Master of Public Affairs—Hauptmann School of Public Affairs


About the Program

Preparing students for cross-sector and multi-sector realities, the cornerstone of the curriculum is a core of six public affairs courses, which provide the common denominator and the unity of “public” concerns in all sectors of organizational life. These courses will deal with the theory and methodology of public affairs and contemporary issues of responsible leadership in a free and democratic society.

Students participating in our public affairs Master’s program in Kansas City or through our online graduate public affairs degree program will select one area of concentration from among the following four program areas:
  1. Public Management
  2. Business, Government and Global Society
  3. Nonprofit and Community Services Management
  4. Disaster and Emergency Management

Students who elect to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Business and Government Leadership, Disaster and Emergency Management, or Nonprofit Leadership may apply many of the hours toward their MPA degree.

Each concentration is led by a faculty member who serves as area coordinator, providing necessary academic direction to the concentration and its students. In keeping with the values of community engagement and civic responsibility, each area of concentration has a civic leader who reflects these values and is tasked with assisting students in the area. Students are encouraged to take advantage of experiential learning opportunities as they arise, such as special projects for government agencies and nonprofit organizations. These experiences can be taken as PA 504 (Independent Study) under the guidance of a faculty member. PA 504 may replace a concentration elective. In addition, when offered, PA 506 (International Service-Learning Experience) provides an important learning experience abroad related to the student’s area.

Just as the cornerstone of the curriculum assumes the unity of the public affairs area, so does its capstone course, PA 602 (Seminar in Public Affairs). This writing-intensive and highly interactive seminar is required of all students, regardless of program area. Assigned readings and presentations reinforce the guiding theme of the unity of public affairs, using the framework of the founding documents of the U.S. It is recommended that students take the capstone in their final term in the program, as preparation for the oral and written comprehensive examinations.

The comprehensive examinations, written and oral, are also an integral part of the program. The examinations check the student’s professional preparation, as well as understanding of the field of public affairs.