The MPA curriculum is flexible and allows students to choose a concentration that meets their interests and career aspirations. The MPA degree plan consists of 18 credit hours (6 classes) in the MPA core requirements, 12 credits (4 classes) in a concentration area chosen by the student, 6 credit hours (2 classes) of electives, and 6 credit hours which consist of a practicum/ internship or a thesis. The practicum/internship involves a minimum of 400 real-time hours of practical experience over a period of not less than one semester.
Overview | The MPA is the key professional degree for individuals working in the fast-growing public and nonprofit sectors, and our graduates succeed in obtaining work in those areas (see figure; read our program mission ). The College of Public Service MPA is the only NASPAA-accredited MPA program in Middle Tennessee. Located in the state capital and a vibrant city, we can offer opportunities to interact with state and local public policymakers, administrators and nonprofit leaders during your studies. The MPA can also be combined with a graduate certificate to emphasize Public Policy , Healthcare Administration and Planning , or Nonprofit Management , increasing relevance for these dynamic fields. While this is an on-ground degree, throughout the curriculum courses are offered in a variety of delivery approaches (evening, hybrid, weekend) which help meet our students' needs as working adults. You can start the MPA program in spring, summer or fall. Students who have less than one year professional-level experience in a public, nonprofit or healthcare administration setting, as evaluated by program advisor, complete a 300-hour internship, gaining real-world experience in their desired sector ( recent host organizations ). Qualifying unconditionally admitted students can apply for a graduate assistantship, subject to funds availability; contact us to learn more. Always seek advising before registration to make sound course choices ( Contact your advisor ). In particular, students who want to pursue a certificate along with the MPA should seek advising before choosing any electives in the MPA or certificate to minimize chances of having to take an extra course while satisfying each set of requirements. Our Handbook for the MPA offers more detail on our program.
Of the 39 credit hours of graduate work required for the degree, a maximum of six (6) hours earned prior to admission to the graduate program may be applied to the program requirements, subject to the approval of the MPA Director. Each student must also complete a professional field experience requirement. This requirement may be filled with either an approved internship or other professional involvement (see examples of Professional Involvement and Internships below). In addition to course work, each student must complete a project on a topic of significance.