There are seven colleges in the state that offer a Master of Public Administration program and are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
Quick List of MPA Degrees in North Carolina
- Appalachian State University
- East Carolina University
- North Carolina State University
- Northeastern University
- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- University of North Carolina-Charlotte
- University of North Carolina-Wilmington
- USC's Online MPA Program - Earn your MPA online from USC Price, ranked #3 for public affairs.
- UNC-Chapel Hill's Online MPA Program - GRE Waivers available, can be completed in less than two years
- Norwich University - Online MPA Program - 8 different concentrations, graduate in as few as 18 months. No GRE or GMAT requirement.
- George Washington University - Online MS in Political Management - 100% online, learn at your own pace. No entrance exam for qualified applicants.
- American University - Online MPA Program - NASPAA accredited MPA program. Graduate with your MPAP in 24 months. 100% Online MPA Program.
Online MPA Programs in North Carolina
Of the NASPAA-accredited programs in the state, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers 100 percent online accessibility.
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
UNC offers a fully-online curriculum for those looking to get an MPA degree conveniently. Concentrations offered to satisfy the 15 credit hours worth of electives include Local Government, Public Management, Nonprofit Management, Public Health, and International Relations.
27 credits are needed from core coursework and three credits count for a 400-hour practicum, providing needed work experience, along with a portfolio that showcases what the student has learned in the program. An optional immersion experience, an interactive course at the Chapel Hill campus that discusses public affairs counts as 1.5 credits.
Career Opportunities Upon Graduation
Over the last four years worth of graduates, at least 96 percent of them have found employment. As the program is geared toward local and state government, especially on-campus, those sectors have seen the largest employment rates.
However, the nonprofit sector has been much higher than state opportunities for online students. The online MPA program at UNC-Chapel Hill offers live classes with 15 students in the group.
For those in the area or near a designated site, opportunities for physical meetings with faculty and classmates are available to discuss course content our public issues that are relevant. There is also the ability to get in-person experience when and where available.
North Carolina State University MPA
Offered by the School of Public and International Affairs, a Master of Public Administration is achieved after completing 42 credit hours at NCSU — 24 hours worth of core courses and 18 hours of electives. There are no specializations that students choose from; instead, a plan is customized based around public management, nonprofit management, urban management, financial management, organizational leadership, public policy, and justice administration. There are also two certificates offered in nonprofit management and public policy. This tailor-made program is created to adapt to the student’s needs and what jobs need to be fulfilled in the marketplace.
The MPA program is geared toward full-time students and can be completed within two years, which has been achieved 61 percent of the time since students entered the program back in 2012. However, many courses are offered at night to accommodate part-time students and those that need to satisfy an internship requirement, and 78 percent of students complete the program within three years. Most students have entered the nonprofit sector and have been employed at the Autism Society of North Carolina, NC Academy of Family Physicians, and United Way.
East Carolina University MPA
45 credit hours are needed to obtain the MPA degree at East Carolina. Most courses take place in the evening hours and some will either be in-person or online (especially elective courses). Areas of emphasis are divided up into two sections: management and public policy, and students can opt for a more customized format. For pre-service students, they must complete 300 hours of field work to satisfy the internship requirement. For those that are currently working a full-time opportunity, this could be waived by the program department.
There is an even balance of full and part-time students in the program, but those that can handle nine semester hours can complete the MPA degree in 21 months. Over 70 percent of the students that have graduated entered local or state government opportunities. Examples of organizations that have employed ECU students are the Department of Transportation and Homeland Security in the federal level, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation at the state level, and local positions such as police chief and city planning director.