MPA in Public Affairs

MU Truman School of Public Affairs students study with outstanding faculty, who are talented teachers as well as active, nationally recognized scholars. Policy forums, round-tables with policy makers, lectures by distinguished visiting scholars, and research symposia also enrich student learning. Small classes taught both on campus and in Jefferson City, the state’s capital, make for a lively learning environment. The Truman School MPA program provides a balance of public service values, interpersonal and analytic skills, and a thorough knowledge of administrative and policy processes.

Degree Requirements

Consisting of 45 hours of graduate work, the MPA program includes a core (27 hours), an area of specialization (15 hours) and an internship (3 hours). The areas of specialization are Nonprofit and Public Management, and Public Policy.

Students with significant public service experience may have some courses waived, making the MPA program 33 hours for them. The MPA’s Mid-Career option is available to students with 3-5 years of public service experience.

Sample Plan of Study

First Semester
PUB_AF 8150Collaborative Governance3
PUB_AF 8160Organizational Dynamics and Leadership3
PUB_AF 8170Public Policy Processes and Strategies3
PUB_AF 8180Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs I3
Second Semester
PUB_AF 8181Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs II3
PUB_AF 8190Economic Analysis for Public Affairs3
Third Semester
Fourth Semester
PUB_AF 8210Ethics, Democracy and the Public Service3
PUB_AF 8530Strategic Management of Public Service Organizations: People, Information and Money3
Fifth Semester
PUB_AF 8211MPA Capstone (Applied Project)3


During the summer after their first year in the program, students without significant public sector work experience are required to complete a public service internship. Interns apply what they have learned during the first year in the program, plus they gain practical experience that enables deeper learning during second-year classes.

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Application and Admission Information

Admission to the Master of Public Affairs Program
Ms. Nicole Harris, Assistant Program Director for Student Services
101 Middlebush Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: Priority admission and funding consideration are given to applications received by January 15. Applications submitted after January 15 will be considered, with preference going to those received by May 1. Prospective students applying after May 1 will be considered for fall admission on a case by case basis.

Spring deadline: Priority admission consideration is given to applications received by November 15.

Assistantship/Fellowship deadline: January 15

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 in last 60 hours
  • Minimum TOEFL scores:
    • iBT: 80
    • CBT: 213
    • PBT: 550
  • Minimum preferred GRE scores:
    • Prior to August 2012: 1000 (combined)
    • After August 2012: 300 (combined)

Admission to the MPA program is competitive and open to students holding baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions and meeting admissions standards of the Truman School of Public Affairs and the Graduate School.

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Required Application Materials

To the Graduate School:

  • All required Graduate School documents

To the Truman School MPA Program:

  • 3 letters of recommendation (at least two academic-focused)
  • GRE score report (GRE alternatives accepted: LSAT and GMAT scores will be considered)
  • Résumé
  • Statement of interest
  • Statement of career eligibility (required for Mid-Career and Mid-Career Online applicants only)
  • Unofficial transcripts

Financial Aid From the Program

To be considered for funding from the Truman School (including a Graduate Research Assistantship and scholarships), please arrange to have all of your application materials submitted by the January 15 deadline and include a GRA application in your supplemental application materials.  Contact the Truman School at (573) 884-1656 or visit for more details.

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