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Department of Political Science

Master's Degree in Public Administration and Beijing Information Science and Technology University Partnership

BISTU logoThe Department of Political Science has entered into an innovative partnership with the Beijing Information Science & Technology University (BISTU).  BISTU is a prominent public university in northern Beijing with a well-established undergraduate public administration program.  Our collaboration with BISTU is called a 3+1+2 program, and it is the first arrangement of its type between Kansas State University and a Chinese university. 

This partnership allows students to complete their Master's degree in Public Administration in less time. After spending three undergraduate years at BISTU, students will apply for undergraduate admission to K-State.  If accepted, they will attend K-State for their fourth undergraduate year and complete their bachelor's degree from BISTU. Students will then be eligible to apply for K-State's MPA program with the possibility of applying nine course credits taken in their final undergraduate year towards the MPA degree.  With only two additional years at K-State and 31 more credit hours, students will earn a Master's in Public Administration.3-2-1


Master of Public Administration

K-State's Master of Public Administration, or MPA, is a nationally accredited professional program designed to train students for careers in government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, public interest groups, charitable organizations and more, both in the United States and internationally.

Most courses are conducted in a seminar-style format, designed to encourage discussion and intellectual growth. You'll learn how to express big ideas in front of your peers and faculty while sharpening your analytical skills. BISTU students transfer to K-State as undergraduates and gain familiarity with the university and valuable preparation for graduate school in the U.S. In the last 20 years, more than 90 percent of our graduates have found reward careers in public administration.

Program Requirements
  • 24 credit hours of core coursework
  • 9 credit hours of electives
  • 6 credit hours in your area of emphasis.
  • 1 credit hour for an internship



Eligible applicants must have a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale in collegiate-level coursework.  Please submit the following application materials to K-State's Office of International Programs:

  • Completed online application form
  • University transcripts
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • Completed financial affidavit and bank statement
  • Copy of your passport


Financial Assistance

A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available for MPA graduate students.  These positions typically include a stipend, tuition, subsidized health care, and office space.  Interested students should apply for departmental graduate financial assistance while applying for admission to the MPA program.  Campus employment may also be available.


Our Faculty

K-State's political science faculty take great pride in providing individual attention to our students, and ejnoys a reputation for training highly skilled public servants.  The department is home to 17 faculty members, five of whom compromise the MPA program's core faculty.

Ethan Bernick: PhD from Florida State University, specializes in organization theory and policy analysis.

Nathaniel Birkhead: PhD from Indiana University, emphasis in state legislatures and research methods.

Brianne Heidbreder: PhD from the University of Wisconsin, specializes in public personnel administration and research methods.

Angela Y.S. Park: PhD from the University of Kansas, specializes in public management, public policy, and organization theory.

Zhiwei Zhang: PhD from the University of Kentucky, specializes in public budgeting, public finance, and nonprofit financial management.


Want to learn more?

Contact: Brianne Heidbreder or Zhiwei Zhang