PRST 5998 / 6998 / 7998
Professional Project
3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

The Professional Project is the capstone course for the Master of Professional Studies Degree, serving as the integrative culmination of the program of study.

Course Objectives:

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program requires every student to complete a Professional Project as the culminating experience in earning the degree. The project should demonstrate your use of the knowledge gained in the MPS courses you have taken. Please carefully read each section of this syllabus and follow its guidelines.

Prerequisites and Corequisites:


PRST5100/6100/7100, PRST5200/6200/7200 and PRST5300/6300/7300; and either PRST7600 or QM7770. The Professional Project must be completed in your final semester of your MPS program.
Specific Course Requirements:

Your plans for the Professional Project are described in detail in the Special Project Proposal that must be approved by the MPS Program Director before a student is issued a permit to register for the Professional Project class. Use your computer to respond to each of the items of the Project Proposal listed below. Type each item; then type your response under it. If you are doing your project in conjunction with a field location, you must have the signed permission of the field supervisor along with the field supervisor’s contact information. Submit the Professional Project Proposal to the MPS office for review according to the following timeline prior to semester you plan to enroll: Fall Semester by July 1; Spring Semester by December 1; Summer Term by May 1.

Answer These Items in Your Professional Project Proposal

1. Identify the topic of your Professional Project and explain the purpose of the project. What are the research questions you are trying to answer or the problems you are trying to address through your project?

2. Explain the reasoning process by which you selected the topic. Why did you select this topic for your project?

3. Explain how the topic of your Professional Project is related to your MPS Program of Study, including an explanation of how the project makes use of the knowledge you gained from your MPS courses. The Professional Project should be the logical culmination of what you have studied in the MPS program.

4. Each Project must follow a plan of structured inquiry or research strategy. Explain in detail the strategy/process you will follow in conducting and completing your Professional Project. What method(s) will you follow?

5. All Professional Projects must have a formal, written, research component. State what the written research component of your project will be (e.g., research paper, policy analysis/recommendations, etc.).

7. The citations and bibliography of the Professional Project must follow a standard style guide, the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association.

8. Provide a sample bibliography that is indicative of the resources you will use in your research.

9. Provide a provisional outline of your Professional Project.

10. If your project is done in conjunction with a field professional setting, have your field supervisor review and sign the proposal, indicating the location’s permission for you to conduct this project at that professional setting.

11. Submit the proposal to the MPS Program Director for approval.


Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements
Required Textbooks:
Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course:
Supplementary Materials:
Hardware Requirements:
The minimum requirements can be found at Specific hardware requirements for this course include...
Software Requirements:
The minimum requirements can be found at Specific hardware requirements for this course include...(A list of software the student is required to purchase or download for the course, Real Player, Media Player, Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office, etc).
Instructor Information
Please see the separate page inside the course to find instructor contact information as well as a statement of virtual office hours and other communication information.
Assessment and Grading
Testing Procedures:
There are no tests. Instead you will complete a series of milestones in the design, preparation and execution of your Professional Project. See Assignments below.
Grading Procedure:

Below are assignments that you must complete in the preparation of your project. Each assignment will earn you up to the following points.

Proposal: 5 percent

Outline: 5 percent

First Draft: 10 percent

Final Draft: 20 percent

Presentation/Defense: 10 percent

Final Corrected, Bound Copy: 50 percent 

Grading Scale:
Assignments and Participation
Assignments and Projects:
The project involves the following steps:
1) Complete the Professional Project Proposal.
2) Submit Proposal for Human Subjects Research Review (if necessary).
3) Gather Resources and Conduct Research.
4) Submit introduction, detailed outline and reference list for the professional project.
5) Sumit First Draft of Project Paper.
6) Submit Final Draft of Project Paper.
7) Present/defend Professional Project.
8) Submit final, corrected, bound copy of Professional Project.
Class Participation:
Once the semester begins you will have only two full months to complete the research and write the project paper reporting your literature review, findings and conclusions. Three weeks into the semester you will submit a detailed outline of your project paper with a list of bibliographical resources you are using. Two months into the semester you will submit a first draft of your professional project paper. Your Project Class Instructor will give you feedback. You must incorporate the Instructor's recommendations and complete the final draft of your project ten days before your presentation/defense of the professional project.

Although I have set due dates to submit your proposal, project outline, first draft and final draft of your project, the burden falls squarely on you to work steadily on this final project. There are penalties for missing deadlines. Therefore, get started right away. I will provide you timely feedback to your questions. But it's up to you to stay on schedule. Your instructor will deduct 10% from your grade for each day your assignment is late. Please stay on schedule. 

Course Ground Rules

You have completed all or almost all the courses required for the Master of Professional Studies. This class is the last step to completing your degree. You have taken the 10 classes in the program and you are now ready to explore a topic/conduct a professional project of your own choosing. It is really not a class with assigned readings and tests, but an independent study/research class that relies entirely on your initiative. It is up to you to stay on task.

Guidelines for Communications
  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members
Discussion Groups:
  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of others' ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.
  • Introduce yourself to the other learners in the chat session.
  • Be polite. Choose your words carefully. Do not use derogatory statements.
  • Be concise in responding to others in the chat session.
  • Be prepared to open the chat session at the scheduled time.
  • Be constructive in your comments and suggestion
Web Resources:


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in the Regents Degree Program. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading must be included in all courses. 

Students With Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.

Technical Support

Telephone Support:
If you are having problems logging into your course,
timing out of your course, using your course web site tools, or other technical problems, please contact the AskRODP Help Desk by calling

1-866-550-7637 (toll free)

or go to the AskRODP website at: