At James Madison University (JMU), we take pride in leveraging the best our state has to offer, strategically positioned between the vibrant cities of Washington D.C. and Richmond.  

Our esteemed alumni are making a significant impact across various careers throughout Virginia, from the Governor's Office to state agencies, nonprofits, and local government entities. Our dedicated faculty actively engages in applied community research, providing students with real-world learning experiences. We believe in inclusivity, and our diverse alumni network opens doors to exciting opportunities at Fortune 100 companies, federal and state governments, local communities, nonprofits, and global humanitarian aid and development groups. Our MPA Program is designed to offer both bold opportunities and personalized instruction, ensuring true faculty mentorship for every student. 

The Master of Public Administration degree requires completion of 36 credit hours of coursework and a valuable six-credit internship. Notably, the intern ship is optional for "in-service" students-those currently employed or recently employed in a substantive position within the public sector. Our comprehensive curriculum consists of three main components: a common foundation that equips students to thrive in the public and nonprofit sectors, specialized concentrations in Public Management, Nonprofit Management, and International Stability and Recovery Operations, and the option for students to craft an individualized concentration in consultation with the MPA director. Field-based learning and meaningful community partnerships are at the core of our program's distinctiveness.  

International Stabilization & Recovery Operations
The ISRO concentration focuses on critical graduate coursework, focusing on the intricate nature and context of post-conflict societies. Through a comprehensive investigation, we address the multifaceted challenges posed by international stabilization and recovery operations. You will gain the expertise to tackle wicked problems, including human trafficking, corruption and ethics in humanitarian affairs.  

Public Management
The Public Management concentrations is thoughtfully designed to provide comprehensive graduate coursework in essential areas, such as contract management, intergovernmental relations, regionalism, policy interest areas, and economic development. By honing these critical skills, you will be well-prepared to lead transformative changes and foster growth in public service. 

Nonprofit Management
The Nonprofit Management concentration provides comprehensive graduate coursework in key areas such as nonprofit management and leadership, philanthropy, volunteerism, financial management, and grant and contract management. This well-rounded curriculum equips you with the essential skills and knowledge needed to excel in the dynamic world of nonprofit organizations. 

We believe our program sets the stage for successful careers in public service, as highlighted by our alumni who share their experiences: 

"My time in the JMU MPA program significantly prepared me for the challenges of community leadership during the global pandemic. Our social service agency was able to pivot quickly to delivering services online. The skills that I learned in the program kept our organization afloat and allowed us to expand our reach and deepen connections in rural Virginia."

Apply to the JMU MPA ProgramToday’s complex environment demands managers with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to meet the fiscal challenges these careers demand. An MPA from James Madison University provides students with these skills.

Applying to the MPA Program

See the course of study


Our program serves recent undergraduates and experienced public servants looking for:

  • Small classes and personal attention from professors
  • A core curriculum emphasizing administrative competency and practical skill development for public servants
  • Exciting internships and applied field experiences in a wide array of organizations
  • Current JMU undergraduates can also apply to the five-year degree program.

Back to Top