Sep 26, 2020  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog Archived Catalog

Public Administration, MPA

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Dr. Michelle Deardorff, Head
(423) 425-4231 or email at
Dr. Christopher Horne, M.P.A. Coordinator
(423) 425-1709 or email at

The Department of Political Science and Public Service offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. The mission of the MPA program is to promote the public good by preparing students to be effective leaders, managers, and analysts in public and nonprofit agencies.  The program emphasizes: developing students’ proficiency in core management and analytic skills that apply to a broad range of public and nonprofit employment settings; training students to apply theory and evidence to practice; cultivating students’ commitment to technical competence, professional ethics, and the public interest; engaging students in active learning; preparing pre-career and mid-career students to work with and serve diverse constituencies; and serving our region by providing options for focused study of local government management and nonprofit management.  The program is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.


Applicants who wish to be admitted to the MPA program must meet all general requirements for admission to The Graduate School of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In addition, the applicant must submit a supplemental data form and three letters of recommendation.  Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.25 must also submit test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test.

To assure full consideration, applicants seeking admission for fall semester are encouraged to submit all application materials by July 15 for fall admission or by November 1 for spring semester admission.

Program Requirements

This program requires 24 credit hours of core courses and 12 credit hours of elective courses. Pre-service students must also complete a six credit hour public administration internship.

Program of Study

Students must submit a Program of Study during the first semester of graduate coursework. The Program of Study consist of all core courses and any electives and establishes the courses the student must take for partial fulfillment of the degree requirements. The Program of Study form must include all core courses and electives, if known at the time, the student will take.

Admission to Candidacy

The application for admission to candidacy is typically filed in the semester prior to a student’s anticipated graduation semester and should list all courses not listed on the Program of Study and any changes in coursework. Please refer to Application for Admission to Candidacy section. The appropriate form may be obtained from the Graduate School Web site at

Total: 24 hours


Students must complete 12 credit hours of elective courses.  Students have three options for these elective courses.  Students may use the elective courses toward one of two optional concentrations: 

(1) Public Administration: Local Government Management [link]

(2) Public Administration: Nonprofit Management [link]

(3) Or, students pursuing the generalist MPA degree select elective courses to meet their professional development goals in consultation with the MPA program coordinator. 

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