About this Program

The Early Start MPA (4+1) is a fast-tracked program designed for highly motivated students to continue their education immediately after their bachelor's degree. It is especially beneficial to individuals seeking work or advancement in the government or non-profit sectors. After receiving their undergraduate degree, students will continue with the Master of Public Administration program, taking courses until completing the required 39 credit hours for the degree. Students can choose to pursue a traditional MPA or concentrations in Multisector Public Service or Non-Profit Management and Governance. The MPA program also offers certificates in Public Procurement and Contract Management and Public Administration & Public Policy. Students can complete the Early Start MPA (4+1) in an intensive year of work.

A potential course of study may include: Up to 12 credit hours in the final undergraduate year; 1-3 classes in the Summer, 3-4 courses in the Fall, and 3-4 courses in the Spring.

The MPA program is flexible and will extend the expected completion time for a student if this proves difficult.

Program Highlights

  • Earn up to 12 graduate credits while you complete your bachelor’s degree

  • #15 Most Affordable Online Colleges for MPA Degrees, 2019 – OnlineU.org

  • Take classes on campus or online

  • NASPAA accredited by the Commission on Peer Review & Accreditation

Degree Level
Degree Earned
B.A. & M.P.A. or B.S. & M.P.A.
Delivery Modes


Check out these ideas from ODU Career Development Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is a midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School

$97,440 Median Salary

Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of public or private elementary or secondary level schools.

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

$127,690 Median Salary

Plan, direct, or coordinate activities designed to create or maintain a favorable public image or raise issue awareness for their organization or client; or if engaged in fundraising, plan, direct, or coordinate activities to solicit and maintain funds for special projects or nonprofit organizations.

Chief Executives

$196,050 Median Salary

Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.

Public Relations Specialists

$67,990 Median Salary

Engage in promoting or creating an intended public image for individuals, groups, or organizations. May write or select material for release to various communications media.


What are the requirements to apply for Public Administration Early Start at ODU?
Students entering the B.A. & M.P.A. or B.S. & M.P.A. program in Public Administration Early Start should meet the minimum university admission requirements Undergraduate Admission.

Who Can Apply? The Early Start MPA (4+1) is suitable for students from any undergraduate major. A few of the traditional disciplines that feed naturally into Public Administration careers are Political Science, Criminal Justice, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Social Work, Education, and Public Service minors. What Should I Do First?

  1. As early as possible, tell your academic advisor that you're interested in the early start MPA program. They'll help you plan your undergraduate course of study based on MPA requirements.
  2. Apply to the MPA program between your junior year and no later than the application deadline during the first semester of the senior year.
  • Complete general education requirements by the end of your junior year

  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher at the end of junior year

  • Apply to the MPA program via Graduate Admissions (i.e., ODU graduate application, including personal statement, GRE or GRE waiver, two letters of recommendation, and other application requirements set by graduate admissions).

  • When applying, make the application for the session right after completion of the undergraduate degree (example: if graduating in the Spring, apply for that Summer session).


At ODU, we understand that as a transfer student you have unique needs that require a wide array of campus resources. The Center for Advising Administration and Academic Partnerships aims to create a transfer inclusive culture that supports the successful...


Estimated rates for the 2023-24 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

Active Duty Military Rate
Cost Per-Credit $250
Virginia Resident
Cost Per-Credit $393
Technology Delivered Courses Outside Virginia and/or the United States
Cost Per-Credit $407
Cost Per-Credit $1,073

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending ODU. For more information visit University Student Financial aid


MPA Graduate Program Director

NORFOLK, 23529

Program Coordinator

NORFOLK, 23529