MPA@UNC begins with nine core courses that form a common educational foundation for you and your classmates:
- Public Administration Institutions and Values
- Public Administration Analysis and Evaluation I
- Public Administration Analysis and Evaluation II
- Professional Communications
- Human Resource Management
- Public Financial Management
- Organization Theory
- Law for Public Administration
- Public Service Leadership
Core Course Descriptions
This foundation course will introduce you to the historical and contemporary social, economic, political, and ethical contexts of U.S. governance and public administration. You will gain an understanding of public institutions and values, and develop skills to interpret and evaluate public service issues in America.
The first in a two-course series, this course will introduce you to applied research design, data collection, data management, data analysis, and analytical reporting. Upon its completion, you will have the ability to competently conduct original research, accurately process the research of others, and, ultimately, better plan public programs and evaluate pertinent decisions.
The second in a two-course series, this course will build upon the applied research design, data collection, data management, data analysis, and analytical reporting skills covered in Public Administration Analysis and Evaluation I.
Writing and speaking clearly, concisely, and unambiguously; giving organized and convincing oral presentations; and using appropriate tools and tone in preparing oral and written communications for diverse audiences are all essential skills for a successful public service leader. This course aims cultivate your communication skills through reading, writing, listening, and critical thinking.
In this course, you will gain an understanding of the traditional functions of human resource management, including hiring, compensation and discipline, as well as skills for managerial responsibilities, such as motivating a diverse workforce. Additionally, this course will provide you with an overview of traditional and contemporary issues and trends in human resource management and introduce core legal constraints on personnel systems.
This course will cover the basic principles of public finance, including the operating and capital budgeting processes used to obtain and allocate public resources, the role of public debt, and the issuance of annual financial statements.
This course reviews conceptual and experiential theories of management and organizational operation. Students will learn to analyze organizations and their environments from multiple perspectives, systematically examining important dimensions of organizational life, such as motivation, decision-making, diversity, conflict, and power dynamics.
An introduction to basic areas of law that are a part of the field of public administration, this course will review topics such as constitutional foundations, due process, equal protection, and First Amendment rights; property, contracts, employment, torts, administrative, and criminal law; public ethics law; and basic legal research, managing litigation, and working with lawyers.
In this course, you will learn about your personal leadership style and values, as well as strengths and weaknesses, with regard to public leadership at the personal, interpersonal, organizational, and community levels. Readings, assignments, and class activities will focus on developing the knowledge and skills necessary to be a public service leader.