Take advantage of our innovative blend of programs to major in one area while learning from others.
Every program at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs gives you a chance to take theory and put it in play — from internships to field work, you’ll gain practical experience you can use at work.
The 2023 U.S. News & World Report rankings show the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University rose to No. 35 in the nation among public affairs graduate schools (up from No. 38 in 2022). The Wilder School’s public management and leadership program also climbed to No. 29 (rising from No. 34 in 2022) in the report’s specialty program rankings.
Criminal justice: Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs
Homeland security and emergency preparedness: Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs
Public administration: M.P.A., accelerated B.A./M.P.A., certificate and dual-degree programs
Public policy and administration: Doctoral program
Urban and regional studies/planning: Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs
These areas are available as both majors or minors. See each program’s page for details.
In addition to our main academic programs, we also offer the following certificates:
Designed for pre-career and mid-career professionals, this program examines the social causes, consequences and responses to gender violence. Graduates often pursue careers in advocacy, research, policy or prevention.
Designed for those interested or involved in professions in the criminal justice system, this certificate facilitates career advancement to help you develop skills in criminal justice policy, program evaluation and management.
Our online certificate program helps you develop managerial competencies in the homeland security and emergency preparedness field. Courses with grades of “B” or better are fully transferable to the master’s program.
Learn to lead, govern and manage nonprofit organizations collaboratively, thoughtfully and ethically. Earn this 15-credit certificate separately or simultaneously with the M.P.A.
Tailored for government and nonprofit professionals, this program allows you to gain skills in public administration without pursuing a full master’s degree. An off-campus location is available in Chesterfield County. This 18-credit certificate includes coursework from the M.P.A. curriculum.
The VCU Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Nonprofit Management (CPG-NMC) is a collaborative effort between the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs and the School of Social Work.
The Certificate requires a total of 15 credit hours comprised of four required courses and one related elective. How to apply
Learn the techniques and processes of city and neighborhood revitalization, including adaptive reuse of buildings, historic preservation, real estate market analysis and the role of private-public partnerships in financing development projects. Grades of “B” or better are fully transferable to the master’s program.
Gain specialized training in operations and techniques related to the creation, analysis, modeling, visualization, interpretation and management of geographic information.
Acquire analytical and professional skills to identify and address barriers to sustainability, and to develop plans and policies for more sustainable lifestyles, systems and institutions.
Earn a combined B.A. and M.P.A. in five years by taking certain master’s-level courses during the senior year of their undergraduate program.
Earn a J.D. from the law school at the University of Richmond and a master’s in urban and regional planning from VCU in four years rather than five.
Earn a J.D. from the law school at the University of Richmond and an M.P.A. from VCU.