Improving the lives of
North Carolinians

UNC School of Government

As the largest university-based local government training, advisory and research organization in the United States, the UNC School of Government offers courses, webinars and specialized conferences for more than 12,000 public officials each year.

By engaging in practical scholarship that helps public officials and citizens understand and improve state and local government, the School of Government fulfills its mission to improve the lives of North Carolinians.

As Carolina celebrates its 225th anniversary this year, we’ll spotlight the ways the University is preparing our students to thrive in a dynamic society and how it is opening the doors for great minds to make transformative discoveries. Throughout the year, we’ll profile academic units, hear from deans and learn about programs that set Carolina apart from other universities.

225 Years.

By improving government, the School of Government is improving communities. This is embodied by all who work here, all who are students here, all who pass through our doors — on campus, online, or out across North Carolina.

Michael Smith, dean
Read more about Smith’s vision.

Michael Smith stands in front of a bookshelf.

Impact on the state

  • Jeff Hughes talks with people around a table.

    Helping communities protect the environment

    From a billion-dollar effort to restore a community’s polluted water supply to replacing a small town’s 50-year-old water treatment plant, the Environmental Finance Center has been helping North Carolina communities reach their environmental protection goals for the past 20 years.

  • Anita Brown-Graham.

    Anita Brown-Graham launches television show highlighting North Carolina communities

    Brown-Graham launched the ncIMPACT initiative to work with public officials on complex policy issues. The initiative has developed programs to support communities working on challenges surrounding poverty and economic mobility, early childhood education, workforce development and opioid misuse.

  • A man and woman talk during a class.

    Leading for Results

    A two-week fellows program at the School of Government aims to help local government professionals enhance their organizational leadership skills. The goal is not to help just one person, but the entire community

  • Jessica Smith stands against a wall.

    Innovating the criminal justice system

    Jessie Smith, the W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor at the School of Government, launched the school’s Innovation Lab to promote a fair and effective criminal justice system, public safety and economic prosperity.