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B.A. in Leadership in the Public Sector

Our online degree-completion program is designed for students who have an associate’s degree or have earned 60 credit hours of college-level courses.

Program Overview

Our program provides a liberal arts foundation in the ethical, theoretical and policy analytical skills necessary to be effective leaders in public and nonprofit sector organizations.

Since our program is fully online, students can change or advance careers without taking a leave of absence or adhering to a rigid class schedule. The B.A. is equal in academic quality and rigor to other NC State degrees.

Our graduates find career opportunities in public service, nonprofit organizations and private firms. Others seek advanced degrees in political science, public administration, nonprofit management and the law.

Degree Requirements

The B.A. in Leadership in the Public Sector requires 120 credit hours of coursework. Incoming students can transfer up to 70 credit hours from other institutions.


Students take 30 credit hours of LPS courses and program electives:

  •  Core required courses (12 hours)
  •  200-level electives (9 hours)
  •  300-level electives (6 hours)
  •  300- or 400-level electives (3 hours)

In addition to these department requirements, students must also complete:

  • Humanities and Social Science requirements (37 hours)
  • General Education Program (GEP) requirements (23 hours)
  • Free Electives (30 hours)


In addition to fulfilling core requirements, students have the option to select a program specialization in leadership security, nonprofit leadership, or public affairs leadership.

Students choose at least three of the suggested courses listed below to satisfy the specialization.

  • LPS 201: Humanitarian Response to Conflict
  • LPS 205: International Leadership in Global Politics
  • LPS 308: Terrorism, Political Violence & Public Response
  • LPS 400: Decisive Leadership
  • PS 331: US Foreign Policy
  • LPS 202: Essentials of Fundraising
  • LPS 304: Grant Writing
  • PA 203: Introduction to Nonprofits
  • PA 332: Human Resource Management
  • PA 420: State and Local Economic Development Policy
  • PA 311: Public Policy Analysis & Evaluation
  • PA 312: Intro to Public Administration
  • PS 201: American Politics and Government
  • PS 202: State and Local Government
  • PS 301: The Presidency and Congress
  • PS 310: Public Policy


Hear from LPS students, faculty and staff.

Admission Info

To apply, you’ll submit a transfer application through NC State’s central admissions office. Our team is available to help answer your admission questions and, if desired, to provide a pre-application assessment.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: Feb. 15. Applications received after Feb. 15 will be considered on a space-available basis.
  • Spring: Oct. 1. Applications received after Oct. 1 will be considered on a space-available basis.
  • Summer: No application available. If you are accepted for the Fall term, you may request to change your entry date to Summer by emailing Undergraduate Admissions.

Competitive candidates must have:

  • An Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in the past 15 years from a North Carolina community college or have completed about 60 university credit hours of college-level work, including a significant amount of social science courses.
    (A maximum of 70 credit hours can transfer into the LPS program.)
  • A 3.0 GPA on your completed approved college-level work. However, emphasis will be placed on the most recent academic coursework completed.
  • Completed a college-level English course (4 hours)
  • Completed a college-level math course (3 hours)
  • Completed a an application form

Note: Admission is competitive. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission.

The LPS program provides unofficial evaluations. We can discuss whether you are currently qualified to enroll or what additional requirements you need to be more competitive. Please note, however, that although we offer a pre-application assessment, the final decision on admission rests with the admissions office at NC State.

If you earned an A.A. or A.S. degree from any North Carolina Community College with a 3.0+ GPA within the past 15 years, you are competitive for admission and do not need a pre-application assessment.

If you’re interested in a pre-application assessment or have questions, please contact the LPS advisor at 919-513-4330 or