Virginia Tech™home

Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP)

We put the "Good" in Good Governance

 

Deadline for Fall 2020 MPA Program Applications in Arlington and Richmond extended until August 1st

Deadline for Applications to CPAP PhD and Blacksburg MPA Programs for Fall 2020 remains July 1st

We are more than an academic department.

We are a community dedicated to thoughtful public service through scholarship and practice.

The mission of the Center for Public Administration & Policy (CPAP) is to promote good governance and the advancement of capable and ethical public service by providing outstanding education, research, and outreach in the theory and practice of public administration, management, and policy.

Nationally Ranked & NASPAA Accredited

Ranked in U.S. News Best Schools

CPAP is 15th in the 2015 Best Value Schools ranking of the 50 most innovative public service schools

CPAP is 15th in the 2015 Best Value Schools ranking of the 50 most innovative public service schools
NASPAA Accredited Program

The MPA program is NASPAA accredited. NASPAA accreditation recognizes that a master’s degree program in public policy, affairs, or administration has undertaken a rigorous process of peer review.

When compared with other nationally-recognized schools of public affairs and public administration, CPAP's small size provides our students greater personal attention in academic advising and career guidance. Our size enables our faculty, staff, and students to develop strong personal ties, friendships and professional relationships that last long beyond their time at CPAP.

Academics

Flexible & Highly Tailored Classroom Experience. Classes are taught as seminars emphasizing student discussion, rather than in large lecture halls. Most classes have 10-20 students. Most classes are offered in the evenings to accomodate full-time working professionals.

We offer certificates for both degree and non-degree students. We believe that programs distinguished by their strategic responsiveness to the vital need to train executives, managers, and professionals in these areas, and the embedding of topics in rigorous scholarship are a path toward thoughtful public service.

The Center for Public Administration and Policy seeks to:

  • Train Leaders: We provide qualified public service professionals currently in service and pre- or early-career students who plan to become public service professionals with a rigorous program of study for developing managerial, analytical, and normative evaluation skills in public management and public policy.
  • Advance Public Administration & Policy Scholarship: We prepare teachers and scholars for faculty service in colleges and universities around the country and the world, thereby broadening the scope of knowledge in public administration and policy studies among administrators and citizenry.
  • Improve Quality of Policy & Public Administration:  We engage faculty, practitioners, and graduate students in systematic research and study designed to improve the quality of policy making and public service within the varied jurisdictions of government in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the national capital region, as well as nationally and internationally.

Our Community

CPAP FACULTY ENGAGE IN WORLD-CLASS SCHOLARSHIP

From the founding faculty who established a unique scholarly signature with the theme of “refounding” public administration, to the most recent scholars to join CPAP, faculty work appears in top-ranked journals of the field and in books from prominent university presses, as well as in briefings to policymakers. Editorial operations for the scholarly journal Administration & Society have been housed in the Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP) in the School of Public and International Affairs for over 40 years.

A SOLID STUDENT & ALUMNI/AE BASE

CPAP students recognize and embrace the special culture of CPAP and the close faculty-student connections that make the learning process transformational. As a result, CPAP enjoys a large, loyal, and very supportive alumni/ae group that provides superior networking opportunities for both current and former students.

CPAP draws students from several regions of the U.S. and the world. Of the 124 graduate students in May 2020, 51% were male and 49% female, with women making up 54% of the 67 MPA students and 44% of the 57 doctoral students. CPAP combines full-time and part-time students, students with federal, state, and local government experience, as well as professionals from the private for-profit and non-profit sectors.

ONE PROGRAM, THREE LOCATIONS

Established in 1977 in Blacksburg, CPAP now offers degrees at VT SPIA's three campuses: Blacksburg, Arlington, and Richmond. It is positioned to meet the distinctive educational needs of public administration professionals and scholars in each location and to engage in research across all levels of the American government as well as internationally. 

Each location contributes to the robust diversity of distinctive student populations and government contexts. Students and faculty work together across locations, benefiting from engagement on a large university campus as well as in the United States and Virginia capitals.

NASPAA: PAPA
Masters
Graduation Rates

Total

Cohort Initially Enrolled Graduated within 2 years Graduated within 3 years Graduated within 4 years Total Students Graduated and Persisting 
Fall 2013 19 10 14 16 16
Spring 2014 7 3 5 5 6
Total ARY-5 cohort 26 13 19 21 22

Main Campus

Cohort Initially Enrolled Graduated within 2 years Graduated within 3 years Graduated within 4 years Total Students Graduated and Persisting to Graduation
Fall 2013 8 5 6 7 7
Spring 2014 3 2 3 3 3
Total ARY-5 cohort 11 7 9 10 10

National Capital Region

Cohort Initially Enrolled Graduated within 2 years Graduated within 3 years Graduated within 4 years Total Students Graduated and Persisting to Graduation
Fall 2013 5 2 4 4 4
Spring 2014 2 0 1 1 2
Total ARY-5 7 2 5 5 6

Richmond VA

Cohort Initially Enrolled Graduated within 2 years Graduated within 3 years Graduated within 4 years Total Students Graduated and Persisting to Graduation
Fall 2013 6 3 4 5 5
Spring 2014 2 1 1 1 1
Total ARY-5 cohort 8 4 5 6 6

Job Placement Statistics: 2017-18 Cohort

Campus Blacksburg NCR Richmond Total
Federal Government 2 2 0 4
State Government 5 1 2 8
Local Government 1 4 2 7
Non-US Government 0 0 0 0
Non Profit - Domestic 2 5 0 7
Non Profit - International  0 0 0 0
Private Sector - Research/Consulting 0 2 0 2
Private Sector - Other 3 2 0 5
Obtaining Further Education 0 0 0 0
Military Service 0 0 0 0
Unemployed - Not Seeking 0 0 0 0
Unemployed - Seeking 0 0 0 0
Unknown 1 7 2 10
Total 14 23 6 43

We missed our traditional spring celebrations of CPAP graduates -- in Blacksburg at the Thomas-Conner House and Cassel Coliseum, in the Sunday Virginia Tech ceremony in Northern Virginia, and at the Richmond Center. But the CPAP community wants to wish all of you our hearty congratulations! We also invite all our AY 2019-2020 graduates to participate in the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 graduation ceremonies. If you would like an electronic copy of a printable graduation bulletin, please contact Kelly Crist at kcrist@vt.edu. Congratulations!

Karen Hult, CPAP Chair for the CPAP faculty and staff

Click to download the Graduation Program

CPAP Resources

We highly value offering a tailored educational experience. Our CPAP advisors will be able to answer your questions and guide you through the application process. 

CPAP-SPECIFIC DEADLINES
For Fall admission, the deadline is May 1st.
For Spring admission, the deadline is November 1st.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT DEADLINES
For Fall admission, the deadline is April 1st.
For Spring admission, the deadline is September 1st.

The Bursar’s Office maintains complete information about Virginia Tech tuition and fees for in-state and out-of-state residents.

For all other information about admissions and financial aid, please visit the Graduate School admissions website.

BLACKSBURG CAMPUS
Kelly Crist, Graduate Student Coordinator 
(540) 231-5133 | kcrist@vt.edu

ARLINGTON CAMPUS 
WASHINGTON D.C. METRO AREA
Myriam Lechuga, Graduate Student Coordinator
(571) 858-3102 | mlechuga@vt.edu

RICHMOND CAMPUS
Joe Rees, Faculty Coordinator
(540) 250-5632 | reesj@vt.edu

Additional Student Resources

Academic Resources on Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations

Here is a compilation of Virginia Tech and online resources that can provide you with some tips on giving great presentations.

RESOURCES THROUGH VIRGINIA TECH CAMPUS

The Comm Lab located in the Newman Library at Virginia Tech/ Blacksburg Campus

The mission of the organization is to provide Virginia Tech students and faculty members with access to constructive feedback and practical resources for improving oral presentations. Students can gain valuable presentation-related insight and develop the necessary tool sets to become successful speakers. The Comm Lab may be available for off-campus students through Google Hangouts. Please inquire with the staff for their availability. Students have to make appointments online, which is the best way to set up appointments. The coaches are considered experts in public speaking. They will go through your PowerPoint presentation with you to make sure that you are meeting the professor’s objectives in your presentation.

Online Learning and Collaboration Services (Lynda.com; Software Tutorial and Training)

Lynda.com is your one-stop-shop for online tutorials and training in a variety of software suites and programs. Access is free to current Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff. Once you are at the website, sign in via your PID to access the materials. After you have entered the site, type in the skills you would like to learn (e.g. giving great presentations).

ONLINE RESOURCES

Improving Presentation Skills of PhD Students (By Susanne Ulm, Next Scientist)

Preparing an Oral Presentation (By Jeff Radel, Ph.D.,  University of Kansas Medical Center)

Ten Simple Rules for Making Good Oral Presentations (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Oral Presentation and PowerPoint (compiled by Joe Schall, Penn State)

Adapted from Style for Students (https://www.e-education.psu.edu/styleforstudents) by Joe Schall is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) via The Pennsylvania State University.

Why Bad Presentation Happen to Good Causes (Online Book by Andy Goodman)

YOU TUBE VIDEO RESOURCES

Public Speaking and Giving Presentation (By Scott Berkun, Author of the “Confessions of a Public Speaker”)

POWERPOINT SLIDES/RESOURCES

Giving Effective Presentations (By Lisa G. Bullard, Ph.D., North Carolina State University)

Presentation 101 for Graduate Students (By J. Paul Robinson, Ph.D., Purdue University)

Academic Resources on Writing

Here is a compilation of writing resources from Virginia Tech and other sources.

RESOURCES THROUGH VIRGINIA TECH CAMPUS

Writing Resources

For Individual Help

The Virginia Tech Writing Center:

https://lib.vt.edu/spaces/writing-center.html

This is a free service to all Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff, at all levels. Appointments are made online.  This service is done in-person and through Google Hangouts for off-campus students.  They will work with writing and reading assignments from any course in the University. They can also help with writing projects not linked to classes.

GSA Research Symposium & Exposition

https://blogs.lt.vt.edu/gsars/abstract-submissions/writing-resources/

General Information

University Style Guide:

http://www.branding.unirel.vt.edu/style-guide/

Academic Writing Guide:

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/2/

Ethical Writing Guide:

https://graduateschool.vt.edu/content/dam/graduateschool_vt_edu/graduate-honor-system/avoiding-plagiarism-short-guide.pdf

Find/Citation and Style Manuals

https://guides.lib.vt.edu/find/citation-style-manuals

On Professional/Academic Writing and Presenting

Guidelines for scientific writing & presenting:

http://www.writing.engr.psu.edu/

How to write a good abstract:

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2011/06/20/essential-guide-writing-good-abstracts/

How to write a good introduction:

http://www.jclinepi.com/article/S0895-4356(13)00020-6/pdf

On Writing Well

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White

The Elements of Grammar by Margaret Shertzer

Style: Toward Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams

Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre by Keith Johnstone

Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch

Improvisation for the Theatre by Viola Spolin

CPAP News