Jul 14, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Health, DrPH

Public Health Major, Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH program) is the terminal degree in public health, designed for students who have already earned the MPH degree; however, exceptional students without the MPH may be admitted to the DrPH program.  At the completion of the DrPH program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a high level of thinking and practice skill in recognizing, defining, and addressing public health problems and needs;
  • Demonstrate competence in the five core areas of public health, biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health policy and administration, and behavioral sciences / community health education;
  • Demonstrate professionalism, advocacy, leadership, ethical principles, and scientific integrity in advanced public health practice;
  • Provide collaborative leadership in the development of public health practice models for diverse populations.


  • Meet requirements for admission to the University of Tennessee, Graduate School.
  • GPA of at least 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) on master’s degree coursework, shown in official transcripts. For students without a Master’s degree or coursework, a required GPA of 3.2 for the undergraduate degree.
  • A minimum of 40th percentile on all sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); 4.5 on the analytic portion of the GRE, and for international students  a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Three letters of reference completed within the past 12 months by faculty members, academic advisors, or employers or professional colleagues. At least two letters must be from persons able to assess academic capacity.
  • Ability to express complex concepts and ideas in writing as evidenced in a 600-word essay.
  • Demonstrated skill in a professional, research, or academic writing sample.
  • Ability to clearly articulate a defined career pathway, which incorporates practice and research experience and skills, upon interview.
  • In addition, students will be selected for the program based on extent of public health practice experience, other prior work and volunteer experience, and demonstration of a commitment to public health.  Students will be admitted on a space available basis.  Students eligible for admission but not admitted due to space will be placed on a waiting list and will be eligible to apply for the program in subsequent years. Appropriate academic background and professional and volunteer experience, as evidenced on a curriculum vitae.
  • An online application must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office. Admission forms are available at http://graduateadmissions.utk.edu/apply.html and http://publichealth.utk.edu/prospective/apply/.

The DrPH degree is offered in two concentrations – Community health education and Epidemiology. The concentrations and educational objectives are described below:

Community health education concentration
Addresses the role of behavioral (social and psychological) factors in disease causation, prevention, and health services, with application to public health education and promotion for the prevention of disease and injury. The objectives are to: develop, implement, and evaluate programs in health promotion and education through collaborative partnerships; establish and maintain community partnerships; apply theoretical perspectives in analyzing the behavioral, cultural and ethical dimensions of community health problems; identify and assess the determinants of community and population health, including social and behavioral factors contributing to health-related behaviors; and conduct scientific investigations.

Epidemiology concentration
Deals with methods for elucidating the causes of disease and evaluating health services, programs, and treatments. Students will be provided with the conceptual knowledge and statistical skills to study, analyze, and monitor the distribution and determinants of disease occurrence and other outcome measures in human populations. The educational objectives are to provide knowledge on methods for determining the causes of disease and for evaluating health services, programs, and treatments; develop concepts and statistical skills to conduct, study, analyze, and monitor the distribution and determinants of disease and other outcome measures; apply basic methodological skills to analyze discrete problems in health; acquire critical thinking for problem-solving and developing research protocols; and use the problem-solving approach for collection, analysis, and synthesis of data.


Hours Credit

1 Research and Foundations 20
2 Core DrPH 33
3 Concentration 10
4 Electives 3
Dissertation (PUBH 600) 24
Total Hours 90

1 PUBH 509  (2 semesters) PUBH 510 , PUBH 520 , PUBH 530 , PUBH 540 , PUBH 555 , and PUBH 537  or equivalent courses if taken outside of the University of Tennessee, approved by the Department Head.
2 PUBH 550 , PUBH 536 , PUBH 552 , PUBH 636 , PUBH 609  (2 semesters), PUBH 610 , PUBH 611 , PUBH 613 , PUBH 687  (2 semesters for a total of 9 hours), PUBH 687 ; STAT 531  and STAT 532  OR STAT 537  and STAT 538  OR SOWK 605  and SOWK 606 .
3 Community Health Education: PUBH 527 , PUBH 656 , PUBH 637 ; Epidemiology: PUBH 541 , PUBH 640 , KNS 521 , CEM 602 .
4 Courses must be approved by major professor.