Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration is focused on helping you develop the skills you need to become an ethical, creative leader in the public service. We periodically update courses to reflect trends in the study of public administration as well as faculty expertise and interests. 

You also will take a written comprehensive examination and complete a management internship, if you do not have prior experience, to complete your degree.

You may also elect to complete an individual research project. These are reserved for advanced students with specific needs not met by available elective course work.  Approval for the individual research course must be obtained from the MPA Director.

The MPA Director may also permit you to take up to two elective courses from other graduate programs in order to help you personalize your degree.

Required Courses

MPA students must take 18 credits of Required Courses.

  • MPA 8001 - Public Administration Theory
  • MPA 8002 - Organization Theory
  • MPA 8003 - Financial Management
  • MPA 8004 - Public Personnel Management
  • MPA 8005 - Analysis and Research I
  • MPA 8006 - Analysis and Research II

Contingent Courses

  • MPA 8010 - Management Internship
  • MPA 8012 - Individual Research I
  • MPA 8013 - Individual Research II


Elective Courses

MPA students must take 18 credits of Elective Courses.

  • MPA 8100 - Decision-Making
  • MPA 8200 - Administrative Communication
  • MPA 8300 - Leadership Ethics
  • MPA 8400 - Strategic Planning
  • MPA 8500 - Effective City Management
  • MPA 8550 - Urban Politics and Government
  • MPA 8600 - Effective Non-Profit Management
  • MPA 8700 - Fundraising for Non-Profit Organizations
  • MPA 8800 - Managing Public Networks
  • MPA 8900 - Public Policy
  • MPA 8199 - Three-Credit Special Topics

            i.e., Cultural Competency

  • MPA 8299 - One-Credit Special Topics**

One-Credit Courses

**Our one-credit topic courses are offered on three Saturday mornings, for approximately 3 hours each.  They are offered as sections of MPA 8299 and include:

  • Land-use and zoning
  • Debt management
  • Economic development strategies
  • Labor relations
  • Program evaluation
  • Performance measurement
  • Effective public affairs
  • Emergency management
  • Program planning
  • Marketing in the cultural sector

Attendance Policy

Villanova’s MPA program is a teaching-centered, class-room based program. Students are expected to regularly attend class and to inform faculty, preferably in advance, when they will have to miss class.

We are a professional degree program and understand some of our students may have full-time work obligations that will conflict with one or more classes during the semester.  Faculty will accommodate students who will have to miss a class as a result of professional obligations.  Often faculty request students to prepare work to cover the class missed, such as write answers to a few study questions or to submit the work expected in class.

We do consider four or more absences in a three-credit course and one absence in a one-credit course to be excessive.  Faculty will consult with the MPA Director when a student misses too many classes and determine if problems with excessive absences prevent the student from completing the course.  Excessive absences normally mean the student cannot receive credit for the course.

Adopted: March 20, 2004