View Text Only Version

Public Policy and Administration


Contact Public Policy and Administration  

Public Policy and Administration

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

Name: Dr. Jeremy Phillips
Position: Department Chair
Phone: 610-436-2016

Name: Dr. Allison Turner
Position: Assistant Chair & MPA Director
Phone: 610-436-2286

Name: Dr. Kristen Crossney
Position: DPA Director
Phone: 610-430-5838

Name: Lillian Miller
Position: Assistant Director
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. Beyond that, 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, virtual and face-to-face 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)

Concentrations available in Nonprofit Administration and Public Management. In addition, 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, Healthcare Management and more. 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 will require additional time or will have to increase their number of credit hours in one semester to finish in two years.


For students who do not wish to pursue a Master's degree but who are seeking to specialize in a specific area, we offer 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.

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

Core Courses

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.

Program Plans

  • 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.

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. 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.

Comprehensive Examination

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.