Master of Public Service Management | Cumberland University

Master of Public Service Management

Master of Public Service Management

The Master of Public Service Management (MSP) degree is offered as a part of Cumberland University’s institutional outreach to provide opportunities for advanced study in fields appropriate to the needs of the community. The program seeks to provide individuals who have attained the baccalaureate degree, in any field, with an opportunity to acquire advanced expertise while continuing to work full-time during the period of enrollment.

General Information
Regulations & Requirements
Tuition & Financial Aid

General Information About the Master of Public Service Management

The program-of-study was instituted in 1996 with the first graduates receiving the Master of Public Service Management degree at the May, 1998, graduation.  Enrollment in the (MSP) degree program is limited.  Students who enter the two-year program will attend classes for five (5) consecutive semesters usually sequenced fall-spring-summer-fall-spring.

Primarily, students are admitted for the incoming class during the fall semester, but other admitted students may become part of the program, on a space available basis, in other terms.

Administration & Faculty

Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Public Service Management degree program is to provide graduate education to current and potential managers employed by state and local governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations and agencies through academic course work in the broad areas of human relations, management, and research.

Student Support

Cumberland University has established an Office of Student Affairs to facilitate the success experiences of all individuals enrolled in the institution.  Persons taking classes in an alternative delivery location are both invited and encouraged to avail themselves of the programs and professional staff located in Lebanon, and because classes in the (MSP) degree program are taught in near-by Davidson County, the distance from the main campus is not prohibitive for enrollees to use, on a regular basis, the campus services.

When appropriate, certain student affairs/services functions can be delivered to the alternative delivery locations.  Since the advisor to this program has both educational training and employment experience in this area of university management, he can represent the institution in responding to the questions and needs of the students enrolled in this program.

On-site student services include academic advisement and registration.  For many classes, the advisor or professor will bring the textbooks and other required classroom materials, for student purchase, to the location of the class.

The Program Advisor is available by telephone or e-mail to facilitate any needed inter-actions between the student and personnel located on the campus.  Faculty teaching in the program supply each student with both home and office telephone numbers and encourage the enrollee to contact them with questions and concerns or if special assistance is needed in their particular course.

Campus based student services include admissions, the book and supply store, counseling services (both career and personal), enrollment verification, financial aid and scholarship information, the library (including reference assistance), orientation (including the making of an I.D. card), placement services, transcript and grade report requests, plus veterans certification.

Previous and current students enrolled in this program have come to campus regularly for sporting, musical, and theatrical events.  Admission to many of these functions is free with a validated I.D. card.  Graduate students are encouraged to participate in the athletic and cultural life of the University.

For assistance in student services or other areas of the degree program, the advisor serves as the contact individual.  Regular dialog with the advisor is encouraged.

Comprehensive Final Examination

A written comprehensive examination will be administered during the final semester before graduation. A passing grade is considered to be 80% or higher on each of the 5 parts.

Candidacy and Residency Requirements

Any MSP student reaches candidacy status for commencement during the final semester of course work, after the comprehensive examination has been passed. Students completing the required classes are judged to meet all residency requirements.

Alumni Group

The graduates of the Master of Public Service Management have established an alumni group, which is a sub-division of the general alumni association of the University. Graduates and current students are both invited and encouraged to participate in the activities of this group.


Admission Regulations & Requirements

To be admitted to the Master of Public Service Management (MSP) degree program of Cumberland University, the applicant must (1) be the holder of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university; (2) complete an application form; (3) submit transcripts of all previously completed college or university work; (4) submit satisfactory scores on the Miller Analogies Test [MAT]; (5) provide three [3] confidential recommendations (forms provided); (6) participate in an on-campus interview with the (MSP) Admissions Committee; and (7) attend an orientation session.

Completed application forms should be returned at least twenty (20) days prior to the beginning of the term in which the applicant expects to enroll.  All materials, completed forms, transcripts, and test scores, along with a $50.00 non-refundable Application Fee, should be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Cumberland University, One Cumberland Square, Lebanon, Tennessee 37087-3408.  All materials become the property of Cumberland University and will not be returned.

Should an applicant choose not to enter the (MSP) degree program in the term indicated on the application, notification should be given to the Office of Graduate Admissions of the change in educational plans and the new date of desired entry if applicable.   Otherwise, the original admission will be cancelled and the file discontinued.  A new application may be required for admission at a later date.


Three (3) weeks prior to the beginning of each term, a student may obtain a Class Schedule (Timetable) from the Office of the University Registrar or from the (MSP) Program Advisor.  (MSP) students will be able to complete the pre-registration process with their advisor at a teaching location in Nashville-Davidson County.  Payment of tuition and fees may be done in person or on-line.

Degree Requirments

The number of semester hours required for the Master of Public Service Management degree is thirty-six (36).  Three (3) academic components (human relations, management, and research) are included and required for the (MSP) degree program.  Satisfactorily completing the required 16 classes are needed for graduation. See a list of required courses here.

Students in the (MSP) degree program will enroll for seven (7) or eight (8) hours during the fall, spring, and May/summer semesters.  The normal load is seven (7) semester hours for each of the fall and spring terms and eight (8) semester hours for the May/summer session.

Tuition & Financial Aid


  • $585 per credit hour.
  • Graduate Program Service Fee $30 per course.
  • Financial aid.
  • Employer tuition assistance accepted.


“This opportunity helped me gain valuable skills that directly benefited and impacted my professional work. I left the program with a deeper understanding of my work within the non-profit sector, with more knowledge of who I am personally and professionally and with an incredible support network of professors and peers."- Sarah Warren, Operations Manager, Plant the Seed

"This program was the best type environment and learning alongside with individuals who were working to address some of the most pressing Contemporary Community Issues will motivates you to want to make a difference in your jobs that play a major role in your city, state or one’s own community."-Scott Ridgeway, Executive Director, TN Suicide Prevention.


"I began searching for a Master's Program that would provide flexibility with my busy schedule. Little did I know at the time that it would provide not only flexibility, but also a feeling of family. The education, tools, friendships and networking gained have afforded me the opportunity to work in the highest levels of national government, where I continue today."- John Fesler, Deputy Director of Staff White House Military Office