Master of Public Affairs Course Requirements

The MPA program requires a total of 45 credit hours of graduate course work.

Full-time students can complete the MPA program in two years.

Core courses (27 credit hours)

Every MPA student takes core courses to build a strong foundation of basic knowledge and skills and to prepare for advanced studies in an area of specialization.

  • PUB_AF 8150: Collaborative Governance
  • PUB_AF 8160: Organizational Dynamics and Leadership
  • PUB_AF 8170: Public Policy Processes and Strategies
  • PUB_AF 8180: Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs I
  • PUB_AF 8181: Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs II
  • PUB_AF 8190: Economic Analysis for Public Policy
  • PUB_AF 8210: Democracy and the Public Service
  • PUB_AF 8530: Strategic Management of Public Service Organizations: People, Information, and Money
  • PUB_AF 8211: MPA Capstone: Applied Project

Area of specialization (15 credit hours)

Internship (3 credit hours)

Every student is required to complete an internship in a public or nonprofit organization.

This helps students:

  • gain experience in public service
  • apply knowledge from coursework
  • build professional connections

Students with significant public sector or nonprofit work experience may request an exemption from the internship requirement.

In addition to the core and elective courses offered by the Truman School, students may take courses offered by other schools and colleges at MU in consultation with the director of graduate studies.

The mid-career option is designed for professionals with three to five years of progressively responsible work experience.  The program requires 33 credit hours of graduate course work. The mid-career option is available in Jefferson City and/or Columbia, and also can be 100% online if you prefer.

The internship requirement (PA 8280) and the capstone applied project (PA8211) are waived for working professionals completing the mid-career option.

Prerequisites (6 credit hours)

Students who have not completed prior coursework in micro economics and statistics within the past five years must take these two courses as prerequisites. Several online course options are available, please discuss with the Academic Programs Office.

Core Courses (21 credit hours)

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

Areas of Specialization (12 credit hours)

The Global Management option is for applicants sponsored by an international institution with which the Truman School has a memorandum of agreement (Korea Government, Korea University, KDI Policy School):

Global Management MPA Options

The Global Management MPA option is for students sponsored by an international institution with which the Truman School has a memorandum of agreement (Korea Government, KDI Policy School, Korea University).  The GRE is not required for these programs.

Global Management – Mid Career MPA (33 Credits)

Students in the two-year Global Management MPA program complete the following program of study:

Fall Semester 2019 – 3 classes (9 credit hours)

  • Graduate Program Success
  • PA 8282: Practicum in Public Affairs
    This course is designed to introduce international graduate students to American Politics through readings, class discussions, presentations and writing assignments. Since the midterm Congressional elections will be held this November, we will pay close attention to various aspects of the campaign: issues, campaign events, public opinion, election administration, and the process of US elections. In addition to improving students’ understanding of US and state government, the structure of the class meetings and assignments is designed to advance students’ English language and discussion skills.

Spring Semester 2020– 3 or 4 classes (9-12 credit hours)

  • PA 8170 Public Policy Processes and Strategies
  • PA 8190 Economic Analysis for Public Policy
  • PA 8160: Organizational Dynamics and Leadership (4T in Jefferson City)
  • PA 8530: Strategic Management of Public Service Organizations

Option: Summer Semester 2020

  • PA 8530: Strategic Management of Public Service Organizations online

Fall Semester 2020 – 3 classes (9 credit hours)

  • PA 8150: Collaborative Governance (possibly online)
  • PA 8185: Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs (Jefferson City)
  • PA 8210: Public Service and Democracy

Spring Semester 2021– 3 classes (9 credit hours)

  • Elective course (on campus)
  • Elective course (on campus)
  • PA 8211: Capstone
    For the Global Management Program Students, the capstone project is individualized and will focus on a public affairs topic related to the US and Korea. Students will make a short presentation of their research findings at the end of the semester.

 One-year “1+1” program with the KDI Policy School

Students in the KDI program take 24 credits at the University of Missouri.  With two courses transferred from the KDI School of Public Policy and Management, the required 30 credit hours of graduate coursework are completed within one calendar year.

Spring Semester 2019 – 4 classes (12 credits)

  • PA 8170: Public Policy Processes
  • PA 8530: Strategic Management of Public Service Organizations
  • Elective course
  • Elective course

Fall Semester 2019 – 4 classes (12 credits)

  • PA 8160: Organizational Dynamics and Leadership
  • PA 8210: Public Service and Democracy
  • PA 8150: Collaborative Governance
  • Elective course

Transfer courses from KDI School to be applied to TSPA program of study

  • MCD002: Introduction to Research Methods (substitute for PA 8185 Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs)
  • MCA002: Analysis of Market and Public Policy (substitute for PA 8195 Economic Analysis for Public Affairs)