The Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP) Master of Public Administration (MPA) is an accredited professional degree intended to train and enhance the public sector leadership capacity of early and mid-career individuals. The program provides the practical, applied skills needed for positions involving policy, management, or executive responsibilities in public and not-for-profit settings. CPAP is more than an academic department; we are a thriving, close-knit community of scholars and professionals dedicated to public service.
The MPA is offered on the main Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, and at locations in Richmond and Alexandria, Virginia. CPAP stands out for the quality and impact of its faculty’s scholarship and its close student-faculty modes of learning. A dedicated faculty of 36 scholars and practitioners teach courses in person in a traditional classroom setting.
Admissions – To be admitted to the CPAP MPA program, an applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.) from an accredited institution of higher education and must have earned an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher. International applicants must submit a TOEFL score. For further information on applying, see CPAP Admissions at https://www.cpap.vt.edu/apply. Students may apply online through the Virginia Tech Graduate School at http://graduateschool.vt.edu/admissions/how-to-apply.html. The total number of students in the MPA program in 2016 was 76.
Costs and Financial Aid – Tuition costs for Virginia state residents are under $2,500 per 3 credit hour course and for out-of-state residents are under $4,700 per 3 credit hour course for the 2016-2017 academic year. For detail regarding graduate tuition costs, please see the website of the Virginia Tech University Bursar at http://www.bursar.vt.edu/. Financial aid is available. In addition, graduate assistantships are available to full time students. For more information, please see the website of the Virginia Tech Graduate School at http://graduateschool.vt.edu/funding.html.
Internships – CPAP MPA students have the opportunity to undertake internships during their course of study. Internships enable pre and early career students to gain work experience with the option of earning three elective credits. Students who will have three years or fewer of experience in either governmental or nongovernmental public affairs jobs at the completion of their coursework are required to undertake an internship. Internship activities normally include a full-time assignment in an organization for twelve weeks and complementary reflective writing activities under the guidance of an Internship Faculty Advisor. CPAP MPA students have secured internships at all levels of government, as well as in non-profits. The organizations with which students held internships during the 2015 -16 academic year include: the Virginia General Assembly (House Clerk’s Office), Virginia Office of Government Relations, Roanoke County Department of Finance, The Old Church Gallery, VT Graduate School, Preserve Giles County, the Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Commission, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Program Completion – The MPA requires 39 credit hours of coursework. Full time students are able to complete the degree in two years. Part time students are required to enroll continuously in at least one course (3 credit hours) per semester. The length of the degree for part time students depends on the pace at which required coursework is completed. Of the students who enrolled in 2012, 65% completed the MPA in two years and 80% completed the degree in four years. A dual degree is available with the Master of Urban Affairs and Planning. Detail regarding program completion requirements can be found in the CPAP Policy Guide.
Graduates – CPAP MPA graduates pursue their careers in public service in a wide range of organizations. MPA 2014-2015 graduates now work in state government (22%), local government (22%), nonprofits (22%), the private sector (22%), and the federal government (11%).
The Center for Public Administration is part of the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs within the Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
Center for Public Administration and Policy Faculty
Brian J. Cook. Ph.D. University of Maryland (1984), government and politics. Public administration, public policy, constitutionalism, American political development.
Matthew Dull. Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison (2006), political science. Political institutions, administrative politics, policy.
Adam Eckerd. Ph.D. Ohio State University (2011), public policy and management. Policy analysis, environmental policy, urban policy, public and nonprofit management, research methods, evaluation, American government.
Karen Hult. Ph.D. University of Minnesota (1984), political science. Organizational theory, U.S. national institutions (especially the presidency, executive branch, and courts), state politics, policy processes, and social science methodologies.
Laura Jensen. Ph.D. University of Connecticut (1996), political science. Public policy and public management, state building, state capacity, governance, accountability, social welfare policy.
Sara Jordan. Ph.D. Texas A&M (2007), public administration. Management of international public organizations, ethical conduct of clinical research, theoretical and empirical perspective of public policy making and public policy implementation.
Anne Khademian. Ph.D. Washington University (1989), political science. Public management and governance, changing patterns of government, democratic participation and accountability, organizational collaborations, public policy management.
Robin Lemaire. Ph.D. University of Arizona (2012), public administration and policy. Organization networks and interorganizational relations, public and nonprofit management, public and nonprofit organization theory, management and organization of health care systems.
Joseph Rees. Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley (1986), jurisprudence and social policy. Public and private sector self-regulation, organization culture, social policy, ethics.
Patrick Roberts. Ph.D. University of Virginia (2006), government. Public policy and public management; bureaucratic autonomy; disaster, crisis, and security organizations; American political development.
Susan Sterett, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (1987). Sociolegal studies, with a focus on legal bureaucratic processes and social welfare.