Public Administration

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The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA and a BGS, as well as a MA/MUP, a MPA, a MPA/JD, and a PhD degree in public administration on KU's Edwards Campus in Overland Park. The public administration major gives students the knowledge necessary to understand how government programs are initiated and carried out. It emphasizes leadership, exploration of diverse problems in a diverse world, how public policy is made and implemented, and how programs are created and services are delivered.

Public Administration Department website


Sample of Related Skills

  • Demonstrate broad understanding of public affairs, policy development, policy analysis, economic analysis, management skills, and organization theory and their applications to public service 
  • Explain to stakeholders key public issues both orally and in writing and detail their impact on the public at large 
  • Use an ethical framework to analyze an ethical dilemma within the political context of a government institution 
  • Distinguish the interactive roles that government organizations play in the business and non-profit sectors in planning and delivering public serves 
  • Apply leadership theories and techniques in managing and governing a public organization 
  • Define ethical leadership and evaluate its importance in contemporary government and public administration 
  • Explain how public policy is formulated and implemented 

Popular Career Paths

Local/State Government: Typically involves working with various departments of state government and can include counties, townships, and school districts.

Federal Government: Typically involves working within various federal departments and agencies.

Non-Profit: Typically involves working with local and national non-profit agencies/foundations and can include charitable organizations, research organizations, and educational institutions.

Private Sector: Can involve working in consulting firms, association management firms and other businesses in a variety of areas including personnel management, budget analysis, and public relations.

International Relations: Involves working with US government agencies and international non-profit organizations to inform and enhance relations between countries through foreign diplomacy, intelligence, policy, and law.

Explore More Career Paths

Jobs to Consider

Administrative Officer


Budget/Fiscal Analyst

City/County Manager

City Housing Manager

College Administrator

Community Development Director

Community Relations Specialist


Contract Negotiator/Compliance Officer



Environmental Planner

Foreign Affairs Specialist

Public Relations Specialist

Transportation Commissioner

Urban and Regional Planner


Places to Seek Employment

Chambers of Commerce

Colleges and Universities

Consulting Firms

Educational Organizations

Federal Government Agencies

International Relief Agencies

Local Government Departments

Non-Profit Organizations

Political Parties

Public Interest Groups

Research Institutes & Foundations

State Government Departments

Think Tanks

Trade and Professional Organizations


View specific employers by state.

Employment Strategies

  1. Identify specific areas of interest within public administration, such as federal/state/local government, politics, non-profit, international relations, etc. so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
  2. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  3. Register for and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  4. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest in public administration, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
  5. Become familiar with the required professional qualifications associated with careers that interest you (i.e., advanced degrees, licensure, and/or certifications).
  6. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
  7. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
  8. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest such as the Graduate Students of Public Administration.

Job and Internship Search Resources

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