Graduate Catalog 2023-2024

Public Administration, Master of Public Administration (051)

Department website:

Program Coordinator

Joel F. Turner,

The MPA program prepares graduate students from diverse backgrounds to be productive leaders and managers in public service by sharing knowledge, encouraging excellence in research and practice, and fostering an environment of professionalism within the communities we serve. We have a long history of providing quality education and practical experience to our students through community partnerships with organizations such as Kentucky's area development districts, the Legislative Research Commission, and the Center for Local Governments. Graduates go on to serve in a variety of local, state, federal, and nonprofit organizations, and many have successfully pursued doctoral degrees upon graduation from the MPA program.

Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP)

This degree offers a Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP) which provides academically outstanding students the opportunity to complete both an undergraduate and graduate degree in an accelerated timeframe. Contact the graduate program coordinator for additional information.

Program Admission

In addition to meeting all admission requirements to the Graduate School, admission to the Master of Public Administration program requires the following:

  1. Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and have scores sent directly to the WKU Graduate School. (Note: Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher from an accredited undergraduate institution and/or 3 years of relevant work experience in the public sector are exempt from the GRE requirement.)
  2. Send two (2) letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic or employment experience to the Graduate School,
  3. Send Statement of Purpose outlining how the MPA degree will help accomplish career goals and objectives to the Graduate School.
  4. Send current resume to the Graduate School.

Graduate School Admission

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (36 hours)

The degree requires 36 semester hours of course work including completion of 21 hours of core courses: a thesis is not required.

Required Core
PS 501Research Methods in Public Administration 3
PS 530Public Sector Organizations 3
PS 538Public Service Ethics 3
PS 541Human Resources Management in Public Administration 3
PS 542Public & Nonprofit Budgeting 3
PS 560Public Policy Theory 3
or PS 562 Public Policy Implementation & Evaluation
PS 590Capstone in Public Administration3
Select 15 hours 115
Total Hours36

Electives include: Any graduate PS course; RSA 560, RSA 565, RSA 570, RSA 585, LEAD 500, LEAD 600, COMM 523, COMM 528, COMM 553, COMM 561, COMM 564, COMM 566, COMM 571, COMM 578, COMM 581, COMM 586COMM 590.