Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) program are considered for admission on the basis of undergraduate cumulative grade point average, resume, personal statement, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.  However, the requirement to complete the GRE is waived for some applicants.  For current admission requirements visit

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Lead and manage in public governance
  • Participate in and contribute to the public policy process
  • Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions
  • Articulate and apply a public service perspective
  • Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry
  • Lead in entrepreneurial and innovative ways
  • Lead and manage in the nonprofit sector
  • Lead and manage in the health sector
  • Lead and manage in the urban sector

Program Goals

The Master of Public Administration program prepares entrepreneurial and innovative public service leaders and executives to be effective and successful in an increasingly complex and dynamic world. Public service offers a career filled with excitement, challenge and significance. Career opportunities are numerous, ranging from employment in local, state, national and international governmental and quasi-governmental agencies to employment in health care and nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. Never has there been a time of greater opportunity for public service leaders and executives who can apply their knowledge and skills to the most important of leadership and management challenges confronting their organizations and communities. The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree and related certificate programs in Nonprofit Management and Innovation and Urban Policy and Administration are offered through the Department of Public Affairs.

Graduates of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management M.P.A. program have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively and ethically lead and manage dynamic public service organizations. Specifically, M.P.A. graduates are prepared to:

  • Engage in sophisticated decision making, grounded in disciplined analytical and critical thought, to effectively address the long term needs and interests of communities, organizations and their stakeholders.
  • Understand the process as well as content dimensions of problem analysis and resolution and make effective use of state-of-the-art administrative and management practices and methods, including the effective use of technology.
  • Communicate effectively, verbally and in writing.
  • Exhibit competence in understanding and addressing the ethical dimensions of public service leadership and management.
  • Understand the wide variation that exists in the principles, cultures, and practices of organizations and communities from different parts of the world, and the implications of this variation for effective public service leadership.
  • Understand the value of diversity and inclusion and exhibit competence in ethical, effective, culturally competent leadership and management.
  • Demonstrate self-confidence and capacity to deal with dynamic, complex, and ambiguous community problems and issues.
  • Have the capacity to work effectively in collaboration with others through teams, alliances, and networks to achieve results.

Program Requirements

The M.P.A. degree will be awarded on successful completion of 39-42 semester hours, consisting of 24 hours of required core courses, 12 hours in a selected emphasis area (general program option available) and 3-6 hours of elective (depending on need for internship as detailed below).

An M.P.A. program of study must include 42 credit hours with a minimum of 36 hours of that course work completed at UMKC.  Degree candidates exempt from the internship requirement will have a 39 hour program of study where a minimum of 33 hours must be completed at UMKC. Transfer credit will be considered in accordance with the guidelines in the Master’s Degrees Academic Regulations section of the catalog. 

Emphasis Areas

Students seeking the master of public administration degree may choose to specialize in three emphasis areas (12 hours required):

  • Health Services Administration
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Urban Policy and Administration

A student may also tailor a general or specific program in order to meet individual talents, needs or job requirements. Such a program must be developed in consultation with and approved by a faculty adviser. Each course is worth three credits unless otherwise noted.


The following courses are required for each student pursuing the nonprofit management and urban administration emphasis areas:

PUB-ADM 5510Research Methods In Public Administration3
PUB-ADM 5525Financial Accountability And Policy Development3
PUB-ADM 5526The Politics Of Administration3
PUB-ADM 5528Supervision, Performance Leadership, & Human Resource Management3
PUB-ADM 5530Capstone Seminar In Public Administration3
PUB-ADM 5541Public Policy Development and Analysis3
PUB-ADM 5544Program Evaluation3
PUB-ADM 5548Leadership For Public Service3
Total Credits24

Nonprofit Management Emphasis

Select 12 hours from the following:12
Non-Profit Leadership Issues (1 hour)
Strategic Management In Nonprofit Organizations 1
Community Organizations And Public Policy
Legal Framework & Financial Management Of Nonprofit Organizations 1
Seminar on Social Entrepreneurship
Topics In Nonprofit Fundraising (1-2 hours each)
Innovation In Nonprofit Management And Leadership 1
Voluntarism, Philanthropy, and the Nonprofit Sector
Developing and Managing the Nonprofit Social Enterprise
Seminar In Public Affairs
Supervised Research: Nonprofit Management (1-3 hours)
Financial Management Issues of Health and Human Services Organizations
Total Credits12

Urban Policy and Administration Emphasis

PUB-ADM 5535Urban Policy And Administration3
PUB-ADM 5539Urban Planning for Public Administrators3
Select six hours from the following:6
Managing Urban Economic Development
Metropolitan Governance
Community Organizations And Public Policy
Seminar on Social Entrepreneurship
Topics In Urban Administration
Seminar In Urban Administration
Supervised Research: Urban Administration (1-3 hours)
Total Credits12

Students selecting the health services administration emphasis have the following core requirements:

PUB-ADM 5510Research Methods In Public Administration3
PUB-ADM 5526The Politics Of Administration3
PUB-ADM 5528Supervision, Performance Leadership, & Human Resource Management3
PUB-ADM 5548Leadership For Public Service3
HLTH-ADM 5580The Economics of Health and Medicine3
or PUB-ADM 5541 Public Policy Development and Analysis
HLTH-ADM 5571Financial Management Issues of Health and Human Services Organizations3
or PUB-ADM 5525 Financial Accountability And Policy Development
HLTH-ADM 5578Data Analysis for Health Care Managers3
or PUB-ADM 5544 Program Evaluation
PUB-ADM 5530Capstone Seminar In Public Administration3
Total Credits24

Note: Students should ensure that prerequisites are taken in the proper sequence.

Health Services Administration Emphasis

HLTH-ADM 5571Financial Management Issues of Health and Human Services Organizations 13
or HLTH-ADM 5580 The Economics of Health and Medicine
HLTH-ADM 5581Health Policy in the United States (Electives)3
Choose six hours from the following:6
Quality and Safety in Healthcare (Electives)
Health and Social Equity
Leadership and Management in Health Care Organizations
Data Analysis for Health Care Managers 1
Independent Study
Special Topics
The Economics of Health and Medicine 1
Financial Management Issues of Health and Human Services Organizations
Total Credits12

Electives (3-6 hours)

Elective courses may be selected from public administration, including courses in the student's chosen emphasis area. Courses may also be selected from political science, economics, psychology, sociology, management as well as from other graduate fields with approval of the faculty adviser. The Internship course (PUB-ADM 5595) is included in this category for M.P.A. students who are required to complete an internship as part of their degree program. Only students waived from internship requirement will have 3 hours of elective; all others will have 6 hours.

Internship Requirement

An internship is required for any M.P.A. student who does not have prior work experience in public, nonprofit or health administration. Students with relevant work experience can be waived from the internship requirement which would result in a 39 hour degree program consisting of 24 hours of core courses, 12 hours in an emphasis and 3 hours of elective.

Course Replacement for Completion of Related Undergraduate or Graduate Work

Individual courses may be waived if a student presents evidence of significant relevant undergraduate or graduate study, but other graduate courses must be substituted or transferred (with approval of faculty advisor and within allowable limits) to meet the minimum of 42 credit hours.  

Note: Students who repeat courses may not count the repeated course toward their degree.  Please ensure that prerequisites are taken in the proper sequence.

M.P.A. Workshop Series (noncredit)

The M.P.A. Workshop Series includes short workshops, programs, and noncredit seminars that are designed to enrich the breadth and depth of M.P.A. students’ learning experiences and career success.  These events address a wide array of topics, ranging from guest lectures on significant civic and public service issues, presented by prominent civic and community leaders, to programs, workshops and development programs in areas such as career planning and professional development, trends and applications associated with emerging technologies and software applications, and trends in professional practice. 

All students in the M.P.A. program are required to participate in a minimum of 4 separate Workshop Series events, for a total of at least 10 clock hours, during the course of their degree program. Students may attend as many events as they would like, and many Workshop Series events are open to alumni and the general public.

Examples of Workshop Series programs include:

  • Excellence in Professional Writing
  • Applications of GIS Technologies in Public Service Decision Making
  • Career Development and Job Search Strategies
  • Strategies for Navigating Politics in the Civic Environment

Students may also earn credit toward the 4 M.P.A .Workshop Series requirement through leadership involvement in community public service activities, if approved in advance by their M.P.A. degree program adviser. 

The B.A. (Urban Affairs)/M.P.A. Program

Students obtaining a B.A. in Urban Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences may pursue early admission to the master's degree program in public administration and obtain a master's degree in three to four additional semesters. The program allows students to utilize some of the M.P.A. courses to satisfy urban affairs requirements, thereby reducing the number of courses needed to complete both degrees. Contact the Bloch School Student Services Office for more information on this program option.

The B.B.A./M.P.A. Program

Students completing the bachelor of business administration may complete their M.P.A. degree in three to four additional semesters at UMKC if they meet entrance requirements for the public administration graduate program. For more information about this option, contact the Bloch School Student Services Office.

Combined J.D./M.P.A. Program

The Bloch School and the UMKC School of Law offer a combined J.D. and M.P.A. program. Students must satisfy the admission and degree requirements for each school and program. Students fully admitted to the School of Law are exempt from the GRE requirement for admission to the M.P.A. program. For further information, contact the School of Law or consult the Bloch School Web site at