Why CPAP? 2017-05-23T14:27:08+00:00

CPAP Students

The Mission of the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP) is to promote good governance and the advancement of capable and ethical public service by providing outstanding education, research, and outreach in the theory and practice of public administration, management, and policy.


  1. To provide qualified public service professionals currently in service and pre- or early-career students who plan to become public service professionals with a rigorous program of study for developing managerial, analytical, and normative evaluation skills in public management and public policy.
  2. To prepare teachers and scholars for faculty service in colleges and universities around the country and the world, thereby broadening the scope of knowledge in public administration and policy studies among administrators and citizenry.
  3. To engage faculty, practitioners, and graduate students in systematic research and study designed to improve the quality of policy making and public service within the varied jurisdictions of government in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the national capital region, as well as nationally and internationally.

CPAP is more than an academic department; we are a community dedicated to thoughtful public service through scholarship. CPAP is small when compared with other nationally-recognized schools of public affairs and public administration, permitting our students greater personal attention in academic advising and career guidance. Our size enables our faculty, staff, and students to develop strong personal ties, friendships and professional relationships that last long beyond their time at CPAP. No event better illustrates CPAP’s commitment to both scholarship and community than our annual High Table celebration. High Table brings faculty, students, alumni, and invited guests together to consider important questions in public administration and public policy, and most of all to celebrate the life of the mind.

We offer courses in Blacksburg, the university’s main campus, as well as in Richmond, the state capital, and in Alexandria, in the national capital region. Our multiple locations offer connections to local, state, and federal government, international institutions, and non-profits. Faculty and students travel among the campuses and are connected by video technology.


Best Grad Schools RankingCPAP is ranked in the top 25 nationally in public management/administration by U.S. News & World Report, out of nearly 300 schools.

Virginia Tech has also been ranked 15th in the 2015 Best Value Schools ranking of the 50 most innovative public service schools in the United States.
According to the survey, the rankings were based on U.S. News ranking for public affairs; the number of degree programs; the student-to-faculty ratio; the number of degree programs; the strength of internship programs; the QS Top Universities innovation ranking; and a ranking of innovative features.

Best Value Schools writes that, “Virginia Tech is well-known for its diverse student population, distinguished faculty, supportive alumni base, and unique 11-week Washington Semester Summer program.”

NASPAA AccreditedCPAP’s MPA program is NASPAA accredited. NASPAA accreditation recognizes that a master’s degree program in public policy, affairs, or administration has undertaken a rigorous process of peer review conducted by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA). All NASPAA-accredited programs have successfully met the NASPAA Accreditation Standards for Professional Master’s Degree Programs in Public Affairs, Policy and Administration. https://accreditation.naspaa.org/resources/roster-of-accredited-programs/

Faculty appear in the pages of top journals, including Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Administration Review, Governance, and Policy Studies Journal. The journals Administration & Society and Law & Society Review are currently housed in our program. Recent faculty books include:

Bureaucracy and Self-Government: Reconsidering the Role of Public Administration in American Politics
Democracy and Administration: Woodrow Wilson’s Ideas and the Challenges of Public Management
Disasters and the American State: How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and the Public Prepare for the Unexpected
Disaster and Sociolegal Studies
Empowering the White House: Governance under Nixon, Ford, and Carter
The Ethics of Public Administration and the Challenges of Global Governance
Mission Mystique: Belief Systems in Public Agencies
The New Case for Bureaucracy
New Public Governance: A Regime Perspective
Patriots, Settlers, and the Origins of American Social Policy
Rethinking Environmental Justice in Sustainable Cities: Insights from Agent-Based Modeling
Working With Culture: How the Job Gets Done in Public Programs

Classes are taught as seminars emphasizing student discussion, rather than in large lecture halls. Most classes have 10-20 students.

Contact CPAP:

Laura French (Blacksburg)
Office Manager
Email: lhf@vt.edu
Phone:(540) 231-5133

Myriam Lechuga (Alexandria and Richmond)
Student Coordinator
Email: mlechuga@vt.edu
Phone:(703) 706-8111

Joe Rees (Richmond)
Faculty Coordinator
Email: reesj@vt.edu
Phone:(540) 250-5632

Address Info:

104 Draper Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Mail Code: 0520

1021 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

2810 N Parham Rd
Richmond, VA 23294