Mar 04, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Public Health Major, MPH


Graduate study with a major in public health leads to the Master of Public Health (MPH). Preparation for professional practice in improving community health emphasizes a population perspective, service-learning and application opportunities through rigorous internships. The MPH degree is offered on-campus for the Community Health Education, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, Public Health Nutrition and Veterinary Public Health concentrations and by Distance Education online for the Community Health Education, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management and Veterinary Public Health concentrations.

Campus Code


Knoxville Campus

Distance Education (excludes Public Health Nutrition concentration)

Admissions Standards/Procedures


  • An online application must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions. A departmental application (MPH data form), a statement of the applicant’s educational and career goals, and three rating forms are required. Admission to the University of Tennessee Graduate School is also required for admission to the MPH program. Preferential consideration for admission to degree status shall be given to those with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 and with at least one year of professional experience in a health-related occupation. As a restricted program, non-degree admission requires program director recommendation.
  • Admission information and the application is available at the Office of Graduate Admissions webpage and at the Department of Public Health webpage.
  • Application deadlines for completed applications are:
    • February 1, for summer term
    • April 1, for fall semester
    • October 1, for spring semester –
      • NOTE: spring admission is open to new part-time students only.
      • New full-time students will not be considered for spring admission.

Academic Standards


  • 3.00 grade point average or higher in all graduate coursework

Community Health Education Concentration — Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exam


Community health educators use multidisciplinary theories along with behavioral and organizational change principles to plan, implement, and evaluate interventions that enable individuals, groups, and communities to achieve personal, environmental, and social health.

Credit Hours Required


42 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Additional Course Requirements


  • To meet program requirements, students must select courses in consultation with an assigned program advisor.
  • Program totals are minimums and some students may be required to complete additional coursework to overcome background deficiencies.

Non-Course Requirements


  • The MPH is a non-thesis program requiring completion of 42 credit hours of graduate coursework including six weeks of applied practice experience (may be completed on full- or part-time basis). 
  • The applied practice experience provides an experience with an affiliated health agency or organization offering one or more health programs.
  • Of importance, field practice allows the student to apply academic theories, concepts, and skills in an actual work setting.
  • Students are required to pass a MPH comprehensive exam.

Epidemiology concentration — Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exam


Epidemiology is the core science of public health, and having an MPH with an epidemiology concentration will prepare students for a variety of public health careers. Students will be prepared to design and conduct population health studies and apply research findings to improve the health of the population. This concentration focuses on applying epidemiologic principles and methods; understanding the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic study designs; analyzing public health data using basic and intermediate level statistical methods; and communicating epidemiological research to both lay and scientific audiences.

Credit Hours Required


42 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Additional Course Requirements


  • To meet program requirements, students must select courses in consultation with an assigned program advisor.
  • Program totals are minimums and some students may be required to complete additional coursework to overcome background deficiencies.

Non-Course Requirements


  • The MPH is a coursework only with comprehensive exam program requiring completion of 42 credit hours of graduate coursework including six weeks of applied practice experience (may be completed on full- or part-time basis).
  • The applied practice experience provides an experience with an affiliated health agency or organization offering one or more health programs.
  • Of importance, field practice allows the student to apply academic theories, concepts, and skills in an actual work setting.
  • Students are required to pass a MPH comprehensive exam.

Health Policy and Management Concentration — Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exam


The MPH degree with a concentration of study in health policy and management offers an educational route to develop wide-ranging skills in team leadership, financial management, human resources management, communications, program planning and administration, and the facilitation of change. In addition, the curriculum focuses on health policy formulation and policy impact which must be understood by managers and policy planners seeking to address such important issues as access to care, quality improvement and assurance, cost containment, specialized needs of population groups, and partnerships with others to improve population health.

Credit Hours Required


42 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Additional Course Requirements


  • To meet program requirements, students must select courses in consultation with an assigned program advisor.
  • Program totals are minimums and some students may be required to complete additional coursework to overcome background deficiencies.

Non-Course Requirements


  • The MPH is a coursework only with comprehensive exam program requiring completion of 42 credit hours of graduate coursework including six weeks of applied practice experience (may be completed on full- or part-time basis). 
  • The applied practice experience provides an experience with an affiliated health agency or organization offering one or more health programs.
    • Of importance, field practice allows the student to apply academic theories, concepts, and skills in an actual work setting.
  • Students are required to pass a MPH comprehensive exam.

Public Health Nutrition Concentration – Coursework Only With Comprehensive Exam


Credit Hours Required


42 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Additional Course Requirements


  • To meet program requirements, students must select courses in consultation with an assigned program advisor.
  • Program totals are minimums, and some students may be required to complete additional coursework to overcome background deficiencies.

Non-Course Requirements


  • The MPH is a coursework-only with comprehensive exam program requiring completion of 42 credit hours of graduate coursework including six weeks of applied practice experience (may be completed on full- or part-time basis).
  • The Applied practice experience provides an experience with an affiliated health agency or organization offering one or more health programs.
  • Of importance, field practice allows the student to apply academic theories, concepts, and skills in an actual work setting.
  • Students are required to pass an MPH comprehensive exam.

Veterinary Public Health Concentration — Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exam


Needs and opportunities for veterinarians are expanding in organizations ranging from public agencies dealing with animal and human health, to agencies and corporations charged with food safety and security from the farm to the consumer level. The demand is increasing for veterinarians with additional education in food safety, food and animal production, zoonotic diseases, biosecurity, research methods and public policy. The veterinary degree alone is not enough to prepare veterinarians to meet these challenges and opportunities. A Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is an excellent and necessary addition to the DVM degree for those individuals wanting to make a career in public health and service.

Credit Hours Required


42 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Additional Course Requirements


  • To meet program requirements, students must select courses in consultation with an assigned program advisor.
  • Program totals are minimums and some students may be required to complete additional coursework to overcome background deficiencies.

Non-Course Requirements


  • The MPH is a coursework only with comprehensive exam program requiring completion of 42 credit hours of graduate coursework including six weeks of applied practice experience (may be completed on full- or part-time basis).
  • The applied practice experience provides an experience with an affiliated health agency or organization offering one or more health programs.
  • Of importance, field practice allows the student to apply academic theories, concepts, and skills in an actual work setting.
  • Students are required to pass a MPH comprehensive exam.

Dual MPH-DVM Program with Majors in Public Health and Veterinary Medicine


Students must be currently enrolled in the professional DVM degree program at the University of Tennessee (DVM students) to enter the dual DVM-MPH program; all requirements for both the DVM and MPH degrees must be met for admission. DVM students may enroll in the program at any time during years 1 - 3, but progress and time to completion will be affected by when a student starts the dual program and how many courses are satisfactorily completed each semester. Students will be expected to complete MPH-specific courses during the two summers following the first and second years of veterinary school. Students will pay graduate tuition fees during the summer semester and professional DVM tuition during the fall and spring semesters. Degrees do not need to be awarded simultaneously; if a student has not completed the requirements for the MPH, the student may still receive the DVM but must complete the MPH requirements within one year to take advantage of the shared credits. If a dual student completes the MPH requirements, but does not complete the DVM, the student may still be awarded the MPH. For details, see Dual MPH-DVM Program, Public Health - Veterinary Medicine  catalog information.

Five-Year BS or BA/MPH Program, Public Health Minor – Five-Year BS or BA/MPH Program


Undergraduate UT students pursuing the Public Health Minor, if qualified, may apply for advanced placement in the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program, allowing them to satisfy MPH degree requirements in one year, rather than two. The primary component of the accelerated program is that a qualified undergraduate student may take up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate electives and have them count toward both their undergraduate degree and the MPH degree. Any student pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) at UTK, who is also accepted into the Public Health Minor, and who meets the additional requirements described below, may apply for this pathway and begin the MPH program the summer after their senior year. Additional information, regarding MPH program concentrations, can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

The primary component of the accelerated program is that a qualified UT undergraduate student may take up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate courses and have them count toward both the undergraduate degree and the MPH degree. With the approval of the department in which the student’s undergraduate degree is located, some or all of the 9 credit hours of graduate courses may be applied to specific curricular requirements in the undergraduate degree.

Approved graduate courses for students accepted into the program:

Term 7 - PUBH 530 Biostatistics (3 Credit Hours)

Term 8 - PUBH 510 Environmental Health (3 Credit Hours) and PUBH 520 Health Systems, Policy and Leadership (3 Credit Hours)

The process of seeking admission to the program begins in the spring semester of the junior or third year of undergraduate study. Students will apply electronically using the program application form located on the Public Health website (https://publichealth.utk.edu/) to indicate eligibility requirements are met and provide a brief statement of interest. This is a competitive admission process. Program applications must be submitted to the UT Department of Public Health by March 1 of the student’s junior/third year of undergraduate study and will be approved or denied by the Director of the Undergraduate Public Health Minor by April 1.

Additionally, in order to be considered for the program students must:

Have a minimum overall UT GPA of 3.30;

A student must be a declared Public Health Minor and must have completed at least NUTR 100 - Introductory Nutrition 3 Credit Hours*, PSYC 110 - General Psychology 3 Credit Hours* or SOCI 120 – Introduction to Sociology 3 Credit Hours*, STAT 201 - Introduction to Statistics 3 Credit Hours* or MATH 115 - Statistical Reasoning 3 Credit Hours*, PUBH 201 - Introduction to Public Health 3 Credit Hours*, and PUBH 202 - Introductory Epidemiology 3 Credit Hours, and PUBH 320 – Social and Behavioral Theories in Public Health* 3 Credit Hours with a B or better in PUBH 201 - Introduction to Public Health 3 Credit Hours* and PUBH 202 - Introductory Epidemiology 3 Credit Hours, and PUBH 320 – Social and Behavioral Theories in Public Health* 3 Credit Hours

Must have completed at least 90 credit hours of the 120 credit hours of coursework required for their Bachelor’s degree.

A student may be considered for conditional admission if they have the above listed courses in process. Admission requires successful completion of the courses.

Acceptance into the program must be obtained before taking a graduate course that is to be used to satisfy the requirements of the student’s bachelor’s degree and the MPH degree. Students must complete the Senior Requesting Graduate Credit form (https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/senior-requesting-graduate-credit/) before registering for the graduate courses. This form must be approved by the graduate school. Students will be informed of the outcome of their application prior to the beginning of their fourth year of undergraduate study.

Acceptance into the Public Health Minor – Five-Year BS or BA/MPH program does not guarantee acceptance into the Graduate School or the MPH program. Students who have been admitted to the program must submit an online application to the Office of Graduate Admissions and to the MPH program during their fourth year of undergraduate study, following the standard application procedure. Students will be fully admitted to the MPH program after they have been accepted both by the Graduate School and by the MPH program.

Once fully admitted to the MPH program, students are required to complete the standard curriculum for the MPH program. A student will not be eligible for a graduate assistantship until the student has satisfied all the requirements for their BS or BA degree.

* Meets Volunteer Core Requirements

Public Health Major – Five-Year BSPH/MPH Program


Undergraduate UT students pursuing the Public Health Major, if qualified, may apply for advanced placement in the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program, allowing them to satisfy MPH degree requirements in one year, rather than two. The primary component of the accelerated program is that a qualified undergraduate student may take up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate electives and have them count toward both their undergraduate degree and the MPH degree. Any student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH), and who meets the additional requirements described below, may apply for this pathway and begin the MPH program the summer after their senior year. Additional information, regarding MPH program concentrations, can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

The primary component of the accelerated program is that a qualified UT undergraduate student may take up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate courses and have them count toward both the undergraduate degree and the MPH degree. Public health majors may apply the 9 credit hours of graduate courses to Professional Electives in the undergraduate degree.

Approved graduate courses for students accepted into the program:

Term 7 - PUBH 530 Biostatistics (3 Credit Hours)

Term 8 - PUBH 510 Environmental Health (3 Credit Hours) and PUBH 520 Health Systems, Policy and Leadership (3 Credit Hours)

The process of seeking admission to the accelerated program begins in the spring semester of the junior or third year of undergraduate study. Students will apply electronically using the program application form located on the Public Health website (https://publichealth.utk.edu/) to indicate eligibility requirements are met and provide a brief statement of interest. This is a competitive admission process. Program applications must be submitted to the UT Department of Public Health by March 1 of the student’s junior/third year of undergraduate study and will be approved or denied by the Director of the Undergraduate Public Health program by April 1.

Additionally, in order to be considered for the program students must:

Have a minimum overall UT GPA of 3.30;

A student must be a declared Public Health Major and must have completed at least NUTR 100 - Introductory Nutrition 3 Credit Hours*, PSYC 110 - General Psychology 3 Credit Hours* or SOCI 120 – Introduction to Sociology 3 Credit Hours*, STAT 201 - Introduction to Statistics 3 Credit Hours* or MATH 115 - Statistical Reasoning 3 Credit Hours*, PUBH 201 - Introduction to Public Health 3 Credit Hours*, and PUBH 202 - Introductory Epidemiology 3 Credit Hours, and PUBH 320 – Social and Behavioral Theories in Public Health* 3 Credit Hours with a B or better in PUBH 201 - Introduction to Public Health 3 Credit Hours* and PUBH 202 - Introductory Epidemiology 3 Credit Hours, and PUBH 320 – Social and Behavioral Theories in Public Health* 3 Credit Hours

Must have completed at least 90 credit hours of the 120 credit hours of coursework required for their Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health degree.

A student may be considered for conditional admission if they have the above listed courses in process. Admission requires successful completion of the courses.

Acceptance into the program must be obtained before taking a graduate course that is to be used to satisfy the requirements of the student’s bachelor’s degree and the MPH degree. Students must complete the Senior Requesting Graduate Credit form (https://gradschool.utk.edu/forms-central/senior-requesting-graduate-credit/) before registering for the graduate courses. This form must be approved by the graduate school. Students will be informed of the outcome of their application prior to the beginning of their fourth year of undergraduate study.

Acceptance into the Public Health Major – Five-Year BSPH/MPH program does not guarantee acceptance into the Graduate School or the MPH program. Students who have been admitted to the program must submit an online application to the Office of Graduate Admissions and to the MPH program during their fourth year of undergraduate study, following the standard application procedure. Students will be fully admitted to the MPH program after they have been accepted both by the Graduate School and by the MPH program.

Once fully admitted to the MPH program, students are required to complete the standard curriculum for the MPH program. A student will not be eligible for a graduate assistantship until the student has satisfied all of the requirements for their undergraduate degree.

* Meets Volunteer Core Requirements