Mission and History


The mission of the School of Government is to improve the lives of North Carolinians by engaging in practical scholarship that helps public officials and citizens understand and improve state and local government. Learn more about the School’s mission by visiting the FAQ section of this website. Learn more about the School's history by viewing a short video about our founding.


Consistent values for nearly 90 years have built a legacy of trust with North Carolina's public officials:

  • Nonpartisan
  • Policy-neutral
  • Responsive 


Established in 1931 as the Institute of Government, the School provides educational, advisory, and research services for state and local governments. The School of Government is also home to specialized centers focused on information technology and environmental finance.

School of Government faculty members have made notable contributions to North Carolina government:

  • Study to reorganize state government
  • Study of the state's court system
  • North Carolina Constitutional Commission
  • Local Government Study Commission
  • Open Meetings Study Commission
  • NC Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission
  • Governor's Crime Commission on Juvenile Crime and Justice


How We Serve North Carolina

As the largest university-based local government training, advisory, and research organization in the United States, the School of Government offers up to 200 courses, webinars, and specialized conferences for more than 12,000 public officials each year.

Faculty members respond to thousands of phone calls and e-mail messages each year on routine and urgent matters and also engage in long-term advising projects for local governing boards, legislative committees, and statewide commissions.

In addition, faculty members annually publish approximately 50 books, manuals, reports, articles, bulletins, and other print and online content related to state and local government. Each day that the General Assembly is in session, the School produces Daily Bulletin Online, which reports on the day’s activities for members of the legislature and others who need to follow the course of legislation.

The Master of Public Administration Program is offered in two formats. The full-time, two-year on-campus program serves up to 60 students annually. In 2013 the School launched an online format designed for working professionals and others seeking flexibility while advancing their careers in public service. The School's MPA program consistently ranks among the best public administration graduate programs in the country, particularly in the local government specialty. With courses ranging from public policy analysis to ethics and management, the program prepares public service leaders for meaningful careers while creating usable knowledge that improves governance. 


Support for the School of Government

Operating support for the School of Government’s programs and activities comes from many sources, including state appropriations, local government membership dues, private contributions, publication sales, course fees, and service contracts. 


Historic Murals at the School of Government

The School of Government is home to several works of art depicting famous scenes in North Carolina's history, including SERVICE, by artist Colin Quashie.

The School of Government is committed to equality of educational opportunity. The School does not discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, gender, age, national origin, religion, genetic information, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. If you have a disability and need accommodation to participate in any School of Government program, please let us know.



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, educational specialist, and doctorate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website.