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American Government Prerequisite Policy

The MPA program requires that all entering students successfully demonstrate a working knowledge of the fundamentals of American government. The American government prerequisite ensures that MPA students begin the program with a solid understanding of government at the local, state, and federal levels. This policy codifies how MPA students can fulfill the program's American government prerequisite.

Students can apply for a waiver of this prerequisite by filling out the appropriate section on the application that identifies which class would fulfill this requirement. Some examples of acceptable courses are UNC's POLI 100 course, as well as Saylor's American Government course. A transcript showing a passing grade was received in the course is also required as part of this review. Applicants can get pre-approval for a class taken or to be taken by providing the institution name, date, grade, and link to the course. The admissions director will notify each applicant whether or not their prerequisite has been approved before matriculation. If denied or not previously fulfilled, then students must fulfill this requirement before registration for their first term (on-campus students) or before registration of their second term (online students); otherwise, a hold will be placed on the student's registration status.

Students have the following options for successfully fulfilling the prerequisite:

  • Students have taken an undergraduate course in American government as shown on their official transcripts.
  • Students may take an undergraduate course in American government before beginning the MPA program. This option is required for international students.
  • Students may take the American government course offered by This course is online, self-paced, and requires a proctored final exam. Students may take the College Board's American government exam as administered by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
  • Other free, online options are available to students needing to fulfill this requirement. Please contact the admissions office for additional details.