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Law and society is an interdisciplinary field that examines how law works in practice in public administration, courts, the non-profit sector, policy, policing, and the justice system. A degree in law and society provides a strong background in how law works in practice. Students learn about legal history and legal policy, how law shapes managerial processes, how it shapes government and the system of justice, and how it affects ordinary people in every walk of life.

Courses to complete the major are offered at the Edwards Campus in Overland Park.

Degrees offered:

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.

Degrees offered:

Master of Urban Planning

The Master of Urban Planning (M.U.P.) is a graduate professional degree that prepares students for careers in urban planning. It is the normal academic qualification for various planning and planning-related positions. The M.U.P. degree is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. The program places strong emphasis on policy planning and analysis in the context of urban or urbanizing environments. The program is geared toward meeting the need for planning policy on urban issues at any level of government — federal, state, regional, and local — or outside the governmental arena.

Three major areas of knowledge are necessary for competence in policy planning:

  1. History and theory, which provide the conceptual framework of social, economic, and political environments within which public policy is formed;
  2. Quantitative methods, which provide the skills necessary to define and analyze problems through data manipulation; and
  3. Specialty areas, which provide focused information and skills in Housing and Development, Sustainable Land Use Planning, and Transportation.

Note: the following links will take you to the Urban Planning Program website.

Degrees offered:

MPA student in class

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 two options:

1.    The Intern option 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-option students begin the program in the summer semester and complete the majority of their coursework over three semesters (summer, fall, spring).

2.    The Career option 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-option students attend part-time. Career-option students may begin in any semester.

For more information about the two options, click on a link below.

Professor and PhD student

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.

KU's public administration 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.

Degrees offered:

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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