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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. For more information about the program contact the Program Director, Dr. Rhonda Trautman.

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


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. Students applying to the Master of Public Financial Management Program without previously attaining the associated Graduate Certificate may only apply for Fall or Spring Semesters."


Students must meet all requirements of the University of Kentucky Graduate School, including a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have some experience or education in accounting, but it is not a prerequisite.

First Year

Fall (8 week terms)

First term
Public Financial Management (PA 631)
Second term
Public Funds Management (PA 632)

Spring (8 week terms)

First term
Governmental Accounting and Financial Condition Analysis (PA 625)
Second term
Governmental Auditing (PA 627)


First term (4wk)
Legal Issues in Public Financial Management (PA 696)
Second term (8wk)
Applications in Governmental Accounting and Audit (PA 626)

Second Year

Fall (8 week terms)

First term
Municipal Securities (PA 633)
Second term
Data and Revenue Forecasting (PA 695)

Spring (8 week terms)

First term
Tax Administration (PA 685)
Second term
Public Financial Policy Analysis (PA 697)


First term (4wk)
Public Pensions and Insurance (PA 694)
Second term (8wk)
Capstone Project (PA 681)

How does the MFPM compare to...

Our other Master degrees?

  • Advanced topics in public accounting, audit, municipal securities, public pensions/insurance, and others not included in the MPA or MPP.
  • Asychronous online format
  • One class at time in 8-week and 4-week sessions

MFPM vs. other Graduate Certificate

  • Can be completed in two years
  • Chance to take electives focusing on technical, central financial management questions
  • Includes a capstone project.

Distance Education Special Circumstances F-1, J-1 and state law

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.

Important Dates

February 15: Martin School application deadline to be considered for funding You can apply here

April 15: Graduate School deadline for international applications for fall semester

One month prior to classes starting (fall): Deadline for domestic students to apply


Ready to apply to the MPFM?

Gather these important pieces first

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

Apply to the MPFM

Contact Graduate Student Affairs

Program Director

Rhonda Trautman

Rhonda Trautman Director of Online Programs

Linked Department (or Location)
Meet Dr. Rhonda Trautman