What is Public Administration
The public administration major is a joint program sponsored by the Departments of Economics and Political Science. It is designed for students interested in government, namely in the formation of public policy and the practice of public sector management among many other areas of the interface between the public and private sectors. The program combines key elements of business administration, economics, and political science. Specifically, it involves the application of business administration principles in areas that are not characterized by the profit motive (government agencies and non-profit organizations), all within the context of existing political institutions. Public administration majors study such things as the management of governmental organizations, the art and science of public budgeting, and the design and implementation of effective public policies. The public administration major is ideally suited for students who enjoy economics, politics, and business administration, but who also have strong interest in public policy and public service.
Career Opportunities in Public Administration
Public administration majors pursue careers in a wide variety of areas in both the private and public sectors, the latter at the federal, state, and local levels. Examples include tax administration and budget analysis, city management, governmental relations within large corporations and industry trade associations, the management of non-profit organizations, policy analysis in a non-governmental organization, and the functional areas of government such as education, healthcare, environment, and economic development. In addition to the Master of Public Administration degree, many undergraduate majors pursue graduate programs in law, economics, or public policy.
Salary Trends in Public Administration
For salary information by occupation in the U.S. or for individual states, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Compensation Survey website.
High School Preparation
High school students should follow a college preparatory curriculum and take their high school’s recommended courses in Math, English, and Foreign Language. Appropriate electives include any business courses, as well as courses in computer software applications and written and oral communication. The College of Business Administration further encourages all high school students to 1) explore international business issues and opportunities, 2) participate in student organizations and clubs, and 3) volunteer in their community.
How to Major in Public Administration
Freshmen are admitted directly to the College of Business Administration at the point of admission into the University of Tennessee. Admission to the university is highly competitive and based primarily on academic achievement at the high school level and scores on the ACT and/or SAT.
Students admitted into the College of Business Administration must maintain a minimum 2.50 cumulative grade point average and earn a grade of C or better in the following tracking courses (or honors equivalents) prior to the completion of 75 hours.
- Mathematics 123-125 or 141-142 (6 or 8 hours);
- Written Communication (3 hours from English 255 or 295);
- Oral Communication (3 hours from Communication Studies 210 or 240);
- Accounting 200 (3 hours);
- Economics 201 (4 hours);
- Statistics 201 (3 hours);
- Management 201 (3 hours)
Students who are not directly admitted to the College of Business Administration or who are transferring from other educational institutions can apply for admission after completion of the tracking courses. Internal and external transfer students will be categorized as business exploratory majors until such time that they complete their requirements for admission. Students seeking transfer admission must complete all progression courses with a grade of C or better and have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA prior to the completion of 75 hours. Selection is highly competitive and based on academic achievement, commitment to pursuing a business discipline, and departmental capacity.
Requirements for Public Administration
All majors in the College of Business Administration are required to take a total of 120 hours to graduate: 59 hours of general education courses, 15 hours of pre-business core courses, 22 hours of business core courses, and 24 hours of courses in the major. Of those 24 hours, 18 must be taken in residence at the University of Tennessee. A minimum grade of C must be earned in every course counted towards the major. Additionally, students in the college must have a laptop by the second semester of their sophomore year.
Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships
Public administration majors have extensive internship and volunteer opportunities at the federal, state, and local levels in government and in numerous non-organizations. For more information about available programs, visit the website of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.
Highlights of Public Administration
The public administration program combines general education in business principles with specific courses in the economic and political aspects of government policies. Students choose electives to focus their interest or expertise.
Seeking to instill a global perspective in all of its students, the College of Business Administration challenges undergraduates to develop the requisite knowledge and skills to prosper in today’s global business environment. To help students meet that challenge, the college provides these critical tools: an enhanced core curriculum that covers international business topics in all relevant courses; extraordinary programs for international study and internships; and a unique opportunity to delve into the principles of international business through a collateral or concentration in international business.
The college requires all students pursuing a collateral or dual concentration in international business to have an international educational experience. Coursework in the international business collateral or dual concentration may be completed through a study abroad program.
Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.
|Freshman Year||Credit Hours|
|Written Communication: English 101, 102||6|
|Quantitative Reasoning: Math 123-125 or 141-142||6 or 8|
|Cultures and Civilizations: Intermediate Foreign Language||6|
|Natural Sciences||6 – 8|
|Oral Communication: Communication Studies 210 or 240||3|
|Critical Courses: English 101 and 102, Math 125 or 141, Communication Studies 210 or 240|
|Sophomore Year||Credit Hours|
|Social Sciences: Economics 201||4|
|Written Communication: English 255 or 295||3|
|Business Administration 242||2|
|Arts and Humanities||6|
|Critical Courses: Accounting 200, Economics 201, English 255 or 295, Math 123 or 142, Statistics 201, Management 201, Business Administration 242|
|Junior Year||Credit Hours|
|Business Administration 331-332||4|
|Business Administration 341-342||4|
|Ethics: Economics 305, Management 311, or Philosophy 244 or 252||3|
|Business Administration 353||3|
|Business Administration 361||3|
|Political Science 340||3|
|Critical Courses: Business Administration 331, Business Administration 341, Finance 301, Political Science 340, Business Administration 353|
|Senior Year||Credit Hours|
|Business Law 301||2|
|Political Science 441||3|
|*Economics or Political Science Electives||9|
|Critical Courses: Business Law 301, Management 402, Economics 471, Economics 472|
*Any three upper-division economics or political science courses
For More Information
College of Business Administration
342 Haslam Business Building
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: (865) 974-5096
Fax: (865) 974-6106
The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.