Dec 07, 2022  
ARCHIVED 2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
ARCHIVED 2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Affairs (M.P.A.)

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Program Admission Requirements

In addition to the Graduate School Admission Requirements , applicants should have a B average in their last two years of undergraduate study and must obtain a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Exam General Test.  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.  In addition, all applicants must submit an up-to-date resume and must submit a 1-2 page essay that addresses the following question: “Why to 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.

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 (preservice students). The program requires each student 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 web page 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.


Students without public service experience will be required to complete a 3 hour internship (PA 685) and submit an internship report based on faculty guidelines. Students with public service experience will be required to take an additional 3 hours of coursework selected from program electives and professional electives instead of an internship.


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