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Political Science - MPA Program

Distinguished Minority Fellows with Dr. Gordon Ashleigh Barker and Nicole Todd at the 2017 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition on Food Security

Distinguished Minority Fellows with Dr. Gordon

MPA Students Ashleigh Barker and Nicole Todd at the 2017 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition on Food Security.

Master of Public Administration Program

Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve.

The Master of Public Administration program is offered through the Department of Political Science at Western Kentucky University. The MPA program has trained professional public administrators since 1973 and has an excellent track record of job placements and career advances. The program is an accredited member of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). The MPA program believes in the importance of the quality of education.


"It is providing me with the skills and knowledge to be confident in working in the public sector." - Teran Ransom, Hardin County Extension Agent


The MPA degree requires 39 semester hours of course work including the completion of 18 hours of core courses. The curriculum provides a balanced blend of both the practical and the theoretical approaches to the art and science of public administration. An internship is required of all students unless awarded credit based on previous professional experience. Additionally, each student must complete18 hours of elective courses. The goal of these courses is to help prepare students for a variety of professional positions. In order to make the MPA program more accessible to students, classes are taught on the main campus of Western Kentucky University and via interactive television (ITV) in Owensboro, Glasgow, and Ft. Knox/Elizabethtown.


"Open doors to new possibilities that I have yet to consider or that I knew were available." - Bobbie Harris, Child Support Enforcement/Caseworker


The strength of the WKU MPA Program is its versatility. It is a diverse program which includes full-time as well as students who are also employed full-time in organizations including the military, law enforcement, other agencies of government, and nonprofits. Additionally, there are various opportunities for student engagement such as internships, networking opportunities, and professional conferences.


Mission Statement of the MPA Program

Revised June 26, 2013

The MPA program prepares graduate students from diverse backgrounds to be productive leaders and managers in public service by sharing knowledge, encouraging excellence in research and practice, and fostering an environment of professionalism within the communities we serve.


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"The tenets of a public administration degree were ideal for me. This degree was a good precursor to a degree in higher education administration. It serves me well to this day. It is a degree program with multiple dimensions of application. I am proud to have earned it and pleased with what I have gained from having done so."

Dr. Gary A. Ransdell, President of Western Kentucky University, WKU MPA Alumnus


News and Events

MPA JUMP Program

MPA JUMP Program is now live!

Dr. Gordon featured in ALIVE Magazine
Dr. Gordon featured in ALIVE Magazine

Dr. Gordon is an Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Public Administration program at Western Kentucky University. She continues to provide an example for her students through her efforts in research, writing, and teaching.

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 Last Modified 5/30/17