In support of its mission to serve “the metropolitan community, state, and nation,”  the University of Memphis offers university courses, programs, and services to the local community and beyond. This is accomplished through off-campus and distance education programs; the university’s non-credit professional and continuing education programs; outreach and service to the community, managed by individual faculty members or their department or college; and public service activities designed to provide the community access to the university’s intellectual resources.
Off-Campus and Distance Education Offerings
The University of Memphis offers classes at a number of off-campus locations. The three primary ones are in Jackson, Millington, and Collierville, all in West Tennessee. In the Fall 2003 term 221 class sections were offered at those sites with an enrollment of 2,732 students. Classes are also offered at a variety of other off-campus locations in Memphis and the surrounding area. Classes at those off-campus sites had an enrollment of 1,539 students, bringing the total off-campus enrollment in Fall 2003 to 4,271 students.
Courses are also offered in various distance education delivery modes:
- Interactive video connects classrooms on the main campus and at remote sites with one another, allowing interactive classes between these sites. In the Fall 2003 term eight separate classes utilizing interactive video were offered, serving 503 students at 5 separate sites.
- Video assisted courses are transmitted through the use of professionally produced, broadcast quality videotapes, rather than by live lectures by the instructor. In the Fall 2003 term 428 students enrolled in video assisted classes.
- Online and web-enhanced courses are managed with the WebCT course management system. This same system is also utilized to manage the Tennessee Board of Regents Online Degree programs (BLS in Interdisciplinary Studies, BPS in Information Technology or Organizational Leadership, and MEd in Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning). During the Fall 2003 term, 1,379 students enrolled in these classes.
Professional and Continuing Education Programs
The focus of professional training is the development and delivery of curriculum designed to enhance work-related skills such as communication, time management, certification test preparation, human resource management, and foreign languages.  These open-enrollment courses are scheduled primarily during evening hours and on weekends to accommodate student work schedules and fulfill workforce training needs at large corporations such as FedEx and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, as well as for small businesses with a few employees. Training contracts are negotiated to ensure cost recovery for services and materials.
Continuing Education Units are awarded upon application according to University of Memphis policy. 
The University of Memphis also provides financially self-sustaining non-credit courses and seminars that enable individuals to realize their full intellectual, physical, and creative potential. The recreation/leisure program provides personal growth activities such as foreign language, dance, yoga, elementary computer skills, financial management, and ethnic cooking. Community service-directed courses such as the National Safety Council Defensive Driving and Alive at 25 programs are also offered. 
Academic Service to the Community
The University of Memphis has long realized the value of community outreach and service programs such as research, consultation, and similar programs that are administered directly through academic departments. This creates a strong educational and research environment for faculty and students while at the same time strengthening the surrounding community.
Nearly 400 of these service activities are detailed in A Sampling of Recent Academic Service to the Community.  Some examples include:
The Department of Journalism has had a partnership with Memphis' largest newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, since 1997. Local high school students have use of a classroom on the UofM campus to publish the citywide Teen Appeal newspaper. The university provides mentors for the students and conducts a one-week writing course. The Commercial Appeal contributes staff members to work with the students and prints and distributes the high school paper. About 1,300 students have participated in the program since it began.
Dr. Jerrie C. Scott, a professor of instruction and curriculum leadership in the College of Education, is founder and national director of the African-American Read-In Chain, which began as a nationwide read-in the first Sunday in February 1989. Activities can be as simple as bringing together family members to share a book or as elaborate as organizing public readings featuring African-American writers. The event has become a national tradition with more than a million participants during Black History Month celebrations in 48 states and Africa, Australia, and Germany.
The Sparks Bureau of Business and Economics conducts economic analyses for a variety of local and state governments and agencies. Recent studies include:
- Economic Impact of Pandas and the Memphis Zoo
- Economic Impact of the Mid-South Fair
- Economic Impact of the Memphis International Airport
- Economic Impact of the University of Memphis
- Economic Analysis of Higher Education in Tennessee
Community Access to the University’s Resources
The Office of Public Service makes the talent, knowledge, and resources of the university available to the general public by hosting or supporting conferences, seminars, exhibits, and other educational activities that further knowledge by providing access to the university’s intellectual resources. This is accomplished in two ways: providing access to university facilities to outside organizations and funding activities and events that add to the quality of life of the broader community.
The Office of Public Service provides outside organizations with access to university facilities. Between July 2001 and May 2004, non-university organizations, student organizations, and university departments made 2,901 Requests for the Use of University Facilities; these requests demonstrate the depth and breadth of university support of the community.  More than 1,100 of these events or programs were intended for the general public, including such events as a regional swim meet for Special Olympic athletes, a town hall meeting to discuss local government funding issues, a variety of youth basketball camps and tournaments, and High School Guidance Counselor Day to share federal financial aid information with staff of area high schools.
In addition to providing access to space, the Office of Public Service provides funding to university departments to support activities and events that add to the quality of life of the broader community. To qualify for Public Service assistance, the program or event must also fit within the overall mission of the UofM.  Funding allocations for FY02 and FY03 totaled $19,650 and $24,490, respectively.  More than $24,000 was allocated from July 2003 to May 2004  and included such activities as docent training for the Wonders series of international cultural exhibits, a foreign language fair, and a homeland security conference.