[ skip to content ]

School of Public ServiceMPA Mission


The mission of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program in the School of Public Service at Old Dominion University is to develop professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to lead and advance public service in a diverse, multi-sector environment. We expect our graduates to be capable of critical problem solving, effective communication, skillful implementation of policy and programs, and ethical application of management and leadership concepts. The MPA program serves the region, state, and nation; supports the professions of public administration and public service; and advances the state of knowledge through applied and scholarly research.

The mission of the MPA program may be translated into teaching, research and service missions with the following objectives:

  • Teaching Mission: To educate current and future professional public administrators to meet the challenges of working in the public service in a dynamic and changing environment by enhancing their knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the field of public administration.
  • Service Mission: To serve public sector organizations in the Hampton Roads region and the profession of public administration
  • Research Mission: To advance the state of knowledge in the field of public administration through applied and scholarly research

NASPAA Universal Competencies: As the basis for its curriculum, the program will adopt a set of required competencies related to its mission and public service values. The required competencies will include five domains: the ability

  • to lead and manage in public governance;
  • to participate in and contribute to the policy process;
  • to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions;
  • to articulate and apply a public service perspective;
  • to communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

Learning Objectives

Students will learn to:

  • Participate, analyze and solve problems in a team environment
  • Employ analytical tools for collecting, analyzing, presenting and interpreting data, including appropriate statistical concepts and techniques
  • Knowledge & understanding of budgeting/financial management
    • Read and interpret financial statements
    • Understand the budget process
    • Prepare a budget reflecting policy priorities
  • Describe and analyze the policy process (from problem definition, agenda setting, policy formulation, policy implementation and policy evaluation)
  • Communicate effectively in writing (Preparing clear, concise and well organized written materials tailored to the audiences level of expertise and needs)
  • Communicate effectively in speech (Presents oral information accurately, clearly concisely and persuasively tailored to audiences level of expertise and needs)
  • Understand and apply theories of decision making and models
  • Think critically about policy and administration issues to make decisions
  • Appreciate history & development of PA and apply historical themes/concepts/elements to current issues in public administration
  • Apply ethical criteria for making decisions and analyzing ethical dilemmas within public administration
  • Understand critical human resources concepts and issues
  • Appreciate the complexity of operating in a multi-sectoral environment
  • Appreciate and understand the issues related to operating in a diverse workplace
  • Appreciate diversity issues as they impact communities

Mission of the School of Public Service — The mission of ODU School of Public Service is to lead in educating public service leaders, build and disseminate the public service knowledge, and directly address community challenges in the multi-sector environment.

Mission of the Strome College of Business — Strome College of Business engages participants in scholarly exploration and active learning, solving business and community challenges in a global arena to accelerate success.

Mission of Old Dominion University — Old Dominion University, located in the City of Norfolk in the metropolitan Hampton Roads region of coastal Virginia, is a dynamic public research institution that serves its students and enriches the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation and the world through rigorous academic programs, strategic partnerships, and active civic engagement.

Site Navigation

Experience Guaranteed

Enhance your college career by gaining relevant experience with the skills and knowledge needed for your future career. Discover our experiential learning opportunities.

Academic Days

Picture yourself in the classroom, speak with professors in your major, and meet current students.

Upcoming Events

From sports games to concerts and lectures, join the ODU community at a variety of campus events.