UNC Charlotte’s MPA Program Listed as Second Best Value In Nation

UNC Charlotte has earned nationwide recognition as the second-best value college for earning a Master of Public Administration degree.

Value Colleges’ list of Top 50 Best Value MPA Programs of 2016 included public universities and private liberal arts colleges with Masters of Public Administration degree programs accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration. For its rankings, the independent online guide used average starting salary data from Payscale.com, the school’s annual tuition as provided by the National Center for Education Statistics and 2016 MPA rankings from the U.S. News & World Report.

UNC Charlotte’s MPA program ranked in the top 25 percent of public affairs programs in the nation in the 2017 “Best Graduate Schools” rankings released by U.S. News & World Report in March 2016.

“The Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration program provides students the analytical tools and training they need to advance their career in public administration,” said Suzanne Leland, program director. “This recognition helps showcase how successful our students and alumni are in serving the public and nonprofit sectors.”

Texas A&M University ranked No. 1 in the report, while N.C. State University ranked third. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was 44 on the list.

The mission of the MPA program in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at UNC Charlotte 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 concentrated studies in the specialized areas of Non-Profit Management, Urban Management and Policy, Arts Administration, Emergency Management and Public Finance. Certificates are available to students wanting specialized training but who are not necessarily interested in pursuing a master’s degree. The program also provides opportunities for real-world, hands-on learning experiences.

In July 2016, Thomas Barth will take over as director, as Leland returns to full teaching and research duties after several successful years leading the program. Barth is currently founding director of the MPA Program at UNC Wilmington and also has served as interim vice chancellor/dean for Public Service and Continuing Studies at UNC Wilmington.

The MPA Program also is working to endow its longest-awarded scholarship. The Burkhalter-Rassel Scholarship was established to honor the memory of David Burkhalter, who served as the City Manager of Charlotte from 1971 to 1981, and Faculty Emeritus and former MPA Director Gary Rassel, who taught in the MPA program from 1982-2012. This scholarship is awarded to an incoming or first-year student each fall semester. Endowing this scholarship means the program can award it in perpetuity and always have scholarship assistance available for MPA students.

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