How to Apply - MPA Fellows

The following materials are required of all applicants to the City/County Management Fellowship MPA. Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the admissions committee for review.

Apply for KU Graduate Admission

Application Requirements

The following materials are required of all applicants to the MPA City/ County Management Fellows program. Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review. We recommend the application is submitted and complete by the published deadline to expedite review.

In addition to meeting the admission requirements for the University, to be eligible for the Fellowship, applicants must:

  • Be legally eligible to work in the U.S. ( to complete a full-time internship the second year);
  • Be prepared to enroll as a full-time student;
  • Start classes in the summer semester;
  • Participate in professional development activities scheduled throughout the year;
  • Complete the City/County Management graduate certificate in the course of study.

Main Criteria Considered:

  • A commitment to public service and specified interest in local government;
  • Demonstrated leadership or leadership potential; and
  • An academic background that indicates an ability to be successful in a rigorous, writing intensive social science program that promotes critical thinking.

Enhancing Factors Include:

  • Service involvement in leadership positions.
  • Professional work experience in the public or nonprofit sector. Professional work is defined as having responsibility for service or program management, policy creation or implementation, or providing leadership for a section or unit.
  • Engagement with local government administration in a professional, volunteer, or citizen capacity.
  • Bringing diverse experiences or perspectives to the classroom.

Application Materials Required for Admission

Please be prepared to upload the documents detailed below. You will also include the names and email addresses for your recommenders.  When you are ready, Apply for KU Graduate Admission.  An application fee is required.

Transcripts must be sent from your undergraduate institution and any post-graduate institutions attended directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions at or Graduate Admissions, University of Kansas, KU Visitor Center, 1502 Iowa St., Lawrence, KS 66045.

KU graduates may upload either a copy of an official transcript or a KU Advising Report. 

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution by the start of their MPA.

Recommendation letters should be from persons who can address your ability to do graduate work and the admissions criteria. At least one academic reference is preferred.

PLEASE NOTE: The names and email addresses of references will be requested in the online application. References will receive an email with instructions for submitting their letters of recommendation electronically. Please communicate application deadlines to your recommenders and follow up as needed. 

A copy of your current resume and employment history. Highlight any additional community engagement and service projects beyond employment in the resume to offer a full perspective on your preparation in public service leadership.

Write a 3-5 page reflective essay describing your background and career goals. Clearly indicate how the MPA degree fits those goals. Please describe how your personal background has influenced your decision to pursue a career in public service. For example, you may discuss any educational, economic, cultural or social experiences that shape you as a candidate. If there are any academic deficiencies in your record, please address them in your statement.

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.

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.

The University requires all applicants, international or domestic, to demonstrate English language proficiency for admission to any graduate program at KU. 

An essay of no more than 1,000 words long, describing your interpretation of and reaction to the Athenian Oath:  

We will never bring disgrace on this our City by an act of dishonesty or cowardice.  We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone and with many.  We will revere and obey the City's laws and will do our best to incite a like reverence and response in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught.  We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public's sense of civic duty.  Thus, in all these ways, we will transmit this City not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.

What do you think the relevance of the Athenian Oath is today?

MPA Fellowship FAQs

Yes!  The Admissions Committee reviews all applications for MPA admission first, then reviews for fellowship admission and ranking for scholarships.

No.  The GRE is no longer required for MPA or MPA Fellowship applicants.

Most of the endowed scholarships available are earmarked specifically for our City Management Fellows in the Fall and Spring semesters of Year 1 since students complete a majority of the 43 credits required for the degree in their first year.  Upfront scholarship offers traditionally range from $5,000 - $12,000 and are supplemented with paid, part-time internships through the first year ($12,000 - $15,000) and paid, full-time internships or employment ($36,500 - $47,000) in the second year.

To be considered for a fee sponsorship from the program, applicants must submit a fee waiver request.  All application materials (except for letters of recommendation) must be complete to receive program consideration for fee sponsorship.  Fee waiver requests with incomplete application materials will automatically be denied.  To ensure timely review and processing, application fee waivers will only be considered by the program at least 30 days prior* to the application deadline.  No appeals of the program’s waiver decision will be considered.

Yes, but is not necessarily recommended for the fellowship program.

You can apply as a non-degree seeking (NDS) student. You can take unlimited courses under the NDS designation but only 9 graduate-level credits are eligible to be counted toward degree if you choose to apply for the degree later, per University policy. 


NDS Application Requirements:

  • A complete non-degree seeking graduate application and submission fee of $30
  • A current resume
  • A statement of purpose describing background, current or previous experience in public service, course/s you are interested in and how they will aid your current and future professional goals, etc.
  • Official transcripts showing a conferred baccalaureate degree and transcripts showing any post-baccalaureate course work
  • Proof of English proficiency: The University requires all applicants, international or domestic, to demonstrate English language proficiency for admission to any graduate program at KU. 


Application Review: Completed NDS applications will be evaluated by the MPA Committee & Program Manager for reference, but do not require a full review.


Application Deadlines: 
The deadline is the 1st of the month prior to the start of each semester.

Visit with the MPA Program Manager & Academic Advisor for transfer credit information. Masters students may transfer in up to 9 hours of course credit. All transfer credits must be approved for relevance and must be transferred in prior to a student’s final semester in the program.

Questions? - MPA Fellows

Program and admission information
Derek Bixler, Graduate Program Coordinator

Issues Submitting Application
KU Graduate Studies

Internships & professional development
Cari Ann Kreienhop, Graduate Programming Manager