Program Questions

1. How much does your program cost?

Tuition depends on the number of credit hours you take and your residency (in or out of state). You can find a chart of tuition cost on our website under the tuition tab.

2. Is financial aid available?

You should complete a FAFSA form. There are also scholarships available through the Graduate School. We have several scholarships available through the MPA program. Recipients of these are nominated and selected by MPA faculty.

We do offer 5 Graduate Assistantships that come with a monthly stipend. The application has to be submitted to the Graduate School Office by April 15th of each year for consideration for the beginning of the academic year. (Other assistantships are available and applicants can be considered by departments on campus other than the MPA program.) The application is on the Graduate School website at

3. Is the UNC at Charlotte MPA program a NASPAA-accredited program?

Yes it is

4. How many hours are required for a Master of Public Administration degree?

39 hours

5. How long does it take to complete the MPA program?

If taking classes full time, it typically takes five semesters (two fall, two spring, one summer) to complete the program.

6. What are the course requirements?

There are 6 core courses, 5 electives courses, and 2 capstone courses. Please look under MPA Curriculum Tab at

7. Is an internship required?

Yes, an internship is required (20 hours per week). The required length is 1 semester. Those with professional involvement may be able to count their career situations as an internship. If you have questions regarding the internship requirements, please speak with your advisor.

8. Where can I get a course catalog? Can one be mailed to me?

The catalog is completely online at

9. Are all classes listed in the General Catalog offered every semester?

No. Not every course is offered every semester. You will need to speak with your advisor to make sure you know what courses are being offered for the upcoming semester. We also place the next semester of classes on our website at

10. How do I register?

Once admitted, you will receive an email with your advisor’s name and contact information. You will need to contact them so they can help you chose classes for the semester, then contact the MPA administrative support assistant and let them know what you plan to register for. All core courses are restricted to MPA students and you will need to be given authorizations that will allow you to register for those as well as some other restricted courses. You will register online at

11. How do I declare or change my concentration?

Submit an academic petition at to declare, remove, or change your concentration.

12. What courses should I register for first?

If you are in the MPA Master Program we recommend beginning with the Core Courses, particularly MPAD 6102 or 6104, or 6125 and completing your pre-requisites as soon as possible.

If you are in a certificate program you will also have core courses that are specialized for that program.

Please remember that you should contact your advisor, especially in your first semester.

13. When am I eligible to take MPAD 6187 or MPAD 6188?

These courses can be taken after all core courses have been completed with a B grade or higher.

Students needing these courses in order to graduate will have first priority at registration.

14. Can Certificate courses count towards the MPA?

Yes, all courses taken towards a certificate can transfer into the MPA program.

15. Are there opportunities for research?

Yes. We usually have 5 Graduate Assistants each year that help our professors with their research and other tasks. You can also enroll in an independent study and conduct your own research with help from an advising professor.

16. Are any courses offered at night or online?

All MPA courses are in the evening beginning at either 5:30pm or 6:30pm. If you are employed full-time, we recommend taking no more than 6 hours per semester. If you are a full-time student, the recommendation is 9 hours per semester. In addition to evening courses, we regularly offer on-line or hybrid courses each semester. Check the course schedule before each semester for more information.

17. Do you offer classes at the Center City campus?

About 50% of our classes are held at the Center City campus, those classes typically begin at 5:30pm. Please see the course catalog for course location options.

18. Are computer labs available at the Center City campus?

There are computer labs available at the Center City campus. Some classes may be held in a lab. You will need to check the availability of the lab before using.

19. What is the maximum course load?

An appropriate course load is dependent upon two factors: the scholastic ability of the student as reflected by his/her academic history and the time available for study. A course load of nine semester hours constitutes a normal full semester program for a graduate student. This is lower than the normal undergraduate load because of the extensive reading, independent thinking and individual research required of graduate students. Graduate students should not register for more than 9 hours during a semester. Special permission will be needed by the Director if one wishes to register for more than 9 hours.

A graduate assistant must register for at least six graduate-level semester hours during each semester in which an assistantship is awarded. Graduate assistants enrolled in the Graduate Assistance Support Plan (GASP) must register for a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours each term.

20. Can I repeat a Graduate Course?

A graduate student will be allowed to repeat a maximum of two courses in which the student has been assigned a grade of C, U or N (but not an I). If the course grade has resulted in suspension of enrollment, the student must appeal to be reinstated in order to repeat the course. A given course may be repeated one time only. Each grade earned in a repeated course is shown on the student’s transcript. The record of the first attempt will remain a part of the student’s permanent record and will count in the number of marginal (C) grades accumulated. However, the hours earned and grade in the first attempt will not be computed in the grade point average. Successfully repeating a course does not change the number of marginal (C) grades accumulated. Enrollment will be terminated if a student receives a grade of U in a repeated course for which the student previously earned a U or N. Students will also need to complete an Override to Repeat a Course form and send it to the MPA Admin in order for the admin to enter the override in Banner. If it’s for a course that also needs an authorization, both the authorization and the override will need to be entered for the student to be able to register.

21. How many students are enrolled in the program and what is the average class size?

We currently have around 80 students enrolled in the Master Program and 30 students enrolled in the Certificate Program. Our average class size is around 15 students. Our normal maximum class size is 20 students.

22. How much supervision do students receive from the faculty?

Our faculty is there to help all students. All of our faculty have office hours and are available through email. You will also have a faculty advisor.

23. How many students graduate per year?

It depends on the year but on average we have 25-35 students graduate per year.

24. How are internships and fellowships obtained through this program?

When we receive internship and fellowship information from a company or department, we send it out to all Public Administration students. It is then up to the student to reach out to the hiring company or department.

25. What career opportunities are there with a Master of Public Administration degree?

Many opportunities in the public sector – graduates tend to go into general areas of management, or as analysts, and policy specialists with local governments. Most opportunities in Charlotte are in city and county government; some state and federal government. Increasingly, we are seeing MPA students working for private, non-profit organizations as well as both public and private healthcare organizations.

26. What are my study abroad options?

There is a study abroad opportunity through Fudan University. Fudan University is located in China. If interested in this opportunity please contact Dr. Leland.

27. I still have questions, where should I go or who should I contact?

You can contact Aileen Brown, Administrative Support, at 704-687-5974 or


MPA alumna is Misha Eady-Harbold.

Learn more about Misha and see other Spotlights.

About Us

The mission of the Master of Public Administration Program at the University of North Carolina at 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.

A message from our Director

Contact Us

Master of Public Administration
9201 University City Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
Fax: 704-687-1400

Prof. Suzanne Leland
Phone: 704-687-5937

Administrative Assistant
Phone: 704-687-5974