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Admission Timelines and Admission Statuses:

The MPA Admissions Committee will assess applications immediately after the application deadline and will convene to make admission recommendations 2-3 weeks after the admission deadline.  Applicants will be notified of their admission recommendation status no later than 4 weeks after the application deadline. 

Regular Admission

Students with an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a clear indication of how they meet the following criteria are recommended for admission to the MPA degree program.

The main criteria considered are:

  • A commitment to public service;
  • 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. Here, professional work is defined as having responsibility for service or program management, policy creation or implementation, or providing leadership for a section or unit.
  • Bringing diverse experiences or perspectives to the classroom.

Provisional Admission

Applicants who meet all University admission standards but have one or more deficiencies in the admission requirements above, as determined by the program, may be admitted on a provisional basis.

If an applicant is admitted provisionally, the student's department will review the student's progress immediately following each semester of graduate study until the student has completed 9 credit hours of graduate level course work. These reviews will determine whether the student has met the requirements for regular admission. Upon passing the review at the completion of 9 credit hours, the provisionally admitted student’s admission status will be updated to ‘regular’ admission.  

Deny Admission

Applicants who do not adequately represent themselves as meeting the main criteria of admission, or have a holistic record that indicates the potential for success in graduate level course work will be denied admission to the degree-seeking program.  Most students denied admission are invited to apply to attend courses as a non-degree seeking student in order to strengthen their academic profile and/or clarify their goals for the degree.   

The following materials are required of all applicants to the MPA program. Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review.  Application materials for the City Management Fellowship are in addition to those described below. 

Required Items Explanation and description
Online application When you are ready, you may APPLY ONLINE. Please be prepared to upload the following documents: unofficial transcript, resume, personal statement and writing sample. You will also include the names and email addresses for your recommenders. An application fee is required.

The application deadlines are: February 1*, May 1, and November 1.
*Applications for the City Management Fellowship must be submitted for the February 1 deadline.

Bachelor's Degree Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may be considered for provisional admission if academic deficiencies are addressed in the personal statement.
Official transcript

Transcripts must be sent from applicant's undergraduate institution and any post-graduate institutions attended directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions at processing@ku.edu 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. 

Three Letters of Recommendation

Recommendation letters should be from persons who can address the applicant’s ability to do graduate work and the admissions criteria. At least one recommendation should be an academic reference.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants will submit names and email addresses of references as part of their online application. References will then receive an email with instructions for submitting their letters of recommendation electronically.

Current Resume A copy of your current resume and employment history.
Personal Statement A 3-5 page reflective essay describing your background and career goals. Clearly indicate how the MPA degree fits those goals. Please address any academic deficiencies in your statement.
City Management Fellowship essay (if applicable) An essay, of 1000 words or less, describing your interpretation of what the Athenian Oath means today. More information is available here.
Writing Sample 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.

English Proficiency Requirements

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

Advisor Contact

MPA Program Manager & Advisor
Cari Ann Kreienhop

Experiencing problems with the online application system? Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at graduateadm@ku.edu or 785-864-3140. 

Application Deadlines

Deadlines follow University guidelines

M.U.P (Master of Urban Planning)
Fall semester: July 1
Spring semester: December 1

M.U.P as International Student
Fall semester: June 1
Spring semester: November 1

City Management Fellowship Applications:  February 1
Summer semester:  February 1
Fall semester:  May 1
Spring semester:  November 1
Fall semester: January 5
Course Schedules

What classes are being offered?

Look up any KU class in the timetable of classes, or view the schedules of classes specifically for the School's programs below.

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