The Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.A.) is a practitioner-oriented degree that helps students develop the essential leadership, management, communication, and problem solving abilities necessary to succeed in today’s professional environment. The courses in the program are designed to suit the information and skill needs of professionals currently in the field.

The DPA program consists of 54 semester hours of coursework, divided among foundation and core courses, theory and methods courses, elective courses, and capstone/project credits. The majority of the DPA program is designed around the use of web technology. Students will participate in selected residency seminars and meetings during the first weekend of each fall and spring semesters on the VSU main campus; the remainder of the coursework will be completed online.

Selected Educational Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the DPA program, students will:

  1. Demonstrate competency in core public administration content and principles.
  2. Demonstrate competency in the various methodologies employed in public administration research.
  3. Understand the importance and relevance of the broad intellectual tradition of public administration.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to apply their advanced understanding of public administration theories and tools to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, and representativeness of public organizations.

Outcome Assessments

  1. DPA faculty committee members will review end-of-course evaluations written by the faculty for that particular course. Adjustments for students for whom remedial work is indicated will be prescribed and monitored by the DPA faculty committee. Artifacts of gained knowledge will be course examinations, term papers and projects, and other outputs.
  2. Students will conduct research projects and present their documented findings during residency seminars.
  3. The capstone seminar will assess student knowledge through applied projects or case studies or both.
  4. Students will complete professional portfolios that will be assessed by the DPA faculty.
  5. Students will complete and successfully defend a dissertation-quality applied research project.

Prior to admission to any graduate program at Valdosta State University, applicants must first submit a completed application packet to the Graduate School. A completed application packet includes official transcripts from all institutions previously attended, completed application form, fee, and any additional program requirements submitted by the admission deadline. To be considered for your preferred term, all required materials must be received by the Graduate School no later than the close of business on the deadline. It is the responsibility of the applicant to allow adequate time for document submission and to ensure receipt of documents.

Admission Deadlines

Fall Deadline: April 15

This program considers applications for Fall term only.

Go to the Graduate School website and click on Our Programs, then click on Public Administration for information on:

  • Specific DPA Program Admission Requirements
  • DPA Program Retention, Dismissal, and Readmission Policies
  • DPA Program Graduation Requirements

To Apply Online, click here

Requirements for the DPA Degree

Core (Required) Courses 15
PADM 9000Administration and Government3
PADM 9010Financial Management for Public and Non-Governmental Organizations3
PADM 9020Managing Human Resources in Public and Non-Governmental Organizations3
PADM 9060Information and Data Management3
PADM 9070Culture of Formal Work Organizations3
or SOCI 9070 Culture of Formal Work Organizations
Methods Courses 9
PADM 9030Logic of Inquiry in Administration 33
PADM 9040Research and Methods for Public Administration3
PADM 9050Program Evaluation3
or PSYC 9050 Program Evaluation
Concentration Area Courses 15
Each student is to identify an area of concentration no later than upon completion of 18 hours of coursework, in consultation with the DPA Coordinator, the Head of the Department of Political Science, and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. 15
Guided Elective Courses6
Students will select 6 semester hours of guided electives through consultation with their advisor. 6
Capstone Seminar/Project 9
PADM 9990Capstone Seminar3
PADM 9999Final Project/Organizational Analysis6
Total Required for the Degree54