There are three colleges in Tennessee that offer a Master of Public Administration program and are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Memphis provides a few options at the University of Memphis and Strayer University, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
A Master of Public Service Management is available through Cumberland University in Lebanon.
Online MPA Programs in Tennessee
While there are no fully online MPA programs that are accredited by NASPAA in the state of Tennessee, all three opportunities offer some coursework online. In addition, there are Master's degrees in Professional Studies that provide similar concentrations in Public Administration, such as Human Resource Leadership, Healthcare Administration, and Strategic Leadership. Schools that offer full programs online in these areas are the University of Memphis, Middle Tennessee State University, and Tennessee Technological University.
Tennessee State University MPA Online
The College of Public Service offers the Master of Public Administration at their campus in downtown Nashville. While there still are primary courses offline, some coursework is provided online. Unlike many other programs across the country, there are no specializations for the degree. There are three different graduate certificates that can be completed within three semesters: Nonprofit Management, Public Policy, and Public Administration and Executive Leadership, the latter of which can be completed online.
Another unique aspect is the ability to substitute traditional courses with those under the Master of Professional Studies curriculum through TN eCampus. Permission from the program director is needed for approval, and the topics need to be similar. For example, Leadership in Organization can be subbed in for Organization Theory. Of those that graduated in the 2017 academic year, the significant majority has continued to work in the public sector.
Consider Featured Online MPA Programs
University of Memphis Online MPA
Not only are 25 percent of classes of the MPA curriculum available online, but there are Nonprofit and Local Government graduate certifications that can be fully completed online. Example courses in the Nonprofit curriculum are Human Resources Administration, Theory and Practice, Resource Development, and Leadership and Philanthropy. Those are all required for the certification, and an additional elective culminates the program. Both certifications require 15 credits to complete, and not all electives are available in an online format.
University of Memphis Campus MPA
The Division of Public and Nonprofit Administration provides a Master of Public Administration with disciplines in nonprofit and urban management with an emphasis in Memphis and the Southern region. 39 credit hours are needed to complete the curriculum and there are concentrations in Nonprofit administration and Public Management and Policy. Those that do not have prior work experience will need to take an internship and the program is completed after the capstone project.
Admission into the program requires students to hold an undergraduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, at least maintained over the last 60 hours of credit hours. GRE or GMAT scores are needed unless the student has high academic merit. The other documents needed are an updated resume, two letters of recommendation, and a statement of interest that explains career goals and objectives in the MPA degree that is up to 600 words long. Students can be admitted into the program in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The majority of graduates from the 2017-18 academic year represent the domestic nonprofit sector.