1. K-State home
  2. »Arts and Sciences
  3. »Political Science
  4. »Programs
  5. »Master of Public Administration

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 Graduate Employment Data

2016 – 2021 Graduates

K-State MPA graduates hold leadership positions in a variety of public sector and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, some go on to private sector work or obtain further education.

Below are employment data for the five most recent cohorts of K-State MPA Graduates.

MPA 2016-2021

MPA Degree Completion Data

2016 – 2017 Cohort

MPA Degree Completion

Our program evaluates completion data five years after a cohort enters into the program. The most recent entering cohort for which we have data is the one that began in the 2016-2017 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 two years, including one summer session.

Ten students entered the program during this period. Eight were full-time students. Seven of the full-time students in this cohort graduated in the prescribed length of time. The other full-time student withdrew from the program.

The remaining two students were part-time students (took less than nine credit hours during fall and spring semesters). Both part-time students withdrew from the program before completion; however, one of these students did earn our Graduate Certificate in Public Administration. For a part-time student, five years is our benchmark for degree completion.


For more information about the MPA degree, please contact:

Dr. Brianne Heidbreder

Graduate Program Director