The undergraduate major in public administration offers students the necessary knowledge and skills for planning, implementing, and evaluating public programs. Our graduates work in such settings as local and state government, nonprofit organizations, and private sector businesses. Students learn to think critically and analytically about public policy and will also acquire skills that make them more effective citizens in their own communities.
Introductory classes in public administration are offered in Lawrence and at the Edwards Campus in Overland Park. Courses to complete the major and minor are offered at the Edwards Campus.
The School of Public Affairs and 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 founded in 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 city management and urban policy.
The MPA degree may be obtained through course work in Lawrence, Topeka, and the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, Kansas.
The KU MPA offers 2 tracks:
1. The Intern track is designed for students who have little or no public administration experience and 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 in city or county management. Intern track students begin the program in the summer semester, and complete the majority of their coursework over three semesters (summer, fall, spring).
2. The Career track is designed for working professionals seeking to strengthen their leadership skills for careers in public service professions or advance in their current profession without a career interruption. Most career-track students attend part-time. Career-track students may begin in any semester.
For more information about the two tracks, click on a link below.
The mission of the doctoral program in the KU School of Public Affairs and Administration is to provide advanced graduate education in theory and research in order to prepare students for academic and research careers in public administration, as well as professional careers in advanced practice of public administration.
Objectives of the PhD program:
KU SPAA doctoral students are expected to:
- Assist in research being conducted by a public administration faculty member;
- Serve as teaching assistants to gain experience and contribute to the production function of the School;
- Co-author a refereed article with a faculty member;
- Present a scholarly paper at a national conference.
For additional doctoral program data, view doctoral program profiles on the Graduate Studies website (click on Public Affairs and Administration under College of Liberal Arts and Sciences).