sector counterparts. However, they tend to have more stability in their careers and a steady rise in their income. Private sector jobs pay more, but are also quite competitive and may require additional professional development credentials.
What are the Various Disciplines of Public Policy?
Public policy is a general field that encompasses public policy in all sectors and across all industries within the United States of America. It is first and foremost concerned with law, policy, economics, international affairs, domestic affairs, and government. All professionals will engage these disciplines on a regular basis in their work.
However, because public policy is a general field, and since there are so many career paths available within the field, it is possible that professionals will need to engage in other disciplines as well.
Professionals who work in the public sector will need to contend with sociology, community affairs, social work, public relations, communication, leadership, and administration. They may find themselves engaging in politics at the administrative level, such as those who work for the White House or other government agencies.
Private sector professionals often work with consulting firms, SuperPACs, political organizations, and more. They will find themselves interacting with political history, theory, and applications. They will also need to focus on communications on all levels, from one-on-one meetings to fundraisers and town halls. They may also work with law firms, meaning they must understand the law of the particular field in which they are working. Conflict resolution and mediation, along with negotiation, may also play a large role in how they conduct business.
Do You Need a Degree in Public Policy to Make a Difference in Legislation?
No, an online Master’s in Public Policy is not necessary to make a difference in American legislation. There are several examples throughout history in which an individual or a group of people have demanded, and won, a change in public policy. American governance is structured in such a way that makes this possible; an incredible example would be the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
However, professionals will note that although it is possible to influence legislation one way or another with activism and advocacy, public policy experts are the ones who craft legislation. These are the professionals who understand and can analyze policy to ensure that it is the best for the population that it will affect. The field is important because, with the analysis of public policy, legislation that is ultimately harmful to the people it was crafted to assist is stopped in its tracks and reviewed prior to becoming law.
A degree in public policy prepares students for becoming influencers and experts in public policy. Not every individual will go into politics with this degree, but many who do nevertheless have a hand in shaping policy. From the local to the federal levels, across every aspect of American life, these professionals are armed with the necessary skills and knowledge to understand a policy from every angle and be able to ensure that it is best for the American people.
A degree also serves another purpose: students are able to choose their own concentration, enabling them to learn about the field in a structured environment prior to joining the field. From seminars to internships, this is an invaluable experience that can shape a professional’s future in the field for the better. Therefore, it is advised that anyone interested in public policy make a concerted effort to earn an online Master’s in Public Policy.
Public policy is an important part of everyday life at every level in America. However, few people are as dedicated to policy work as the professionals who help influence the decisions made at different governmental levels. Now there is an increased need for more professionals with the expertise needed to properly analyze and implement various policies, with that need growing through 2024. With an online Master’s in Public Policy, students and mid-service professionals can make a difference in the lives of all Americans while working on their own specific career goals.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Explore Similar Programs.10 Most Affordable Master’s in Public Administration Online 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Public Administration Online at Private Colleges 15 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Political Science
This concludes our ranking of the Top Ten Most Affordable Online Master’s in Public Policy.
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