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.
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
- American Society for Public Administration - provides networking and career advancement opportunities, access to cutting-edge research, and advice on advancing your career
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
Job and Internship Search Resources
- Bureau of Labor Statistics - learn about the career opportunities available with the BLS
- Campus Gov - explore entry level jobs and internships that are available with local, state, or federal government
- Council on Foreign Relations - think tank and publisher that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in foreign relations
- Foreign Policy Research Institute - non-profit devoted to research and public education on international affairs; includes jobs, internships, and a think tank directory
- GovLoop - social network for government connecting over 30,000 federal, state, and local employees, contractors, and academics
- Greater Kansas City Community Foundation - searchable directory of Kansas City non-profit organizations
- International City/County Management Association – membership association with job search function and career related information
- Kansas Civil Service Jobs - job board of current employment opportunities with the state of Kansas
- Making the Difference - provides federal career guides by interest area, searchable federal internship directory, and application tips for federal job seekers
- Mid-America Regional Council - job board of current employment opportunities with the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), an association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region
- National Academy of Public Administration - various internship and job opportunity postings available at NAPA
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) - provides links to job resources, salary information, internship information, and helpful tips on obtaining a job with the federal government
- National Forum for Black Public Administrators - an independent non-profit organization that offers a useful job search function, leadership program, and other career related information
- Non-Profit Connect - full-time, part-time, internship, and volunteer listings with non-profits in the KC-metro area
- Nonprofit Sector Careers – career resource with helpful information on a job search, as well as job, volunteer and internship opportunities
- Partnership for Public Service – nonprofit organization supporting civil service, offers professional development information and job opportunities
- Public Management Research Association (PMRA) - non-profit academic membership association that emphasizes the links between the study of public institutions and their management and the study of public policy
- Public Service Careers - helpful hints on finding internships in public service, career advice, job listing resources, and salary information (service provided by the American Society for Public Administration)
- State & Local Government Directory - online directory of state and local government websites; search sites for employment information and job listings
- United Nations - explore UN career paths and current job and internship openings; Connect with KU's Model UN group
- US General Accounting Office - job and internship opportunities with the GAO
- USAJOBS - application system for full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities with the US federal government
- Working Abroad Resources - more resources from career.ku.edu
Career Exploration Hub
- Identify areas of interest related to your major so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internships, part-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering
- Register for Hire Jayhawks and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
- Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center.
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest.
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals.
- Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills.
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.