The North Carolina Central University Master of Public Administration (MPA) program trains leaders in public service by enhancing their knowledge, skills and abilities through scholarship and professional development with a global lens. We advance diversity through truth and service to promote social equity. This is a professional graduate degree that enables graduates to be effective public sector and nonprofit agency leaders.
The Department of Public Administration offers two options to earn a Master of Public Administration degree through the traditional and executive track. Both tracks prepare students from diverse backgrounds to become professionals in government and the nonprofit sector. The program equips each student with the ability to ethically apply the knowledge and skills required for leadership and management.
The Master of Public Administration degree is a 14-course, 42-credit hour program. In the Traditional Track, with a normal three-course semester load, this is a two-year (five-term) program. Courses are primarily in-person on weekday evenings (6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.), with some hybrid and online offerings. The Executive Track is also a three-course semester load with an 18-month (five-term) program. The Executive Track is a hybrid program with one course offered 100% online and in-person class meetings on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Specializations are offered in Law and Society, Human Resources, Non-profit Management, Public Health Policy, and Urban and Regional Planning. MPA students are not required to declare a specialization.
Dual-degree programs exist with the NCCU School of Law (for a JD/MPA) and with the NCCU School of Library and Information Sciences (for an MPA/MIS degree).
The Executive Master of Public Administration
The Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) is a track within the regular MPA degree program. It is comprised of candidates with 4–5 years of full-time executive or supervisory experience in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors. EMPA students continue their employment while completing their course of study in an 18-month period. The EMPA for North Carolina Central University is offered as two required summer experiences and three full semester experiences. Students are enrolled in three classes per semester. One class is 100% online, and two classes are face-to-face. Face-to-face classes are held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The EMPA program offers a hybrid learning model (50% online and 50% face-to-face) in which students complete their coursework online using the Blackboard learning management system.
Students are admitted into the EMPA track as part of a cohort of approximately 20 students. The students proceed through their course of study as members of this cohort. Each cohort participates in the same set of learning experiences. The requirements for graduation for all MPA tracks are the same. The program is structured so that students are able to earn a degree in 18 months.
The EMPA track is designed to accommodate students who (1) are seeking to improve their professional skills and qualifications, (2) are seeking to advance to upper administrative and higher management roles in their organizations, or (3) are public and private sector employees who have made a career change or are pursuing a career closely associated with the public sector.