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    Feb 06, 2023  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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. The DrPH is the professional doctoral degree in public health, designed to produce transformative academic and practice leaders with expertise in evidence-based public health practice and research. At the completion of the DrPH program, students will be able to:

  • Apply qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods and policy analysis research and evaluation methods to address health issues
  • Influence behavior and policies by communicating public health science to diverse stakeholders
  • Create, implement, and evaluate strategic plans and organizational change strategies
  • Design system-level interventions that influence population health outcomes in transdisciplinary team approaches that promote health equity and disease prevention
  • Integrate knowledge of cultural values and practices in the design or implementation of public health programs
  • Integrate scientific information, legal and regulatory approaches, ethical frameworks and varied stakeholder interests in policy development and analysis
  • Assess a population’s knowledge and learning needs
  • Deliver training or educational experiences that promote learning in academic, organizational and community settings
  • Use best practice modalities in pedagogical practices


  • 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); 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 and

The DrPH will allow cognates to include higher-level public health doctoral courses through Independent Study with public health faculty, but students will be guided to select cognates that will necessitate coursework from other academic units. The DrPH requires a cognate to include 9 semester credit hours, usually amounting to three 3-credit hour courses.


Credit Hours

1 Foundations 20
2 Core DrPH 36
3 Cognate 9
Dissertation (PUBH 600 ) 24
Total Credit Hours 89

1 PUBH 509  (2 semesters) PUBH 510 , PUBH 520 , PUBH 530 , PUBH 537 , PUBH 540 , and PUBH 555  equivalent courses if taken outside of the University of Tennessee, approved by the Department Head.

2 PUBH 536 , PUBH 552 , PUBH 609  (2 semesters), PUBH 610 , PUBH 611 , PUBH 613 , PUBH 636 , PUBH 637 , PUBH 656 , PUBH 687  (total of 6 credit hours over one or two semesters), STAT 537  and STAT 538  OR SOWK 605  and SOWK 606 , and one additional graduate statistics course selected in consultation with faculty advisor.

3 Cognate courses must be approved by faculty advisor and the chair of the DrPH Committee

Note:  PUBH 530  or its equivalent may serve in lieu of STAT 537  or SOWK 605 .  Please confer with the instructors of STAT 538  or SOWK 606 .