Virginia MPA Master of Public Administration Campus Programs

A professional graduate degree, the MPA, or Masters of Public Administration is often a degree sought by individuals who aspire to a potential career in public service or nonprofit management. Public Administration is the field that sits at the intersection of business, policies, and public influence. MPA programs develop the skills and techniques used by managers to implement policies, projects, and programs that resolve crucial issues within governmental and nongovernmental agencies as well as nonprofit sectors. In some graduate schools, the Masters of Public Policy (MPP) programs are blended with the MPA, and may have overlapping courses and specializations. Some schools combine the degrees and name them differently. For example, schools may offer a master's degree in public management and policy. Others may offer a master's degree in public affairs (MPAff).

Public Admnistration Masters Campus Degree Program Information

What is a Campus MPA Degree Program? Essential Information

Campus MPA programs are onsite, socially interactive, hands-on learning programs. If the idea of meeting your classmates and faculty appeals to you, whether to brainstorm or network, you might enjoy a campus program. Furthermore, being on site gives you access - think gymnasiums, libraries, laboratories, campus activities, and social services. In terms of convenience, business programs are often geared to the working student with classes scheduled evenings and weekends, and some students find it motivating to have the routine of getting to class.

It commonly takes two years to complete a Masters of Public Administration degree full time, and many schools offer a part-time option. In addition, many universities provide evening classes for students who already have a job or may be pursuing one. 

If you are hoping to apply for admissions, you have a Bachelor’s degree, GRE scores. If you are interested in a career in government, public

management, health and human services, and other public or nonprofit organizations, and you want to potentially make an impact on the issues and problems that affect the general public, such as environment to healthcare reform, immigration, infrastructure, urban development, this might be the program for you

FUN FACT: Some urban planners have a background in a related field, such as public administration, architecture, or landscape architecture[i].

Ready to initiate a search for accredited MPA campus programs? has very convenient tools to get you started. A location search will find MPA campus programs at graduate schools in the city, state, or country that you specify. Take note that National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) Accreditation is the peer review quality assurance process for graduate-level, master’s degree programs in public policy, affairs, and administration. Some of the listings might include Public Administration MPA, Master of Public Administration: Sustainable Communities, Master of Public Administration, Public Policy, Health Administration, MS Fire Science, Master of Arts in Government, or Master of Public Policy and Administration

Which MPA Degree is right for you?

Students have several similar choices for graduate degrees in Public Administration. Some schools offer an MBA with a concentration in Public Administration; other schools offer a Masters of Public Policy (MPP) and others, an MPA with a specific focus. So which one is right for you? One of the ways, apart from requesting information from the school – which you can do from our site - is to look at the individual courses associated with each degree from the university’s program. This will vary. Schools are sometimes well-known for a particular specialization, which may go hand in hand with who is on their faculty. This could be nonprofit at one schools and policy at another.

MBA- Specialization in Public Administration: The MBA itself is the counterpart to the MPA in that it relates to the private sector, while the Master of Public Administration relates tot the public sectors such as governmental and nongovernmental agencies. Usually the MBA will require you to complete core courses in finance, marketing and human resources management, and once these are done, to take courses in public administration or a specific area, such as Public Administration or Healthcare Administration.

MPP Programs: The Masters of Public Policy (MPP) degree is the professional degree for analyzing, evaluating, and solving all aspects of policy. As analysts and managers, MPP graduates work with quantitative and qualitative data to develop, assess, and evaluate alternative approaches to current and emerging issues. These programs usually place emphasis on policy research and assessment. Core courses might include:

  • Intro to public policy
  • Statistics
  • Data analysis
  • Public finance
  • Micro/macro economics
  • Policy analysis
  • Quantitative methods
  • Ethics

Specializations offered by NASPAA programs might include analysis in a multitude of public policy areas, including: environmental, education, health, social, economic development, international, and urban policy.

MPA Programs: The Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree is the professional degree for students seeking a career in public service or nonprofit management. MPA programs develop the abilities and techniques used by managers to implement policies, projects, and programs that aim to resolve important problems within their organization and in society as a whole. Core courses might include:

  • Introduction to public administration
  • Budgeting/finance
  • Managerial economics
  • Political and legal processes
  • Quantitative methods
  • Ethics

Specializations offered by NASPAA programs might include areas such as public management, nonprofit management, health care management, international development, urban affairs, human-resource management, state/local government administration, and financial management.

Potential Career Paths For MPA Graduates

No degree guarantees employment on one hand. On the other, you have passion and commitment to your subject, through earning this degree, you have potentially gained the skill set required to become an effective and highly in-demand leader, with the flexibility to move between government and nongovernmental careers. Some of the careers that graduates might seek out may include:

  • Budget Analysts
  • Urban Planners
  • Financial Managers
  • Policy Analyst
  • Healthcare administrators
  • Labor or Human relations specialist

Ready to Pursue a Masters degree in Public Administration?

Today’s employer is looking for a candidate with expertise. Whether your talents lie in administration, accounting and finance or research and policy, a Master or Public Administration, as a professional degree, might set you up for a bright future, with excellent credentials. Why not review graduate schools with MPA programs to find one that resonates with your goals!

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