How Students Engage with the UNC MPAHow Students Engage with the UNC MPAHow Students Engage with the UNC MPA
The Student Experience, Support, and CommunityThe Student Experience, Support, and CommunityThe Student Experience, Support, and Community
At Carolina, your coursework is just one part of your education. Earning your MPA online from UNC-Chapel Hill means building the skills you need to become a confident decision-maker and discovering your place in our community of distinguished leaders.
The UNC MPA delivery model—which includes online and optional in-person experiences—is designed to help you build a meaningful network with other current and aspiring public service leaders.
Live Classes, Hands-On Practice
Collaborate in class with peers and faculty, and apply your skills at a Professional Work Experience and in-person immersion.
“UNC’s online program is mature. It was around long before COVID emerged and ‘Zoom’ was an everyday term. They run a serious program taught and staffed by a community focused on students and their success.”
– Michael Barclift, UNC MPA Student, Financial Advisor for Waddell & Reed, Inc.
Ready to move your career forward with one of the top public affairs programs in the nation?1
The UNC MPA online experience is an extension of the UNC School of Government. Our renowned faculty, dedicated staff, proven MPA curriculum, and research-based online learning model empowers seasoned professionals to learn from and with other accomplished public service leaders.
Weekly Live Classes
Each week, you will attend live classes via Zoom and interact with accomplished peers and renowned professors from the UNC School of Government.
To enhance your learning experience, we offer an online classroom environment that features customization and collaboration tools, such as:
Small group breakout rooms
Live chats, surveys, and polls
Collaborative content annotation
Coursework features self-paced modules, videos, readings, and other assignments that are accessible 24/7 via desktop and mobile, even without an internet connection.
The online platform allows you to personalize your experience based on your learning style and other sensory needs, using features such as:
Searchable video transcripts
Adjustable video speed
Work Experience Practicum
During your MPA Professional Work Experience Practicum, you’ll engage in a high-level project or management endeavorin a public service environment, which may be your employer. You’ll practice applying these leadership competencies across current organizations facing today’s complex challenges.
You will discuss and examine these diverse experiences during your applied research problem.
Carolina MPA Immersions—held annually at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government—allow our online and on-campus students to take part in an intensive three-day weekend course that focuses on a current and highly relevant topic in public administration.
Immersions provide an invaluable opportunity to visit campus; earn credits; network in person with faculty, peers, and alumni; and engage in hands-on learning.
Ready to Realize Your Potential?
Learn more about how UNC’s online MPA program gives you the flexibility, experience, and network to thrive in a public service career.
Your student success specialist will support you throughout your time as a student. Initially, they will help you get up to speed on technical features, the online learning platform, and orientation details. They will also help you choose courses and electives that fit your interests.
Once your classes begin, you will have the opportunity to regularly meet with them one-on-one to discuss challenges, identify emerging strengths and opportunities, manage your course load, and track your progress.
We also encourage you to connect with faculty membersthrough online office hours. These live, virtual meetings help you get to know your instructors and give you an opportunity to engage in further discussion about course topics or related interests.
From the time you enter the UNC MPA program, you will begin working with our experienced Career Services team to identify and reach goals related to your professional development. They can help you create a plan to:
Advance into leadership and managerial roles
Help distinguish and identify career paths that interest you
Transition from one sector to another
Both our individual meetings and group sessions can help you practice interviewing, improve your resume, and search for jobs. You’ll have access to resources and coaching sessions with the associate director of Career Services.
The MPA is a highly versatile leadership degree, and public administration jobs span a variety of public- and private-sector environments. UNC MPA students and graduates apply what they’re learning right away, and many are seeing immediate returns:
UNC MPA graduates have gone on to hold influential positions, serving as senior advisors, government officials, and agency directors, to name a few.
Below is a breakdown of the sectors where our graduates work.
35% Nonprofit Sector
33% State and Local Gov’t
13% Federal Gov’t
13% Private Sector
2% Federal Military
“I wanted to get a degree from a reputable place, from a well-known, recognizable institution. UNC’s program was far and away the best one that fit my criteria. Being in the MPA program is a huge advantage for me and has given me the confidence to serve people well.”
– Julia Farinas, UNC MPA Student, Chief of Client Services for the 82nd Airborne Division
Learn. Serve. Lead. Earn Your MPA.
Regardless of the sector or position you wish to pursue, earning your MPA online fromtop-ranked UNC School of Government can help set you apart. See what you can achieve.
The relationships you develop in your MPA program are just as important as the skills you learn.
In addition to meeting other professionals in class, you will have numerous opportunities to connect with peers, alumni, and faculty through social groups, networking events, and participation in student organizations.
UNC MPA Class Profile
Our students come from diverse locations and backgrounds, and they bring a wealth of experience and insight to the classroom.4
You will have the chance to discover new learning experiences, valuable professional connections, and lasting friendships through our thriving network of student organizations, such as the following:
International City/County Management Association
Graduate and Professional Student Federation
MPA Diversity Committee
Connect with Influential Alumni
As a graduate, you will join UNC’s global alumni network of public service leaders. You’ll have access to useful career-building tools and networking opportunities, such as the Community Connections Program, which facilitates partnerships between students and alumni who are looking to develop mentoring relationships.
“UNC Tar Heel footprints are all over the creation and ongoing development of the organization [I founded]. Two board members are UNC MPA alum—one I met in class and the other I met at a virtual MPA happy hour. Two out of the three of us who led our inaugural grant-making cycle are recent graduates.”
– Adrienne Augustus, UNC MPA Graduate, Founder of A Beautiful Mind Foundation
Get Started Today
Please help us get to know you by filling out the following form. After completion, you will gain access to our career guide and an admissions counselor will reach out to help answer additional questions.
2 According to a survey of 2020 graduates of the online UNC MPA program. Response rate was 96%.
3 According to a survey of 2020 graduates of the online and on-campus modalities of the UNC MPA program. Response rate was 51.3%.
4 Data represents all students currently enrolled in the program, as of October 2021.
5 This information includes Hispanic/Latino, Black or African American, and American Indian or Alaska Native students, as well as two or more races, when one or more are from the preceding racial and ethnic categories.