L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs


Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration [View Image]
Master of Public Administration [View Image]

Online, evening and off-campus courses

Earn your M.P.A., graduate certificate in nonprofit management or public management, dual M.P.A./J.D. or accelerated B.A./M.P.A.

NASPAA accreditation logo [View Image]The M.P.A. program at the Wilder School equips students with skills in public management and policy analysis. Our graduates pursue careers at nonprofits and federal, state and local governments, as well as for-profit organizations that cooperate with the public sector.

With flexible evening, off-campus and online courses, the majority of our students are full-time working professionals. However, we also welcome full-time pre-service professionals with a demonstrated interest in public service.

We're a top 50 public affairs university: we moved up 12 places in the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings for best graduate public affairs program in the nation, coming in at No. 44.

Our graduates include Presidential Management Fellows. Find out more about our graduate fellowships and internship opportunities.

M.P.A. admission and degree requirements

Determine your per semester cost of attending VCU.

Winner of the NASPAA Social Equity Award

In 2016, the Wilder School's MPA program received the Social Equity Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration  at its annual conference in October. The award recognizes a public policy, affairs or administration program that exemplifies the highest standards in diversity through outstanding contributions in research, teaching and service.

Wilder School Faculty Member Leads ASPA

Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., professor of public administration and policy, was the 2016 president of the American Society of Public Administration. Gooden is the former vice president of ASPA, the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration.

Certificate programs

Nonprofit management

Learn to lead, govern and manage nonprofit organizations collaboratively, thoughtfully and ethically. Earn this 15-credit certificate separately or simultaneously with the M.P.A.

Nonprofit management certificate requirements

Public management

Tailored for government and nonprofit professionals, this program allows you to gain skills in public administration without pursuing a full master’s degree. An off-campus location is available in Chesterfield County. This 18-credit certificate includes coursework from the M.P.A. curriculum.

Public management certificate requirements

MSW and Certificate in Nonprofit Management

The VCU Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Nonprofit Management (CPG-NMC) is a collaborative effort between the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs and the School of Social Work. 

The Certificate requires a total of 15 credit hours comprised of four required courses and one related elective. How to apply

CPG-NMC program requirements

Dual-degree options


Prepare to work in the field of policy and administrative law through this program, which allows you to earn a law degree from the University of Richmond and an M.P.A. from VCU. 

M.P.A./J.D. program requirements


Earn your bachelor's in political science and your M.P.A. in a minimum of five years by taking certain master’s-level courses during the senior year of your undergraduate program. 

B.A./M.P.A. program requirements

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“The Wilder School allowed me to work directly with several state agencies during my program. That played a significant role in my ability to secure a job immediately upon graduation.”— Nick Galvin, M.P.A., 2015, assistant legislative analyst, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission

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