MPA Programs in Virginia

A number of schools in Virginia have Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs. Graduates of these programs are prepared for various careers in fields such as administration and public relations. Schools offering Public Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

George Mason University

George Mason University's Master of Public Administration program offers courses at two campuses as well as 11 concentration options, including international management, public & nonprofit finance, and administration of justice. Students with qualifying experience complete 36 credit hours (39 credit hours are required for students without experience) and may be offered local internships by nonprofit and government organizations.

James Madison University

Students at James Madison University can pursue a Master of Public Administration with one of five concentrations, including nonprofit management and public management. The program consists of 42 credit hours, including an internship and courses in policy analysis, public budgeting, and public administration.

Old Dominion University

The MPA program at Old Dominion University offers online and on-campus courses and allows students to select six electives to customize their learning experience. Students complete a total of 39 credit hours, expanding their knowledge of various topics, including policy analysis, public management methods, and organizational behavior.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University has an MPA program that offers evening, online, and off-campus courses. Students with at least one year of professional experience are required to complete 36 credit hours, while students without qualifying experience are required to also complete a 3-credit-hour internship.

Virginia International University

At Virginia International University, students can earn a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in information systems, public management, or health care administration & public health. The 36-credit-hour program can be completed in as few as four semesters, preparing graduates for careers in various public, private, nonprofit, and government agencies.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The Master of Public Administration program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or Virginia Tech, is offered at three locations and prepares students for leadership positions in public service through online and on-campus courses. The program consists of 39 credit hours focused on management, public policy, and public service, and it can be completed in two to four years.

School Name Programs Offered Average Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*
George Mason University MPA $11,736 in-state, $32,322 out-of-state
James Madison University MPA $10,512 in-state, $27,830 out-of-state
Old Dominion University MPA $9,727 in-state, $28,435 out-of-state
Virginia Commonwealth University MPA $12,217 in-state, $25,032 out-of-state
Virginia International University MPA $13,068
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University MPA $13,310 in-state, $26,825 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Admittance Requirements for MPA Programs in Virginia

Master of Public Administration programs in Virginia require applicants to have earned a BA or BS degree, but don't typically require that degree to be in a specific field. However, programs may require students to have completed certain prerequisite courses, such as statistics and government, and have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5. In addition, programs may require applicants to have earned a qualifying score on an entrance exam, such as the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT. Students will typically also be required to submit a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation from teachers or other professionals.

What Can You Do with a Master of Public Administration?

Political Scientists

Political scientists study political systems and ideas by analyzing policies, political trends, and governments. They may be responsible for researching political topics, collecting and analyzing data from surveys, and evaluating policies or laws and their effects. Political scientists need at least a master's degree in a field such as public administration or political science. An MPA program provides relevant training in policy formation, statistics, government, and research.

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Public relations managers work to maintain and improve the public image of individuals and organizations, while fundraising managers coordinate donation campaigns. Both roles develop their campaigns by identifying an audience, creating promotions, and overseeing staff activities. Both public relations and fundraising manager positions require at least a bachelor's degree, but employers may prefer applicants with a master's degree. A Master of Public Administration program gives applicants essential skills and knowledge in public affairs, government operations, and research that could be applied to a position that involves working for or with government agencies.

Top Executives

Top executives are high-level managers who work in a variety of organizations, including local government. They may be responsible for overseeing budgets, financial activities, and general operations, as well as setting and carrying out organizational policies and goals. Education requirements vary by position, with top-level executive positions typically requiring a master's degree, and most positions require applicable experience. An MPA program develops graduates' skills in public and administrative topics, preparing them for work as county or city managers, nonprofit executives, and more.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Political Scientists $117,570 5%
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $114,800 8%
Top Executive $104,980 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Students can earn a Master of Public Administration through several schools in Virginia in two to three years. Programs prepare graduates for work in various fields, including public relations management and political science.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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