May 27, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog Archived Catalog

Public Administration, M.P.A.

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Dr. Michelle Deardorff, Head
(423) 425-4231 or email at
Dr. David Edwards, M.P.A. Coordinator
(423) 425-4068 or email at

The Department of Political Science, Public Administration and Nonprofit Management at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, recognizing the importance of public administration and nonprofit management in the university service area and in society in general, offers a Master of Public Administration degree. The overall goal of the program is to improve public sector and nonprofit administration by preparing highly competent, highly skilled professional administrators for work in applied settings in the community.

To accomplish this goal, the M.P.A. program provides students with a course of study intended to improve written and oral communication, to strengthen analytical skills, and to enhance the students’ ability to effectively and ethically manage human, financial, and physical resources.

The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.


Applicants who wish to be admitted to the M.P.A. degree program must meet all general requirements for admission to The Graduate School of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In addition, the applicant must furnish test scores from the Graduate Record Examination general test, a supplemental data form, and three letters of recommendation.

To assure full consideration, applicants seeking admission for fall semester are encouraged to complete their applications, including GRE scores and letters of recommendation, by July 15 for fall semester 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. The Program of Study form is located at

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


All degree students are required to complete a six credit hour public administration internship. The M.P.A. coordinator may waive this requirement for students who have significant supervisory experience in a public or nonprofit agency. Students fulfill the internship requirement by registering for and completing six credit hours in POLS 5610  (The M.P.A. Internship).

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