Jun 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Health Major, 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. In addition to the 20 DrPH competencies of the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH, see https://ceph.org/assets/2016.Criteria.pdf), graduates of the DrPH program will be able to:

  • Explore, critique, and apply evidence-based information from multiple sources to Public Health products/issues.
  • Demonstrate ability to write funding applications to support Public Health initiatives, applying one or more theories or models.
  • Demonstrate skills for economic and financial management relevant to health organizations or programs, incorporating internal and external evidence.
  • Compare and contrast the quantitative study designs most commonly used to investigate the determinants of disease and health or the evaluation of programs and policies.
  • Identify and analyze ethical issues (e.g., personal liberty, social justice, and human rights) in protecting and improving the public’s health, applying an ecological framework.

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Admission Requirements
    • General requirements set forth by the University of Tennessee, Graduate School, Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • 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). GRE scores must be recent; no more than five years before the intended semester of entry.
    • International students must meet the graduate school’s requirement for 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 the applicant’s academic and research capabilities, job performance or professional promise.
    • A personal statement to demonstrate the evolution of your interest in public health and how DrPH program will prepare you to work in the field of public health;
    • Ability to clearly articulate a defined career pathway, which incorporates practice and research experience and skills, upon interview;
    • Demonstrated skill in a professional, research, or academic writing sample. A writing sample of scientific writing should be submitted (preferably the applicant is either the sole author or first authored approximately 2,000-3,000 words). A published article is acceptable only if the applicant discloses the nature of his/her contribution;
    • A current curriculum vitae.
  • Admission Preferences
    • MPH degree from a CEPH accredited school or program of Public Health.
    • Public health or relevant work experience at local, state or federal level highly desirable.
    • Applicants without the MPH degree may be admitted to the DrPH program. For example, exceptional applicants who meet one of the following requirements may also be considered for admission:
      • Applicants with a master’s degree or an advanced professional degree in a field related to public health from an officially recognized domestic or international institution; The aforementioned graduate degree must be conferred prior to enrollment to DrPH; or
      • Applicants without a graduate degree must have at least two years of full-time work experience in public health or a related field.
  • Other Admission Information
    • An online application must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Information about applying to UTK and the link to begin the admission process.
    • Review of applications will begin on November 1 and continue until March 1. Limited financial support is available for highly competitive, full-time students. Students interested in financial support should submit their applications no later than January 15.
    • Please send all inquiries to: Director of the DrPH, Department of Public Health, 390 HPER, 1914 Andy Holt Avenue, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN  37996; Phone: (865)-974-5041, Fax: 865-974-6439, E-mail: dph@utk.edu.

Academic Standards

  • Minimum overall grade point average of 3.25 or academic probation
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.25 for doctoral PUBH courses or academic probation

Credit Hours Required

89 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Foundation Courses* (20 graduate credit hours)
    • PUBH 509   (2 semesters, 1 credit/semester) (2 credit hours)
    • PUBH 510   (3 credit hours)
    • PUBH 520   (3 credit hours)
    • PUBH 530   (3 credit hours)
    • PUBH 537   (3 credit hours)
    • PUBH 540   (3 credit hours)
    • PUBH 555   (3 credit hours)
    • *Or equivalent courses if taken outside of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as approved by Director of the DrPH Program
  • Core Courses (36 credit hours)
  • Cognate Courses (9 credit hours)
    • The DrPH is a generalist degree, but requires a cognate to include 9 semester credit hours that are thematically related. This usually amounts to three 3-credit hour courses. The cognate coursework can include graduate-level independent study, public health graduate courses, and/or graduate coursework from other academic units. The academic advisor and the Director of the DrPH must formally approve the proposed cognate courses.
  • Dissertation (24 credit hours)

Non-Course Requirements

  • Graduate School Non-Course Requirements
    • Completed comprehensive exam
    • Admission to candidacy
    • Fulfill residence
    • Completed defense of dissertation
  • Departmental Non-Course Requirements
    • Complete a minimum of 12 credit hours toward DrPH prior to PUBH 687  Advanced Field Practice
    • Pass Part A comprehensive examination before completing 27 credit hours toward DrPH degree or dismissed from DrPH program
    • Formal presentation of dissertation
    • Successful defense of dissertation