Kansas University MPA Program

The first MPA program at Kansas University was launched in 1948 with support from the Carnegie Foundation. This program was the foundation for the Department of Public Administration, which was formed in 1984. Today, the Kansas University School of Public Affairs & Administration serves MPA students on the main campus in Lawrence as well as in Topeka and Edwards, Missouri. In recent decades, the focus of the Kansas University MPA program has been city management. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Kansas University first in the nation for City Management and Urban Policy since 1998. Graduates of the Kansas University MPA program have become city managers in municipal governments across the nation as well as have served in an array of public leadership positions. The KU MPA program is also ranked ninth overall among public affairs graduate schools.


Top-Ranked MPA Designed to Prepare Tomorrow’s Public Service Leaders.
Multidisciplinary Curriculum with Real-World Experience; GRE Waivers Available.

Delivered by Syracuse University’s #1-Ranked Maxwell School.
Action-Oriented Curriculum Completed in as Little as 15 Months; No GRE.

MPA Online from USC Price
Earn your MPA online from USC Price, ranked #3 for public affairs.
The program can be completed in as few as 24 months. A bachelor’s degree is required to apply.


Kansas University MPA Curriculum

The KU MPA program emphasizes the development of abilities that are required for ethical and effective management of government agencies and non-profit organizations. The program curriculum consists of nine core courses, three elective courses and a practicum. The practicum exposes students to the day-to-day experience of working in public-sector management through speakers, workshops and guided exercises. The MPA program includes two options: intern and career. The intern option is intended for students whose background in public administration is limited. It includes one year of full-time study and a second year of full-time interning. The career option is designed for working professionals who are employed in the public sector and who want to complete an MPA degree on a part-time basis.

Kansas University MPA Specializations

The Kansas University master’s program is structured around two tracks that represent different areas of MPA specialization. The core courses for each track are the same. City and County Leadership – Provides public-sector leadership education with an emphasis on local government and community building. The intern option prepares future city and county managers. The career option is mainly pursued by students who would like to move into management positions in other public service departments such as fire, police and public works. Public Service Leadership – Provides general management and leadership education for positions in public service organizations that are outside local government. The program is intended for students who are already working in the public sector, although applicants with strong academic background who lack experience will also be considered. In addition to completing all course requirements, KU students are required to pass a written master’s examination.

Kansas University MPA Tuition

Total tuition and fees per credit hour vary depending on which campus a student attends and whether the student is a state resident. See the Kansas University MPA Costs and Funding web page for more information about different tuition rates.

Kansas University MPA Admissions

Applications for the Kansas University MPA program must be completed at the KU Graduate Studies website. Details about application requirements are available at KU MPA Admissions, where information about what the Admission Committee looks for in students is also provided.