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Accelerated BA and MPA

Public and Urban Affairs & Public Administration

Accelerated BA-MPA 

Public and Urban Affairs & Public Administration

Virginia Tech undergraduates enrolled in Public and Urban Affairs majors are invited to fast-track their graduate education in Public Administration and Public Policy through the Accelerated BA-MPA program. This special program provides students the opportunity to study at a nationally ranked and accredited public administration graduate program, with the option to continue their study in Arlington (Washington D.C. Metro), Blacksburg, or Richmond, Virginia.

The Accelerated Public and Urban Affairs BA-MPA is designed for highly motivated students with the desire to build career options into their undergraduate curriculum. Upon completing the program, students are strategically positioned to jumpstart a career in impacting change — on a local, national or global level — through thoughtful scholarship and public service.

Benefits of the Accelerated BA-MPA

  • Begin graduate coursework during your senior year
  • BA courses count towards MPA
  • Expedited timeline to obtain master’s degree
  • No GRE or thesis requirement
  • Nationally ranked and accredited MPA program
  • Graduate courses in Arlington, Blacksburg or Richmond

Students in the second semester of their junior year interested in pursuing careers in public service through government, nonprofit and private research organizations or a doctoral degree in public administration or policy.

  • Graduate School application form
  • CV or resume
  • Personal statement of motivation for graduate studies & career objectives
  • Official undergraduate transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least two academic references)
  • Writing sample of 5-10 pages, optimally an academic paper from an upper division course in public and urban affairs, but sophisticated analyses in political science, sociology, history and other fields may be submitted

Your MPA core classes can be used towards meeting elective requirements for your undergraduate credits. (Up to 12 credits may be double-counted.)

Senior Year
  • Fall - PAPA 5315: Behavioral Skills for Managers (3 Credits)          
  • Fall - PAPA 6324: Public Personnel Processes and Their Policy Implications (3 Credits)
  • Spring - PAPA 5316: Systems Skills for Managers (3 Credits)
  • Spring - PAPA 6314: Public Budgeting Processes and Their Policy Implications (3 Credits)
  • Summer - UAP 5184: Planning Administration (3 Credits)
  • Summer - Internship (3 Credits)
Second Year of Graduate School
  • Fall - PAPA 6214: Public Policy Processes* (3 Credits)
  • Fall - PAPA 5014: Concepts and Approaches in Public Administration* (3 Credits)
  • Fall - PAPA 6414: Normative Foundations of Public Administration (3 Credits)
  • Fall - Elective (3 Credits)
  • Spring - PAPA 5904: Project and Report (3 Credits)
  • Spring - PAPA 6514: Public Administration and Policy Inquiry* (3 Credits)
  • Spring - PAPA 6224: Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Policy Programs* (3 Credits)

 *These courses count towards 12 credit hours of undergraduate course work.

Graduate with a Portfolio

Culminating the MPA program, students assemble, analyze and present a portfolio of work that demonstrates knowledge and skills acquired through the program. The portfolio replaces the thesis as the final graduate project.

Public and Urban Affairs Undergraduate Contacts:

Natalia Gutierrez-Smith, Administrative Assistant
ngsmith@vt.edu | 540-231-5485

Chris LaPlante, Undergraduate Advisor, Environmental Policy & Planning, Public & Urban Affairs
chrisl@vt.edu  | 540-231-3831

Center for Public Administration and Policy Graduate Contacts

Kelly Crist, Administrative Coordinator
kcrist@vt.edu | 540-231-5133

Dr. Patrick Roberts, MPA Advisor
robertsp@vt.edu | 202-599-0562