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Master of Public Administration

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Master of Public Administration Degree

The School of Public Affairs and Administration houses the Edwin O. Stene Graduate Program in Public Administration and offers a Master of Public Administration degree. The degree may be obtained through course work in Lawrence, the KU Public Management Center in Topeka, and the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park for the Kansas City area.The Edwin O. Stene Program is one of the oldest and most respected programs in the United States, with our local government leadership program dating to 1948. Our tradition of excellence in educating students at the masters’ level has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report with a #1 ranking among public affairs programs in city management and urban policy and a #7 ranking overall in public administration.

The KU M.P.A. offers 2 tracks.

  1. The City and County Leadership Program offers general management and leadership education with specific emphasis on local government and community building.
  2. The Public Service Leadership Program offers general management and leadership education preparing students for a variety of leadership positions in public service organizations. The core courses are the same in both tracks.

There are 2 options within the City and County Leadership Program, intern and career. The intern option is designed for those who have little or no public administration experience and who are willing to commit 1 year of full-time study and a second year in a full-time internship to prepare themselves for careers in city or county management. The intern-option program begins with the summer session at the beginning of June. The career-option is for students who already have work experience and who wish continue to work in their occupation and complete the degree by taking 1 or 2 classes a semester.

Career-option students in the City and County Leadership Program and students in the Public Service Leadership Program may begin in any semester.

M.P.A. Degree Requirements

The master’s degree is awarded after successful completion of 38 credit hours of course work. This includes

  • 28 hours (9 courses) of required core courses that all students complete;
  • 9 hours (3 courses) of electives tailored to the student's interests and/or track; and
  • 1 hour of practicum, for which students attend a series of practitioner seminars and workshops.

In addition, all students must pass a written master's examination (final paper) to complete the requirements for the M.P.A. degree. Once a student begins the program, all degree requirements must be completed within 7 years.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.