School of Government



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, Local Government Law, Associate Dean for Faculty Development

John Michael Crowell, Public Law and Government

James C. Drennan, Courts Law and Judicial Administration

Joseph S. Ferrell, Property Tax Law, Secretary of the Faculty (Retired)

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, 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

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, Real Estate Law

Thomas H. Thornburg, Criminal Law, Senior Associate Dean

Richard B. Whisnant, Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Policy, Environmental Law

Associate Professors

Mark F. Botts, Mental Health Law

Leisha Dehart-Davis, Public Management and Organization Development

Shea R. Denning, Property Tax Law

Richard D. Ducker, Land Use Law (Retired)

Willow S. Jacobson, Human Resource Management and Organizational Theory

Kara Millonzi, Local Government and Finance

Jill D. Moore, Public Health Law

Jonathan Q. Morgan, Economic Development

Ricardo S. Morse, Public Administration

Christopher Tyler Mulligan, Community and Economic Development

Kim L. Nelson, Local Government Management

John B. Stephens, Inter-Agency and Public Policy Dispute Resolution

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, Local Government Budgeting and Finance

Trey Allen, Local Government Law

Ann Anderson, Courts and Estate Law

Sara DePasquale, Juvenile Law

Adam S. Lovelady, Land Use Law and Planning

James Markham, Criminal Law

Christopher B. McLaughlin, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government, Tax Law

LaToya Powell, Juvenile Law

Meredith Smith, Clerks of Court

Shannon Tufts, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Assistant Professor and Director, Center for Public Technology

Senior Lecturer

Gregory S. Allison, Governmental Accounting and Financial Reporting


Alyson A. Grine, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Lecturer. Social Services Law

Norma Houston, Public Law and Government

Jeffrey A. Hughes, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Lecturer. Environmental Services and Programs

Dona Lewandowski, Public Law and Government

Margaret Henderson, Nonprofit Management

Dale Roenigk, Performance Measurement and Public Administration

Vaughn Upshaw, Public Governance

Adjunct and Visiting Faculty

Monica Allen, Adjunct Instructor

Julie M. Brenman, Adjunct Instructor

Marguerite Creel, Adjunct Instructor

Teresa Derrick-Mills, Adjunct Instructor

Robert Farb, Adjunct Professor

Casey Fleming, Adjunct Instructor

Andrew George, Adjunct Instructor

Paula Quick Hall, Adjunct Instructor

Ellis Hankins, Adjunct Instructor

Claire Horne, Adjunct Instructor

Michele Hoyman, Adjunct Professor

David M. Lawrence, Adjunct Professor (Retired)

Janet Mason, Adjunct Professor (Retired)

Todd Nicolet, Adjunct Instructor

Kelley O'Brien, Adjunct Instructor

Amy Strecker, Adjunct Instructor

James Svara, Visiting Professor

Joseph Vrabel, Adjunct Instructor

Amy Wade, Adjunct Instructor

The School of Government ( was established at UNC–Chapel Hill in 1931 as the Institute of Government. The SOG 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 SOG advances general understanding about government and shares that information with practitioners and other scholars. The SOG 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; Brenman; Creel; Dehart-Davis; Derrick-Mills; Fleming; George; Hall; Hankins; Henderson; Horne; Hoyman–Department of Political Science; Hughes; Jacobson; Millonzi; Morgan; Morse; Mulligan; Nelson; Nicolet; O'Brien; Rivenbark; Roenigk; Stenberg; Stephens; Strecker; Szypszak; Tufts, and Wade.

Program Overview

The School of Government offers the M.P.A. degree. Rated among the among the nation's best, the mission of the M.P.A. program is to prepare public service leaders. In pursing this mission, the program offers a curriculum that helps students reach their potential for leadership through rigorous academic study and practical experience. In January 2013, the School began offering the M.P.A. program in an online format. MPA@UNC 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 Web at

Admission Requirements

The M.P.A. program welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds. For example, while many of our 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 admissions are

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.

Course Work and Degree Requirements

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

Core course requirements are:

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

Courses for Graduate and Advanced Undergraduate Students


660 Municipal Administration (4). This course covers municipal government organization and management, finance, personnel, planning and economic development, and the administration of specific municipal functions.

661 County Administration (4). This course covers county government organization and management, finance, personnel, planning, and economic development, and the administration of specific municipal functions.

662 Information Technology Project Management and Leadership (3). 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.

663 Public Executive Leadership Academy (6). 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.

664 Chief Information Office Certification Program (5). 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.

Courses for Graduate and Advanced Undergraduate Students


401 State and Local Governance (3). Introduction to local/state public service, including governmental institutions, ethics and public values, and core functions of administrative governance. Discussions led by M.P.A. faculty with practicing public and nonprofit administrators.

Courses for Graduate Students


709 Public Administration Institutions and Values (3). 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.

710 Organization Theory (3). 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.

711 Public Service Leadership (3). 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.

719 Public Administration Analysis and Evaluation I (3). Corequisite, PUBA 720. 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.

720 Public Administration Analysis and Evaluation II (POLI 725) (3). See POLI 725 for description.

721 Professional Communications (3). 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.

722 Federal Policies and Institutions (POLI 722) (3). 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.

723 Human Resource Management (3). Students gain skills in traditional HRM functions such as hiring, compensation, and discipline, as well as contemporary managerial responsibilities, such as motivating a diverse workforce. This course provides students with an overview of traditional and contemporary issues and trends in HRM and introduces core legal constraints on personnel systems.

725 Collaborative Governance (3). 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.

730 Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting and Reporting (3). 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.

731 Public Financial Management (3). 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.

732 Economics for Public Administrators (1.5). 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.

733 Strategic Information Technology Management (1.5). This course provides public managers with the basic knowledge to successfully invest in and manage strategic information technology projects.

734 Community Revitalization Methods (3). Community revitalization requires mastery of community development techniques, the real estate development process, and public-private partnerships. Methods include demographic trend analysis, stakeholder identification, government entitlement review, area and parcel analysis, market research, and pro forma financial analysis. Methods will be reinforced by assisting North Carolina communities with actual revitalization projects.

735 Community Revitalization Applied (3). 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.

740 Decision Analysis (3). 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.

745 Professional Work Experience (1.5). 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.

746 M.P.A. Portfolio (1.5). 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.

749 Ethical and Effective Public Administration (1.5). Prerequisites, POLI 210, 211, 212, 214, and 226. 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.

751 City and County Management (3). 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.

752 Productivity Improvement in Local Government (3). 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.

756 Nonprofit Management (3). Examination of the managerial challenges posed by nonprofit organizations and of techniques and practices used by managers of nonprofit organizations.

757 Financial Management of Nonprofit Organizations (SOWO 885) (3). See SOWO 885 for description.

758 Navigating Nonprofit Local Government (3). 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.

760 Law for Public Administration (3). 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.

761 Local Government Law (1.5). 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.

762 Administrative Law Development and Applications (3). 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.

764 Grant Writing (3). 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.

765 Capital Budgeting and Finance (1.5). Prerequisite, PUBA 214. Analysis of alternative approaches to planning and administering the budgets and financial operations of public agencies. Extensive use of case materials.

768 Mediation Skills for Public Organizations (1.5). 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.

769 Facilitation Skills for Public Sector Managers (1.5). 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.

770 Community Economic Development: Strategies and Choices (POLI 770) (3). See POLI 770 for description.

771 Managing Economic Development (3). 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.

777 Technology and Community Engagement (3). 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.

778 Intergovernmental Relations (POLI 726) (3). See POLI 726 for description.

780 Special Topics in Public Administration (1–3). Permission of the instructor. Seminar in selected areas of public administration. Topics will vary from year to year. May be repeated for credit.

781 Directed Readings in Public Administration (1–3). Directed readings in a special field under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty.

900 Research in Public Administration (1–21).