Masters in Public Administration Programs in the State of Kansas

Cole Neder

Cole Neder

Updated & Fact Checked: 03.19.2024


Looking at schools in the state of Kansas for an MPA program can be beneficial for several reasons. First, Kansas generally has lower tuition rates compared to many other states, making it a more affordable option for graduate education. Second, the state offers a close-knit community, providing ample networking opportunities with professionals in public administration, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.

Kansas offers a variety of recreational activities for residents and visitors alike. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the state’s many parks and nature reserves, which offer opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The Flint Hills region is particularly scenic, with its rolling hills and tallgrass prairies providing a picturesque backdrop for outdoor adventures.

Kansas is also known for its comfort food and barbecue. Visitors to the state can indulge in hearty dishes like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and chicken fried steak, as well as world-class barbecue. Kansas City, which straddles the border between Kansas and Missouri, is particularly famous for its barbecue joints, where visitors can sample slow-smoked meats and tangy sauces.

MPA programs in Kansas may offer a regional focus on Midwestern issues and challenges, which can be beneficial if you plan to work in the Midwest after graduation. Many MPA programs in Kansas also offer hands-on learning experiences and internships that allow students to apply their skills in real-world settings, enhancing their professional development.

MPA Programs in Kansas

While the “top” university for MPA programs can vary depending on specific criteria and rankings, the University of Kansas (KU) is often recognized for its strong MPA program. Overall, each of the three institutions that offer MPA degrees in the state of Kansas have a high-quality reputation and are accredited by NASPAA:

NASPAA-accredited MPA Programs

NASPAA accreditation ensures that the curriculum is rigorous, the faculty are experienced and qualified, and the program prepares students for leadership roles in public service. As NASPAA-accredited programs, each of the three institutions demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement and accountability, providing students with a valuable and respected credential in the field of public administration:

Kansas State University

  • Manhattan, KS
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NASPAA, NCACSHLC

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 36

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $9,924 (PYR)

Non-Resident Tuition: $19,704 (PYR)

Program Overview:
The Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree program is designed for those seeking administrative positions in various public sector environments. Graduates are prepared for roles in government agencies at all levels, regional organizations, nonprofit groups, private firms working with governments, and international bodies. The program serves both those entering the field and those already in service, offering internships and career advancement opportunities. Employment data from the last five years shows successful outcomes for graduates, and completion rates for the 2016-2017 academic year are evaluated five years after entry for accuracy.

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University of Kansas

  • Lawrence, KS
  • Campus

Accreditation: NASPAA, NCACSHLC

Modality: On-Campus

Credit Hours: 43

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $437 (PCH)

Non-Resident Tuition: $1,047 (PCH)

Program Overview:
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at the University of Kansas offers a unique blend of theoretical coursework and practical application to prepare students for leadership roles in public sector and nonprofit settings. The program, founded in 1948, is highly respected and has been ranked #1 in city management by U.S. News and World Report since 1998. The program also offers a City Management Fellowship for MPA students interested in city management. This two-year program includes a mix of coursework, scholarships, networking opportunities, and a full-time, paid internship to provide a comprehensive learning experience.

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Wichita State University

  • Wichita, KS
  • Online + Campus

Accreditation: NASPAA, NCACSHLC

Modality: Online/On-Campus

Credit Hours: 39

GRE: Not required

Resident Tuition: $308 (PCH)

Non-Resident Tuition: $756 (PCH)

Program Overview:
The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at Wichita State University’s Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in public and nonprofit organizations. It is offered as a two-year full-time or three-year part-time program. The curriculum includes core courses in public management, public finance, and public policy, among others. Electives allow students to tailor their education to their career goals. Internships are encouraged for students with limited work experience in the public sector.

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Online MPA Programs

Online MPA programs in Kansas offer several benefits for students seeking flexibility and accessibility. These programs allow students to complete their coursework from anywhere. Online MPA programs often offer asynchronous coursework, allowing students to study at their own pace and balance their education with other commitments. Both Kansas State University and Wichita State University offer an online MPA degree option.

Accelerated MPA Programs

There are accelerated MPA programs in Kansas that offer a quicker path to earning your degree. One example is the University of Kansas, which offers an Accelerated MPA program designed for students who have completed a Bachelor of Public Administration or a related degree. The program allows students to earn their MPA in just one year of full-time study.

Affordable MPA Programs

Kansas is known for its relatively affordable cost of living compared to many other states. This affordability extends to their MPA programs. Public institutions in Kansas, such as the University of Kansas ($437 per credit hour) and Wichita State University ($308 per credit hour), often offer competitive tuition rates for in-state residents.

All MPA Programs in Kansas

School NameDegree Program NameStateCityNASPAA AccreditedOnline DegreeProgram Link
Kansas State UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationKansasManhattanNoYes
The University of KansasMaster Of Public AdministrationKansasLawrenceNoYes
Wichita State UniversityMaster Of Public AdministrationKansasWichitaYesYes

What Types of Careers Can I Pursue With an MPA Degree in Kansas?

Kansas offers a range of job opportunities for MPA graduates, particularly in areas such as public administration, nonprofit management, and policy analysis. With its state government, various local governments, and numerous nonprofit organizations, Kansas provides a diverse landscape for MPA graduates to apply their skills.

Unique job opportunities in Kansas include roles within the state’s agriculture sector, which is a significant part of the state’s economy. Positions related to agricultural policy, rural development, and environmental management could be available. Additionally, Kansas has a strong aerospace industry, and MPA graduates with a focus on economic development or public policy could find opportunities in this sector. Other unique opportunities may arise in areas like healthcare administration, education policy, and community development, all of which are important sectors in Kansas.