Political Science Vs Public Administration - Which is the best option in BA/MA?

Nitika Sharma

Updated On: September 01, 2022 03:50 am IST

All the details pertaining to the Political Science and Public Administration courses are mentioned in this article for the student to make the best choice accordingly.

Political Science Vs Public Administration

Political Science or Public Administration? This is a popular question among the students interested in studying Politics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is true that both courses are very closely related yet different and one cannot replace the other. Political Science and Public Administration are quite different from each other in terms of their nature and objective. But, both subjects are an integral part of social studies. The knowledge both courses impart gives us an insight that both of them complement each other. There is another insight. Studies have proved that public administration has come as a part of political science. To clearly define, we can say that political science creates a framework and the public administration works within it. The first one focuses on the input of the Government machinery and the second one works on its output. Identifying the differences between these two courses are very difficult and it often puts the aspirants in a terrible dilemma.

This article takes a look at the definition and key features of both the courses that might help students in concluding which one is the best for their career requirements.

Political Science Vs Public Administration

It is important for the students to understand the meaning and course content of Political Science and Public Administration in order to make a choice between them. Here is the brief introduction to both the disciplines that can add up to your prior knowledge of both the courses:

What is Political Science?

As described by the father of Political Science, Aristotle, Political Science is a practical science that idealises the happiness of citizens. Political Science or Pol.Science is a specialisation of Social Science that deals with the working of the state and government at national and international levels. The discipline involves critical analysis of previous political events and policies to draw a conclusion for the current ones concerning the betterment of people. Based on the analysis, a comparative measure is obtained in the contemporary world.

Pol Science requires the inclusion of other social science branches such as Sociology,Economics,History, Public Policy and others. Due to the changing demands of society, it has become essential for political scientists to have a good knowledge of everything to draw any conclusion. As the field requires extensive study of Political Behaviour, Political Systems and applications, the scope of Pol. Science is vast and can be divided into five subdivisions that are as follows:

  • Political Theory

  • Public Administration

  • Comparative Politics

  • International Relations

  • Public Laws

Each of these subdivisions covers the entire modern Politics Economy and would help students in understanding global politics better. Thus, students pursuing a UG or PG degree in Political Science would be studying a blend of all these subdivisions in their course curriculum.

What is Public Administration?

Woodrow Willson, also known as the father of Public Administration, defined Public Administration as the detailed and systematic way of Public Law execution. Many philosophers have defined PA as the study of making and implementing Government policies. PA practise would require operations such as planning, directing, organising and controlling of the government and its policies.

Administration plays an essential role in the working of any state or nation, from making the law to correctly implementing and revising it, the administration is responsible for each step. It is, therefore, the first and the foremost thing that helps the government in achieving their vision and in satisfying the need of the people & nation as a whole.

While pursuing a degree in PA, you would learn about the oldest administrative systems, their objectives and failures which further lead to the formation of new systems and models of administration worldwide.

Some key features of Public Administration are:

  • Development of Communication

  • Construction Of New-Liberal States

  • Good Governance

  • E-Governance

  • People’s participation

  • Environmental Concerns

  • Welfare to all

  • Development of the Society

Even though Public Administration is a subset of Political Science, the curriculum of the subject is so vast that it is considered a different discipline altogether by most of Universities and educational institutes.

Political Science v/s Public Administration - Comparison Table

Check out the major difference between Political Science and Public Administration from the table provided below - 

Comparison ParametersPolitical SciencePublic Administration
Duration of UG Programme03 Years03 Years
Duration of PG Programme02 Years02 Years
Eligibility Criteria
  • 10+2 from any recognised Board with at least 50 % aggregate (for BA Political Science)
  • Bachelor's degree in Political Science from any recognised University with a minimum aggregate of 55% (For MA Political Science)
  • 10+2 from any recognised Board with at least 50 % aggregate (for BA Public Administration)
  • Bachelor's degree in Public Administration or relevant subject from any recognised University with a minimum aggregate of 55% (For MA Public Administration)
Average Course Fee
  • INR 5,000/- to INR 80,000/- per annum (UG)
  • INR 20,000/- to INR 80,000/- per annum (PG)
  • INR 40,000/- per annum
  • INR 30,000/- per annum

Also Read: Maharani Cluster University to Launch Degree Programmes in Liberal Arts

Courses in Political Science and Public Administration

Political Science and Public Administration are two disciplines of social science, and Universities provide courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate level for both of them. Given below are the available programs:

Political Science

Public Administration

BA in Political Science

BA in Public Administration

MA in Political Science

MA in Public Administration

Eligibility Criteria of Political Science and Public Administration

Eligibility criteria to pursue degrees in Political Science and Public administration is as follows:



Eligibility Criteria

Political Science

BA in Political Science

  • Class 12th passing certificate

  • No compulsory subjects, students of Science, commerce and arts filed can opt for this course

  • A minimum of 50 % in 10+2

MA in Political Science

  • A Bachelors Degree

  • Minimum 55% in the Bachelors Degree

  • Universities might take an entrance exam for the selection of student

Public Administration

BA in Public Administration

  • Passing Certificate of 10+2

  • Minimum 50 Percent in the Senior Secondary Board

  • Student of all streams can opt for this course

MA in Public Administration

  • Bachelors Degree

  • A minimum of 55% in Bachelors Degree (Reserved Category students will get some concession in percentage)

  • Universities take an entrance examination of all the applicants to shortlist the finalists.

Course Duration of Political Science and Public Administration

The course duration for Bachelor's and Master's courses of Public Administration and Political science are as follows:



BA in Political Science

3 Years

MA in Political Science

2 Years

BA in Public Administration

3 Years

MA in Public Administration

2 Years

Fee Structure of Political Science and Public Administration

The fee structure for Bachelor and Master courses can vary from university to university. The table given below has the estimated cost of studying these programmes:


Maximum Fee

Minimum Fee

BA in Political Science

Rs. 1.83 Lakh

Rs. 10,000

MA in Political Science

Rs. 88,000

Rs. 4,800

BA in Public Administration

Rs. 80,000


MA in Public Administration

Rs. 1.32 lakh


Best Colleges for Political Science and Public Administration

The list of top colleges to pursue a course in political science and public administration is as follows:

Best Colleges to Pursue Political Science in India

Here is the list of Best colleges to pursue Political Science from India:



Lady Shri Ram College (LSR)

New Delhi

Loyola College


Christ University


St. Xavier's College


Mangalayatan University


Delhi College of Arts and Commerce

New Delhi

St. Andrew College Of Arts Science & Commerce (SACASC)


College of Social Work (CSW)


Amity University


GD Goenka University


Best Colleges to Study Public Administration in India

Here is the list of Best colleges to study Public Administration:



Mahatma Jyoti Rao Phoole University


Madras Christian College


Presidency College


Madras Christian College- [MCC]


Mount Carmel College


DAV College


Amity University


Jamia Millia Islamia

New Delhi

GD Goenka University


NIMS University


Career Options for Political Science and Public Administration

Even though both Political Science and Public Administration are closely related, the career options for each of them can be very different. To know more about the available career options for Political Science and Public Administration, find the information below:

Career Options for Political Science

Here is the list of top career options in Political Science if you have made up your mind to pursue a course in Political Science :

  • Project officer

  • Communications Officer with a government organization

  • Non-government organizations (NGO’s)

  • Researcher in private companies

  • Political Figure

  • Political representative/worker of a party

  • City planner

Pol Science covers a large number of specialisations hence students with a Bachelors degree in Pol science can go for Law, Legal studies, Public Administration, Policy-Making and other related disciplines for their Masters.

Career Options for Public Administration

Here is the list of popular career choices for students pursuing Public Administration:

  • International aid/development worker

  • Public Administration Consultant

  • Budget analyst

  • Tax examiner

  • Civil Servant

  • Social Work

  • NGO

Political Science or Public Administration: What to Choose?

As explained above, both disciplines are closely related to one another in many ways. Political Science is a much diverse and complicated field in comparison to Public Administration.

Public Administration is a more specific discipline that would enable you to solve issues related to policymaking and execution. Many students pursuing a Public Administration course can go for the UPSE civil service examination as the job requires the practical use of the subject, it is one of the most popular optional choices among the Civil Services Aspirants.

Some Alternative Best Political Science Colleges in India

Here is the list of some top Political Science colleges in India along with their average course fee structure - 

Name of the College/UniversityAverage Course Fee (In INR)
Deepshikha College of Technical Education, Jaipur12.5K per annum  
Mansarovar Global University, Sehore, Madhya Pradesh25K per annum 
PP Savani University, Surat1,80,000/- per annum 
Graphic Era (Deemed to be University), Dehradun78K per annum
Noida International University60K per annum

Some Alternative Best Public Administration Colleges in India

The following table contains the names of all those reputed colleges in India which offers admission into the Public Administration programme (both UG and PG) among with their fee structure - 

Name of the College/UniversityAverage Course Fee (In INR)
Shyam Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dausa25K per annum
Chhatrapati Sivaji Maharaj University, Navi Mumbai40K per annum
Mansarovar Global University, MP25K per annum
The ICFAI University, Raipur30K per annum
University of Technology, Sanganer, Jaipur20K per annum

Also Read: Delhi University BA (Hons) Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination 2022

Both the courses have their unique objectives and you can pick one on the basis of your career goals and aspirations.

For more information on Political Science and Public Administration stay tuned to CollegeDekho!

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