Empower excellence

Michelle Kemp

Public Affairs (MPA)

Michelle Kemp believes in the importance of lifelong learning. The online format allowed her to pursue her master's in public affairs from MU while balancing her career with her commitments to her family.

Amy Luebbers

Public Affairs (MPA)

With a busy work schedule and family life, Amy Luebbers knew that attending a traditional university wasn't a viable solution for her. Taking courses online gave her the needed flexibility to earn her master in public affairs.


Courses for this program are 100 percent online, taught by the same instructors who teach the on-campus MPA, and scheduled in 9-week terms.

Successful completion of the program requires seven core courses, two specialization courses and two electives. All courses are 3 credit hours each.

The University reserves the right to change or cancel courses as needed.

The chart below shows when the courses are traditionally offered.

Two courses in the mid-career program (PA 8185 and PA 8195) require prerequisites in statistics and microeconomics. Students who have taken undergraduate course work in statistics and microeconomics must have received a B- or better in these courses within the past five years. Students who have not completed the prerequisites in statistics and/or microeconomics must complete these prerequisite courses prior to enrolling in PA 8185 and PA 8195, respectively.

Prerequisites (do not count toward degree program)*

ECONOM 1014 Principles of Microeconomics   
and either   
STAT 1200 Introductory Statistical Reasoning   
STAT 1300 Elementary Statistics or equivalent   

Core curriculum (21 credit hours)

PUB_AF 8150 Collaborative Governance   
PUB_AF 8160 Organizational Dynamics and Leadership   
PUB_AF 8170 Public Policy Processes and Strategies   
PUB_AF 8185 Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs - Mid Career   
PUB_AF 8195 Economic Analysis for Public Policy - Mid Career   
PUB_AF 8210 Public Service and Democracy   
PUB_AF 8530 Strategic Management of Public Service Organizations: People, Information and Money   

Specialization courses (6 credit hours)

PUB_AF 8520 Human Resources Management and Development in Public and Nonprofit Sector   
PUB_AF 8720 Budgeting and Financial Management in the Nonprofit Sector   
PUB_AF 8510 Public Budgeting and Taxation   

Electives (6 credit hours)

PUB_AF 8540 Local Government Management   
PUB_AF 8710 The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector   
PUB_AF 8610 Group Dynamics and Conflict Resolution   
PUB_AF 8620 Organizational Analysis and Change   
PUB_AF 8630 Organizational Change in a Community and Global Context   
PUB_AF 8830 Grant Writing I   


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Truman School is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

State authorization

States require that the University of Missouri be authorized to deliver university-level distance/online education to their residents. Each state handles this process differently.

Please see our state authorization page.

How to apply

  1. Fulfill the admission requirements:

    • More than three years of progressively responsible experience related to public affairs.
    • Completed baccalaureate or advanced degree from a regionally accredited institution.
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
    • If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 80 (internet-based test) or an IELTS score of at least 6.5.
    • GRE scores are not required.
  2. Mark your calendar

  3. Online MPA courses are offered in 9-week sessions. Submit your application in time.

    Application Dates

    Apply by Classes begin
    Nov. 1 January
    March 1 March/April
    May 1 June (Summer)
    July 1 August
    Sept. 1 October
  4. Gather your papers

  5. Applying will be easier and faster if you gather these required documents beforehand:

    • Transcripts of all previous college or university education. Upload unofficial transcripts in your online application. If you are accepted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
    • TOEFL or IELTS score reports for applicants whose native language is not English.
    • Statement of interest describing why you wish to pursue an MPA, your volunteer and leadership experiences, any lapses in employment or schooling, plus a short biographical statement and any other information you feel might support your application.
    • Statement of career eligibility: (250-350 words) describing your professional experience related to public affairs and progress in the field. Some examples of topics to address:
      • Discussion of positions you have held and for how long.
      • Discussion of duties you performed in your job, and the responsibilities held.
      • Elaboration on how you have progressed in terms of promotion or increased responsibilities.
      • Reflection on how your work experience relates to the field of public affairs. (This is especially important for applicants who have work experience in fields that don't seem directly related to public affairs.)
      • What has your experience taught you about public service?
    • Résumé or CV demonstrating more than three years of progressively responsible experience related to public affairs.
    • Three letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of three people who can attest to your professional competence, academic preparation and potential for graduate work. The Graduate School will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.
  6. Complete the online application

  7. Carefully follow the instructions on the application site.

    • Upload the above documents in the online application.
    • Degree/Delivery: Masters- Distance (Online/Remote Site/etc.)
    • Academic Program: Public Affairs Master of Public Affairs/Online (MPA)
    • TOEFL or IELTS scores: Institution Code 6875 (if applicable)

    Apply Here

Ask us about this program

For information about academic issues or course content, please contact

This program is administered by the Truman School of Public Affairs.