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Master of Public Administration

College of Arts and Sciences

The Master of Public Administration (MPA)

  • Students are taking class
  • Students are presenting their project
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  • In front of ETSU

What is a MPA degree? 

MPA is a professional degree program that integrates theory and real world practice of public administration to prepare you for work in the public or nonprofit sectors. This highly marketable degree produces leaders with skills and passion to become effective administrators.

Despite the economy's ups and downs, demand remains high for skilled and trained public administration professionals. Urban Planning was even named a "Hot Job for the 21st Century" by the US Department of Labor. 

We welcome potential students of all ages and backgrounds to apply the MPA program at East Tennessee State University! Let our education strengthen your future!


Career Outlook with a MPA degree

Public administration jobs can be found in the following industries:

  • Local, state and federal government agencies - state and city government, Department of Transportation, Department of Economic and Community Department etc.
  • Nonprofit organizations – Youth Corps, Salvation Army, United Way, etc.
  • Private Business – Consulting businesses, human resources, etc.

Over 90 percent of the alumni of the MPA program at ETSU are currently employed in some aspect of public management, with over two-thirds holding positions in urban administration. Approximately a third of the alumni are city managers or town administrators. Others serve as planners, financial and personnel officers, federal and state civil servants, managers and administrative officers of non-profit and private sector organizations, and other occupations connected with urban affairs. Given the expansion of professional management in many areas of public administration, the prospects for graduates of the program are excellent

Followings are salary ranges for MPA graduates from entry level to more senior level.  Note that salaries for these positions vary greatly due location, work experience, industry sector, and other factors.

Local Government Analyst State/Local Gov $26,000 – $45,000
Program Coordinator Nonprofit $30,000 – $48,000
Program Assistant/Manager Nonprofit $32,000 – $63,000
Policy Analyst Nonprofit/Government $40,000 – $68,000
Statistician Nonprofit/Government $46,000 – $65,000
Research Associate NP/Gov/Private $45,000 – $60,000
Marketing/PA Specialist NP/Gov/Private $66,000 – $85,000
City Manager/Chief Administrative Officer State/Local Gov $101,000 – $108,000

Source: Indeed 

Program Objectives

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Articulate and apply a public values perspective
  • Analyze and evaluate public policies and innitiate solutions for the future
  • Apply organizational theory and develop leadership in public governance
  • Participate and contribute to the policy process
  • Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry 

Three Concentrations in Our MPA Program

We offers three distinct concentrations:

  • Local Government Management
  • Nonprofit and Public Financial Management
  • Economic Development and Planning

Local Government Management Concentration: This concentration is intended for students with a professional interest in city management. It prepare students with the critical thinking and skills to succeed in city management and urban governance. Graduates typically find jobs in local governments as city managers or state civial servats in state and federal agencies.

Nonprofit and Public Financial Management: This concentration is intended for students with a profesional interest in non profit organizations. It teaches students the tools of oranization, leadership, and managing public expenditures. Graduates typically work in non profit organizations, or local and state governments' financial departments and human resource departments.

Economic Development and Planning Concentration: This concentration is intended for students with a professional interest in urban planning, economic development, and community development. It prepares students with the essential knowledge they need to succeed in urban design, land use, transportation, economic and community development, and housing. Graduates typically secure jobs in local and state planning departments, transportation departments, and housing agencies.


Course offerings in fall 2018

PMGT 5039 Supervised Administration

PMGT 5100 Intro To Public Administration

PMGT 5160 Public Budget & Finance

PMGT 5180 Quantitative Policy Analysis

PMGT 5200 Law & Ethics in Public Service

PMGT 5280 Semimar In Public Risk Management

PMGT 5300 Nonprofit Development

PMGT 5310 GIS for Planning and Development

PMGT 5800 Public Administration Internship

PMGT 5820 Public Administration Consultant

PMGT 5990 Readings & Research



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