The Department of Public Administration is committed to preparing students for a career in public service, through gaining the needed skills and competencies to effectively and ethically manage people and resources for public purposes.

The mission of the Department of Public Administration at Villanova University is to prepare undergraduate and graduate students for meaningful work in public service by providing them with the theoretical foundations and tools they need to become skilled, thoughtful, inclusive and ethical leaders in service to the common good. 

Courses expose students to an array of interdisciplinary approaches to the field, scholarly literature and practitioner trends, and place an emphasis on the development of critical thinking, professional writing and public speaking skills. Through coursework and departmental events, students gain first-hand knowledge of effective practices in the government and nonprofit sectors as well as experience in networking and professional development.

Our mission is to provide graduates the knowledge, values, skills, and practices to be ethical, intelligent, inclusive, and creative leaders in the field of public service.

The Four Goals of Our Mission

  • Examine the role that political, philosophical, and religious values play in the ethical decision-making of successful public service professionals.
  • Offer an interdisciplinary curriculum featuring the integration of theory and practice in the fields of public administration and management, sociology, political science, economics, education, psychology, communication, history, philosophy and statistics.
  • Nurture a sense of service to community and a focus on the common good
    • by featuring the study of successful public servants as role models.
    • by exploring the traditions and approaches in public administration theory.
    • by promoting leadership in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
    • by emphasizing transparency, accountability, and equity in public administration.
  • Emphasize the importance of practical experience
    • by discussing case studies, using simulations, and working with data.
    • by utilizing experiential, engaged, and applied learning to connect theory and practice.
    • by requiring an internship for students lacking management experience.

Drawing from the Villanova University core values of Veritas (Truth), Unitas (Unity) and Caritas (Love), our program mission is to offer graduates the knowledge of values, roles, skills and practices that will help them become competent professionals capable of ethical, intelligent, inclusive and creative leadership in public service.

The public service values reflected in our mission include: 1) ethical action upholding the public trust; 2) a sense of community and the common good; and 3) transparency and accountability in public administration. With these as our guideposts, we define the learning objectives for the NASPAA universal competencies as delineated below.

Learning Objectives

  • Implements leadership and management principles in support of an organization’s mission, service demand, and decision making. (Truth)
  • Applies leadership and management theory and practice to support collaboration between public, private, and/or nonprofit sectors and the general public for achieving measurable outcomes. (Unity)
  • Prioritizes the importance of adhering to the organization’s mission, vision, and values and exhibiting care for those providing or receiving services. (Love)

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrates the ability to formulate proposals at the operational, organizational, and/or societal levels engaging stakeholders to:
    •  advance the common good
    • promote social equity (Truth, Unity & Love)
  • Offers information and proposals that are inclusive of community interests, especially minorities and vulnerable populations, and utilizes a variety of practices to encourage participation in the policy process. (Unity)

Learning Objectives

  • Uses qualitative and/or quantitative methods to evaluate and/or assess relevant data, form balanced recommendations, and communicate results effectively for different audiences and purposes. (Truth & Unity)
  • Demonstrates knowledge of public administration scholarship and best practices in decision-making. (Truth)
  • Demonstrates when and why one might include impacted stakeholders in a decision making process. (Love)

Learning Objectives

  • Understands work in public service as an opportunity to give back to the community through thoughtful deliberations informed by knowledge and practice (Truth & Love)
  • Demonstrates an appreciation for the valuable contributions staff and stakeholders make to the organization as evidence of their public service motivation. (Unity)

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrates understanding for the importance of community and organizational diversity in leadership practices, and promotes culturally competent policies and decisions in public service delivery. (Truth)
  • Recognizes demographic trends in an effort to build effective working relationships with a diverse citizenry, employees, and community stakeholders. (Unity & Love)

Villanova University, as a Catholic Augustinian institution of higher education, recognizes diversity as an integral component of the teaching and learning experience and as an essential element of the ongoing intellectual, social and spiritual development of every member of the Villanova community. In turn, the Department of Public Administration celebrates all members of the global community, and is focused on cultivating a diverse and inclusive network of students, alumni, faculty and community partners and stakeholders. As leaders, we serve with an open mind and a generous heart. We value diversity in beliefs and ideas in public discourse, and stand for those who are marginalized or excluded from these conversations.

We understand diversity includes individual differences (e.g., learning styles and life experiences) as well as differences in ability, age, gender identity, national origin, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, as well as cultural, political and religious affiliations. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather one that illustrates the many unique perspectives that we value in our classrooms and professional community. We respect the gifts that every individual brings to the vocation of public service, and strongly affirm the importance of an educational community that is diverse, inclusive and willing to address issues of equity.

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



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