City/County Management MPA Fellowship Curriculum

The MPA Fellows curriculum requires 40 credit hours, and is regimented to accommodate part-time and full-time internships while the program's course of study is being completed.

The First Year

The Fellowship begins in the summer semester.  Students complete 33 of the 40 credit hours of course work during their first full year on campus (summer, fall, and spring semesters) while also:

  • Participating in paid, part-time internships
  • Attending professionalization seminars to build soft skills
  • Networking with alumni through mock interviews and informational interviews
  • Regularly checking in for guidance and reflection with the MPA Fellows Professor of Practice and KU MPA Alumni Practitioners in Residence

The Second Year

  • The full-time internship during the second year of the Fellowship is a distinctive feature of the experience. 
  • Each Fellow obtains a full-time, paid internship which may lead to a permanent job. 
  • The program supports Fellows to find internships suited for their career goals. 
  • This has resulted in a 100% placement rate over the past five years with students placed around the nation.

Required Courses

Students admitted to the City/County Management Fellowship Program complete the following course work to fulfill degree requirements:

MPA Fellows Semester-by-Semester Enrollment Detail
Year 1 SummerYear 1 FallYear 1 SpringYear 2 FallYear 2 Spring
PUAD 841PUAD 824PUAD 825PUAD 894PUAD 895
PUAD 845PUAD 835PUAD 834 PUAD 899
 PUAD 836PUAD 837  
 PUAD 851PUAD 892  
 PUAD 892Elective  

MPA Core Courses - 5 Courses (15 credit 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:


City/County Management Graduate Certificate - 4 Courses (12 credit hours)

The City/County Management graduate certificate is designed for those who are interested in a career in local government organizations (cities and counties) or in non-profit or private sector organizations that collaborate or serve local governments. In the MPA Fellows curriculum, students will complete the following required courses and an elective course (PUAD 851 Infrastructure Management is strongly recommended and scheduled to accommodate other fellowship courses) to complete the certificate requirements.


Fellows-specific First-year Class - 1 Course (3 credit hours)

This course is designed to discuss the pathway and work of the city/county management profession and explore what leadership and collaboration look like throughout different structures and units within the sector of local government.


Elective Credit - 1 Course (3 credit hours)

This Elective Credit allows MPA Fellows to explore further in the City/County Management sector or broaden their perspective in other public administration sectors in the Spring semester of Year 1.

Second Year Enrollment - 3 Courses (7 credit hours)

During the second year, Fellows meet for three in-person professional development seminars designed to help link theory and practice.  During these seminars, Fellows review, compare, interpret, and scrutinize their own work experiences while alumni and other practicing administrators assist them in the transition from academic life to a professional career: 

  • The first professional development seminar is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in the fall. 
  • The second professional development seminar is a week-long program held on the Edwards campus in January. 
  • The third is in May, in Lawrence, immediately preceding graduation. 


Connect with Us

We're taking a brief summer vacation from hosting our info sessions while we get the application ready for 2025. We'll start up again in September and hope you join us then! If you'd like to meet with us directly, book a meeting with our program coordinator.

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