The program consists of 36 credit hours (39 if you need to complete the internship),
and it depends on how many credits you pursue each semester. Students relying on
federal financial aid must be enrolled in at least 6 credits per semester. Most students
complete the degree in two to three years.
Yes! Our program is structured to accommodate professionals who work full-time and
want to enhance their professional credentials on a part-time basis. All classes are
scheduled online or in the evening hours. Students employed full-time usually take
one or two courses per semester (part-time student) and sometimes three courses per
semester (full-time student). The program is designed to allow a part-time student
to earn the MPA degree in two to three years.
No! At least half of our students have already gained full-time professional work
experience prior to entering the program and are currently working full-time.
While both degrees focus on developing an administrative skill set, the MPA is more
oriented toward enhancing the practice of these skills within the field of public
service. The MPA program is most suitable for those whose interests primarily lie
with operating in public service, organizational development and "people management."
Individuals who are currently in the private sector will also find the skills learned
in the MPA program to be applicable and highly valuable, especially for those in administration.
Absolutely! There have been several WCU MPA graduates who go on to receive their DPA
from us as well, and currently have some of our former West Chester University MPA
graduates enrolled in our Doctorate of Public Administration program. If you would
like additional information,
please contact Dr. Kristen Crossney.
Individuals with graduate degrees in other areas have gone on to also attain an MPA
degree and are required to fulfill our admissions criteria. Upon admittance to the
program, the student will complete just twenty-four credits in order to earn the MPA
degree. Note that more credits may be required depending on the student's background
and intended concentration.
This is a critical part of the MPA application. Your statement should explain your
personal and/or professional motivation for pursuing graduate study in public administration
and include short-term and long-term career objectives. Your personal statement should
be no more than two (2) pages. Please be specific about career goals as this information
will be used for advisement purposes. Further, the applicant must include a recent
In addition to the MPA degree, we also offer a Certificate in Public Administration.
Applicants must meet the same entrance requirements as for the MPA degree and complete
12 credits chosen from the seven administrative core courses. We also offer certificates
in Nonprofit Administration and Public Management.
Non-degree students may, with approval from the MPA director, take up to nine credits
without formally applying to the MPA Program. Use these links for more information
or to complete a non-degree application
No, there are no prerequisite courses for starting the MPA program. Many applicants
are routinely admitted whose academic credentials are in an area different than public
administration. The career goal statement in the graduate application should address
this connection to pursuing an MPA degree.
Absolutely. Students wishing to attain a second master's degree from WCU will meet
all admissions requirements set by the The Graduate School and the MPA program. They
must earn a minimum of twenty-four credits beyond the credits applied toward the first
Absolutely! Students majoring in other graduate degree programs may, under advisement,
enroll in MPA courses on a space available basis. Approval is needed both from the
student's advisor and the MPA Director. Class priority is given to MPA degree and
Many students in the program are already employed in the same field as their concentration,
but this is also not an admission requirement. The MPA Program is designed to serve
those seeking a career change, as well as those hoping to enhance their present employment.
Along with earning a formal degree, students are advised to also "build a resume"
to support their intended career change and to plan to take an internship, or otherwise
acquire appropriate experience, in the career area into which they intend to transition.
Yes, even though the course titles may be similar, courses at the graduate level are
qualitatively and quantitatively different from those offered at the undergraduate
level. Students with an especially strong background in a particular area are encouraged
to discuss alternative concentration courses with their advisor. Students have been
able to broaden their backgrounds by substituting alternative courses for those required
in the concentration; approval to do so must be granted by a student's advisor.
For all inquiries regarding program plans, please refer to the Graduate Catalog
All Public Administration (PPA) core courses (PPA500 through PPA506 plus the capstone)
are offered every academic year and some in the summer. The schedule for concentration
electives varies, but most are offered at least once a year. If you are seeking to
graduate with a specific concentration degree or a certificate, it is suggested that
you work with your advisor to map out your curriculum so that you meet your expected
graduation date. The same applies if you aim to enroll in all online or in-class courses,
as we try to best accommodate our students by alternating class delivery methods.
Yes, if approved by the department chair three to twelve credits may be transferred.
The credits submitted for possible transfer must have been earned at an accredited
institution and completed within the previous six years with a grade of "B" or better.
Requests for transfer credits to substitute for PPA core courses will not be approved
once a student starts the MPA program.
No, these courses do not focus heavily on "technical" matters but are designed to
provide the future administrator the opportunity to become knowledgeable about these
fields from a management perspective.
The research requirements are all contained within the capstone project.