Focus areas give students the flexibility to tailor their MPA@UNC experience to a specific public administration discipline. Few top MPA programs for working professionals offer as many customization opportunities. Each of our five focus areas offers up to five electives, providing the depth of material students need to gain specialized knowledge and skills in their discipline of interest. Students who would like to tailor the program to a particular focus area must complete three courses from the recommended electives listed on each corresponding focus area page. Students are also encouraged to select a professional work experience (PWE) that ties into a particular focus area.
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- Community & Economic Development: The MPA@UNC community and economic development focus area can empower students with the insights and leadership skills needed to drive transformative change within various types of communities.
- International Relations: The international relations focus area provides students with a deep understanding of global concepts such as intercultural relations, sociopolitical systems, international development, and foreign policy.
- Local Government: In the MPA@UNC local government focus area, students will acquire skills and strategies for building strong, sustainable local communities and for making a meaningful difference in residents' lives.
- Nonprofit Management: In the MPA@UNC nonprofit management focus area, students will gain deeper insight into the unique challenges and characteristics of nonprofit organizations as well as the competencies critical to a career in nonprofit leadership.
- Public Health: The public health focus area explores concepts critical to improving the health of communities worldwide. Students will learn a variety of interdisciplinary skills such as behavioral analysis, advocacy, and policy evaluation
MPA@UNC partners with other university programs to offer courses that allow students to take classes in specialized subject areas. Cross-university courses grant our students access to more than 30 electives enabling them to explore other industries and topics that can elevate their public administration career. Through these courses, students can further expand their skills in the following subject areas: