The Master of Public Administration degree is a 42-hour, terminal degree program that trains individuals to manage public agencies and programs and to evaluate their effectiveness. As a student, you will become proficient in the knowledge, skills and ethical values needed to become an effective manager.
The program can be completed full time or part time. Graduates are employed in leadership roles within public sector agencies (on the federal, state and local levels), not-for-profit organizations, public safety and nongovernmental agencies. More than 400 graduates have completed Appalachian’s MPA degree since its inception in 1988.
Students are required to choose one of the following concentrations:
- Town, City and County Management Concentration – Designed to prepare individuals for managerial roles in towns, cities and county governments or in organizations and agencies related to towns and counties.
- Not-for-Profit Management Concentration – Designed to prepare individuals for management and policy positions in governmental and not-for-profit organizations.
- Administration of Justice Concentration – Designed to prepare individuals for administrative/management positions in a variety of law enforcement, court and correctional agencies at the local, state and federal levels.
- Public Management Concentration – Designed to allow individuals to develop a program to suit specific needs in such areas as budget analyst, personnel administration, etc., or to prepare students with a generalist background in public administration.
Course titles and information can be found in the Graduate Bulletin at these links:
Required Entrance Exam:
GRE or GMAT
Required number of references to specify in the online form: 3
Supplemental Information: Resume (Required upload for application submission); Also upload a 2-3 page, double-spaced Personal Statement on what has prompted your interest in obtaining an MPA degree, and what appeals to you about the program at Appalachian in particular? What professional plans or ambitions do you have once you have completed your master’s degree?
Basic Conditions for Consideration of Admission: Meeting or exceeding the conditions below does NOT guarantee admission. All applications for a given entry term will be weighed based upon the number of seats available and the quality of the complete application packages. With special permission from the Graduate School, a program may admit a limited number of students with exceptional circumstances who do not meet the graduate school minimums.
Graduate School: 3.0 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores from the appropriate admission test(s), OR 2.5 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores at the 25th percentile level from the appropriate admission test(s).
Admission for Public Administration: Undergraduate GPA > 3.00 and/or GRE/GMAT Verbal > 25th percentile and GRE/GMAT Quantitative > 25th percentile
- Towns, cities and counties across North Carolina and other states
- Local, regional, national and international non-profit organizations
- Police and fire departments across North Carolina and other states
- Consulting firms and companies that partner with government
- Spring: 11/1
- Summer Session 1: 4/1
- Summer Session 2: x
- Fall: on campus: 7/1 (3/15)
*See full deadline information below under Application Essentials.
- Appalachian’s MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. It is one of eight NASPAA-accredited schools in North Carolina and one of approximately 185 programs globally that meets NASPAA’s accreditation standards.
- The program has a strong, state-wide reputation with an active and generous alumni association.
- The interdisciplinary program of study allows students to take the right coursework for the career they want.
- About half of the program’s students are working professionals, so classes are offered in the evening in Boone, Hickory and Winston-Salem.
- All pre-service MPA students are required to complete at least one internship.
- Each faculty member brings significant prior professional experience to the classroom.
- A thesis is not required.
Method of Delivery
Face-to-face instruction both on campus and off-campus
- Manager of a town, city, or county government
- Executive Director of a non-profit organization
- Department, Division, or Agency Director
- Probation Officer
- City Clerk
- Donor Services Officer
- Police Corporal
- Budget Analyst
- Emergency Manager
- Economic Developer
- Fire Chief
- Human Resources Specialist
- Sheriff’s Sergeant
- Utilities/Public Works Director
- Chief Information Officer
- Business Development Supervisor
Dr. Patricia Mitchell
Interim Program Director