Joshua Robinson Class of 2019

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Join the hundreds of KU MPAs making a difference by leading locally, nationally, and globally.

Are you ready to make a difference?

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree draws on its historic and enduring strengths in local government and public management to prepare students to manage and lead public-serving organizations, especially at the state and local levels. The program is dedicated to cultivating the ethics, knowledge, critical thinking, and professional skills needed to serve diverse communities.

The KU MPA achieves its mission by:

  • Providing high-quality professional education that instills in students the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to lead public and non-profit organizations;
  • Conducting policy and management research that speaks to contemporary social issues and topics of relevance to the field;
  • Fostering and modeling public service values—social equity, sustainability, transparency, accountability, and respect for democracy—in teaching, research, and service to the professional community; and
  • Recruiting and retaining students with diverse backgrounds who show the passion and potential for leadership in public service.


Our Master of Public Administration program combines theoretically grounded coursework and practical application to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to lead, innovate, and problem-solve in public and nonprofit settings.

  • Our 43-credit hour program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
  • Through specially designed coursework, students learn to:
    • Lead and manage in public governance.
    • Participate in and contribute to the public policy process.  
    • Analyze, synthesize, think creatively, solve problems, and make decisions.
    • Articulate and apply public service perspectives.
    • Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

Students in our MPA specialize in:

  • City and County Management.
  • Performance Management.
  • Public Policy.
  • Public/Non-profit Management.
  • Urban Planning.

Learn more about our curriculum and advancing your career with a MPA from KU.

Graduation rate and employment statistics

  • Of the 39 students who were admitted and enrolled for the 2015-2016 academic year:
    • 33% graduated within 2 years
    • 56% graduated within 3 years
    • 74% graduated within 4 years
  • The total percentage of students who completed the program is 87%.
  • This percentage rate should be viewed in the perspective of the small number of students admitted and enrolled.
  • Of the students who did not complete, some moved away, had personal obligations that took precedence, or found that the program was not a right fit for them.

As an example of where our graduates are employed, here is the information for MPA students who graduated in the 2019-2020 academic year:

  • Total number of graduates: 36
  • Federal government: 3
  • State government: 5
  • Local government: 15
  • Government outside the U.S.: 2
  • Nonprofit (domestic): 4
  • Nonprofit (internationally-oriented): 0
  • Private sector (research/consulting): 1
  • Private sector (not research/consulting): 3
  • Obtaining further education: 1
  • Military service: 0
  • Retired: 1
  • Unknown: 1

Admissions Deadlines

  • Fall admission: May 1

  • Spring admission: Nov. 1

  • Summer and Fellows admission: Feb.1

Learn More

Professions of our MPA graduates:

  • City or county managers

  • Foundation CEOs

  • Budget analysts

  • Data analyst specialists

  • White House Fellows

  • State Department diplomats

  • Elected and appointed officials

  • Law enforcement or military officers

U.S. News & World Report MPA Ranking Highlights

Best Public Affairs Program
Local Government Management
Public Finance & Budgeting

Accessibility and convenience for MPA students

  • Our program accommodates the needs of both full-time students who are looking to launch a career in public service as well as those who already have a career and are looking to accelerate it by pursuing an MPA degree part-time.
  • We offer MPA classes at the Lawrence and KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, Kansas. Some of our courses are available online.
  • Students specifically interested in city and county management are encouraged to apply to our #1 ranked City Management Fellowship program.

Learn more about this program

Get more info on admission, deadlines, tuition and financial aid, career paths, curriculum, and more when you fill out the form below. We’ll be in touch to answer any questions and help you get started.

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Questions about MPA?

Program and admission information
Cari Ann Kreienhop, Graduate Programming and Career Service Manager