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School of Public ServiceMPA Fact Sheet


Degree Title: Master of Public Administration (MPA)

All data on this page is from the 2022-2023 Annual Report Year (ARY).

Accreditation: The Master of Public Administration is accredited by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and listed on the Annual Roster of Accredited Programs in conformity with NASPAA standards. ODU is part of the 2023-2024 cohort. NASPAA Member Code of Good Practice.

Organization: The MPA program is an academic program within the School of Public Service at the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

Method of instruction: Online and/or local. The majority of courses are now online-asynchronous, with no set meeting times. Local students can choose either online or hybrid (when offered).

Credit Hours for Degree: 39 credit hours (13 three (3) credit hour courses). As of Fall 2020, this includes eight core (required) classes and a choice of five electives.

Length of degree: Full-time students finish in two years (Fall-Spring-Summer-Fall-Spring) or less. Part-time students typically take 3 to 4 years, depending on their own situations.

Graduate completion rate: Given the nature of the program with varying numbers of part-time and full-time students, most graduating students tend to finish within three (3) years plus one semester; full-time graduating students can easily complete the program within two years or less.

For the students initially enrolled in the five years prior to the Annual report (ARY-5):

Initially enrolled Graduated within 2 years Graduated within 3 years Graduated within 4 years Total students graduated and persisting to graduation
48 11 30 36 37
23% 63% 75% 77%

[Note: Students have 8 years to graduate. The above is based solely on those who completed the degree program within the span of the annual report and those who started 5 years prior.]

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. (Mission & Objectives.)


  • Non-Profit Management and Governance
  • Multi-sector Public Service (Public, Non-Profit, Private)
  • Graduate Certificates: Public Procurement & Contract Management, Women's Studies, Social Justice & Entrepreneurship, Business Analytics and Big Data

# of students: Varies from 130-150. Average in-person class size is around 12; average online class size is around 22.

Part-time and full-time: Approximately 72% of our students take classes on a part-time basis, with most working full-time.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition: Tuition varies for in-state, out-of-state (resident), and out-of-state (online-only) students. In-state and out-of-state (online-only) rates are comparable.

Careers & Internships

Where do our students go to work? Many are currently working in government positions, but those who look for new jobs typically find jobs in the local government sectors (in Hampton Roads or elsewhere). The following shows data from ARY-1:

National Government 4
State Government 7
Local Government 11
Nonprofit 6
Private sector 4
Obtaining further education 1
No response 7
Total 40

Alumni surveys report that over 98% of those reporting were employed 6 months after graduation. Over 70% were employed in some capacity before entering or while enrolled in the MPA program.

Where have recent students completed internships? While most of our students have significant professional experience in the public or non-profit sectors, we have a small portion of students who do not have such experience and are therefore strongly encouraged to complete an internship program. Our students have completed internships in non-profit organizations, government agencies, and institutions of higher education, as well as Graduate Assistantship programs in departments across Old Dominion University.

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