Henry W. Bloch
School of Management

Bloch MPA Frequently Asked Questions

Bloch MPA FAQs

The GRE is not required for admission to the MPA program.  Scores from the GRE, LSAT, or other standardized exam can be submitted as part of an applicant’s packet but they are not required.

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 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 to four weeks from when the completed application is received by Bloch until there is a decision from the committee.

Admission to the M.P.A. program is selective. A completed application must include 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

  • A current resume.

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

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 direct quotations or outside sources should be properly attributed to the author.

UMKC’s M.P.A. was in the first cohort of NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) accredited programs in 1980. The program was recently reaccredited for a full 7-year cycle ending in 2027.

The MPA is for students seeking leadership roles in public service, public policy, and/or public administration.  The MPA degree is appropriate for students seeking to make an impact by working in the public or nonprofit sectors.  

Both the MPA and the MBA offer training and education in management and leadership.  However, the key difference is that the MPA is designed to prepare aspiring public service leaders.  Course projects and course content in the MPA program will generally focus explicitly on public and/or nonprofit organizations.  Social impact is generally embedded in most MPA coursework and experiences.

The B.A. (Urban Studies)/MPA Program

Students obtaining a B.A. in Urban Studies degree at UMKC may pursue early admission to the M.P.A. program and obtain a master’s degree in a shorter time frame. 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./MPA Program

Students completing the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree at UMKC may complete their M.P.A. degree in approximately three semesters. For more information about this option, contact your academic advisor. Please note that this program is available to UMKC undergraduate students only and must be started while still enrolled in the BBA degree program.

Pathways Options with Other Degree Programs

Students completing other bachelor’s degrees at UMKC may be qualified to begin MPA coursework during their final year as an undergraduate.  Please consult with an admissions staff member for more information.

Coursework for the MPA degree includes both required core courses and electives. Core courses cover material relevant for public service careers including evidence-based 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; and leadership and management concepts and behavior. 

Elective courses allow students to develop a personalized concentration or select from a focused coursework option to earn a graduate certificate as part of their MPA degree in one of these areas: 

  • Health Leadership
  • Nonprofit Management & Innovation
  • Urban Policy and Management

Classes are offered in various formats, including in-person, online synchronous, and hybrid. Most comprise of lectures, discussion, group exercises, service-learning projects, and guest lectures from practicing administrators. Courses also require some reading and other asynchronous work each week.  All courses are scheduled in the evening hours to accommodate working professionals.  Students can complete the MPA degree entirely through online synchronous format but may not have as many elective course choices as students that include classroom settings for some courses.

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.

Summer session is more intense than regular semester classes because it is compressed into half of the time. Staying on top of readings and assignments will ensure your success.

Most M.P.A. courses are offered on weekday evenings, with classes typically starting at 5:30 and 7:00 PM during Fall and Spring semesters. Courses on a M-F schedule or on weekends may be offered during Summer semesters. Most in-person classes are held in the Bloch School of Management buildings at 5108-5110 Cherry Street.

Yes, all core courses and most elective courses are available online.  Almost all our online options are offered in the hybrid format with weekly synchronous sessions that can be attended in person or via zoom.  Classrooms are equipped with state of the art technology that enables online students to participate actively with students in the classroom.

Many of our students have been out of school for a few years, or even a few decades! While your success in the 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 is important to remember that the program faculty are aware that a large segment of the M.P.A. students are working professionals. While our courses are academically rigorous and require deep 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, UMKC Writing Studio, and your M.P.A. faculty and advisor. Our faculty members also do their best to be available and responsive to students’ needs.

Students taking the PUB-ADM 5510: Research Methods in Public Administration course are given math and statistics refreshers early in the course. In addition, the course instructors in all quantitative courses work with individual students whenever they need assistance with these skills.  No pre-requisite skills are required for this introductory quantitative class and the course is structured to support learners with diverse backgrounds.

A three credit-hour internship, which comprises of 150 hours of service, is a required part of the curriculum. The internship experience provides students with a dynamic, professional forum in which to apply the analytical and managerial knowledge they acquire in the M.P.A. program. Students who have at least one year of relevant professional or managerial experience when they apply for admission may be granted a waiver upon submitting a petition and providing evidence of relevant work experience in the form of a detailed resume to their faculty mentor. 

Listed below are some of the organizations where M.P.A. students have completed internships over the past few years. 

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • City of Olathe
  • 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

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

The Bloch School often has Graduate Assistantships available. A GA works for a faculty or staff member for a certain number of hours each week, for which the student will be given a stipend. GA/TA positions are highly competitive, and applications are reviewed year-round.

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/

For financial aid and scholarship information, please visit https://finaid.umkc.edu/

The M.P.A. is a self-paced program and students may take as few as 3 credit hours a semester and as many as 12 or 15 credit hours (4 or 5 courses) per semester. The department considers 9 credit hours as full-time enrollment and 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 2 years, while part-time students usually take up to 3 years to graduate.

No, we do not require students to write a thesis at the end of their M.P.A. However, an academic program-long portfolio is a requirement for graduation.

The M.P.A. prepares students to work in leadership and management positions in the health care, 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. 

Please see https://www.naspaa.org/resources/career-resources for examples of positions often obtained by M.P.A. graduates, starting with entry level positions. Note that the salaries for these positions vary greatly due to several factors, including but not limited to work experience, location, and sector.

The 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, Public Administration Student Association (PASA), 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 Services as well as UMKC Career Services. Finally, a weekly e-newsletter to students often lists many job opportunities in the public and nonprofit sectors- including many that are advertised by UMKC MPA graduates!

Here is a list of where some of our alumni 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

For the 2021-2022 reporting year, the total number of students enrolled in the program was 67. The statistical breakdown is as follows:

  • Out-of-state students: 27%
  • International students: 10%
  • Female students: 69%
  • Part-time students: 69%
  • Persons of diversity 24%

Total Number of Students in the ARY-5 Cohort (2017-2018)

Initially Enrolled: 24

Graduated within 2 years: 3

Graduated within 3 years: 16

Graduated within 4 years: 16

Total Students Graduated and Persisting to Graduation: 16

Employment statistics for students graduating in the 2021-2022 academic year 

  • National or central government in the same country as the program – 0
  • State, provincial or regional government in the same country as the program – 1
  • City, County, or other local government in the same country as the program – 4
  • Government (all levels) or international quasi-governmental – 0
  • Nonprofit domestic-oriented – 9
  • Nonprofit Internationally-oriented- 1
  • Private sector – Research/Consulting – 5
  • Private sector but not Research/Consulting – 2
  • Obtaining Further Education- 1
  • Unemployed (seeking employment) – 0
  • Status Unknown – 2
Total – 25

The premier online directory and educational resource for Master of Public Administration students: http://www.naspaa.org/students/
AACSB Accredited NASPAA Accredited - The commission on peer review and accredidatation