The Political Science Department at UNCG offers the Master's of Public Affairs (MPA) for both full and part-time students. In existence for over 30 years, the MPA program is accredited by NASPAA, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. We offer both a general MPA degree and the choice of three concentrations: Local Government Management, Nonprofit Management, and Community and Economic Development. A unique feature of our program is the mix of three-credit and one-credit courses that develop both a broader knowledge base and specific professional skills. A 15 credit hour Nonprofit Management Certificate and an 18 credit hour Urban and Economic Development Certification are also available.
The MPA Program is designed to give students a strong background in public administration, public policy and leadership studies to prepare them for work in government and nonprofit organizations. Part of our mission is to serve the greater Piedmont Triad region through community-engaged scholarship, interns, graduates, and outreach activities that enhance the performance of local government and nonprofit organizations. Many of our students already work or locate internships in the diverse set of agencies in this region of North Carolina.
The MPA faculty and staff are dedicated to helping MPA students with their educational and career endeavors. We offer small evening and Saturday classes, teamwork opportunities, and interesting research assignments. Course and career advising is an important part of my job as MPA Director. Our degree completion rate is high--87.5% (21) of the 24 students newly enrolled in the 2007-08 academic year graduated within 3 years, and 62.5% (15) graduated within 2 years of beginning the program. By admitting smaller numbers of students (usually 18-25 per year), our program can also provide meaningful internships and can assist students in finding appropriate job placements--typically over 85% of our graduates find public service positions with 6 months of graduation. Our network of students and alumni support this process as well, and many of them particularly value the collaborative community when they join the MPA program. We welcome inquiries about our program to anyone interested in pursuing a career in public service.