Master of Public Administration

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Lead and manage in the public interest
  • Participate in, and contribute to, the public policy process
  • Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make evidence-informed decisions in a complex and dynamic environment
  • Articulate, apply, and advance a public service perspective
  • Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large
  • Lead in entrepreneurial and innovative ways

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, and personal statement. For current admission requirements visit

Program Educational 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, Urban Policy and Management, and Health Leadership 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 36 semester hours, consisting of 21 hours of required core courses, 12 hours of electives and 3 hours of professional competency. A minimum of 30 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. 

Degree candidates must complete an academic portfolio meeting the criteria enumerated by the program.


Core Courses
PUB-ADM 5510Research Methods in Public Administration3
PUB-ADM 5525Financial Accountability and Policy Development3
PUB-ADM 5526Foundations of Public Service3
PUB-ADM 5528Supervision, Performance Leadership, & Human Resource Management3
or MGT 5512 Leading and Managing People, Teams and Organizations
PUB-ADM 5541Public Policy Development and Analysis3
PUB-ADM 5544Program Evaluation3
PUB-ADM 5548Leadership, Change and Social Impact3
Professional Competency3
Total Credits36

A Healthcare Management track is available to students with interest in the healthcare industry. To follow this track, students must earn the 12 credit hour Graduate Certificate in Health Leadership, and take at least two more health administration courses (six hours). Listed below are substitutions that can be made within the MPA core classes to meet this requirement:

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

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


Students may use their electives to explore areas of interest or complete the requirements for a Bloch School graduate certificate program. Certificate options through the Department of Public Affairs include Nonprofit Management and Innovation, Urban Policy and Management, and Health Leadership.

Professional Competency Requirement

Students must complete one of the following experiential learning opportunities to meet the professional competency requirement in the M.P.A. program:

  1. Complete PUB-ADM 5596, Consulting for Nonprofit and Public Organizations
  2. Complete an approved study abroad program.
  3. Complete an internship for credit.

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 hours requirement.

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.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 Graduate Programs 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