MPA Program Details

Mission, Values, and Competencies

MPA Program Mission

Our MPA program prepares students, as ethical public and nonprofit managers and leaders, to respond equitably, effectively, and efficiently to the needs of a diverse society. We recognize the goals of our students working in, or preparing for, public service by emphasizing flexibility and quality in teaching and learning. We teach the core concepts of public administration with a focus on practical application, while strengthening students’ ability to solve problems analytically. Students may build specialized skills on one of the program’s areas of expertise: public policy, leadership, or nonprofit management. As instructors and advisors, we work closely with students to support both their classroom and career achievement; in return, students are expected to pursue academic excellence and demonstrate integrity. As scholars, we engage in research and service to the University, community, and profession. By building relationships with public and nonprofit organizations in Middle Tennessee and beyond, we enhance our ability to develop students as professionals.

Public Service Values Statement

The guiding public service values of the MPA program in the College of Public Service at TSU are:

  • EQUITY – Public servants should practice impartiality and fairness in their daily work, while balancing that pursuit with the need for effectiveness and efficiency.
  • EFFECTIVENESS – Public servants should work in a proficient and productive manner towards the common good, setting transparent performance outcomes to measure progress while balancing that pursuit with the need for equity and efficiency.
  • EFFICIENCY – Public servants should be careful and innovative stewards who seek to create the most public value out of scarce resources, while balancing that pursuit with the need for effectiveness and equity.
  • DIVERSITY – Public servants should understand, value, and respect both individual differences and commonalities, working to create and maintain inclusive organizations and communities.

--current mission and values statement adopted May 2018 by MPA program faculty

Program Competencies

MPA graduates are expected to achieve the following five overarching Program Competencies (PCs), consistent with our mission and based upon the standards of our accrediting organization, NASPAA :

  1. Each MPA graduate will be competent to lead and manage in public, nonprofit, or public affairs governance.
  2. Each MPA graduate will be competent to participate in and contribute to the policy process.
  3. Each MPA graduate will be competent to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions appropriate to public and nonprofit administration settings.
  4. Each MPA graduate will be competent to articulate and apply a public service perspective.
  5. Each MPA graduate will be competent to communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workplace and citizenry. 

A set of more detailed student learning outcomes (SLOs) are associated with each of the five PCs above. To understand what specific skills, abilities and knowledge areas are included in the MPA degree at TSU, review our competency and learning outcomes by course .


Where do our graduates work?  This figure is based on our alumni with known position information.

Pie chart of MPA known placement locations


webpage contact:
Department of Public Administration