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.
Earn up to 12 graduate credits while you complete your bachelor’s degree
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Take classes on campus or online
NASPAA accredited by the Commission on Peer Review & Accreditation
Public Relations Specialists
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.
Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School
Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of public or private elementary or secondary level schools.
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
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.
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.
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?
- 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.
- 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.
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