MPA students engaging in class discussion

You care deeply about public service. So do we.

For more than 30 years, the Villanova Master of Public Administration (MPA) program has prepared students to become ethical, creative, inclusive and intelligent leaders in public service through an innovative and practical curriculum, engaged faculty, community partnerships and a vibrant alumni network.

Pursue your passion for public service your way through convenient class times, online or on campus, affordable tuition rates and a curriculum tailored to your professional interests.


Our MPA curriculum includes six required courses dealing with public administration theory, organization theory, financial management, human capital management, leadership ethics and applied data analysis. Our wide variety of electives include three-credit courses as well as one-credit workshops. Elective courses reflect trends in the study of public administration as well as faculty expertise and interests. Workshops are taught by practitioners in areas such as local government, law enforcement and nonprofit management.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to develop an organizational change plan
  • How to write a professional memo
  • How to analyze an organization’s budget and overall financial health
  • How to analyze data
  • How to work collaboratively
  • And much more!

Enhance your MPA degree with a Certificate in City Management or Nonprofit Management! Our Certificate programs allow students to specialize in their area of interest by tailoring their elective course curriculum. Should you decide to pursue one of our Certificate programs, you are not required to take additional courses outside of the required MPA degree curriculum. We offer standalone Certificate programs in:

  • Public Administration
  • Nonprofit Management
  • City Management

Additionally, we have partnerships with the Department of Theatre, the Department of History, the Department of Political Science and the Department of Theology through which students enrolled in the aforementioned campus programs can earn an MA in each of the respective areas while simultaneously completing a Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

Villanova’s MPA degree is affordably priced. Our tuition is competitively priced at rates comparable to public institutions. Additionally, Villanova offers many options to help finance your studies.

Designed with the working professional in mind, all three-credit courses are offered in the evening, with one-credit elective workshops offered on weekends. The MPA program also offers a fully online option. In addition, we accept applications on a rolling basis for spring, summer and fall terms.

Our MPA faculty boast a wide range of scholarly interests and offer interdisciplinary and applied approaches to public administration.

Research and Teaching

Faculty are actively engaged in research, publishing in the discipline’s top journals and university presses. They have established networks with nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Our faculty also have extensive experience in university administration, government management and the nonprofit sector. Students have the opportunity to pursue independent research under the advisement and mentoring of our faculty. Most important, our faculty are deeply committed to teaching and advising.


Learn from leaders in the field. Our cohort of part-time faculty enhance our program by bringing their unique set of skills, experiences, and expertise to the classroom. Their professional networks introduce our students to potential internship, fellowship and employment opportunities.

The MPA program has a strong internship program for students without prior management experience in the field. Previous placements have included:

  • Townships and boroughs in the Greater Philadelphia region
  • The Pennsylvania Ballet
  • SAP
  • The City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services
  • Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia
  • The American Cancer Society

Some courses in our program also provide opportunities for community partnerships. MPA students have worked in teams on projects for organizations such as:

  • Office of Policy and Planning, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania  - Policy advocacy proposals
  • Congreso de Latinos Unidos – Community Research and Event Planning Project
  •  Eastern State Penitentiary – Marketing Plan, Membership Program
  •  Simon’s Fund – Advocacy and Fundraising Strategy
  • National Constitution Center – The Constitution Happened Here Marketing Plan
  • Global Philadelphia Association – Marketing and Communications Plan
  • Salvation Army – Lobby Day Campaign in Harrisburg

Our MPA alumni are well-prepared to respond to the increasing need for collaboration across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Alumni have enjoyed successful careers in federal, state, and local government, the nonprofit sector, as well as in a range of private sector career paths. Our alumni continue to support our students by serving on our Advisory Board, participating in professional development efforts, and informing our program of trends and opportunities in public service.

Villanova is honored to support the outstanding individuals who are serving or who have served in the U.S. Military while they pursue their higher education goals. Learn more about education assistance benefits and resources for veterans and current military.


Completion Rates

Two Villanova MPA students in graduation caps and gowns

The majority of our students are working professionals who attend classes part-time.

  • 86 students initially enrolled in the 2015-2016 academic year.
  • 67% of students who began their graduate studies during the 2015-2016 academic year completed the degree within two years.
  • 98% of students who began their studies in 2015-2016 completed the degree within four years or are in the process of completing degree requirements.

Graduate Success

Villanova MPA alumni leading a local government panel

Seventy-five students received their MPA degree in the 2019-2020 academic year. At six months after graduation:

  • Four students were employed by the federal government.
  • Seven students were employed in state government.
  • Fifteen students were employed in city, county or other local government in the U.S.
  • Nineteen students were employed by a domestic nonprofit organization.
  • Eight students were employed in the private sector.
  • Two students sought further education.
  • One student was employed by the military.
  • The status of eighteen students is unknown.

Ready for the Next Step?

Department of Public Administration
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
St. Augustine Center, Suite 205
Villanova, PA 19085




FEBRUARY 1: For admission with funding consideration for the fall

AUGUST 1: For admission without funding for the fall

DECEMBER 1: For admission without funding for the spring

MAY 1: For admission without funding for the summer

ONLINE: Rolling with courses beginning every eight weeks

Please contact Dr. Catherine Wilson with questions related to admissions.

Begin your application.



NASPAA Accredited

MPA Stories | Felicia Denman '14

MPA Stories | Frank Larkin '86

MPA Stories | Katie Moyer '16