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The School of Public Affairs and Administration offers the MPA on the Lawrence main campus, at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, and in Topeka, Kansas. The MPA gives students the knowledge necessary to understand how government programs are initiated and carried out. It emphasizes leadership, exploration of diverse problems in a diverse world, how public policy is made and implemented, and how programs are created and services are delivered.

Featured Resources & Career Ideas

Local/State Government: Typically involves working with various departments of state government and can include counties, townships, and school districts.

Federal Government: Typically involves working within various federal departments and agencies.

Non-Profit: Typically involves working with local and national non-profit agencies/foundations and can include charitable organizations, research organizations, and educational institutions.

Private Sector: Can involve working in consulting firms, association management firms and other businesses in a variety of areas including personnel management, budget analysis, and public relations.

International Relations: Involves working with US government agencies and international non-profit organizations to inform and enhance relations between countries through foreign diplomacy, intelligence, policy, and law.

Explore More Opportunities
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Consulting Firms
  • Educational Organizations
  • Federal Government Agencies, including: Departments of Commerce, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Justice, General Services Administration. Office of Personnel Management, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • International Relief Agencies
  • Local Government Departments, including: city management offices, financial administration, budget offices, social services, urban planning
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Political Parties
  • Public Interest Groups
  • Research Institutes and Foundations
  • State Government Departments, including: legislative agencies, state supreme courts, state representatives/legislators
  • Think Tanks
  • Trade and Professional Organizations
  • Administrative Officer
  • Auditor
  • Budget/Fiscal Analyst
  • City/County Manager
  • City Housing Manager
  • College Administrator
  • Community Development Director
  • Community Relations Specialist
  • Comptroller
  • Contract Negotiator/Compliance Officer
  • Diplomat
  • Employee Development Director
  • Environmental Planner
  • Financial Examiner
  • Fiscal Analyst
  • Foreign Affairs Specialist
  • Grants Specialist
  • Human Resource Manager
  • International Relations Specialist
  • Labor Management Specialist
  • Legislative Aide
  • Lobbyist
  • Mayor/Politician
  • Non-Profit Agency Director
  • Ombudsman
  • Personnel Management Specialist
  • Policy Analyst
  • Political Consultant
  • Public Affairs Specialist
  • Public Health Administrator
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Public Utilities Manager
  • Transportation Commissioner
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  1. Identify specific areas of interest within public administration, such as federal/state/local government, politics, non-profit, international relations, etc. so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
  2. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest in public administration, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
  3. Become familiar with the required professional qualifications associated with the career that interests you (i.e., advanced degrees, licensure, and/or certifications).
  4. Take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
  5. Maintain a strong GPA.
  6. Consider getting involved with a group related to your area of interest such as MPA alumni in your area.

Links to Job & Internship Listings


Employment Statistics

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

Note: these are the statistics for all MPA graduates; it is not divided between MPA City Management Fellows and MPA graduates.

Graduation Rate

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; and 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.

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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