Lead Innovatively. Inspire Change.

Become an accomplished leader in the public or nonprofit sector. Tap into your interests to make real change to policy and practice in state and local government or within the third sector. As executive positions in these sectors continue to grow, the skills and knowledge you gain in the Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.A.) program will prepare you to lead, motivate, and inspire.

Nova Southeastern University’s D.P.A. program is designed to build the skillsets of emerging leaders in public service. It provides a grounding in the theories and applications of management and policy in the public and nonprofit sectors with a curriculum that provides a strong foundation and allows for flexibility. Expand your professional network and engage in vital experiential learning opportunities.

Graduates will emerge equipped to address the social, economic, and political challenges of leadership with the confidence to advance change.

“A career in public service or nonprofit management is personally and professionally fulfilling. With the program’s focus on advanced training for practice, NSU is preparing future executives in these sectors. Leadership development is critical in these sectors and NSU is preparing these students to meet those challenges.”

Adam Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor
headshot of faculty adam williams

Quick Facts


NSU’s Doctor of Public Administration program consists of 60 total credits, and can be completed in as little as 3 years (depending upon post-graduate coursework).


Start Dates

The Doctor of Public Administration is available to start in August 2023. Thereafter, the DPA program will commence in the Fall (August) of subsequent odd-numbered years.

Delivery Options

Classes for the Doctor of Public Administration program are offered in an online (synchronous) format, primarily on Saturdays from 8 am - 5 pm. Attendance at on-campus end-of-term seminars may also be required periodically during the program.


Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.

Earning Potential

County Manager

$142,674 Source: ICMA.org

City Manager

$135,140 Source: ICMA.org

Chief Executive Officer (Non-Profit)

$113,489 Source: Ziprecruiter.com

Fundraising Manager

$94,380 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Doctor of Public Administration Curriculum

Course Descriptions
D.P.A. Core Courses (24 credits)
PUB 5449*
Public Policy Analysis (PUB 5449* / Credits: 3 )
PUB 6000
Public Management and Leadership Practice (PUB 6000 / Credits: 4 )
PUB 6100
Public Affairs and Public Administration Research Methods (PUB 6100 / Credits: 4 )
PUB 6200
Practice in Public Administration (PUB 6200 / Credits: 4 )
PUB 6400
Doctoral Closure Course (PUB 6400 / Credits: 4 )
PNP 5927*
Evaluation of Nonprofit Policies and Programs (PNP 5927* / Credits: 3 )
* PUB 6999
Doctoral Seminar (required for each 5000 level course) (* PUB 6999 / Credits: 2 )
Emphasis Track - Public Management (20 credits)
PUB 5438 *
Public and Non-Profit Strategic Management (PUB 5438 * / Credits: 3 )
PUB 5459 *
Managing Information & Tech in the Public Sector (PUB 5459 * / Credits: 3 )
PUB 5469 *
Public Finance (PUB 5469 * / Credits: 3 )
PUB 5926 *
Public Budgeting (PUB 5926 * / Credits: 3 )
PUB 5932 *
Sustainable Community Development (PUB 5932 * / Credits: 3 )
* PUB 6999
Doctoral Seminar (required for each 5000 level course) (* PUB 6999 / Credits: 5 )
Closure Exercise (16 credits)
PUB 6900
Doctoral Closure Seminar (PUB 6900 )

In this course, students are required to do a detailed, accurate, and cohesive account of a scholarly investigation designed to answer one or more applied/real-world problems or focused research questions. It is required of all the doctoral students, and its purpose is to improve scholarship and practice in public sector.

Admission Requirements

Ready for the Next Step?

We’re thrilled you’re applying to NSU’s Doctor of Public Administration program.

This program accepts students in the fall term.

NSU recommends that you start the application process at least 1–2 months prior to the deadline date.

Have the following items ready to submit with your online application:

  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended 
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable)
You may also be asked to complete an interview for admission.

Required Admission Documentation:

  1. Completed Doctoral Application for Admission.
  2. $50 non-refundable application fee.
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended. The applicant's master's degree transcript must show degree conferral date in order to be evaluated for admission consideration. Electronic transcripts can be sent to electronictranscript@nova.edu. Hard copies may be mailed to:
    Nova Southeastern University
    Enrollment Processing Services (EPS)
    Attn: H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship
    3300 S. University Drive
    PO Box 299000
    Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida 33328-2004
  4. A current, to-date professional resume that demonstrates five or more years of public sector experience in positions with increasing levels of responsibility.
  5. An interview is required, if offered.

International Applicants

To be considered for acceptance into the D.P.A. program, international applicants must fulfill additional admission criteria.

Applications are evaluated as soon as the student's file is complete.

  • A conferred master's degree earned from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or equivalent for international applicants, with a 3.25 GPA overall may be considered for admission.
  • For all applicants with a graduate GPA below 3.25, the Public Administration Faculty Admissions Committee reserves the right to place conditions on the applicants' first terms, such as: remedial coursework in appropriate subjects, limit course enrollment to appropriate levels, suspend or dismiss such applicants based upon first term course grades or require GMAT scores of 450+ or GRE scores of 306+. The exam must have been completed in the past three years.
  • A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL or IELTS or PTE Academic) is required for any applicant whose native language is not English and whose bachelor's degree education was not completed in English. The minimum required scores are as follows: a TOEFL score of 550 (paper test) or 79 (Internet test), a score of 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, or a score of 54 on the PTE Academic exam. Test scores cannot be more than two years old. A letter on official letterhead from the applicant's prior university stating that all bachelor's degree course material was taught and studied in English may suffice for the TOEFL requirement.

Are You Ready to Make a Difference?

What does success look like? For many, it's living on our own terms, becoming a business success so we can help others, or being at the top of our game to fulfill our dreams. At NSU Business, it's all of the above. We believe people, planet, and profit can be the triple bottom line, and that our grads will create businesses that do more than just succeed; they will help others thrive, too.

Advance your career with our world-class business programs and our network of leaders, innovators, and change agents. Do your best and deliver what's Best for Our World™.

Take The Next Step

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Master of Public Administration

NSU’s Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) helps you develop the professional skills you need to lead in the public sector, with a special focus on governmental agencies. Turn your interest and passion into a career.

The H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship graduate enrollment office is located in the Carl DeSantis Building in Suite 1115 on NSU's Fort Lauderdale-Davie campus in Davie, Florida. Click here for a map.

Phone: (954) 262-5067 or Toll-Free: (800) 672-7223 x25067

Email: hcbeinfo@nova.edu

Schedule an Appointment

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.