Public Affairs – Graduate Degree

Degree Offered: Master of Public Affairs (M.P.A.)

Departmental Website: Public Affairs - M.P.A.

Program Description: The Master of Public Affairs degree program is designed for students who possess professional experience and seek additional education to prepare for career advancement (in-service students) and also for students planning careers in the public service area (pre-service students). The program requires each student to to complete the Public Affairs core requirements (24 hours) and 15 hours of guided electives. At least 3 electives must be taken from MPA program offerings (Designated PA in the catalog). Each semester the MPA Director will create a list of pre-approved courses outside of the department from which students may choose. Any non-approved elective courses (at WCU or another university) must be approved by the MPA committee. Students must fill out an "elective request form" (found on the MPA webpage or may request it from the MPA Director). Pre-service students must complete 3 hours of internship (PA 685) in place of three of the 15 elective hours.

Program Brochure: Public Affairs

Location of Course Offerings: Biltmore Park

Admission Requirements:

  • Graduate School Admission Requirements
  • Program Admission Requirements
    • B average in last two years of undergraduate study
    • Satisfactory score in the GRE General Exam. All candidates for admission to the MPA must submit official GRE scores that are no more than 5 years old. However, a candidate with a graduate degree from a regionally accredited university is not required to submit standardized scores.
    • Up-to-date resume
    • A 1-2 page essay that addresses the following question: "Why do you want to pursue an MPA and a career in public service?" In your answer, be sure to discuss how your job, educational and life experiences relate to this goal.
    • Prerequisite work may be required of applicants having an inadequate background for the MPA.

Application Deadline: None

Prerequisites: None

Number of Graduate Faculty: 6

Number of Students: 55

Graduate Program Director:

Dr. Jay Gerlach
Stillwell Building 357

Office of Web Services