Master of Public Administration

Learn how to make meaningful decisions in the public and nonprofit sector.

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Learn new skills to lead and manage organizations.

Make a lasting contribution to your community. Learn analytical skills—policy, budget, finance and management—that will help you make strong decisions and advance your career.

All courses can be taken online, so your schedule is entirely up to you. If you are a full-time student taking three courses a semester, it is possible to graduate in two years. Most students are working full-time and taking one or two classes each semester. Part-time students can complete the degree in three years.

As part of the degree requirements, you can choose to earn one or more career-boosting graduate certificates:

  • City/County Management
  • Economic Development
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Public Finance

39 Credit Hours

$329.73 per credit hour

*Does not include college and department fees, as these vary based on major and credits enrolled. The tuition and fees listed are subject to change by action of the Kansas Board of Regents.

NASPAA Accredited


Average City Manager Salary


Average Finance Director Salary


Average Public Works Director Salary


Average Economic Development Director Salary


Average Project Manager Salary

Salary information gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale and Glassdoor.

Faculty Highlights

Melissa Walker

Dr. Melissa Walker arrived at the Hugo Wall School with 20 years of fundraising, strategic planning and program evaluation experience. Since joining the faculty in 2006, she has played a leading role in the integration of nonprofit content in the MPA. Her primary teaching responsibilities include the capstone course, human resource management as well as fundraising and financial management in nonprofit organizations. Dr. Walker’s policy research explores the intersection of the public and nonprofit sectors; in particular, how funding arrangements affect service delivery. Dr. Walker has evaluated services for uninsured individuals who have diabetes, services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities funded by Medicaid and, most recently, a drug court.

David Guo

Dr. David Guo is the fourth Regents Distinguished Professor of Public Finance to join the Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs. His research focuses on budgetary institutions and fiscal policy outcomes, public engagement in the budget process, local government strategic interaction and fiscal competition, and fiscal transparency. His recent publications include Governmental Support Strategies and their Effects on Private Capital Engagement in Public-Private Partnerships (forthcoming in Public Management Review coauthored with Yanbing Han) and The Fiscal Impact of County-Urban District Conversion across Prefectural Cities in China (published in Urban Affairs Review, Coauthored with Huiping Li, and Pengju Zhang).

Ruowen Shen

Ruowen Shen received her doctoral degree from the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University. Her research interests include policy influence in local and regional governance, urban sustainability and the effects of expanded bike paths on community health. For her dissertation, “Governance of Local Sustainability: Network, Environment and Policy,” Shen used Geographic Information System (GIS) software to conduct a spatial analysis of residential adoption of solar PV.

Financial Aid-Eligible

The financial aid team can help you with FAFSA, a payment plan or tuition assistance



Student services are always available through the OneStop portal

“The best aspect of this program is the wonderful professors, and the breadth of coursework available that allows students to follow their interests. Wichita State does an excellent job of ensuring that graduates leave the program equipped with the tools they need to become managers in the public sector.”

Ethan Altmire, MPA graduate

Executive Assistant, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina


The Master of Public Administration degree draws upon the methods and perspectives of the social and behavioral sciences, economics and the humanities. The link between these disciplines and the challenges of public management are emphasized through the use of practitioners in the classroom, policy-relevant research assignments, public affairs seminars and internships. Teaching faculty have significant professional experience in state and local government and are engaged in cutting-edge research relevant to public and nonprofit organizations in Kansas. This experience allows faculty to bring pertinent perspectives on public management into the classroom.

Tuition Assistance

Hugo Wall Graduate Assistants and Fellowships

Each year the Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs awards eight to ten graduate assistantships to outstanding students pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at Wichita State University. Graduate assistants work directly with faculty and staff on research and community service projects through the Kansas Public Finance Center and Environmental Finance Center.

Graduate assistantships are awarded primarily on the basis of a student’s academic record, demonstrated leadership abilities and potential for success in the field of public and nonprofit management. To be eligible for a graduate assistantship, a student must be admitted to the Master of Public Administration in full standing meeting minimum 3.0 GPA requirements.

Assistants are expected to work 20 hours per week and pursue their graduate degree on a full-time basis. Currently, assistants earn a stipend of $10,500 for a nine-month appointment. Graduate assistants are also eligible to apply for fellowships which are awarded competitively.

Graduate Assistant Job Description

Four endowed fellowships in the Hugo Wall School provide financial assistance to students enrolled in the Master of Public Administration degree. These fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis with preference given to graduate assistants showing exemplary records and specific career interests in the field of public administration. Applications are due Febuary 15 for Hugo Wall graduate research assistantships and fellowships that begin in the fall.

The following fellowships are available:

  • The Hugo Wall Fellowship was established in 1973 to honor the contributions made to community service and the field of public administration by the late Professor Hugo Wall. Hugo Wall fellowships are awarded to outstanding students with a career interest in public administration.
  • The George Pyle Fellowship was initiated in 1990 by members of the Wichita State University Managers Association (WSUMA), to honor George Pyle’s thirty-nine years of service in the field of city management, the last twenty-two years as city manager of Hutchinson, Kansas. George Pyle Fellowships are awarded to graduate students planning careers as city or county managers.
  • The George Van Riper Fellowship was established in 1997 from an endowment honoring the late George Van Riper, a graduate of the MPA degree program and practitioner in the field of public finance. Van Riper fellowships are awarded to graduate students planning careers in public finance. Van Riper Fellows work primarily on research and community service projects through the Kansas Public Finance Center.
  • The Mike Hill Fellowship was initiated in 2001 to honor Mike Hill’s 37 years of public service in behalf of the citizens of Wichita and Sedgwick County. The Mike Hill Fellowship is intended to provide financial assistance to graduate students with education and experience in law enforcement who seek to advance in the field of public management.
  • The Donna Urbom-McClure Fellowship was initiated in 2020 to honor Donna Urbom-McClure’s dedication to public service. The Donna Urbom-McClure Fellowship is intended to provide financial assistance to graduate students who hold a undergraduate degree from Wichita State University with preference given to those who are committed to giving back to their community through public service. U.S. Military Veterans are given highest preference.

Now Accepting Applications

Fill out the form on this page or call today to get more information on how you can apply.