Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)  

The Doctor of Public Administration degree at West Chester University is 100% online and is designed to meet regional employer and student needs by preparing individuals to advance in the practice of public affairs and administration at the highest levels.  D.P.A. courses focus on the development of core competencies in the areas of strategic management, public sector economic and financial decision-making, and policy advocacy and leadership. Through a sequence of three methodology courses, students are prepared to engage in the highest levels of program and policy evaluation. The acquisition of methodological competence through the evaluation lens will assist students in identifying the most effective and efficient solutions to the problems they encounter in practice. In consultation with an advisor, concentration courses will be selected from among departments such as Public Policy & Administration, Criminal Justice, Geography and Planning, and Graduate Social Work. Finally, students will complete a series of capstone seminar courses where they will produce a piece of applied scholarship that demonstrates a high level of competence in applying the DPA student learning outcomes to the solution of an actual organizational or public problem/issue.

Emily Devereaux’s Video Tutorial

DPA Curriculum

Curriculum Components

 

Doctoral Study (3 credits)

  • DPA 700 Pre-doctoral Seminar in Public Policy and Administration

Administration Core (12 credits)

  • DPA 701 Advanced Practice and Applied Theories of Public Policy and Administration
  • DPA 702 Strategic Public Management and Governance
  • DPA 703 Advanced Public Sector Economic and Financial Decision Making
  • DPA 704 Advocacy and Leadership in Public Policy and Administration

Methods Sequence (9 credits)

  • DPA 705 Research Design for Program and Policy and Evaluation
  • DPA 706 Quantitative Methods of Program and Policy and Evaluation
  • DPA 707 Qualitative Methods of Program and Policy and Evaluation

Concentration Electives (9 credits)

  • PPA/CRJ/GEO/GSW Concentration elective course
  • PPA/CRJ/GEO/GSW Concentration elective course
  • PPA/CRJ/GEO/GSW Concentration elective course

Dissertation (12 credits)

  • DPA 801  Seminar I: Research Questions and Framing the Literature
  • DPA 802  Seminar II: Data and Measurements
  • DPA 803  Seminar III: Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis
  • DPA 804  Seminar IV: Findings and Recommendations

Concentration Electives

Electives may be selected from among the following departments: Public Policy and Administration, Criminal Justice, Geography and Planning, and Graduate Social Work.

DPA Course Descriptions

Graduate catalog

Comprehensive Examination

The DPA Comprehensive Exam covers content from the core public administration courses and the research methods courses.  The initial stage of the examination is a written qualifying exam.  A follow-up oral component of the exam may be required of students with noted deficiencies in the written portion.  Students not passing the comp exam on the first try will be permitted only one additional attempt.  Note that if a student does not submit their answers on time or does not submit their exam at all, this counts as a 'failed attempt'.  Students must successfully pass before they can enroll in DPA803. 

Comprehensive Exam Dates

 Summer 2021: 6/12/21-6/27/21

Additional Dates forthcoming

Students will be notified of the results of their exam no later than 45 days after the submission date.

Dissertation Seminar

The DPA Dissertation Seminar is a series of four courses whereby students demonstrate mastery of required competencies through the completion of a final culminating independent applied research project. Currently, DPA 801 and DPA 802 are completed in a seminar style class. DPA 803 and DPA 804 are independent research courses that are completed individually and under the advisement of a DPA Dissertation Chairperson. The Dissertation Chairperson will guide each student through the dissertation process, aid in committee finalization, and establish research milestones. Students must pass the Comprehensive Exam before enrolling in DPA803. 

 

Important deadlines, templated for signature pages, preliminary pages and the Graduate School style formatting information are available under "forms" here: https://www.wcupa.edu/thesisdoc.  DPA required forms are available on our “Student Resources and Professional Organizations” webpage. All DPA dissertations should follow the APA Style Guide for formatting.

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