The Online MPA Program

From UNC School of Government

Learn, Serve, and Lead with UNC’s MPA Online

“How can we improve lives and communities through better governance?” For 90 years, that question has been at the heart of everything we do at the UNC School of Government.

Our nationally ranked online Master of Public Administration (MPA) program has been preparing public service leaders to strengthen communities, serve citizens, and foster change since 2013.1The program is taught by experienced, knowledgeable faculty who frequently consult and serve government officials.

When you complete the NASPAA-accredited UNC MPA online, you’ll collaborate with peers across the country who are tackling important issues in areas such as education, social services, public health, sustainability, and transportation. 

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The Online MPA at a Glance

5 concentrations

45 credit hours to complete

Full-time and part-time options

Scholarships available

MPA Online Curriculum

The curriculum for our online MPA program begins with core courses focusing on key competencies for administrators, such as professional communication, human resources, and financial management. You can then customize your education with a range of electives and concentrations.

You’ll also complete a Professional Work Experience,which enables you to gain real experience as a public sector leader in your community. Toward the end of the program, you’ll use your newly developed knowledge to solve an applied research problem.

Concentration Options

You can tailor your online MPA education with electives to support your interests and goals. You can select electives individually or choose from one of our five concentrations:

International Relations | Local Government | Nonprofit Management | Public Health | Public Management

To complete a concentration, you’ll need to take at least three courses in topics that relate to your chosen field.

Join a Community of Distinguished Leaders

Learn how the UNC MPA’s professional development opportunities and network of leaders can help you reach your career goals.

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Admissions: MPA Degree Online

The School of Government seeks applicants who demonstrate a deep commitment to public service and are prepared to meet the rigorous demands of the UNC MPA online.

Scholarships are available. Nearly 90% of UNC MPA students receive some level of tuition support.

Admissions Highlights:

  • Four start dates are offered per year: January, May, August, and September.
  • A bachelor’s degree is required.
  • Work experience is not required, but demonstrating leadership or public service knowledge will enhance an application.

The GRE/GMAT requirement may be waived for candidates who have completed an advanced degree such as a master’s, JD, or PhD.

You can speak with an admissions counselor at 855-862-4672 or onlinempa@unc.edu.

Review the application requirements for the UNC School of Government’s online MPA program.

“Being an effective part of the public sector requires so much more than learning how to do a job. Earning an MPA at UNC teaches you how to be a leader—how to make a meaningful, positive impact for your community, whether it be at the local, state, or national level.”

Adrienne Augustus
UNC MPA Class of 2020

UNC School of Government’s Approach to Online Learning

We believe the relationships you develop in your online MPA program are just as important as the skills you learn. Our partnership with leading educators and technology experts has positioned us to design a truly collaborative, research-based online learning experience.

You’ll interact in live classes with diverse peers and faculty who come from a variety of professional backgrounds. Outside of class, rigorous asynchronous course work builds your public administration expertise, and our support staff assists you at every stage.

Additional Online Offerings from UNC School of Government

In addition to the online MPA program, the UNC School of Government offers online professional development options on a variety of topics, from contract zoning to social services to public records law.

Current MPA students can take School of Government courses for free when they are available. Some courses may be taken for credit and count toward online MPA degree requirements.

Be a Decision Maker Who Does Good

Communities across the world need committed public service leaders to implement policy, run effective governments, manage budgets, and enact change.

Take the next step toward driving change in your career and your community with the UNC MPA online.

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1 Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs, ranked in 2021, U.S. News and World Report (Retrieved July 2021)