Master of Public Financial Management

As a student in the Masters of Public Financial Management program, I was 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 faculty, and the discussions with fellow students have been a positive experience. I cannot recommend this program highly enough.
- A.J. Wells, MPFM Graduate

The Master of Public Financial Management (MPFM) is designed to meet the national demand for well-trained financial managers for public and non-profit organizations.The MPFM prepares students for careers in public financial management, accounting, and budget analysis in public and nonprofit organizations. Offered 100% online, the MPFM courses and schedule are designed with working and non-traditional students in mind. Classes include advanced topics in public accounting, auditing, budgeting, tax policy, municipal securities, public pensions, legal issues, and other special topics in public finance.

Like the PFM Graduate Certificate, the MPFM consists exclusively of online coursework engaging students 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. The 36-credit hour degree program includes all of the courses found in the Graduate Certificate, plus an additional 24 credit hours of course work.

How does the MFPM compare to our other Master degrees?  The MPFM differs from our MPP and MPA programs in a few key ways. The MPFM:

  • Prepares students for advanced-careers in public financial management, public/nonprofit accounting, and budget analysis. 
  • Offers advanced topics in public accounting, audit, municipal securities, public pensions/insurance, and other topics in public finance not included in the MPA or MPP programs.
  • Offers courses in an asychonistic online format allowing students to work within the weekly modules at a pace and schedule that suits their needs - allowing non-traditional and working students the flexibility and convenience of online coursework
  • Offers courses in 8-week and 4-week sessions allowing students to take one class at time while still completing the degree program in two years. To see how the MPFM compares to the Graduate Certificate, students are encouraged to check out this graphic.

Tuition and Fees

MPFM students pay the in-state tuition rate, which is assessed per credit hour, in addition to semester fees. For the current tuition rate, visit the Registrar's website.

Prerequisites

Students must meet all requirements of the University of Kentucky Graduate School, including a baccalureate degree from an accredited university. 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.

Application Deadlines

  • January 15: Deadline to apply for Ph.D. and masters students to be considered for funding for the fall 2021 semester.
  • February 1: Deadline for international applications (all programs) to be submitted to the Graduate School for the fall 2021 semester.
  • March 15: Notification letters concerning fellowships, assistantships, and scholarships sent out for the fall 2021.
  • July 24: Deadline to apply to the Graduate School for the fall 2021 semester.
  • October 1: Deadline to apply for masters students to be considered for funding for the spring 2022 semester.
  • December 6: Deadline to apply to the Graduate School for the spring 2022 semester.

Application Materials

  • Official Transcripts
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • GRE/GMAT (Optional)

Curriculum

The program can be completed in two years, including two summer sessions. Students take one 3-credit hour course at a time in 8-week and 4-week sessions. 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 entering program in Fall Semester is below. Students may also begin the program in Spring Semester.

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

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 633: Municipal Securities

PA 695: Data and Revenue Forecasting

PA 683: Tax Policy PA 697: Special Topics in Public Financial Management PA 694: Public Pensions and Insurance PA 681: Capstone Project

 

The Graduate Certificate and Master's of 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 can 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. 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.