How to Succeed in the Carolina MPA Program – an Interview with Kim Nelson

Kim Nelson, Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Associate Professor of Public Administration and Government

I sat in on a recent session with Professor Kim Nelson talking about what it takes to be a successful graduate student in our MPA program at UNC.  I took some notes and decided to turn it into a blog post because I know there are many people out there wondering what graduate school and our MPA program is really like.  Well, here they are coming straight from the MPA at UNC faculty.

Be Prepared – Top Expectations from the program

  • More reading
  • More autonomy
  • Less grading
  • Professionalism
  • Writing is different – less is more.

Top 5 characteristics of a successful MPA student

  • Come prepared to class (read and have your questions ready)
  • Engage productively (know when to talk and when to listen)
  • Be respectful and humble
  • Don’t procrastinate
  • Good attitudes always stand out

Now that you know how to be successful in our program, you may want to know what to do to successfully apply J  Check out our admissions requirements here: