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MPA Intern Option: Preparing Managers in Local Government

The Master of Public Administration intern option is a two-year program designed for those who have little or no public administration experience and who are willing to commit one year of full-time study and a second year in a full-time internship to prepare themselves for careers in local government management, non-profit management and a variety of leadership positions in the public service organizations at the city, county, state, or federal level.

The First Year: Complete your core coursework

The program begins with the summer semester. Students complete their first full year on campus (summer, fall and spring semesters). During this time they complete the core coursework and usually participate in a part-time internship. MPA program academic advisors provide substantial guidance and support for students to find internships suited for their career goals.

The Second Year: Our full-time internship plan sets us apart

Our full-time internship plan remains a distinctive feature of the KU experience. During the second year (the internship year), each student obtains a full-time, paid internship which may lead to a permanent job. Once again, MPA program academic advisors provide support for students to find internships suited for their career goals. This has resulted in a 100% placement rate over the past five years with students placed around the nation.

Also during the second year, students meet three times with faculty for week-long professional development seminars designed to help link theory and practice. During these seminars, students review, compare, interpret, and scrutinize their own work experiences while alumni and other practicing administrators assist them in the transition from academic life to professional career. The first professional development seminar is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in the fall. The second professional development seminar is a week-long program held on the Lawrence campus in January. The third is in April, again in Lawrence, in conjunction with the annual Kansas City/County Management Conference.

Admission is competitive and is limited to 12-15 students per year. Find out more specific admission requirements for the intern-option.

OUR PERSPECTIVE: Intern-Option Graduates

The video below was created by the MPA Intern Class of 2012. Learn more about the class and their experiences in the program.

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

M.P.A. Intern-Option
Summer semester: February 1

M.P.A. as International Student
Fall semester: February 1

M.P.A. Career-Option
Fall semester (early decision): May 1
Fall semester: June 15
Spring semester: November 1

Fall semester: January 25

SPAA Events & Deadlines
PMC Events, Classes & Deadlines
Ranked in the top 10 master of public affairs programs in the nation
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 in the nation for city management and urban policy

— U.S. News & World Report

#5 in the nation for public management

— U.S. News & World Report
Three faculty have won W.T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence
Rosemary O’Leary is KU’s Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor of Public Administration
Four MPA graduates have been elected president of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
Founder of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART)
Four faculty are National Academy of Public Administration Fellows
Bob Kipp, vice president of Hallmark Cards, was a 2012 recipient of the CLAS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of health and human services, was a 2009 recipient of the CLAS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
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