Frequently Asked Questions about the Bloch M.P.A.
The GRE is no longer required for those who hold a 3.5 or better undergraduate GPA. If you do not hold a 3.5 or better GPA, you do need to take the GRE unless you can provide an LSAT or PCAT score. Exam scores must be at or above the 50th percentile in each section of the test. These scores must also be less than five years old at the time of consideration for admission. Applicants with a prior master's degree will be asked to provide an admission test score (GRE, GMAT, LSAT or PCAT). The five-year time limit will not apply to these scores. Additionally, unofficial score results will be 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.
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.
- A current resume. This can be submitted via email.
- 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. This can be submitted via email. Please make sure to include your name on all documents.
- Information about your current employment (part time/full time, and related travel commitments). This should be included in the goal statement. Please make sure to include your name on all documents.
UMKC's MPA was in the first cohort of NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) accreditation programs, in 1980.
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. Students interested in this option should contact Dr. David Renz in the Bloch School.
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.
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
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.
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 a third 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 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.
Yes, we do try to offer a few online or blended courses occasionally; however, most of our courses are classroom-based.
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.
Starting in the fall of 2014, 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.
Bloch School Career Network
Center for Practical Bioethics
City of Kansas City, Missouri
Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
St. Luke's Cancer Institute
University of Kansas Medical Center
Veterans Administration Medical Center
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.
Public Affairs Faculty:
David O. Renz, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Chair, Department of Public Affairs
Beth K. Smith/Missouri Chair in Nonprofit Leadership
Director, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership
Academic Specialty: Nonprofit management and leadership
Arif Ahmed, BDS, Ph.D., MSPH, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Associate Professor in Health Administration
Academic Specialty: Health services administration
Jered B. Carr, Ph.D., Florida State University
Victor & Caroline Schutte/Missouri Endowed Professorship in Urban Affairs
Director, L.P. Cookingham Institute for Urban Affairs
Academic Specialty: Urban Policy and Administration
Scott Helm, Ph.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City
Director, Executive M.P.A.
Lecturer, Public Affairs
Brent Never, Ph.D, Indiana University
Assistant Professor, Public Administration
Academic Specialty: Nonprofit management, organization theory
Nicholas C. Peroff, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Professor of Public Administration
Academic Specialty: Public administration; interdisciplinary Ph.D. program coordinator
Fredrik O. Andersson, Ph.D.
Gary Baker, Ph.D.v Adjunct Lecturer
Jamie A. Berry, M.B.A.
Cynthia (Cindy) Laufer, M.P.A.
Jessica Mattingly, M.Ed.
Erin K. Nemenoff
Sandra E. Price
James C. Scott
Robyne S. Turner, Ph.D.
Thomas M. Vansaghi
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.
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:
Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership
Bloch Career Network
UMKC's graduate tuition changes every year, but you can find up-to-date information about tuition and fees at http://bloch.umkc.edu/students/paying-for-school/default.aspx
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.
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.
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.
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 http://www.naspaa.org/students/careers/salary.asp)
|Local Government Analyst||State/Local Gov||$26,000 - $45,000|
|Program Coordinator||Nonprofit||$30,000 - $48,000|
|Program Assistant/Manager||Nonprofit||$32,000 - $63,000|
|Policy Analyst||Nonprofit/Government||$40,000 - $68,000|
|Statistician||Nonprofit/Government||$46,000 - $65,000|
|Research Associate||NP/Gov/Private||$50,000 - $60,000|
|Marketing/PA Specialist||NP/Gov/Private||$66,000 - $85,000|
|City Manager/Chief Administrative Officer||State/Local Gov||$101,000 - $108,000|
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
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
Human Rights Watch
Johnson County, KS Park Police
KCMO City Council
KCMO Fire Department
KCMO School District
Missouri Housing Development
MO Department of Social Services
MO Dept of Health & Senior Services
Olathe Medical Center
Social Security Administration
Truman Medical Center
US Department of Agriculture
US Department of Commerce
US Post Office
The M.P.A. completion rate is 74%.
The employment rate is 95%.
The premier online directory and educational resource for Masters in public administration students: http://www.naspaa.org/students/
UMKC MPA students who graduated during the 2012-2013 academic year work in several different sectors. Here is the breakdown:
- National or central government in same country - 4
- State or regional government in the same country - 2
- City, county or local government in the same country - 7
- Nonprofit domestic - 20
- Private Sector - Research/consulting - 2
- Private Sector - NON Research/consulting - 5
- Obtaining further education - 1