UNC Charlotte Center City Campus

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission Questions

1.What are the requirements for admittance:

An appropriate score (35th percentile) on the GRE.  Minimum desired scores: Verbal – 150, Quantitative – 144, Analytical – 3.0

An undergraduate GPA of 3.0

Pre-requisites are POLS 1110 – Intro to American Politics & Statistics 1222 – Elementary Statistics for the Social Sciences OR the equivalent of these, and demonstrate computer proficiency.  Both Intro to American Poliltics and Statistics can be taken once already admitted into the program.  There is an approved course for STATS that is offered at UNCC through Ed2Go. Link to Ed2Go Statistics course:  http://www.ed2go.com/uncc/SearchResults.aspx?SearchTermsstatistics&ac=False

2. If I don’t meet the requirements for admission, what then?

After GRE scores are considered along with undergraduate GPA – the admissions committee often recommends taking two post-bacc courses and then re-apply.  You can also apply for one of the graduate certificates.  These do not require GRE scores and can give you more time to study to retake the GRE.  The courses taken under the graduate certificates are transferable to the MPA once admitted.  

More informatin about taking post-baccalaureate go to http://gradadmissions.uncc.edu/admissions-info/types-admission/post-baccalaureate-non-degree

3. Can I take classes before I am admitted to the MPA program?

Yes, as a post-baccalaureate student (post-bacc).  However, you can only receive credit for 2 courses (6 credit hours) before being admitted to the program.

4. Do you accept transfer credits?

Generally, only 6 hours can be accepted for transfer credit.  Dr. Suzanne Leland, the Director, will need to see your transcript, a syllabus and catalog description of credits you are wishing to transfer before she can make a decision about transfer credits.

5. Is the GRE something that can be waived?

No.  It is required that the GRE be taken.  

A student who has already earned a Master’s degree will not be required by the Graduate School to retake a standardized test IF the student can demonstrate that he or she has completed the test in the past.  The Graduate School will accept the student’s copy of the official university transcript which prints the scores or a letter on official university letterhead attesting to the scores.  The Graduate Director, however, has the right to request that the student re-take the test and submit official scores.  This does not apply to the TOEFL.

A student who has taken the GRE, GMAT or MAT but has not earned a degree must be able to submit official scores that are not over five years old.  If the student has not taken the test within five years, he or she must re-take the test.

The GRE is not administered by UNC Charlotte.  To obtain information about and schedule a test for the GRE, please go to www.gre.org.

6. How can I prepare for the GRE?

You can attend a workshop through Continuing Education – Extended Academic Programs http://www.princetonreview.com/offer/uncc#!Test-GRE .  Publications offering study aids are also available in most bookstores.  The GRE website offers practice tests.  It is advised that the practice tests not be taken at home but at a library.  It’s important to time yourself when taking the practice tests.

7. Is it possible to defer my admission to a future term?

We ask that you apply for the semester in which you intend to enroll.

8. Where do I mail my transcripts?

You should mail your transcript to The Graduate School.  Their mailing address is:

The Graduate School
UNC Charlotte
Cato Hall 210
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223

9. Can I send transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other materials before I submit my application online?

You can.  Just submit your information to The Graduate School.

10. Am I eligible for an application fee waiver?

Fee waivers are not given.

11. Who should I contact if I am having technical difficulties with the online application?

If you are having technical difficulties with the application please contact The Graduate School.  Their phone number is 704-687-5503.

12. What are the admission deadlines for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters?

Fall admission deadline is August 1st before the start of that fall semester

Spring admission deadline is December 1st before the start of that spring semester


Program Questions

1. How much does your program cost?

It depends on the number of credit hours you take and your residency (in or out of state).  You can find a chart of tuition cost on our website under the tuition tab. http://mpa.uncc.edu/prospective-students/tuition 

2.  Is financial aid available?

You should complete a FAFSA form.  There are also scholarships available through the Graduate School.  We have several scholarships available through the MPA program.  Recipients of these are nominated and selected by MPA faculty.

We do offer 4 Graduate Assistantships for $9,000 each per academic year.  The application has to be into the Graduate School Office by April 15th of each year for consideration for the beginning of the academic year. (Other assistantships are available and applicants can be considered by departments on campus other than the MPA program.)  The application is on the Graduate School website at http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/funding/assistantships-and-employment  

3. Is the UNC at Charlotte MPA program a NASPAA-accredited program?

Yes it is

4. How many hours are required for a Master of Public Administration degree?

39 hours

5. What are the course requirements?

There are 5 core courses, 5 electives courses and 2 capstone courses.  Please look under MPA Curriculum Tab at http://mpa.uncc.edu/prospective-students/mpa-curriculum

6. Is an internship required? 

Yes, an internship is required (20 hours per week).  The required length is 1 semester.  Those with professional involvement can count their career situations as an internship.

7. Where can I get a catalog?  Can one be mailed to me?

The catalog is completely online at http://catalog.uncc.edu/index.php?catoid=8

8. Are all classes listed in the General Catalog offered every semester?

No.  Not every course is offered every semester.  You will need to speek with your advisor to make sure you know what courses are being offered for the upcoming semester.  We also place the next semester of classes on our website at http://mpa.uncc.edu/prospective-students/schedule

9. How do I register?

Once admitted, you will receive an email with your advisor’s name and contact information.  You will need to contact them so they can help you chose classes for the semester, then contact the MPA administrative support person and let them know what you plan to register for.  All core courses are restricted to MPA students and you will need to be given authorizations that will allow you to register for those as well as some other restricted courses.  You will register online through your myuncc webpage at https://my.uncc.edu/

10. What courses should I register for first?

If you are inthe MPA Master Program we recommend beginning with the Core Courses, particularly MPAD 6102 or 6104, and completing your pre-requisites as soon as possible.  

If you are in a certificate program you will also have core courses that are speciallized for that program. 

Please remember that you should contact your advisor especially in your first semester. 

11. When am I eligible to take MPAD 6187 or MPAD 6188?

These courses can be taken after all core courses have been completed with satisfactory grades.

Students needing these courses to be able to graduate will have first priority at registration.

12. Are there opportunities for research?

Yes.  We usually have between 6-7 Graduate Assistants each year that help our professors with their research and other tasks.  You can also enroll in an independent study and conduct your own research with help from an advising professor.

13. Are any courses offered at night?

All MPA courses are in the evening begining at either 5:30pm or 6:30pm.  If you are employed full-time, we recommend taking no more than 6 hours per semester.  If you are a full-time student, the recommendation is 9 hours per semester.  In addition to evening courses, we occasionally offer an on-line course.

14. Do you offer classes at the Center City campus?

About 50% of our classes are held at the Center City campus those classes begin at 5:30pm.

15. Are there computer labs available at the Center City campus?

There are computer labs available at the Center City campus.  Some classes may be held in a lab.  You will need to check the availability of the lab before using.

16. What is the maximum course load

An appropriate course load is dependent upon two factors:  the scholastic ability of the student as reflected by his/her academic history and the time available for study.  A course load of nine semester hours constitutes a normal full semester program for a graduate student.  This is lower than the normal undergraduate load because of the extensive reading, independent thinking and individual research required of graduate students.  Generally, graduate students should not register for more than 9 hours during a semester.  Special permission will be needed by the Director if someone wants to register for 12.

A graduate assistant must register for at least six graduate-level semester hours during each semester in which an assistantship is awarded.  Graduate assistants enrolled in the Graduate Assistance Support Plan (GASP) must register for a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours each term.

17. Is a student allowed to repeat a Graduate Course?

A graduate student will be allowed to repeat a maximum of two courses in which the student has been assigned a grade of C, U or N (but not an I). If the course grade has resulted in suspension of enrollment, the student must appeal to be reinstated in order to repeat the course.  A given course may be repeated one time only.  Each grade earned in a repeated course is shown on the student’s transcript.  The record of the first attempt will remain a part of the student’s permanent record and will count in the number of marginal (C) grades accumulated.  However, the hours earned and grade in the first attempt will not be computed in the grade point average.  Successfully repeating a course does not change the number of marginal (C) grades accumulated.  Enrollment will be terminated if a student receives a grade of U in a repeated course for which the student previously earned a U or N.  Students will also need to complete an Override to Repeat a Course form and send it to the MPA Admin in order for the admin to enter the override in banner.  If it’s for a course that also needs an authorization, both the authorization and the override will need to be entered for the student to be able to register.

18. How many students are enrolled in the program and what is the average class size?

We currently have around 80 students enrolled in the Master Program and 30 students enrolled in the Certificate Program.  Our average class size is around 15 students.  Our normal maximum class size is 20 students.

19. How much supervision do students receive from the faculty?

Our faculty are there to help all students.  All our faculty have office hours and are available through email.  You will also have a faculty advisor.

20. How many students graduate per year?

It depends on the year but on average we have 25-35 students graduate per year.

21. How are internships and fellowships obtained through this program?

When we receive internship and fellowship information from a company or department, we send it out to all Public Administration students.  It is then up to the student to reach out to the hiring company or department.

22. What career opportunities are there with a Master of Public Administration degree?

Many opportunities in the public sector – graduates tend to go into general areas of management, or as analysts, and policy specialists with local governments.  Most opportunities in Charlotte are in city and county government; some state and federal government.  Increasingly, we are seeing MPA students working for private, non-profit organizations as well as both public and private health care organizations. 

23. What are my study abroad options?

There is a study abroad opportunity through Fudan University.  Fudan University is located in China.  If interested in this opportunity please contact Dr. Barth.

24. I still have questions, where should I go or who should I contact?

You can contact Whitney Paschal, Administrative Support, at 704-687-5974 or wpaschal@uncc.edu.