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Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration degree leads to careers in public service. As the only internationally accredited MPA program in West Virginia, this degree prepares graduates to develop and implement public policies and programs for government and nonprofit agencies.

The MPA program offers:

The MPA can be tailored to meet students’ professional interests through areas of emphasis, dual degree options and elective courses. These include:

Healthcare Administration

The healthcare administration area of emphasis is for students interested in a career in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, health departments, long-term care facilities, mental health services, home health services, nonprofit voluntary agencies, health research foundations, public and private insurers and governmental agencies. It is designed to produce an administrative generalist with a broad perspective of the healthcare system, to provide leadership and management skills for healthcare professionals who wish to advance in their careers and for college graduates who wish to enter the healthcare fields.


Local Governance and Community Development

Counties and municipalities are the levels of government most directly involved in community and economic development. Localities are where we live, learn, work and recreate. These and other local governments, like school districts and public utilities, comprise the largest sector of public employment in the United States. Employment in local government has even been growing while it declines at other levels of government. Adding to this sub-sector the many nonprofit organizations that engage in community and economic development, the opportunities for employment in this field of public service abound. This area of emphasis includes courses in community engagement, public planning and sustainable community development.


Cultural Resource Management

The Department of History offers a 15-credit hour graduate certificate in cultural resource management. Students pursuing an MPA can complete this certificate to add an area of emphasis. Cultural resource management is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the study of preserving and administering those items, places and ideas that make up the cultural assets of a population, such as historically significant buildings, sites and documents, religious sites and Native American artifacts. Career opportunities include federal agencies, such as the National Park Service, National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management; state historical and cultural agencies; nonprofit historical and cultural organizations, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Alliance of West Virginia; and city and county management positions, including community development and housing and redevelopment.


Dual Degree MPA/MSW

This area of emphasis combines social work and public administration to prepare individuals to serve in social service administration at the state and local level of government and nonprofit agencies. Learn more about Dual Degrees


Dual Degree MPA/JD 

This area of emphasis combines legal training and public administration knowledge to prepare individuals to serve as legal counsel for government and nonprofit agencies, court administrators and city attorneys. Learn more about Dual Degrees