Choose Your Format

On-Campus

  • Full-time
  • Daytime classes
  • Cohort experience
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Thomas Bennett

UNC MPA Alumni

“My favorite part of the program was the cohort. They are some of the best and smartest people I’ve ever met. To be a part of that group is something special.”

Online

  • Part-time or full-time
  • Live, evening classes online
  • Asynchronous work on your own
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Stephen Thompson

Online UNC MPA Student

“The biggest surprise for me as an online student is the strong sense of community I have found here. The instructor’s emphasis on small group assignments and facilitation of class-wide discussions allows each student to bring their full self to class. A key component of the program is learning and working with public servants from California to Maine as peers and fellow students, and seeing those familiar faces from your cohort throughout your time in the program allows you to form some pretty strong relationships.”

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Earn Your Degree Your Way

Regardless of the format you choose, the educational rigor and commitment to excellence are the same. Use the table below to learn more about key similarities and differences between the two options.

On-Campus

Online

Total credits

45

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Total credits

45

Start Terms

Fall only
(late August)

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Start Terms

Three per year
Spring, Summer, Fall

Flexibility

Full-time only

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Flexibility

Full-time or Part-time

Experience

In-person, cohort model
(most classes taken with your cohort)

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Experience

Asynchronous/Synchronous learning. Each class requires self-paced learning with 1.5 hours each week of on-camera instruction.

Classes per semester

3-4 per semester. Core course schedule is pre-determined.
Electives are flexible.
See sample on-campus schedule

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Classes per semester

Usually 2 per semester
Some flexibility in choosing classes.
See sample online schedule

Class times

During the day
Monday through Thursday

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Class times

One evening per week
per course for 90 minutes

Completion time

2 years (3 years for dual degree)

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Completion time

18 months or up to five years

Approximate total cost of program

$27,493.44 for NC residents /
$64,807.44 for non-residents

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Approximate total cost of program

$30,702.15 for NC residents /
$77,344.65 for non-residents

Scholarships/Financial Aid availability

Yes –
Scholarships and Assistantships

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Scholarships/Financial Aid availability

Yes –
Scholarships

Average age

25

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Average age

30

Total cohort size per start term

Fewer than 30 students

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Total cohort size per start term

Varies, but usually around 15 students

Class sizes

Fewer than 30 students

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Class sizes

10-15 students

Opportunity to work

Part-time only (recommended)

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Opportunity to work

85 percent work full-time

Faculty

Full Professors + Adjunct Instructor

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Faculty

Full Professors + Adjunct Instructors

Concentrations available

Local Government, Public Management, Nonprofit Management, Community and Economic Development, and Public Policy

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Concentrations available

Local Government, Public Management, Nonprofit Management

Opportunity to take classes in other format

Up to nine credits online

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Opportunity to take classes in other format

Up to nine credits on campus

Upcoming Admissions Events

April 17, 2024

Join Director of Admissions, Cara Robinson and County Attorney for Stafford County, Virginia/UNC…

May 18, 2024

We look forward to celebrating all of your accomplishments! The ceremony will start at 10 am in the…

April 09, 2024

Join UNC MPA on April 9th from 5-7:30pm in our nation’s capital to (re)connect with MPA alumni,…

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