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Department of Political Science

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Mission:  The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree at Kansas State University prepares both pre and in-service students to serve the public interest and establish themselves as civic leaders. The program emphasizes a theoretically informed and research driven skills based approach to learning designed to insure that our students develop specific competencies which prepare them for the challenges of work in the public and non-profit sectors immediately upon graduation.  Our faculty’s approach to education begins with a broad exposure to policy systems, political environments, administrative principals and research methods.  Additionally, our students are required to think critically, apply knowledge and seek practical solutions to real world problems. Our low faculty to student ratio contributes to a student-centered learning environment in which we are able to instill in our students the ethics of public service and professional management that are critical to the diverse and changing modern workplace.

 Dr. Jim Franke
Dr. Jim Franke
Director of Graduate Studies

The MPA degree program is a flexible professional degree designed for those who wish to hold administrative positions in a wide range of administrative environments in the public sector.  Graduates are trained for employment with government agencies at the federal, state, or local level, and with regional or sub-state organizations. Opportunities are also available for graduates of the program with nonprofit organizations, public interest groups or commissions, private corporations that work with government agencies, and international organizations. 

The MPA program serves both pre and in-service students.  Pre-service students without prior administrative experience have enjoyed great success in obtaining both valuable internships while pursuing their degree, and challenging employment upon graduation.  For in-service students the program has been valuable in their present administrative positions as well as in career advancement. 

It is especially attractive to in-service students by virtue of our online and evening offerings.  Through careful scheduling, all of our core courses and many of our elective courses may be completed in the evening or online.

In order to maintain a low faculty to student ratio, each entering cohort is limited to fifteen new students. This results in a total MPA student body of approximately 30 students.

The K-State MPA program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).


MPA Program Completion Data
Fall 2010 – Spring 2011 Cohort

Program completion data are tracked five years after graduation. Hence the most recent entering cohort for which we have complete data is the cohort which entered in the Fall 2010 – Spring 2011 academic year.

Eleven students entered the program. Nine of the eleven were full-time students. Five students graduated in the minimum length of time for full-time students to graduate which is five semesters. The fifth semester can be either in the summer or an additional fall or spring semester.

One of the original eleven students decided to complete studies with a PA Certificate. This is a five credit course program involving five of our core courses.

The remaining five, for one reason or another, decided not to complete the degree program. Two left after their first semester, and two others after their first year. This is an unusually high attrition rate. However, sometimes plans simply change, while other times students discover that the program is not necessary ideal for every student.

Regardless, 100% of this cohort who would go on to graduate did so within the minimum degree time of five semesters.


MPA Graduate Employment Data
Fall 2012 – Summer 2015 Graduates
Our graduates work in a variety of public sector, nonprofit and private sector situations. As you would expect, our international students tend to return to their homes and find public sector jobs. Our domestic graduates are placed in all manner of public and nonprofit positions at the national, state and local level. Additionally, some go on to private sector work or obtain further education.
Below are data reflecting the ways in which we normally report employment data for the three most recent cohorts about which we have final information.