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PhD in Public Administration

Admission to the PhD program is based on the applicant's undergraduate and/or graduate academic record, standardized test scores, and references from instructors. All applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree. A completed MPA or equivalent degree is a preferred admissions requirement, although students without the MPA or equivalent may be admitted. Students without an MPA or equivalent degree are required to complete University of Kansas core MPA requirements as part of their doctoral studies.

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. A nonrefundable $65 application fee is required.
APPLICATION DEADLINE The deadline for doctoral applications is January 5.
Bachelor's Degree A GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Prefer a background in social sciences, with courses in college algebra and statistics recommended. A GPA below 3.0 can be considered if academic deficiencies are addressed in the personal statement.
Official transcript

Transcripts must be sent from the applicant's undergraduate institution and any post-graduate institutions attended directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions at graduateadm@ku.edu or Graduate Admissions, University of Kansas, KU Visitor Center, 1502 Iowa St., Lawrence, KS 66045.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree or post-graduate credit from KU do not need to submit transcripts. These records will be verified by the KU Registrar’s Office directly to Graduate Admissions.

For degrees earned from institutions outside the U.S., additional documents may be required to fulfill both the application and the enrollment requirements Please see this website (http://graduate.ku.edu/transcripts) for complete information.

Current Resume A copy of your current resume, listing your employment history.
Personal Statement A two-page (double spaced) statement of goals and research interests, including evidence of research aptitude and interest.
Writing Sample

A writing sample that reflects the applicant's interest in and ability to conduct research. It should be sole-authored by the applicant.

Three letters of recommendation

Three letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty members who can comment upon the applicant’s potential as a doctoral student.

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

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Required for all applicants. General test only (verbal, analytical and quantitative). GMAT or LSAT may substitute for the GRE. Our institution code is 6871, and the department code is 4801.


International applicants should submit TOEFL or IELTS scores indicating minimum English proficiency scores. The only exception is if the applicant can verify graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education, or from such an institution whose medium of instruction is English. This does not apply to degrees earned online.

Experiencing problems with the online application system? Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at gradadmin@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