Ph.D in Public Administration & Public Affairs (PAPA) 2018-02-09T21:12:49+00:00

      PAPA

          PhD in PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

      PAPA

         PhD in PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

PhD in PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Our Mission: Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy

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.


While the core of the Ph.D. program is the dissertation, the Doctor of Philosophy degree formally requires a minimum of 90 credit hours. CPAP Ph.D. students take a series of Foundation courses in five Core Areas: context of public administration, organization, policy, management, and ethics; and five advanced courses we call Advanced Topics courses and Capstone Seminars. At least six credit hours must be completed or transferred in at the Foundation level in each core area except Ethics, which requires three credits. Ph.D. students also participate in the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) in or . In the addition to course work and DMP sessions, several PhD milestones need to be completed.

The Ph.D. program consists of three tightly integrated components, each designed to provide a foundation for, and transition to the next:

  • Introductory and advanced coursework consisting of 48 credits, culminating in the qualifying exams
  • 12 credits focused on the student’s concentration, culminating in the concentration lecture and the transition to the prospectus defense
  • 30 credits of dissertation and research, culminating in the defense of the dissertation
  • Prepare students to enter public service in government at the local, state, regional, and national levels and in nonprofit organizations through the development of managerial and analytical skills and through professional experiences.
  • Instill students with an awareness of the normative foundations of governance and public service.
  • Attract and retain academically qualified and diverse students committed to public service.
  • Maintain a faculty committed to promoting student learning outcomes.
Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, each student is assigned an advisor to provide counsel on the selection and timing of coursework as well as to help the student develop a clear sense of intellectual direction and a framework for thinking about his or her dissertation project. Students may change advisors at any time with the approval of the CPAP Chair and the consent of the new advisor.
Plan of Study: within the first semester of study new students complete a plan of study which identifies coursework from previous graduate work that may be transferred into the Ph.D. plan of study, and establishes the timing for completing additional CPAP course work. The student should contact his or her advisor to arrange a plan of study meeting, consisting of the advisor, two additional members of the faculty, and the student. Students should print the plan of study form and bring a copy to the program of study meeting. In some instances, the plan of study advising may be completed in conjunction with orientation or with a doctoral mentoring program session.

Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP): Each student in the Ph.D. program must attend a total of 15 doctoral mentoring program sessions before defending his or her dissertation. The mentoring program is central to the community of scholarship at CPAP. Three DMP sessions are scheduled each semester, for a total of six each year. Students can earn DMP credits for attending additional lectures, round tables, and sessions identified as appropriate for DMP credit but students must attend at least 10 of the regularly scheduled DMP sessions, and no more than five alternative sessions. Students are encouraged to attend the DMP throughout their studies, even after reaching 15 sessions.

This exam is an important transition point in the program where students more actively and critically direct their scholarly interests. It is taken only when all course work (with the exception of the capstone seminars and the 12 hours of Research Concentration), has been completed. In order to take the examination, a student must submit the official form to the graduate school at least one month prior to the exam, and have a Plan of Study approved by his or her committees and committee chairs and the Graduate School, and he or she may not have any grades of “incomplete” in Foundation or Advanced Topics courses.

This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual power, and writing and speaking skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. Students passing the exam are considered to be qualified to go on to the prospectus stage of their doctoral work. The Virginia Tech Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination. The exam is offered every Fall semester, usually in early September, and every Spring semester usually in early February.

The exam is offered in two parts: a written portion consisting of three essays in the three fields of study selected by the student and an oral exam two weeks later before the examination committee that consists of questions drawing primarily upon the written essays completed by the student.

Students planning to take the exams must respond to the preliminary inquiry from Laura French or Irene Jung distributed six months prior to a fall or spring exam, to confirm participation in the next scheduled exam and the fields of study they have selected for the exam.

Annual Student Evaluations: An evaluation of doctoral students in the CPAP Ph.D. program is conducted at the end of the Spring semester of each academic year. The purpose of the evaluation is to assure that each student is making adequate progress toward the program milestones. This evaluation involves the review of courses taken, grades earned, progress toward milestones, and professional accomplishments. The basis of this review is an annual evaluation form that is completed by each student. Special attention is given to course incompletes and other potential obstacles to adequate progress.

The MPA requires 39 credit hours of coursework.
Full time students are able to complete the degree in two years.

Part time students are required to enroll continuously in at least one course (3 credit hours) per semester. The length of the degree for part time students depends on the pace at which required coursework is completed.

Of the students who enrolled in 2012, 65% completed the MPA in two years and 80% completed the degree in four years.

A dual degree is available with the Master of Urban Affairs and Planning. Detail regarding program completion requirements can be found in the CPAP Policy Guide.

Students must complete three concentration courses and conduct a concentration lecture for a total of 12 credits.
Coursework: Students will complete three classes or independent studies that contribute directly to their dissertation research. Concentrations may focus on areas of student or faculty expertise leading to a dissertation such as non-profit management, public and regime values, public finance, strategy, homeland security, or many other areas. In consultation with an advisor students choose to complete either independent studies that are designed to hone and further their dissertation interests, courses that contribute directly to a student’s research interests, or a combination of the two. If a student chooses to complete an independent study, he or she must complete the independent study form in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the Independent Study. These forms are filed with the Administrative Assistant for the program.

Selecting a dissertation advisor and Committee: Through completion of the concentration coursework, students are transitioning to their advisors for their dissertations. Students often work with different faculty during their research concentration courses or independent studies to consider selection of their dissertation committee chairs and members of the committees. The first step in this process is to ask a member of the Center’s core faculty to chair this committee. The faculty member who agrees to chair the dissertation committee will then become the student’s advisor. The next step is to constitute the Dissertation Committee, which consists of at least four members including the chair. Three members including the chair must be core CPAP faculty members. The fourth member can be a CPAP faculty member, affiliated faculty, a faculty member from another department in VT, or someone outside of VT with higher education credentials who brings particular expertise to the committee.

Concentration Lecture: When a student has completed nine credits of concentration work, he or she will present a concentration lecture to the faculty and peers. The lecture is an opportunity to share what the student has learned, and to test out a format and approach for the student’s dissertation prospectus.

Students must register for PAPA 7964 Concentration Lecture Section for the semester they plan to deliver their lecture. In addition, students are responsible for coordinating with their committee members to schedule the lecture, and communicating the day and time to Laura French in Blacksburg or Irene Jung in Alexandria for distribution on the student and faculty listservs. The announcement should be at least a full two weeks in advance of the lecture.

Preliminary Exam (The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense): After establishing the committee of a minimum of four members, the student writes the Dissertation Prospectus under the guidance of his or her committee chair. This document essentially is a research design setting forth the program of research that the student proposes to follow in writing his or her dissertation. The prospectus should address:
the topic or question to be assayed in the planned dissertation
the significance of the proposed research
the present state of knowledge on the topic or question
the sources that will shape the work,
the research strategy and/or methodology to be employed
an outline of proposed chapters
and a timeline for completing the work.
The student preparing to defend his or her prospectus must complete the Request to Admit Candidate to Preliminary Examinationform and have it approved by the committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. When the prospectus has been successfully defended, the student will proceed to write the dissertation itself.

Final Exam (The Dissertation Defense): Defense of the dissertation is the final requirement. No student may advance to the Dissertation Defense until all other requirements have been completed successfully and until the chair and at least two out of three or three out of four or five other members of the dissertation committee agree that the dissertation is ready to be defended. The dissertation defense focuses on the dissertation research project but is not limited to it. The candidate is expected to answer questions about the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the dissertation and its contribution to new knowledge in the field.

The dissertation defense may be scheduled no sooner than six weeks after a draft, approved by the chair, has been distributed to the members of the committee. The students must complete the Request to Admit Candidate to Final Exam form (under Academics/Forms) and have it approved by his or her advisory committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. All members of the Dissertation Committee must be present for the defense.

Students should contact the Administrative Assistant in their location to complete additional paperwork and insure that everything is in place for the defense and the submission of the dissertation.

PAPA DEGREE STRUCTURE & CURRICULUM

Foundation Courses broadly survey sub-fields of public administration and public policy. These courses are offered by the Center, but equivalent coursework at other universities sometimes may substitute for some of these courses, subject to faculty approval.
PAPA 6014: Public Administration Context and Theory
PAPA 6114: Complex Organizations
PAPA 6214: Public Policy Processes and Analysis
PAPA 6224: Policy Design and Evaluation of Public Policies
PAPA 6344: Leadership and Management Processes in Public Administration
PAPA 6414: Normative Foundations of Public Administration
Advanced Topics (9 hours)
PAPA 6924 Capstone A (3 hours)
PAPA 6934 Capstone B (3 hours)
PAPA 6514: Public Administration & Policy Inquiry
Intermediate/Advanced Statistics or other quantitative or qualitative skills
Please Note: Completion of an introductory statistics is required to enroll in PAPA 6514
9 semester hours in any combination of advanced PAPA courses or courses in related disciplines. Students may transfer appropriate graduate coursework from other universities, or take additional Virginia Tech coursework.
9 credit hours coursework related to the development of the dissertation prospectus, which may include Independent Study (PAPA 5974), Internship and/or Field Studies
PAPA 5974 - Independent Study
PAPA 7964 - Field Study
PAPA 5964: Concentration Lecture
Complete qualifying exams in three of the five core areas of Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy. This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual ability , and writing skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. It is taken only when all coursework, except capstone seminars and the 12 hours of Research Concentration, are completed. Students passing the exam are considered to be qualified to go on to the capstone seminars and the prospectus stage of their doctoral work. It is taken only when all course work, except capstone seminars and the 12 hours of Research Concentration, has been completed. In order to take the examination, students must have a Plan of Study approved by their committee and committee chair and the Graduate School, and they may not have any grades of “incomplete” in Foundation or Advanced Topics courses. The Virginia Tech Graduate Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination. All students are required to demonstrate a fundamental understanding of three of the five core areas of Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy. Students select three of the five core areas to be tested in. The examination has two parts but will be considered as a whole.

Written: The written portion of the examination is designed to assess a student’s ability to construct a coherent essay responding to a question in each of his/her three chosen core areas. Each essay must demonstrate an ability to discuss a range of key issues, to express a distinctively scholarly point of view based upon relevant journal and book literature, and an ability to craft a clear, defensible argument.

Oral: The oral portion of the examination will allow students to reflect upon the written portion of the examination, to integrate some of the material across the three written exam areas, and to expand or improve upon the arguments in their essays.

30 hours of PAPA 7994 – Research & Dissertation; 3 hours of which are dedicated to the Doctoral Mentoring Program in Alexandria or Blacksburg. Ph.D. candidates must write a dissertation. The dissertation is expected to make an original contribution to the knowledge of the field. The student is eligible to receive the Ph.D. degree upon the successful defense of the dissertation. As a result of their course work and advisement, students should have identified and discussed a dissertation advisory relationship with an appropriate faculty member by the time they complete the Qualifying Examination phase of their program.
Dissertation Committee
Criteria for Committee
The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense (Preliminary Examination)
Dissertation Defense

See the Policy Guide for additional information about CPAP’s Ph.D. Program in Alexandria and Blacksburg.

RANKING & ACCREDITATION

A Highly Ranked Program

Best Grad Schools Rating US News and World Report
The Center for Public Administration and Policy is nationally ranked in the top 25 schools for public management / administration by U.S. News & World Report, out of nearly 300 schools.

Virginia Tech has also been ranked 15th in the 2015 Best Value Schools ranking of the 50 most innovative public service schools in the United States.

According to the survey, the rankings were based on U.S. News ranking for public affairs for:

  • number of degree programs
  • student-to-faculty ratio
  • strength of internship programs
  • QS Top Universities innovation ranking and
  • a ranking of innovative features.

NASPAA logo

This degree has undertaken a rigorous process of peer review conducted by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA).

Download the Policy Guide

POLICY GUIDE
THE MASTER OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM
REQUIREMENTS

PORTFOLIO REQUIREMENT

D. CRITERIA FOR CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE MPA COMMITTEES

All MPA committee members are appointed by the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the CPAP chair. For each student’s committee, the committee chair (or co-chair) must be a member of the CPAP core faculty, and the committee must include three faculty members total, with a majority consisting of CPAP core faculty. CPAP faculty emeriti/ae, faculty from other departments, and adjunct faculty may serve on a student’s committee with approval of the CPAP chair. Appropriate non-faculty personnel may be recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School for inclusion on an MPA committee. Graduate students may not serve on an MPA committee. The full committee must be present for the portfolio meeting, and members must contribute to determining whether the student’s portfolio is a Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction.

THE M.P.A. CURRICULUM (39 Credit Hours)
Required Courses — 27 Credit Hours

PUBLIC MANAGEMENT
PAPA 5315: Behavioral Skills for Managers
PAPA 5316: Systems Skills For Managers
PAPA 6314: Public Budgeting Processes and Their Policy Implications*
PAPA 6324: Public Personnel Processes and Their Policy Implications*

PUBLIC POLICY
PAPA 6214: Public Policy Processes and Analytical Approaches
PAPA 6224: Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Policy and Programs (prerequisites: a statistics course and PAPA 6514)

PUBLIC SERVICE
PAPA 5014: Concepts and Approaches in Public Administration
PAPA 6414: Normative Foundations of Public Administration

METHODS AND ANALYSIS
PAPA 6514: Public Administration and Policy Inquiry (prerequisite: a statistics course)
*PAPA 6354 may be substituted for one of these classes, when taken as part of the Local Government Management certificate.
Electives (9 credits), Internship, and Portfolio Requirement (3 Credits)
Elective Courses
Internship
Portfolio
Three courses (9 credit hours) composed of other CPAP courses or courses in other departments. Options should be related to public affairs and be discussed with faculty advisors. For pre- and early career students, internship credit (PAPA 5954) may be used for 3 of these hours.
To be completed by pre- and early career students as defined in Section I.B. above. Internships may be for credit or not for credit.
Student are required to take 3 credit hours of PAPA 5904, Project and Report [portfolio preparation and defense].

II. THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM: Ph.D. IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is academia’s highest degree and prepares one for research and scholarship, whether or not in affiliation with a university. The Center offers this degree for both full-time and part-time students. Many of these students are mid-career professionals who have reached a point in their professional development where they can commit the time and energy necessary to earn the Ph.D. degree. Qualified individuals just beginning their careers are also welcome. A master’s degree in a relevant field (not necessarily public administration or public policy) ordinarily is required for admission, but this requirement can be waived in exceptional cases. Those earning the CPAP MPA degree may apply for admission to the Ph.D. program as the end of the MPA work draws near.
All Ph.D. students take foundation courses in five core areas: policy, organizations, management, ethics, and theory/context. Advanced Topic courses examine topics in the core areas at a deeper level, and the two capstone seminars are a gateway to advanced research and preparation for the dissertation. Other components of the program include Measurement and Analysis Tools, Concentration Courses, the Qualifying Examination, the Prospectus Defense (Graduate School “Preliminary Exam”), and the Dissertation and defense (Graduate School “Final Exam”).
A. PREREQUISITES
Entering students must have had courses in United States government, microeconomics, and introductory statistics. Students failing to meet this requirement must take these courses as soon as possible and must have completed them prior to enrolling in PAPA 6224. The U.S. government prerequisite may be satisfied by equivalent experience, training, or instruction. Equivalent experience is at least three years full-time work in local, state, or federal government in the U.S. This prerequisite also can be satisfied by completing the CLEP American Government exam with a score of 60 or higher. If this requirement has not been fulfilled upon entry into the program, it should be fulfilled in the first semester. Computer competency is also required.
B. COURSE PREPARATION FOR CORE AREAS
A minimum of 90 credit hours is needed for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. A maximum of one half of the coursework, or 30 of the 60 credit hours of coursework required for the CPAP Ph.D., may be transferred from an accredited university other than Virginia Tech upon approval by two core faculty evaluating the student’s plan of study. The 60 course work credits include 18 hours of foundation courses, 15 hours of advanced topics and capstone courses, 6 hours of measurement, 9 hours of electives, and 12 hours of research concentration. These courses must correspond to the requirements of the five curriculum core areas. Students must also take 30 hours of research and dissertation credit, three hours of which must be constituted by participation in 15 sessions of the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) or other activities approved by the faculty for DMP credit.
1. Foundation Courses broadly survey sub-fields of public administration and public policy. These courses are offered by the Center but, as noted above, equivalent coursework at other universities on occasion may substitute for some of these courses, subject to faculty approval.
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At least 3 credit hours must be completed or transferred in at the foundation level in each core area except Policy, which requires 6 credit hours. Students complete at least 18 credit hours of foundation coursework in the core areas, at least 9 hours of Advanced Topics, and at least 6 hours of coursework in Measurement and Analysis Tools components. Students should complete foundation courses before enrolling in Advanced Topics classes. Before enrolling in the two-course sequence of Capstone Seminars, however, they must have completed all foundation courses and passed the qualifying examination.
2. Advanced Topics Courses examine specialized areas. These courses are designed to expose the student to an in-depth analysis of some specialized aspects of a core area of the Center’s curriculum.
3. Capstone Seminars provide the opportunity to develop ideas that may form the foundation for the dissertation. They represent the most advanced formal coursework at the Center. The seminars are to be taken in sequence: Capstone A followed by Capstone B. They need not be taken in contiguous semesters. Capstone A is a research seminar that offers students the opportunity to develop ideas for a paper that may support a dissertation topic. Capstone B is a writing-intensive seminar in which students refine rough drafts developed in Capstone A. The final paper for Capstone B should be of publishable quality in a refereed journal. Admission to the capstone seminar sequence is contingent upon successful completion of all foundation coursework and the qualifying examination.
C. RESEARCH METHODS
A basic knowledge of statistics and familiarity with computers is assumed upon admission. Students taking PAPA 6514, Public Administration and Policy Inquiry, or substitute research methods courses approved by the faculty, will be expected to use qualitative and quantitative inquiry and computing skills. If they have not already completed this coursework elsewhere, students are required to complete a graduate-level, intermediate statistics course, which covers techniques through multiple regression. Where appropriate, based on the student’s research interests and with the approval of the student’s adviser, coursework covering other techniques in advanced qualitative and quantitative analysis may be substituted for multiple regression, such as ethnographic field work, textual analysis, historical research, survey design, simulation, operations research, or mathematical programming. Students may enroll in these advanced courses prior to or while enrolled in either PAPA 6514 or PAPA 6224.
D. RESEARCH CONCENTRATION
1. Focused Study: Students complete nine credit hours of focused study consisting of either coursework, independent studies, internship, and/or field studies. Students complete this work during their CPAP doctoral studies and may not transfer work completed prior to their enrollment in the Ph.D. program. This work should permit the student to delve more deeply into a subject-matter field or an area of theory or research methodology. Faculty advisors will counsel students on the need to take additional credit study or noncredit training in data collection or analysis tools needed for their anticipated dissertation projects as part of the Research Concentration requirement.
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Students are encouraged to use the Research Concentration as an opportunity to begin work on the dissertation. For example, the nine credit hours may include special study in a potential dissertation research methodology, an independent study on a preliminary review of the literature base for the dissertation, some background coursework, or some form of applied field work. Students work with a member of the faculty to determine the activities for the nine credit hours. However, the Concentration also may be used to pursue field experiences or special study independent of the dissertation topic.
The Research Concentration may be completed before or after the qualifying exam. Students are encouraged to discuss with their advisors the appropriate time to complete the nine hours of research concentration work and the three credit concentration lecture.
2. Concentration Lecture: A lecture is prepared and presented by students after completing the nine credit hours of research concentration work. This lecture (three credit hours of PAPA 7964) integrates the Concentration work and must be presented before the faculty advisor and at least six other students or guests, including faculty. The lecture may focus on either the anticipated topic of the student’s dissertation or another major area of research concentration that the student expects to offer as part of his or her academic credentials upon completion of the Ph.D. degree. This lecture is given before the dissertation prospectus defense. Where appropriate, part of this lecture should lay out the student’s five-year plan of research for post-doctoral investigation. Students are responsible for assembling the audience for the lecture.
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E. THE Ph.D. CURRICULUM
Required Courses
CORE AREA
FOUNDATION COURSES
(18 HOURS)
ADVANCED TOPICS (AT) COURSES
(9 HOURS)
CAPSTONE SEMINARS*
(6 HOURS, taken after the qualifying examination)
*Capstones A & B
THEORY/ CONTEXT
PAPA 6014: Public Administration Theory and Context

ORGANIZATION
PAPA 6114: Complex Public Organizations
PAPA 6154: AT in Public Organizations
POLICY
PAPA 6214: Public Policy Processes
PAPA 6224: Public Policy Design
PAPA 6254: AT in Public Policy
–OR–
PAPA 6264: AT in Policy Systems Management
MANAGEMENT
PAPA 6344: Leadership and Management
in Public Administration
PAPA 6354: AT in Public Management
ETHICS
PAPA 6414: Normative Foundations of
Public Administration
PAPA 6454: AT in Ethics & the Public Sector
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Other elements:
MEASUREMENT & ANALYSIS TOOLS
(6 Credit Hours)
ELECTIVES
(9 Credit Hours)
QUALIFYING EXAMINATION
*(see Section F below)
RESEARCH CONCENTRATION
May be taken before or after the qualifying examination
(12 Credit Hours)
DISSERTATION HOURS
May be taken before or after the qualifying examination (30 Credit Hours)
PAPA 6514: Public Administration & Policy Inquiry or substitute (or PSCI 5115)
Intermediate/Advanced Statistics or other quantitative or qualitative skills
9 semester hours in any combination of advanced PAPA courses or courses in related disciplines.
Test in three (3) of the following core areas
 THEORY/CONTEXT
 ORGANIZATION
 POLICY
 MANAGEMENT
 ETHICS
9 semester hours coursework in dissertation research area. May include Independent Study (PAPA 5974) or Internship and/or Field Studies PLUS 3 hours of Concentration Lecture (PAPA 7964) prior to the prospectus defense
30 semester hours PAPA 7994, including 3 hours dedicated to professional development (Doctoral Mentoring Program). Dissertation credits may be taken throughout the student’s studies.
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F. QUALIFYING EXAMINATION
This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual ability, and writing skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. For all Ph.D. students, the format of the exam will change effective Fall 2017.
The Qualifying Exam is designed to assess student mastery of the material covered in the six Foundation courses. Students are eligible to take the exam as soon as they have accumulated at least 21 credit hours of CPA-specific course work, which must include the 18 credit hours of foundation courses plus PAPA 6514 or its designated alternative. Students must take the exam no later than after the completion of 30 credit hours, which must include all required foundation courses plus PAPA 6514 or its designated alternative. The exam will be offered in the fall and spring semesters, and students may choose to register for the qualifying exam as soon as they meet the minimum credit hour and course threshold. The Virginia Tech Graduate Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination.
Students select three of the five core areas – Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy – to be tested in. The qualifying examination has two parts – written and oral – but will be considered as a whole.
Written: Essay questions will be based solely on the content of the foundation coursework (that is, no specific themes and related departure readings will be circulated). The written exam will consist of one broad question for each foundation area. Students must demonstrate mastery of the foundational material by composing coherent essays responding to the questions presented in their three selected fields.
Mastery is defined according to the following criteria:
1. Completeness of response to the question
2. Accuracy of response to the question
3. Grounding in the relevant scholarship
4. Synthesis
5. Critical analysis
6. Writing quality
For each foundation area, the faculty will prepare a periodically updated list of relevant published scholarship, as well as providing students access to course syllabi (both past and present) to ensure that students have a rich and relatively standardized resource in each core area on which to draw to prepare for the exam.
Faculty will set a minimum level of competence (i.e., a passing grade) based on the above criteria. Students must pass all three essays in order to be considered ready to defend the essays in the oral portion of the exam. Students failing to reach this threshold must write new essays during the next scheduled qualifying exam period, but only for the foundation area(s) not meeting the threshold. Students may not change foundation areas between attempts to pass the written portion of the exam. Failure to successfully pass the written
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exam in all three areas after a second attempt at one or more essays will constitute a failure of the qualifying exam.
Oral: The oral defense will be used to confirm faculty assessments of the students’ essays. Each of the three essays will be considered in sequence, and students will be expected to sustain and defend their arguments in each essay in response to questions.
Students judged to have passed the written and oral portions of the exam will be considered “qualified” to complete the remaining required coursework in the Ph.D. program. Students successfully completing this coursework may move on to the dissertation milestones, including the concentration lecture, prospectus defense, dissertation, and dissertation defense. Any student whose oral qualifying exam defense is considered unsatisfactory will be given one opportunity to complete an alternative project in order to pass the qualifying exam. Failure to successfully complete this project will constitute failure of the qualifying exam. All students will receive written feedback on their performance in the exam after each cycle in which they participate.
Overview of Qualifying Exam Process:
1. Students will complete foundation courses in all five core areas, and select three of the five core areas to be tested in the written and oral portions of the examination.
2. The examination will be offered twice a year in the fall and spring semesters. The written portion of the exam will consist of three take home essays (see below) and students will have 8 hours to complete each one. The essays will be written on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule with one day scheduled for each core area. The written portion of the examination will be scheduled approximately within the first three weeks of the semester followed by the oral component of the examination approximately two weeks after the last written one. The oral portion of the exam will be scheduled within the first five weeks of the fall and spring semesters.
3. Students wishing to take the examination must fill out the top portion of the CPAP form “Request to Admit Candidate to Qualifying Examination,” have it signed by their committee chair, and submit it to the CPAP office in Blacksburg or the National Capital Region no later than one month before the first day of the written portion of the examination.
4. Prior to the administration of the written examination, each core area committee will develop one question in their respective area. Students will be presented with this question on the day that each respective written exam is administered.
5. On each of the written exam days, a student will have an 8-hour period (8:00am to 5:00pm, with an hour allowed for lunch) in which to respond to the question in an essay no more than ten pages in length, double-spaced.
.
6. In the two weeks following the administration of the last core area written examination, a
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six-member examining committee (two readers from each chosen core area) will read and assess the student’s essays in preparation for the oral portion of the exam. At the same time, the student will be given an electronic copy of her/his three essays so s/he may prepare for the oral exam.
7. Each student will have an oral exam committee consisting of the six readers of their written essays. The committee will ask questions that build from the questions the student answered in the written portion of the exam. The oral portion of the exam will last for approximately an hour. Following the exam the committee will discuss the student’s performance on both the written and oral portions of the examination and decide whether the student has earned a grade of pass or fail.
8. For students who fail the examination, the examining committee will determine the appropriate form of a re-take during the next scheduled examination period. In most instances this likely will involve a decision on whether a student should re-take one, two, or three of the examination core areas. Failure to start and complete the required re-take by the next scheduled examination will constitute a second failure of the examination. For students who retake the exam and fail the second time, the entire faculty will meet as a committee of the whole to assess the student’s entire performance to date and decide if the student should be allowed to continue to the dissertation.
G. DISSERTATION
Ph.D. candidates must write a dissertation. The dissertation is expected to make an original contribution to knowledge of the field. The student is eligible to receive the Ph.D. degree upon the successful defense of the dissertation. As a result of their course work and advising, students should have identified and discussed a dissertation advisory relationship with an appropriate faculty member by the time they begin the Capstone seminars.
1. Dissertation Committee: After the student completes the Qualifying Examination and before they begin Capstone A, he or she formally establishes a dissertation committee. The first step in this process is to ask a member of the Center’s core faculty to chair this committee. The faculty member who agrees to chair the dissertation committee will then become the student’s formal advisor. The next step is to constitute the dissertation committee, which consists of at least four members including the chair.
2. Criteria for Committee: Ordinarily, a dissertation committee is comprised of four members, at least three of whom shall be members of the CPAP core faculty. The chair (or co-chair) must be a member of the core faculty (see Section III. A. below). A fourth or fifth committee member, if not a member of the Virginia Tech full-time faculty, must be approved by the committee chair and by the Graduate School. Dissertation committees are subject to the approval of the Graduate School. Graduate School regulations require that persons other than Virginia Tech faculty members comprise no more than one-third of a dissertation committee’s membership. Therefore, if two members from other institutions serve on a dissertation committee, a fifth member must be added from the Virginia Tech faculty. Under no circumstances may more than two
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colleagues from other universities serve on a dissertation committee.
3. The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense (“Preliminary Examination”): After establishing the committee of a minimum of four members, the student writes the Dissertation Prospectus under the guidance of his or her committee chair. This document essentially is a research design setting forth the program of research that the student proposes to follow in writing his or her dissertation. The prospectus should address the topic or question to be assayed in the planned dissertation; the scholarly and public affairs significance of the proposed research; the present state of knowledge on the topic or question, and the sources that will shape the work; the research design (including the research strategy, methodology, and methods) to be employed; an outline of proposed chapters; and a timeline for completing the work.
When the student and the chair agree that the prospectus is ready, arrangements will be made for the student to defend it before the dissertation committee. Students must complete the “Request to Admit Candidate to Preliminary Examination” form (available from the Graduate School website under Academics/Forms) and have it approved by their advisory committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. When the prospectus has been successfully defended, the student will proceed to write the dissertation itself.
4. Dissertation Defense (“Final Examination”): The defense of the dissertation is the final requirement. No student may advance to the Dissertation Defense until all other requirements have been completed successfully and until the chair and at least two out of three or three out of four of five other members of the dissertation committee agree that the dissertation is ready to be defended. The dissertation defense focuses on the dissertation research project but is not limited to it. Candidates are expected to answer questions about the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the dissertation and its contribution to new knowledge in the field.
The dissertation defense must be scheduled no sooner than six weeks after a draft, approved by the chair, has been distributed to the members of the committee. Students must complete the “Request to Admit Candidate to Final Exam” form (available from the Graduate School website under Academics/Forms) and have it approved by their advisory committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. Members of the dissertation committee must be present for the defense.
H. ADVISEMENT
The advising process constitutes a crucial dimension of the graduate experience. The advisement systems may vary somewhat between CPAP’s locations.
1. General Information about Advising: The general orientation of the advising activities at both locations is directed not only toward counseling students on the choice of course work, but also toward helping them develop a clear sense of intellectual direction and a framework for thinking about their dissertation projects. The systems at the two locations
19
vary only in order to meet the distinctive requirements of the type of student community that exists at each location.
2. Assignment of Advisors: The CPAP chair or associate chair will assign a member of the core faculty to each student upon his or her arrival on campus. Students who know one or more members of the core faculty may request their advisors by name before arriving, a request that the CPAP chair and/or associate chair will try to accommodate insofar as the equitable distribution of advising duties will permit.
Students may change their advisors at any time with the approval of the CPAP chair and the consent of the new advisors. After a dissertation chair has been selected, however, this option should be exercised prudently and then in accordance with Graduate School procedures. The student may also request a change in the membership of the dissertation committee, subject to the approval of the committee chair and the CPAP chair and in accordance with Graduate School procedures. This option should be exercised with increasing caution as work on the dissertation progresses.
3. Transfer of Credit and Plan of Study Development: An advising session concerning transfer credit and program of study development is offered at least once a year, usually at the beginning of the fall term. Entering students should attend the first session offered after they have entered the Ph.D. program. Students meet with teams of at least two members of the core faculty assigned by the CPAP chair to review the student’s previous graduate work in order to determine which courses match the CPAP curriculum sufficiently to merit transfer credit, to identify the remaining courses that the student must take, and to fill out the original plan of study form.
Once formal decisions have been made by the faculty at each location concerning transfer credits, the faculty will sign the Plan of Study form and submit a copy to their respective office managers who will submit the information electronically to the Graduate School and place a copy of the form into the student’s file. The Plan of Study will appear in the student’s electronic Graduate School records, along with their transcripts and other information. This document should be looked upon as though it were a contract specifying the requirements the student must meet as he or she moves through the program.
Later adjustments to the Plan of Study are made following consultation between the student and his or her faculty advisor. Before completing 24 hours of course work, the student should schedule a Plan of Study or “milestone” session with his or her advisor and a second faculty member selected by the student and advisor. At this session, the student’s Plan of Study will be reviewed and, if approved, will be forwarded to the CPAP chair or associate chair and the Graduate School. In implementing their Plans of Study, students must contact their advisors during their course work to review course options.
4. Doctoral Mentoring Program: The goal of the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) is to maximize the student learning experience by developing academic-collegial relationships within the CPAP community, and to assist in professional socialization and development.
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The DMP satisfies 3 of the 30 credit hours of PAPA 7994, Research and Dissertation, required for the Ph.D. degree program. Attendance is required at a minimum of 15 DMP meetings in order to complete the DMP requirement and enroll in the special section of PAPA 7994 where DMP credit is given. New students in the doctoral program are assigned to mentoring groups in either Blacksburg or the National Capital Region (Alexandria) upon entry.
Mentoring groups meet at least three times in each fall and spring semester for a total of six regular meetings per academic year in each program location. As implied above, participation in the mentoring groups carries the same status as participation in an academic course, and course credit is allocated to students upon completion of the mentoring program. Mentoring groups meet both as a general community and in individual sessions with their colleagues and their faculty advisor. The topical agenda of the community and group sessions covers all aspects of the CPAP program, questions about individual programs of study, individual research interests, and broader topics having to do with intellectual and academic life both during the graduate school experience and afterwards in the career stage.
In some instances, such as when students begin taking courses while they are pursuing admission to the program, it may happen that a student will not be eligible to be assigned formally to a Mentoring Group or to attend an advising session for two or even three semesters. In these cases, the faculty member currently serving as Manager of the Mentoring Program will also act as the student’s individual faculty advisor. Such students are welcome to attend the DMP as guests. Should they later be admitted to the program, they will then receive DMP credit for their attendance.
I. THE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT
As specified in the Policies of the Virginia Tech Graduate School, students may fulfill their doctoral residency requirement through two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment. Students may also fulfill the residency requirement on the Blacksburg campus or in the National Capital via the following alternative plan, which has two components:
1. Doctoral Mentoring Program: Participation through the completion of the Mentoring Program as described in Section H.4 above.
2. Residency Capstone Seminar Sequence (Capstones A and B)
This is a special two-semester seminar sequence focused on the research and conceptual development of an academic paper, and the revision and continued development of the paper. The focus of the first seminar (Capstone A) is an advanced research topic demanding that students engage in intensive and original thought and analysis. Special colloquia and lecture presentations by various resource persons that follow the formal classroom sessions are also included in this program, and students are expected to attend and participate in them. During the second seminar in the sequence (Capstone B), students extensively critique and revise their manuscript from the first seminar, examine
21
early research and developed research, learn about the publishing process, and present their work at the spring High Table conference. The final capstone requirement is to submit the manuscript for review to a journal.
University residency requirements require that National Capital Region students spend some time on the Blacksburg campus. Students enrolled in capstone seminars spend several days on the Blacksburg campus in the fall semester and in the spring semester during CPAP’s annual High Table conference.
J. PROGRAM WAIVERS
A request for a waiver of any CPAP policy should be initially discussed by the student and his/her advisor. The request should then be presented to the CPAP chair. He or she shall use discretion to decide which, if any, of the CPAP policy making bodies should hear and decide the request. In all cases, strong and compelling evidence of both the necessity for the individual and minimal impact on the department must be presented.
K. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
1. The Program and Appeals Procedures at the Program and School Levels
The Center for Public Administration and Policy follows the procedures for grievance as accepted by the Graduate School. Whenever a graduate student believes that any work has been improperly evaluated, or believes that there has been unfair treatment, it is expected that the student will follow the procedures below in a timely fashion.
The student should take up the questions directly with the faculty member involved. This may be the committee chair, another faculty member, or an instructor responsible for a course.
a. If the matter is not reconciled, the graduate student will be expected to appeal the question to the CPAP chair.
b. If the matter cannot be resolved there, then the chair takes the question to the CPAP core faculty. If the CPAP chair is a party to the grievance, the Director of the School for Public and International Affairs (SPIA) will assume this responsibility.
c. If the matter is still unresolved, the Director of the School of Public and International Affairs, in consultation with the SPIA Executive Committee and the Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies as appropriate, shall take all reasonable and proper actions to resolve the question at the departmental level. The student shall be informed in writing of the results no later than one month after the appeal to the Director of the School of Public and International Affairs.
22
2. The University Appeals Procedure
If the aggrieved student believes that their rights were abridged at the program and school levels, the student may file a request for review with the Dean of the Graduate School. A full description of these procedures is found in the Graduate School Policies and Procedures.
III. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. CORE FACULTY
The term “core faculty” as used in this document includes the following: Professors Cook, Dull, Eckerd, Hult, Jensen, Jordan, Khademian, Lemaire, Rees, Roberts, and Sterett, and Professors Emeriti/ae Dudley, Goodsell, Kronenberg, Wamsley, White, and Wolf.
B. NORMS FOR COURSE GRADING
As a policy, the classroom faculty members are responsible for assigning the grades that they deem appropriate. Faculty should make standards for grading known to students at the beginning of each semester. The CPAP faculty agrees that grades should provide an opportunity to provide feedback on various dimensions of performance in courses.
C. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND GRADES
All students are expected to assume full responsibility for knowledge of all regulations pertinent to the procedures of the Graduate School as set forth in Graduate School Policies, available on-line at (http://graduateschool.vt.edu/graduate_catalog/policies.htm?policy=002d14432c654287012c6542e38200a) and any other regulations and procedures published by the Graduate School and the Center for Public Administration and Policy.
In scheduling their preliminary exams (prospectus defense) and final exams (dissertation defense), Ph. D. students are expected to adhere strictly to Graduate School deadlines and are responsible for confirming those deadlines as announced by the Graduate School for a given semester. Exceptions to those deadlines will be considered only under very unusual circumstances, and must be approved by both the student’s committee chair and the CPAP chair. Concentration lectures must be scheduled before December 1 for the fall semester and before May 1 for the spring semester. No concentration lecture can be scheduled during summer sessions.
The Center abides by the rules and procedures of the Virginia Tech Graduate Honor System, which may be found on-line at: http://ghs.graduateschool.vt.edu .
Letter grades A through F are given for all regular courses. No grades are given for research and thesis/dissertation hours; however, thesis and dissertation hours are assigned appropriate equivalent credit hours for the purpose of registration and payment of fees.
23
Students must be registered to take examinations and defend theses and dissertations.
Students must maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least “B” (3.00). The Graduate School automatically places students whose GPA falls below 3.00 on academic probation. They will have one regular semester to return the GPA to 3.00 or better or face recommended dismissal. All courses taken at Virginia Tech that are listed on the approved program of study must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. Transferred courses will count only as credit hours and will not be used in computing the grade index; the grade transferred, however, must be a “B” or better.
Incompletes remains “I’s” until students complete the work; however, they may not graduate until all incompletes are removed from courses on the official Plan of Study. Most incompletes should be finished within one semester. Grades of “NR” and “NG” count in the GPA calculation, so students should monitor their transcripts regularly for grades that may not have been recorded.
D. COMMITTEE PARTICIPATION AND MONITORING
Procedures Used in Monitoring Advisory Committee Assignment Criteria: At the time graduate student dissertation committees are established, the above criteria are considered by the CPAP chair and by the student’s committee chair. The CPAP faculty or specific Graduate degree committees that may be established offer supervision of the process and must review exceptions to the criteria.
Expectations for Faculty Participation on Student Committees: It is the expectation that all faculty serving on advisory, thesis, and dissertation committees will actively participate in the academic advisement of students in the direction of their research programs. Participation on student committees should be limited in number to ensure that the faculty member is able to fulfill the responsibilities of committee membership. Evaluation of the performance of faculty in this important capacity is the joint responsibility of the CPAP chair and appropriate chairs of graduate degree committees that may be established.
E. CURRENCY OF POLICY GUIDELINES
Twice a year the faculty meets to discuss policy issues and often changes to the Policy Guide become necessary. The CPAP Policy Guide will be revised appropriately.
IV. GRADUATE CERTICATES
SPIA and other University programs offer graduate certificates of possible interest to CPAP students. (See http://graduateschool.vt.edu/graduate_catalog/certificates.htm.) Two certificates – Homeland Security Policy and Local Government Management – are lodged in CPAP. MPA students may use certificate courses to fulfill elective requirements; one of the local government certificate courses may substitute for one of the required courses (either PAPA 6314 or PAPA 6324).
24
A. Homeland Security Policy
The graduate certificate in homeland security policy (12 credits) focuses on domestic security and emergency management issues. The certificate can serve either as a stand-alone credential of advanced educational achievement for non-degree students or as a supplement to a master’s or a doctoral degree. Taking four homeland security courses will introduce students to the complexity of the homeland security environment, from analyzing the terrorist threat, to considering questions of hazard mitigation, preparedness, and resilience, to investigating response and recovery strategies.
The certificate is comprised of four courses (12 hours of graduate coursework). The core courses focus on 1) threat (PAPA 5254 Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat), 2) prevention (PAPA 6264 Advanced Topics in Policy: Homeland Security and Prevention 3) response and recovery (PAPA 5354 Homeland Security Response and Recovery). A fourth course is selected from specified electives.
MPA students may use the certificate as their concentration and reflect upon the certificate and homeland security issues in their portfolio or internship. Ph.D. students may use the certificate as a foundation for dissertation research in homeland security policy and management.
B. Local Government Management
The graduate certificate in local government management (12 credits) is a set of master’s level courses designed to prepare the next generation of U.S. local government leaders including county and city managers. The certificate provides a thorough understanding of the operations of U.S. local government and the political and administrative contexts of working with elected officials, citizens, and other stakeholders. The courses are taught by current or former practitioners in Virginia local government and are available through at 12 sites throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia or at the Fairfax County Government Center. Master of Public Administration students can use the certificate courses to satisfy the 9 elective hours, and they can elect to substitute one course for either PAPA6314 (Public Budgeting Processes) or PAPA6324 (Public Personnel). (See the table below for the courses in the certificate.) An on-line version of the certificate examines local governments throughout the United States; students need permission from the program director to enroll in these on-line classes.
C. Homeland Security Policy
The graduate certificate in homeland security policy (12 credits) focuses on domestic security and emergency management issues. The certificate can serve either as a stand-alone credential of advanced educational achievement for non-degree students or as a supplement to a master’s or a doctoral degree. Taking four homeland security courses will introduce students to the complexity of the homeland security environment, from analyzing the terrorist threat, to considering questions of hazard mitigation, preparedness, and resilience, to investigating response and recovery strategies.
25
The certificate is comprised of four courses (12 hours of graduate coursework). The core courses focus on 1) threat (PAPA 5254 Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat), 2) prevention (PAPA 6264 Advanced Topics in Policy: Homeland Security and Prevention 3) response and recovery (PAPA 5354 Homeland Security Response and Recovery). A fourth course is selected from specified electives.
MPA students may use the certificate as their concentration and reflect upon the certificate and homeland security issues in their portfolio or internship. Ph.D. students may use the certificate as a foundation for dissertation research in homeland security policy and management.
D. Local Government Management
The graduate certificate in local government management (12 credits) is a set of master’s level courses designed to prepare the next generation of U.S. local government leaders including county and city managers. The certificate provides a thorough understanding of the operations of U.S. local government and the political and administrative contexts of working with elected officials, citizens, and other stakeholders. The courses are taught by current or former practitioners in Virginia local government and are available at multiple sites throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia or at the Fairfax County Government Center. Master of Public Administration students can use the certificate courses to satisfy the 9 elective hours, and they can elect to substitute PAPA 6354 (Human Resources, Financial and Performance Management for Local Government Managers) for either PAPA 6314 (Public Budgeting Processes) or PAPA 6324 (Public Personnel). See the table below for the courses in the certificate. An on-line version of the certificate examines local governments throughout the United States; students need permission from the program director to enroll in these on-line classes.
PAPA 5044
Local Government and the Professional Manager
PAPA 5784
Local Economic Development Planning
PAPA 6354
Human Resources, Financial and Performance Management for Local Government Managers
PAPA 6154
The Context of Local Government Management and Service Delivery

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 toolsets 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)

Presentation Skills (Joel Bowman, Ph.D., West Michigan University)

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:

http://www.composition.english.vt.edu/writing-center/

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 hangout 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:

http://www.lib.vt.edu/instruct/plagiarism/

Find/Citation and Style Manuals

http://www.lib.vt.edu/find/citation/index.html

On Professional/Academic Writing and Presenting

Resources for Technical and Grant Writing:

http://www.research.vt.edu/proposal-development-resources/resources/technical-and-grant-writing/index.php

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[/su_spoiler]][/su_accordion][/

CURRENT PAPA STUDENTS

Sean Adkins seanta8@vt.edu
Constitutional Federalism, Local Governance, and Research Ethics
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Muna Al Dhabbah muna77@vt.edu
Government Innovation, Service Delivery Improvement, Citizen Relationship Management and Citizen Satisfaction
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Yousof Azizi yousof@vt.edu
Reform & Reorganization, Performance Measurement, Public Policy Processes, Energy Policy
Primary Advisors: Dr. Patrick Roberts and Dr. Ariel Ahram

Rabita Reshmeen Banee rabita@vt.edu
Non-profit Management, Organizational Theory, and Leadership
Primary Advisor: Dr. Robin Lemaire

William Belcher bjoe@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Guy C. Beougher guyb@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

William Graham Berberich wberberi@vt.edu
Organizational Networks, Seaport Security, Measures of Security, Outsourcing of Security
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Ben Bergersen ben.bergersen@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Jim Brandell jimbrandell@yahoo.com
Federal Advisory Boards and Commissions
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

John Brennan johnb95@vt.edu
Legislative Oversight and Policy Assessment
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Donald Briggs briggsd@ndu.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Anne Khademian

Emily Swenson Brock emily.brock@vt.edu
Public Financial Management and Public Pension Reform
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Charles A. Buechel cbueche1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Kathryn Jean Buechel kbuechel@vt.edu
Veteran Benefits, Higher Ed, State & Local Policy, Meditation & Mindfulness in Org. Culture, Policy Design
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Nathaniel Buss nbuss@vt.edu
Public Management, Bureaucracy, Governmental Performance, Public Value, National and Homeland Security
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Joseph Roland Castle jrcastle@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Derek P. Chancellor drock67@vt.edu
Leadership Theory and Practice; Strategic Thinking and Planning; Organizational Effectiveness, Training, and Development
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Lorita Copeland Daniels dlorita9@vt.edu
Public Organizations, Community Engagement, Local Government, Collaboration, Public Participation
Primary Advisor: TBD

Thomas Dawson tedawson@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

Salvatore Peter Degennaro dsalva1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Jared DeMello jdemello@vt.edu
Science and Technology in Government, Ethics in Administration
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Daniel John Dunmire ddunmire@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Nicole DuPuis nmdupuis@vt.edu
Urban policy, transportation policy, state & local govt, policy implementation
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Jeffrey L. Earley jearley@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Christopher William Edmunds edmundsc@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jaimie Edwards jedwar35@vt.edu
Networks, Higher Education and Health Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Jamie Finch finchjdc@gmail.com
Congressional action’s impact on local transportation decision making
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

John Giandoni johngiandoni@gmail.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Joseph Kenneth Gilkerson jgilker@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Lisa N. Gniady lngniady@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Gregory Goode ggoode@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Abraham David Gunn adgunn@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Diaz Hendropriyono dhendrop@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Anne Khademian

Edgar Hollandsworth hoya86@vt.edu
Intelligence Community Management; Science and Techology in Public Administration; Performance Measurement
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

Kathlyn Hopkins loudin@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Thomas Charles Howard tchowa@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Faith Gibson Hubbard fgib07@vt.edu
The role and impact of public engagement in decision-making processes focused on comprehensive public (PreK-12) education planning in the D.C. Public Schools
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

L. Maria Ingram laura13@vt.edu
Public Contracting, Theory and Practice; Administrative Law; Information, Language, and Content Standardization
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Marilyn Jackson marijac@vt.edu
State Attorneys General; Federal Courts; Public Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jon Michael Johnson jon.johnson@vt.edu
Decision Making, Sensemaking Federal IT Policy, Federal IT Procurement Policy, Federal Contracting
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Patrick Johnson pajohns2@vt.edu
E-government, Digital Government, Technology, Organization Theory, Management, Budgeting, Defense Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jeffrey P. Kaczmarczyk coachkaz@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Oleh Khalayim okhala@hotmail.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Allison G. S. Knox kallis1@vt.edu
Federalism and Emergency Management Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Theresa Kohler tjkohler@vt.edu
Organizational Change, Organizational Culture, Leadership in Organizations and Institutions
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Rosa Castillo Krewson rosac@vt.edu
Examining the Affects of Minority Veterans’ Networks on Education Outcomes
Primary Advisor: Not determined

Melvene Lanier melvene.lanier@comcast.net
Minority Underrepresentation in Federal Agencies’ Senior Executive Service:  Institutional Pressures that Influence the Adoption and Use of Equity and Diversity Practices
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterret

Derek Larson derekb.larson@gmail.com
Policy Processes, Regulatory Rulemaking, Technology Policy, Safety Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Minh Thieng Le mle01@vt.edu
Credit Union Movement and the Enabling Legislations that Shape the Credit Union Industry in the U.S.
Primary Advisors: Dr. Karen Hult and Dr. Joe Rees

Kimberly Taylor Lee kilee1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Michal Linder michall@vt.edu
Human Behavior and Decision Making in Complex Environments, Collaborative Public Mgt, Cross Cultural Theories, Admin Law, Theories of Regulation, Security and Crisis Mgt
Primary Advisors: Dr. Karen Hult and Dr. Patrick Roberts

Crane Lopes cranel@vt.edu
Diffusion of Innovation Policy in Public Procurement
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Amira Maaty amiramaaty@gmail.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Susan Maybaum smaybaum@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Anne Khademian

Lester Lanier Maynard llmayna@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Robert Kyle Mcdaniel rkm@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Lauren McKeague mckeague@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

John Medeiros eagle4@vt.edu
National Infrastructure and Homeland Security Public Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jennie Kay Meeker jepage@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Mark Mereand markmere@yahoo.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Timothy Todd Meredith timeredi@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Robin Lemaire

Jessica Lee Minnis-Mcclain mjess08@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Phil Miskovic miskovic@vt.edu
Rural Local Government, Public Safety, Emergency Management, Cultural Resiliency Post-disaster
Primary Advisor: TBD

Marlon Roel Murphy rmmurphy@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Robert Barry Murphy murphyrb@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Julie K. Neumann jkn10@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Kelly Novak knovak@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

John L. O’Brien obrienj@vt.edu
Strategic Planning and Performance Management
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Seref G. Onder sgonder@vt.edu
Public Organizations, Personnel/Human Resource Management, Org. Theory, Org.Culture Law Enforcement Agencies, Homeland Security, Ethics
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Benjamin Packard bpackard@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

Jacob Anthony Parcell japarcel@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Nathan Joseph Pawlicki nathanjp@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Jacob Paysour jpaysour@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Laura Anne Pennington lapenn@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Harold Donald Pitts hpitts@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Daniel Moore Reed danreed@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Ashley Nicole Reynolds Marshall anr1221@vt.edu
Nonprofit Management, Local Government Management, Collaborations, Administrative Law, Corporate Social Responsibility
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Jim Roberts James.Roberts@heratage.org
Nexus between Public Policies of Countries Worldwide and Their Rates of Economic Growth and Development
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Arun Sharma arun11@vt.edu
Institutionalization of Effectiveness in Physician-Owned Hospitals
Primary Advisor:  Dr. Karen M. Hult

Stacey Shindelar stacey09@vt.edu
Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, interest groups’ influence on select congressional committee members and agency leaders
Primary Advisors: Dr. Joe Rees and Dr. Karen Hult

Russell Bowman Shrader rbshrade@vt.edu
Diversity Management, Equality in Organizations
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Neysa Slater-Chandler nslater@vt.edu
Federal Agencies, Boards, Commissions; Bureaucratic Autonomy; Power; Regulation; Stolen Valor; U.S. military; U.S. Navy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Henry Smart, III hsmart3@vt.edu
Behavioral Public Administration, Policing and Colorism, Disasters and Presidential Pork
Primary Advisors: Drs. Adam Eckerd and Joe Rees

Andrea Baker Smith absmith1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jessica L. Spencer-Gallucci jspen53601@cox.net
Public Managers Use of Inclusive Management in Practices
Primary Advisors: Dr. Anne Khademian and Dr. Matthew Dull

Jeffrey Daniel Stern jdstern@vt.edu
Emergency Mgt, Homeland Security and Terrorism; Disaster Response Organizations; Crisis Leadership; Incident Analysis; and Organizational Culture
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Dennis Paul Stevens stevendp@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Dawn M. Stoneking dawnst@vt.edu
Equality, Justice, Leadership and Management, Public Policy Processes, Policy Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Shahid Rashid Talukdar shahidur@vt.edu
How the Sustainable Development Perspective Informs/Influences Regional Development Efforts
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Jeanne Kay Vargo jkvargo@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Tonya Denice Vincent tonyaw@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Scott W. Weimer weimers@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Warren Whitley wwhitley@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Lorenzo Williams lorenzo7@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Huishan Yang hyang@vt.edu
Public Service Motivation, Organization and Personnel, Community Engagement
Primary Advisor: Dr. Robin Lemaire

Anne Zobell zobella8@vt.edu
Social Welfare Policy, Organizational Culture in Congress, The Effects of Paid Sick Leave Laws
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

PAPA ALUMNI

Nadhrah A Kadir nadhrah1@vt.edu
Bureaucracy and public organizations, democratic and administrative values and red tape
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Daniel Paul Boden dpb22@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Andrew Francis Coffey acoffey5@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Michael J. DeLor mjdelor@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Saunji Desiree Fyffe sfyffe@vt.edu
Government-nonprofit Relationships and Networks; Organization Accountability and Performance; and Nonprofit Capacity
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Raifu Durodoye rod0001@vt.edu
Social Justice/ Higher Ed Policy/ Quantitative Methods
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Haider Haider hahaider@vt.edu
Narrative Analysis, Institutionalism, Rational Choice, Decision Making
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Meredith Hundley merehund@vt.edu
Implementation, Broadband & Internet Policy, Collaboration, Nonprofits
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Kwangseon Hwang kshwang@kistep.re.kr
Public administration and Policy Theory, Public Orgnization, Public Accountability, S&T Policy
Primary Advisors: Dr. Laura Jensen

Katherine Preston Keeney kapresto@vt.edu
Arts and Cultural Policy, Arts Mgt, Nonprofit and Public Financial Mgt, Org Theory, Public-nonprofit Partnerships
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Michael S. Keeney michaelskeeney@gmail.com
Gubernatorial and Legislative Design; State and Federal Budgeting; Legislative Oversight
Primary Advisors: Dr. Brian Cook and Dr. Karen Hult

David King kingd@ndu.edu
Outputs: The ‘Missing Link’ in U.S. Federal Government Performance Reporting
Primary Advisor: Dr. Jim Wolf

Jaekwon Ko jaekk75@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Paul Frederick Leimer pleimer@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Jim Wolf

James Muetzel jmuetzel@vt.edu
Law and Public Administration; Organization Theory; Governance and Public Management; and the Context of Public Administration
Primary Advisor: Dr. Jim Wolf

John Christopher O’Byrne jackobyrne@vt.edu
Dissertation: The Diffussion and Evolution of 311 Citizen Service Centers in American Cities over 100,000, 1996 to 2012
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Glenn Orr gorr05@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Larkin Dudley

Nicole Rishel Elias nicole.rishel.elias@gmail.com
Theory and Context of Public Administration, Human Resources Management, Diversity, and Public Representation and Participation
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen M. Hult

Donna Ann Sedgwick sedgwick@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Fatima Sharif fsharif@vt.edu
Public Health Administration and Policy, Federalism and Social Policy, Social Determinants of Health
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Aaron M. Smith-WalterAaron_smithwalter@uml.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Jessica Lee Wirgau jwirgau@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Mary Jo Wills mwills@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Situated on the border of the main Virginia Tech campus in downtown Blacksburg, VA, the historic Thomas-Conner House is CPAP’s headquarters and home to a thriving community of faculty, staff, and MPA and PhD students.

Blacksburg offers the experience of a relatively small, collegial graduate program combined with the richness and traditional atmosphere of a Division I research university, situated in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains with their many recreational opportunities. The vast resources of the university and CPAP’s intimate community of learners offers Blacksburg students a wonderful environment for the study of public administration and public affairs.

Students, faculty, and staff on the Blacksburg campus engage in rich community life, bolstered by Public Administrators at Virginia Tech (PAVT), CPAP Blacksburg’s student organization. The cultural heart of CPAP, PAVT organizes many educational, social, and community service-oriented activities during the academic year.

Please direct inquiries to:

Laura French, Department Admin at lhf@vt.edu or (540) 231-5133 (concerning admissions and other administrative matters)

Address:

Center for Public Administration and Policy
104 Draper Road SW (MC 0520)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Why Choose CPAP in Alexandria?

We are committed to advancing good governance and capable, ethical public service. We offer the MPA, Ph.D. and certificates in local government management, public and nonprofit financial management, and homeland security policy. Several things stand out about our programs:

Community
CPAP Alexandria attracts a mix of part-time and full time students committed to thoughtful public service. Our classes offer opportunities to meet and learn from public sector leaders. Many Alexandria graduate students take classes on a part-time basis, while working full-time in federal, regional, and local government positions, as well as in consulting and the non-profit sector. Our students are part of a community that includes more than 35,000 Virginia Tech alumni in the national capital region.

The Benefits of a University
We have the benefits of community that come from a close-knit program dedicated to thoughtful public service alongside the benefits of a large university. The Virginia Tech registrar and Graduate Student Services Office are located at the Northern Virginia Center at 7054 Haycock Road, Falls Church, VA (adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro). Additionally, there is a library in the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) just across the courtyard from the SPIA Alexandria building. Students are also able to reach faculty in Blacksburg and Richmond through videoconference technology for advising, service on committees, and online courses. The Social & Decision Analytics Laboratory in Ballston offers opportunities for seminars and research collaboration on big data and decision analytics topics.

Reflective Practitioners
Many of our faculty come from long careers in government, or are primarily reflective practitioners who hold a full time job in government as well as scholarly credentials. They bring current policy and management experience as well as their personal networks to the classroom for the benefit of students.

Virginia Tech Ballston buildingConvenience
The campus is located at 1021 Prince Street in Old Town Alexandria, VA. It is metro accessible on the Blue and Yellow metro lines, just a 15 minute walk or 5 minute Bikeshare ride from the King Street metro station.

Virginia Tech’s Arlington Research Center is located at 900 N. Glebe Road, minutes from the Ballston metro station. CPAP holds events at the Ballston building, which is convenient to many government agencies and nonprofits. The Arlington campus is home to a popular Science, Technology and Policy Leadership speakers series.

Evening Classes
Most classes at the National Capital Region campus begin at 4p.m. and 7p.m., with occasional weekend conference-style meetings.

Career Services
Many courses invite professionals into the classroom to give a talk, or even to serve as a client for student reports and studio projects. Early career students have gained career experience through internships at federal government agencies, the General Accountability Office, the city of Alexandria, and other agencies and nonprofits. The living lab in Arlington offers possibilities for working with local government officials to address challenges for community resilience.

Public Engagement
From lunchtime research in progress talks to evening guest workshops for doctoral students, aspiring public administrators, and alumni, our students have ample opportunity to interact with public officials and policy experts. See, for example, this recent conference on collaboration in big data ethics. In addition, Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region hosts events for policy experts, leaders, and the public. Faculty and students also regularly speak to the media.

Please direct inquiries to:

Myriam Lechuga, Student Coordinator at mlechuga@vt.edu or (703) 706-8111

Address:

Center for Public Administration and Policy
1021 Prince Street, Room 228
Alexandria, VA 22314

CPAP offers its MPA Program at Virginia Tech’s Graduate Center in Richmond. The program, utilized by working professionals and full-time students alike, allows students to proceed at their own pace as they balance work and academic requirements. Students at CPAP Richmond enjoy the urban atmosphere along with the learning community of their CPAP contemporaries. Richmond students also have the opportunity to take certificate courses in both Local Government Management and Public and Non-Profit Financial Management remotely through online and Polycom virtual classroom technology.

Please direct inquiries to:

Joe Rees, Faculty Coordinator, at reesj@vt.edu or (540) 250-5632
Address:

Virginia Tech Richmond Center
2810 N. Parham Road, Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 662-7288

Application Deadlines for All Campuses

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.

Tuition & Fees

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

Financial Aid

For all other information about admissions and financial aid, please visit the graduate school admissions website.

Apply Online

Application and Fee. File an application with the graduate school online here and pay the nonrefundable application fee, which is currently $75.

Want more help with filing the application? See the graduate school’s help page.

Transcripts. Have two official copies of undergraduate and/or graduate study transcripts sent directly to the graduate school from universities and colleges previously attended. VT applicants an simply request from the registrar.

Personal Statement of Purpose. As part of the online application process, provide a personal statement in which you (a) describe previous employment experiences and (b) discuss thoughtfully your future career plans. The statement should express how the Center’s curriculum for which you are applying will assist you in achieving your future career goals.

Resume. As part of the online application process, provide a professional resume.

Test Scores. Applicants for the Ph.D. program must provide scores on a recognized aptitude test. The educational testing service will send the scores directly to the graduate school, upon request. The aptitude test scores are optional for MPA applicants. International students may be required to take TOEFL.

Letters of Recommendation/Reference Forms. As part of the online application, all applicants should arrange for submission of three (3) persons to provide a letters of recommendation. Once submitted, each reference is sent an electronic form to complete. Preferably the applicant’s references should include a mix of former professors and others who know the applicant professionally, such as employment supervisors or others who have had an opportunity to observe the applicant in a professional capacity. It is especially important that applicants to the Ph.D. program provide at least two letters or forms from former college or university teachers.

Paper Application

Paper Applications. If you are unable or choose not to apply online, you may download the application form for US and Permanent Resident Students or for International Students.

Submission. ALL PAPER APPLICANTS, including Northern Virginia and Richmond campuses, please send application materials including: application and fee, personal statement of purpose, resume, and letters of recommendation/reference forms directly to the Graduate School. Transcripts and test scores should be sent from the issuing authority to the same address.

Virginia Tech Graduate School (0325)
Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

To confirm that your application materials are complete please contact:

Center for Public Administration and Policy
Phone: (540) 231-5133
Email: cpap@vt.edu

CPAP POLICY GUIDE


Download the Policy Guide

Read the Policy Guide

POLICY GUIDE

CENTER FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY
of the
School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA)
College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS)

VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

January 2017

The mission of the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and 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.

CPAP seeks:

  1. To 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.
  2. To 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.
  3. To 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.

CPAP offers two degrees: the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Ph.D. in public administration and public affairs. The MPA is offered in Blacksburg, the National Capital Region (NCR), and Richmond. The Ph.D. is offered in Blacksburg and NCR. CPAP also is the home for two graduate certificates, in Homeland Security Policy and in Local Government Management.

Virginia Tech is committed to providing appropriate services and accommodations to allow identified students with disabilities access to academic programs. Information for students needing special services can be found at http://www.ssd.vt.edu/students.htm. CPAP students with special needs should contact the CPAP chair.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a professional degree intended for future and present practitioners in the public service. Its purpose is to educate early career individuals for administrative and analytical posts and to improve the skills of in-career public administrators. International students should recognize that a substantial portion of the program’s subject matter focuses primarily upon public administration, management, and policy in the United States.
  1. Course in U.S. Government: Entering students must have taken at least one undergraduate course about the institutions of the U.S. government or have equivalent experience, training, or instruction. Equivalent experience is at least three years full-time work in local, state, or federal government. This prerequisite can also be satisfied by completing the CLEP American Government exam with a score of 60 or higher. If this requirement has not been fulfilled upon entry into the program, it should be fulfilled in the first semester.
  2. Statistics Course: All students enrolling in PAPA 6514 (Public Administration and Policy Inquiry) must have had a statistics course or be taking one concurrently. In order to enroll in PAPA 6224 (Public Policy Design and Implementation), students must have completed an introductory statistics course or meet an equivalent requirement as approved by faculty members teaching those courses, and have had the prerequisite of PAPA 6514 or equivalent. A diagnostic test to determine proficiency in basic statistics is available for advising purposes. Use of statistical tools and software are required in these courses.
  3. In order for a full-time student taking 12 hours each semester to complete the coursework for the degree program in three semesters, he or she must complete all prerequisites, including introductory statistics, before beginning the first fall semester. We advise most full-time students to take three courses each semester, using research and thesis hours if needed to reach the 12 hours that some assistantships require.
  4. Students must receive a grade of “C+” or better in all pre-requisites in order to gain entry to the relevant graduate courses.
  5. All students are expected to be familiar with the use of standard word processing, spreadsheets, file manipulation, and presentation software, plus e-mail and basic internet applications. Certain courses may require the use of additional statistical, modeling, or other software packages. In the case of students not having these skills, students should arrange appropriate training outside the standard CPAP curriculum.
Academic Requirements
Internship Requirement
Transferring Credit
Course Advising and Course Substitutions
Plan of Study
Course Load, Other Requirements, and Graduation Procedures
Effective for students entering in Fall 2013 and after, all MPA students in their final semester of study shall present and defend an electronic portfolio that includes a variety of course and other program-related materials. Assessment of the portfolio is based on the six performance objectives below; through the portfolio, each student provides evidence (e.g., course assignments, internship reports, videotaped presentations) showing fulfillment of the evaluation criteria associated with each performance objective.

The portfolio is a project about which students should think about and work toward throughout their time in the program. Its overall purpose is to demonstrate that a student’s educational experiences, work, and new knowledge show that she or he has developed the competencies expected of an MPA graduate. The performance objectives that follow reflect the “universal competencies” that we and NASPAA, our accrediting organization, expect MPA students to have developed and strengthened as they complete their degrees.

a. Performance Objective: Communicate effectively through organized, concise, and grammatically correct writing
b. Performance Objective: Communicate effectively through a structured, appropriate, and well-timed presentation
c. Performance Objective: Use qualitative and quantitative research methods appropriate to the nature of the task
d. Performance Objective: Apply theory to practice in a range of settings
e. Performance Objective: Understand the nature and functions of management and leadership in policy formulation, development, and implementation
f. Performance Objective: Recognize, analyze, and understand the normative dimensions of management and policy issues
Where applicable, MPA core courses will provide students with the opportunity to address the performance objectives. It is the instructor’s responsibility to determine which performance objectives are applicable to a particular course and to develop assignments that address the objectives. However, it is ultimately each student’s responsibility to fulfill each of the performance objectives by meeting the evaluation criteria. Instructors are not required to create assignments that explicitly align with the evaluation criteria. Each student will determine which products provide the best evidence of satisfaction of the evaluation criteria. Products can include, but are not limited to, assignments from core MPA courses, assignments from elective courses, personal statements or essays developed specifically for the portfolio, or work products (provided the product was created while the student was enrolled in the MPA program). However, at least one assignment from each core MPA course must be included in the portfolio. Thus, at minimum, the portfolio must include 9 distinct products, but students are strongly encouraged to use multiple relevant products to illustrate conformance with each of the criteria; repeated use of one product to demonstrate conformance with more than one objective should be done only if necessary.

Each portfolio also will contain a substantive narrative describing the items that are included and explaining how these products demonstrate conformance with the performance objectives.

Portfolios will be archived and available for viewing by CPAP faculty, students, and anyone given explicit permission by the CPAP faculty. Additionally, students are encouraged, but not required, to make portfolios available to the public via the CPAP website.
Please note that there is no single correct template for portfolio development. Students are encouraged to review past portfolios for ideas, but not necessarily as templates for their own portfolios.

During the final semester of study, the student will enroll in PAPA 5904, which is offered each Fall and Spring semester. Prior to the first class meeting, the student should conduct a self-assessment to evaluate performance for each objective, and identify areas for improvement.
During the semester, the PAPA 5904 instructor will advise the student on determining which types of products may be most useful for satisfying each performance objective. Working with the PAPA 5904 instructor, the student will craft a written portfolio narrative and presentation, and develop a plan for ensuring conformance with the performance objectives and associated evaluative criteria that the student or the instructor identify as needing additional attention.

At the conclusion of PAPA 5904, the student will have prepared a final narrative, will have addressed any outstanding issues in demonstrating conformance, and will have developed the final portfolio.

The portfolio including the narrative will be finalized and submitted to the student’s faculty advisor and committee no later than 10 days before the last day of classes in the semester during which the student defends the portfolio.

a. Portfolio Defense
During the final week of classes, MPA committees will hold a portfolio defense meeting with each graduating student. This constitutes the MPA final exam. Students will have five to ten minutes to describe how their portfolios demonstrate satisfaction of performance objectives. The committee members and other faculty will then have 15 minutes to ask questions. Without the student present, the committee members will deliberate and reach a final exam result. The committee will inform the student of the exam result, and where appropriate, designate requirements the student must meet for developing additional actions to ensure conformance.

b. Grading
Committees will evaluate the student’s portfolio and oral defense on each of the performance objectives according to the following three possible outcomes: Pass with Distinction, Pass, or Fail.

  1. Fail: If a student receives a grade of Fail from the committee on any performance objective, the student must submit an outline for addressing this discrepancy to the committee within 48 hours. The committee chair must then agree that the plan will achieve conformance with the objective in order for the student to be declared eligible for graduation. If the committee does not declare the student eligible to graduate, the student must submit a detailed plan ensuring conformance with all performance objectives for which the committee indicated a grade of Fail. The student must submit this plan by the first day of classes in the ensuing Fall or Spring semester and register for any remaining courses, or if all other course requirements are complete request a Start of Semester Defense Exception (SSDE). The student and committee will meet within the first five weeks of the semester to discuss the plan, recommend any changes and complete the portfolio process.
  2. Pass: If the Committee passes the student on all six performance objectives, a grade of Pass for the portfolio and the final exam will be submitted, and the student will be eligible to graduate.
  3. Pass with Distinction: In order to Pass with Distinction, students must receive unanimous Pass with Distinction ratings from all committee members on all performance objectives. It is expected that few students will achieve a Pass with Distinction.
All MPA committee members are appointed by the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the CPAP chair. For each student’s committee, the committee chair (or co-chair) must be a member of the CPAP core faculty, and the committee must include three faculty members total, with a majority consisting of CPAP core faculty. CPAP faculty emeriti/ae, faculty from other departments, and adjunct faculty may serve on a student’s committee with approval of the CPAP chair. Appropriate non-faculty personnel may be recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School for inclusion on an MPA committee. Graduate students may not serve on an MPA committee. The full committee must be present for the portfolio meeting, and members must contribute to determining whether the student’s portfolio is a Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction.
Required Courses (27 Credit Hours)
Electives (9 credits), Internship, and Portfolio Requirement (3 Credits)
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is academia’s highest degree and prepares one for research and scholarship, whether or not in affiliation with a university. The Center offers this degree for both full-time and part-time students. Many of these students are mid-career professionals who have reached a point in their professional development where they can commit the time and energy necessary to earn the Ph.D. degree. Qualified individuals just beginning their careers are also welcome. A master’s degree in a relevant field (not necessarily public administration or public policy) ordinarily is required for admission, but this requirement can be waived in exceptional cases. Those earning the CPAP MPA degree may apply for admission to the Ph.D. program as the end of the MPA work draws near.

All Ph.D. students take foundation courses in five core areas: policy, organizations, management, ethics, and theory/context. Advanced Topic courses examine topics in the core areas at a deeper level, and the two capstone seminars are a gateway to advanced research and preparation for the dissertation. Other components of the program include Measurement and Analysis Tools, Concentration Courses, the Qualifying Examination, the Prospectus Defense (Graduate School “Preliminary Exam”), and the Dissertation and defense (Graduate School “Final Exam”).

Entering students must have had courses in United States government, microeconomics, and introductory statistics. Students failing to meet this requirement must take these courses as soon as possible and must have completed them prior to enrolling in PAPA 6224. The U.S. government prerequisite may be satisfied by equivalent experience, training, or instruction. Equivalent experience is at least three years full-time work in local, state, or federal government in the U.S. This prerequisite also can be satisfied by completing the CLEP American Government exam with a score of 60 or higher. If this requirement has not been fulfilled upon entry into the program, it should be fulfilled in the first semester. Computer competency is also required.
A minimum of 90 credit hours is needed for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. A maximum of one half of the coursework, or 30 of the 60 credit hours of coursework required for the CPAP Ph.D., may be transferred from an accredited university other than Virginia Tech upon approval by two core faculty evaluating the student’s plan of study. The 60 course work credits include 18 hours of foundation courses, 15 hours of advanced topics and capstone courses, 6 hours of measurement, 9 hours of electives, and 12 hours of research concentration. These courses must correspond to the requirements of the five curriculum core areas. Students must also take 30 hours of research and dissertation credit, three hours of which must be constituted by participation in 15 sessions of the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) or other activities approved by the faculty for DMP credit.
1. Foundation Courses
2. Advanced Topics Courses
3. Capstone Seminars
A basic knowledge of statistics and familiarity with computers is assumed upon admission. Students taking PAPA 6514, Public Administration and Policy Inquiry, or substitute research methods courses approved by the faculty, will be expected to use qualitative and quantitative inquiry and computing skills. If they have not already completed this coursework elsewhere, students are required to complete a graduate-level, intermediate statistics course, which covers techniques through multiple regression. Where appropriate, based on the student’s research interests and with the approval of the student’s adviser, coursework covering other techniques in advanced qualitative and quantitative analysis may be substituted for multiple regression, such as ethnographic field work, textual analysis, historical research, survey design, simulation, operations research, or mathematical programming. Students may enroll in these advanced courses prior to or while enrolled in either PAPA 6514 or PAPA 6224.
1. Focused Study
2. Concentration Lecture
FOUNDATION COURSES (18 Hours)
ADVANCED TOPICS (AT) COURSES (9 Hours)
CAPSTONE SEMINARS*
MEASUREMENT & ANALYSIS TOOLS (6 Credit Hours)
ELECTIVES (9 Credit Hours)
QUALIFYING EXAMINATION* (see Section F below)
RESEARCH CONCENTRATION* (12 Credit Hours)
DISSERTATION HOURS* (30 Credit Hours)
This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual ability, and writing skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. For all Ph.D. students, the format of the exam will change effective Fall 2017.

The Qualifying Exam is designed to assess student mastery of the material covered in the six Foundation courses. Students are eligible to take the exam as soon as they have accumulated at least 21 credit hours of CPA-specific course work, which must include the 18 credit hours of foundation courses plus PAPA 6514 or its designated alternative. Students must take the exam no later than after the completion of 30 credit hours, which must include all required foundation courses plus PAPA 6514 or its designated alternative. The exam will be offered in the fall and spring semesters, and students may choose to register for the qualifying exam as soon as they meet the minimum credit hour and course threshold. The Virginia Tech Graduate Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination.

Students select three of the five core areas – Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy – to be tested in. The qualifying examination has two parts – written and oral – but will be considered as a whole.

WRITTEN
ORAL
Overview of Qualifying Exam Process
Ph.D. candidates must write a dissertation. The dissertation is expected to make an original contribution to knowledge of the field. The student is eligible to receive the Ph.D. degree upon the successful defense of the dissertation. As a result of their course work and advising, students should have identified and discussed a dissertation advisory relationship with an appropriate faculty member by the time they begin the Capstone seminars.
1. Dissertation Committee
2. Criteria for Committee
3. The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense (“Preliminary Examination”)
4. Dissertation Defense (“Final Examination”)
The advising process constitutes a crucial dimension of the graduate experience. The advisement systems may vary somewhat between CPAP’s locations.
1. General Information about Advising
2. Assignment of Advisors
3. Transfer of Credit and Plan of Study Development
4. Doctoral Mentoring Program
As specified in the Policies of the Virginia Tech Graduate School, students may fulfill their doctoral residency requirement through two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment. Students may also fulfill the residency requirement on the Blacksburg campus or in the National Capital via the following alternative plan, which has two components:

  1. Doctoral Mentoring Program: Participation through the completion of the Mentoring Program as described in Section H.4 above.
  2. Residency Capstone Seminar Sequence (Capstones A and B)

This is a special two-semester seminar sequence focused on the research and conceptual development of an academic paper, and the revision and continued development of the paper. The focus of the first seminar (Capstone A) is an advanced research topic demanding that students engage in intensive and original thought and analysis. Special colloquia and lecture presentations by various resource persons that follow the formal classroom sessions are also included in this program, and students are expected to attend and participate in them. During the second seminar in the sequence (Capstone B), students extensively critique and revise their manuscript from the first seminar, examine early research and developed research, learn about the publishing process, and present their work at the spring High Table conference. The final capstone requirement is to submit the manuscript for review to a journal.

University residency requirements require that National Capital Region students spend some time on the Blacksburg campus. Students enrolled in capstone seminars spend several days on the Blacksburg campus in the fall semester and in the spring semester during CPAP’s annual High Table conference.

A request for a waiver of any CPAP policy should be initially discussed by the student and his/her advisor. The request should then be presented to the CPAP chair. He or she shall use discretion to decide which, if any, of the CPAP policy making bodies should hear and decide the request. In all cases, strong and compelling evidence of both the necessity for the individual and minimal impact on the department must be presented.
A request for a waiver of any CPAP policy should be initially discussed by the student and his/her advisor. The request should then be presented to the CPAP chair. He or she shall use discretion to decide which, if any, of the CPAP policy making bodies should hear and decide the request. In all cases, strong and compelling evidence of both the necessity for the individual and minimal impact on the department must be presented.
1. The Program and Appeals Procedures at the Program and School Levels
2. The University Appeals Procedure
A. CORE FACULTY
B. NORMS FOR COURSE GRADING
C. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND GRADES
D. COMMITTEE PARTICIPATION AND MONITORING
E. CURRENCY OF POLICY GUIDELINES
SPIA and other University programs offer graduate certificates of possible interest to CPAP students. Two certificates – Homeland Security Policy and Local Government Management – are lodged in CPAP. MPA students may use certificate courses to fulfill elective requirements; one of the local government certificate courses may substitute for one of the required courses (either PAPA 6314 or PAPA 6324).
The graduate certificate in homeland security policy (12 credits) focuses on domestic security and emergency management issues. The certificate can serve either as a stand-alone credential of advanced educational achievement for non-degree students or as a supplement to a master’s or a doctoral degree. Taking four homeland security courses will introduce students to the complexity of the homeland security environment, from analyzing the terrorist threat, to considering questions of hazard mitigation, preparedness, and resilience, to investigating response and recovery strategies.

The certificate is comprised of four courses (12 hours of graduate coursework). The core courses focus on 1) threat (PAPA 5254 Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat), 2) prevention (PAPA 6264 Advanced Topics in Policy: Homeland Security and Prevention 3) response and recovery (PAPA 5354 Homeland Security Response and Recovery). A fourth course is selected from specified electives.

MPA students may use the certificate as their concentration and reflect upon the certificate and homeland security issues in their portfolio or internship. Ph.D. students may use the certificate as a foundation for dissertation research in homeland security policy and management.

The graduate certificate in local government management (12 credits) is a set of master’s level courses designed to prepare the next generation of U.S. local government leaders including county and city managers. The certificate provides a thorough understanding of the operations of U.S. local government and the political and administrative contexts of working with elected officials, citizens, and other stakeholders. The courses are taught by current or former practitioners in Virginia local government and are available through at 12 sites throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia or at the Fairfax County Government Center. Master of Public Administration students can use the certificate courses to satisfy the 9 elective hours, and they can elect to substitute one course for either PAPA6314 (Public Budgeting Processes) or PAPA6324 (Public Personnel). (See the table below for the courses in the certificate.) An on-line version of the certificate examines local governments throughout the United States; students need permission from the program director to enroll in these on-line classes.

PAPA 5044: Local Government and the Professional Manager
PAPA 5784: Local Economic Development Planning
PAPA 6354: Human Resources, Financial and Performance Management for Local Government Managers
PAPA 6154: The Context of Local Government Management and Service Delivery

CPAP FACULTY & STAFF

PhD in PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Our Mission: Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy

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.


While the core of the Ph.D. program is the dissertation, the Doctor of Philosophy degree formally requires a minimum of 90 credit hours. CPAP Ph.D. students take a series of Foundation courses in five Core Areas: context of public administration, organization, policy, management, and ethics; and five advanced courses we call Advanced Topics courses and Capstone Seminars. At least six credit hours must be completed or transferred in at the Foundation level in each core area except Ethics, which requires three credits. Ph.D. students also participate in the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) in or . In the addition to course work and DMP sessions, several PhD milestones need to be completed.

The Ph.D. program consists of three tightly integrated components, each designed to provide a foundation for, and transition to the next:

  • Introductory and advanced coursework consisting of 48 credits, culminating in the qualifying exams
  • 12 credits focused on the student’s concentration, culminating in the concentration lecture and the transition to the prospectus defense
  • 30 credits of dissertation and research, culminating in the defense of the dissertation
  • Prepare students to enter public service in government at the local, state, regional, and national levels and in nonprofit organizations through the development of managerial and analytical skills and through professional experiences.
  • Instill students with an awareness of the normative foundations of governance and public service.
  • Attract and retain academically qualified and diverse students committed to public service.
  • Maintain a faculty committed to promoting student learning outcomes.
Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, each student is assigned an advisor to provide counsel on the selection and timing of coursework as well as to help the student develop a clear sense of intellectual direction and a framework for thinking about his or her dissertation project. Students may change advisors at any time with the approval of the CPAP Chair and the consent of the new advisor.
Plan of Study: within the first semester of study new students complete a plan of study which identifies coursework from previous graduate work that may be transferred into the Ph.D. plan of study, and establishes the timing for completing additional CPAP course work. The student should contact his or her advisor to arrange a plan of study meeting, consisting of the advisor, two additional members of the faculty, and the student. Students should print the plan of study form and bring a copy to the program of study meeting. In some instances, the plan of study advising may be completed in conjunction with orientation or with a doctoral mentoring program session.

Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP): Each student in the Ph.D. program must attend a total of 15 doctoral mentoring program sessions before defending his or her dissertation. The mentoring program is central to the community of scholarship at CPAP. Three DMP sessions are scheduled each semester, for a total of six each year. Students can earn DMP credits for attending additional lectures, round tables, and sessions identified as appropriate for DMP credit but students must attend at least 10 of the regularly scheduled DMP sessions, and no more than five alternative sessions. Students are encouraged to attend the DMP throughout their studies, even after reaching 15 sessions.

This exam is an important transition point in the program where students more actively and critically direct their scholarly interests. It is taken only when all course work (with the exception of the capstone seminars and the 12 hours of Research Concentration), has been completed. In order to take the examination, a student must submit the official form to the graduate school at least one month prior to the exam, and have a Plan of Study approved by his or her committees and committee chairs and the Graduate School, and he or she may not have any grades of “incomplete” in Foundation or Advanced Topics courses.

This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual power, and writing and speaking skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. Students passing the exam are considered to be qualified to go on to the prospectus stage of their doctoral work. The Virginia Tech Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination. The exam is offered every Fall semester, usually in early September, and every Spring semester usually in early February.

The exam is offered in two parts: a written portion consisting of three essays in the three fields of study selected by the student and an oral exam two weeks later before the examination committee that consists of questions drawing primarily upon the written essays completed by the student.

Students planning to take the exams must respond to the preliminary inquiry from Laura French or Irene Jung distributed six months prior to a fall or spring exam, to confirm participation in the next scheduled exam and the fields of study they have selected for the exam.

Annual Student Evaluations: An evaluation of doctoral students in the CPAP Ph.D. program is conducted at the end of the Spring semester of each academic year. The purpose of the evaluation is to assure that each student is making adequate progress toward the program milestones. This evaluation involves the review of courses taken, grades earned, progress toward milestones, and professional accomplishments. The basis of this review is an annual evaluation form that is completed by each student. Special attention is given to course incompletes and other potential obstacles to adequate progress.

The MPA requires 39 credit hours of coursework.
Full time students are able to complete the degree in two years.

Part time students are required to enroll continuously in at least one course (3 credit hours) per semester. The length of the degree for part time students depends on the pace at which required coursework is completed.

Of the students who enrolled in 2012, 65% completed the MPA in two years and 80% completed the degree in four years.

A dual degree is available with the Master of Urban Affairs and Planning. Detail regarding program completion requirements can be found in the CPAP Policy Guide.

Students must complete three concentration courses and conduct a concentration lecture for a total of 12 credits.
Coursework: Students will complete three classes or independent studies that contribute directly to their dissertation research. Concentrations may focus on areas of student or faculty expertise leading to a dissertation such as non-profit management, public and regime values, public finance, strategy, homeland security, or many other areas. In consultation with an advisor students choose to complete either independent studies that are designed to hone and further their dissertation interests, courses that contribute directly to a student’s research interests, or a combination of the two. If a student chooses to complete an independent study, he or she must complete the independent study form in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the Independent Study. These forms are filed with the Administrative Assistant for the program.

Selecting a dissertation advisor and Committee: Through completion of the concentration coursework, students are transitioning to their advisors for their dissertations. Students often work with different faculty during their research concentration courses or independent studies to consider selection of their dissertation committee chairs and members of the committees. The first step in this process is to ask a member of the Center’s core faculty to chair this committee. The faculty member who agrees to chair the dissertation committee will then become the student’s advisor. The next step is to constitute the Dissertation Committee, which consists of at least four members including the chair. Three members including the chair must be core CPAP faculty members. The fourth member can be a CPAP faculty member, affiliated faculty, a faculty member from another department in VT, or someone outside of VT with higher education credentials who brings particular expertise to the committee.

Concentration Lecture: When a student has completed nine credits of concentration work, he or she will present a concentration lecture to the faculty and peers. The lecture is an opportunity to share what the student has learned, and to test out a format and approach for the student’s dissertation prospectus.

Students must register for PAPA 7964 Concentration Lecture Section for the semester they plan to deliver their lecture. In addition, students are responsible for coordinating with their committee members to schedule the lecture, and communicating the day and time to Laura French in Blacksburg or Irene Jung in Alexandria for distribution on the student and faculty listservs. The announcement should be at least a full two weeks in advance of the lecture.

Preliminary Exam (The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense): After establishing the committee of a minimum of four members, the student writes the Dissertation Prospectus under the guidance of his or her committee chair. This document essentially is a research design setting forth the program of research that the student proposes to follow in writing his or her dissertation. The prospectus should address:
the topic or question to be assayed in the planned dissertation
the significance of the proposed research
the present state of knowledge on the topic or question
the sources that will shape the work,
the research strategy and/or methodology to be employed
an outline of proposed chapters
and a timeline for completing the work.
The student preparing to defend his or her prospectus must complete the Request to Admit Candidate to Preliminary Examinationform and have it approved by the committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. When the prospectus has been successfully defended, the student will proceed to write the dissertation itself.

Final Exam (The Dissertation Defense): Defense of the dissertation is the final requirement. No student may advance to the Dissertation Defense until all other requirements have been completed successfully and until the chair and at least two out of three or three out of four or five other members of the dissertation committee agree that the dissertation is ready to be defended. The dissertation defense focuses on the dissertation research project but is not limited to it. The candidate is expected to answer questions about the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the dissertation and its contribution to new knowledge in the field.

The dissertation defense may be scheduled no sooner than six weeks after a draft, approved by the chair, has been distributed to the members of the committee. The students must complete the Request to Admit Candidate to Final Exam form (under Academics/Forms) and have it approved by his or her advisory committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. All members of the Dissertation Committee must be present for the defense.

Students should contact the Administrative Assistant in their location to complete additional paperwork and insure that everything is in place for the defense and the submission of the dissertation.

PAPA DEGREE STRUCTURE & CURRICULUM

Foundation Courses broadly survey sub-fields of public administration and public policy. These courses are offered by the Center, but equivalent coursework at other universities sometimes may substitute for some of these courses, subject to faculty approval.
PAPA 6014: Public Administration Context and Theory
PAPA 6114: Complex Organizations
PAPA 6214: Public Policy Processes and Analysis
PAPA 6224: Policy Design and Evaluation of Public Policies
PAPA 6344: Leadership and Management Processes in Public Administration
PAPA 6414: Normative Foundations of Public Administration
Advanced Topics (9 hours)
PAPA 6924 Capstone A (3 hours)
PAPA 6934 Capstone B (3 hours)
PAPA 6514: Public Administration & Policy Inquiry
Intermediate/Advanced Statistics or other quantitative or qualitative skills
Please Note: Completion of an introductory statistics is required to enroll in PAPA 6514
9 semester hours in any combination of advanced PAPA courses or courses in related disciplines. Students may transfer appropriate graduate coursework from other universities, or take additional Virginia Tech coursework.
9 credit hours coursework related to the development of the dissertation prospectus, which may include Independent Study (PAPA 5974), Internship and/or Field Studies
PAPA 5974 - Independent Study
PAPA 7964 - Field Study
PAPA 5964: Concentration Lecture
Complete qualifying exams in three of the five core areas of Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy. This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual ability , and writing skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. It is taken only when all coursework, except capstone seminars and the 12 hours of Research Concentration, are completed. Students passing the exam are considered to be qualified to go on to the capstone seminars and the prospectus stage of their doctoral work. It is taken only when all course work, except capstone seminars and the 12 hours of Research Concentration, has been completed. In order to take the examination, students must have a Plan of Study approved by their committee and committee chair and the Graduate School, and they may not have any grades of “incomplete” in Foundation or Advanced Topics courses. The Virginia Tech Graduate Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination. All students are required to demonstrate a fundamental understanding of three of the five core areas of Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy. Students select three of the five core areas to be tested in. The examination has two parts but will be considered as a whole.

Written: The written portion of the examination is designed to assess a student’s ability to construct a coherent essay responding to a question in each of his/her three chosen core areas. Each essay must demonstrate an ability to discuss a range of key issues, to express a distinctively scholarly point of view based upon relevant journal and book literature, and an ability to craft a clear, defensible argument.

Oral: The oral portion of the examination will allow students to reflect upon the written portion of the examination, to integrate some of the material across the three written exam areas, and to expand or improve upon the arguments in their essays.

30 hours of PAPA 7994 – Research & Dissertation; 3 hours of which are dedicated to the Doctoral Mentoring Program in Alexandria or Blacksburg. Ph.D. candidates must write a dissertation. The dissertation is expected to make an original contribution to the knowledge of the field. The student is eligible to receive the Ph.D. degree upon the successful defense of the dissertation. As a result of their course work and advisement, students should have identified and discussed a dissertation advisory relationship with an appropriate faculty member by the time they complete the Qualifying Examination phase of their program.
Dissertation Committee
Criteria for Committee
The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense (Preliminary Examination)
Dissertation Defense

See the Policy Guide for additional information about CPAP’s Ph.D. Program in Alexandria and Blacksburg.

RANKING & ACCREDITATION

A Highly Ranked Program

Best Grad Schools Rating US News and World Report
The Center for Public Administration and Policy is nationally ranked in the top 25 schools for public management / administration by U.S. News & World Report, out of nearly 300 schools.

Virginia Tech has also been ranked 15th in the 2015 Best Value Schools ranking of the 50 most innovative public service schools in the United States.

According to the survey, the rankings were based on U.S. News ranking for public affairs for:

  • number of degree programs
  • student-to-faculty ratio
  • strength of internship programs
  • QS Top Universities innovation ranking and
  • a ranking of innovative features.

NASPAA logo

This degree has undertaken a rigorous process of peer review conducted by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA).

Download the Policy Guide

POLICY GUIDE
THE MASTER OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM
REQUIREMENTS

PORTFOLIO REQUIREMENT

D. CRITERIA FOR CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE MPA COMMITTEES

All MPA committee members are appointed by the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the CPAP chair. For each student’s committee, the committee chair (or co-chair) must be a member of the CPAP core faculty, and the committee must include three faculty members total, with a majority consisting of CPAP core faculty. CPAP faculty emeriti/ae, faculty from other departments, and adjunct faculty may serve on a student’s committee with approval of the CPAP chair. Appropriate non-faculty personnel may be recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School for inclusion on an MPA committee. Graduate students may not serve on an MPA committee. The full committee must be present for the portfolio meeting, and members must contribute to determining whether the student’s portfolio is a Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction.

THE M.P.A. CURRICULUM (39 Credit Hours)
Required Courses — 27 Credit Hours

PUBLIC MANAGEMENT
PAPA 5315: Behavioral Skills for Managers
PAPA 5316: Systems Skills For Managers
PAPA 6314: Public Budgeting Processes and Their Policy Implications*
PAPA 6324: Public Personnel Processes and Their Policy Implications*

PUBLIC POLICY
PAPA 6214: Public Policy Processes and Analytical Approaches
PAPA 6224: Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Policy and Programs (prerequisites: a statistics course and PAPA 6514)

PUBLIC SERVICE
PAPA 5014: Concepts and Approaches in Public Administration
PAPA 6414: Normative Foundations of Public Administration

METHODS AND ANALYSIS
PAPA 6514: Public Administration and Policy Inquiry (prerequisite: a statistics course)
*PAPA 6354 may be substituted for one of these classes, when taken as part of the Local Government Management certificate.
Electives (9 credits), Internship, and Portfolio Requirement (3 Credits)
Elective Courses
Internship
Portfolio
Three courses (9 credit hours) composed of other CPAP courses or courses in other departments. Options should be related to public affairs and be discussed with faculty advisors. For pre- and early career students, internship credit (PAPA 5954) may be used for 3 of these hours.
To be completed by pre- and early career students as defined in Section I.B. above. Internships may be for credit or not for credit.
Student are required to take 3 credit hours of PAPA 5904, Project and Report [portfolio preparation and defense].

II. THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM: Ph.D. IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is academia’s highest degree and prepares one for research and scholarship, whether or not in affiliation with a university. The Center offers this degree for both full-time and part-time students. Many of these students are mid-career professionals who have reached a point in their professional development where they can commit the time and energy necessary to earn the Ph.D. degree. Qualified individuals just beginning their careers are also welcome. A master’s degree in a relevant field (not necessarily public administration or public policy) ordinarily is required for admission, but this requirement can be waived in exceptional cases. Those earning the CPAP MPA degree may apply for admission to the Ph.D. program as the end of the MPA work draws near.
All Ph.D. students take foundation courses in five core areas: policy, organizations, management, ethics, and theory/context. Advanced Topic courses examine topics in the core areas at a deeper level, and the two capstone seminars are a gateway to advanced research and preparation for the dissertation. Other components of the program include Measurement and Analysis Tools, Concentration Courses, the Qualifying Examination, the Prospectus Defense (Graduate School “Preliminary Exam”), and the Dissertation and defense (Graduate School “Final Exam”).
A. PREREQUISITES
Entering students must have had courses in United States government, microeconomics, and introductory statistics. Students failing to meet this requirement must take these courses as soon as possible and must have completed them prior to enrolling in PAPA 6224. The U.S. government prerequisite may be satisfied by equivalent experience, training, or instruction. Equivalent experience is at least three years full-time work in local, state, or federal government in the U.S. This prerequisite also can be satisfied by completing the CLEP American Government exam with a score of 60 or higher. If this requirement has not been fulfilled upon entry into the program, it should be fulfilled in the first semester. Computer competency is also required.
B. COURSE PREPARATION FOR CORE AREAS
A minimum of 90 credit hours is needed for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. A maximum of one half of the coursework, or 30 of the 60 credit hours of coursework required for the CPAP Ph.D., may be transferred from an accredited university other than Virginia Tech upon approval by two core faculty evaluating the student’s plan of study. The 60 course work credits include 18 hours of foundation courses, 15 hours of advanced topics and capstone courses, 6 hours of measurement, 9 hours of electives, and 12 hours of research concentration. These courses must correspond to the requirements of the five curriculum core areas. Students must also take 30 hours of research and dissertation credit, three hours of which must be constituted by participation in 15 sessions of the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) or other activities approved by the faculty for DMP credit.
1. Foundation Courses broadly survey sub-fields of public administration and public policy. These courses are offered by the Center but, as noted above, equivalent coursework at other universities on occasion may substitute for some of these courses, subject to faculty approval.
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At least 3 credit hours must be completed or transferred in at the foundation level in each core area except Policy, which requires 6 credit hours. Students complete at least 18 credit hours of foundation coursework in the core areas, at least 9 hours of Advanced Topics, and at least 6 hours of coursework in Measurement and Analysis Tools components. Students should complete foundation courses before enrolling in Advanced Topics classes. Before enrolling in the two-course sequence of Capstone Seminars, however, they must have completed all foundation courses and passed the qualifying examination.
2. Advanced Topics Courses examine specialized areas. These courses are designed to expose the student to an in-depth analysis of some specialized aspects of a core area of the Center’s curriculum.
3. Capstone Seminars provide the opportunity to develop ideas that may form the foundation for the dissertation. They represent the most advanced formal coursework at the Center. The seminars are to be taken in sequence: Capstone A followed by Capstone B. They need not be taken in contiguous semesters. Capstone A is a research seminar that offers students the opportunity to develop ideas for a paper that may support a dissertation topic. Capstone B is a writing-intensive seminar in which students refine rough drafts developed in Capstone A. The final paper for Capstone B should be of publishable quality in a refereed journal. Admission to the capstone seminar sequence is contingent upon successful completion of all foundation coursework and the qualifying examination.
C. RESEARCH METHODS
A basic knowledge of statistics and familiarity with computers is assumed upon admission. Students taking PAPA 6514, Public Administration and Policy Inquiry, or substitute research methods courses approved by the faculty, will be expected to use qualitative and quantitative inquiry and computing skills. If they have not already completed this coursework elsewhere, students are required to complete a graduate-level, intermediate statistics course, which covers techniques through multiple regression. Where appropriate, based on the student’s research interests and with the approval of the student’s adviser, coursework covering other techniques in advanced qualitative and quantitative analysis may be substituted for multiple regression, such as ethnographic field work, textual analysis, historical research, survey design, simulation, operations research, or mathematical programming. Students may enroll in these advanced courses prior to or while enrolled in either PAPA 6514 or PAPA 6224.
D. RESEARCH CONCENTRATION
1. Focused Study: Students complete nine credit hours of focused study consisting of either coursework, independent studies, internship, and/or field studies. Students complete this work during their CPAP doctoral studies and may not transfer work completed prior to their enrollment in the Ph.D. program. This work should permit the student to delve more deeply into a subject-matter field or an area of theory or research methodology. Faculty advisors will counsel students on the need to take additional credit study or noncredit training in data collection or analysis tools needed for their anticipated dissertation projects as part of the Research Concentration requirement.
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Students are encouraged to use the Research Concentration as an opportunity to begin work on the dissertation. For example, the nine credit hours may include special study in a potential dissertation research methodology, an independent study on a preliminary review of the literature base for the dissertation, some background coursework, or some form of applied field work. Students work with a member of the faculty to determine the activities for the nine credit hours. However, the Concentration also may be used to pursue field experiences or special study independent of the dissertation topic.
The Research Concentration may be completed before or after the qualifying exam. Students are encouraged to discuss with their advisors the appropriate time to complete the nine hours of research concentration work and the three credit concentration lecture.
2. Concentration Lecture: A lecture is prepared and presented by students after completing the nine credit hours of research concentration work. This lecture (three credit hours of PAPA 7964) integrates the Concentration work and must be presented before the faculty advisor and at least six other students or guests, including faculty. The lecture may focus on either the anticipated topic of the student’s dissertation or another major area of research concentration that the student expects to offer as part of his or her academic credentials upon completion of the Ph.D. degree. This lecture is given before the dissertation prospectus defense. Where appropriate, part of this lecture should lay out the student’s five-year plan of research for post-doctoral investigation. Students are responsible for assembling the audience for the lecture.
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E. THE Ph.D. CURRICULUM
Required Courses
CORE AREA
FOUNDATION COURSES
(18 HOURS)
ADVANCED TOPICS (AT) COURSES
(9 HOURS)
CAPSTONE SEMINARS*
(6 HOURS, taken after the qualifying examination)
*Capstones A & B
THEORY/ CONTEXT
PAPA 6014: Public Administration Theory and Context

ORGANIZATION
PAPA 6114: Complex Public Organizations
PAPA 6154: AT in Public Organizations
POLICY
PAPA 6214: Public Policy Processes
PAPA 6224: Public Policy Design
PAPA 6254: AT in Public Policy
–OR–
PAPA 6264: AT in Policy Systems Management
MANAGEMENT
PAPA 6344: Leadership and Management
in Public Administration
PAPA 6354: AT in Public Management
ETHICS
PAPA 6414: Normative Foundations of
Public Administration
PAPA 6454: AT in Ethics & the Public Sector
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Other elements:
MEASUREMENT & ANALYSIS TOOLS
(6 Credit Hours)
ELECTIVES
(9 Credit Hours)
QUALIFYING EXAMINATION
*(see Section F below)
RESEARCH CONCENTRATION
May be taken before or after the qualifying examination
(12 Credit Hours)
DISSERTATION HOURS
May be taken before or after the qualifying examination (30 Credit Hours)
PAPA 6514: Public Administration & Policy Inquiry or substitute (or PSCI 5115)
Intermediate/Advanced Statistics or other quantitative or qualitative skills
9 semester hours in any combination of advanced PAPA courses or courses in related disciplines.
Test in three (3) of the following core areas
 THEORY/CONTEXT
 ORGANIZATION
 POLICY
 MANAGEMENT
 ETHICS
9 semester hours coursework in dissertation research area. May include Independent Study (PAPA 5974) or Internship and/or Field Studies PLUS 3 hours of Concentration Lecture (PAPA 7964) prior to the prospectus defense
30 semester hours PAPA 7994, including 3 hours dedicated to professional development (Doctoral Mentoring Program). Dissertation credits may be taken throughout the student’s studies.
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F. QUALIFYING EXAMINATION
This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual ability, and writing skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. For all Ph.D. students, the format of the exam will change effective Fall 2017.
The Qualifying Exam is designed to assess student mastery of the material covered in the six Foundation courses. Students are eligible to take the exam as soon as they have accumulated at least 21 credit hours of CPA-specific course work, which must include the 18 credit hours of foundation courses plus PAPA 6514 or its designated alternative. Students must take the exam no later than after the completion of 30 credit hours, which must include all required foundation courses plus PAPA 6514 or its designated alternative. The exam will be offered in the fall and spring semesters, and students may choose to register for the qualifying exam as soon as they meet the minimum credit hour and course threshold. The Virginia Tech Graduate Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination.
Students select three of the five core areas – Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy – to be tested in. The qualifying examination has two parts – written and oral – but will be considered as a whole.
Written: Essay questions will be based solely on the content of the foundation coursework (that is, no specific themes and related departure readings will be circulated). The written exam will consist of one broad question for each foundation area. Students must demonstrate mastery of the foundational material by composing coherent essays responding to the questions presented in their three selected fields.
Mastery is defined according to the following criteria:
1. Completeness of response to the question
2. Accuracy of response to the question
3. Grounding in the relevant scholarship
4. Synthesis
5. Critical analysis
6. Writing quality
For each foundation area, the faculty will prepare a periodically updated list of relevant published scholarship, as well as providing students access to course syllabi (both past and present) to ensure that students have a rich and relatively standardized resource in each core area on which to draw to prepare for the exam.
Faculty will set a minimum level of competence (i.e., a passing grade) based on the above criteria. Students must pass all three essays in order to be considered ready to defend the essays in the oral portion of the exam. Students failing to reach this threshold must write new essays during the next scheduled qualifying exam period, but only for the foundation area(s) not meeting the threshold. Students may not change foundation areas between attempts to pass the written portion of the exam. Failure to successfully pass the written
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exam in all three areas after a second attempt at one or more essays will constitute a failure of the qualifying exam.
Oral: The oral defense will be used to confirm faculty assessments of the students’ essays. Each of the three essays will be considered in sequence, and students will be expected to sustain and defend their arguments in each essay in response to questions.
Students judged to have passed the written and oral portions of the exam will be considered “qualified” to complete the remaining required coursework in the Ph.D. program. Students successfully completing this coursework may move on to the dissertation milestones, including the concentration lecture, prospectus defense, dissertation, and dissertation defense. Any student whose oral qualifying exam defense is considered unsatisfactory will be given one opportunity to complete an alternative project in order to pass the qualifying exam. Failure to successfully complete this project will constitute failure of the qualifying exam. All students will receive written feedback on their performance in the exam after each cycle in which they participate.
Overview of Qualifying Exam Process:
1. Students will complete foundation courses in all five core areas, and select three of the five core areas to be tested in the written and oral portions of the examination.
2. The examination will be offered twice a year in the fall and spring semesters. The written portion of the exam will consist of three take home essays (see below) and students will have 8 hours to complete each one. The essays will be written on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule with one day scheduled for each core area. The written portion of the examination will be scheduled approximately within the first three weeks of the semester followed by the oral component of the examination approximately two weeks after the last written one. The oral portion of the exam will be scheduled within the first five weeks of the fall and spring semesters.
3. Students wishing to take the examination must fill out the top portion of the CPAP form “Request to Admit Candidate to Qualifying Examination,” have it signed by their committee chair, and submit it to the CPAP office in Blacksburg or the National Capital Region no later than one month before the first day of the written portion of the examination.
4. Prior to the administration of the written examination, each core area committee will develop one question in their respective area. Students will be presented with this question on the day that each respective written exam is administered.
5. On each of the written exam days, a student will have an 8-hour period (8:00am to 5:00pm, with an hour allowed for lunch) in which to respond to the question in an essay no more than ten pages in length, double-spaced.
.
6. In the two weeks following the administration of the last core area written examination, a
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six-member examining committee (two readers from each chosen core area) will read and assess the student’s essays in preparation for the oral portion of the exam. At the same time, the student will be given an electronic copy of her/his three essays so s/he may prepare for the oral exam.
7. Each student will have an oral exam committee consisting of the six readers of their written essays. The committee will ask questions that build from the questions the student answered in the written portion of the exam. The oral portion of the exam will last for approximately an hour. Following the exam the committee will discuss the student’s performance on both the written and oral portions of the examination and decide whether the student has earned a grade of pass or fail.
8. For students who fail the examination, the examining committee will determine the appropriate form of a re-take during the next scheduled examination period. In most instances this likely will involve a decision on whether a student should re-take one, two, or three of the examination core areas. Failure to start and complete the required re-take by the next scheduled examination will constitute a second failure of the examination. For students who retake the exam and fail the second time, the entire faculty will meet as a committee of the whole to assess the student’s entire performance to date and decide if the student should be allowed to continue to the dissertation.
G. DISSERTATION
Ph.D. candidates must write a dissertation. The dissertation is expected to make an original contribution to knowledge of the field. The student is eligible to receive the Ph.D. degree upon the successful defense of the dissertation. As a result of their course work and advising, students should have identified and discussed a dissertation advisory relationship with an appropriate faculty member by the time they begin the Capstone seminars.
1. Dissertation Committee: After the student completes the Qualifying Examination and before they begin Capstone A, he or she formally establishes a dissertation committee. The first step in this process is to ask a member of the Center’s core faculty to chair this committee. The faculty member who agrees to chair the dissertation committee will then become the student’s formal advisor. The next step is to constitute the dissertation committee, which consists of at least four members including the chair.
2. Criteria for Committee: Ordinarily, a dissertation committee is comprised of four members, at least three of whom shall be members of the CPAP core faculty. The chair (or co-chair) must be a member of the core faculty (see Section III. A. below). A fourth or fifth committee member, if not a member of the Virginia Tech full-time faculty, must be approved by the committee chair and by the Graduate School. Dissertation committees are subject to the approval of the Graduate School. Graduate School regulations require that persons other than Virginia Tech faculty members comprise no more than one-third of a dissertation committee’s membership. Therefore, if two members from other institutions serve on a dissertation committee, a fifth member must be added from the Virginia Tech faculty. Under no circumstances may more than two
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colleagues from other universities serve on a dissertation committee.
3. The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense (“Preliminary Examination”): After establishing the committee of a minimum of four members, the student writes the Dissertation Prospectus under the guidance of his or her committee chair. This document essentially is a research design setting forth the program of research that the student proposes to follow in writing his or her dissertation. The prospectus should address the topic or question to be assayed in the planned dissertation; the scholarly and public affairs significance of the proposed research; the present state of knowledge on the topic or question, and the sources that will shape the work; the research design (including the research strategy, methodology, and methods) to be employed; an outline of proposed chapters; and a timeline for completing the work.
When the student and the chair agree that the prospectus is ready, arrangements will be made for the student to defend it before the dissertation committee. Students must complete the “Request to Admit Candidate to Preliminary Examination” form (available from the Graduate School website under Academics/Forms) and have it approved by their advisory committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. When the prospectus has been successfully defended, the student will proceed to write the dissertation itself.
4. Dissertation Defense (“Final Examination”): The defense of the dissertation is the final requirement. No student may advance to the Dissertation Defense until all other requirements have been completed successfully and until the chair and at least two out of three or three out of four of five other members of the dissertation committee agree that the dissertation is ready to be defended. The dissertation defense focuses on the dissertation research project but is not limited to it. Candidates are expected to answer questions about the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the dissertation and its contribution to new knowledge in the field.
The dissertation defense must be scheduled no sooner than six weeks after a draft, approved by the chair, has been distributed to the members of the committee. Students must complete the “Request to Admit Candidate to Final Exam” form (available from the Graduate School website under Academics/Forms) and have it approved by their advisory committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. Members of the dissertation committee must be present for the defense.
H. ADVISEMENT
The advising process constitutes a crucial dimension of the graduate experience. The advisement systems may vary somewhat between CPAP’s locations.
1. General Information about Advising: The general orientation of the advising activities at both locations is directed not only toward counseling students on the choice of course work, but also toward helping them develop a clear sense of intellectual direction and a framework for thinking about their dissertation projects. The systems at the two locations
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vary only in order to meet the distinctive requirements of the type of student community that exists at each location.
2. Assignment of Advisors: The CPAP chair or associate chair will assign a member of the core faculty to each student upon his or her arrival on campus. Students who know one or more members of the core faculty may request their advisors by name before arriving, a request that the CPAP chair and/or associate chair will try to accommodate insofar as the equitable distribution of advising duties will permit.
Students may change their advisors at any time with the approval of the CPAP chair and the consent of the new advisors. After a dissertation chair has been selected, however, this option should be exercised prudently and then in accordance with Graduate School procedures. The student may also request a change in the membership of the dissertation committee, subject to the approval of the committee chair and the CPAP chair and in accordance with Graduate School procedures. This option should be exercised with increasing caution as work on the dissertation progresses.
3. Transfer of Credit and Plan of Study Development: An advising session concerning transfer credit and program of study development is offered at least once a year, usually at the beginning of the fall term. Entering students should attend the first session offered after they have entered the Ph.D. program. Students meet with teams of at least two members of the core faculty assigned by the CPAP chair to review the student’s previous graduate work in order to determine which courses match the CPAP curriculum sufficiently to merit transfer credit, to identify the remaining courses that the student must take, and to fill out the original plan of study form.
Once formal decisions have been made by the faculty at each location concerning transfer credits, the faculty will sign the Plan of Study form and submit a copy to their respective office managers who will submit the information electronically to the Graduate School and place a copy of the form into the student’s file. The Plan of Study will appear in the student’s electronic Graduate School records, along with their transcripts and other information. This document should be looked upon as though it were a contract specifying the requirements the student must meet as he or she moves through the program.
Later adjustments to the Plan of Study are made following consultation between the student and his or her faculty advisor. Before completing 24 hours of course work, the student should schedule a Plan of Study or “milestone” session with his or her advisor and a second faculty member selected by the student and advisor. At this session, the student’s Plan of Study will be reviewed and, if approved, will be forwarded to the CPAP chair or associate chair and the Graduate School. In implementing their Plans of Study, students must contact their advisors during their course work to review course options.
4. Doctoral Mentoring Program: The goal of the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) is to maximize the student learning experience by developing academic-collegial relationships within the CPAP community, and to assist in professional socialization and development.
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The DMP satisfies 3 of the 30 credit hours of PAPA 7994, Research and Dissertation, required for the Ph.D. degree program. Attendance is required at a minimum of 15 DMP meetings in order to complete the DMP requirement and enroll in the special section of PAPA 7994 where DMP credit is given. New students in the doctoral program are assigned to mentoring groups in either Blacksburg or the National Capital Region (Alexandria) upon entry.
Mentoring groups meet at least three times in each fall and spring semester for a total of six regular meetings per academic year in each program location. As implied above, participation in the mentoring groups carries the same status as participation in an academic course, and course credit is allocated to students upon completion of the mentoring program. Mentoring groups meet both as a general community and in individual sessions with their colleagues and their faculty advisor. The topical agenda of the community and group sessions covers all aspects of the CPAP program, questions about individual programs of study, individual research interests, and broader topics having to do with intellectual and academic life both during the graduate school experience and afterwards in the career stage.
In some instances, such as when students begin taking courses while they are pursuing admission to the program, it may happen that a student will not be eligible to be assigned formally to a Mentoring Group or to attend an advising session for two or even three semesters. In these cases, the faculty member currently serving as Manager of the Mentoring Program will also act as the student’s individual faculty advisor. Such students are welcome to attend the DMP as guests. Should they later be admitted to the program, they will then receive DMP credit for their attendance.
I. THE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT
As specified in the Policies of the Virginia Tech Graduate School, students may fulfill their doctoral residency requirement through two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment. Students may also fulfill the residency requirement on the Blacksburg campus or in the National Capital via the following alternative plan, which has two components:
1. Doctoral Mentoring Program: Participation through the completion of the Mentoring Program as described in Section H.4 above.
2. Residency Capstone Seminar Sequence (Capstones A and B)
This is a special two-semester seminar sequence focused on the research and conceptual development of an academic paper, and the revision and continued development of the paper. The focus of the first seminar (Capstone A) is an advanced research topic demanding that students engage in intensive and original thought and analysis. Special colloquia and lecture presentations by various resource persons that follow the formal classroom sessions are also included in this program, and students are expected to attend and participate in them. During the second seminar in the sequence (Capstone B), students extensively critique and revise their manuscript from the first seminar, examine
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early research and developed research, learn about the publishing process, and present their work at the spring High Table conference. The final capstone requirement is to submit the manuscript for review to a journal.
University residency requirements require that National Capital Region students spend some time on the Blacksburg campus. Students enrolled in capstone seminars spend several days on the Blacksburg campus in the fall semester and in the spring semester during CPAP’s annual High Table conference.
J. PROGRAM WAIVERS
A request for a waiver of any CPAP policy should be initially discussed by the student and his/her advisor. The request should then be presented to the CPAP chair. He or she shall use discretion to decide which, if any, of the CPAP policy making bodies should hear and decide the request. In all cases, strong and compelling evidence of both the necessity for the individual and minimal impact on the department must be presented.
K. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
1. The Program and Appeals Procedures at the Program and School Levels
The Center for Public Administration and Policy follows the procedures for grievance as accepted by the Graduate School. Whenever a graduate student believes that any work has been improperly evaluated, or believes that there has been unfair treatment, it is expected that the student will follow the procedures below in a timely fashion.
The student should take up the questions directly with the faculty member involved. This may be the committee chair, another faculty member, or an instructor responsible for a course.
a. If the matter is not reconciled, the graduate student will be expected to appeal the question to the CPAP chair.
b. If the matter cannot be resolved there, then the chair takes the question to the CPAP core faculty. If the CPAP chair is a party to the grievance, the Director of the School for Public and International Affairs (SPIA) will assume this responsibility.
c. If the matter is still unresolved, the Director of the School of Public and International Affairs, in consultation with the SPIA Executive Committee and the Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies as appropriate, shall take all reasonable and proper actions to resolve the question at the departmental level. The student shall be informed in writing of the results no later than one month after the appeal to the Director of the School of Public and International Affairs.
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2. The University Appeals Procedure
If the aggrieved student believes that their rights were abridged at the program and school levels, the student may file a request for review with the Dean of the Graduate School. A full description of these procedures is found in the Graduate School Policies and Procedures.
III. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. CORE FACULTY
The term “core faculty” as used in this document includes the following: Professors Cook, Dull, Eckerd, Hult, Jensen, Jordan, Khademian, Lemaire, Rees, Roberts, and Sterett, and Professors Emeriti/ae Dudley, Goodsell, Kronenberg, Wamsley, White, and Wolf.
B. NORMS FOR COURSE GRADING
As a policy, the classroom faculty members are responsible for assigning the grades that they deem appropriate. Faculty should make standards for grading known to students at the beginning of each semester. The CPAP faculty agrees that grades should provide an opportunity to provide feedback on various dimensions of performance in courses.
C. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND GRADES
All students are expected to assume full responsibility for knowledge of all regulations pertinent to the procedures of the Graduate School as set forth in Graduate School Policies, available on-line at (http://graduateschool.vt.edu/graduate_catalog/policies.htm?policy=002d14432c654287012c6542e38200a) and any other regulations and procedures published by the Graduate School and the Center for Public Administration and Policy.
In scheduling their preliminary exams (prospectus defense) and final exams (dissertation defense), Ph. D. students are expected to adhere strictly to Graduate School deadlines and are responsible for confirming those deadlines as announced by the Graduate School for a given semester. Exceptions to those deadlines will be considered only under very unusual circumstances, and must be approved by both the student’s committee chair and the CPAP chair. Concentration lectures must be scheduled before December 1 for the fall semester and before May 1 for the spring semester. No concentration lecture can be scheduled during summer sessions.
The Center abides by the rules and procedures of the Virginia Tech Graduate Honor System, which may be found on-line at: http://ghs.graduateschool.vt.edu .
Letter grades A through F are given for all regular courses. No grades are given for research and thesis/dissertation hours; however, thesis and dissertation hours are assigned appropriate equivalent credit hours for the purpose of registration and payment of fees.
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Students must be registered to take examinations and defend theses and dissertations.
Students must maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least “B” (3.00). The Graduate School automatically places students whose GPA falls below 3.00 on academic probation. They will have one regular semester to return the GPA to 3.00 or better or face recommended dismissal. All courses taken at Virginia Tech that are listed on the approved program of study must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. Transferred courses will count only as credit hours and will not be used in computing the grade index; the grade transferred, however, must be a “B” or better.
Incompletes remains “I’s” until students complete the work; however, they may not graduate until all incompletes are removed from courses on the official Plan of Study. Most incompletes should be finished within one semester. Grades of “NR” and “NG” count in the GPA calculation, so students should monitor their transcripts regularly for grades that may not have been recorded.
D. COMMITTEE PARTICIPATION AND MONITORING
Procedures Used in Monitoring Advisory Committee Assignment Criteria: At the time graduate student dissertation committees are established, the above criteria are considered by the CPAP chair and by the student’s committee chair. The CPAP faculty or specific Graduate degree committees that may be established offer supervision of the process and must review exceptions to the criteria.
Expectations for Faculty Participation on Student Committees: It is the expectation that all faculty serving on advisory, thesis, and dissertation committees will actively participate in the academic advisement of students in the direction of their research programs. Participation on student committees should be limited in number to ensure that the faculty member is able to fulfill the responsibilities of committee membership. Evaluation of the performance of faculty in this important capacity is the joint responsibility of the CPAP chair and appropriate chairs of graduate degree committees that may be established.
E. CURRENCY OF POLICY GUIDELINES
Twice a year the faculty meets to discuss policy issues and often changes to the Policy Guide become necessary. The CPAP Policy Guide will be revised appropriately.
IV. GRADUATE CERTICATES
SPIA and other University programs offer graduate certificates of possible interest to CPAP students. (See http://graduateschool.vt.edu/graduate_catalog/certificates.htm.) Two certificates – Homeland Security Policy and Local Government Management – are lodged in CPAP. MPA students may use certificate courses to fulfill elective requirements; one of the local government certificate courses may substitute for one of the required courses (either PAPA 6314 or PAPA 6324).
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A. Homeland Security Policy
The graduate certificate in homeland security policy (12 credits) focuses on domestic security and emergency management issues. The certificate can serve either as a stand-alone credential of advanced educational achievement for non-degree students or as a supplement to a master’s or a doctoral degree. Taking four homeland security courses will introduce students to the complexity of the homeland security environment, from analyzing the terrorist threat, to considering questions of hazard mitigation, preparedness, and resilience, to investigating response and recovery strategies.
The certificate is comprised of four courses (12 hours of graduate coursework). The core courses focus on 1) threat (PAPA 5254 Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat), 2) prevention (PAPA 6264 Advanced Topics in Policy: Homeland Security and Prevention 3) response and recovery (PAPA 5354 Homeland Security Response and Recovery). A fourth course is selected from specified electives.
MPA students may use the certificate as their concentration and reflect upon the certificate and homeland security issues in their portfolio or internship. Ph.D. students may use the certificate as a foundation for dissertation research in homeland security policy and management.
B. Local Government Management
The graduate certificate in local government management (12 credits) is a set of master’s level courses designed to prepare the next generation of U.S. local government leaders including county and city managers. The certificate provides a thorough understanding of the operations of U.S. local government and the political and administrative contexts of working with elected officials, citizens, and other stakeholders. The courses are taught by current or former practitioners in Virginia local government and are available through at 12 sites throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia or at the Fairfax County Government Center. Master of Public Administration students can use the certificate courses to satisfy the 9 elective hours, and they can elect to substitute one course for either PAPA6314 (Public Budgeting Processes) or PAPA6324 (Public Personnel). (See the table below for the courses in the certificate.) An on-line version of the certificate examines local governments throughout the United States; students need permission from the program director to enroll in these on-line classes.
C. Homeland Security Policy
The graduate certificate in homeland security policy (12 credits) focuses on domestic security and emergency management issues. The certificate can serve either as a stand-alone credential of advanced educational achievement for non-degree students or as a supplement to a master’s or a doctoral degree. Taking four homeland security courses will introduce students to the complexity of the homeland security environment, from analyzing the terrorist threat, to considering questions of hazard mitigation, preparedness, and resilience, to investigating response and recovery strategies.
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The certificate is comprised of four courses (12 hours of graduate coursework). The core courses focus on 1) threat (PAPA 5254 Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat), 2) prevention (PAPA 6264 Advanced Topics in Policy: Homeland Security and Prevention 3) response and recovery (PAPA 5354 Homeland Security Response and Recovery). A fourth course is selected from specified electives.
MPA students may use the certificate as their concentration and reflect upon the certificate and homeland security issues in their portfolio or internship. Ph.D. students may use the certificate as a foundation for dissertation research in homeland security policy and management.
D. Local Government Management
The graduate certificate in local government management (12 credits) is a set of master’s level courses designed to prepare the next generation of U.S. local government leaders including county and city managers. The certificate provides a thorough understanding of the operations of U.S. local government and the political and administrative contexts of working with elected officials, citizens, and other stakeholders. The courses are taught by current or former practitioners in Virginia local government and are available at multiple sites throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia or at the Fairfax County Government Center. Master of Public Administration students can use the certificate courses to satisfy the 9 elective hours, and they can elect to substitute PAPA 6354 (Human Resources, Financial and Performance Management for Local Government Managers) for either PAPA 6314 (Public Budgeting Processes) or PAPA 6324 (Public Personnel). See the table below for the courses in the certificate. An on-line version of the certificate examines local governments throughout the United States; students need permission from the program director to enroll in these on-line classes.
PAPA 5044
Local Government and the Professional Manager
PAPA 5784
Local Economic Development Planning
PAPA 6354
Human Resources, Financial and Performance Management for Local Government Managers
PAPA 6154
The Context of Local Government Management and Service Delivery

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 toolsets 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)

Presentation Skills (Joel Bowman, Ph.D., West Michigan University)

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:

http://www.composition.english.vt.edu/writing-center/

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 hangout 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:

http://www.lib.vt.edu/instruct/plagiarism/

Find/Citation and Style Manuals

http://www.lib.vt.edu/find/citation/index.html

On Professional/Academic Writing and Presenting

Resources for Technical and Grant Writing:

http://www.research.vt.edu/proposal-development-resources/resources/technical-and-grant-writing/index.php

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[/su_spoiler]][/su_accordion][/

CURRENT PAPA STUDENTS

Sean Adkins seanta8@vt.edu
Constitutional Federalism, Local Governance, and Research Ethics
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Muna Al Dhabbah muna77@vt.edu
Government Innovation, Service Delivery Improvement, Citizen Relationship Management and Citizen Satisfaction
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Yousof Azizi yousof@vt.edu
Reform & Reorganization, Performance Measurement, Public Policy Processes, Energy Policy
Primary Advisors: Dr. Patrick Roberts and Dr. Ariel Ahram

Rabita Reshmeen Banee rabita@vt.edu
Non-profit Management, Organizational Theory, and Leadership
Primary Advisor: Dr. Robin Lemaire

William Belcher bjoe@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Guy C. Beougher guyb@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

William Graham Berberich wberberi@vt.edu
Organizational Networks, Seaport Security, Measures of Security, Outsourcing of Security
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Ben Bergersen ben.bergersen@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Jim Brandell jimbrandell@yahoo.com
Federal Advisory Boards and Commissions
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

John Brennan johnb95@vt.edu
Legislative Oversight and Policy Assessment
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Donald Briggs briggsd@ndu.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Anne Khademian

Emily Swenson Brock emily.brock@vt.edu
Public Financial Management and Public Pension Reform
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Charles A. Buechel cbueche1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Kathryn Jean Buechel kbuechel@vt.edu
Veteran Benefits, Higher Ed, State & Local Policy, Meditation & Mindfulness in Org. Culture, Policy Design
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Nathaniel Buss nbuss@vt.edu
Public Management, Bureaucracy, Governmental Performance, Public Value, National and Homeland Security
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Joseph Roland Castle jrcastle@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Derek P. Chancellor drock67@vt.edu
Leadership Theory and Practice; Strategic Thinking and Planning; Organizational Effectiveness, Training, and Development
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Lorita Copeland Daniels dlorita9@vt.edu
Public Organizations, Community Engagement, Local Government, Collaboration, Public Participation
Primary Advisor: TBD

Thomas Dawson tedawson@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

Salvatore Peter Degennaro dsalva1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Jared DeMello jdemello@vt.edu
Science and Technology in Government, Ethics in Administration
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Daniel John Dunmire ddunmire@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Nicole DuPuis nmdupuis@vt.edu
Urban policy, transportation policy, state & local govt, policy implementation
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Jeffrey L. Earley jearley@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Christopher William Edmunds edmundsc@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jaimie Edwards jedwar35@vt.edu
Networks, Higher Education and Health Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Jamie Finch finchjdc@gmail.com
Congressional action’s impact on local transportation decision making
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

John Giandoni johngiandoni@gmail.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Joseph Kenneth Gilkerson jgilker@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Lisa N. Gniady lngniady@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Gregory Goode ggoode@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Abraham David Gunn adgunn@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Diaz Hendropriyono dhendrop@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Anne Khademian

Edgar Hollandsworth hoya86@vt.edu
Intelligence Community Management; Science and Techology in Public Administration; Performance Measurement
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

Kathlyn Hopkins loudin@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Thomas Charles Howard tchowa@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Faith Gibson Hubbard fgib07@vt.edu
The role and impact of public engagement in decision-making processes focused on comprehensive public (PreK-12) education planning in the D.C. Public Schools
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

L. Maria Ingram laura13@vt.edu
Public Contracting, Theory and Practice; Administrative Law; Information, Language, and Content Standardization
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Marilyn Jackson marijac@vt.edu
State Attorneys General; Federal Courts; Public Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jon Michael Johnson jon.johnson@vt.edu
Decision Making, Sensemaking Federal IT Policy, Federal IT Procurement Policy, Federal Contracting
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Patrick Johnson pajohns2@vt.edu
E-government, Digital Government, Technology, Organization Theory, Management, Budgeting, Defense Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jeffrey P. Kaczmarczyk coachkaz@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Oleh Khalayim okhala@hotmail.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Allison G. S. Knox kallis1@vt.edu
Federalism and Emergency Management Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Theresa Kohler tjkohler@vt.edu
Organizational Change, Organizational Culture, Leadership in Organizations and Institutions
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Rosa Castillo Krewson rosac@vt.edu
Examining the Affects of Minority Veterans’ Networks on Education Outcomes
Primary Advisor: Not determined

Melvene Lanier melvene.lanier@comcast.net
Minority Underrepresentation in Federal Agencies’ Senior Executive Service:  Institutional Pressures that Influence the Adoption and Use of Equity and Diversity Practices
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterret

Derek Larson derekb.larson@gmail.com
Policy Processes, Regulatory Rulemaking, Technology Policy, Safety Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Minh Thieng Le mle01@vt.edu
Credit Union Movement and the Enabling Legislations that Shape the Credit Union Industry in the U.S.
Primary Advisors: Dr. Karen Hult and Dr. Joe Rees

Kimberly Taylor Lee kilee1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Michal Linder michall@vt.edu
Human Behavior and Decision Making in Complex Environments, Collaborative Public Mgt, Cross Cultural Theories, Admin Law, Theories of Regulation, Security and Crisis Mgt
Primary Advisors: Dr. Karen Hult and Dr. Patrick Roberts

Crane Lopes cranel@vt.edu
Diffusion of Innovation Policy in Public Procurement
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Amira Maaty amiramaaty@gmail.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Susan Maybaum smaybaum@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Anne Khademian

Lester Lanier Maynard llmayna@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Robert Kyle Mcdaniel rkm@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Lauren McKeague mckeague@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

John Medeiros eagle4@vt.edu
National Infrastructure and Homeland Security Public Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jennie Kay Meeker jepage@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Mark Mereand markmere@yahoo.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Timothy Todd Meredith timeredi@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Robin Lemaire

Jessica Lee Minnis-Mcclain mjess08@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Phil Miskovic miskovic@vt.edu
Rural Local Government, Public Safety, Emergency Management, Cultural Resiliency Post-disaster
Primary Advisor: TBD

Marlon Roel Murphy rmmurphy@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Robert Barry Murphy murphyrb@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Julie K. Neumann jkn10@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Kelly Novak knovak@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

John L. O’Brien obrienj@vt.edu
Strategic Planning and Performance Management
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Seref G. Onder sgonder@vt.edu
Public Organizations, Personnel/Human Resource Management, Org. Theory, Org.Culture Law Enforcement Agencies, Homeland Security, Ethics
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Benjamin Packard bpackard@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

Jacob Anthony Parcell japarcel@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Nathan Joseph Pawlicki nathanjp@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Jacob Paysour jpaysour@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Laura Anne Pennington lapenn@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Harold Donald Pitts hpitts@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Daniel Moore Reed danreed@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Ashley Nicole Reynolds Marshall anr1221@vt.edu
Nonprofit Management, Local Government Management, Collaborations, Administrative Law, Corporate Social Responsibility
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Jim Roberts James.Roberts@heratage.org
Nexus between Public Policies of Countries Worldwide and Their Rates of Economic Growth and Development
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Arun Sharma arun11@vt.edu
Institutionalization of Effectiveness in Physician-Owned Hospitals
Primary Advisor:  Dr. Karen M. Hult

Stacey Shindelar stacey09@vt.edu
Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, interest groups’ influence on select congressional committee members and agency leaders
Primary Advisors: Dr. Joe Rees and Dr. Karen Hult

Russell Bowman Shrader rbshrade@vt.edu
Diversity Management, Equality in Organizations
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Neysa Slater-Chandler nslater@vt.edu
Federal Agencies, Boards, Commissions; Bureaucratic Autonomy; Power; Regulation; Stolen Valor; U.S. military; U.S. Navy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Henry Smart, III hsmart3@vt.edu
Behavioral Public Administration, Policing and Colorism, Disasters and Presidential Pork
Primary Advisors: Drs. Adam Eckerd and Joe Rees

Andrea Baker Smith absmith1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jessica L. Spencer-Gallucci jspen53601@cox.net
Public Managers Use of Inclusive Management in Practices
Primary Advisors: Dr. Anne Khademian and Dr. Matthew Dull

Jeffrey Daniel Stern jdstern@vt.edu
Emergency Mgt, Homeland Security and Terrorism; Disaster Response Organizations; Crisis Leadership; Incident Analysis; and Organizational Culture
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Dennis Paul Stevens stevendp@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Dawn M. Stoneking dawnst@vt.edu
Equality, Justice, Leadership and Management, Public Policy Processes, Policy Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Shahid Rashid Talukdar shahidur@vt.edu
How the Sustainable Development Perspective Informs/Influences Regional Development Efforts
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Jeanne Kay Vargo jkvargo@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Tonya Denice Vincent tonyaw@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Scott W. Weimer weimers@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Warren Whitley wwhitley@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Lorenzo Williams lorenzo7@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Huishan Yang hyang@vt.edu
Public Service Motivation, Organization and Personnel, Community Engagement
Primary Advisor: Dr. Robin Lemaire

Anne Zobell zobella8@vt.edu
Social Welfare Policy, Organizational Culture in Congress, The Effects of Paid Sick Leave Laws
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

PAPA ALUMNI

Nadhrah A Kadir nadhrah1@vt.edu
Bureaucracy and public organizations, democratic and administrative values and red tape
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Daniel Paul Boden dpb22@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Andrew Francis Coffey acoffey5@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Michael J. DeLor mjdelor@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Saunji Desiree Fyffe sfyffe@vt.edu
Government-nonprofit Relationships and Networks; Organization Accountability and Performance; and Nonprofit Capacity
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Raifu Durodoye rod0001@vt.edu
Social Justice/ Higher Ed Policy/ Quantitative Methods
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Haider Haider hahaider@vt.edu
Narrative Analysis, Institutionalism, Rational Choice, Decision Making
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Meredith Hundley merehund@vt.edu
Implementation, Broadband & Internet Policy, Collaboration, Nonprofits
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Kwangseon Hwang kshwang@kistep.re.kr
Public administration and Policy Theory, Public Orgnization, Public Accountability, S&T Policy
Primary Advisors: Dr. Laura Jensen

Katherine Preston Keeney kapresto@vt.edu
Arts and Cultural Policy, Arts Mgt, Nonprofit and Public Financial Mgt, Org Theory, Public-nonprofit Partnerships
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Michael S. Keeney michaelskeeney@gmail.com
Gubernatorial and Legislative Design; State and Federal Budgeting; Legislative Oversight
Primary Advisors: Dr. Brian Cook and Dr. Karen Hult

David King kingd@ndu.edu
Outputs: The ‘Missing Link’ in U.S. Federal Government Performance Reporting
Primary Advisor: Dr. Jim Wolf

Jaekwon Ko jaekk75@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Paul Frederick Leimer pleimer@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Jim Wolf

James Muetzel jmuetzel@vt.edu
Law and Public Administration; Organization Theory; Governance and Public Management; and the Context of Public Administration
Primary Advisor: Dr. Jim Wolf

John Christopher O’Byrne jackobyrne@vt.edu
Dissertation: The Diffussion and Evolution of 311 Citizen Service Centers in American Cities over 100,000, 1996 to 2012
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Glenn Orr gorr05@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Larkin Dudley

Nicole Rishel Elias nicole.rishel.elias@gmail.com
Theory and Context of Public Administration, Human Resources Management, Diversity, and Public Representation and Participation
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen M. Hult

Donna Ann Sedgwick sedgwick@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Fatima Sharif fsharif@vt.edu
Public Health Administration and Policy, Federalism and Social Policy, Social Determinants of Health
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Aaron M. Smith-WalterAaron_smithwalter@uml.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Jessica Lee Wirgau jwirgau@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Mary Jo Wills mwills@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Situated on the border of the main Virginia Tech campus in downtown Blacksburg, VA, the historic Thomas-Conner House is CPAP’s headquarters and home to a thriving community of faculty, staff, and MPA and PhD students.

Blacksburg offers the experience of a relatively small, collegial graduate program combined with the richness and traditional atmosphere of a Division I research university, situated in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains with their many recreational opportunities. The vast resources of the university and CPAP’s intimate community of learners offers Blacksburg students a wonderful environment for the study of public administration and public affairs.

Students, faculty, and staff on the Blacksburg campus engage in rich community life, bolstered by Public Administrators at Virginia Tech (PAVT), CPAP Blacksburg’s student organization. The cultural heart of CPAP, PAVT organizes many educational, social, and community service-oriented activities during the academic year.

Please direct inquiries to:

Laura French, Department Admin at lhf@vt.edu or (540) 231-5133 (concerning admissions and other administrative matters)

Address:

Center for Public Administration and Policy
104 Draper Road SW (MC 0520)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Why Choose CPAP in Alexandria?

We are committed to advancing good governance and capable, ethical public service. We offer the MPA, Ph.D. and certificates in local government management, public and nonprofit financial management, and homeland security policy. Several things stand out about our programs:

Community
CPAP Alexandria attracts a mix of part-time and full time students committed to thoughtful public service. Our classes offer opportunities to meet and learn from public sector leaders. Many Alexandria graduate students take classes on a part-time basis, while working full-time in federal, regional, and local government positions, as well as in consulting and the non-profit sector. Our students are part of a community that includes more than 35,000 Virginia Tech alumni in the national capital region.

The Benefits of a University
We have the benefits of community that come from a close-knit program dedicated to thoughtful public service alongside the benefits of a large university. The Virginia Tech registrar and Graduate Student Services Office are located at the Northern Virginia Center at 7054 Haycock Road, Falls Church, VA (adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro). Additionally, there is a library in the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) just across the courtyard from the SPIA Alexandria building. Students are also able to reach faculty in Blacksburg and Richmond through videoconference technology for advising, service on committees, and online courses. The Social & Decision Analytics Laboratory in Ballston offers opportunities for seminars and research collaboration on big data and decision analytics topics.

Reflective Practitioners
Many of our faculty come from long careers in government, or are primarily reflective practitioners who hold a full time job in government as well as scholarly credentials. They bring current policy and management experience as well as their personal networks to the classroom for the benefit of students.

Virginia Tech Ballston buildingConvenience
The campus is located at 1021 Prince Street in Old Town Alexandria, VA. It is metro accessible on the Blue and Yellow metro lines, just a 15 minute walk or 5 minute Bikeshare ride from the King Street metro station.

Virginia Tech’s Arlington Research Center is located at 900 N. Glebe Road, minutes from the Ballston metro station. CPAP holds events at the Ballston building, which is convenient to many government agencies and nonprofits. The Arlington campus is home to a popular Science, Technology and Policy Leadership speakers series.

Evening Classes
Most classes at the National Capital Region campus begin at 4p.m. and 7p.m., with occasional weekend conference-style meetings.

Career Services
Many courses invite professionals into the classroom to give a talk, or even to serve as a client for student reports and studio projects. Early career students have gained career experience through internships at federal government agencies, the General Accountability Office, the city of Alexandria, and other agencies and nonprofits. The living lab in Arlington offers possibilities for working with local government officials to address challenges for community resilience.

Public Engagement
From lunchtime research in progress talks to evening guest workshops for doctoral students, aspiring public administrators, and alumni, our students have ample opportunity to interact with public officials and policy experts. See, for example, this recent conference on collaboration in big data ethics. In addition, Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region hosts events for policy experts, leaders, and the public. Faculty and students also regularly speak to the media.

Please direct inquiries to:

Myriam Lechuga, Student Coordinator at mlechuga@vt.edu or (703) 706-8111

Address:

Center for Public Administration and Policy
1021 Prince Street, Room 228
Alexandria, VA 22314

CPAP offers its MPA Program at Virginia Tech’s Graduate Center in Richmond. The program, utilized by working professionals and full-time students alike, allows students to proceed at their own pace as they balance work and academic requirements. Students at CPAP Richmond enjoy the urban atmosphere along with the learning community of their CPAP contemporaries. Richmond students also have the opportunity to take certificate courses in both Local Government Management and Public and Non-Profit Financial Management remotely through online and Polycom virtual classroom technology.

Please direct inquiries to:

Joe Rees, Faculty Coordinator, at reesj@vt.edu or (540) 250-5632
Address:

Virginia Tech Richmond Center
2810 N. Parham Road, Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 662-7288

Application Deadlines for All Campuses

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.

Tuition & Fees

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

Financial Aid

For all other information about admissions and financial aid, please visit the graduate school admissions website.

Apply Online

Application and Fee. File an application with the graduate school online here and pay the nonrefundable application fee, which is currently $75.

Want more help with filing the application? See the graduate school’s help page.

Transcripts. Have two official copies of undergraduate and/or graduate study transcripts sent directly to the graduate school from universities and colleges previously attended. VT applicants an simply request from the registrar.

Personal Statement of Purpose. As part of the online application process, provide a personal statement in which you (a) describe previous employment experiences and (b) discuss thoughtfully your future career plans. The statement should express how the Center’s curriculum for which you are applying will assist you in achieving your future career goals.

Resume. As part of the online application process, provide a professional resume.

Test Scores. Applicants for the Ph.D. program must provide scores on a recognized aptitude test. The educational testing service will send the scores directly to the graduate school, upon request. The aptitude test scores are optional for MPA applicants. International students may be required to take TOEFL.

Letters of Recommendation/Reference Forms. As part of the online application, all applicants should arrange for submission of three (3) persons to provide a letters of recommendation. Once submitted, each reference is sent an electronic form to complete. Preferably the applicant’s references should include a mix of former professors and others who know the applicant professionally, such as employment supervisors or others who have had an opportunity to observe the applicant in a professional capacity. It is especially important that applicants to the Ph.D. program provide at least two letters or forms from former college or university teachers.

Paper Application

Paper Applications. If you are unable or choose not to apply online, you may download the application form for US and Permanent Resident Students or for International Students.

Submission. ALL PAPER APPLICANTS, including Northern Virginia and Richmond campuses, please send application materials including: application and fee, personal statement of purpose, resume, and letters of recommendation/reference forms directly to the Graduate School. Transcripts and test scores should be sent from the issuing authority to the same address.

Virginia Tech Graduate School (0325)
Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

To confirm that your application materials are complete please contact:

Center for Public Administration and Policy
Phone: (540) 231-5133
Email: cpap@vt.edu

CPAP POLICY GUIDE


Download the Policy Guide

Read the Policy Guide

POLICY GUIDE

CENTER FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY
of the
School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA)
College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS)

VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

January 2017

The mission of the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and 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.

CPAP seeks:

  1. To 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.
  2. To 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.
  3. To 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.

CPAP offers two degrees: the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Ph.D. in public administration and public affairs. The MPA is offered in Blacksburg, the National Capital Region (NCR), and Richmond. The Ph.D. is offered in Blacksburg and NCR. CPAP also is the home for two graduate certificates, in Homeland Security Policy and in Local Government Management.

Virginia Tech is committed to providing appropriate services and accommodations to allow identified students with disabilities access to academic programs. Information for students needing special services can be found at http://www.ssd.vt.edu/students.htm. CPAP students with special needs should contact the CPAP chair.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a professional degree intended for future and present practitioners in the public service. Its purpose is to educate early career individuals for administrative and analytical posts and to improve the skills of in-career public administrators. International students should recognize that a substantial portion of the program’s subject matter focuses primarily upon public administration, management, and policy in the United States.
  1. Course in U.S. Government: Entering students must have taken at least one undergraduate course about the institutions of the U.S. government or have equivalent experience, training, or instruction. Equivalent experience is at least three years full-time work in local, state, or federal government. This prerequisite can also be satisfied by completing the CLEP American Government exam with a score of 60 or higher. If this requirement has not been fulfilled upon entry into the program, it should be fulfilled in the first semester.
  2. Statistics Course: All students enrolling in PAPA 6514 (Public Administration and Policy Inquiry) must have had a statistics course or be taking one concurrently. In order to enroll in PAPA 6224 (Public Policy Design and Implementation), students must have completed an introductory statistics course or meet an equivalent requirement as approved by faculty members teaching those courses, and have had the prerequisite of PAPA 6514 or equivalent. A diagnostic test to determine proficiency in basic statistics is available for advising purposes. Use of statistical tools and software are required in these courses.
  3. In order for a full-time student taking 12 hours each semester to complete the coursework for the degree program in three semesters, he or she must complete all prerequisites, including introductory statistics, before beginning the first fall semester. We advise most full-time students to take three courses each semester, using research and thesis hours if needed to reach the 12 hours that some assistantships require.
  4. Students must receive a grade of “C+” or better in all pre-requisites in order to gain entry to the relevant graduate courses.
  5. All students are expected to be familiar with the use of standard word processing, spreadsheets, file manipulation, and presentation software, plus e-mail and basic internet applications. Certain courses may require the use of additional statistical, modeling, or other software packages. In the case of students not having these skills, students should arrange appropriate training outside the standard CPAP curriculum.
Academic Requirements
Internship Requirement
Transferring Credit
Course Advising and Course Substitutions
Plan of Study
Course Load, Other Requirements, and Graduation Procedures
Effective for students entering in Fall 2013 and after, all MPA students in their final semester of study shall present and defend an electronic portfolio that includes a variety of course and other program-related materials. Assessment of the portfolio is based on the six performance objectives below; through the portfolio, each student provides evidence (e.g., course assignments, internship reports, videotaped presentations) showing fulfillment of the evaluation criteria associated with each performance objective.

The portfolio is a project about which students should think about and work toward throughout their time in the program. Its overall purpose is to demonstrate that a student’s educational experiences, work, and new knowledge show that she or he has developed the competencies expected of an MPA graduate. The performance objectives that follow reflect the “universal competencies” that we and NASPAA, our accrediting organization, expect MPA students to have developed and strengthened as they complete their degrees.

a. Performance Objective: Communicate effectively through organized, concise, and grammatically correct writing
b. Performance Objective: Communicate effectively through a structured, appropriate, and well-timed presentation
c. Performance Objective: Use qualitative and quantitative research methods appropriate to the nature of the task
d. Performance Objective: Apply theory to practice in a range of settings
e. Performance Objective: Understand the nature and functions of management and leadership in policy formulation, development, and implementation
f. Performance Objective: Recognize, analyze, and understand the normative dimensions of management and policy issues
Where applicable, MPA core courses will provide students with the opportunity to address the performance objectives. It is the instructor’s responsibility to determine which performance objectives are applicable to a particular course and to develop assignments that address the objectives. However, it is ultimately each student’s responsibility to fulfill each of the performance objectives by meeting the evaluation criteria. Instructors are not required to create assignments that explicitly align with the evaluation criteria. Each student will determine which products provide the best evidence of satisfaction of the evaluation criteria. Products can include, but are not limited to, assignments from core MPA courses, assignments from elective courses, personal statements or essays developed specifically for the portfolio, or work products (provided the product was created while the student was enrolled in the MPA program). However, at least one assignment from each core MPA course must be included in the portfolio. Thus, at minimum, the portfolio must include 9 distinct products, but students are strongly encouraged to use multiple relevant products to illustrate conformance with each of the criteria; repeated use of one product to demonstrate conformance with more than one objective should be done only if necessary.

Each portfolio also will contain a substantive narrative describing the items that are included and explaining how these products demonstrate conformance with the performance objectives.

Portfolios will be archived and available for viewing by CPAP faculty, students, and anyone given explicit permission by the CPAP faculty. Additionally, students are encouraged, but not required, to make portfolios available to the public via the CPAP website.
Please note that there is no single correct template for portfolio development. Students are encouraged to review past portfolios for ideas, but not necessarily as templates for their own portfolios.

During the final semester of study, the student will enroll in PAPA 5904, which is offered each Fall and Spring semester. Prior to the first class meeting, the student should conduct a self-assessment to evaluate performance for each objective, and identify areas for improvement.
During the semester, the PAPA 5904 instructor will advise the student on determining which types of products may be most useful for satisfying each performance objective. Working with the PAPA 5904 instructor, the student will craft a written portfolio narrative and presentation, and develop a plan for ensuring conformance with the performance objectives and associated evaluative criteria that the student or the instructor identify as needing additional attention.

At the conclusion of PAPA 5904, the student will have prepared a final narrative, will have addressed any outstanding issues in demonstrating conformance, and will have developed the final portfolio.

The portfolio including the narrative will be finalized and submitted to the student’s faculty advisor and committee no later than 10 days before the last day of classes in the semester during which the student defends the portfolio.

a. Portfolio Defense
During the final week of classes, MPA committees will hold a portfolio defense meeting with each graduating student. This constitutes the MPA final exam. Students will have five to ten minutes to describe how their portfolios demonstrate satisfaction of performance objectives. The committee members and other faculty will then have 15 minutes to ask questions. Without the student present, the committee members will deliberate and reach a final exam result. The committee will inform the student of the exam result, and where appropriate, designate requirements the student must meet for developing additional actions to ensure conformance.

b. Grading
Committees will evaluate the student’s portfolio and oral defense on each of the performance objectives according to the following three possible outcomes: Pass with Distinction, Pass, or Fail.

  1. Fail: If a student receives a grade of Fail from the committee on any performance objective, the student must submit an outline for addressing this discrepancy to the committee within 48 hours. The committee chair must then agree that the plan will achieve conformance with the objective in order for the student to be declared eligible for graduation. If the committee does not declare the student eligible to graduate, the student must submit a detailed plan ensuring conformance with all performance objectives for which the committee indicated a grade of Fail. The student must submit this plan by the first day of classes in the ensuing Fall or Spring semester and register for any remaining courses, or if all other course requirements are complete request a Start of Semester Defense Exception (SSDE). The student and committee will meet within the first five weeks of the semester to discuss the plan, recommend any changes and complete the portfolio process.
  2. Pass: If the Committee passes the student on all six performance objectives, a grade of Pass for the portfolio and the final exam will be submitted, and the student will be eligible to graduate.
  3. Pass with Distinction: In order to Pass with Distinction, students must receive unanimous Pass with Distinction ratings from all committee members on all performance objectives. It is expected that few students will achieve a Pass with Distinction.
All MPA committee members are appointed by the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the CPAP chair. For each student’s committee, the committee chair (or co-chair) must be a member of the CPAP core faculty, and the committee must include three faculty members total, with a majority consisting of CPAP core faculty. CPAP faculty emeriti/ae, faculty from other departments, and adjunct faculty may serve on a student’s committee with approval of the CPAP chair. Appropriate non-faculty personnel may be recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School for inclusion on an MPA committee. Graduate students may not serve on an MPA committee. The full committee must be present for the portfolio meeting, and members must contribute to determining whether the student’s portfolio is a Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction.
Required Courses (27 Credit Hours)
Electives (9 credits), Internship, and Portfolio Requirement (3 Credits)
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is academia’s highest degree and prepares one for research and scholarship, whether or not in affiliation with a university. The Center offers this degree for both full-time and part-time students. Many of these students are mid-career professionals who have reached a point in their professional development where they can commit the time and energy necessary to earn the Ph.D. degree. Qualified individuals just beginning their careers are also welcome. A master’s degree in a relevant field (not necessarily public administration or public policy) ordinarily is required for admission, but this requirement can be waived in exceptional cases. Those earning the CPAP MPA degree may apply for admission to the Ph.D. program as the end of the MPA work draws near.

All Ph.D. students take foundation courses in five core areas: policy, organizations, management, ethics, and theory/context. Advanced Topic courses examine topics in the core areas at a deeper level, and the two capstone seminars are a gateway to advanced research and preparation for the dissertation. Other components of the program include Measurement and Analysis Tools, Concentration Courses, the Qualifying Examination, the Prospectus Defense (Graduate School “Preliminary Exam”), and the Dissertation and defense (Graduate School “Final Exam”).

Entering students must have had courses in United States government, microeconomics, and introductory statistics. Students failing to meet this requirement must take these courses as soon as possible and must have completed them prior to enrolling in PAPA 6224. The U.S. government prerequisite may be satisfied by equivalent experience, training, or instruction. Equivalent experience is at least three years full-time work in local, state, or federal government in the U.S. This prerequisite also can be satisfied by completing the CLEP American Government exam with a score of 60 or higher. If this requirement has not been fulfilled upon entry into the program, it should be fulfilled in the first semester. Computer competency is also required.
A minimum of 90 credit hours is needed for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. A maximum of one half of the coursework, or 30 of the 60 credit hours of coursework required for the CPAP Ph.D., may be transferred from an accredited university other than Virginia Tech upon approval by two core faculty evaluating the student’s plan of study. The 60 course work credits include 18 hours of foundation courses, 15 hours of advanced topics and capstone courses, 6 hours of measurement, 9 hours of electives, and 12 hours of research concentration. These courses must correspond to the requirements of the five curriculum core areas. Students must also take 30 hours of research and dissertation credit, three hours of which must be constituted by participation in 15 sessions of the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) or other activities approved by the faculty for DMP credit.
1. Foundation Courses
2. Advanced Topics Courses
3. Capstone Seminars
A basic knowledge of statistics and familiarity with computers is assumed upon admission. Students taking PAPA 6514, Public Administration and Policy Inquiry, or substitute research methods courses approved by the faculty, will be expected to use qualitative and quantitative inquiry and computing skills. If they have not already completed this coursework elsewhere, students are required to complete a graduate-level, intermediate statistics course, which covers techniques through multiple regression. Where appropriate, based on the student’s research interests and with the approval of the student’s adviser, coursework covering other techniques in advanced qualitative and quantitative analysis may be substituted for multiple regression, such as ethnographic field work, textual analysis, historical research, survey design, simulation, operations research, or mathematical programming. Students may enroll in these advanced courses prior to or while enrolled in either PAPA 6514 or PAPA 6224.
1. Focused Study
2. Concentration Lecture
FOUNDATION COURSES (18 Hours)
ADVANCED TOPICS (AT) COURSES (9 Hours)
CAPSTONE SEMINARS*
MEASUREMENT & ANALYSIS TOOLS (6 Credit Hours)
ELECTIVES (9 Credit Hours)
QUALIFYING EXAMINATION* (see Section F below)
RESEARCH CONCENTRATION* (12 Credit Hours)
DISSERTATION HOURS* (30 Credit Hours)
This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual ability, and writing skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. For all Ph.D. students, the format of the exam will change effective Fall 2017.

The Qualifying Exam is designed to assess student mastery of the material covered in the six Foundation courses. Students are eligible to take the exam as soon as they have accumulated at least 21 credit hours of CPA-specific course work, which must include the 18 credit hours of foundation courses plus PAPA 6514 or its designated alternative. Students must take the exam no later than after the completion of 30 credit hours, which must include all required foundation courses plus PAPA 6514 or its designated alternative. The exam will be offered in the fall and spring semesters, and students may choose to register for the qualifying exam as soon as they meet the minimum credit hour and course threshold. The Virginia Tech Graduate Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination.

Students select three of the five core areas – Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy – to be tested in. The qualifying examination has two parts – written and oral – but will be considered as a whole.

WRITTEN
ORAL
Overview of Qualifying Exam Process
Ph.D. candidates must write a dissertation. The dissertation is expected to make an original contribution to knowledge of the field. The student is eligible to receive the Ph.D. degree upon the successful defense of the dissertation. As a result of their course work and advising, students should have identified and discussed a dissertation advisory relationship with an appropriate faculty member by the time they begin the Capstone seminars.
1. Dissertation Committee
2. Criteria for Committee
3. The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense (“Preliminary Examination”)
4. Dissertation Defense (“Final Examination”)
The advising process constitutes a crucial dimension of the graduate experience. The advisement systems may vary somewhat between CPAP’s locations.
1. General Information about Advising
2. Assignment of Advisors
3. Transfer of Credit and Plan of Study Development
4. Doctoral Mentoring Program
As specified in the Policies of the Virginia Tech Graduate School, students may fulfill their doctoral residency requirement through two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment. Students may also fulfill the residency requirement on the Blacksburg campus or in the National Capital via the following alternative plan, which has two components:

  1. Doctoral Mentoring Program: Participation through the completion of the Mentoring Program as described in Section H.4 above.
  2. Residency Capstone Seminar Sequence (Capstones A and B)

This is a special two-semester seminar sequence focused on the research and conceptual development of an academic paper, and the revision and continued development of the paper. The focus of the first seminar (Capstone A) is an advanced research topic demanding that students engage in intensive and original thought and analysis. Special colloquia and lecture presentations by various resource persons that follow the formal classroom sessions are also included in this program, and students are expected to attend and participate in them. During the second seminar in the sequence (Capstone B), students extensively critique and revise their manuscript from the first seminar, examine early research and developed research, learn about the publishing process, and present their work at the spring High Table conference. The final capstone requirement is to submit the manuscript for review to a journal.

University residency requirements require that National Capital Region students spend some time on the Blacksburg campus. Students enrolled in capstone seminars spend several days on the Blacksburg campus in the fall semester and in the spring semester during CPAP’s annual High Table conference.

A request for a waiver of any CPAP policy should be initially discussed by the student and his/her advisor. The request should then be presented to the CPAP chair. He or she shall use discretion to decide which, if any, of the CPAP policy making bodies should hear and decide the request. In all cases, strong and compelling evidence of both the necessity for the individual and minimal impact on the department must be presented.
A request for a waiver of any CPAP policy should be initially discussed by the student and his/her advisor. The request should then be presented to the CPAP chair. He or she shall use discretion to decide which, if any, of the CPAP policy making bodies should hear and decide the request. In all cases, strong and compelling evidence of both the necessity for the individual and minimal impact on the department must be presented.
1. The Program and Appeals Procedures at the Program and School Levels
2. The University Appeals Procedure
A. CORE FACULTY
B. NORMS FOR COURSE GRADING
C. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND GRADES
D. COMMITTEE PARTICIPATION AND MONITORING
E. CURRENCY OF POLICY GUIDELINES
SPIA and other University programs offer graduate certificates of possible interest to CPAP students. Two certificates – Homeland Security Policy and Local Government Management – are lodged in CPAP. MPA students may use certificate courses to fulfill elective requirements; one of the local government certificate courses may substitute for one of the required courses (either PAPA 6314 or PAPA 6324).
The graduate certificate in homeland security policy (12 credits) focuses on domestic security and emergency management issues. The certificate can serve either as a stand-alone credential of advanced educational achievement for non-degree students or as a supplement to a master’s or a doctoral degree. Taking four homeland security courses will introduce students to the complexity of the homeland security environment, from analyzing the terrorist threat, to considering questions of hazard mitigation, preparedness, and resilience, to investigating response and recovery strategies.

The certificate is comprised of four courses (12 hours of graduate coursework). The core courses focus on 1) threat (PAPA 5254 Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat), 2) prevention (PAPA 6264 Advanced Topics in Policy: Homeland Security and Prevention 3) response and recovery (PAPA 5354 Homeland Security Response and Recovery). A fourth course is selected from specified electives.

MPA students may use the certificate as their concentration and reflect upon the certificate and homeland security issues in their portfolio or internship. Ph.D. students may use the certificate as a foundation for dissertation research in homeland security policy and management.

The graduate certificate in local government management (12 credits) is a set of master’s level courses designed to prepare the next generation of U.S. local government leaders including county and city managers. The certificate provides a thorough understanding of the operations of U.S. local government and the political and administrative contexts of working with elected officials, citizens, and other stakeholders. The courses are taught by current or former practitioners in Virginia local government and are available through at 12 sites throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia or at the Fairfax County Government Center. Master of Public Administration students can use the certificate courses to satisfy the 9 elective hours, and they can elect to substitute one course for either PAPA6314 (Public Budgeting Processes) or PAPA6324 (Public Personnel). (See the table below for the courses in the certificate.) An on-line version of the certificate examines local governments throughout the United States; students need permission from the program director to enroll in these on-line classes.

PAPA 5044: Local Government and the Professional Manager
PAPA 5784: Local Economic Development Planning
PAPA 6354: Human Resources, Financial and Performance Management for Local Government Managers
PAPA 6154: The Context of Local Government Management and Service Delivery

CPAP FACULTY & STAFF

PhD in PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Our Mission: Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy

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.


While the core of the Ph.D. program is the dissertation, the Doctor of Philosophy degree formally requires a minimum of 90 credit hours. CPAP Ph.D. students take a series of Foundation courses in five Core Areas: context of public administration, organization, policy, management, and ethics; and five advanced courses we call Advanced Topics courses and Capstone Seminars. At least six credit hours must be completed or transferred in at the Foundation level in each core area except Ethics, which requires three credits. Ph.D. students also participate in the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) in or . In the addition to course work and DMP sessions, several PhD milestones need to be completed.

The Ph.D. program consists of three tightly integrated components, each designed to provide a foundation for, and transition to the next:

  • Introductory and advanced coursework consisting of 48 credits, culminating in the qualifying exams
  • 12 credits focused on the student’s concentration, culminating in the concentration lecture and the transition to the prospectus defense
  • 30 credits of dissertation and research, culminating in the defense of the dissertation
  • Prepare students to enter public service in government at the local, state, regional, and national levels and in nonprofit organizations through the development of managerial and analytical skills and through professional experiences.
  • Instill students with an awareness of the normative foundations of governance and public service.
  • Attract and retain academically qualified and diverse students committed to public service.
  • Maintain a faculty committed to promoting student learning outcomes.
Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, each student is assigned an advisor to provide counsel on the selection and timing of coursework as well as to help the student develop a clear sense of intellectual direction and a framework for thinking about his or her dissertation project. Students may change advisors at any time with the approval of the CPAP Chair and the consent of the new advisor.
Plan of Study: within the first semester of study new students complete a plan of study which identifies coursework from previous graduate work that may be transferred into the Ph.D. plan of study, and establishes the timing for completing additional CPAP course work. The student should contact his or her advisor to arrange a plan of study meeting, consisting of the advisor, two additional members of the faculty, and the student. Students should print the plan of study form and bring a copy to the program of study meeting. In some instances, the plan of study advising may be completed in conjunction with orientation or with a doctoral mentoring program session.

Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP): Each student in the Ph.D. program must attend a total of 15 doctoral mentoring program sessions before defending his or her dissertation. The mentoring program is central to the community of scholarship at CPAP. Three DMP sessions are scheduled each semester, for a total of six each year. Students can earn DMP credits for attending additional lectures, round tables, and sessions identified as appropriate for DMP credit but students must attend at least 10 of the regularly scheduled DMP sessions, and no more than five alternative sessions. Students are encouraged to attend the DMP throughout their studies, even after reaching 15 sessions.

This exam is an important transition point in the program where students more actively and critically direct their scholarly interests. It is taken only when all course work (with the exception of the capstone seminars and the 12 hours of Research Concentration), has been completed. In order to take the examination, a student must submit the official form to the graduate school at least one month prior to the exam, and have a Plan of Study approved by his or her committees and committee chairs and the Graduate School, and he or she may not have any grades of “incomplete” in Foundation or Advanced Topics courses.

This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual power, and writing and speaking skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. Students passing the exam are considered to be qualified to go on to the prospectus stage of their doctoral work. The Virginia Tech Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination. The exam is offered every Fall semester, usually in early September, and every Spring semester usually in early February.

The exam is offered in two parts: a written portion consisting of three essays in the three fields of study selected by the student and an oral exam two weeks later before the examination committee that consists of questions drawing primarily upon the written essays completed by the student.

Students planning to take the exams must respond to the preliminary inquiry from Laura French or Irene Jung distributed six months prior to a fall or spring exam, to confirm participation in the next scheduled exam and the fields of study they have selected for the exam.

Annual Student Evaluations: An evaluation of doctoral students in the CPAP Ph.D. program is conducted at the end of the Spring semester of each academic year. The purpose of the evaluation is to assure that each student is making adequate progress toward the program milestones. This evaluation involves the review of courses taken, grades earned, progress toward milestones, and professional accomplishments. The basis of this review is an annual evaluation form that is completed by each student. Special attention is given to course incompletes and other potential obstacles to adequate progress.

The MPA requires 39 credit hours of coursework.
Full time students are able to complete the degree in two years.

Part time students are required to enroll continuously in at least one course (3 credit hours) per semester. The length of the degree for part time students depends on the pace at which required coursework is completed.

Of the students who enrolled in 2012, 65% completed the MPA in two years and 80% completed the degree in four years.

A dual degree is available with the Master of Urban Affairs and Planning. Detail regarding program completion requirements can be found in the CPAP Policy Guide.

Students must complete three concentration courses and conduct a concentration lecture for a total of 12 credits.
Coursework: Students will complete three classes or independent studies that contribute directly to their dissertation research. Concentrations may focus on areas of student or faculty expertise leading to a dissertation such as non-profit management, public and regime values, public finance, strategy, homeland security, or many other areas. In consultation with an advisor students choose to complete either independent studies that are designed to hone and further their dissertation interests, courses that contribute directly to a student’s research interests, or a combination of the two. If a student chooses to complete an independent study, he or she must complete the independent study form in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the Independent Study. These forms are filed with the Administrative Assistant for the program.

Selecting a dissertation advisor and Committee: Through completion of the concentration coursework, students are transitioning to their advisors for their dissertations. Students often work with different faculty during their research concentration courses or independent studies to consider selection of their dissertation committee chairs and members of the committees. The first step in this process is to ask a member of the Center’s core faculty to chair this committee. The faculty member who agrees to chair the dissertation committee will then become the student’s advisor. The next step is to constitute the Dissertation Committee, which consists of at least four members including the chair. Three members including the chair must be core CPAP faculty members. The fourth member can be a CPAP faculty member, affiliated faculty, a faculty member from another department in VT, or someone outside of VT with higher education credentials who brings particular expertise to the committee.

Concentration Lecture: When a student has completed nine credits of concentration work, he or she will present a concentration lecture to the faculty and peers. The lecture is an opportunity to share what the student has learned, and to test out a format and approach for the student’s dissertation prospectus.

Students must register for PAPA 7964 Concentration Lecture Section for the semester they plan to deliver their lecture. In addition, students are responsible for coordinating with their committee members to schedule the lecture, and communicating the day and time to Laura French in Blacksburg or Irene Jung in Alexandria for distribution on the student and faculty listservs. The announcement should be at least a full two weeks in advance of the lecture.

Preliminary Exam (The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense): After establishing the committee of a minimum of four members, the student writes the Dissertation Prospectus under the guidance of his or her committee chair. This document essentially is a research design setting forth the program of research that the student proposes to follow in writing his or her dissertation. The prospectus should address:
the topic or question to be assayed in the planned dissertation
the significance of the proposed research
the present state of knowledge on the topic or question
the sources that will shape the work,
the research strategy and/or methodology to be employed
an outline of proposed chapters
and a timeline for completing the work.
The student preparing to defend his or her prospectus must complete the Request to Admit Candidate to Preliminary Examinationform and have it approved by the committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. When the prospectus has been successfully defended, the student will proceed to write the dissertation itself.

Final Exam (The Dissertation Defense): Defense of the dissertation is the final requirement. No student may advance to the Dissertation Defense until all other requirements have been completed successfully and until the chair and at least two out of three or three out of four or five other members of the dissertation committee agree that the dissertation is ready to be defended. The dissertation defense focuses on the dissertation research project but is not limited to it. The candidate is expected to answer questions about the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the dissertation and its contribution to new knowledge in the field.

The dissertation defense may be scheduled no sooner than six weeks after a draft, approved by the chair, has been distributed to the members of the committee. The students must complete the Request to Admit Candidate to Final Exam form (under Academics/Forms) and have it approved by his or her advisory committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. All members of the Dissertation Committee must be present for the defense.

Students should contact the Administrative Assistant in their location to complete additional paperwork and insure that everything is in place for the defense and the submission of the dissertation.

PAPA DEGREE STRUCTURE & CURRICULUM

Foundation Courses broadly survey sub-fields of public administration and public policy. These courses are offered by the Center, but equivalent coursework at other universities sometimes may substitute for some of these courses, subject to faculty approval.
PAPA 6014: Public Administration Context and Theory
PAPA 6114: Complex Organizations
PAPA 6214: Public Policy Processes and Analysis
PAPA 6224: Policy Design and Evaluation of Public Policies
PAPA 6344: Leadership and Management Processes in Public Administration
PAPA 6414: Normative Foundations of Public Administration
Advanced Topics (9 hours)
PAPA 6924 Capstone A (3 hours)
PAPA 6934 Capstone B (3 hours)
PAPA 6514: Public Administration & Policy Inquiry
Intermediate/Advanced Statistics or other quantitative or qualitative skills
Please Note: Completion of an introductory statistics is required to enroll in PAPA 6514
9 semester hours in any combination of advanced PAPA courses or courses in related disciplines. Students may transfer appropriate graduate coursework from other universities, or take additional Virginia Tech coursework.
9 credit hours coursework related to the development of the dissertation prospectus, which may include Independent Study (PAPA 5974), Internship and/or Field Studies
PAPA 5974 - Independent Study
PAPA 7964 - Field Study
PAPA 5964: Concentration Lecture
Complete qualifying exams in three of the five core areas of Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy. This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual ability , and writing skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. It is taken only when all coursework, except capstone seminars and the 12 hours of Research Concentration, are completed. Students passing the exam are considered to be qualified to go on to the capstone seminars and the prospectus stage of their doctoral work. It is taken only when all course work, except capstone seminars and the 12 hours of Research Concentration, has been completed. In order to take the examination, students must have a Plan of Study approved by their committee and committee chair and the Graduate School, and they may not have any grades of “incomplete” in Foundation or Advanced Topics courses. The Virginia Tech Graduate Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination. All students are required to demonstrate a fundamental understanding of three of the five core areas of Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy. Students select three of the five core areas to be tested in. The examination has two parts but will be considered as a whole.

Written: The written portion of the examination is designed to assess a student’s ability to construct a coherent essay responding to a question in each of his/her three chosen core areas. Each essay must demonstrate an ability to discuss a range of key issues, to express a distinctively scholarly point of view based upon relevant journal and book literature, and an ability to craft a clear, defensible argument.

Oral: The oral portion of the examination will allow students to reflect upon the written portion of the examination, to integrate some of the material across the three written exam areas, and to expand or improve upon the arguments in their essays.

30 hours of PAPA 7994 – Research & Dissertation; 3 hours of which are dedicated to the Doctoral Mentoring Program in Alexandria or Blacksburg. Ph.D. candidates must write a dissertation. The dissertation is expected to make an original contribution to the knowledge of the field. The student is eligible to receive the Ph.D. degree upon the successful defense of the dissertation. As a result of their course work and advisement, students should have identified and discussed a dissertation advisory relationship with an appropriate faculty member by the time they complete the Qualifying Examination phase of their program.
Dissertation Committee
Criteria for Committee
The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense (Preliminary Examination)
Dissertation Defense

See the Policy Guide for additional information about CPAP’s Ph.D. Program in Alexandria and Blacksburg.

RANKING & ACCREDITATION

A Highly Ranked Program

Best Grad Schools Rating US News and World Report
The Center for Public Administration and Policy is nationally ranked in the top 25 schools for public management / administration by U.S. News & World Report, out of nearly 300 schools.

Virginia Tech has also been ranked 15th in the 2015 Best Value Schools ranking of the 50 most innovative public service schools in the United States.

According to the survey, the rankings were based on U.S. News ranking for public affairs for:

  • number of degree programs
  • student-to-faculty ratio
  • strength of internship programs
  • QS Top Universities innovation ranking and
  • a ranking of innovative features.

NASPAA logo

This degree has undertaken a rigorous process of peer review conducted by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA).

Download the Policy Guide

POLICY GUIDE
THE MASTER OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM
REQUIREMENTS

PORTFOLIO REQUIREMENT

D. CRITERIA FOR CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE MPA COMMITTEES

All MPA committee members are appointed by the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the CPAP chair. For each student’s committee, the committee chair (or co-chair) must be a member of the CPAP core faculty, and the committee must include three faculty members total, with a majority consisting of CPAP core faculty. CPAP faculty emeriti/ae, faculty from other departments, and adjunct faculty may serve on a student’s committee with approval of the CPAP chair. Appropriate non-faculty personnel may be recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School for inclusion on an MPA committee. Graduate students may not serve on an MPA committee. The full committee must be present for the portfolio meeting, and members must contribute to determining whether the student’s portfolio is a Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction.

THE M.P.A. CURRICULUM (39 Credit Hours)
Required Courses — 27 Credit Hours

PUBLIC MANAGEMENT
PAPA 5315: Behavioral Skills for Managers
PAPA 5316: Systems Skills For Managers
PAPA 6314: Public Budgeting Processes and Their Policy Implications*
PAPA 6324: Public Personnel Processes and Their Policy Implications*

PUBLIC POLICY
PAPA 6214: Public Policy Processes and Analytical Approaches
PAPA 6224: Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Policy and Programs (prerequisites: a statistics course and PAPA 6514)

PUBLIC SERVICE
PAPA 5014: Concepts and Approaches in Public Administration
PAPA 6414: Normative Foundations of Public Administration

METHODS AND ANALYSIS
PAPA 6514: Public Administration and Policy Inquiry (prerequisite: a statistics course)
*PAPA 6354 may be substituted for one of these classes, when taken as part of the Local Government Management certificate.
Electives (9 credits), Internship, and Portfolio Requirement (3 Credits)
Elective Courses
Internship
Portfolio
Three courses (9 credit hours) composed of other CPAP courses or courses in other departments. Options should be related to public affairs and be discussed with faculty advisors. For pre- and early career students, internship credit (PAPA 5954) may be used for 3 of these hours.
To be completed by pre- and early career students as defined in Section I.B. above. Internships may be for credit or not for credit.
Student are required to take 3 credit hours of PAPA 5904, Project and Report [portfolio preparation and defense].

II. THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM: Ph.D. IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is academia’s highest degree and prepares one for research and scholarship, whether or not in affiliation with a university. The Center offers this degree for both full-time and part-time students. Many of these students are mid-career professionals who have reached a point in their professional development where they can commit the time and energy necessary to earn the Ph.D. degree. Qualified individuals just beginning their careers are also welcome. A master’s degree in a relevant field (not necessarily public administration or public policy) ordinarily is required for admission, but this requirement can be waived in exceptional cases. Those earning the CPAP MPA degree may apply for admission to the Ph.D. program as the end of the MPA work draws near.
All Ph.D. students take foundation courses in five core areas: policy, organizations, management, ethics, and theory/context. Advanced Topic courses examine topics in the core areas at a deeper level, and the two capstone seminars are a gateway to advanced research and preparation for the dissertation. Other components of the program include Measurement and Analysis Tools, Concentration Courses, the Qualifying Examination, the Prospectus Defense (Graduate School “Preliminary Exam”), and the Dissertation and defense (Graduate School “Final Exam”).
A. PREREQUISITES
Entering students must have had courses in United States government, microeconomics, and introductory statistics. Students failing to meet this requirement must take these courses as soon as possible and must have completed them prior to enrolling in PAPA 6224. The U.S. government prerequisite may be satisfied by equivalent experience, training, or instruction. Equivalent experience is at least three years full-time work in local, state, or federal government in the U.S. This prerequisite also can be satisfied by completing the CLEP American Government exam with a score of 60 or higher. If this requirement has not been fulfilled upon entry into the program, it should be fulfilled in the first semester. Computer competency is also required.
B. COURSE PREPARATION FOR CORE AREAS
A minimum of 90 credit hours is needed for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. A maximum of one half of the coursework, or 30 of the 60 credit hours of coursework required for the CPAP Ph.D., may be transferred from an accredited university other than Virginia Tech upon approval by two core faculty evaluating the student’s plan of study. The 60 course work credits include 18 hours of foundation courses, 15 hours of advanced topics and capstone courses, 6 hours of measurement, 9 hours of electives, and 12 hours of research concentration. These courses must correspond to the requirements of the five curriculum core areas. Students must also take 30 hours of research and dissertation credit, three hours of which must be constituted by participation in 15 sessions of the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) or other activities approved by the faculty for DMP credit.
1. Foundation Courses broadly survey sub-fields of public administration and public policy. These courses are offered by the Center but, as noted above, equivalent coursework at other universities on occasion may substitute for some of these courses, subject to faculty approval.
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At least 3 credit hours must be completed or transferred in at the foundation level in each core area except Policy, which requires 6 credit hours. Students complete at least 18 credit hours of foundation coursework in the core areas, at least 9 hours of Advanced Topics, and at least 6 hours of coursework in Measurement and Analysis Tools components. Students should complete foundation courses before enrolling in Advanced Topics classes. Before enrolling in the two-course sequence of Capstone Seminars, however, they must have completed all foundation courses and passed the qualifying examination.
2. Advanced Topics Courses examine specialized areas. These courses are designed to expose the student to an in-depth analysis of some specialized aspects of a core area of the Center’s curriculum.
3. Capstone Seminars provide the opportunity to develop ideas that may form the foundation for the dissertation. They represent the most advanced formal coursework at the Center. The seminars are to be taken in sequence: Capstone A followed by Capstone B. They need not be taken in contiguous semesters. Capstone A is a research seminar that offers students the opportunity to develop ideas for a paper that may support a dissertation topic. Capstone B is a writing-intensive seminar in which students refine rough drafts developed in Capstone A. The final paper for Capstone B should be of publishable quality in a refereed journal. Admission to the capstone seminar sequence is contingent upon successful completion of all foundation coursework and the qualifying examination.
C. RESEARCH METHODS
A basic knowledge of statistics and familiarity with computers is assumed upon admission. Students taking PAPA 6514, Public Administration and Policy Inquiry, or substitute research methods courses approved by the faculty, will be expected to use qualitative and quantitative inquiry and computing skills. If they have not already completed this coursework elsewhere, students are required to complete a graduate-level, intermediate statistics course, which covers techniques through multiple regression. Where appropriate, based on the student’s research interests and with the approval of the student’s adviser, coursework covering other techniques in advanced qualitative and quantitative analysis may be substituted for multiple regression, such as ethnographic field work, textual analysis, historical research, survey design, simulation, operations research, or mathematical programming. Students may enroll in these advanced courses prior to or while enrolled in either PAPA 6514 or PAPA 6224.
D. RESEARCH CONCENTRATION
1. Focused Study: Students complete nine credit hours of focused study consisting of either coursework, independent studies, internship, and/or field studies. Students complete this work during their CPAP doctoral studies and may not transfer work completed prior to their enrollment in the Ph.D. program. This work should permit the student to delve more deeply into a subject-matter field or an area of theory or research methodology. Faculty advisors will counsel students on the need to take additional credit study or noncredit training in data collection or analysis tools needed for their anticipated dissertation projects as part of the Research Concentration requirement.
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Students are encouraged to use the Research Concentration as an opportunity to begin work on the dissertation. For example, the nine credit hours may include special study in a potential dissertation research methodology, an independent study on a preliminary review of the literature base for the dissertation, some background coursework, or some form of applied field work. Students work with a member of the faculty to determine the activities for the nine credit hours. However, the Concentration also may be used to pursue field experiences or special study independent of the dissertation topic.
The Research Concentration may be completed before or after the qualifying exam. Students are encouraged to discuss with their advisors the appropriate time to complete the nine hours of research concentration work and the three credit concentration lecture.
2. Concentration Lecture: A lecture is prepared and presented by students after completing the nine credit hours of research concentration work. This lecture (three credit hours of PAPA 7964) integrates the Concentration work and must be presented before the faculty advisor and at least six other students or guests, including faculty. The lecture may focus on either the anticipated topic of the student’s dissertation or another major area of research concentration that the student expects to offer as part of his or her academic credentials upon completion of the Ph.D. degree. This lecture is given before the dissertation prospectus defense. Where appropriate, part of this lecture should lay out the student’s five-year plan of research for post-doctoral investigation. Students are responsible for assembling the audience for the lecture.
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E. THE Ph.D. CURRICULUM
Required Courses
CORE AREA
FOUNDATION COURSES
(18 HOURS)
ADVANCED TOPICS (AT) COURSES
(9 HOURS)
CAPSTONE SEMINARS*
(6 HOURS, taken after the qualifying examination)
*Capstones A & B
THEORY/ CONTEXT
PAPA 6014: Public Administration Theory and Context

ORGANIZATION
PAPA 6114: Complex Public Organizations
PAPA 6154: AT in Public Organizations
POLICY
PAPA 6214: Public Policy Processes
PAPA 6224: Public Policy Design
PAPA 6254: AT in Public Policy
–OR–
PAPA 6264: AT in Policy Systems Management
MANAGEMENT
PAPA 6344: Leadership and Management
in Public Administration
PAPA 6354: AT in Public Management
ETHICS
PAPA 6414: Normative Foundations of
Public Administration
PAPA 6454: AT in Ethics & the Public Sector
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Other elements:
MEASUREMENT & ANALYSIS TOOLS
(6 Credit Hours)
ELECTIVES
(9 Credit Hours)
QUALIFYING EXAMINATION
*(see Section F below)
RESEARCH CONCENTRATION
May be taken before or after the qualifying examination
(12 Credit Hours)
DISSERTATION HOURS
May be taken before or after the qualifying examination (30 Credit Hours)
PAPA 6514: Public Administration & Policy Inquiry or substitute (or PSCI 5115)
Intermediate/Advanced Statistics or other quantitative or qualitative skills
9 semester hours in any combination of advanced PAPA courses or courses in related disciplines.
Test in three (3) of the following core areas
 THEORY/CONTEXT
 ORGANIZATION
 POLICY
 MANAGEMENT
 ETHICS
9 semester hours coursework in dissertation research area. May include Independent Study (PAPA 5974) or Internship and/or Field Studies PLUS 3 hours of Concentration Lecture (PAPA 7964) prior to the prospectus defense
30 semester hours PAPA 7994, including 3 hours dedicated to professional development (Doctoral Mentoring Program). Dissertation credits may be taken throughout the student’s studies.
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F. QUALIFYING EXAMINATION
This examination tests the substantive knowledge, analytical ability, intellectual ability, and writing skills necessary for completing the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs. For all Ph.D. students, the format of the exam will change effective Fall 2017.
The Qualifying Exam is designed to assess student mastery of the material covered in the six Foundation courses. Students are eligible to take the exam as soon as they have accumulated at least 21 credit hours of CPA-specific course work, which must include the 18 credit hours of foundation courses plus PAPA 6514 or its designated alternative. Students must take the exam no later than after the completion of 30 credit hours, which must include all required foundation courses plus PAPA 6514 or its designated alternative. The exam will be offered in the fall and spring semesters, and students may choose to register for the qualifying exam as soon as they meet the minimum credit hour and course threshold. The Virginia Tech Graduate Honor Code is in effect for all aspects of this examination.
Students select three of the five core areas – Complex Organizations, Ethics, Public Management, Theory and Context of Public Administration, and Public Policy – to be tested in. The qualifying examination has two parts – written and oral – but will be considered as a whole.
Written: Essay questions will be based solely on the content of the foundation coursework (that is, no specific themes and related departure readings will be circulated). The written exam will consist of one broad question for each foundation area. Students must demonstrate mastery of the foundational material by composing coherent essays responding to the questions presented in their three selected fields.
Mastery is defined according to the following criteria:
1. Completeness of response to the question
2. Accuracy of response to the question
3. Grounding in the relevant scholarship
4. Synthesis
5. Critical analysis
6. Writing quality
For each foundation area, the faculty will prepare a periodically updated list of relevant published scholarship, as well as providing students access to course syllabi (both past and present) to ensure that students have a rich and relatively standardized resource in each core area on which to draw to prepare for the exam.
Faculty will set a minimum level of competence (i.e., a passing grade) based on the above criteria. Students must pass all three essays in order to be considered ready to defend the essays in the oral portion of the exam. Students failing to reach this threshold must write new essays during the next scheduled qualifying exam period, but only for the foundation area(s) not meeting the threshold. Students may not change foundation areas between attempts to pass the written portion of the exam. Failure to successfully pass the written
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exam in all three areas after a second attempt at one or more essays will constitute a failure of the qualifying exam.
Oral: The oral defense will be used to confirm faculty assessments of the students’ essays. Each of the three essays will be considered in sequence, and students will be expected to sustain and defend their arguments in each essay in response to questions.
Students judged to have passed the written and oral portions of the exam will be considered “qualified” to complete the remaining required coursework in the Ph.D. program. Students successfully completing this coursework may move on to the dissertation milestones, including the concentration lecture, prospectus defense, dissertation, and dissertation defense. Any student whose oral qualifying exam defense is considered unsatisfactory will be given one opportunity to complete an alternative project in order to pass the qualifying exam. Failure to successfully complete this project will constitute failure of the qualifying exam. All students will receive written feedback on their performance in the exam after each cycle in which they participate.
Overview of Qualifying Exam Process:
1. Students will complete foundation courses in all five core areas, and select three of the five core areas to be tested in the written and oral portions of the examination.
2. The examination will be offered twice a year in the fall and spring semesters. The written portion of the exam will consist of three take home essays (see below) and students will have 8 hours to complete each one. The essays will be written on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule with one day scheduled for each core area. The written portion of the examination will be scheduled approximately within the first three weeks of the semester followed by the oral component of the examination approximately two weeks after the last written one. The oral portion of the exam will be scheduled within the first five weeks of the fall and spring semesters.
3. Students wishing to take the examination must fill out the top portion of the CPAP form “Request to Admit Candidate to Qualifying Examination,” have it signed by their committee chair, and submit it to the CPAP office in Blacksburg or the National Capital Region no later than one month before the first day of the written portion of the examination.
4. Prior to the administration of the written examination, each core area committee will develop one question in their respective area. Students will be presented with this question on the day that each respective written exam is administered.
5. On each of the written exam days, a student will have an 8-hour period (8:00am to 5:00pm, with an hour allowed for lunch) in which to respond to the question in an essay no more than ten pages in length, double-spaced.
.
6. In the two weeks following the administration of the last core area written examination, a
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six-member examining committee (two readers from each chosen core area) will read and assess the student’s essays in preparation for the oral portion of the exam. At the same time, the student will be given an electronic copy of her/his three essays so s/he may prepare for the oral exam.
7. Each student will have an oral exam committee consisting of the six readers of their written essays. The committee will ask questions that build from the questions the student answered in the written portion of the exam. The oral portion of the exam will last for approximately an hour. Following the exam the committee will discuss the student’s performance on both the written and oral portions of the examination and decide whether the student has earned a grade of pass or fail.
8. For students who fail the examination, the examining committee will determine the appropriate form of a re-take during the next scheduled examination period. In most instances this likely will involve a decision on whether a student should re-take one, two, or three of the examination core areas. Failure to start and complete the required re-take by the next scheduled examination will constitute a second failure of the examination. For students who retake the exam and fail the second time, the entire faculty will meet as a committee of the whole to assess the student’s entire performance to date and decide if the student should be allowed to continue to the dissertation.
G. DISSERTATION
Ph.D. candidates must write a dissertation. The dissertation is expected to make an original contribution to knowledge of the field. The student is eligible to receive the Ph.D. degree upon the successful defense of the dissertation. As a result of their course work and advising, students should have identified and discussed a dissertation advisory relationship with an appropriate faculty member by the time they begin the Capstone seminars.
1. Dissertation Committee: After the student completes the Qualifying Examination and before they begin Capstone A, he or she formally establishes a dissertation committee. The first step in this process is to ask a member of the Center’s core faculty to chair this committee. The faculty member who agrees to chair the dissertation committee will then become the student’s formal advisor. The next step is to constitute the dissertation committee, which consists of at least four members including the chair.
2. Criteria for Committee: Ordinarily, a dissertation committee is comprised of four members, at least three of whom shall be members of the CPAP core faculty. The chair (or co-chair) must be a member of the core faculty (see Section III. A. below). A fourth or fifth committee member, if not a member of the Virginia Tech full-time faculty, must be approved by the committee chair and by the Graduate School. Dissertation committees are subject to the approval of the Graduate School. Graduate School regulations require that persons other than Virginia Tech faculty members comprise no more than one-third of a dissertation committee’s membership. Therefore, if two members from other institutions serve on a dissertation committee, a fifth member must be added from the Virginia Tech faculty. Under no circumstances may more than two
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colleagues from other universities serve on a dissertation committee.
3. The Prospectus and Prospectus Defense (“Preliminary Examination”): After establishing the committee of a minimum of four members, the student writes the Dissertation Prospectus under the guidance of his or her committee chair. This document essentially is a research design setting forth the program of research that the student proposes to follow in writing his or her dissertation. The prospectus should address the topic or question to be assayed in the planned dissertation; the scholarly and public affairs significance of the proposed research; the present state of knowledge on the topic or question, and the sources that will shape the work; the research design (including the research strategy, methodology, and methods) to be employed; an outline of proposed chapters; and a timeline for completing the work.
When the student and the chair agree that the prospectus is ready, arrangements will be made for the student to defend it before the dissertation committee. Students must complete the “Request to Admit Candidate to Preliminary Examination” form (available from the Graduate School website under Academics/Forms) and have it approved by their advisory committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. When the prospectus has been successfully defended, the student will proceed to write the dissertation itself.
4. Dissertation Defense (“Final Examination”): The defense of the dissertation is the final requirement. No student may advance to the Dissertation Defense until all other requirements have been completed successfully and until the chair and at least two out of three or three out of four of five other members of the dissertation committee agree that the dissertation is ready to be defended. The dissertation defense focuses on the dissertation research project but is not limited to it. Candidates are expected to answer questions about the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of the dissertation and its contribution to new knowledge in the field.
The dissertation defense must be scheduled no sooner than six weeks after a draft, approved by the chair, has been distributed to the members of the committee. Students must complete the “Request to Admit Candidate to Final Exam” form (available from the Graduate School website under Academics/Forms) and have it approved by their advisory committee and committee chair and the Graduate School. Members of the dissertation committee must be present for the defense.
H. ADVISEMENT
The advising process constitutes a crucial dimension of the graduate experience. The advisement systems may vary somewhat between CPAP’s locations.
1. General Information about Advising: The general orientation of the advising activities at both locations is directed not only toward counseling students on the choice of course work, but also toward helping them develop a clear sense of intellectual direction and a framework for thinking about their dissertation projects. The systems at the two locations
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vary only in order to meet the distinctive requirements of the type of student community that exists at each location.
2. Assignment of Advisors: The CPAP chair or associate chair will assign a member of the core faculty to each student upon his or her arrival on campus. Students who know one or more members of the core faculty may request their advisors by name before arriving, a request that the CPAP chair and/or associate chair will try to accommodate insofar as the equitable distribution of advising duties will permit.
Students may change their advisors at any time with the approval of the CPAP chair and the consent of the new advisors. After a dissertation chair has been selected, however, this option should be exercised prudently and then in accordance with Graduate School procedures. The student may also request a change in the membership of the dissertation committee, subject to the approval of the committee chair and the CPAP chair and in accordance with Graduate School procedures. This option should be exercised with increasing caution as work on the dissertation progresses.
3. Transfer of Credit and Plan of Study Development: An advising session concerning transfer credit and program of study development is offered at least once a year, usually at the beginning of the fall term. Entering students should attend the first session offered after they have entered the Ph.D. program. Students meet with teams of at least two members of the core faculty assigned by the CPAP chair to review the student’s previous graduate work in order to determine which courses match the CPAP curriculum sufficiently to merit transfer credit, to identify the remaining courses that the student must take, and to fill out the original plan of study form.
Once formal decisions have been made by the faculty at each location concerning transfer credits, the faculty will sign the Plan of Study form and submit a copy to their respective office managers who will submit the information electronically to the Graduate School and place a copy of the form into the student’s file. The Plan of Study will appear in the student’s electronic Graduate School records, along with their transcripts and other information. This document should be looked upon as though it were a contract specifying the requirements the student must meet as he or she moves through the program.
Later adjustments to the Plan of Study are made following consultation between the student and his or her faculty advisor. Before completing 24 hours of course work, the student should schedule a Plan of Study or “milestone” session with his or her advisor and a second faculty member selected by the student and advisor. At this session, the student’s Plan of Study will be reviewed and, if approved, will be forwarded to the CPAP chair or associate chair and the Graduate School. In implementing their Plans of Study, students must contact their advisors during their course work to review course options.
4. Doctoral Mentoring Program: The goal of the Doctoral Mentoring Program (DMP) is to maximize the student learning experience by developing academic-collegial relationships within the CPAP community, and to assist in professional socialization and development.
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The DMP satisfies 3 of the 30 credit hours of PAPA 7994, Research and Dissertation, required for the Ph.D. degree program. Attendance is required at a minimum of 15 DMP meetings in order to complete the DMP requirement and enroll in the special section of PAPA 7994 where DMP credit is given. New students in the doctoral program are assigned to mentoring groups in either Blacksburg or the National Capital Region (Alexandria) upon entry.
Mentoring groups meet at least three times in each fall and spring semester for a total of six regular meetings per academic year in each program location. As implied above, participation in the mentoring groups carries the same status as participation in an academic course, and course credit is allocated to students upon completion of the mentoring program. Mentoring groups meet both as a general community and in individual sessions with their colleagues and their faculty advisor. The topical agenda of the community and group sessions covers all aspects of the CPAP program, questions about individual programs of study, individual research interests, and broader topics having to do with intellectual and academic life both during the graduate school experience and afterwards in the career stage.
In some instances, such as when students begin taking courses while they are pursuing admission to the program, it may happen that a student will not be eligible to be assigned formally to a Mentoring Group or to attend an advising session for two or even three semesters. In these cases, the faculty member currently serving as Manager of the Mentoring Program will also act as the student’s individual faculty advisor. Such students are welcome to attend the DMP as guests. Should they later be admitted to the program, they will then receive DMP credit for their attendance.
I. THE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT
As specified in the Policies of the Virginia Tech Graduate School, students may fulfill their doctoral residency requirement through two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment. Students may also fulfill the residency requirement on the Blacksburg campus or in the National Capital via the following alternative plan, which has two components:
1. Doctoral Mentoring Program: Participation through the completion of the Mentoring Program as described in Section H.4 above.
2. Residency Capstone Seminar Sequence (Capstones A and B)
This is a special two-semester seminar sequence focused on the research and conceptual development of an academic paper, and the revision and continued development of the paper. The focus of the first seminar (Capstone A) is an advanced research topic demanding that students engage in intensive and original thought and analysis. Special colloquia and lecture presentations by various resource persons that follow the formal classroom sessions are also included in this program, and students are expected to attend and participate in them. During the second seminar in the sequence (Capstone B), students extensively critique and revise their manuscript from the first seminar, examine
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early research and developed research, learn about the publishing process, and present their work at the spring High Table conference. The final capstone requirement is to submit the manuscript for review to a journal.
University residency requirements require that National Capital Region students spend some time on the Blacksburg campus. Students enrolled in capstone seminars spend several days on the Blacksburg campus in the fall semester and in the spring semester during CPAP’s annual High Table conference.
J. PROGRAM WAIVERS
A request for a waiver of any CPAP policy should be initially discussed by the student and his/her advisor. The request should then be presented to the CPAP chair. He or she shall use discretion to decide which, if any, of the CPAP policy making bodies should hear and decide the request. In all cases, strong and compelling evidence of both the necessity for the individual and minimal impact on the department must be presented.
K. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
1. The Program and Appeals Procedures at the Program and School Levels
The Center for Public Administration and Policy follows the procedures for grievance as accepted by the Graduate School. Whenever a graduate student believes that any work has been improperly evaluated, or believes that there has been unfair treatment, it is expected that the student will follow the procedures below in a timely fashion.
The student should take up the questions directly with the faculty member involved. This may be the committee chair, another faculty member, or an instructor responsible for a course.
a. If the matter is not reconciled, the graduate student will be expected to appeal the question to the CPAP chair.
b. If the matter cannot be resolved there, then the chair takes the question to the CPAP core faculty. If the CPAP chair is a party to the grievance, the Director of the School for Public and International Affairs (SPIA) will assume this responsibility.
c. If the matter is still unresolved, the Director of the School of Public and International Affairs, in consultation with the SPIA Executive Committee and the Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies as appropriate, shall take all reasonable and proper actions to resolve the question at the departmental level. The student shall be informed in writing of the results no later than one month after the appeal to the Director of the School of Public and International Affairs.
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2. The University Appeals Procedure
If the aggrieved student believes that their rights were abridged at the program and school levels, the student may file a request for review with the Dean of the Graduate School. A full description of these procedures is found in the Graduate School Policies and Procedures.
III. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. CORE FACULTY
The term “core faculty” as used in this document includes the following: Professors Cook, Dull, Eckerd, Hult, Jensen, Jordan, Khademian, Lemaire, Rees, Roberts, and Sterett, and Professors Emeriti/ae Dudley, Goodsell, Kronenberg, Wamsley, White, and Wolf.
B. NORMS FOR COURSE GRADING
As a policy, the classroom faculty members are responsible for assigning the grades that they deem appropriate. Faculty should make standards for grading known to students at the beginning of each semester. The CPAP faculty agrees that grades should provide an opportunity to provide feedback on various dimensions of performance in courses.
C. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES AND GRADES
All students are expected to assume full responsibility for knowledge of all regulations pertinent to the procedures of the Graduate School as set forth in Graduate School Policies, available on-line at (http://graduateschool.vt.edu/graduate_catalog/policies.htm?policy=002d14432c654287012c6542e38200a) and any other regulations and procedures published by the Graduate School and the Center for Public Administration and Policy.
In scheduling their preliminary exams (prospectus defense) and final exams (dissertation defense), Ph. D. students are expected to adhere strictly to Graduate School deadlines and are responsible for confirming those deadlines as announced by the Graduate School for a given semester. Exceptions to those deadlines will be considered only under very unusual circumstances, and must be approved by both the student’s committee chair and the CPAP chair. Concentration lectures must be scheduled before December 1 for the fall semester and before May 1 for the spring semester. No concentration lecture can be scheduled during summer sessions.
The Center abides by the rules and procedures of the Virginia Tech Graduate Honor System, which may be found on-line at: http://ghs.graduateschool.vt.edu .
Letter grades A through F are given for all regular courses. No grades are given for research and thesis/dissertation hours; however, thesis and dissertation hours are assigned appropriate equivalent credit hours for the purpose of registration and payment of fees.
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Students must be registered to take examinations and defend theses and dissertations.
Students must maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least “B” (3.00). The Graduate School automatically places students whose GPA falls below 3.00 on academic probation. They will have one regular semester to return the GPA to 3.00 or better or face recommended dismissal. All courses taken at Virginia Tech that are listed on the approved program of study must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. Transferred courses will count only as credit hours and will not be used in computing the grade index; the grade transferred, however, must be a “B” or better.
Incompletes remains “I’s” until students complete the work; however, they may not graduate until all incompletes are removed from courses on the official Plan of Study. Most incompletes should be finished within one semester. Grades of “NR” and “NG” count in the GPA calculation, so students should monitor their transcripts regularly for grades that may not have been recorded.
D. COMMITTEE PARTICIPATION AND MONITORING
Procedures Used in Monitoring Advisory Committee Assignment Criteria: At the time graduate student dissertation committees are established, the above criteria are considered by the CPAP chair and by the student’s committee chair. The CPAP faculty or specific Graduate degree committees that may be established offer supervision of the process and must review exceptions to the criteria.
Expectations for Faculty Participation on Student Committees: It is the expectation that all faculty serving on advisory, thesis, and dissertation committees will actively participate in the academic advisement of students in the direction of their research programs. Participation on student committees should be limited in number to ensure that the faculty member is able to fulfill the responsibilities of committee membership. Evaluation of the performance of faculty in this important capacity is the joint responsibility of the CPAP chair and appropriate chairs of graduate degree committees that may be established.
E. CURRENCY OF POLICY GUIDELINES
Twice a year the faculty meets to discuss policy issues and often changes to the Policy Guide become necessary. The CPAP Policy Guide will be revised appropriately.
IV. GRADUATE CERTICATES
SPIA and other University programs offer graduate certificates of possible interest to CPAP students. (See http://graduateschool.vt.edu/graduate_catalog/certificates.htm.) Two certificates – Homeland Security Policy and Local Government Management – are lodged in CPAP. MPA students may use certificate courses to fulfill elective requirements; one of the local government certificate courses may substitute for one of the required courses (either PAPA 6314 or PAPA 6324).
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A. Homeland Security Policy
The graduate certificate in homeland security policy (12 credits) focuses on domestic security and emergency management issues. The certificate can serve either as a stand-alone credential of advanced educational achievement for non-degree students or as a supplement to a master’s or a doctoral degree. Taking four homeland security courses will introduce students to the complexity of the homeland security environment, from analyzing the terrorist threat, to considering questions of hazard mitigation, preparedness, and resilience, to investigating response and recovery strategies.
The certificate is comprised of four courses (12 hours of graduate coursework). The core courses focus on 1) threat (PAPA 5254 Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat), 2) prevention (PAPA 6264 Advanced Topics in Policy: Homeland Security and Prevention 3) response and recovery (PAPA 5354 Homeland Security Response and Recovery). A fourth course is selected from specified electives.
MPA students may use the certificate as their concentration and reflect upon the certificate and homeland security issues in their portfolio or internship. Ph.D. students may use the certificate as a foundation for dissertation research in homeland security policy and management.
B. Local Government Management
The graduate certificate in local government management (12 credits) is a set of master’s level courses designed to prepare the next generation of U.S. local government leaders including county and city managers. The certificate provides a thorough understanding of the operations of U.S. local government and the political and administrative contexts of working with elected officials, citizens, and other stakeholders. The courses are taught by current or former practitioners in Virginia local government and are available through at 12 sites throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia or at the Fairfax County Government Center. Master of Public Administration students can use the certificate courses to satisfy the 9 elective hours, and they can elect to substitute one course for either PAPA6314 (Public Budgeting Processes) or PAPA6324 (Public Personnel). (See the table below for the courses in the certificate.) An on-line version of the certificate examines local governments throughout the United States; students need permission from the program director to enroll in these on-line classes.
C. Homeland Security Policy
The graduate certificate in homeland security policy (12 credits) focuses on domestic security and emergency management issues. The certificate can serve either as a stand-alone credential of advanced educational achievement for non-degree students or as a supplement to a master’s or a doctoral degree. Taking four homeland security courses will introduce students to the complexity of the homeland security environment, from analyzing the terrorist threat, to considering questions of hazard mitigation, preparedness, and resilience, to investigating response and recovery strategies.
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The certificate is comprised of four courses (12 hours of graduate coursework). The core courses focus on 1) threat (PAPA 5254 Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat), 2) prevention (PAPA 6264 Advanced Topics in Policy: Homeland Security and Prevention 3) response and recovery (PAPA 5354 Homeland Security Response and Recovery). A fourth course is selected from specified electives.
MPA students may use the certificate as their concentration and reflect upon the certificate and homeland security issues in their portfolio or internship. Ph.D. students may use the certificate as a foundation for dissertation research in homeland security policy and management.
D. Local Government Management
The graduate certificate in local government management (12 credits) is a set of master’s level courses designed to prepare the next generation of U.S. local government leaders including county and city managers. The certificate provides a thorough understanding of the operations of U.S. local government and the political and administrative contexts of working with elected officials, citizens, and other stakeholders. The courses are taught by current or former practitioners in Virginia local government and are available at multiple sites throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia or at the Fairfax County Government Center. Master of Public Administration students can use the certificate courses to satisfy the 9 elective hours, and they can elect to substitute PAPA 6354 (Human Resources, Financial and Performance Management for Local Government Managers) for either PAPA 6314 (Public Budgeting Processes) or PAPA 6324 (Public Personnel). See the table below for the courses in the certificate. An on-line version of the certificate examines local governments throughout the United States; students need permission from the program director to enroll in these on-line classes.
PAPA 5044
Local Government and the Professional Manager
PAPA 5784
Local Economic Development Planning
PAPA 6354
Human Resources, Financial and Performance Management for Local Government Managers
PAPA 6154
The Context of Local Government Management and Service Delivery

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 toolsets 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)

Presentation Skills (Joel Bowman, Ph.D., West Michigan University)

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:

http://www.composition.english.vt.edu/writing-center/

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 hangout 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:

http://www.lib.vt.edu/instruct/plagiarism/

Find/Citation and Style Manuals

http://www.lib.vt.edu/find/citation/index.html

On Professional/Academic Writing and Presenting

Resources for Technical and Grant Writing:

http://www.research.vt.edu/proposal-development-resources/resources/technical-and-grant-writing/index.php

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[/su_spoiler]][/su_accordion][/

CURRENT PAPA STUDENTS

Sean Adkins seanta8@vt.edu
Constitutional Federalism, Local Governance, and Research Ethics
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Muna Al Dhabbah muna77@vt.edu
Government Innovation, Service Delivery Improvement, Citizen Relationship Management and Citizen Satisfaction
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Yousof Azizi yousof@vt.edu
Reform & Reorganization, Performance Measurement, Public Policy Processes, Energy Policy
Primary Advisors: Dr. Patrick Roberts and Dr. Ariel Ahram

Rabita Reshmeen Banee rabita@vt.edu
Non-profit Management, Organizational Theory, and Leadership
Primary Advisor: Dr. Robin Lemaire

William Belcher bjoe@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Guy C. Beougher guyb@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

William Graham Berberich wberberi@vt.edu
Organizational Networks, Seaport Security, Measures of Security, Outsourcing of Security
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Ben Bergersen ben.bergersen@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Jim Brandell jimbrandell@yahoo.com
Federal Advisory Boards and Commissions
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

John Brennan johnb95@vt.edu
Legislative Oversight and Policy Assessment
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Donald Briggs briggsd@ndu.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Anne Khademian

Emily Swenson Brock emily.brock@vt.edu
Public Financial Management and Public Pension Reform
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Charles A. Buechel cbueche1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Kathryn Jean Buechel kbuechel@vt.edu
Veteran Benefits, Higher Ed, State & Local Policy, Meditation & Mindfulness in Org. Culture, Policy Design
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Nathaniel Buss nbuss@vt.edu
Public Management, Bureaucracy, Governmental Performance, Public Value, National and Homeland Security
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Joseph Roland Castle jrcastle@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Derek P. Chancellor drock67@vt.edu
Leadership Theory and Practice; Strategic Thinking and Planning; Organizational Effectiveness, Training, and Development
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Lorita Copeland Daniels dlorita9@vt.edu
Public Organizations, Community Engagement, Local Government, Collaboration, Public Participation
Primary Advisor: TBD

Thomas Dawson tedawson@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

Salvatore Peter Degennaro dsalva1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Jared DeMello jdemello@vt.edu
Science and Technology in Government, Ethics in Administration
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Daniel John Dunmire ddunmire@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Nicole DuPuis nmdupuis@vt.edu
Urban policy, transportation policy, state & local govt, policy implementation
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Jeffrey L. Earley jearley@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Christopher William Edmunds edmundsc@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jaimie Edwards jedwar35@vt.edu
Networks, Higher Education and Health Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Jamie Finch finchjdc@gmail.com
Congressional action’s impact on local transportation decision making
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

John Giandoni johngiandoni@gmail.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Joseph Kenneth Gilkerson jgilker@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Lisa N. Gniady lngniady@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Gregory Goode ggoode@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Abraham David Gunn adgunn@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Diaz Hendropriyono dhendrop@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Anne Khademian

Edgar Hollandsworth hoya86@vt.edu
Intelligence Community Management; Science and Techology in Public Administration; Performance Measurement
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

Kathlyn Hopkins loudin@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Thomas Charles Howard tchowa@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Faith Gibson Hubbard fgib07@vt.edu
The role and impact of public engagement in decision-making processes focused on comprehensive public (PreK-12) education planning in the D.C. Public Schools
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

L. Maria Ingram laura13@vt.edu
Public Contracting, Theory and Practice; Administrative Law; Information, Language, and Content Standardization
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Marilyn Jackson marijac@vt.edu
State Attorneys General; Federal Courts; Public Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jon Michael Johnson jon.johnson@vt.edu
Decision Making, Sensemaking Federal IT Policy, Federal IT Procurement Policy, Federal Contracting
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Patrick Johnson pajohns2@vt.edu
E-government, Digital Government, Technology, Organization Theory, Management, Budgeting, Defense Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jeffrey P. Kaczmarczyk coachkaz@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Oleh Khalayim okhala@hotmail.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Allison G. S. Knox kallis1@vt.edu
Federalism and Emergency Management Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Theresa Kohler tjkohler@vt.edu
Organizational Change, Organizational Culture, Leadership in Organizations and Institutions
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Rosa Castillo Krewson rosac@vt.edu
Examining the Affects of Minority Veterans’ Networks on Education Outcomes
Primary Advisor: Not determined

Melvene Lanier melvene.lanier@comcast.net
Minority Underrepresentation in Federal Agencies’ Senior Executive Service:  Institutional Pressures that Influence the Adoption and Use of Equity and Diversity Practices
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterret

Derek Larson derekb.larson@gmail.com
Policy Processes, Regulatory Rulemaking, Technology Policy, Safety Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Minh Thieng Le mle01@vt.edu
Credit Union Movement and the Enabling Legislations that Shape the Credit Union Industry in the U.S.
Primary Advisors: Dr. Karen Hult and Dr. Joe Rees

Kimberly Taylor Lee kilee1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Michal Linder michall@vt.edu
Human Behavior and Decision Making in Complex Environments, Collaborative Public Mgt, Cross Cultural Theories, Admin Law, Theories of Regulation, Security and Crisis Mgt
Primary Advisors: Dr. Karen Hult and Dr. Patrick Roberts

Crane Lopes cranel@vt.edu
Diffusion of Innovation Policy in Public Procurement
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Amira Maaty amiramaaty@gmail.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Susan Maybaum smaybaum@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Anne Khademian

Lester Lanier Maynard llmayna@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Robert Kyle Mcdaniel rkm@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Lauren McKeague mckeague@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

John Medeiros eagle4@vt.edu
National Infrastructure and Homeland Security Public Policy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jennie Kay Meeker jepage@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Mark Mereand markmere@yahoo.com
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Timothy Todd Meredith timeredi@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Robin Lemaire

Jessica Lee Minnis-Mcclain mjess08@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Phil Miskovic miskovic@vt.edu
Rural Local Government, Public Safety, Emergency Management, Cultural Resiliency Post-disaster
Primary Advisor: TBD

Marlon Roel Murphy rmmurphy@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Robert Barry Murphy murphyrb@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Julie K. Neumann jkn10@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Adam Eckerd

Kelly Novak knovak@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

John L. O’Brien obrienj@vt.edu
Strategic Planning and Performance Management
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Seref G. Onder sgonder@vt.edu
Public Organizations, Personnel/Human Resource Management, Org. Theory, Org.Culture Law Enforcement Agencies, Homeland Security, Ethics
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Benjamin Packard bpackard@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

Jacob Anthony Parcell japarcel@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Nathan Joseph Pawlicki nathanjp@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Jacob Paysour jpaysour@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Laura Anne Pennington lapenn@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Harold Donald Pitts hpitts@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Daniel Moore Reed danreed@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Ashley Nicole Reynolds Marshall anr1221@vt.edu
Nonprofit Management, Local Government Management, Collaborations, Administrative Law, Corporate Social Responsibility
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Jim Roberts James.Roberts@heratage.org
Nexus between Public Policies of Countries Worldwide and Their Rates of Economic Growth and Development
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Arun Sharma arun11@vt.edu
Institutionalization of Effectiveness in Physician-Owned Hospitals
Primary Advisor:  Dr. Karen M. Hult

Stacey Shindelar stacey09@vt.edu
Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, interest groups’ influence on select congressional committee members and agency leaders
Primary Advisors: Dr. Joe Rees and Dr. Karen Hult

Russell Bowman Shrader rbshrade@vt.edu
Diversity Management, Equality in Organizations
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Neysa Slater-Chandler nslater@vt.edu
Federal Agencies, Boards, Commissions; Bureaucratic Autonomy; Power; Regulation; Stolen Valor; U.S. military; U.S. Navy
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Henry Smart, III hsmart3@vt.edu
Behavioral Public Administration, Policing and Colorism, Disasters and Presidential Pork
Primary Advisors: Drs. Adam Eckerd and Joe Rees

Andrea Baker Smith absmith1@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Jessica L. Spencer-Gallucci jspen53601@cox.net
Public Managers Use of Inclusive Management in Practices
Primary Advisors: Dr. Anne Khademian and Dr. Matthew Dull

Jeffrey Daniel Stern jdstern@vt.edu
Emergency Mgt, Homeland Security and Terrorism; Disaster Response Organizations; Crisis Leadership; Incident Analysis; and Organizational Culture
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Dennis Paul Stevens stevendp@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Dawn M. Stoneking dawnst@vt.edu
Equality, Justice, Leadership and Management, Public Policy Processes, Policy Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Shahid Rashid Talukdar shahidur@vt.edu
How the Sustainable Development Perspective Informs/Influences Regional Development Efforts
Primary Advisor: Dr. Sara Jordan

Jeanne Kay Vargo jkvargo@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Tonya Denice Vincent tonyaw@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Scott W. Weimer weimers@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Warren Whitley wwhitley@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Lorenzo Williams lorenzo7@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Huishan Yang hyang@vt.edu
Public Service Motivation, Organization and Personnel, Community Engagement
Primary Advisor: Dr. Robin Lemaire

Anne Zobell zobella8@vt.edu
Social Welfare Policy, Organizational Culture in Congress, The Effects of Paid Sick Leave Laws
Primary Advisor: Dr. Susan Sterett

PAPA ALUMNI

Nadhrah A Kadir nadhrah1@vt.edu
Bureaucracy and public organizations, democratic and administrative values and red tape
Primary Advisor: Dr. Joe Rees

Daniel Paul Boden dpb22@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Andrew Francis Coffey acoffey5@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Michael J. DeLor mjdelor@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Saunji Desiree Fyffe sfyffe@vt.edu
Government-nonprofit Relationships and Networks; Organization Accountability and Performance; and Nonprofit Capacity
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Raifu Durodoye rod0001@vt.edu
Social Justice/ Higher Ed Policy/ Quantitative Methods
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Haider Haider hahaider@vt.edu
Narrative Analysis, Institutionalism, Rational Choice, Decision Making
Primary Advisor: Dr. Matthew Dull

Meredith Hundley merehund@vt.edu
Implementation, Broadband & Internet Policy, Collaboration, Nonprofits
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Kwangseon Hwang kshwang@kistep.re.kr
Public administration and Policy Theory, Public Orgnization, Public Accountability, S&T Policy
Primary Advisors: Dr. Laura Jensen

Katherine Preston Keeney kapresto@vt.edu
Arts and Cultural Policy, Arts Mgt, Nonprofit and Public Financial Mgt, Org Theory, Public-nonprofit Partnerships
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Michael S. Keeney michaelskeeney@gmail.com
Gubernatorial and Legislative Design; State and Federal Budgeting; Legislative Oversight
Primary Advisors: Dr. Brian Cook and Dr. Karen Hult

David King kingd@ndu.edu
Outputs: The ‘Missing Link’ in U.S. Federal Government Performance Reporting
Primary Advisor: Dr. Jim Wolf

Jaekwon Ko jaekk75@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Paul Frederick Leimer pleimer@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Jim Wolf

James Muetzel jmuetzel@vt.edu
Law and Public Administration; Organization Theory; Governance and Public Management; and the Context of Public Administration
Primary Advisor: Dr. Jim Wolf

John Christopher O’Byrne jackobyrne@vt.edu
Dissertation: The Diffussion and Evolution of 311 Citizen Service Centers in American Cities over 100,000, 1996 to 2012
Primary Advisor: Dr. Patrick Roberts

Glenn Orr gorr05@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Larkin Dudley

Nicole Rishel Elias nicole.rishel.elias@gmail.com
Theory and Context of Public Administration, Human Resources Management, Diversity, and Public Representation and Participation
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen M. Hult

Donna Ann Sedgwick sedgwick@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Fatima Sharif fsharif@vt.edu
Public Health Administration and Policy, Federalism and Social Policy, Social Determinants of Health
Primary Advisor: Dr. Laura Jensen

Aaron M. Smith-WalterAaron_smithwalter@uml.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Jessica Lee Wirgau jwirgau@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Brian Cook

Mary Jo Wills mwills@vt.edu
Not stated
Primary Advisor: Dr. Karen Hult

Situated on the border of the main Virginia Tech campus in downtown Blacksburg, VA, the historic Thomas-Conner House is CPAP’s headquarters and home to a thriving community of faculty, staff, and MPA and PhD students.

Blacksburg offers the experience of a relatively small, collegial graduate program combined with the richness and traditional atmosphere of a Division I research university, situated in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains with their many recreational opportunities. The vast resources of the university and CPAP’s intimate community of learners offers Blacksburg students a wonderful environment for the study of public administration and public affairs.

Students, faculty, and staff on the Blacksburg campus engage in rich community life, bolstered by Public Administrators at Virginia Tech (PAVT), CPAP Blacksburg’s student organization. The cultural heart of CPAP, PAVT organizes many educational, social, and community service-oriented activities during the academic year.

Please direct inquiries to:

Laura French, Department Admin at lhf@vt.edu or (540) 231-5133 (concerning admissions and other administrative matters)

Address:

Center for Public Administration and Policy
104 Draper Road SW (MC 0520)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Why Choose CPAP in Alexandria?

We are committed to advancing good governance and capable, ethical public service. We offer the MPA, Ph.D. and certificates in local government management, public and nonprofit financial management, and homeland security policy. Several things stand out about our programs:

Community
CPAP Alexandria attracts a mix of part-time and full time students committed to thoughtful public service. Our classes offer opportunities to meet and learn from public sector leaders. Many Alexandria graduate students take classes on a part-time basis, while working full-time in federal, regional, and local government positions, as well as in consulting and the non-profit sector. Our students are part of a community that includes more than 35,000 Virginia Tech alumni in the national capital region.

The Benefits of a University
We have the benefits of community that come from a close-knit program dedicated to thoughtful public service alongside the benefits of a large university. The Virginia Tech registrar and Graduate Student Services Office are located at the Northern Virginia Center at 7054 Haycock Road, Falls Church, VA (adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro). Additionally, there is a library in the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) just across the courtyard from the SPIA Alexandria building. Students are also able to reach faculty in Blacksburg and Richmond through videoconference technology for advising, service on committees, and online courses. The Social & Decision Analytics Laboratory in Ballston offers opportunities for seminars and research collaboration on big data and decision analytics topics.

Reflective Practitioners
Many of our faculty come from long careers in government, or are primarily reflective practitioners who hold a full time job in government as well as scholarly credentials. They bring current policy and management experience as well as their personal networks to the classroom for the benefit of students.

Virginia Tech Ballston buildingConvenience
The campus is located at 1021 Prince Street in Old Town Alexandria, VA. It is metro accessible on the Blue and Yellow metro lines, just a 15 minute walk or 5 minute Bikeshare ride from the King Street metro station.

Virginia Tech’s Arlington Research Center is located at 900 N. Glebe Road, minutes from the Ballston metro station. CPAP holds events at the Ballston building, which is convenient to many government agencies and nonprofits. The Arlington campus is home to a popular Science, Technology and Policy Leadership speakers series.

Evening Classes
Most classes at the National Capital Region campus begin at 4p.m. and 7p.m., with occasional weekend conference-style meetings.

Career Services
Many courses invite professionals into the classroom to give a talk, or even to serve as a client for student reports and studio projects. Early career students have gained career experience through internships at federal government agencies, the General Accountability Office, the city of Alexandria, and other agencies and nonprofits. The living lab in Arlington offers possibilities for working with local government officials to address challenges for community resilience.

Public Engagement
From lunchtime research in progress talks to evening guest workshops for doctoral students, aspiring public administrators, and alumni, our students have ample opportunity to interact with public officials and policy experts. See, for example, this recent conference on collaboration in big data ethics. In addition, Virginia Tech in the National Capital Region hosts events for policy experts, leaders, and the public. Faculty and students also regularly speak to the media.

Please direct inquiries to:

Myriam Lechuga, Student Coordinator at mlechuga@vt.edu or (703) 706-8111

Address:

Center for Public Administration and Policy
1021 Prince Street, Room 228
Alexandria, VA 22314

CPAP offers its MPA Program at Virginia Tech’s Graduate Center in Richmond. The program, utilized by working professionals and full-time students alike, allows students to proceed at their own pace as they balance work and academic requirements. Students at CPAP Richmond enjoy the urban atmosphere along with the learning community of their CPAP contemporaries. Richmond students also have the opportunity to take certificate courses in both Local Government Management and Public and Non-Profit Financial Management remotely through online and Polycom virtual classroom technology.

Please direct inquiries to:

Joe Rees, Faculty Coordinator, at reesj@vt.edu or (540) 250-5632
Address:

Virginia Tech Richmond Center
2810 N. Parham Road, Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 662-7288

Application Deadlines for All Campuses

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.

Tuition & Fees

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

Financial Aid

For all other information about admissions and financial aid, please visit the graduate school admissions website.

Apply Online

Application and Fee. File an application with the graduate school online here and pay the nonrefundable application fee, which is currently $75.

Want more help with filing the application? See the graduate school’s help page.

Transcripts. Have two official copies of undergraduate and/or graduate study transcripts sent directly to the graduate school from universities and colleges previously attended. VT applicants an simply request from the registrar.

Personal Statement of Purpose. As part of the online application process, provide a personal statement in which you (a) describe previous employment experiences and (b) discuss thoughtfully your future career plans. The statement should express how the Center’s curriculum for which you are applying will assist you in achieving your future career goals.

Resume. As part of the online application process, provide a professional resume.

Test Scores. Applicants for the Ph.D. program must provide scores on a recognized aptitude test. The educational testing service will send the scores directly to the graduate school, upon request. The aptitude test scores are optional for MPA applicants. International students may be required to take TOEFL.

Letters of Recommendation/Reference Forms. As part of the online application, all applicants should arrange for submission of three (3) persons to provide a letters of recommendation. Once submitted, each reference is sent an electronic form to complete. Preferably the applicant’s references should include a mix of former professors and others who know the applicant professionally, such as employment supervisors or others who have had an opportunity to observe the applicant in a professional capacity. It is especially important that applicants to the Ph.D. program provide at least two letters or forms from former college or university teachers.

Paper Application

Paper Applications. If you are unable or choose not to apply online, you may download the application form for US and Permanent Resident Students or for International Students.

Submission. ALL PAPER APPLICANTS, including Northern Virginia and Richmond campuses, please send application materials including: application and fee, personal statement of purpose, resume, and letters of recommendation/reference forms directly to the Graduate School. Transcripts and test scores should be sent from the issuing authority to the same address.

Virginia Tech Graduate School (0325)
Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

To confirm that your application materials are complete please contact:

Center for Public Administration and Policy
Phone: (540) 231-5133
Email: cpap@vt.edu

CPAP POLICY GUIDE


Download the Policy Guide

Read the Policy Guide

POLICY GUIDE

CENTER FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY
of the
School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA)
College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS)

VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

January 2017

The mission of the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and 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.

CPAP seeks:

  1. To 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.
  2. To 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.
  3. To 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.

CPAP offers two degrees: the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Ph.D. in public administration and public affairs. The MPA is offered in Blacksburg, the National Capital Region (NCR), and Richmond. The Ph.D. is offered in Blacksburg and NCR. CPAP also is the home for two graduate certificates, in Homeland Security Policy and in Local Government Management.

Virginia Tech is committed to providing appropriate services and accommodations to allow identified students with disabilities access to academic programs. Information for students needing special services can be found at http://www.ssd.vt.edu/students.htm. CPAP students with special needs should contact the CPAP chair.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a professional degree intended for future and present practitioners in the public service. Its purpose is to educate early career individuals for administrative and analytical posts and to improve the skills of in-career public administrators. International students should recognize that a substantial portion of the program’s subject matter focuses primarily upon public administration, management, and policy in the United States.
  1. Course in U.S. Government: Entering students must have taken at least one undergraduate course about the institutions of the U.S. government or have equivalent experience, training, or instruction. Equivalent experience is at least three years full-time work in local, state, or federal government. This prerequisite can also be satisfied by completing the CLEP American Government exam with a score of 60 or higher. If this requirement has not been fulfilled upon entry into the program, it should be fulfilled in the first semester.
  2. Statistics Course: All students enrolling in PAPA 6514 (Public Administration and Policy Inquiry) must have had a statistics course or be taking one concurrently. In order to enroll in PAPA 6224 (Public Policy Design and Implementation), students must have completed an introductory statistics course or meet an equivalent requirement as approved by faculty members teaching those courses, and have had the prerequisite of PAPA 6514