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behavioral and social sciences Program

General Master of Public Administration (MPA)

The mission of the Masters of Public Administration program at North Carolina Central University is to prepare students from diverse backgrounds to become professionals with the ability to ethically apply the knowledge and skills required to lead and manage.


The Department of Public Administration seeks to prepare students for leadership and management roles in the public sector through a Master of Public Administration program with multiple tracks.  In order to meet student needs, the MPA degree is currently offered in two tracks a General MPA track and the Executive MPA track.

The General MPA track is comprised of students currently working in the public sector as well as pre-service students. The General MPA track is the largest track with nearly one hundred and sixty (160) full and part-time students.  That track admits an average of fifty-five (55) students on an annual basis.  While most students are admitted during the fall semester, a small contingency of students is admitted to start in the spring semester.  Classes are relatively small.  Enrollment in most courses range from twelve (12) to twenty five (25) students.  All General MPA track classes are at night, typically starting at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 8:45 p.m.  Consistent with the intent, this track attracts a mixture of both in-service and pre-service students. The average age of General MPA track students ranges between 24 and 35 years age.  Nearly 60% of the students in this track hold public sector or other positions.

The learning objectives and the requirements for graduation are the same for all MPA tracks. However, the General MPA track allows students the flexibility to select courses in the order that best fits their individual needs.  The MPA degree at NCCU requires students to:

  1. Complete a minimum of 47 semester hours of graduate courses, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in order to graduate. No more than six hours of the 47 may be from 4000-level courses.
  2. Successfully submit a Digital Student Learning Portfolio of developmental experiences (compact disk)
  3. Successfully present a Student Learning Portfolio before a panel of faculty

Our students are successful in receiving appointments to a number of prestigious management internship programs and in obtaining appointments as city managers, division directors, budget or program analysts, program directors, nonprofit leaders and a myriad of other challenging public sector positions.

Careers In This Field:

See scholarships available to NCCU Public Administration majors.

Additional Requirements:

Required Standardized Test:
GRE General Exam

Minimum Admissions Requirements: Admissions into the MPA program are based upon an evaluation of the whole person. Thus no one factor will determine the status of a candidates application.  An applicants admission is determined by the academic background of the applicant, all portions of GRE score with particular emphasis on the Analytical Writing score, the personal statement, the professional background, letters of evaluation and the applicants resume. Students with a substantial post baccalaureate career record tend to be evaluated more on their career progression, personal statement, the professional background, letters of evaluation and the applicants resume.  Students with limited professional level post baccalaureate career records are tend to be evaluated more on their academic background, GRE score, personal statement and letters of evaluation.

Contact Information:
Ronald Penny, Chair, Web Liaison
Phone: (919) 530-7265
Fax: (919) 530-7977
Office Location:
319 Albert N. Whiting Criminal Justice Building

Contact Details: View Complete Profile or  Download vCard

Dr. Penny


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North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a state-supported liberal arts institution, was chartered in 1909 as a private institution and opened to students on July 10, 1910. It was founded by Dr. James E. Shepard. NCCU was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools as an “A” class institution in 1937 and was admitted to membership in that association in 1957. The General Assembly of 1939 authorized the establishment of graduate work in liberal arts and the professions. Pursuant thereto, graduate courses in the Arts and Sciences were first offered in that same year; the School of Law began operation in 1940, and the School of Library Science was established in 1941.

The School of Graduate Studies at NCCU is organized by subject matter departments which offer graduate instruction leading to advanced degrees. The School of Graduate Studies confers degrees through the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, School of Education, School of Library and Information Sciences, and School of Law.  The College of Arts and Sciences includes programs in the liberal arts and in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines.

The mission of the School of Graduate Studies is to provide world-class education and to produce leaders that are culturally sensitive and engaged in their respective fields of study.

School of Graduate Studies (SGS)
1801 Fayetteville Street
Taylor Education Building, Room 123
Durham, North Carolina 27707