Student Support and Experience

The MPA@UNC Student Support Continuum

We believe that you should have all the resources you need to make an informed decision as you consider important next steps in your education.

Whether you are compiling your application items, preparing for your next semester of classes, or accepting your diploma, the UNC MPA program offers resources that are tailored for each stage of your education and personalized according to your goals.

Keep reading to learn more about the resources you will be able to access as you continue to engage with the online MPA program.

Four Annual Start Dates

UNC MPA applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.





Personalized Admissions Guidance

Our support starts the moment you request information about the program. During the UNC graduate admissions process, you will be paired with a dedicated admissions counselor who will help you:

Identify possible career paths and learn more about how an MPA can help you advance your professional growth

Explore the student experience and get to know the UNC School of Government community

If you are admitted to the UNC School of Government, you will immediately begin working with a student success advisor, who will help you enroll in the program, and our Career Services team, who will provide tools and resources you can use to achieve your professional goals.

Request Information

Student Success and Support

Your student success specialist will support you throughout your time as a student. Initially, they will help you get up to speed on fundamental program components, including technical features, the online learning platform, and orientation details.

Once your classes begin, you will continue 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 members and professors through online office hours. These live, virtual meetings help you get to know your instructors and give you an opportunity to ask subject matter-specific questions. With a wealth of applied experience, your faculty members can also provide insight into careers in public administration and development opportunities you might explore.

Meet our faculty.

Focus on Career Goals, Before and After Graduation

From the time you enter the UNC MPA program, you will begin working with our Career Services team to identify your career plan, set goals, and ensure you are taking the right steps along the way to get a new job or advance your career.

Whether you are preparing to switch jobs, take on additional responsibilities in your current position, or pursue leadership roles, our experienced Career Services team can help. We offer individual meetings and group sessions that help you practice interviewing, improve your resume, and search for jobs.

As a graduate, you will join the UNC School of Government MPA Alumni Association and UNC’s global alumni network of public service leaders. Our MPA family is an invaluable resource you can use throughout your life to access professional connections, useful career-building tools, and networking events.

of UNC MPA graduates were gainfully employed in 20191
“My classmates represent a diverse group with unique interests, but [they’re] all very passionate about public administration. With all the experiences they bring to the classroom, it feels like you have more than one teacher.”

Kiia Owens
Department of Social Services, Durham County, NC
Class of 2016

The relationships you develop in your MPA program are just as important as the skills you learn. MPA@UNC’s immersive, online format facilitates discussion-based communication—the kind that helps you strengthen your connections with faculty and fellow students—and provides seamless access to your coursework.

In addition to our collaborative class structure, you will have opportunities to connect with peers and faculty through social groups, networking events, and University resources.

Weekly Live Classes | 15:1 Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Each week, you will attend live online classes via HD-streaming video, which bring students and faculty face-to-face in real time. During these sessions, you will meet with renowned professors from the School of Government and accomplished peers in an environment that brings every student to the front of the class.

The online classroom takes advantage of dynamic sharing and collaboration features that are designed to enhance your learning experience. Tools and functionality include:

  • Small group breakout rooms
  • Video and document sharing
  • Live chats, surveys, and polls
  • Collaborative content annotation
  • Screen-sharing capabilities
  • Full class recordings

The entire suite of classroom features and functions are fully accessible from desktop, tablet, or mobile devices.

Self-Paced Coursework

Our online MPA program is designed with working professionals in mind. While you will attend class at certain times each week, you will complete coursework on your own schedule, at your own pace.

Our online platform is accessible 24/7 via desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. That means you can download your coursework—which includes videos, interactive content, and multimedia assignments—even if you do not have access to an internet connection.

Professional Work Experience

During your time in the program, you will complete a Practical Work Experience practicum, which requires you to identify a hands-on public service project in a public service environment. You will share and discuss these diverse experiences during weekly class sessions and apply the skills you have learned in class directly to your real-world work settings.

Learn more about Professional Work Experience.

Career Outcomes

An MPA is a highly versatile degree. Public administration jobs span a variety of public- and private-sector environments, which means an MPA degree can help you:

  • Prepare for leadership and managerial roles
  • Take on more responsibility in your current position
  • Develop the critical thinking skills needed for large-scale problem solving

Though many students have a background in local, state, or federal government, MPA programs can also be a strong next step for other types of professionals—including teachers, social workers, and lawyers—who aspire to leadership and administrative roles. For military students, an MPA can open doors to civilian roles or pave the way to advancement opportunities within the military.

Average salary at graduation

Changed jobs

Recevied a raise, a promotion, or both2

Regardless of the sectors or positions you wish to pursue, earning your MPA from a top-ranked3 program like the UNC School of Government can help set you apart.

To learn more about the things you can achieve with an MPA from UNC, request information using the form below.

Return to footnote reference1 This data is self-reported by alumni of the 2018 online graduate Master of Public Administration program from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government. The data was pulled and calculated in July 2019.arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference

2 This data is self-reported by alumni of the 2018 online graduate Master of Public Administration program from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government. The data was pulled and calculated in July 2019arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference

3Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs, U.S. News & World Report (2022)arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference