West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Department of Public Policy and Administration
College of Business and Public Management
Business and Public Management Center
50 Sharpless Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Name: Dr. Amanda Olejarski
Position:Department Chair and MPA Director
Name: Dr. Kristen Crossney
Position: DPA Director
Name: Lillian Miller
Position: Assistant Director
Name: Heather MacQueen
Position: Department Secretary
Thank you for your interest in the MPA Program. The information that follows has been prepared to address questions frequently asked by applicants to the MPA Program. If you have additional questions,please email us
or call 610-436-2438.
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.
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 each semester (part-time student) and sometimes three (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 the area of 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 the area of "people management."
Absolutely! While the MPA degree is intended to be a "terminal" degree for professionals desiring to enhance their administrative skills, a growing number of individuals have gone on to pursue their PhD/DPA after completing an MPA. We've had WCU MPA graduates 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.
No, the MPA degree is not meant for persons who want to earn a state recognized principal or superintendent's certificate. However, for a variety of other reasons, we do have a number of educators enrolled in our program who find the curriculum useful for their career development.
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.
MPA students often have their undergraduate degree in an area related to their concentration area; however, such is not a requirement for admission. Indeed, many applicants are routinely admitted whose academic credentials are in an area different than their intended MPA concentration. The career goal statement in the graduate application should address this change in direction (from an applicant's undergraduate major).
Absolutely. Students wishing to attain a second master's degree from WCU will meet all admissions requirements set by the Office of Graduate Studies and the MPA program and must earn a minimum of twenty-four credits beyond the credits applied toward the first master's degree.
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 certificate students.
For all inquiries regarding program plans, please refer to Curriculum and Program Plans on the MPA page.