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Local Government

The UNC School of Government has historically placed an emphasis on local government, connecting students with real-world practitioners who are tackling the issues that today’s governments are facing. As part of the MPA program, the local government concentration will help you develop the advanced skills and knowledge base to build and improve local communities and make a clear impact on members’ quality of life.

What Can I Do in Government Management With an MPA Degree?

Local government administration offers a wealth of exciting and rewarding career possibilities across a range of disciplines. No matter where you are on your professional path, the MPA program’s local government management concentration can help you build valuable competencies and leadership capabilities and grow your existing career in:

  • City/county management
  • Budget and fiscal management
  • Consulting
  • Law enforcement
  • Parks and recreation management
  • Public affairs and communications
  • Transportation management
  • Urban planning
  • Utilities management
  • Waste management


The local government concentration is designed to provide you with a strong foundation in environmental, economic, and community development as well as with practical skills related to policy implementation and evaluation. You will explore topics such as ethics, organization development, intergovernmental relations, and budgeting concepts and techniques. Coursework also examines current trends in environmental policy and administration.

Students who want to pursue a concentration in local government must at least 9 credits from the listing of electives below or other elective courses as approved by your Academic Advisor:

  • PUBA 730 Governmental and other Nonprofit Accounting and Reporting - 3 credit hours (on-campus and online)
  • PUBA 738 Managing Local Government Services - 3 credit hours (on-campus)
  • PUBA 751 City and County Management - 3 credit hours (on-campus and online)
  • PUBA 752 Productivity Improvement in Local Government - 3 credit hours (online)
  • PUBA 753 Performance Management in Local Government - 3 credit hours (on-campus)
  • PUBA 765 Capital Budgeting and Financing - 1.5 credit hours (on-campus)

The faculty advisor for the local government concentration area is Kim Nelson. Nelson’s areas of expertise include local government management, form of government, and innovation in local government.

Faculty Contact for this Concentration