May 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Health Major, DrPH

NOTE: The Department of Public Health is no longer admitting students for the Public Health Major for the DrPH degree. Applicants interested in earning a Public Health doctoral degree, should review our Public Health Sciences Major for the PhD.

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, 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

The Department of Public Health is no longer admitting students for the Public Health Major for the DrPH degree.

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