Home ยป Competency Based Curriculum

Competency Based Curriculum

The mission of the MPA program at the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill is to prepare public service leaders

Public Service Values

  • Accountability and transparency
  • Efficiency and effectiveness
  • Respect and equity
  • Professionalism and ethical behavior

Competency-Based Curriculum

Our Carolina MPA Program is a competency-based curriculum whereby the mission of our program is directly tied to competencies determined by our faculty.

The impact of being a competency-based curriculum is that the lens our graduates have is learning competencies that are tied to our mission. The utility of this approach ensures there is consistency across our courses, since they are tied together by these primary and intermediary competencies.

  • MPA Competency List


    Intermediary Competency (IC)

    To lead, manage, and engage others in public service Analyze organizations and their environments from multiple perspectives and apply that analysis in assessing alternative courses of action1
    Evaluate appropriate processes and structures to achieve organizational goals
    Diagnose group dynamics and apply insights in building team effectiveness
    Understand how to collaborate across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve goals
    Apply and evaluate project management2 in practice
    Create and critique own personal model of leadership
    To apply public service values and ethics Identify the legal and ethical implications of social equity and diversity in the public service
    Analyze public service actions and options in the context of competing public service values
    To understand social, economic, and political context Evaluate the impact of intergovernmental and intersectoral relations
    Analyze current situations in light of public administration history and enduring debates
    Analyze the impact on decision making of managing in a political environment
    To effectively communicate Write clearly, concisely, and unambiguously
    Give organized and convincing oral presentations
    Listen and think critically
    To analyze information for decision making Identify, analyze, and evaluate public problems, issues, and choices
    Understand basic performance management
    Select, apply, critique, and interpret analysis for informing decisions
    Identify, collect, manage, and interpret relevant qualitative and quantitative data
    Design and conduct appropriate research to evaluate public problems
    To understand law and legal process Understand constitutional law and other fundamental laws governing public administration and policy
    Identify salient legal issues in public decision making and find basic governing law
    To manage financial resources Apply values and processes for the allocation of resources
    Apply values and processes for managin financial liabilities
    To manage human capital Apply core human resource management functions
    Apply theory and research to contemporary human resource management challenges and liabilities

    1 Includes strategic planning
    2 Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, managing, leading, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals