The School of Public Affairs & Administration is home to the Edwin O. Stene Graduate Program in Public Administration and offers a Master of Public Administration degree. The Edwin O. Stene Master's program is one of the oldest and most respected programs in the United States, with our local government leadership program dating to 1948. Since 1998, 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 in local government. The MPA degree may be obtained through course work in Lawrence, Topeka (as enrollment allows), and the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park.
The KU MPA offers 2 tracks:
- The MPA track is designed for 1) working professionals seeking to strengthen their leadership skills for careers in public service professions or advance in their current profession without a career interruption and 2) full-time students who wish to complete the curriculum and specialize in other sectors of public service. MPA track students may attend part-time or full-time. MPA track students may begin in the summer, fall or spring semester.
- The City/County Management Fellows track is designed for students who are willing to commit to one year of full-time study and a second year in a full-time internship to prepare themselves for careers primarily in city, or county, management. The Fellows program requires additional application materials. City/County Management Fellows begin the program in the summer semester and completed the majority of thieir coursework over three semesters (summer, fall, spring).
M.P.A. Degree Requirements
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is awarded after successful completion of 43 credit hours of course work. This includes 19 hours (6 courses) of required core courses (including the student's choice of an experiential learning course to serve as a final reflective course) that all students complete, and 18 hours (6 courses) tailored to the student's interests and/or track (fellow or MPA track) that includes completion of course requirements within one School of Public Affairs and Administration graduate certificate. In addition, all students must pass a written master's examination (final paper) to complete the requirements for the MPA degree. Once a student begins the program, all degree requirements must be completed within 7 years.
The MPA core coursework includes the following courses (16 credit hours):
Experiential Learning options may include (3 hours):
A Ph.D.-level course
A study abroad opportunity
A School of Public Affairs & Administration graduate certificate (12 hours):
- City and County Management
- Law & Society
- Performance Management
- Public/Nonprofit Management
- Public Policy
- Urban Planning
Elective Credits (6 hours):
Students take 2 additional electives (6 hours) to complete the program. Electives may be concentrated into specialized areas, allowing the student to earn a second SPAA graduate certificate, a graduate certificate outside the program (with approval), or broaden their understanding in other disciplines adjacent to public administration.