The Master in Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a professional degree that prepares persons interested in public service for administrative and leadership positions in governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations. The program’s student and teaching-oriented faculty seek to contribute to the development of professional individuals with an ethos of democratic administration by providing them with a combination of solid academic learning and concrete practical experiences. The MPA Program is located in the Department of Political Science and International Affairs. The Program works in cooperation with a number of other departments as well as the A. L. Burruss Institute of Public Service that provides community services and technical assistance to nonprofit and public organizations in Georgia.


The Master of Public Administration Program is formally accredited by National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Mission Statement

The Master of Public Administration Program (MPA) is a professional degree program that prepares students for careers in public service.

Program Purposes

  1. Prepare graduates of the program to think critically and creatively about public issues, have the dedication and capacity to serve a diverse community, and possess the skills to enter a professional position in a public organization.
  2. Provide a rigorous core curriculum that examines the theoretical underpinnings of public service and provides concentrated areas of study in governmental administration, nonprofit administration and information management.
  3. Inspire commitment to public service values.
  4. Sustain a welcoming environment that promotes equity and diversity, empowering students and faculty.

Public Service Values:

  • Public Service Value 1: Public Service professionals emphasize integrity, accountability, honesty, fairness and ethical behavior in personal and professional relationships and activities.
  • Public Service Value 2: Public service professionals should reflect the highest ideals of citizenship and service to the community and develop professionalism by emphasizing competence, excellence, efficiency, objectivity, and impartiality to their community, the nation, and the world.
  • Public Service Value 3: Public service professionals exhibit democratic values, respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.
  • Public Service Value 4: Public Service professionals commit themselves to equity and diversity by recognizing that their exercise of authority and responsibility must always be tempered by a respect for human dignity, fairness, and social equity.

Program of Study

The MPA Program is a 36 semester-hour course of study that consists of three components: A 7-course core curriculum required of all students (21 hours); a 4-course concentration of the student’s choice (12 hours); and a professional exercise (3 hours). Students will be required to participate in a program assessment exercise prior to graduation.

Special Notes:

Kennesaw State University offers qualified students the opportunity to apply for a dual option MBA/MPA Program. MBA-MPA is a dual degree with the Coles College of Business and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. To be admitted into the dual degree program, the applicant must specify the option at the time of application to the Graduate School. Students interested in applying for the dual degree option MBA/MPA Program should consult with either the MPA Director or MBA Director with regard to the admission requirements and required courses.

Admission Requirements for the MPA Program

MPA Program admission requires:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with at least 2.75-grade point average;
  • Submission of an application to the Office of Graduate Admissions and a non-refundable application fee; International students must also provide satisfactory TOEFL or IELTS scores;
  • Scores from a standardized graduate admission test, such as GRE, MAT, GMAT or LSAT. Request that your scores be sent electronically to KSU. -OR- Obtain a GRE waiver.
  • Submit a statement of purpose essay of approximately 1,000 words addressing the following questions: "In what way do you expect the Master of Public Administration degree to affect or enhance your career goals and aspirations?';
  • A current résumé;
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty or work supervisors with direct knowledge of the applicant that address the applicant's potential for graduate study and use of an MPA degree;
  • Students are admitted to the program based upon an overall review of all credentials including any work and community service experience that indicates potential success in graduate work and in professional public service.

Students are admitted to the program based upon an overall review of all credentials including any work and community service experience that indicates potential success in graduate work and in professional public service.

Transfer Credit

Up to nine semester hours of graduate work from other accredited institutions may be transferred. To be transferred, coursework from other institutions must correspond to Kennesaw State University’s MPA curriculum. Students will need to provide course descriptions and syllabi wherever possible, and the amount of credit granted will be at the discretion of the program director. Such coursework may be no more than five years old.


Expectations for satisfactory graduate level student performance are detailed in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Petition to Graduate

MPA candidates must petition to graduate at least one semester prior to completion of their degree requirements.

Financial Resources

Listed below are some of the financial resources available to MPA students at Kennesaw State University.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance is based on the number of credit hours students enroll in and residency status. View the tuition and fees schedule here.

Graduate Research Assistantships

A limited number of Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) are available to qualified students. Awarded on a semester-by-semester basis, duties typically include a research or project assignment relevant to the field of Public Administration. The position includes some tuition benefits and a stipend. For more details and available opportunities, click here.

Edwards Scholarship

The Juanelle Edwards Master of Public Administration Endowed Scholarship is an annual merit-based award in the amount of $1,500. MPA students must be in good academic standing and enrolled full-time to be eligible.

Financial Aid

For more information on the different types of aid available to graduate students, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Internships & Job Placement

The internship track is designed for students to gain public service experience before graduation. Interns are required to complete 300 hours of service in the field. The MPA program has had 100% internship placement for students on this track.

Recent internship experiences

MPA students have recently interned at the following locations:

  • Atlanta Beltline Inc.
  • City of Powder Springs — Community Development Department
  • CIFAL Atlanta
  • CIFAL Jeju, South Korea: Sustainable Communities
  • CIFAL Flanders, Belgium: Sustainable Development
  • Atlanta Regional Commission
  • International Rescue Committee
  • City of Kennesaw – Zoning and Planning
  • City of Woodstock – Human Resources
  • Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
  • Murray County Commissioner’s Office
  • Cobb County District Attorney’s Office
  • Marietta Police Department
  • Department of Health and Human Services

Recent job placements

MPA graduates have recently been employed with the following organizations:

  • City of Powder Springs – Community Development.
  • Virginia Tech — University Development.
  • United Way of Greater Atlanta.
  • The Georgia Department of Human Services.
  • Emory University.
  • Atlanta International School.
  • City of Marietta – Human Resources.
  • Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
  • Make-A-Wish Georgia.
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
  • Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).
  • Kennesaw State University.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology.
  • Department of Administrative Services.

Study Abroad

Listed below are some recent and upcoming Study Abroad trips are taken by MPA program at Kennesaw State University.

2016 - Romania

In June 2016 MPA students spent 3 weeks in Bucharest, Romania engaged in a variety of internships and research projects related to international comparative public administration.

2017 - EU Immigration & Security Policy

The focus of this program is the current refugee and migration crisis facing Europe. Through visits with EU institutions, national agencies, and local NGOs, students will explore this issue from EU, national, and local perspectives. The program will take place in Brussels, Belgium, Paris, France, and Madrid and Barcelona, Spain.

2018 - Sustainable Development in Germany

This program will provide students with an overview of sustainable development policies in Germany. The goal is to explore the various factors that must be integrated to achieve sustainable communities. The course will focus on environmental, economic, infrastructure, and public communication issues.


  • Fall Admission - July 1
  • Spring Admission - November 1
  • Summer Admission - April 1

All application documents should be submitted prior to the deadline.

Program taught in:
  • English

See 20 more programs offered by Kennesaw State University »

Last updated April 29, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Request Info
290 USD
Resident tuition fee for 1 credit hour: $290.00. Non-resident tuition fee for 1 credit hour: $1,045.00. Other fees may apply.
By locations
By date
Start Date
End Date
Application deadline
Start Date
End Date
Application deadline
Start Date
End Date
Application deadline
Application deadline
End Date
Application deadline
End Date
Application deadline
End Date