L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs


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.


The 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.

Apply to Master of Public Administration Graduate Program

Apply to Undergraduate/M.P.A. Dual Program

NASPAA accreditation logo

Launched as the nation’s first homeland security and emergency preparedness program in 2005, we prepare students to manage the complexities of disaster planning and response.

Alumni often work in private and public-sector jobs related to emergency management, security or crisis planning, or pursue graduate study in fields such as government, international affairs, law enforcement, policy planning and law.

Apply to HSEP Undergraduate Program

Apply to HSEP Graduate Program

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Rising to New Heights: The Wilder School ranks No. 6 in Homeland Security, No. 33 in Public Management and Leadership, and stands strong at No. 39 in Public Affairs Graduate Schools according to the 2024 U.S. News & World Report.

We are proud to announce historic achievements in the 2024 U.S. News & World Report graduate program rankings. For the first time, the Wilder School has been recognized as the nation's sixth-leading institution for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, marking a significant milestone in our commitment to academic excellence and innovation in public affairs.

This year, the Wilder School continues to be ranked among the nation's top schools:

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 requirement

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

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

The Wilder School is also recognized for demonstrating exemplary commitment in four areas recognized by Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), the global standard in public service education.

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.


“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