Why Choose Villanova's Public Administration Programs?

Motivated Students

Meet our MPA students who are passionate about public service! We have individuals at all stages in their professional careers, from those just starting out to individuals with extensive experience. Their diverse backgrounds, combined with the depth and breadth of their experiences tremendously, enrich the classroom experience.

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Engaged Faculty

The MPA faculty boast a wide range of scholarly interests and offer a variety of scholarly and applied approaches to public administration. They are actively engaged in research, publishing in the discipline's top journals and university presses. They have established networks with local organizations and governments. They have extensive experience in university administration, local professional management, and non-profit organizations.  And most importantly, they are deeply committed to teaching and advising.

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Welcoming Community

Building a community of students, alumni, faculty, and friends who share a passion for public service is central to the Department of Public Administration. We are pleased to host chapters of Pi Alpha Alpha and ICMA for our students, which sponsor multiple professional events.  We also host an annual MPA Dinner where students, alumni, faculty, and friends gather to hear a talk from a distinguished leader in the public service. Finally, students organize social events such as a golf outing and game watch parties.

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Affordability & Scholarships

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.

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Innovative and Practical Curriculum

Our MPA curriculum includes six required courses dealing with public administration theory, organizational structures, financial management, public personnel, and research methods. We also offer a wide variety of electives. These include three-credit courses as well as one-credit workshops. The types of courses offered are 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.

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We discuss academic and professional goals with every student to ensure that they are getting the most out of their studies. Students may enroll in up to two courses in other graduate programs. Students can enroll in as many as three courses per semester, or as little as one. All courses are offered at night to accommodate working students.

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Excellent Internships

The MPA program has a strong internship program for students without prior management experience in the field. Previous placements have included Lower Gwynedd Township, Hatfield Township, Whitpain Township, Upper Merion Township, the City of Philadelphia, the Nationalities Service Center, and the Genesis Housing Corporation, among others.

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Successful Graduates & Vibrant Alumni Network

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.

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Convenient Location

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.

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Graduate Success

One hundred and seven students received their MPA degree in the 2015-2016 academic year. At six months after graduation:

  • Seven students were employed by the federal government.
  • Five students were employed in state government
  • Seventeen students were employed in city, county, or other loal government in the U.S.
  • Twenty-four students were employed by a domestic non-profit organization
  • Fifteen students were employed in the private sector
  • One student sought further education
  • Six students were employed by the military.
  • Two students were still seeking employment.
  • One student sought employment 
  • The status of twenty-three students is unknown

Completion Rates

MPA Graduate

The majority of our students are working professionals and attend classes part time. 61% of students who began in academic year 2010-2011 completed the program within two years, and 79% graduated within five years.