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Undergraduate Degrees | Leadership in the Public Sector

Leadership in the Public Sector

Entrance Exam: Not Required
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Leadership in the Public Sector (LPS) program is an online B.A. degree completion program designed for students who have completed an associate’s degree (AA or AS) or earned more than 60 credit hours of college-level courses. The program is specifically created to provide non-traditional students with a liberal arts foundation in the ethical, theoretical, and policy analytical skills necessary to be effective leaders in public and nonprofit sector organizations.

The primary premise of the program is that exercising effective leadership in the public sector has unique features that make leadership more challenging but ultimately more rewarding than leadership in the private sector. Since students are not required to come to campus at all, this program allows students to change or advance their career without taking a leave of absence or adhering to a rigid class schedule. LPS graduates earn a B.A degree that is equal in academic quality and rigor to any other NC State University degree. LPS graduates find career opportunities in public and nonprofit organizations, as well as private firms, or seek advanced degrees in political science, public administration, nonprofit sector management, and law.

Hear from the LPS students, faculty and staff

NC State's Leadership in the Public Sector Program


To earn the degree, an applicant must be admitted as a transfer student through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

The most competitive candidates for admission into LPS are those who have approximately 60 transferable credit hours (OR an AA or AS degree with 60 transferable hours; not an AAS) and a combined cumulative transfer GPA of 3.0 from every college/university attended. However, emphasis will be placed on the most recent academic coursework completed.

Transfer credit should include a sufficient number of social science courses to satisfy the general education component of the major. In addition, transfer students must have taken and passed a college level math course and a college level English course comparable to NCSU's ENG 101 (4 hours) to be eligible.

This program is not open to international students living outside the U.S.

A Leadership in the Public Sector Success Story

Pre-application Assessment

The LPS program provides unofficial transcript evaluations. We can discuss with you whether you are currently qualified to enroll and/or approximately how long it would take you to complete the LPS degree if you were to enroll. Please note, however, that although we offer a pre-application assessment, the final decision for admission rests with the admissions office at NCSU.

If you would like assistance with a pre-application assessment or have more general questions about the program, please contact LPS Advising at

Plan of Study

120 credits overall are required to earn the B.A. degree. Students admitted with 60 credits that apply toward the degree thus have 60 credits remaining. These remaining credits typically include:

  • 30 credits of LPS major requirements, including:
  • LPS core courses: 12 credit hours
  1. LPS 200 Introduction to Public Leadership (3 credit hours)
  2. LPS 315 Public Leadership (3)
  3. LPS 320 Research Methods for the Public Sector (3)
  4. LPS 425 Leadership in the Public & Non-profit Sector Capstone (3)
  • Humanities and Social Science: 37 credit hours
  • General Education Program Courses: 23 credit hours
  • 200-level courses (from an approved list): 9 credit hours
  • 300-level courses (from an approved list): 6 credit hours
  • 400-level course (from an approved list): 3 credit hours

30 credit hours of free elective and general education (precise course requirements depend on what the student transfers in).

Career Prospects

Advance your career through educational attainment: Non-profit and government employers are looking for graduates with a bachelor’s degree from NC State University. LPS graduates find career opportunities in public and nonprofit organizations, and further their education in fields such as political science, public administration, nonprofit sector management, and law.

Some students use the degree as a first step for acquiring teaching accreditation; others are interested in government careers. Both of these fields are expected to be in heavy demand in the foreseeable future. Other students are already fully engaged in their careers and would like to complete their bachelors to further their career potential. Or they may plan to complete their LPS degree and continue their education and future career opportunities by applying to graduate school.