CPAP 2016-12-08T01:34:01+00:00

The Center for Public Administration and Policy

The Center for Public Administration and Policy promotes the common good of our constitutional republic and the advancement of public service by providing outstanding education, research, and outreach in the theory and practice of public administration, management, and policy.

CPAP offers both the MPA degree and the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. Our MPA program is accredited by NASPAA and is currently ranked 17th nationally among Public Management Administration programs by U.S. News and World Report.

CPAP is one program at three campuses: Alexandria (MPA, PhD), Blacksburg (MPA, PhD), and Richmond (MPA). The application requirements for our degree programs are the same for all three campuses.

CPAP also offers graduate certificates in Local Government Management, Public and Non-Profit Financial Management, and Homeland Security.



For three decades, CPAP has served as a center of thoughtful inquiry on pressing issues of public sector governance. We are proud of CPAP’s legacy in the fields of public administration and public policy, a tradition of scholarship dedicated to, as we say, “making democracy work in a Constitutional republic.” Our students and faculty pursue diverse fields of inquiry, bringing to our programs wide ranging knowledge and experience. Our alumni include nationally recognized scholars and public servants working in local, state, and federal government agencies. Whether they go on to an academic or another professional career, CPAP’s MPA and PHD graduates do so with a special appreciation for the role of ideas and scholarship in the maintenance of robust democratic institutions.


CPAP is more than an academic department; we are a community dedicated to thoughtful public service through scholarship. CPAP is small when compared with other nationally-recognized schools of public affairs and public administration, permitting 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 often last long beyond their time at CPAP. No event better illustrates CPAP’s commitment to both scholarship and community than our annual High Table celebration. High Table brings faculty, students, alumni, and invited guests together to consider important questions in public administration and public policy, and to respond to the annual High Table lecture given by a distinguished academician in the field.

Degrees & Certificates

The PhD in Public Administration/Public Affairs (PAPA) prepares scholars for university faculty careers, and prepares scholars and administrators for policy-making and senior management positions and it engages practitioners and graduate students in research in a range of fields. Alumni include nationally recognized scholars and public servants working in local, state, and federal government agencies.
The Masters in Public Administration degree provides the skills needed for positions involving policy, management, or executive responsibilities in public and not-for-profit settings. Among other occupations, our recent graduates are currently working as policy analysts, higher education administrators, law enforcement officials, budget analysts, city/county administrators and non-profit executives.
The Local Government Management Certificate provides the next generation of local government managers with the tools to advance their careers and provide exceptional leadership within the communities where they work. Students are exposed to a full spectrum of local government issues, service delivery options, and management tools. The analysis of a real life, local government case study is central to each classroom experience.
The Graduate Certificate in Public and Non Profit Financial Management is designed to develop students’ understanding of the concepts and practice of financial management in government, university, and complex non-profit organizations. Available throughout the commonwealth through virtual classroom technology, the Public and Non-Profit Financial Management certificate is designed for full-time students as well as part-time and working professional students.
The Homeland Security Certificate focuses on domestic security and emergency management issues from a policy perspective. The certificate addresses issues of homeland security strategy, policy design, planning, operations, managing across and among networks, and implementation
CPAP Faculty & Staff

About CPAP

The Center for Public Administration and Policy’s distinguished place among public affairs programs has been developed and nurtured by a remarkable faculty known across the profession and the globe for their commitment to making democracy work in a constitutional republic. Even as the CPAP’s founders have transitioned the center to new faculty, our dedication to excellence, to our mission, and to our vision of the prominence and importance of CPAP in the world of scholarship and practice remains strong and invigorating. We enthusiastically embrace and work to sustain our core commitments and to achieve new ambitions across the Blacksburg, Alexandria, and Richmond locations.



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