UMKC Catalog


Master of Public Administration

Graduates of the Master of Public Administration have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively and ethically lead and manage dynamic public service organizations. Specifically, the students will:
  • 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 dynamics, 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.

Public service offers a career filled with excitement, challenge, and significance. Opportunities are numerous, ranging from positions in local, state, national and international agencies to those in health institutions and nonprofit organizations. There has never been a greater opportunity for public service leaders and executives who can apply their knowledge and skills to solving the most important leadership and community challenges facing these organizations in an increasingly complex and changing world. The master of public administration degree program is offered through the Department of Public Affairs.


The Curriculum

The M.P.A. degree will be awarded on completion of 36 semester hours, consisting of 21 hours of required core courses, 9 to 12 hours in a selected emphasis area and up to 6 hours of electives. An internship is recommended for any student without substantial work experience in public, nonprofit or health administration. Individual courses may be waived if a student presents evidence of adequate undergraduate study, but other courses for graduate credit must be substituted to meet the minimum of 36 hours.  Note: Students who repeat courses that have been waived from their program may not count the repeated course toward their degree.


Core Curriculum (21 hours)

The following courses are required for each student:

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

Electives (Up to 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, as well as from other graduate fields with approval of the faculty adviser.


Emphasis Areas (9-12 hours)

Students seeking the master of public administration degree may specialize in three emphasis areas:

  • Health Services Administration
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Urban 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 a faculty adviser. Each course is worth three credits unless otherwise noted.


Health Services Administration (9 hours)

  • HLTH-ADM 5571 Financial Management Issues in Health and Human Service Organizations
  • HLTH-ADM 5577 Health Service Administration and the Health Professions
  • HLTH-ADM 5578 The Evaluation and Control of Health Services
  • HLTH-ADM 5580 Economics of Health and Medicine
  • HLTH-ADM 5581 Health Policy in the United States
  • HLTH-ADM 5586 Supervised Research in Health Services Administration (independent study or internship)


Nonprofit Management (12 hours)

  • PUB-ADM 455 Nonprofit Leadership Issues (1 hour)
  • PUB-ADM 495 Volunteerism, Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector in the United States (1 hour)
  • PUB-ADM 5551 Strategic Management in Nonprofit Organizations
  • PUB-ADM 5552 Community Organizations and Public Policy
  • PUB-ADM 5553 Legal Framework and Financial Management in Nonprofit Organizations
  • PUB-ADM 5555 Topics in Nonprofit Fundraising (1-2 hours each)
  • PUB-ADM 5556 Innovation in Nonprofit Management and Leadership
  • PUB-ADM 5585 Seminar: Social Entrepreneurship (1-3 hours)
  • PUB-ADM 5598A Supervised Research in Nonprofit Management
  • HLTH-ADM 5571 Financial Management Issues in Health and Human Services Organizations

Students choosing the nonprofit emphasis should choose at least six of their twelve emphasis area credit hours from among the following courses: PUB-ADM 495, PUB-ADM 5551, PUB-ADM 5552, PUB-ADM 5553, and PUB-ADM 5556.


Urban Administration (9 hours)


Two courses selected from the following:

* Students choosing the urban administration emphasis are allowed no more than three hours of internship to fulfill the emphasis area. Additional internship hours will count as electives.


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


The Executive M.P.A. Program

Students with at least five years of increasingly-responsible career and leadership experience may apply for the Executive M.P.A. degree program.  This 23-month cohort program is designed to prepare high-potential professionals and managers for executive and community leadership roles in government, nonprofit and health care organizations.  The EMPA curriculum includes a number of unique learning and professional development experiences and resources, including executive coaching, immersion courses, and issue-oriented residencies in locations such as Washington D.C. and Cape Town, South Africa.  For more information about this option, please visit


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 one additional year. 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 one additional year at UMKC (three semesters) 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. 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