About Us

The School of Public Affairs and Administration offers both academic and workplace-based professional development education to strengthen the provision of public services in society.

  • We are #1: Ranked best graduate school in the nation in City Management and Urban Policy. (2016 US News and World Report Best Graduate Schools).
  • We are among the top six graduate schools in the nation in Public Management Administration (2016 US News and World Report Best Graduate Schools).
  • We educate managers. The KU MPA program provides top-notch education to those who seek to manage at the local, city, county, state, national or international levels, or in the nonprofit sector.
  • We provide award-winning signature professional development programs: Kansas Certified Public Manager Program, Emerging Leaders Academy, Law Enforcement Leadership Academy, Supervisory Leadership Training, along with custom courses and annual training events, including the Inspiring Women in Public Administration Conference, National Forum for Black Public Administrators' Executive Leadership Institute and the Kansas City/County Management Conference.
  • We keep our eye on the trends and are continuously developing new degree and certificate programs, courses and opportunities that will prepare a wider range of students to pursue public and nonprofit sector leadership and address contemporary problems.

Pictured (at right): H. George Frederickson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Rosemary O'Leary, Distinguished Professor. Photo by Nick Krug of the Lawrence Journal World.

Earning your Master of Public Administration in the School of Public Affairs and Administration

Our Mission

The mission of the School of Public Affairs & Administration of the University of Kansas is to educate exceptional public professionals and generate thought leadership that provides solutions to the most pressing global and community challenges by advancing the public good, democratic values, and ethical public management practices. Toward those goals, the faculty and staff are dedicated to:

  • superb graduate, undergraduate and professional programs;
  • cutting-edge research;
  • leadership in both the academic and practicing communities of public administration;
  • collaboration with intellectual partners within and outside of the university;
  • international outreach and programs; and
  • value-added consultation, professional development and continuing education.

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Ranked in the top 10 master of public affairs programs in the nation
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 in the nation for city management and urban policy

— U.S. News & World Report


#5 in the nation for public management

— U.S. News & World Report
Three faculty have won W.T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence
Rosemary O’Leary is KU’s Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor of Public Administration
Four MPA graduates have been elected president of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
Founder of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART)
Four faculty are National Academy of Public Administration Fellows
Bob Kipp, vice president of Hallmark Cards, was a 2012 recipient of the CLAS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of health and human services, was a 2009 recipient of the CLAS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
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