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Focus Areas & Dual Degrees
Focus areas give students the flexibility to tailor the Carolina MPA experience to a specific public administration discipline. Each of our five focus areas offers up to four electives, providing the depth of material needed to gain specialized knowledge and skills in the discipline of interest. Students are also encouraged to select a professional work experience (PWE) that ties into a particular focus area. Students who want to focus in a particular area must earn credit in three courses from the listing of electives provided in each focus area description below:
Community and Economic Development (on-campus and online)
The community and economic development focus area can empower students with the insights and leadership skills needed to drive transformative change within various types of communities.
International Relations (online)
The international relations focus area provides a deep understanding of global concepts such as intercultural relations, sociopolitical systems, international development, and foreign policy.
Local Government (on-campus and online)
In the local government focus area, students will acquire skills and strategies for building strong, sustainable local communities and for making a meaningful difference in residents’ lives.
Public Health (online)
The public health focus area explores concepts critical to improving the health of communities worldwide. Students will learn a variety of interdisciplinary skills such as behavioral analysis, advocacy, and policy evaluation.
Nonprofit Management (on-campus and online)
In the nonprofit management focus area, students will gain deeper insight into the unique challenges and characteristics of nonprofit organizations as well as the competencies critical to a career in nonprofit leadership
Dual Degrees (on-campus option only):
On-Campus students who choose to pursue dual degrees must be admitted separately to the MPA program and to the companion program. Dual-degree programs have been established with law, planning, information/library science, and social work. Advisors in both degree programs must approve the joint plan.
Master of Public Administration and Juris Doctor
The combined degrees of Master of Public Administration and Juris Doctor (MPA/JD) may be earned by enrollment in the UNC-Chapel Hill Master of Public Administration program and the School of Law. The dual-degree program requires four years of class work, along with a 10-week summer internship. Admission to the MPA Program and the Law School must be gained independently through separate application to each program.
For more information about the UNC Law School, visit http://www.law.unc.edu or call 919.962.5106.
Master of Public Administration and Master of City and Regional Planning
The combined program in public administration and planning at UNC-Chapel Hill provides students two complementary, but complete and distinct, areas of training. The MRP requirements ensure preparation in core planning knowledge and skills. The MPA requirements ensure preparation in core management knowledge and techniques, such as budgeting and public finance, human resource management, and program evaluation.
For more information about City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill, visit http://www.unc.edu/depts/dcrpweb/ or call 919.962.3983.
Master of Public Administration and Master of Social Work
The combined program in public administration and social work is designed to prepare students for public service leadership roles in the human services. The program will ensure that candidates for the dual degree have two complementary, but complete and distinct, areas of professional competence. The MSW requirements ensure mastery of foundation social work knowledge, values and skills. The MPA requirements ensure mastery of core public management knowledge and techniques.
For more information about the UNC School of Social Work, visit http://ssw.unc.edu/ or call 919.962.1225.
Master of Public Administration and Information and Library Science
The MPA/MSIS and MPA/MSLS dual-degree programs are designed to prepare students for the significant information management tasks/issues/policies they will confront in a public sector career. The MPA requirements ensure mastery of core public management knowledge and techniques. The MSIS and MSLS requirements prepare students for a career in the field of information and library science.
For more information about the School of Information and Library Science, visit http://sils.unc.edu/about or call 919.962.8366.
Master of Public Administration and BA/BS in Environmental Studies/Sciences
UNC’s MPA program is partnering with the Curriculum in Environment and Ecology to offer a dual bachelor’s-master’s degree program. Specifically, a BA in environmental studies or a BS in environmental science is offered in dual with UNC’s MPA program. The MPA requirements ensure mastery of core public management knowledge and techniques, while the environmental curricula explores the environment and its relationship to society, as well as the applications of that knowledge in energy, the built environment, water resources, risk analysis, and conservation/restoration ecology. Together, these programs equip graduates to pursue a career in environmental-related public administration.
Eligible students must be currently enrolled as a UNC undergraduate in the Curriculum in Environment and Ecology. Students in the BA in environmental studies or BS in environmental science can apply for pre-admission for this dual offering to start taking MPA elective courses while in the undergraduate program. This conditional admit phase is critical for the appropriate advising to ensure undergraduates have access to courses in the MPA. Bachelor’s degree requirements must be fulfilled. Typical candidates would enter the BA/BS program with several advanced placement credits allowing them to begin graduate coursework while in the undergraduate program.
For more information about the Curriculum in Environment and Ecology, visit http://catalog.unc.edu/undergraduate/departments/environment-ecology/. To inquire about this dual program opportunity, contact Professor Greg Gangi firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Policy Graduate Minor
Students with a special interest in public policy have the option of seeking a Graduate Minor through the Department of Public Policy. Those choosing to pursue a Graduate Minor will take courses prescribed by the Department of Public Policy, primarily within that department.
For more information about the Graduate Minor in Public Policy, visit http://publicpolicy.unc.edu/?q=node/17 or call 919.962.1600.