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Public Policy and Administration

Academics

Contact Public Policy and Administration  

Public Policy and Administration

Address:
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Department of Public Policy and Administration
College of Business and Public Management
Fifth Floor
Business and Public Management Center
50 Sharpless Street
West Chester, PA 19383


Phone: 610-436-2438
Email: mpa@wcupa.edu

Name: Dr. Jeremy Phillips
Position: Department Chair
Email: jphillips2@wcupa.edu
Phone: 610-436-2016

Name: Dr. Allison Turner
Position: Assistant Chair & MPA Director
Email: aturner@wcupa.edu
Phone: 610-436-2286

Name: Dr. Kristen Crossney
Position: DPA Director
Email: kcrossney@wcupa.edu
Phone: 610-430-5838

Name: Lillian Miller
Position: Assistant Director
Email: lmiller@wcupa.edu
Phone: 610-436-2018


Facility and Directions

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a professional degree designed for individuals with professional work experience who desire to enhance their administrative and public management skills, as well as for pre-service students who do not have professional experience. Students who lack public service leadership experience will incorporate a relevant internship into their program.

The program is offered through the Department of Public Policy and Administration, which is housed within the College of Business and Public Management. The MPA curriculum provides students with a foundation in the practice of public administration.  Students earning the degree will possess a high level of competency in administrative processes for the public (and even the private) sector. We currently offer online, teleconference and face-to-face classroom instruction.

MPA Curriculum

(36-39 semester hours)

The curriculum consists of 21 semester hours in the public administration core, a 3 semester hour capstone and 12 semester hours in a selected concentration area:

  1. Administrative core (required): PPA 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505 and 506 (21 semester hours)
  2. Elective courses or an optional area of concentration (12 semester hours)
  3. Capstone (3 semester hours)
  4. Internship (3 semester hours -- required only for pre-service students)

For students who do not wish to pursue a Master's degree but who are seeking to specialize in a specific area, the Department of Public Policy and Administration offers graduate certificates in Nonprofit Administration  and Public Administration .

  • Degree students in the MPA General Concentration may also apply for the certificate after completing the stated requirements.

Certificates are designed for persons who desire to enhance their management and supervisory skills in these particular areas. To earn the certificate, students must complete 12-semester hours with a minimum grade of "B" in each course. Those interested in the certificate option must follow and meet the same admissions criteria as master's degree students.

Additionally, students may earn certificates in other areas by completing their electives in other departments.  These would include Emergency Preparedness, Gerantology, Healthcare Management, Human Resource Management, Industrial Psychology, Sports Management & Athletics, Urban & Regional Planning, and more.

Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended the Certificate in Public Administration program.

  • MPA: General Degree 
    This general degree is designed to equip students with the skills necessary to enhance the field of public service through positions both inside and outside of government in the nonprofit and even private sector, e.g., as consultants to governmental organizations or as governmental service providers. This program plan is designed for individuals with professional work experience who desire to enhance their administrative and public management skills as well as pre-service students who do not have professional experience. Students can pursue this option concurrently with a graduate certificate.
  • MPA: Concentration in Nonprofit Administration 
    This concentration is designed for those who want to enhance their knowledge of nonprofit administration. It is appropriate for individuals pursuing careers in a wide range of nonprofit fields, and is intended to provide a core set of skills and knowledge for people who desire to enhance their management and supervisory skills within the context of a nonprofit organization.

Concentrations are available in Nonprofit Administration and Public Management in addition to General Public Administration. Those pursuing the general degree can earn a graduate certificate concurrently with their MPA in such areas as Urban and Regional Planning, Industrial Psychology, Healthcare Management, Emergency Preparedness, HR Management, Sports Management & Athletics and more by choosing electives in these other departments. Those students pursuing full-time study (9 credit hours or more per semester) can complete the degree in two years (or even less if enrolled in available summer courses). Students needing to complete an internship, or choosing a certificate that requires more than 12 credits, will require additional time or will have to increase their number of credit hours in one semester to finish in two years.

The following represents Administrative Core Courses for the MPA program.

*All are required for all MPA students

  • PPA 500 Foundations of Public Service 
    Introduces students to the practice and discipline of public administration and the values of public service. Special emphasis is placed on the concepts of pursuing the public interest with accountability and transparency; serving professionally with competence, efficiency and objectivity; acting ethically to uphold the public trust; and demonstrating respect, equity and fairness in dealings with citizens and fellow public servants. Students are also introduced to the ethics of public administration and nonprofit organizations.
  • PPA 501 Research Methods in Public Administration 
    Application of the logic of scientific methodology and research design construction to the practice and discipline of public administration. Emphasizes hypothesis development and testing, data collection, measurement problems and theory application.
  • PPA 502 Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation 
    This course introduces students to the practice of policy analysis and program evaluation. Emphasis is placed on the applied nature of both. Students are introduced to both quantitative and qualitative methods of evaluation.
  • PPA 503 Public Budgeting and Finance 
    This course introduces students to the principles and procedures of public budgeting and finance, with emphasis placed on the budgeting process.
  • PPA 504 Public Human Resource Management 
    This course introduces students to human resource management in the public and nonprofit sectors. Topics include: federal and state employment laws, job analysis, recruitment and selection, performance evaluation, compensation and benefits, training and development, labor-management relations and human resource information technology.
  • PPA 505 Public Sector Organization Theory and Behavior 
    This course introduces students to the study of organization theory within the context of the public sector. Issues of organization design and effectiveness are explored. Schools of thought include: classical, neoclassical, human resources, modern structural, organizational culture and open-systems theory.
  • PPA 506 Foundations in Nonprofit Administration 
    Introduces students to the practiceof nonprofit administration. Core functions of the field are surveyed including financial and organizational management, role of boards and stratigic planning.

No comprehensive examination is required for the administrative core. However, in lieu of an examination, each of the seven administrative core courses must be completed with a grade of at least "B." In addition, all students are required to complete a Capstone Seminar that will serve as a culminating experience for the program as well as a required competencies portfolio.

Five Year Fast Track

In just five years you can earn both your undergraduate and graduate degrees with WCU's Accelerated MPA Program. Note that all majors are eligible and no prerequisites are required. You may still pursue a minor, a double minor, or even a double major under this plan since there are numerous slots for electives. You can also take 3-15 credits of internship under this plan. How do you achieve a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in approximately five years?

  • Take six credits of graduate courses for undergraduate credit in your senior year. You will pay undergraduate tuition for graduate courses, and upon completion of your bachelor's degree, these credit requirements will then be waived when you begin the MPA program.
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Complete 12 credits (two courses during each summer session) of graduate coursework in the summer after you finish your bachelor's degree
  • Complete 9-12 credits per semester for one academic year to earn your MPA

If you have 90 credits and a 3.0 GPA just complete this form , attain the required signatures, and forward it to Graduate Studies. Upon approval you may begin the program by registering for PPA500. Note that you will apply to the graduate program in your last undergraduate semester.

Admissions

 

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Application Information

The MPA Program welcomes applicants who hold baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions. Admission to the MPA Program is based on an assessment of an applicant's ability, aptitude and potential.

Our program operates on the basis of a rolling admissions policy; therefore, applications are accepted and reviewed at any time of year.  In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to a degree program at West Chester University, applicants must submit:

  • Official Application Form
  • Official academic transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, demonstrating the achievement of an undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Students who do not meet this requirement may be considered for provisional status. Provisional students will be required to earn a grade of B+ or higher in their first two courses and enroll in PPA 512 Communications for Public Administrators in the student's first semester that it's offered.
  • Goal statement of short-term and long-term career objectives (see the Admissions tab on the FAQs Page for more information)
  • Recommendations from two current or former supervisors who can attest to the applicant's management potential (applicants will provide email addresses for these recommenders within the application - no need to submit letters)
  • Resumé

All application materials are to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies using the online application process. After all required information has been received, it will be reviewed by the PPA department and a recommendation regarding admission will be made to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Students will be notified of admissions decisions by the Graduate Admissions office.

Graduate Assistantships

Overview

Graduate assistantships are awarded each year to highly qualified students. Availability varies yearly and the process is competitive; therefore applicants should not plan their academic program assuming they will receive an assistantship.  You must be a fully matriculated, non-provisional student in order to be considered for a graduate assistantship.

Requirements and Eligibility

Applicants will indicate their interest in an MPA assistantship on the electronic application for admission, and should submit their application as early as possible. Detailed information about the eligiblitiy requirements, work expectations, etc. can be found here Graduate Assistantship. Interested applicants can contact Dr. Jeremy Phillips, Department Chair, with any questions.

Note that maintaining a graduate assistantship requires the student to demonstrate both satisfactory performance in meeting assigned hours, dates and responsibilities, as well as good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.0).  Students awarded graduate assistantships who fail to meet these requirements will have their assistantships revoked or will not have them renewed. This policy includes courses taken during summer sessions.

Frederick Douglass graduate Assistantship

These graduate assistantships are named after Frederick Douglass, a great nineteenth-century American abolitionist and writer and a frequent visitor to West Chester. Douglass gave his last public lecture at West Chester Normal School on February 1, 1895.

Applicants with excellent academic credentials may apply for these assistantships. Efforts are made to appoint qualified candidates from historically underrepresented and underserved populations who have leadership experiences in their backgrounds or as part of their academic goals. This consideration is in keeping with the spirit of Douglass' life of public service and the University's mission to be a source of encouragement to the African American, Native American, Hispanic American and Asian American communities.

Students with Frederick Douglass graduate assistantships serve the Frederick Douglass Institute. These are full-time (20 hours per week) assistantships that provide a tuition waiver and a $5,000 stipend for the academic year. The awards are made on an annual basis and are renewable for a second year. Students may use these assistantships to pursue a master's degree in one of the University's graduate programs. Interested individuals with excellent credentials should contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education.

Institute for Women Graduate Grant

The Institute for Women at West Chester University offers an annual grant of $750 to a female graduate student who is accepted into a master's degree program at West Chester University. The award is based on high academic achievement; evidence of potential for contribution to the applicant's field of study; a record of leadership in school, community, church, or other setting; and evidence of service to others. Applications, including reference forms, are available from the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education. Completed materials must be submitted by March 15th. Only students who have filed all required admission credentials and plan to enroll for a minimum of six graduate credits are eligible.

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)

The DPA Program welcomes applicants who hold masters degrees from accredited institutions. The program operates on a rolling admissions basis, therefore applications are accepted and reviewed at any time of the year. Admission to the DPA Program is based on an assessment of an applicant's ability, aptitude and potential.

Application Information

DPA Program Admissions Requirements

  • Official application form (Graduate Studies Application)
  • Supplemental application questions
  • Official transcripts (graduate and undergraduate). Students whose master's degrees are not in public administration, public affairs, policy analysis, political science, public health or nonprofit management or a related field, and/or do not have relevant work experience, may be required to complete additional coursework in public administration.
  • Three recommendations (ideally 2 letters of recommendation from faculty in the student’s masters program and 1 letter from an employer). Applicant need only supply email addresses within the application.
  • Professional writing sample
  • Resume or vita

All application materials are to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies using the online application process. After all required information has been received, the DPA Director will review the materials and forward a recommendation regarding admission to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Students will be notified of admissions decisions by the Graduate Admissions office.

Graduate Assistantships

Overview

Graduate assistantships are awarded each year to highly qualified students. Availability varies yearly and the process is competitive; therefore applicants should not plan their academic program assuming they will receive an assistantship.

Requirements and Eligibility

Applicants will indicate their interest in a DPA assistantship on the electronic application for admission, and should submit their application as early as possible. Detailed information about the eligiblitiy requirements, work expectations, etc.. Interested applicants can contact Dr. Jeremy Phillips, DPA Director with any questions.

Note that maintaining a graduate assistantship requires the student to demonstrate both satisfactory performance in meeting assigned hours, dates and responsibilities, as well as good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.0). Students awarded graduate assistantships who fail to meet these requirements will have their assistantships revoked or will not have them renewed. This policy includes courses taken during summer sessions.

Frederick Douglass Graduate Assistantship

These graduate assistantships are named after Frederick Douglass, a great nineteenth-century American abolitionist and writer and a frequent visitor to West Chester. Douglass gave his last public lecture at West Chester Normal School on February 1, 1895.

Applicants with excellent academic credentials may apply for these assistantships. Efforts are made to appoint qualified candidates from historically underrepresented and underserved populations who have leadership experiences in their backgrounds or as part of their academic goals. This consideration is in keeping with the spirit of Douglass' life of public service and the University's mission to be a source of encouragement to the African American, Native American, Hispanic American, and Asian American communities.

Students with Frederick Douglass graduate assistantships serve the Frederick Douglass Institute. These are full-time (20 hours per week) assistantships that provide a tuition waiver and a $5,000 stipend for the academic year. The awards are made on an annual basis and are renewable for a second year. Students may use these assistantships to pursue a master's degree in one of the University's graduate programs. Interested individuals with excellent credentials should contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education.

Institute for Women Graduate Grant

The Institute for Women at West Chester University offers an annual grant of $750 to a female graduate student who is accepted into a master's degree program at West Chester University. The award is based on high academic achievement; evidence of potential for contribution to the applicant's field of study; a record of leadership in school, community, church, or other setting; and evidence of service to others. Applications, including reference forms, are available from the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education. Completed materials must be submitted by March 15. Only students who have filed all required admission credentials and plan to enroll for a minimum of six graduate credits are eligible.

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