Town, City and County Management Track

This track is appropriate for persons who wish to do any of the following jobs:

  • Serve as a Town Manager or County Manager
  • Serve as an Assistant Manager in a town or county
  • Serve as a Department Head in a local government unit
  • Serve as an advocate for local government, e.g. service with a League of Municipalities
  • Serve as an evaluator of local government programs, e.g. with State Legislature

Historically, Appalachian State University has been very strong in preparing persons for careers in City and County Management. More than 125 individuals now serving as Manager or Assistant Manager in North Carolina communities earned either their undergraduate or graduate training in local government management in this department. A key element in the success of ASU graduates has been their familiarity with land use planning and local government administration.

Students in the City and County Management track must complete the eight required MPA core courses, choose three courses from the pre-approved list of local-government courses and choose two other electives in consultation with the MPA Director. Every city and county management track student must complete 6 credit hours of internship experience with an experienced manager-mentor in which the student is exposed to a variety of local government management problems. If you have no prior exposure to these subjects, be sure to consult with the MPA program director to ensure you are getting the courses that you need to adequately prepare you for the profession of city and county management.

Courses Required

  • MPA Core Courses listed on Academics page
  • 9 hours of graduate courses:
    • PA 5461-Public Financial Management
    • PA 5560-Local Government Administration
    • A graduate level course in planning
  • 6 hours of graduate courses in consultation with the MPA Director
  • 6 hours of internship PA 5900-Internship in Public Administration

Recent Town, City, and County Management Internship Placements

  • Town of Troy
  • Bessemer City
  • City of Kannapolis
  • Town of Seven Devils
  • Town of Wilkesboro
  • Town of Dobson
  • City of Lenoir
  • City of Hickory
  • City of Hendersonville
  • Town of Davidson

Map of ASU Alumni Serving as City or County Managers in North Carolina

Map showing alumni job placements in NC

***Counties shaded in gold show locations where MPA alumni have served as public officials in county offices. Yosef icons indicate cities or towns where MPA alumni have served their respective municipalities.

Additional placements of recent alumni can be found on the Alumni page.

Local government professional associations and groups across North Carolina include:

"My MPA degree is the single most important qualification I have to start my career in local government. My entire career is riding on my MPA." - MPA Alum