Current and Connected: UNCW Launches Executive Master of Public Administration Program

Friday, August 07, 2020

With everything from meetings to classrooms going virtual these days, UNCW’s fully online Executive Master of Public Administration Program has launched at an opportune time. Housed in the Department of Public and International Affairs, the 36-hour degree is designed for today’s working professionals who are juggling more than ever.

According to professor and program director Mark Imperial, a fully online version of UNCW’s traditional MPA program has been in the works for years. He notes that the rise of two-income families and other societal changes made it increasingly difficult for many part-time working professionals to attend classes even one day a week.

“Once we started offering an increasing number of online classes several years ago, we learned that our traditional MPA students also liked supplementing their face-to-face classes with some online classes because it added flexibility that helped them secure internship opportunities or work jobs to support their education,” he said.

EMPA students take the same 18 credit hours of core classes as the traditional MPA program but rather than complete a concentration, they complete 18 additional credit hours of applied skill-based electives (e.g., leadership, strategic planning and program evaluation).

Recruitment for the current fall 2020 class was successful and Imperial expects an inaugural class of 16 students, comprised of town managers, planning directors, emergency managers, as well as those in law enforcement and fire department personnel.

-- Caroline Cropp