MPA Program Ranks High In Best Graduate Schools Rankings

UNC Charlotte’s nationally accredited Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration program has been ranked in the top 21% of 282 public affairs programs nationwide that were included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Graduate Schools rankings.

“This ranking reflects a top tier program on the rise and is a testament to the quality of our program,” said MPA Director Tom Barth. “We see this as a recognition of our talented faculty who value high quality teaching, research and community outreach; our staff who are committed to supporting our students; and a community of practitioners at every organizational level who work closely with the program to provide students with internships, fellowships, and professional networking opportunities so critical to our students building quality careers.”

U.S. News & World Report released the 2019 Best Graduate Schools on March 20, 2018. The UNC Charlotte MPA program, which is part of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, ranked with or ahead of much larger programs at public universities that were part of the rankings, Barth said.

“These included Cleveland State, Brigham Young, Florida International, the University of Baltimore, and Penn State,” he said. “We are also ranked with or ahead of programs at elite private institutions including Vanderbilt, Brown and Pepperdine. Our ranking reinforces the program’s national listing by Value College as the second-best value college for earning an MPA.”

Faculty guide students in poster presentation

Students present their research to faculty, community members.

The mission of the MPA is to provide education and training for the public and nonprofit sectors, conduct scholarly and applied research to advance the field of public administration, and serve the community. The program offers a strong education in core management and leadership competencies, as well as concentrated areas of study in urban management and policy, nonprofit management, emergency management, public budgeting and finance, and arts administration.

public management academy students working on a problem.

Local management professionals work on a problem in the MPA Public Management Academy

Certificates are available to students wanting specialized training within non-profit management, urban management and policy, emergency management, and public budgeting and finance. Additionally, the MPA program through UNC Charlotte Extended Academic Programs offers the MPA Public Management Academy. This professional development program is intended for supervisors and high-potential staff working in the government and nonprofit sectors. The focus during the 3-day program is on key skills needed for management success in the unique environment of government and nonprofits.

The UNC Charlotte MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs & Administration (NASPAA.)

The rankings of public affairs programs, completed in 2018, are based solely on peer assessment survey results. In fall 2017, U.S. News surveyed deans, directors and department chairs representing 282 master’s programs in public affairs and administration. Two surveys were sent to each school. NASPAA and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management provided the lists of schools, individuals surveyed and specialty areas evaluated. For more information about the rankings, visit

Words and Images: Lynn Roberson, CLAS Communications Director

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