DPA Program Description

The Doctor of Public Administration Degree is a practitioner-oriented degree that helps students to develop the essential leadership, management, communication, and problem solving abilities necessary to succeed in today’s professional environment.  The courses in the program are designed to suit the information and skill needs of professionals currently in the field. The DPA degree is designed to provide students with the analytical and research skills that may be used in a variety of professional careers.  While the public and the not-for-profit sectors have traditionally offered the greatest employment opportunities for DPA graduates, the degree is also highly marketable in the private sector given its analytical and research-oriented focus.

Students pursuing the DPA degree online at Valdosta State University must complete 54 hours of course work to include 15 hours of required core courses, 9 hours of methods, 15 hours in a concentration area approved by the DPA Coordinator, and 6 hours of guided electives approved by the DPA Coordinator. The 15 hour core includes PADM 9030: Logic of Inquiry which must be taken in the first semester. Your final semester of coursework will require you to take PADM 9990: Capstone Seminar and PADM 9999: Final Project. These courses serve as the exit requirement for the DPA program. 

The majority of the DPA program is designed around the use of web technology, residency orientations on VSU main campus each fall and spring semester, seminars and meetings, and intensive individual study of a research topic and writing of a capstone project which is supervised by DPA faculty members.  

Departmental Requirements in addition to University Requirements for Admission:

A student desiring work in the College of Arts and Sciences on the DPA degree must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test. The student must present a combined minimum score of 295 [1000 old] on the verbal and quantitative portions or 153 [500 old] on the verbal and 5.0 on the analytical writing section.

Also, a student must submit a comprehensive resume, a one to two page career goal statement and three letters of recommendation (2 from professors and 1 from a supervisor of employment).

For more information about these exams please visit Valdosta State University's Testing Website:


Valdosta State University
Office of Testing  
phone: (229) 245 - 3878 | e-mail:  testing@valdosta.edu  | Website: Testing Center

Expected Outcomes:

Recipients of the DPA degree will have:

  1. A comprehensive understanding of the career field.
  2. Basic skills and a broadened  perspective required of managers and administrators.
  3. Strong oral and written communication skills.
  4. Sensitivity to diverse groups.

DPA Brochure

Click to view DPA brochure