MPA Program Ranks In Top 20% Of Public Affairs Programs Nationwide

UNC Charlotte’s nationally accredited Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration program has been ranked in the top 20% of 285 public affairs programs nationwide that were included in U.S. News & World Report 2020 Best Graduate Schools rankings, released on March 12, 2019.

The UNC Charlotte program ranked #60 nationally, with or ahead of much larger public affairs programs that were part of the rankings. The program also has achieved national specialty area rankings, including #16 in local government management, #22 in urban policy, and #27 in public finance and budgeting.

“These national rankings speak to our program’s focus on providing students access to talented faculty who value high quality teaching, research and community outreach, and to staff who are committed to supporting our students,” said MPA Director Tom Barth. “We also are blessed with a community of practitioners at every organizational level who work closely with the program to provide students with opportunities to expand their learning.”

Students and alumniUNC Charlotte’s MPA program, which is part of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, offers a strong education in core management and leadership competencies. It also features concentrated areas of study in urban management and policy, nonprofit management, emergency management, public finance, and arts administration.

“It is imperative to us that we offer our students the best education and support possible, providing them with access to settings that include internships, fellowships, and professional networking opportunities that are critical to their careers within this field,” Barth said.

The curriculum of this National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) accredited program emphasizes the analysis of the political and administrative environments as well as the administrative decision-making approaches of public administration. The curriculum also includes application of techniques and administrative skills to the management of nonprofit organizations.

Students may enroll in the MPA program on either a full-time or part-time basis. The majority of classes are scheduled in the evening throughout the year. Classes meet on the main University campus and at UNC Charlotte Center City. Certificates are available to students wanting specialized training within non-profit management, urban management and policy, emergency management, and public budgeting and finance.

mpa class shot in the classroomAdditionally, 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 is on key skills needed for management success in the unique environment of government and nonprofits.

The rankings of public affairs programs, completed in 2019, are based solely on peer assessment survey results. In fall 2018, U.S. News surveyed deans, directors and department chairs representing 285 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