Top School in Chesapeake, VA, for a Public Administration Master's Degree

School and Ranking Information

While there are no schools located directly in Chesapeake, VA, that offer master's degree programs in public administration, students can find a few public and private nonprofit institutions in the area with these types of programs. The following universities are considered the top three schools based on rankings, student populations and number of degrees awarded:

  • Winner: Virginia Commonwealth University lands in the top spot because it is the largest school in terms of enrollment, has a highly ranked public administration program and awards the highest number of Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees in the area.
  • Runner Up #1: Old Dominion University secured the first runner up spot because of its public administration program ranking and also because it enrolls the second-highest number of students among the schools offering MPA degrees in the Chesapeake area.
  • Runner Up #2: Though its graduation rate is equal to that of Old Dominion University, Regent University places third among the schools because of its low number of public administration degrees conferred. The university does offer the lowest tuition of the schools.

School Comparison Chart

Category Virginia Commonwealth University Old Dominion University Regent University
Rankings/Distinctions #156 (tie) Best National Universities (2015)* Public administration program ranked #104 among national universities (2012)* One of 22 universities in the U.S. to receive an 'A' rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA)**
Location Richmond, VA Norfolk, VA Virginia Beach, VA
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition (2014-2015) Graduate: $12,399 (in-state); $23,232 (out-of-state)*** $10,488 (in-state); $25,740 (out-of-state)*** $1,150***
Public Administration Master's Degrees Awarded in 2012-2013 39*** 37*** 1***
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2007 Entering Class 57%*** 51%*** 51%***
Noteworthy Public administration program ranked #53 among national universities (2012)* An MPA Student Association offers programs providing academic and networking support and opportunities Robertson School of Government offers a scholarship program for eligible students

Sources: *U. S. News & World Report; **Regent University; ***NCES College Navigator

Winner: Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Evening and online courses offered in the MPA program
  • Combined program options include Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/MPA and Juris Doctor/MPA
  • Students can choose a concentration in several areas, such as public policy analysis and evaluation, nonprofit management, and executive leadership

In this MPA program, at least 36 semester hours have to be earned, and students need to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. For students who don't have at least a year of professional experience in the field, they have to earn three more credit hours in a practicum. Course topics addressed include public governance strategies, public policy development and decision making processes.

Runner-Up #1: Old Dominion University

  • Evening and online courses available
  • MPA program designed for professionals seeking career advancement as well as those beginning a career in the public sector
  • MPA program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)

The purpose of the Master of Public Administration program is to prepare individuals for advancement in the public sector. Students will learn how to manage public departments and organizations and analyze public policy. Core courses cover administrative theory, legal and ethical principles of public administration, public budgeting, public policy evaluation, and research methods. Students are also required to complete a formal internship or field experience as part of their curriculum. The internship consists of 300 hours of real-world experience within an approved public agency.

Runner-Up #2: Regent University

  • Four concentrations are available for MPA students
  • Online and hybrid on-campus/online formats offered in the MPA program

Students complete 45 credit hours to earn the Master of Public Administration at Regent University. In order to develop an expertise area, they choose from four concentrations, including nonprofit and faith-based organizations, public leadership and management, emergency management and homeland security, and general public administration. Some of the topics in the core requirements include public policy initiatives, organizational theory, economic principles, and career management. A capstone elective or internship must be chosen as a student's culminating experience.

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