The Public Administration Department traces its origin to the establishment of an undergraduate Public Administration concentration. Under the leadership of Dr. Tyrone Baines, this concentration, created within the Department of Political Science started in 1973 and grew to produce an impressive array of public sector professionals. The Master of Public Administration program was established in 1985 and was led by Dr. Clarence Brown. In 2001, under the guidance of Dr. William Lewis, Public Administration became an autonomous department. Four years later, in 2005, under the direction of Ronald Penny, Esq, the department established the Executive Master of Public Administration Program. In 2014, Dr. Emmanuel Oritsejafor became the Chair of the Public Administration Department.
Faced with budget reductions, the undergraduate Public Administration degree was phased out in 2014. However, the department continues to offer the Master of Public Administration Program (MPA) degree via a traditional track as well as through the Executive Master of Public Administration Program.
The Department is a unit within the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the NCCU Graduate School.
The Department of Public Administration at North Carolina Central University strives to prepare students, from diverse backgrounds, to become professionals with the knowledge and skills required for ethical leadership in the public and non-profit sectors through effective teaching, applied and scholarly research and service to developing communities.