City and County Management

Local government is increasingly being described as the level of government “where things get done!” This certificate is designed for those who are interested in a career in local government organizations (cities and counties) or in non-profit or private sector organizations that collaborate or serve local governments. It offers broad coverage of the leadership and management skills that local government professionals need as well as more in-depth instruction on key issues facing modern communities.

The certificate comprises four courses (12 credit hours) from the following:

  • PUAD 851: Infrastructure Management (required for intern-option MPA students; elective for others)
  • PUAD 852: Comparative Public Policy and Administration (elective)
  • PUAD 854: Innovation and Organizational Change (elective)
  • PUAD 856: Managing Information and Technology (elective)
  • PUAD 857: Performance Management and Governance (elective)
  • PUAD 859: Service Management (elective)
  • PUAD 860: Introduction to Sustainable Communities (elective)
  • PUAD 892: Public Administration Internship (required for intern-option MPA students; not part of certificate for others)
  • PUAD 898: Leadership, Professionalism, and Citizen Engagement (required for intern-option MPA students; elective for others)
  • UBPL 816: Politics, Planning, and Administration (elective)
  • UBPL 730: Plans and Planning Processes (elective)

Substitution petitions for any of the above indicated elective courses must be submitted to and approved by the Master’s Program Coordinator. Approval prior to class enrollment is required for substitutions.


The School of Public Affairs and Administration accepts students on a rolling admissions basis. Students may apply to be admitted for either the fall, summer or spring semesters.

Applicants for the certificate are required to have:

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (if the undergraduate degree was awarded in the last three years)
  • At least three years of managerial experience or be already admitted to any graduate programs of KU or already have a graduate management or leadership degree from an accredited institution
  • All international applicants and domestic non-native English speakers are required to provide proof of English proficiency

Required application materials:

For students who do not have a master’s degree and are not currently enrolled in a graduate program, three letters of reference are required.

SPAA Events & Deadlines
PMC Events, Classes & Deadlines
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
KU Today
Connect with Us

Twitter Facebook

Stay Connected

Subscribe to our email list

* indicates required
Email Format

View previous campaigns.