Our MPA students are passionate about public service, and come to Villanova to develop the roles, skills and practices that will help them become professionals capable of ethical, intelligent and creative leadership.
We have individuals at all stages in their professional careers, from those just starting out to individuals with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. The diverse backgrounds of our students combined with the depth and breadth oft heir knowledge and experiences tremendously enrich the classroom experience. Class discussions strike a good balance between theory and practice.
In addition to the MPA degree, we also offer certificates in Public Administration, City Management, and Nonprofit Management – all 15-credit programs. Students may enroll in the Certificate programs asa pre-Master's certificate, a specialization with the MPA program, or apost-Master's certificate.
Students may also consider our M.A. in Political Science if they have more general interests in politics and the domestic, international and ideational forces that shape it. MPA students can also complete a certificate in Political Science.
The MPA faculty is comprised of 5 full-time faculty members, based in several academic disciplines. They boast a wide range of scholarly interests and offer a variety of philosophical and practical approaches to public administration. They are actively engaged in research, publishing inthe discipline's top journals and university presses. They regularly present their work to both academic and practitioner audiences. They have established networks with local organizations and governments. They are also deeply committed to teaching and advising.
In addition to the full-time faculty, we also have several adjunct faculty who hold advanced degrees and teach courses in their area of specialization and practice. The faculty has extensive experience in university administration, local professional management, and non-profit organizations. They are an invaluable asset to our students.
Enrollment in our MPA courses ranges from 4 to 20 students with an average class size around 12. Each student is assigned an advisor with whom he or she meets every semester for class selection and career planning.
Each spring semester students, faculty, alumni and alumnae are invited to attend the MPA Dinner. The dinner is a chance to honor the students graduating that academic year as well to welcome back our alumni and alumnae for a visit. The dinner also features a talk from a public sector leader who has adistinguished record of service.
Finally, we are pleased to host chapters of Pi Alpha Alpha and ICMA for our students, both of which sponsor multiple events throughout the year. At these events, you will meet professionals and enhance your career networking skills.
Course credits are competitively priced at rates comparable to public institutions. We also award tuition scholarships which fully fund your graduate degree.
Additionally, Villanova offers options to help finance your studies, ranging from tuition payment plans to full tuition scholarships. To learn more about financing your education, click here.
Our MPA curriculum includes six required courses dealing with public administration theory, organizational structures, financial management, public personnel, and research methods.
Additionally, we offer a wide variety of electives. These include three-credit courses as well as one-credit workshops offered on three consecutive Saturday mornings. The types of courses offered are periodically updated to reflect trends in the study of public administration as well as faculty expertise and interests. The workshops are all taught by practitioners working in areas such as local government, law enforcement, and nonprofit management.
Our program is flexible in terms of the degree requirements and the scheduling of courses. We individually discuss with students their overall course selection to assure it matches their overall academic or professional goals. Students also enroll in up to four courses in other graduate programs. Students can enroll in as much as three courses per semester, or as little as a single course. All courses are offered at night to accommodate working students.
The MPA program has a strong internship program for students without prior management experience in the field. Students work with the MPA Director to arrange internships. Previous placements have included Upper Merion Township, Middletown Township, Lower Gwynedd Township, the Nationalities Service Center, Radnor Township, Montgomery Township, the Philadelphia Airport Authority, Trevor’s Campaign, and the Public Financial Management Group. The internships afford students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience as public administrators.
Villanova is located on the historical Mainline, in a beautiful western suburb of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia offers a wide variety of museums, libraries, concerts and professional sport teams. The campus is only thirty minutes from downtown Philadelphia. It is minutes away from all major highways and routes to and from major metropolitan areas such as: New York City, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. Villanova provides ample parking and mass transit stops right on campus, and students can travel easily to and from the campus by car, bus or train.
Our graduates are working in the public service across the United States as local government managers, federal employees, and nonprofit executives. We have had students selected as Local Government Management Fellows and Presidential Management Fellows over the years as well. Alumni are welcome to join us at all of our events throughout the year. We are so proud of their accomplishments!