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Frequently Asked Questions about the Bloch M.P.A.

Do I have to take the Graduate Record Examination?
  • Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher (on a 4 point scale), will receive a waiver of the GRE requirement and qualify for automatic admission to the program.
  • Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher and at least 3 years of relevant work experience will receive a waiver of the GRE requirement and qualify for admission to the program upon MPA Admissions Committee approval.
  • Applicants with a prior master’s or professional degree will be considered for admission to the program upon MPA Admissions Committee approval.
  • Applicants not meeting one of the criteria above will be required to complete the GRE. A total of 190 points must be achieved using the formula GRE Verbal Percentile + GRE Quantitative Percentile + GRE Analytical Writing Percentile + [(Cumulative UG GPA (on 4.0 scale) – 2.0) x 50]; scores in each section of the GRE must be at or above the 10th percentile. Test scores must be less than five years old at the time of consideration for admission.
  • Applicants with significant relevant professional experience will be considered for admission to the program upon MPA Admissions Committee approval.
  • The MPA Admissions Committee will also consider GMAT, LSAT, and PCAT scores. These scores must also be less than five years old at the time of consideration for admission.
When may I apply and how long does it take to find out if I've been accepted?
You may apply to the M.P.A. program at any time. However, completed application packets must be received no later than the Monday that falls two weeks prior to the start of the semester in order to be considered for admission for that term. The Bloch School reviews completed applications in the order received and will inform you of admission committee decisions in writing, mailed to your address. You should allow two-four weeks from when the completed application is received by Bloch until there is a decision from the committee.
How do I apply?

Admission to the M.P.A. program is selective. A completed application includes all of the following:

  • UMKC application
  • application fee
  • Official transcripts* (one copy) from all colleges/universities attended, sent to:
    UMKC Office of Admissions
    120 Administrative Center
    5100 Rockhill Road
    Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

*You must have completed a bachelor’s or first level professional degree from a regionally accredited institution.

  • An official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score, if required (see admission requirements).
  • A current resume.
  • A one-page goal statement that describes your career plans, why you desire to attend UMKC, and why you want to obtain the M.P.A. This should be your own original writing. Any quote used should be properly attributed to the author.
Are the Public Administration Programs accredited?
UMKC’s MPA was in the first cohort of NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) accreditation programs, in 1980.
What are other M.P.A. admission options?

The B.A. (Urban Studies)/M.P.A. Program
Students obtaining a B.A. in Urban Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at UMKC may pursue early admission to the master’s degree program in public administration and obtain a master’s degree in one additional year. The program allows students to utilize some of the M.P.A. courses to satisfy Urban Studies requirements, thereby reducing the number of courses needed to complete both degrees.

The B.B.A./M.P.A. Program
Students completing the bachelor of business administration at UMKC may complete their M.P.A. degree in one additional year (three semesters). For more information about this option, contact the Bloch School Student Services Office. Please note that this program is available to UMKC undergraduate students only, and must be started while you are still working on your undergraduate degree.

What does M.P.A. coursework consist of?

Coursework for M.P.A. degrees typically includes both core required courses and an emphasis area or concentration. Core courses generally include information on research methods; budgeting and financial processes; policy and program formulation, implementation, and evaluation; political and legal institutions and processes; economic and social institutions and processes; leadership and management concepts and behavior; and ethics.

Elective courses allow students to develop concentrations by completing additional coursework in one or more of these areas:

  • Health Services Administration
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Urban Policy and Administration
What are classes like?
With the exception of the summer session, classes are typically three hour lectures broken up by a brief mid-point break, class discussion, group exercises, and, occasionally, guest speakers. Some classes are offered once a week for three hours and some meet twice a week for an hour and a half.
What is the workload like during the regular semesters?
It depends on the individual student’s discipline and the course material, but it is estimated that students spend approximately three hours a week on coursework outside of class for every credit hour taken. Thus one three credit course will require about nine hours of study a week outside of class. Graduate school is challenging but overall entirely manageable.
How intense is the summer session?
Summer session is more intense than regular semester classes because it is compressed into a third of the time. Staying on top of readings and assignments will ensure your success.
Where and when will classes be held?
Most M.P.A. courses are offered on weekday evenings, with classes starting at 4, 5:30 and 7 PM during fall and spring semesters. Summer semesters may offer courses on a M-F schedule. Most of these will be held in the Bloch School of Management at 5110 Cherry Street. However, some nonprofit fundraising courses are offered on Fridays and Saturdays.
Do you offer classes online?
We offer a few blended and online courses.
I've been out of school for awhile. How manageable is the program?
Many of our career-option students have been out of school for a few years, or even a few decades! While your success in an M.P.A. program depends primarily on you-your commitment to completing the program, how much time you can dedicate to your studies, and your academic preparation-it’s important to remember that the career-option was designed for working professionals. While our courses are academically rigorous and require precise critical thinking and thorough research, we also value the real-world experiences that our working students bring to the classroom. Also, there are many resources available to help you succeed at UMKC, including the Student Success Center, UMKC libraries, Bloch School Communications Center, and your M.P.A. faculty and advisor. Our faculty members also do their best to be available and responsive to students’ needs
I haven't taken math in a long time, and I'm worried. What resources are available to me to prepare for the coursework?
Beginning in the Fall of 2015, admitted students have the opportunity to participate in a half-day math immersion the Saturday before the start of the semester. This immersion experience will prepare all of our students to succeed in the research methods and program evaluation courses in the core curriculum. It is also a great way to meet your fellow students, form study groups and get to know MPA faculty better.
Am I required to complete an M.P.A. internship? Where are internships offered in the area?

Every student who does not have at least one year of relevant professional or managerial experience is required to complete a three-credit internship, PA 5595, which includes 300 hours of service. The internship experience provides students with a dynamic, professional forum in which to apply the analytical and managerial knowledge they acquire in the MPA program. Students who have the relevant professional or managerial experience when they apply for MPA admission may be granted a waiver by providing evidence of relevant work experience in the form of a detailed resume to his/her faculty advisor.

Listed below are some of the internship organizations M.P.A. students have held over the past few years.

Liberty Hospital Foundation
Johnson County, Kansas Government Offices
Children’s Mercy Hospital
City of Gardner, Kansas
City of Mission Hills, Kansas
Lead to Read
City of Overland Park, Kansas
St. Luke’s Hospital
City of North Kansas City, Missouri
International Relations Council
City Of Smithville, Missouri
Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Missouri
Fevolve Labs Corporation
Avenue of Life
Missouri Housing Development Commission
Ronald McDonald House Charities
HealthEd Connect
Kansas City Symphony
Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault
Kansas City, Missouri Department of Health
Kansas City Indian Center

How accessible are the professors?

The Public Administration professors are on campus daily, and adjuncts are available for meeting upon request. It is recommended you email your professor or adjunct instructor in advance to set up an appointment.

Department of Public Affairs

Is a GRA position available to me? Is it recommended?

The Bloch School has Graduate Research/Teaching Assistantships (GRAs/GTAs) available each academic year. A GRA works for a faculty or staff member for a certain number of hours each week, for which the student will be given a stipend and a tuition remission. GTA/GRA positions are highly competitive, and applications are reviewed year-round.
Scholarships & Financial Aid

In addition to assisting with faculty research projects, our GRAs are occasionally placed in community organization. Here are some of the most recent GRA placement organizations:

American Humanics
Nonprofit Alliance
Literacy Plus
Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership
Bloch Career Network

How much does the M.P.A. cost, and can I get financial aid?

UMKC’s graduate tuition changes every year, but you can find up-to-date information about tuition and fees at https://bloch.umkc.edu/students/paying-for-school/

The School of Public Affairs and Administration does not offer any scholarships for career-option M.P.A. applicants, but you are welcome to apply for funding from other resources at UMKC. In addition, GRA (Graduate Research Assistantship) positions with tuition reduction and stipends within the department are frequently available.

How long does it take to get an M.P.A. degree?
The M.P.A. is a self-paced program and students may take as few as 3 credit hours a semester and up to 12 (four classes) credit hours. The department recommends that those working full time take 9 credit hours or less a semester.A typical full-time M.P.A. student completes his/her degree in 3 years, while part-time students usually take up to four years to graduate.
Do you write a thesis for this degree?
No, we do not require students to write a thesis at the end of their M.P.A., but it is an option. Those interested should discuss this with their advisor. In addition, M.P.A. students may complete a total of six (6) hours of independent study, of which three (3) hours can be an internship. Specific emphasis areas may have slightly different requirements, which override the general policy.
What can I do with an M.P.A. and what can I earn with this degree?

The M.P.A. prepares students to work in leadership and management positions in the public and nonprofit sectors. The website http://www.publicservicecareers.org offers a good overview of what it means to have a career in public service.

Below is a chart that offers a few examples of positions often obtained by M.P.A./M.P.P. graduates, starting with entry level positions. Note that the salaries for these positions vary greatly due to a number of factors, including but not limited to work experience, location, and sector.
(information obtained from https://www.naspaa.org/resources/career-resources)

According to NASPAA: Alumni 3 years out make between $45K-$75K

What kind of career-planning resources do you offer your part-time M.P.A. students?

Our most valuable career-planning resource for our M.P.A. students is our community. Current students draw on mentoring relationships with faculty, friendships and networking with classmates, Alumni and membership in our student organization, PASA (Public Administration Student Association) to gain guidance as they shape their career paths and information about local job opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors. Also, all Bloch students have access to the Bloch Career Network as well as UMKC Career Services. Finally, each Monday’s email “blast” to students often lists many job opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Here’s a list of where some of our alums are employed:

American Cancer Society
American Red Cross
Boeing
Cerner Corporation
City of Aurora, CO
City of Grandview, MO
City of Hazelwood, MO
City of Kansas City, MO
City of Lawrence, KS
City Of Lee’s Summit, MO
City of Mission Hills, KS
City of Moberly, MO
City of Olathe, KS
City of Overland Park, KS
Federal Reserve Bank
High Aspirations
Historic Green
HUD
Human Rights Watch
Johnson County, KS Park Police
Department
KCMO City Council
KCMO Fire Department
KCMO School District
Liberty Hospital
Missouri Housing Development
Commission
MO Department of Social Services
MO Dept of Health & Senior Services
NASA
Olathe Medical Center
Peace Corps
RLDS Church
Social Security Administration
The EPA
Travois
Truman Medical Center
US Army
US Department of Agriculture
US Department of Commerce
US Post Office
Walton Construction

What is the total number of students enrolled in the MPA cohort for the last NASPAA reporting year and what is the statistical breakdown for the enrolled students?
For the 2017-2018 reporting year, the total number of students enrolled in the program was 84. The statistical breakdown is as follows:

  • Out-of-state students: 40%
  • International students: 3%
  • Female students: 58%
  • Part-time students: 65%
  • Persons of diversity 19%
What is the graduation rate for UMKC's 5-year MPA cohort for the last NASPAA reporting year?

2012-2013 ARY-5 MPA Cohort

Percent Graduated in 2 years

Percent Graduated in 3 years

Percent Graduated in 4 years

Total number of students admitted = 51

51%

65%

76%

What is the employment rate for UMKC's MPA program for the year preceding the last NASPAA reporting year?

Employment statistics for students graduating in the 2016-17 academic year

  • US government – 1
  • State or regional government – 4
  • City, County or other local government – 2
  • Government (all levels) or international quasi-governmental – 0
  • Nonprofit domestic-oriented – 9
  • Nonprofit/NGOs internationally-oriented – 0
  • Private sector – Research/Consulting – 2
  • Private sector – not Research/Consulting – 6
  • Obtaining further education – 0
  • Military Service- 0
  • Unemployed (not seeking employment) – 1
  • Unemployed (seeking employment) – 2
  • Status Unknown – 2

Total – 29

How can I locate the M.P.A. Student Manual?
How can I find additional information on MPAs?

The premier online directory and educational resource for Masters in public administration students: http://www.naspaa.org/students/

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