The Opportunities

Public administrators play a major role in contributing to society and the decision-making processes that occur in the public and nonprofit sectors. A degree in public administration can open the door to a number of careers in all levels of government, the private sector, nonprofit leadership and administration, foundation management and international relations.

The Degree
A bachelor’s degree in public administration provides undergraduate students with the knowledge and skills needed for planning, implementing and evaluating public programs. As students learn to think critically and analytically about public policy, they will better understand the dynamics in their own communities and learn how to be more effective citizens and public officials. Internships and research opportunities are available to students as they complete coursework. KU public administration students have completed internships with the following companies or organizations: City of Roeland Park, YMCA, Governor’s Internship Program, Youth Volunteer Corps of Kansas City, America Reads and Army Corps of Engineers.

The Result
Graduates of the program are skilled leaders, innovators and problem solvers who are prepared to confront pressing social and economic challenges at the local, state, national and international levels. They are educated in contemporary public management and in building professionalism in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

First-and Second-Year Preparation

KU Edwards Campus

The undergraduate program in public administration is offered in its entirety only at the KU Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park, KS 66213. This program is designed for students who have earned an associate’s degree or equivalent hours and wish to complete the upper-level courses necessary for a bachelor’s degree.

Public Administration Program

The major accommodates both traditional and nontraditional students. Public administration offers students the necessary knowledge and skills for planning, implementing, and evaluating public programs. Students will be able to work in such settings as local and state government, nonprofit organizations, and private sector businesses.

Students fulfill their first-year and sophomore hours through general education requirements. Students are encouraged, but not required to take POLS 110 as part of their general education hours. Students considering the major should contact the CLAS undergraduate advisor on the Edwards Campus, Dan Mueller,, 864-8659 (from Lawrence) or 913-897-8659 (outside of Lawrence) for advising on general education requirements leading up to the major.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

Public Administration Required Courses
Majors must complete a course in each of the following areas:
PUAD 330Introduction to Public Administration3
or PUAD 331 Introduction to Public Administration, Honors
PUAD 332Quantitative Methods for Public Administration (PSYC 210 or MATH 365 and their equivalents may be substituted for this course requirement but students would need to complete another jr/sr PUAD elective for the PUAD major.)3
PUAD 333Hard Choices in Public Administration: _____3
Public Administration Required Electives (18)
Majors must complete 6 courses (18 hours) from the following: 18
Bureaucracy, Public Administration, and the Private Sector
Conducting the People's Business Ethically
Metropolitics and Macroproblems: The American City in Local and Global Context
Generating, Allocating and Managing Public Resources
Managing People in Public Organizations
Crime and Punishment
Diversity in Public Administration
Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector
Resource Development and Management in Nonprofit Organizations
Managing Nonprofit Relationships
Nonprofit Accountability: Public Needs and Public Values
Collaboration in Public Administration
Concepts of Civil Society
Internship in Public Service
Research Experience in Public Administration
Directed Readings
Topics in Public Administration: _____

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 27 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 24 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

A sample 4-year plan for the BA degree in Public Administration is available by using the left-side navigation, or by clicking here.

A sample 4-year plan for the BGS degree in Public Administration is available by using the left-side navigation, or by clicking here.