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  • Home
  • Masters of Public Administration Program Details

Masters of Public Administration Program Details

Tuition and fees: https://edwardscampus.ku.edu/edwards-campus-tuition-fees
To apply: http://graduate.ku.edu/application-process
Application deadlines:
  Spring: November 1
  Summer: February 1
  Fall: May 1  

Comprehensive KU course catalog: https://catalog.ku.edu/
KU grading and grades: https://registrar.ku.edu/grades
KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences: http://college.ku.edu
KU calendar: http://registrar.ku.edu/calendar/
KU refund policies: https://registrar.ku.edu/fee-petition

Master’s Degree in Public Administration

Admissions criteria:

The admissions requirements for the Master’s Degree in Public Administration include:

Required Items

Explanation and description

Bachelor's Degree

A GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Preferred background in social sciences, with courses in college algebra and statistics recommended. A GPA below 3.0 can be considered if academic deficiencies are addressed in the personal statement.

Official Transcript

From the undergraduate institution and any post-graduate college or university attended. Must be sent directly from the degree-granting school to the Office of Graduate Admissions at  graduateadm@ku.edu or 313 Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Boulevard, Lawrence, Kansas 66045.

Three Letters of Recommendation

From persons who can address the applicant’s ability to do graduate work and the admissions criteria. At least one reference should be an academic reference.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants should submit names and email addresses of references as part of their online application. References will receive an email with instructions for submitting their letters of recommendation electronically.

Current Resume

A copy of your current resume, listing your employment history.

Personal Statement

A 3-5 page reflective essay describing your background and career goals and clearly indicating how the MPA degree fits those goals. Please address any academic deficiencies in your statement.

Writing Sample

A writing sample at least five pages in length. This should be a work where you critically analyze an issue (not just summarize) and be well-cited.

Some possibilities include: an undergraduate research paper; a policy paper completed for work; another work product that analyzes an issue and makes an argument for a position.

The following items are not adequate for the application writing sample: police reports; internal or external briefing memos; newsletters; correspondence.

If you do not have a written sample that meets the requirements, you may prepare a report on a book or academic article relevant to the field of public administration. The KU Libraries can assist you with searching databases and accessing materials.

 


Curriculum and requirements:

The Master’s Degree in Public Administration requires students to complete 43 hours of coursework.

The MPA degree is awarded after successful completion of 43 credit hours of course work. This includes 16 credit hours of required core courses (five courses) that all students complete, 12 credit hours toward one School of Public Affairs and Administration graduate certificate (four courses), 12 hours of electives tailored to the student's interests (four courses), and an experiential learning requirement which can be completed as detailed below (one course). In addition, all students must pass a written master's examination (final paper) to complete the requirements for the MPA degree.

Core Curriculum (19 hours):

The MPA core provides students with knowledge and skills foundational to advanced educational and professional engagement in public affairs and administration fields.  They provide an important underpinning for the MPA certificates and are transferable across a range of public service professions. The MPA core course work includes the following courses (16 credit hours):

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 824: Creating Good Public Policy

3

PUAD 835: Managing Public Money

3

PUAD 836: Data-Driven Decision Making

3

PUAD 841: Context, Ethics and Legal Environment of Public Administration

3

PUAD 845: Managing Public Organizations

3

 

Experiential Learning Options (3 credit hours):  

Experiential learning and engagement beyond traditional lecture courses within the degree (e.g. PUAD 898 Leadership, Professionalism, and Citizen Engagement, PUAD 892 Public Administration Internship, Ph.D.-level courses, study abroad, etc.)

Elective Credits (12 credit hours):

Students take four electives (12 hours) in addition to core course work, SPAA graduate certificate completion, and the experiential learning requirement. Electives may be concentrated into specialized areas, allowing the student to earn a second SPAA graduate certificate, a graduate certificate outside the program (with approval), or broaden their understanding in other disciplines adjacent to public administration. 

 

School of Public Affairs & Administration graduate certificate programs (12 hours):

MPA graduate students who wish to earn a graduate certificate credential for completion of the certificates listed above with their Master of Public Administration degree must submit a graduate application for the specific certificate program no later than enrollment in the final course that will count toward the certificate. Students in the Master of Public Administration program may opt to complete certificate course work without the credential.  Please note that no credential will be awarded without completion of the graduate application into the certificate.  Additionally, the School will prioritize course scheduling needs based on formal certificate enrollments.

 

Admissions requirements:

The School of Public Affairs and Administration accepts students on a rolling admissions basis. Students may apply to be admitted for either the fall, summer or spring semesters.  Applicants for the certificate are required to have:

  • Undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 (if the undergraduate degree was awarded in the last three years).
  • At least three years of managerial experience or be already admitted to any graduate programs of KU or already have a graduate management or leadership degree from an accredited institution.
  • Non-native speakers of English must meet the English proficiency requirements as described here (http://graduate.ku.edu/english-proficiency-requirements).


Current School of Public Administration and Affairs graduate students who wish to earn a graduate certificate credential in any of the certificates listed here with their Master of Public Administration degree must submit a graduate application for the specific certificate program no later than enrollment in the final course that will count toward the certificate. 

Students in the Master of Public Administration program may opt to complete certificate course work without the credential.  Please note that no credential will be awarded without completion of the graduate application into the certificate.  Additionally, the School will prioritize course scheduling needs based on formal certificate enrollments.

Individuals who are not already enrolled as School of Public Affairs and Administration graduate students must complete an application to Graduate Studies for admission into the certificate program and submit an application fee along with the following materials:
•    A current resume.
•    A statement of interest in the graduate certificate program. This 1-2 page narrative should summarize your education, employment history, career goals, and how this certificate will bolster your professional aspirations.
•    Official transcripts of baccalaureate degree/s and any post-baccalaureate course work.

The admissions committee may request additional materials if needed to assess an applicant’s ability to be successful in the coursework.

 

Graduate Certificate in City and County Management (12 hours)

Certificate Requirements

The certificate is comprised of 4 courses for a total of 12 graduate credit hours.  Other courses may be substituted with approval of the MPA Faculty Director.  Students who wish to pursue both the City and County Management and Public and Nonprofit Management graduate certificates must seek approval from the MPA Faculty Director.   PUAD 834 Human Resources Management will count toward both certificates, but the student must take one additional elective to meet the 12 credit-hour completion requirement for each.  Otherwise, students pursuing more than one SPAA certificate may use a maximum of one course to count towards both certificates. 

 

3 required Courses (9 hours):

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 825: Urban Policy and Administration 

 - or -

UBPL 816: Politics, Planning and Administration 

3

PUAD 834: Human Resource Management 

3

PUAD 837: Advanced Budgeting and Finance 

3

 

1 course from the following or another department-approved graduate course (3 hours):

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 702: Diversity Public Administration 

3

PUAD 853: Policy Analysis and Evaluation 

 - or -

PUAD 863:  Program Evaluation 

3

UBPL 730 City and County Planning 

3

 

 

Graduate Certificate in Performance Management (12 hours)

This certificate requires 4 courses for a total of 12 graduate credit hours.  Other courses may be substituted with the approval of the MPA Faculty Director.  Students pursuing more than one SPAA certificate may use a maximum of one course to count towards both certificates. 

This certificate program comprises four courses from the following options:

1 required course (3 hours):

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 857: Performance Management and Governance 

3

3 courses from the following electives (9 hours):

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 854: Innovation and Organizational Change

3

PUAD 858: Performance Audit

3

PUAD 861: Data Analytics

3

PUAD 853: Policy Analysis

3

Or

 

PUAD 863: Program Evaluation

3

 

 

Graduate Certificate in Law & Society (12 hours)

The certificate requires 4 courses for a total of 12 graduate credit hours.  Other courses may be substituted with the approval of the MPA Faculty Director.  Student pursuing more than one SPAA certificate may use a maximum of one course to count toward both certificates.  While all students are welcome to apply, this graduate certificate's course work is only offered at the Edwards Campus.

 

2 required courses (6 hours)

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 842: Law and Public Management

3

PUAD 849: Law, Courts, and Public Policy

3

 

2 selected courses from the following, or another program-approved graduate course (6 hours)

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 701: Administration of Justice

3

PUAD 702: Diversity and Social Equity in Public Administration

3

LWS 743: Theoretical Foundations of Law and Society

3

LWS 794: Topics in Law & Society: ______

3

 

 

Graduate Certificate in Public/Nonprofit Management (12 hours)

The certificate requires 4 courses for a total of 12 graduate credit hours. Other courses may be substituted with the approval of the MPA Faculty Director. Students who wish to pursue both the City and County Management and Public and Nonprofit Management graduate certificates must seek approval from the MPA Faculty Director. PUAD 834 will count toward both certificates, but the student must take one additional elective to meet the 12 credit-hour completion requirement for each.  Otherwise, Student pursuing more than one SPAA certificate may use a maximum of one course to count towards both certificates.

 

 

1 required course (3 hours)

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 834: Human Resources Management

3

 

3 selected courses from the following, or another program-approved graduate course (9 hours)

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 703: Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector

3

PUAD 708: Collaboration in Public Administration

3

PUAD 741: Public Service Leadership

3

PUAD 828: Nonprofit Management and Policy

3

PUAD 842: Law and Public Management

3

PUAD 854: Innovation and Organizational Change

3

PUAD 857: Performance Management and Governance

3

 

Graduate Certificate in Public Policy

The certificate requires 4 courses for a total of 12 graduate credit hours.  Other courses may be substituted with the approval of the MPA Faculty Director.  Student pursuing more than one SPAA certificate may use a maximum of one course to count toward both certificates.

 

2 required courses (6 hours)

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 853: Policy Analysis

3

PUAD 863: Program Evaluation

3

 

2 selected courses from the following, or another program-approved graduate course (6 hours)

Course

Credit Hr.

PUAD 825: Urban Policy and Administration

3

PUAD 701: Administration of Justice

3

PUAD 849: Law, Courts, and Public Policy

3

UBPL 710: Introduction to Housing Policy

OR

UBPL 750: Introduction to Transportation Planning

OR

UBPL 764: Real Estate Development I

OR

UBPL 765: Introduction to Sustainable Land Use Planning

3

 

 

 

Request more info
Questions?

Cari Ann Kreienhop
MPA Program Manager & Advisor
Send an email