Master of Public Administration


For general information on financial aid and scholarships, please visit the UNCW Financial Aid Website or fill out a scholarship application

Graduate Assistantships

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) has several graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) that are awarded on a competitive basis. Students are required to work a total of about 20 hours a week, 10 hours for a half-time GTA. Most GTAs are required to work at least 4 hours per week in graduate computer lab that provides professors with help. The GTAs also provide classroom support for faculty in the Department of Public and International Affairs (PIA). This involves grading, covering classes in the case of illness, copying, preparing course materials, help with website development, and other related duties. Each student is also assigned to research/service cluster for a balance of their time with their assignment designed to further the teaching, research, and service missions for the MPA program. Some of the anticipated service and research clusters are:

  • Nonprofit Research: This team is actively engaged in conducting research on the nonprofit sector.
  • Regional Engagement Service/Research: This team will provide support for various regional engagement initiatives.
  • PIA Service: This team provides support for various initiatives undertaken by PIA.
  • Coastal/Environmental Service/Research Pod: This team is actively engaged in conducting research on coastal and environmental problems in Southeastern NC
  • Sustainability Project: This team is actively engaged in conducting research on local government sustainability initiatives.
  • NVSQ and Distinguished Professor Assistants: This team is actively engaged in conducting research and assisting with the NVSQ journal alongside our Cameron Distinguished Professor, Jeffrey Brudney.

In addition, all GTAs will provide support to PIA and the MPA program during special events that allow GTAs with an opportunity to network with public and nonprofit administrators.

Application Process

When there are openings, a request for applications will be sent out on the MPA list serve. If you are interested in applying for one of our GTA openings, at that time, please send a current resume and a cover letter as email attachments, In your cover letter be sure to indicate any knowledge, skills, and abilities that will enable you to make a contribution as a GTA. You should also indicate your preferences with respect to the research clusters with which you are interested in working. These materials should be submitted electronically via email to the MPA Director, Dr. Mark Imperial.

Graduate School Scholarships

The MPA program faculty selects students based on their distinguished academic and service performance for scholarships courtesy of the Graduate School. These awards are available to current and prospective students. A one-time $1000 award is given to an incoming student who has demonstrated significant scholastic ability. Other scholarships include several $500 awards to current and prospective students. And finally, one tuition reduction scholarship is provided to an out-of-state student working as a departmental graduate assistant who has demonstrated significant scholastic ability. This award traditionally adjusts out-of-state tuition to meet in-state costs. All Graduate School scholarships are contingent on budget availability. None are guaranteed until disbursement.

Additional Graduate School Scholarships and Fellowships

Non-MPA Graduate Assistantship Opportunities

Local Government Fellowships

New Hanover County MPA Fellows and Town of Carolina Beach MPA Fellows program. This is an innovative partnership where the County selects four new MPA students to work as Fellows with the County for one year (renewable for two years) while they are enrolled in the MPA program. The students will be placed in policy, planning and human resource offices and work on a variety of projects that will meet County needs while also providing the students with invaluable experience.

The MPA program may provide some travel assistance to students for conference, research and professional development. These awards are designed to supplement primary funds granted through the Graduate Student Association and the Graduate School Travel Awards program.

North Carolina City & County Management Association (NCCCMA) Scholarship

This scholarship, for tuition, is presented to a current student who satisfies the following requirements: 1) resident of NC, 2) experience or exposure to local government (city or county), 3) have career plans that relate to local government, 4) must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student in the MPA program, and 5) must be a full-time student or a part-time student with more than two semesters of coursework remaining.

2017-2018 Stacie Miles
2013-2014 Craig Kelly
2012-2013 James Dixon
2011-2012 Sarah Nix
2010-2011 Kevin "Chris" McCall
2009-2010 Anthony Prinz
2008-2009 Jeremy Hardison
2007-2008 Michelle Shepard


The Stephanie F. David Scholarship

This scholarship is presented to a full-time MPA student who has demonstrated a commitment of community and public service and/or volunteerism in support of nonprofit organizations and programs.

2009 - Autum Mihm
2008 - Linda-Jean Jay
2007 - Angel Funk

The Holt Oil Fellowship in Public Administration

This fellowship award is granted to an incoming or returning MPA student who has demonstrated academic ability and special achievement. The fellowship is renewable for returning students, as approved by the scholarship committee, provided they continue to meet the award criteria.

2013-2014 - Sarah Daniels
2012-2013 - Sarah Daniels

Jewish Educational Loan Fund

The Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF) provides interest-free, last dollar loans for higher education. Information about JELF can be found here.