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Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration at Virginia International University is designed to prepare students for a career in public management or related firms. Graduates of the MPA at VIU will be able to solve problems in the industry related to human resources, finance, project management, and leadership. Students will learn to oversee a diverse workforce and community in public, private, and non-profit structures. Students will learn to manage the mix of both local and regional needs in order to achieve the best results within a multifaceted range of governmental regulations and the political process.

Graduates from VIU’s Master of Public Administration Program will be able to use their skills in a variety of areas in the DC-Metropolitan area, as well as outside the region and on a global scale. Typical places of employment for individuals with this degree include state and local government agencies, federal government agencies, public agencies, non-profit corporations, and many private and publicly held organizations worldwide.

The MPA program offers three (3) concentration areas for students to choose from:

  • Public Management
  • Information Systems
  • Health Care Administration and Public Health

The program consists of seven (7) Core Courses and students have the choice any three (3) Concentration courses as well as two (2) Elective courses. The elective courses provide the opportunity for the students to develop further competencies covered in the core courses, based on their area of interest.

Area # of Courses Credit Hours
Core courses 7 21
Concentration Courses 3 9
Elective courses 2 6
Total 12 36

To view all MPA courses, please click the “Required Courses” tab.

Students in the MPA program will take twelve (12) classes. These include:

  • Seven (7) core courses, taken by all students in the program
  • Three (3) concentration courses, determined based on concentration area
  • Two (2) electives, selected by the student from a wide variety of options

Each graduate-level class is equivalent to three (3) credits. To complete the program, students must accumulate 36 credits.

  1. Students enrolled in the graduate program must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B), out of 4.0, and a minimum of grade not less than 2.0 (C), out of 4.0, in all courses to qualify for the MPA degree to remain in good academic standing and to graduate. The maximum time frame permitted for the completion of any graduate program is 54 semester credits.
  2. Only graduate-level courses may be applied toward the degree. A master’s student may transfer up to 12 semester hours of graduate credit earned at other accredited institutions.
  3. Beyond the prerequisites, the student must have completed 36 credit hours, of which 21 credit hours of required core courses, and 15 credit hours of elective course must have been earned.
  4. No degree credit is earned by a graduate student for any grade below 2.0 (C), out of 4.0, received in a graduate-level course. However, any grades lower than 2.0 (C), out of 4.0, will be calculated in the grade point average.

Core Courses

Core Courses provide students with the skills and knowledge that all information systems professionals need to succeed. Each candidate must complete the following seven Core Courses.

Course Code Course Name Credit
PUAD 505 Research Methods 3
PUAD 515 Administration in Public & Non-Profit Organizations 3
PUAD 514 Public Policy Analysis & Implementation 3
PUAD 513 Organizational Theory & HR Management 3
PUAD 611 Legal & Ethical Environment of Business 3
PUAD 608 Financial Reporting & Decision Making 3
PUAD 790 Advanced Research Project 3

Concentration & Elective Courses

The Master of Public Administration at VIU will offer 3 concentrations for students to choose from. Students must complete a minimum of 9 credit hours of concentration courses to be awarded a degree in Public Administration

Public Management

Course Code Course Name Credit
PUAD 536 Labor Relations 3
PUAD 614 Emergency Planning & Preparedness 3
PUAD 512 Project & Cost Management 3
PUAD 613 Enterprise Resource Planning 3
PUAD 612 International Management 3
CAR 600 Career Planning & Development 3

Information Systems

Course Code Course Name Credit
PUAD 552 Information Systems 3
PUAD 556 Database Systems 3
PUAD 610 Managing Information Systems Development 3
PUAD 620 IT Governance 3
PUAD 628 Global Sourcing & Logistics 3
CAR 600 Career Planning & Management 3

Health Care Administration & Public Health

Course Code Course Name Credit
PUAD 641 Economics of Healthcare & Policy 3
PUAD 640 The Health Services System 3
PUAD 642 Financial Management of Healthcare Institutions 3
PUAD 643 Legal Aspects of Healthcare 3
CAR 600 Career Planning & Management 3

MPA Elective Courses

Students may choose any two (2) of the following elective courses, or any combination of elective courses from the concentration courses listed above, in addition to the three (3) courses required to complete the concentration.

Course Code Course Name Credit
PUAD 520 International Security (Also offered as GOVT 520) 3
PUAD 615 Special Topics in Public Administration 3
PUAD 625 Effective Negotiations (Also offered as MBA 625) 3
PUAD 551 Conflict Resolution 3
PUAD 634 Operations Management 3
PUAD 557 Political Theory 3
PUAD 538 Compensation & Benefits 3
PUAD 511 Managerial Accounting & Finance 3
PUAD 630 Public & Private Partnerships 3
PUAD 558 Information Systems Security 3
PUAD 665 Graduate Internship I 3
PUAD 666 Graduate Internship II 3

There are three (3) prerequisite courses for the MPA program. Students should take one course from the Management Concepts category (either BUSS 301 or BUSS 312), one course from the Economic Concepts category (either ECON 101 or ECON 102), and one course from the Academic Writing Skills category (either ENGL 113 or ENGL 120). If students have taken similar courses at the undergraduate level they may transfer their credits for the related courses.

Course Code Course Name Credit
Management Concepts (one of the following courses)
BUSS 301 Principles of Management 3
BUSS 312 Organizational Theory & HR Management 3
Economic Concepts (one of the following courses)
ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics 3
ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconmics 3
Academic Writing Skills (one of the following courses)
ENGL 113 English Composition and Rhetoric 3
ENGL 120 Academic writing 3

The following is a sample schedule of the possible sequencing of courses in the MPA program.

Course Code Course Name Credit
First Semester
PUAD 505 Research Methods 3
PUAD 515 Administration in Public & Non-Profit Organizations 3
PUAD 513 Organizational Behavior & HR Management 3
Second Semester
PUAD 514 Public Policy Analysis & Implementation 3
PUAD 611 Business Ethics & Law 3
PUAD 608 Financial Reporting & Decision Making 3
Third Semester
PUAD XXX Concentration Course 3
PUAD XXX Concentration Course 3
PUAD XXX Program Elective 3
Fourth Semester
PUAD 790 Advanced Research Project 3
PUAD XXX Concentration Course 3
PUAD XXX Program Elective 3

The program objectives of the Master Public Administration are designed to enable graduates to be successful in the multitude of employment positions that an MPA degree will garner including, government, organizational management, health care administration, and many more. Upon completion of the program, the graduates will be able to:

  1. Prepare Public Managers to meet the needs and challenges of Public Service.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness to and knowledge of the political context of the duties of a public servant.
  3. Exhibit ethical conduct while maintaining awareness of the large responsibilities of serving the public interest.
  4. Become effective managers, specialists, and figureheads in both the public sector and public organizations.

The School of Public & International Affairs at VIU also offers the Master of Science in International Relations graduate degree program. Both the MPA and MIR can be completed partially or fully online.