Master of Public Financial Management (MPFM)

As a student in the Masters of Public Financial Management program, I have been exposed to instruction, strategies, and experts that directly impact my day-to-day professional life. The content is directly applicable to my job responsibilities. The experience and knowledge I have acquired, the interactions with its faculty, and the discussions with fellow students have been a positive experience. I cannot recommend this program highly enough.

- A.J. Wells, MPFM Program current student

The Master of Public Financial Management is designed to meet the current and expanding national demand for well-trained financial managers for public and non-profit organizations. Public institutions are faced with multiple challenges as they attempt to efficiently and effectively manage their finances and initiate new programs that are financially sustainable. The Martin School is among the top graduate programs in the nation in public financial management, and is one of very few offering an online MPFM degree program.

Like the PFM Graduate Certificate, the MPFM consists exclusively of online coursework, which will engage students weekly through assignments, readings, exams, and other activities with the same level of rigor of other traditional Master programs offered by the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. Where the MPFM differs from the Graduate Certificate, however, is in its depth. This 36-credit hour degree program includes all of the courses found in the Graduate Certificate, plus an additional 24 credit hours focused on technical, central financial management questions.

How does this degree compare to our other offerings? If you are interested in both the certificate and the master program, we encourage you to check out this graphic to get a "bird's eye view" of the differences between the two. The MPFM differs from our MPP and MPA programs, though, in a couple of key ways:

  • The MPFM program prepares students for advanced-careers in public financial management and analysis. The MPP program prepares students for a policy analyst or research career; the MPA prepares students for public management and administration positions.
  • The MPFM offers advanced topics in public accounting, audit, municipal securities, public pensions/insurance, and other special topics in public finance, topics not included in the MPA or MPP programs.
  • The MPFM program offers completely online, allowing for non-traditional students and the flexibility of online coursework.Our MPA and MPP programs do not offer online classes; however, the majority of our MPA and MPP courses are in the evenings to accomodate working professionals living in the area.

Tuition and Fees

Like the Graduate Certificate program, all MPFM students will pay the in-state tuition rate, which is assessed per credit hour, in addition to semesterly fees. For the current tuition rate, visit the Registrar's website.

Prerequisites

For admission, students must meet all requirements of the University of Kentucky Graduate School, including a baccalureate degree from an accredited university. To be considered, potential MPFM students must submit a GRE/GMAT score, a biographical sketch, all academic transcripts, and three letters of recommendation through the Graduate School's online portal. For more information about applying, click here. Given the nature of the program, applicants are strongly encouraged to have some experience or education in accounting, however it is not a formal prerequisite.

The requirement to submit GRE or GMAT scores may be waived for students who are enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program in Public Financial Management and have successfully completed 9 or more credit hours toward the ceritificate. The Director of Graduate Students shall make the recommendation for the waiver upon review of the student's performance in the Certificate Program.

Curriculum

The program can be completed in two years, including two summer sessions each year. Students take one 3-credit hour course at a time in 8-week sessions, with the exception of the first summer session, which is 4 weeks long. The culmination of the program is the Capstone Project, which is a self-selected research project centered on relevant policy questions.

Given the nature of the online format, this program requires self-motivation and time management from the student.

Suggested Sequence of Courses

Fall

(8 weeks)

Session 1

Fall

(8 weeks)

Session 2

Spring

(8 weeks)

Session 1

Spring

(8 weeks)

Session 2

Summer

(4 weeks)

Session 1

Summer

(8 weeks)

Session 2

Year 1

PA 631: Public Financial Management: Budgeting & Debt Management

PA 632: Public Funds Management

PA 625: Governmental Accounting and Financial Condition Analysis

PA 627: Governmental Auditing

PA 696: Legal Issues in Public Financial Management

PA 626: Applications in Governmental Accounting and Audit

Year 2

PA 683: Tax Policy

PA 695 Data and Revenue Forecasting

PA 633: Municipal Securities PA 697: Special Topics in Public Financial Management PA 694: Public Pensions and Insurance PA 681: Capstone Project

 

Graduate Certificate and Master's in Public Financial Management share courses

It is important to note that the first four classes in the Graduate Certificate in PFM are identical to the MPFM. Courses completed in the Graduate Certificate will count towards the MPFM if students chose to apply. This process does require another application and must meet other requirements in the application process. Students interested in this process should contact the Martin School Student Affairs Officer.

Distance Education Special Circumstances

Please be aware that admission and/or enrollment in this program cannot lead to the issuance of an F-1 or J-1 student visa. The University of Kentucky cannot sponsor a student visa or issue an I-20/DS-2019 to students in an online program.

Per state laws, distance education courses and programs must be legally authorized in a state prior to offering courses or programs to students residing there. Therefore, program availability varies by state. Students should check UK Online to determine if a distance education program at the University of Kentucky is available in their state of residence.

Relocating during the course of a program

All distance education students should keep in mind that relocating during the course of a program to another state could impact whether that student can continue in the course and/or meet the eligibility requirements of that state.