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Preparing to Graduate from the School of Public Affairs and Administration

Both the School of Public Affairs and Administration and the University hold ceremonies to recognize and honor graduates. You are encouraged to attend any or all of these events, but your attendance is not required.

School Graduation Banquet

The School's graduation banquet will be Friday, April 28, 2017 in the Kansas Memorial Union Ballroom (5th floor) at 6:30 p.m. Doors to the Ballroom will open at 6:00 p.m. so that you may find seats together with your family and friends. Please try and fill in any and all seats - if you have two in your party, please find seats at a table with two spaces remaining vs. starting a new table.

Registration

Registration for the banquet is required for all graduates and guests:

If you have a question about your registration, email Kristina Clark.

Pricing

  • Graduates: Free
  • Guests: $30
  • Current SPAA students: $20 (Please note this is a special price for our School's students. Other students will need to pay the guest price.)
  • Children ages 2-10: $15
  • Children under age 2: Free

Questions? Read the 2017 Graduation Banquet FAQs.


Academic Processes for Graduation

Masters Student Graduation

1. Masters students are contacted early each semester by the Graduate Secretary to find out who intends to graduate at the end of the current semester. The School of Public Affairs and  Administration will compile a list of graduating students.

2. Approximately 10 weeks prior to the end of their graduation semester, students are emailed instructions for the MPA Final Essay, which must be submitted by the due date.

3. Graduating students must apply for graduation in Enroll and Pay.

4. If participating in the School of Public Affairs and Administration's Graduation Banquet and/or University-level graduation ceremonies, students may purchase regalia (available from the KU bookstore). (Note: the School of Public Affairs and Administration maintains a limited quantity of regalia, which may be borrowed on a first-come, first served basis. Students may wish to purchase a master's hood to keep.)

5. Attend the School of Public Affairs and Administration's Graduation Banquet held in April.

6. Register for/attend the University Master's Hooding Ceremony held at the Lied Center in May.

7. Attend the University Commencement Ceremony (walk down the hill) in May.

Doctoral Student Graduation
Scheduling your dissertation defense:

1. Please work with your committee chair to determine an appropriate date for your dissertation defense, on which each member of your committee will be available. Note that the School is required to file a Progress to Degree form two weeks in advance of your dissertation defense date. Please keep this in mind when planning your defense date, and be sure to notify the Graduate Secretary of your defense date so they can initiate the PtD process.

2. Your defense may be scheduled in the School of Public Affairs and Administration's conference room (4060Z Wescoe) if available, or at another appropriate location (often a room in the Kansas Union). Please consult with the Graduate Secretary to schedule a room for your defense, along with any audio/visual equipment you may need. If any members of your committee will participate in the defense meeting via conference call, please communicate this to the Graduate Secretary in advance, to ensure proper equipment is available to accommodate your caller(s). The Graduate Secretary will also be happy to create an Outlook appointment to invite all of your committee members to your defense.

3. On the day of your defense, you may wish to provide refreshments for your committee if your defense is scheduled in the SPAA conference room only (note that this is not required, and is at the discretion of each student). If your defense is scheduled at the Kansas Union, outside refreshments are not allowed.

4. Arrive at the scheduled room early in order to set up and check your presentation.

5. Following the successful completion of your defense, please have each member of your committee sign appropriate documents, including your title page, acceptance page and the grade form provided by the School. Your committee chair will bring these forms to the defense. In the event your chair is not participating in person, obtain these documents from the Graduate Secretary in advance of your defense. Return these forms to the Graduate Secretary following your defense (they will be scanned and returned to you).

Once you have successfully defended your dissertation, you must submit the following paperwork to Graduate Studies:

1. Dissertation title page, signed by all appropriate committee members

Note: SPAA will submit a Progress to Degree form online to Graduate Studies, noting your successful completion of the dissertation defense.

2. Acceptance page, signed by your committee chair

3. Ku ScholarWorks (ETD) release form

4. Receipt indicating you have completed the Doctoral Completion Survey

In addition, please do the following:

5. Apply for graduation in Enroll and Pay.

6. Attend the School of Public Affairs and Administration's Graduation Banquet held in April.

7. Purchase regalia, if participating in University-level graduation ceremonies.

8. Register for/attend the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony held at the Lied Center in May.

9. Attend the University's Commencement Ceremony (walk down the hill) in May.

Additional Resources for Ph.D. graduates:

Graduating Student Guide

Graduation Guidelines - PhD


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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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