The DPA program welcomes applicants who hold masters degrees from accredited institutions. Admission to the program is based on an assessment of an applicant's ability, aptitude and potential.

The DPA program has a priority consideration date of October 1st for a Spring start term and April 1st for a Fall start term. We encourage you to submit your completed application and all required materials by said date. Admission decisions will be rendered approximately six weeks after the priority application date. Applications received after the priority application date will be reviewed on a rolling admissions basis.

View a printable summary of the program and application process.

Application Information

DPA Program Admissions Requirements

  • Official application form (The Graduate School)
  • Personal Statement - please address the three prompts within the application
  • Official transcripts (graduate and undergraduate). Students whose master's degrees are not in public administration, public affairs, policy analysis, political science, public health or nonprofit management or a related field, and/or do not have relevant work experience, may be required to complete additional coursework in public administration.
  • Three recommendations (ideally 2 letters of recommendation from faculty in the student’s masters program and 1 letter from an employer). Applicant need only supply email addresses within the application.
  • Writing Sample - from your graduate program or professional career demonstrating writing ability and analytical skills.
  • Resume or vita

All application materials are to be submitted to The Graduate School using the online application process. After all required information has been received, the DPA Director will review the materials and forward a recommendation regarding admission to the Dean of The Graduate School. Students will be notified of admissions decisions by the Graduate Admissions office.

Graduate Assistantships


Graduate assistantships are awarded each year to highly qualified students. Availability varies yearly and the process is competitive; therefore applicants should not plan their academic program assuming they will receive an assistantship.

Requirements and Eligibility

A graduate assistantship is an opportunity to work on campus in a research or service-oriented capacity in order to gain valuable work experience in higher education or an academic field and earn a tuition waiver and stipend. Applicants should their interest in an assistantship on the electronic application for admission. If you have any questions, please email

Note that a graduate assistantship requires the student to demonstrate both satisfactory performance in meeting assigned hours, dates and responsibilities, as well as good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.0). Students awarded graduate assistantships who fail to meet these requirements will have their assistantships revoked or will not have them renewed. This policy includes courses taken during summer sessions.


Frederick Douglass Graduate Assistantships

These graduate assistantships are named after Frederick Douglass, a great nineteenth-century American abolitionist and writer and a frequent visitor to West Chester. Douglass gave his last public lecture at West Chester Normal School on February 1, 1895.

Applicants with excellent academic credentials may apply for these assistantships. Efforts are made to appoint qualified candidates from historically underrepresented and underserved populations who have leadership experiences in their backgrounds or as part of their academic goals. This consideration is in keeping with the spirit of Douglass' life of public service and the University's mission to be a source of encouragement to the African American, Native American, Hispanic American, and Asian American communities.

Students with Frederick Douglass graduate assistantships serve the Frederick Douglass Institute. These are full-time (20 hours per week) assistantships that provide a tuition waiver and a $5,000 stipend for the academic year. The awards are made on an annual basis and are renewable for a second year. Students may use these assistantships to pursue a master's degree in one of the University's graduate programs. Interested individuals with excellent credentials should contact The Graduate School

Institute for Women Graduate Grant

The Institute for Women at West Chester University offers an annual grant of $750 to a female graduate student who is accepted into a master's degree program at West Chester University. The award is based on high academic achievement; evidence of potential for contribution to the applicant's field of study; a record of leadership in school, community, church, or other setting; and evidence of service to others. Applications, including reference forms, are available from The Graduate School and Extended Education. Completed materials must be submitted by March 15. Only students who have filed all required admission credentials and plan to enroll for a minimum of six graduate credits are eligible.

Back to top of page.