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Become a Public Service Leader With Our MPA Degree

On its surface, public administration improves government policies, but its true goal is to positively impact society by advancing the common good.

If you’re interested in making a difference in your community and beyond, our Master of Public Administration may be a great option for you.

When you earn a master’s degree in public administration, you’ll be prepared to take on leadership roles in government, nonprofit, public, and private organizations. West Chester University’s Master of Public Administration provides cross-functional skills like budgeting, data analysis and evaluation, grant and policy writing, fundraising and social equity work.

In short, you’ll be prepared to take on any job in the public sector, by advancing mission-driven organizations and improving the well-being of communities.

WCU’s MPA program is designed for working professionals. You can attend full-time or part-time, in-person, hybrid, or fully online. Our online courses are asynchronous or synchronous, meaning you can select the course modality that suits your schedule and learning style. Most students attend part-time and complete their MPA degree in 24 to 36 months.

Regardless of how you choose to attend West Chester University’s MPA program, you’ll graduate exceptionally well-prepared for any job in public administration.


Tracks in WCU's Master's in Public Administration Program


Our general track provides a high-quality educational foundation in public administration, including courses in human resource management, organization theory, and budgeting and finance to set you on the path to success.

Nonprofit Administration

If you’re interested in leading nonprofits, this concentration is for you. You’ll develop essential skills in strategic planning and management, grant writing, fundraising, and more.

Public Management

This track focuses on management at the local, county, and regional levels, and includes coursework in communications, law, policy, and social equity.


Benefits of Earning Your MPA Degree at West Chester University

Opportunities to Assist in Faculty-Led Research Projects

As an MPA student at WCU, you’ll be taught and mentored by accomplished scholars and practitioners who will train you to manage and lead across industries. You’ll learn how to serve professionally and ethically, and will have unequalled opportunities to engage in faculty research projects that address the public administration challenges of contemporary society.

Small Class Size and Convenience

Personalized attention is a hallmark of graduate work at WCU, and whether you take your courses in-person or online, you’ll have small classes, faculty experts, and engaging conversations with your classmates.

The MPA degree at WCU was designed for working professionals and is available for full-time or part-time study, with in-person, hybrid, and fully online options.

Internships and Graduate Assistantships

You’ll apply your classroom knowledge in a real world setting through an internship where you'll gain hands-on experience. Your internship will be based on your location. Past placements include the City of Philadelphia, the Chester County Historical Society, SAP America, the Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

To make earning your MPA degree more affordable, competitive graduate assistantships and scholarships are available through the College of Business and Public Management. For working professionals, assistantships can be completed remotely during evenings or weekends.

Accredited by NASPAA

West Chester University’s Master of Public Administration is fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)—the gold standard in public service education. The MPA program is housed in our College of Business and Public Management, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).


What Can You Do With a Public Administration Master's?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 9% growth for jobs in public administration through 2030.

If you are interested in shaping and protecting the future of your community, there are many rewarding jobs in public administration, including:

  • Nonprofit executive director - Inspires change and promotes growth for the organization.
  • Legislator - Analyzes proposed legislation and drafts specific bills for consideration into law.
  • City manager - Oversees day-to-day functions such as budgeting and ordinance enforcement.
  • Urban or regional planner - Assesses and reports the planning needs of local and state governments.
  • Policy analyst - Utilizes research to collaborate in creating regulations, policies, and laws.
  • Managing director of development - Manages the team responsible for organizational fundraising initiatives.
  • Social/community service manager - Coordinates and supervises programs and organizations that support public well-being.
  • Lobbyist - Works to influence legislation or regulations for a specific group or individual.
  • Grant writer - Works with nonprofits to win governmental and organizational funding for research and projects.
  • Election supervisor - Administers voter registration activities and safeguards voting equipment and procedures.
  • Court administrator - Manages the operations that provide effective, timely, and innovative support to judges and other court staff.

Our alumni work in many roles in public, private, and government agencies like:

  • Chester County Hospital
  • Federal Reserve
  • Human Achievement Project
  • Philabundance
  • Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health
  • Pennsylvania State Legislature
  • United States Department of Defense
  • United States Department of Education
  • United States Secret Service

Where are our graduates?


What Will You Study as a Master of Public Administration Student?

West Chester University's MPA program prepares you for leadership positions in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

Certificate in Public Administration

The Certificate in Public Administration is designed for persons who desire to enhance their management and supervisory skills. To earn the certificate, students must complete the 12-semester hour administration core 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.

Degree students also may apply for the certificate after completing the public administration core requirements with a minimum grade of B for each course.

Code Title Credits
Administration Core12
Students must complete 12 credits from courses offered in the Administration Core.
PPA 500
Foundations of Public Service
PPA 501
Analysis and Decision Making I
PPA 502
Analysis and Decision Making II
PPA 503
Public Budgeting & Finance
PPA 504
Public Human Resource Management
PPA 505
Public Sector Organization Theory
PPA 506
Foundations in Nonprofit Administration
Total Minimum Credits Required12

Graduate Certificate in Public Management

The Graduate Certificate in Public Management focuses on public-sector management at the local and regional levels. It is appropriate for managers and officials from local, county, and regional government bodies that desire to enhance their general management skills as well as gain insight into public policy issues of particular concern to these officials. To obtain the certificate, students must complete twelve credits from the approved MPA Administration Core and/or the MPA Public Management Concentration courses. Degree students that have completed the certificate requirements may also apply for the certificate via the Add Certificate Request in myWCU.

Code Title Credits
Select 12 credits from any of the approved courses listed below.12
Administration Core Courses
PPA 501
Analysis and Decision Making I
PPA 503
Public Budgeting & Finance
PPA 504
Public Human Resource Management
PPA 505
Public Sector Organization Theory
Public Management Concentration Courses
PPA 510
Topics in Public Administration
PPA 512
Communications for Public Administrators
PPA 513
Law for Public Administrators
PPA 514
American Public Policy
PPA 515
Social Equity and Public Administration
Total Minimum Credits Required12

Certificate in Food Policy

(*Note: This program is an interdisciplinary endeavor between the Department of Public Policy and Administration and the Department of Nutrition.)

Code Title Credits
Required Courses 1
PPA 506Foundations in Nonprofit Administration3
PPA 532Grant Writing3
NTD 600Maternal & Child Nutrition3
or NTD 601 Nutrition & Health in Aging
NTD 625Nutrition Policy and Programs3
Total Minimum Credits Required12

Students must earn a minimum grade of B- in each course and a certificate GPA of 3.0.

Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

The Certificate in GIS is designed for students and professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills in the application of geographic technologies. It is appropriate for professionals in a wide variety of fields, both public and private, who wish to develop their knowledge and skills in the nature and use of geographic information and global positioning systems. It is also appropriate for people who wish to enter fields that use these technologies.

Code Title Credits
GEO 534Geographic Information Systems3
GEO 584Applications of Geographic Information Systems3
GEO 577Geodatabases3
Elective Courses3
Select one of the following (or another course by advisement)
ENV 533
Water Quality and Health
ENV 570
Emergency Preparedness
GEO 507
Internet Applications of Geographic Information Systems
GEO 538
Environmental Modeling with Geographic Information Systems
GEO 556
Introduction to Business GIS
GEO 585
Geography Field Methods
GEO 615
Internship in Urban and Regional Planning
Topical application elective 1
Total Minimum Credits Required12

Chosen in consultation with the graduate coordinator to combine GIS application with the student's topical area of interest.

Certificate in Nonprofit Administration

The Certificate in Nonprofit Administration is designed for those who desire to enhance their management and supervisory skills within the context of a nonprofit organization. To obtain the certificate, students must complete twelve credits of nonprofit-related courses from the MPA Administration Core or the MPA Nonprofit Concentration Requirements and earn a minimum grade of B- in each course. Degree students who have completed the certificate requirements with a minimum grade of B- in each course may also apply for the certificate.

Code Title Credits
Core Requirements 112
Select 12 credits from these courses.
PPA 506
Foundations in Nonprofit Administration
PPA 530
Topics in Nonprofit Administration
PPA 532
Grant Writing
PPA 533
Nonprofit Fundraising Essentials
PPA 535
Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations
Total Minimum Credits Required12

Minimum grade of B- required in all courses

Get Started on YourMaster's in Public Administration

You can be instrumental in leading change, ensuring equity, and preserving resources for generations to come. Are you ready to take the first step by earning your public administration master’s from WCU?

Apply Now

Programs Related to WCU's Master of Public Administration Program

West Chester University also offers each concentration of our public administration master’s program as stand-alone certificates:

  1. Public Administration (general)
  2. Nonprofit Administration
  3. Public Management

In addition, you can pair graduate certificates in other disciplines with your master’s in public administration:

Certificates increase your marketability and choice of jobs in public administration.



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