Master of Public Affairs


Graduation Requirements

  • Complete 36 semester hours of prescribed courses, with an overall GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Pass the comprehensive examinations. See additional information in Academic Policies –Comprehensive Exam.
  • Meet all academic standards. See Academic Policies – Academic Standards for more information.
  • Submit application for graduation no later than April 1 for December commencement, and November 1 for graduating the following spring.


Comprehensive Examination

During the enrollment in PA 602 (Seminar in Public Affairs) or as soon afterwards as possible, each student is required to successfully complete both a written and an oral comprehensive examination. The written examination will test knowledge and integration of all coursework, including the major program area and public affairs in general, and is three hours in duration. Students may take the exam at the HSPA in downtown Kansas City or at an approved proctored site. (Note: The written examination is typically administered from 1 to 4 p.m. [Central time] on the Wednesday of the fall and spring break each semester. This schedule is subject to change.)

The oral comprehensive exam is a major part of the program’s learning outcomes assessment. The exam begins with a 20-minute student presentation before an examining board, led by the respective area coordinator and two additional examiners. The examination will be approximately 90 minutes in duration and will be given at an appropriate time after the written examination. Students living outside of a 100-mile radius of Kansas City, Mo., may participate in the oral examination via conference call.