About Us

The School of Public Affairs and Administration offers both academic and workplace-based professional development education to strengthen the provision of public services in society.

Pictured (at right): H. George Frederickson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Rosemary O'Leary, Distinguished Professor. Photo by Nick Krug of the Lawrence Journal World.

Our Mission

The mission of the School of Public Affairs & Administration of the University of Kansas is to educate exceptional public professionals and generate thought leadership that provides solutions to the most pressing global and community challenges by advancing the public good, democratic values, and ethical public management practices. Toward those goals, the faculty and staff are dedicated to:

  • superb graduate, undergraduate and professional programs;
  • cutting-edge research;
  • leadership in both the academic and practicing communities of public administration;
  • collaboration with intellectual partners within and outside of the university;
  • international outreach and programs; and
  • value-added consultation, professional development and continuing education.

Earning your Master of Public Administration in the School of Public Affairs and Administration

Our MPA program is designed to ensure that, upon graduation, all students have a strong command over the five universal competencies specified by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). These competencies reflect the behavioral and skill foundations for effective public sector careers. These universal competencies are to:

  1. Lead and manage in public governance;
  2. Participate in and contribute to the public policy process;
  3. Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions;
  4. Articulate and apply a public service perspective; and
  5. Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

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Ranked in the top 10 master of public affairs programs in the nation
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 in the nation for city management and urban policy

— U.S. News & World Report


#5 in the nation for public management

— U.S. News & World Report
Three faculty have won W.T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence
Rosemary O’Leary is KU’s Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor of Public Administration
Four MPA graduates have been elected president of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
Founder of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART)
Four faculty are National Academy of Public Administration Fellows
Bob Kipp, vice president of Hallmark Cards, was a 2012 recipient of the CLAS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of health and human services, was a 2009 recipient of the CLAS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
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