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UNCP’s MPA program rated the ‘best buy’ nationally

May 11, 2010

An online consumer group ranked UNC Pembroke among Top Best Values in Online Graduate Degrees for its Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program., headquartered in Essex Junction, Vt., released its ratings on April 21, and UNCP’s MPA program is number one among MPA degree programs for less than $18,000.

North Carolina residents will pay a remarkably low cost of about $4,400 for this online master’s degree, the rating agency found. By comparison, the average cost for a regionally accredited online master’s in public administration is $19,277.

Dr. Dan Barbee, founding director of the MPA program, said online delivery of this program serves an important purpose for many students who are seeking a career lift.

“We are pleased to be able to offer a high-quality, rigorous program of studies for in-service and aspiring professional public and non-profit administrators,” Dr. Barbee said. “The online option of the MPA program is designed to serve meritorious students throughout the UNCP region and beyond who live and work at a significant distance from our campus, as well as some students whose work - such as firefighters, law enforcement, and health professionals - prevents them from taking their full program of studies on our campus.

“This program, whether online or on campus including at Fort Bragg, offers much future value to the careers of all those we serve,” he continued. “Our faculty is a diverse and valuable resource, and we offer concentrations in emerging areas of critical importance: emergency management, criminal justice, health administration, and public management.

“Overall, this graduate degree offers remarkable value for the student’s investment in finances and intellectual effort and work,” he concluded.

GetEducated’s complete list of the Top Ranked Best Buys in Online MPAs may be viewed at The list is available free online.   “Online learning has made higher education more accessible nationwide,” says Vicky Phillips,’s Chief Education Analyst, “but cost remains a barrier, especially for professionals in government and non-profit management.” 

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers North Carolina residents access to a high-quality master’s degree through distance learning for close to one-fifth the cost of the national average. That’s an amazing value proposition,” said Vicky Phillips,’s founder. The UNCP online program features the same curriculum and the same courses as the on-campus program, but courses may be completed entirely online. The same UNC Pembroke faculty design and teach all MPA online courses. Online course delivery is enhanced by interactive Internet-based learning applications as well as by streaming video. publishes the nation’s most comprehensive free guide to accredited online MPAs. There is no charge for accredited graduate schools to be listed in the online directories. All schools must meet accreditation screening standards, however.

Founded in 1989, is a consumer group that reviews and ranks online university degree programs along the dimensions of cost, quality and credibility. The group issues report cards on accredited online degree programs in an effort to bring transparency to the online education selection process in terms of cost, public perception and student satisfaction.