Public Administration

Prepare for a career in public service. Develop the leadership tools and knowledge you need to serve, manage and lead public or nonprofit organizations or to conduct cutting-edge academic research.

Public Administration

Public Administration students at NC State enjoy an extraordinary faculty recognized for its research productivity, a highly-ranked graduate program with great flexibility in its elective courses, and North Carolina’s capital city location and proximity to the world-renowned Research Triangle Park.

We offer two advanced degrees: a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and a Ph.D. in Public Administration. Many public administration professionals who are currently working part- or full-time pursue their MPA degree with us to study public administration, policy and theory and apply what they’re learning on the job. You’ll get a rich classroom experience that enhances your real-world needs in one of the top ranked MPA programs and the only Public Administration Ph.D. program in North Carolina. 

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion Statement: "We, the faculty of the Department of Public Administration at NC State University, affirm the inherent dignity of all people. We are committed to creating an inclusive and engaging working and learning environment, free from discrimination on the basis of age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender orientation, racial/ethnic background, and/or religion."

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Our MPA program gives you an integrated, interdisciplinary academic experience. We’ve been preparing professionals  since 1968 to lead and serve in public and nonprofit agencies. Our 1,500+ alumni work across North Carolina, in Washington, DC, and across the world.

The 42-hour program has several overlapping components:

  • a 24-hour core curriculum
  • microeconomics and statistics prerequisite requirements
  • 18 hours of elective coursework in which you’ll pursue an individualized specialty
  • an internship – unless you’ve already got work experience in the public sector

Special MPA Admission Process for Spring 2022
GRE or other standardized test scores are no longer required for applications to the MPA program. Admission to the MPA program is competitive. In addition to demonstrating a commitment to public service, the most competitive applicants will have a strong undergraduate GPA with course work and other experiences indicating strong analytic skills.

Master of Public Administration

NC State is ranked among the top schools with graduate public affairs programs.

Ph.D. in Public Administration

Our doctoral program will prepare you to teach and conduct research in public management and related fields, or to serve as a research specialist within government agencies and public affairs institutes. NC State offers the only Ph.D. in Public Administration in the state. 

Our typical candidates have completed an MPA or other relevant graduate degree. 

All full-time Ph.D. students receive a competitive financial support package including stipend, health insurance, and tuition.

Our students are active in research, presenting at major regional and national conferences, with department travel support provided.

GRE Waived for Fall 2022 Ph.D. Application Cycle
Due to documented challenges in access in meeting the ETS at-home testing requirements during COVID-19, the GRE will NOT be required for 2022 admissions. Supplemental materials that demonstrate statistical, quantitative, and/or research preparation are recommended. These materials may include letters of recommendation from professors of courses taken in statistics, mathematics, policy analysis or economics, previous GRE scores, and/or writing samples reporting on data analysis results.  

Ph.D. in Public Administration