There is one school that offers a Master of Public Administration in West Virginia and is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA): West Virginia University in Morgantown.
Other MPA programs in the state are available at Marshall University in Huntington, American Public University System in Charles Town, and Strayer University in Scott Depot.
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Online MPA Programs in West Virginia
No NASPAA-accredited universities in West Virginia have online MPA programs, but there are still various opportunities within the state that offer higher education in public administration.
West Virginia State University does have an online MPA that is geared toward those pursuing or have already established themselves within the public sector. Potential career positions after the completion of this degree are program manager, policy analyst, and city, urban, or regional planner.
The 36-credit curriculum will cover many topics in public policy, research methods, budgeting, and culminates with a capstone project. An additional six credits toward an internship will be encouraged.
American Public University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, provides another opportunity for an online MPA program. There are numerous concentrations to choose from to fully customize the degree, such as Conflict Resolution, Environmental Policy, Human Resources, and Organizational Management. A capstone seminar at the end of the program will provide an opportunity for the student to showcase what they have learned through a thesis or creative project.
Another popular MPA program is based at Marshall University with both on-campus and online programs. Course availability is subject to change based on semesters. For example, not all core courses will be available in both semesters, but they can be completed within the first year. Available concentrations to choose from are in General Administration Policy, Urban Governance, and Nonprofit Management. 270 hours of real-world experience in a government or nonprofit agency is required for the practicum at the culmination of the program.
West Virginia University Department of Public Administration MPA
The Department of Public Administration provides a full Master of Public Administration program along with dual degree opportunities and various graduate certificates. Both full and part-time students are able to pursue the Master’s degree, which consists of seminars at the bookends of the program and foundational courses that pave the way to customizable electives. Areas of specializations that students can choose from are in Healthcare Administration or Local Governance and Community Development.
Dual Degree Option
There are a few opportunities to pursue a dual degree with a Juris Doctor or Master of Social Work to go along with the MPA. Another opportunity is in a few different graduate certificates. The Community Development Policy and Practice certification requires 18 credits of coursework to advance a student’s career in this category.
Healthcare Administration Concentration
A standalone concentration of Healthcare Administration is also available as a graduate certificate, requiring 15 credit hours to complete. These credits can be used toward the full degree at a later date. Another certification is in Cultural Resource Management, which also requires 15 credit hours with coursework in analyzing historic buildings and communities. This is a popular pathway for those seeking positions in history preservation and parks and recreation.
In order to be administered into the program, prospective students must be holding a Bachelor’s degree and acceptable GPA score. Submissions to send along with an application for the fall or spring semester include transcripts, letter of intent, resume, two letters of recommendation, and GRE, GMAT, or LSAT scores. The final requirement can be waived if a student has a high enough GPA or they already a graduate degree in another category.