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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 and programmatic events, and the needs of our public service sector.

  • 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

    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

    Analyze current situations in light of public administration history and enduring debates

    To effectively communicate

    Write clearly, concisely, and unambiguously

    Give organized and convincing oral presentations

    Listen and think critically

    To analyze information for decision making

    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 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