Master of Public Administration

Public Management

The MPA degree with a concentration in public management prepares students for careers in public organizations, including local, state and federal agencies, and government contracting organizations. The concentration prepares students to analyze contemporary public management challenges from multiple perspectives and through the lens of public service values.  Students are also exposed to the theoretical and practical framework needed to lead and manage public organization.

Topics include the management philosophy of public organizations, management strategy, organizational behavior, citizen participation, the relationship between politics and administration, program evaluation, public policy, administrative leadership, personnel, budgeting, and administrative law. 

Recent graduates have secured positions as city managers/administrators and in law enforcement.  Others continue to serve in the military or are pursuing doctorates in the field. Additional information regarding employment and salary trends in the fields of public affairs, public administration, and public policy can be found at the following Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration website:

The area coordinator is Dr. Terry Ward. His Ph.D. is from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His professional experience includes nearly two decades with H&R Block, several years as President of the H&R Block Foundation. He can be contacted at .

The civic leader is Anne Swafford, who served with the City of Kansas City, Missouri most of her career. She is also past-president of the American Society of Public Administration (national).  She can be contacted at



MPA CURRICULUM (2013-2014 Catalog) Hours
Core Courses 18 cr.
PA 501* Public Affairs Concepts and Theory (16 weeks) 3 cr.
PA 502* Public Affairs Methodology (16 weeks) 3 cr.
PA 508 Research and Analysis 3 cr.
PA 509 Leadership Development and Organizations 3 cr.
PA 600 Ethical Foundations of Authority and Responsibility 3 cr.
PA 602* Seminar in Public Affairs (16 weeks) 3 cr.
Theory Courses 9 cr.
PA 511 Public Management 3 cr.
PA 512 The Environment of Public Organizations 3 cr.
PA 513 Policy Development, Evaluation and Impact for Organizations (16 weeks) 3 cr.
Theory/Practice Integration Courses (select three) 6 cr.
PA 562 Administrative Leadership 3 cr.
PA 563 Personnel Systems of Public Organizations 3 cr.
PA 564 Budgeting and Finances of Public Organizations 3 cr.
PA 566 Administrative Law and Public Organizations 3 cr.
TOTAL 36 cr.

*16 week courses

Students are encouraged to take PA 501 and PA 508 before enrolling in other courses. PA 501 and PA 508 provide a foundation for understanding the field of public affairs and academic skills needed in MPA coursework.