2023-24 Catalogs

125 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Map and directions »
Phone numbers and e-mail »

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 online 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 36 hours of graduate work, the MPA program includes a core (18 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 30 hours for them. The MPA’s Mid-Career option is available to students with 3-5 years of public service experience.

Core Courses18
Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Management
Public Policy Processes and Strategies
Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs I
Research Methods and Inquiry in Public Affairs II
Public Service and Democracy
MPA Capstone (Applied Project)
Area of Specialization15

Dual Degree Option: MPA to MLIS in Library and Information Science

A dual degree options is available for the MPA in Public Affairs and MLIS in Library and Information Science.  Refer to the Graduate School’s webpage on Dual Degrees for more information. For general information on how dual degrees work at MU, and for guidance on participation, refer to Dual Degrees in the catalog.

Accelerated BA in Political Science to MPA in Public Affairs

An accelerated option is available for the BA in Political Science to MPA in Public Affairs. Refer to the Graduate School’s webpage on Accelerated Programs for more information. For general information on how accelerated options work at MU, and for guidance on participation, refer to Accelerated Options in the catalog.

Back to Top

Sample Plan of Study

First Semester
PUB_AF 8110Introduction to Public and Nonprofit Management3
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
Third Semester
PUB_AF 8210Public Service and Democracy3
Fourth Semester
PUB_AF 8211MPA Capstone (Applied Project)3

Back to Top 


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.

Application and Admission Information

Admission to the Master of Public Affairs Program: 
If you are not an active MU non-degree-seeking or graduate student, you will need to apply through the Graduate School online portal. You must be admitted to the Graduate School before you can enroll as a Truman School certificate student. There is a non-refundable application fee. 

If you are an active MU student, please contact truman@missouri.edu for instructions.

Back to Top

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, with priority funding consideration given to those applications received by January 15. Applications received after this date will continue to be evaluated on a rolling basis.

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 in last 60 hours
  • Non-native English speakers must score at least a 550 on the paper-based TOEFL80 on the Internet-based TOEFL or 6.5 on the Academic IELTS. In addition, it is expected that applicants will achieve subsection minimums of no less than 17 on IBT52 on PBT or 6.0 on IELTS (subsections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing). Native English speakers are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for two years beyond the test date.

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.

Required Application Materials

All admission materials can be submitted through the Graduate School online portal.

  • 3 letters of recommendation (at least two academic-focused)
  • TOEFL/IELTS score for non-native English speakers
  • Résumé
  • Statement of Interest
  • Statement of Career Eligibility (required for Mid-Career and Mid-Career Online applicants only)
  • Transcripts
  • GRE optional

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. Contact the Truman School at (573) 884-1656 or truman@missouri.edu for more details.

Back to Top