School of Government (GRAD)

School of Government

http://www.sog.unc.edu

Michael R. Smith, Dean

Dr. Bill Rivenbark, MPA Program Director

rivenbark@sog.unc.edu

The School of Government was established at UNC–Chapel Hill in 1931 as the Institute of Government. The school has long focused on state and local government in the broader study of government, public law, public finance, and public administration. Today, it is the nation's leading university-based provider of instructional and advisory services to state and local government practitioners. Through instructional programs, advising, research, and publishing, the School of Government advances general understanding about government and shares that information with practitioners and other scholars. The school offers a program of courses leading to the master of public administration (M.P.A.) degree.

Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) Degree Program

William C. Rivenbark, Director

M.P.A. Program Teaching Faculty

Afonso, Allen, Allison, Ammons, Berner, Ballard, Barbaree, Brantley, Brenman, Brown, Clark, Cody, Crumpton, Curry, Dehart-Davis, Diaz, Edmundson, Ferrell, Fleck, Fleming, Fowler, Gorely, Heckscher, Hemphill, Henderson, Hoyman (Department of Political Science), Hughes, Hurt, Jackson, Jacobson, Kachgal, Kunzenski, McCall, McCartha, Millonzi, Millsaps, Morgan, Morse, Mulligan, Nelson, O'Brien, Quinterno, Rivenbark, Roenigk, Stenberg, Stephens, Strachota, Strecker, Svara, Szypszak, Towne, Tufts, Vrabel, Wade and Wilkins.

Program Overview

Rated among the among the nation's best, the M.P.A. program takes as its mission preparing public service leaders. In pursuing this mission, the program offers a curriculum that helps students reach their potential for leadership through rigorous academic study and practical experience. The M.P.A. program is offered in two formats, on campus and online (MPA@UNC). The online format is designed for working professionals and others who aspire to become public service leaders but require the flexibility of an online format.

Accredited by the Network Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, the M.P.A. program has produced graduates serving in governmental and nonprofit organizations. In local government, alumni serve as city and county managers, budget and finance directors, personnel directors, and in other administrative positions. In state government, alumni serve in management and staff positions in policy planning, finance and management, personnel, water resources, health services, education, and other areas. Alumni serve as administrators and analysts in a variety of agencies at the federal level, including the Office of Management and Budget, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, the Government Accountability Office, and on Senate and House committee staffs. In the nonprofit sector, M.P.A. alumni administer programs in the arts, education, economic development, and human services.

More information is available on the program's Web site.

Admission Requirements

The M.P.A. program welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds. While many applicants are from the social sciences, other applicants have undergraduate majors in architecture, business administration, engineering, English, history, industrial relations, and many other fields.

The requirements for admission are

  • A bachelor's degree
  • A recommended grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher
  • A minimum of three semester hours of credit in American government and politics (This is not a requirement to apply for admission but would need to be completed prior to the first day of fall classes if offered admission.)
  • A recommended score that is at or greater than the 50th percentile for both the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • A purpose statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An oral interview with the M.P.A. admissions committee

All admissions decisions are made during the spring for fall semester matriculation into the residential format. Applications must meet the deadlines of The Graduate School. Admissions decisions for MPA@UNC are made during three terms: fall matriculation decisions are made in the summer; spring matriculation decisions are made in the fall, and summer matriculation decisions are made in the spring.

Financial Aid

The M.P.A. program provides financial assistance to many of its students. Research assistantships and scholarships are available to top candidates. Students also become involved in School of Government projects or work in governmental or nonprofit organizations as graduate assistants. MPA@UNC may also provide fellowships to top candidates.

Coursework and requirements for the M.P.A. degree include a minimum of 45 semester hours of credit, an internship, a portfolio, and a final oral examination. These requirements are designed to ensure that each graduate possesses the core set of competencies that supports the M.P.A. program's mission of preparing public service leaders.

Core course requirements are as follows:

  • Public Administration Institutions and Values (3)
  • Organization Theory (3)
  • Public Service Leadership (3)
  • Public Administration Evaluation and Analysis I (3)
  • Public Administration Evaluation and Analysis II (3)
  • Professional Communications (3)
  • Human Resource Management (3)
  • Public Financial Management (3)
  • Law for Public Administration (3)
  • Professional Work Experience (1.5)
  • M.P.A. Portfolio (1.5)

In addition to the core course requirements, each student completes 15 semester hours of elective courses.

Professors

David N. Ammons, Albert Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Administration and Government, Public Administration
Maureen M. Berner, Public Administration, Program Evaluation
Frayda S. Bluestein, David Lawrence Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Local Government Law
Shea R. Denning, Public Law and Government, Property Tax Law
James C. Drennan, Adjunct and Former Albert Coates Professor, Courts Law and Judicial Administration
Cheryl D. Howell, Albert Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government, Judicial Education and Administration
Robert P. Joyce, Charles Edwin Hinsdale Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government, Education Law
Diane M. Juffras, Public Law and Government, Employment Law
David W. Owens, Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government, Environmental and Land Use Law
William C. Rivenbark, Public Administration and MPA Program Director
John Rubin, Albert Coates Distinguished Professor of Law and Government, Criminal Law and Procedure
Jessica Smith, W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government, Criminal Law and Procedure
Michael R. Smith, Dean
Carl W. Stenberg III, James E. Holshouser Jr. Distinguished Professor, Public Administration
Charles Szypszak, Public Law and Government, Real Estate Law
Thomas H. Thornburg, Public Law and Government, Criminal Law, Senior Associate Dean
Richard B. Whisnant, Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Policy, Environmental Law

Associate Professors

Ann Anderson, Public Law and Government, Courts and Estate Law
Mark F. Botts, Public Law and Government, Mental Health Law
Leisha Dehart-Davis, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Associate Professor of Public Law and Government, Public Management and Organization Development
Willow S. Jacobson, Public Administration and Government, Director of LGFCU Fellows Program, Human Resource Management and Organizational Theory
James Markham, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Associate Professor of Public Law and Government, Criminal Law
Christopher B. McLaughlin, Public Law and Government, Tax Law
Kara Millonzi, Public Law and Government, Local Government and Finance
Jill D. Moore, Public Law and Government, Public Health Law
Jonathan Q. Morgan, Public Administration and Government, Economic Development
Ricardo S. Morse, Public Administration and Government
Christopher Tyler Mulligan, Public Law and Government, Community and Economic Development
Kim L. Nelson, Public Administration and Government, Local Government Management
John B. Stephens, Public Administration and Government , Inter-Agency and Public Policy Dispute Resolution
Shannon H. Tufts, Public Law and Government, and Director, Center for Public Technology
Aimee N. Wall, Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy, Legislative Education and Social Services Law
Jeff Welty, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Associate Professor of Public Law and Government, Criminal Law

Assistant Professors

Whitney Afonso, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government, Local Government Budgeting and Finance
Trey Allen, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government, Local Government Law
Sara DePasquale, Public Law and Government, Juvenile Law
Adam S. Lovelady, Public Law and Government, Land Use Law and Planning
LaToya Powell, Public Law and Government, Juvenile Law
Meredith Smith, Public Law and Government, Clerks of Court

Professor of the Practice

Peg Carlson, Public Leadership and Organizational Development

Senior Lecturer

Gregory S. Allison, Governmental Accounting and Financial Reporting

Lecturers

Kirk Boone, Public Finance and Government
Norma Houston, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Lecturer for Teaching Excellence for Public Law and Government
Jeffrey A. Hughes, Environmental Services and Programs, Director of Environmental Finance Center
Dona Lewandowski, Public Law and Government
Dale Roenigk, Performance Measurement and Public Administration, Director of the North Carolina Benchmarking Project

Adjunct and Visiting Faculty

Monica Allen, Adjunct Instructor
Deborah Amaral, Adjunct Instructor
Evans Ballard, Adjunct Instructor
Justin Barbaree, Adjunct Instructor
Todd Brantley, Adjunct Instructor
Julie M. Brenman, Adjunct Instructor
Adrian Brown, Adjunct Instructor
Catherine Clark, Adjunct Instructor
Christopher Cody, Adjunct Instructor
John Crumpton, Adjunct Instructor
Patrick Curry, Adjunct Instructor
Ana-Laura Diaz, Adjunct Instructor
Sharon Edmundson, Adjunct Instructor
Maurice Ferrell, Adjunct Instructor
Trevor Fleck, Adjunct Instructor
Casey Fleming, Adjunct Instructor
Susan Fowler, Adjunct Instructor
Amy Gorely, Adjunct Instructor
Jennifer Heckscher, Adjunct Instructor
Mary Hemphill, Adjunct Instructor
Michele Hoyman, Adjunct Professor
Christi Hurt, Adjunct Instructor
Joy Jackson, Adjunct Instructor
Tara Kachgal, Adjunct Instructor
John Kuzenski, Adjunct Instructor
Jamie McCall, Adjunct Instructor
Emily McCartha, Adjunct Instructor
Linda Millsaps, Adjunct Instructor
Kelley O'Brien, Adjunct Instructor
John Quinterno, Adjunct Instructor
Amy Strecker, Adjunct Instructor
Dennis Strachota, Adjunct Instructor
James Svara, Visiting Professor
Sarah Towne, Adjunct Instructor
Joseph Vrabel, Adjunct Instructor
Amy Wade, Adjunct Instructor
Joy Wilkins, Adjunct Instructor

Subjects in this school include GOVT and PUBA.

GOVT

Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses

GOVT 660. Municipal Administration. 4 Credits.

This course covers municipal government organization and management, finance, personnel, planning and economic development, and the administration of specific municipal functions.
Grading status: Letter grade.

GOVT 661. County Administration. 4 Credits.

This course covers county government organization and management, finance, personnel, planning, and economic development, and the administration of specific municipal functions.
Grading status: Letter grade.

GOVT 662. Information Technology Project Management and Leadership. 3 Credits.

Examines the public sector environment as it relates to information technology development. Special attention focused on the complex environment and its influence on information technology-based solutions.
Grading status: Letter grade.

GOVT 663. Public Executive Leadership Academy. 6 Credits.

The Public Executive Leadership Academy is designed for North Carolina city and county managers to understand themselves as leaders and to prepare the organization to work with others in improving the quality of life within the community.
Grading status: Letter grade.

GOVT 664. Chief Information Office Certification Program. 5 Credits.

The CIO Certification Program is designed for chief information officers of local governments in North Carolina. The course lays the foundation for addressing the most critical issues facing IT leadership in local government and equips leaders with tools to manage and improve their organizational assets.
Grading status: Letter grade.

PUBA

Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses

PUBA 401. State and Local Governance. 3 Credits.

Introduction to local/state public service, including: governmental institutions; ethics and public values; and core functions of administrative governance. Discussions led by MPA faculty with practicing public and nonprofit administrators.
Gen Ed: EE-Service Learning.
Grading status: Letter grade.

PUBA 402. Promoting Change through the Nonprofit Sector. 1 Credit.

Selected students have the opportunity to build on their experience of grant making to learn more about the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Students will follow up with the agencies receiving grants from the spring class and ensure completion of the activities required by the agreements through a reporting and site visit process.
Requisites: Prerequisite, HBEH 611.
Grading status: Pass/Fail.

PUBA 635. Military Leadership and Public Service. 3 Credits.

Leadership as taught and demonstrated in the military and how it translates to leadership in public service, including the interrelationship of the military and other public service and the transition of veterans to civilian leadership roles.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: PWAD 635.

Graduate-level Courses

PUBA 709. Public Administration Institutions and Values. 3 Credits.

This foundation course introduces students to the historical and contemporary social, economic, political, and ethical context of public administration and governance in the United States. Students gain an understanding of public institutions and values and develop skills for interpreting and critically evaluating American public service issues.

PUBA 710. Organization Theory. 3 Credits.

Provides a conceptual and experiential grounding in theories of management and organizational operation. Students learn how to analyze organizations and their environments from multiple perspectives. Students systematically examine important dimensions of organizational life: what motivates people, how decisions are made, challenges of diversity, conflict, and power dynamics.

PUBA 711. Public Service Leadership. 3 Credits.

Students learn about their leadership style and values, as well as strengths and weaknesses, with regard to public leadership at the personal, interpersonal, organizational, and community levels. Readings, assignments, and class activities focus on developing knowledge and skills necessary to lead successfully in public service settings.

PUBA 719. Public Administration Analysis and Evaluation I. 3 Credits.

First course in a two-course sequence introducing students to applied research design, data collection, data management, data analysis, and analytical reporting to allow them to conduct original research, be informed consumers of other research, and ultimately improve public program planning and evaluation decisions.
Requisites: Co-requisite, PUBA 720.

PUBA 720. Public Administration Analysis and Evaluation II. 3 Credits.

Second course in a two-course sequence introducing students to applied research design, data collection, data management, data analysis, and analytical reporting to allow students to conduct original research, be informed consumers of other research, and ultimately improve public program planning and evaluation decisions.
Requisites: Prerequisite, PUBA 719.
Same as: POLI 725.

PUBA 721. Professional Communications. 3 Credits.

Prepares students to communicate clearly and effectively as public service leaders, which includes reading, listening, and thinking critically; writing and speaking clearly, concisely, and unambiguously; giving organized and convincing oral presentations; and using appropriate tools and tone in preparing oral and written communications for diverse audiences.

PUBA 722. Federal Policies and Institutions. 3 Credits.

The motivations of public agency officials, interactions between bureaucracies and other political actors, and alternative strategies to control bureaucratic power and discretion in making, implementing, and evaluating public policies.
Same as: POLI 722.

PUBA 723. Human Resource Management. 3 Credits.

Students gain knowledge of the behaviors and practices of human resource management, as well as an overview of diversity and inclusion in public sector work-forces. Class learning is both theoretical and experiential.

PUBA 725. Collaborative Governance. 3 Credits.

Required preparation, minimum of three undergraduate credit hours of American government. Explores contemporary thought on networks and governance and its place in public administration theory and practice. Examines processes and structures, and develops skills relevant to collaborative public management.

PUBA 730. Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting and Reporting. 3 Credits.

Teaches the principles of accounting and financial reporting in governmental and not-for-profit environment. Provides skills for analyzing the financial condition of governments and the efficiency and effectiveness of governmental programs.

PUBA 731. Public Financial Management. 3 Credits.

Introduces students to the basic principles of public finance and covers the fundamental areas of public financial management, including the operating and capital budgeting processes used to obtain and allocate public resources, the role of public debt, and the issuance of annual financial statements.

PUBA 732. Economics for Public Administrators. 1.5 Credit.

Develop an understanding of the relationship between government administration and microeconomic outcomes, as well as the effect of macroeconomic events on government budgets and service demands.

PUBA 733. Strategic Information Technology Management. 1.5 Credit.

This course provides public managers with the basic knowledge to successfully invest in and manage strategic information technology projects.

PUBA 734. Community Development & Revitalization Techniques. 3 Credits.

Community revitalization requires mastery of community development methods, the real estate development process, and public-private partnerships. Techniques include demographic trend analysis, stakeholder identification, government entitlement review, area and parcel analysis, market research, and pro forma financial analysis.
Same as: PLAN 764.

PUBA 735. Community Revitalization Applied. 3 Credits.

Students apply their skills in business, planning, or public administration to actual community revitalization projects in North Carolina communities. Projects require an understanding of community development methods, the real estate development process, and public-private partnerships. Students will manage client relationships and learn how their skills contribute to solving community challenges.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit. 3 total credits. 1 total completions.
Same as: PLAN 735.

PUBA 736. Advanced Budgeting & Financial Analysis. 1.5 Credit.

The purpose of the course is to assist students with further development of their skills, approaches, and philosophies in the functional areas of public budgeting and financial management. Requires students to analyze case situations in public organizations, identify possible solutions in response to their analysis, and justify final recommendations.

PUBA 737. Public Sector Labor Relations. 3 Credits.

This course explores the dynamics of labor relations in the public sector (local, state, and federal government). Includes an overview of current labor issues and both an arbitration and bargaining scenario. The course is designed for any student who might work in the public sector at any level.

PUBA 738. Managing Local Government Services. 3 Credits.

Students learn about the operations functions of local government. Each class will focus on a single local government department. Students will understand techniques and tools used to manage local governments effectively, efficiently, and equitably. Students learn the current issues, management trends, and problems associated with each local government department function.

PUBA 739. Intergovernmental Relations. 1.5 Credit.

This course is designed to enhance the practical skills of future public administration practitioners in navigating our complex intergovernmental system and supporting elected officials and others in influencing the outcome of public policy issues, consistent with professional ethics guidance.

PUBA 740. Decision Analysis. 3 Credits.

Course will provide introduction to a process for systematically thinking about decisions and valuable techniques for analyzing decisions. Students will learn how to construct models for decision making and how to use these models to analyze decisions.

PUBA 741. State Government. 3 Credits.

Course examines the legal, administrative, and organizational framework of state government and its interrelationship with federal and local governments. Topics include legal authorities, federalism, roles and responsibilities of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, legislative process by which laws are enacted, state budget and revenues, influence of external factors.

PUBA 743. Diversity in Public Administration. 1.5 Credit.

The U.S. public sector workforce is increasingly diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual preference, physical and mental abilities, and gender identity. Increased workplace diversity requires a new knowledge base, which this course seeks to impart through thought-provoking readings, in-class exercises, and lively and respectful discussions.

PUBA 745. Professional Work Experience. 1.5 Credit.

The M.P.A. professional work experience consists of 10 weeks of full-time employment in a public agency or nonprofit organization. This course requires students to demonstrate and extend this learning experience within the context of public service leadership and management.
Requisites: Prerequisites, PUBA 709, PUBA 710, PUBA 721, and two additional core courses from the following: PUBA 711, PUBA 719, PUBA 720, PUBA 723, PUBA 731, or PUBA 760.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit.

PUBA 746. M.P.A. Portfolio. 1.5 Credit.

The purpose of the portfolio is for students to demonstrate and further develop their public service leadership potential through a collection of academic and professional products. Students take this course during their final semester, allowing them to integrate and build upon the core competencies of the program.
Requisites: Prerequisites, PUBA 709, PUBA 710, PUBA 711, PUBA 719, PUBA 720, PUBA 721, PUBA 723, PUBA 731, PUBA 760, and PUBA 745.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit.

PUBA 749. Ethical and Effective Public Administration. 1.5 Credit.

The role(s), function(s), and strategy of public administrators in the formulation, adoption, and implementation of public policies. Policy from the perspective of the policy maker; cases exploring the relationship of theories to actual policy processes.
Requisites: Prerequisites, POLI 210, 211, 212, 214, and 226.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit.

PUBA 751. City and County Management. 3 Credits.

Nature of city or county manager's job: expectations of elected body, staff, public and professional peers. Examines contemporary issues in departmental operations that have significant effect on how manager's performance is perceived.

PUBA 752. Productivity Improvement in Local Government. 3 Credits.

This course will acquaint students with the concept of productivity, its importance in the public sector, principal techniques used to improve productivity in local government, and barriers to productivity improvement initiatives.

PUBA 756. Nonprofit Management. 3 Credits.

Examination of the managerial challenges posed by nonprofit organizations and of techniques and practices used by managers of nonprofit organizations.

PUBA 757. Financial Management of Nonprofit Organizations. 3 Credits.

Provides basic financial skills for leaders of nonprofits, including bookkeeping fundamentals, interpreting financial statements, budgeting, cash management and investment, and legal compliance.
Requisites: Prerequisites, SOWO 517 and 570.
Same as: SOWO 885.

PUBA 758. Navigating Nonprofit Local Government. 3 Credits.

This course is designed for graduate students who are seeking professional positions in local government or nonprofits. The overall objectives are to exchange information about issues of mutual concern to both nonprofits and governments.

PUBA 760. Law for Public Administration. 3 Credits.

Introduction to basic law subjects likely to be encountered in public administration. Topics include constitutional foundations, due process and equal protection, and First Amendment rights; property, contracts, employment, torts, criminal law, administrative law, and public ethics laws; and basic legal research, managing litigation, and working with lawyers.

PUBA 761. Local Government Law. 1.5 Credit.

Overview of key legal concepts affecting local government operations. Topics include relation to federal/state governments, legal structures, finance and regulatory powers, plus introduction to the legal system and analysis.

PUBA 762. Administrative Law Development and Applications. 3 Credits.

Addresses legal issues in the exercise of governmental power by federal, state, and local agencies in the United States. Topics include legislative and executive oversight, rule making, adjudication, and judicial review. Fall.

PUBA 764. Grant Writing. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to acquaint students with the grant seeking process for not-for-profit and public sector agencies. Through a review of specific writing techniques, students will practice and learn how to produce proposals that are comprehensive, cogent, and accountable to the objectives of the grantor agency.

PUBA 765. Capital Budgeting and Finance. 1.5 Credit.

Analysis of alternative approaches to planning and administering the budgets and financial operations of public agencies. Extensive use of case materials.
Requisites: Prerequisite, PUBA 214.

PUBA 768. Mediation Skills for Public Organizations. 1.5 Credit.

Workshop-style course focuses on workplace and service provision conflicts to develop mediation skills; is comprised of short lectures, demonstration, and student practice of a mediation model/specific skill sets.

PUBA 769. Facilitation Skills for Public Sector Managers. 1.5 Credit.

Workshop-style course focuses on inter-organization and community settings to develop facilitation skills and is comprised of short lectures, demonstration, and student practice of facilitation strategies.

PUBA 770. Community Economic Development: Strategies and Choices. 3 Credits.

The goal of this course is to acquire a command of the fundamentals of economic development from the community's perspective. This is done by reading and absorbing the theoretical literature on economic development from the fields of urban politics, planning, sociology, economics, political science, and sociology.
Same as: POLI 770.

PUBA 771. Managing Economic Development. 3 Credits.

Emphasizes the practical application and implementation of various approaches to economic development. Students will apply tools/strategies by doing case studies and small group projects based on real-world scenarios faced by local practitioners.

PUBA 777. Technology & Community Engagement. 3 Credits.

This course is about understanding community engagement, about how to get people involved with, invested in, and informed about your organization, and learning how to identify, assess, and propose the tools that will help your organization use community engagement to further its mission.

PUBA 780. Special Topics in Public Administration. 1-3 Credits.

Seminar in selected areas of public administration. Topics will vary from year to year. May be repeated for credit.
Requisites: Prerequisite, permission of the instructor.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics.

PUBA 781. Directed Readings in Public Administration. 1-3 Credits.

Directed readings in a special field under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty.

PUBA 787. Applied Environmental Finance: How to Pay for Environmental Services. 3 Credits.

How can governments, communities, organizations, and businesses fund environmental services? This applied course reviews the diverse tools and strategies that environmental service providers use to pay for programs. The course will focus on environmental services related to: drinking Water, wastewater, storm-water, watershed protection, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability, and wetlands.
Same as: PLAN 787, ENVR 787.

PUBA 900. Research in Public Administration. 1-15 Credits.