Program Overview

The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) degree at West Chester University is designed to meet employer and student needs by preparing individuals to advance the practice of public affairs and administration at the highest levels. The DPA at WCU focuses on the development of core skills in strategic management, public sector economic and financial decision-making, and policy advocacy and leadership, preparing students to engage in the highest levels of program and policy evaluation. Interdisciplinary at its core, the DPA program allows students to select a concentration (in consultation with an advisor) from among the departments of Public Policy & Administration, Criminal Justice, Geography and Planning, and Graduate Social Work. Recent dissertation research conducted by our students has examined motivation and public service values in law enforcement professionals, University-community partnerships, collaborative government, affordable housing, and long term health care issues. Students also complete a series of dissertation seminar courses leading to a piece of applied scholarship that demonstrates a high level of competence in applying the DPA competencies to the solution of an actual organizational or public problem/issue. Many of our DPA students present their resulting work at regional and national conferences. Students are also able to work alongside faculty members on research projects, such as a recently published collaborative piece on the pipeline issue that is impacting local communities in PA.


Program Highlights

  • 100% online

  • Offered through our AACSB-accredited College of Business and Public Management

  • Graduate assistantships available

  • Faculty who are also practitioners

  • Interdisciplinary concentrations

  • Personalized dissertation process

  • 18% projected industry growth through 2026 (according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What can I do with this degree?

Our graduates are successful in a variety of industries. Many can be found in local, state and federal government; nonprofits (including founding their own organizations), law enforcement, and education administration. Our graduates are employed in various industries, including but not limited to:

  • Pennsylvania State Legislature
  • Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health
  • United States Department of Defense
  • United States Secret Service

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