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Areas of Emphasis

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. For more information on Healthcare Administration Area of Emphasis.


There are two options in obtaining the Healthcare Certificate:  

  1. Students may decide to take a concentration in healthcare administration. These arrangements have been made for both Masters degree and Doctoral degree students. Students will apply as a Non-Degree Student under the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences for the Healthcare Administration Certificate.  Students will work closely with their Graduate Major Advisor and the Department of Public Administration Chair to design a plan of study and register for courses.  
  2. A student not desiring a degree may take the fifteen-hour certificate courses and be awarded a certificate upon successful completion.  The student is admitted to the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Non-Degree Program.  Once admitted to the non-degree program the student would talk with the Department of Public Administration concerning courses and applying to graduate with the certificate. Based upon the guidelines of WVU Graduate Catalog, some credits completed may be counted toward degree completion, if the student decides to pursue a graduate degree at a later date. 

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. For more information on LGCD Area of Emphasis.


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.