L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

 Menu

Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Administration

Online and evening courses from world-class faculty.

Earn your M.P.A., graduate certificate in nonprofit management or public management, dual M.P.A./J.D. or accelerated B.A./M.P.A.

Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) Degree

NASPAA accreditation logoThe M.P.A. program at the Wilder School equips students with skills in public management and policy analysis. Our graduates pursue careers at nonprofits and federal, state and local governments, as well as for-profit organizations that cooperate with the public sector.

With flexible evening and online courses, the majority of our students are full-time working professionals. However, we also welcome full-time pre-service professionals with a demonstrated interest in public service.

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.

Our graduates include Presidential Management Fellows. Find out more about our graduate fellowships and internship opportunities.

Determine your per semester cost of attending VCU

 

M.P.A. admission and degree requirements

 

M.P.A. program can now be completed fully online

Starting in the fall of 2022 Wilder School students can choose to attend the traditional in-person program or participate in the new online program. Program applications are now being accepted with a priority deadline of April 1 and a final deadline of May 1. 

Wilder School Dean Leads NASPAA 

Susan Gooden, dean of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs is President of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) at its annual conference.  NASPAA is the recognized accreditor of master's degree programs in these fields. The Wilder School’s MPA program is accredited by NASPAA.

Dual-degree options

Master of Public Administration and Juris Doctorate (M.P.A. and J.D.)

Prepare to work in the field of policy and administrative law through this program, which allows you to earn a law degree from the University of Richmond and an M.P.A. from VCU. 

M.P.A./J.D. program requirements

Bachelor of Public Administration (B.A. and M.P.A.)

Earn your bachelor's in political science and your M.P.A. in a minimum of five years by taking certain master’s-level courses during the senior year of your undergraduate program. 

B.A./M.P.A. program requirements

Wilder School Request for Information

Want to learn more about the program and application process? Get in touch and request information with this form.

Certificate programs

Nonprofit management

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.

Nonprofit management certificate requirements

Public management

Tailored for government and nonprofit professionals, this program allows you to gain skills in public administration without pursuing a full master’s degree. This 18-credit certificate includes coursework from the M.P.A. curriculum.

Public management certificate requirements

MSW and Certificate in Nonprofit Management

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

CPG-NMC program requirements

Wilder School Request for Information

Want to learn more about the program and application process? Get in touch and request information with this form.

q-nick-gavin

“The Wilder School allowed me to work directly with several state agencies during my program. That played a significant role in my ability to secure a job immediately upon graduation.”

— Nick Galvin, M.P.A., 2015, assistant legislative analyst, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission