The Online MPA from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government
Choose from Four Annual Start Dates
Why Earn an MPA Degree from the University of North Carolina Online?
For more than 80 years, the UNC School of Government has been dedicated to improving governance across North Carolina and beyond through expert faculty and staff who are committed to preparing the next generation of leaders.
Complete the same top-ranked UNC MPA program online1 and collaborate with faculty and classmates across the country while pursuing a meaningful career across government, nonprofit, and private sectors. The UNC MPA program delivered online is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
Top-ranked for public affairs by U.S. News & World Report1
96% of graduates are employed within six months of graduating2
Network of 1,500+ alumni across the country
A GRE/GMAT waiver is available for qualified candidates. Ask your admissions counselor how to get your application fee waived.
Learn from the Same Curriculum Delivered to Key Public Administrators
Our students receive a current and relevant education where real government and organizational issues and solutions are brought to the classroom.
The online MPA format is designed for public service professionals and for those who are just starting their careers in public service. Public service experience is not required to apply, but all applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and be committed to leadership.
Applications are reviewed holistically based on potential to succeed in our rigorous MPA program and contribute to our diverse, collaborative learning environment. Your application should include the following items:
Statement of purpose
Three letters of recommendation
Official score for the GRE, LSAT, or GMAT, or an approved waiver
Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores, if applicable
A nonrefundable $95 application fee is required.
Free Princeton Review GRE Prep Course
You may also be eligible for a free Princeton Review GRE prep course (retailed at $499). The course includes eight practice tests and access to an online suite of lessons, drills, and course materials for 120 days. Also included is a one-hour session with a GMAT expert, 10 full-length practice tests, and 27 hours of video instruction.
In order to qualify, you must register for the GRE and begin the online MPA application. In addition to the prep course, you will also receive a waiver for the $95 application fee. To learn more about the prep course or to request a waiver, reach out to an admissions counselor today.
Students in the online MPA are automatically considered for scholarships as well as more specific, organization-based tuition assistance when they apply. Available scholarships include but are not limited to:
Local and state government employee tuition matching
National Military Family Association (NMFA) scholarship
Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) scholarship
A Curriculum that Prepares Today’s Public Administration Professionals
The 45-credit online Master of Public Administration curriculum is designed to fit your career interests, whether you want to serve others as a government official or as a leader within a private or nonprofit organization. The program is designed to deliver a broadly applicable leadership toolkit while focusing on the public service environments at the state and local levels.
Each class brings the importance of public administration to life, with real-world examples from faculty who share a dedication to service. Rather than completing a theoretical capstone project, you will finish your program by getting real-world experience in a public service role within the community and apply your knowledge to help solve a real public sector research problem.
Concentrations are available in Local Government, Public Management, Nonprofit Management, Public Health, and International Relations.
Immersion experiences are available for credit and allow you to come to campus for a weekend to meet classmates and faculty face to face.
Cross-university courses enable you to take even more electives than what UNC offers via our university partners.
“Earning an MPA at UNC teaches you how to be a leader in the public sector—how to make a meaningful, positive impact for your community, whether it be at the local, state, or national level. If you truly want to be a public servant and make a positive change in our community, an MPA will give you the know-how to lead not just effectively but ethically and equitably too.”
Adrienne Augustus, Class of 2020
Media Relations/Mental Health Programs Manager, Hyattsville (MD) Police Department
Customize Your Online MPA Degree to Your Career Goals
Learn how our approach replaces theoretical study with real- world case studies and in-person work experience.
The online program provides a rich student experience throughout every step of earning your degree. It begins with your admissions counselor, who will guide you through the application process, and continues with our faculty and student support teams, who offer one-on-one mentoring and professional guidance.
Throughout the program, you will also interact closely with expert faculty who consult daily with government leaders on matters pertaining to budgeting and finance, human resources and performance management, and technology and communication issues facing organizations. Faculty are available to you during online classes and one-on-one office hours.
Interactive Online Campus
Our online MPA format is designed for professionals seeking a top-ranked program that fits their busy schedules. We have designed the online campus to facilitate your learning and engagement with other students and faculty.
Small class sizes enable you to have in-depth discussions on everything from organization theory to public administration legal principles with your classmates and faculty. In addition, self-paced, multimedia coursework as well as in-person networking opportunities will prepare you to pursue employment in government, nonprofit, and private settings.
Ready to Become a Leader in Public Administration?
You have the professional experience and the passion for service needed to make a lasting difference in your local, state, or national government. The next step is to earn a Master of Public Administration from a top-ranked school. Start making progress today, and request information about our MPA.