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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.


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 2013 – Spring 2014 Cohort

Program completion data are tracked five years after cohort entry into the program. Hence, the most recent entering cohort for which we have data is the cohort that entered in the fall 2013-spring 2014 academic year. Assuming three courses (nine credit hours) per semester and one course (three credit hours) per summer session, the prescribed length of our program for full time students is four semesters plus one summer session.

Ten students entered the program during this period. Eight were full-time students. Five of the eight full-time students in this cohort graduated in the prescribed length of time. Three students did not finish their degree.

The remaining two students were part-time students (took less than nine credit hours during fall and spring semesters). They each completed their program after approximately three years. For a part-time student, five years is our benchmark for degree completion.


MPA Graduate Employment Data
Fall 2013 – Summer 2018 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 five most recent cohorts about which we have final information.

 MPA Employment Table

For more information about the MPA degree, please contact:

Dr. Brianne Heidbreder

Graduate Program Director