VCU Bulletins

Public Administration, Master of (M.P.A.), generalist curriculum

Program accreditation
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration

Graduate program director
Nancy Stutts, Ph.D.
Interim program chair, Public Administration
nbstutts@vcu.edu
(804) 827-2164

Additional contact
Richard F. Huff, Ph.D.
Director of graduate studies, Wilder School
rrhuff@vcu.edu
(804) 828-6837

Program website: wilder.vcu.edu/academic/pubadmin.html

Refer to the program search feature of the online VCU Bulletins for a complete listing of all programs, concentrations and related curricular options.

Nonprofit Management, Certificate in (Post-baccalaureate graduate certificate)
Public Administration, Master of (M.P.A.), accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (B.A.) to master’s
Public Administration, Master of (M.P.A.)/Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Richmond [combined]
Public Administration, Master of (M.P.A.) with a concentration in budgeting and financial management
Public Administration, Master of (M.P.A.) with a concentration in executive leadership
Public Administration, Master of (M.P.A.) with a concentration in human resource management
Public Administration, Master of (M.P.A.) with a concentration in nonprofit management
Public Administration, Master of (M.P.A.) with a concentration in public policy analysis and evaluation
Public Administration, Master of (M.P.A.) with a concentration in state and local government management
Public Management, Certificate of (Post-baccalaureate graduate certificate)

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Public Administration, Master of (M.P.A.), generalist curriculum
Degree:
M.P.A.
Semester(s) of entry:
Fall


Spring

Summer
Deadline dates:
Apr 1 (Mar 1 for financial aid)


Oct 1

Feb 1
Test requirements:
GRE, GMAT, MAT or LSAT
Special requirements:
These deadlines are designed to allow sufficient time for application review and admission processing. Applications may be submitted after the deadline; however, there is no guarantee of sufficient time for processing. Any application submitted too late for current semester processing will be considered for the following semester. Please contact the program chair with specific application questions.

Master of Public Administration students may pursue a generalist curriculum (in which elective courses are selected from the M.P.A. program or any department or school at VCU) or an area of concentration (choose the generalist curriculum from the drop-down list of program options when applying online). Many students will benefit from the depth in a specific area that a concentration provides. For students who pursue a concentration, elective courses must come from the approved list of courses for that concentration (choose the specific M.P.A. concentration from the drop-down list of program options when applying online).

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, selection is made on the basis of prior academic performance, professional accomplishments and other indicators of the ability to pursue graduate studies and a professional career in public management successfully. Specifically, the application for admission requires a transcript documenting the completion of a bachelor’s degree, three letters of reference (including both academic and professional references if possible), a current resume and a satisfactory standardized test score (GRE, GMAT, MAT or LSAT). Students submitting LSAT scores must have taken an undergraduate math course (algebra, statistics or finite mathematics) and passed with a minimum grade of C.

No applicant will be considered for admission to the M.P.A. program within two years of having been terminated from the program or of having been rejected for admission to the program.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university.  These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

General academic regulations for
all graduate students in all graduate programs at VCU

Program goals

The Master of Public Administration program’s mission supports a “generalist” conception of public administration. This seems quite appropriate as the students come from diverse academic and employment backgrounds and find jobs in a wide variety of government and nonprofit organizations.

M.P.A. students may pursue a generalist curriculum (in which the four elective courses are selected from the M.P.A. program or any department or school at VCU) or an area of concentration. Many students will benefit from the depth in a specific area that a concentration provides. If a student pursues a concentration, the elective courses must come from the approved list of courses for that concentration area.

The program’s mission includes the following goals:

  1. Prepare professional public managers, public officials and citizens to meet the challenges of public service in both government and nonprofit sectors
  2. Advance the state of knowledge in the field of public administration through scholarly research and publications
  3. Serve the profession and local, state, federal and international communities by extending faculty expertise and intellectual resources

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will participate in and contribute to the policy process.
  2. Students will lead and manage in public governance.
  3. Students will solve problems and make decisions in public governance.
  4. Students will communicate and interact with the workforce and citizenry.
  5. Students will articulate and apply a public service perspective.

Degree requirements

The Master of Public Administration program is designed to meet the graduate educational needs of pre-service and in-service professionals for careers in public management and analysis in the public and nonprofit sectors. The degree requires a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours (39 credit hours for students with less than one year of experience in the public or nonprofit sector). In addition to the general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, M.P.A. students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours, as approved, with an overall minimum GPA of 3.0. Students who do not have at least one year of professional-level experience in the public sector or in a nonprofit agency are required to earn three additional hours of credit in a public service practicum/internship (for a total of 39 graduate credit hours for the degree).
  2. Students may have no more than two C grades to graduate. Students who earn a D or F in a course will be dismissed from the program.
  3. Students who are required to take the practicum/internship will usually do so during the summer between the first and second years or during the last semester of course work. The practicum must include a minimum of 300 hours as required by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The scheduling of the practicum will be flexible enough to accommodate the needs of those students who pursue the degree on a part-time basis. Each practicum will be negotiated between VCU and the host agency, including the scope of work to be performed by the student, the type and extent of supervision, both within the agency and from the university, and the stipend. A learning contract will be executed among the department, the agency and the student. A written student project is required to complete the internship.
  4. All students are required to complete the courses in the core curriculum unless competence in the subject matter can be demonstrated on the basis of previous experience or course work. Course work that is waived must be replaced by approved substitutions in order to meet the minimum 36 (or 39) graduate credit hours required for the degree.

Curriculum requirements

Courses Credit hours
   
Core courses (required) 24
PADM/GVPA 601 Principles of Public Administration 3
PADM 602 Public Administration Theory 3
PADM 607 Public Human Resource Management 3
PADM 609 Financial Management in Government 3
PADM/GVPA/CRJS/URSP 623 Research Methods for Government and Public Affairs 3
PADM 624 Quantitative Methods for Public Administration 3
PADM/GVPA 625 Public Policy Analysis 3
PADM 689 Seminar in Public Administration: Integration of Theory and Practice (capstone) or PADM 690 Reading Seminar 3
   
Generalist curriculum electives
Select courses from the public administration curriculum.
12
   
PADM 583 Effective Managerial Communications  1
PADM 584 Planned Organizational Change  1
PADM 585 Power, Influence and Organizational Competence 1
PADM 591 Topic Seminar  3
PADM 603 Politics and Economics  3
PADM 604 Comparative Public Institutions  3
PADM/SOCY 605 Survey Research Methods  3
PADM 606 Government Management Models 3
PADM 621 Organizational Behavior and Management in Government 3
PADM 622 Public Sector Budgeting  3
PADM 626 Intergovernmental Relations  3
PADM 627 Workshop in Policy Analysis and Evaluation  3
PADM/ENVS 628 Environmental Policy and Administration  3
PADM/URSP 630 Strategic Planning and Management in the Public Sector  3
PADM 637 Organic Human Resources Management  3
PADM 642 Grants Management  3
PADM 650 Principles of Nonprofit Management  3
PADM 652 Administrative Law  3
PADM 654 Program Design and Evaluation in the Nonprofit Sector  3
PADM 656 Fund Development for the Nonprofit Sector  3
PADM 657 Nonprofit Advocacy and Government Relations  3
PADM 660 Community Power Dynamics  3
PADM 661 Nonprofit Law, Governance and Ethics  3
PADM 662 Advanced Topics in Revenue and Taxation  3
PADM 664 Local Government Administration  3
PADM 675 Comparative Public Administration  3
PADM 680 Executive Leadership Seminar  3
PADM 681 Governmental Administrative Decision-making Processes  3
PADM 682 Advanced Public Human Resources Management  3
PADM/PHIL/GVPA 683 Administrative Ethics  3
PADM 691 Topics in Public Administration  1-3
   
Internship (required for students with less than one year of professional experience in the public or nonprofit sector) 0 or 3
GVPA 693 Internship 3
   
Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 36 or 39

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Degree candidacy requirements

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Graduation requirements

 

 

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Last update: 12/17/2014

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