Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Program Director: Jennifer Russomanno, DrPH, MPH, CHES

The MPH curriculum consists of 42 semester credit hours and is a nonthesis professional preparation degree program. To meet the educational needs of working students, the MPH degree can be earned on a part-time basis with most classes offered during late afternoons and evenings. Based on the experience of other part-time students, the degree program typically can be completed in two to three years.


The Graduate Public Health program at UT provides quality education and leadership to promote health in human populations through interdisciplinary instruction, research, and community service.


The MPH program is recognized for its empowerment of students pursuing public health careers which focus on community health improvement.

Program Values

  • Respect—To engage in experiences that obligate a person to take responsibility for the public’s good, to recognize human dignity, and to value the worth of individual and collective behaviors
  • Holistic Consideration—To emphasize a socio-ecological systems approach for understanding and promoting optimal health and well-being of individuals, families and communities
  • Excellence—To commit to the highest quality in teaching-learning and in practice.
  • Collaboration—To advocate networking, partnering, consensus building, and participatory approaches for improving population health
  • Diversity—To recognize the benefits of diverse ethnic and cultural perspectives and prepare culturally competent public health professionals
  • Equity—To promote equality of opportunity for individuals, families, and communities

The MPH program is administratively housed in the Department of Public Health, which is one of eight academic departments in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. Within the department, the MPH Academic Program Committee (MPH/APC) includes the MPH faculty representatives from each concentration of study plus the dual MS-MPH program, the MPH field practice coordinator, and a student representative from each concentration of study. The committee provides program governance, curricular direction and integrity, and academic policy development. Student representatives have full discussion and voting privileges with all academic matters except review of applications for admission. To ensure MPH graduates are prepared to enter a competitive workforce, public health practitioners from various public health and health-related organizations are regularly invited to committee meetings to offer suggestions on skills, knowledge, and attitudes that MPH graduates should possess in today’s market. For example, the program evaluation core course is a curricular addition that grew out of workforce speaker input.

The University of Tennessee MPH program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), which is the nationally recognized accrediting body for this discipline. In late June 2016, the council officially notified the MPH program that accreditation has been extended for seven years, which is the maximum term possible.

Accreditation was first achieved in 1969 with the MPH program becoming the first outside a school of public health to receive this recognition. Since 1969, the program has been successful in securing extensions of accreditation through a self-study and review process that requires approximately two years to complete.

Program accreditation offers substantial value to students, alumni, faculty and the university because of the distinction offered. This recognition of quality, consistent with that of other accredited MPH programs, indicates that the professional preparation offered at UT has met the criteria defined by the council. These criteria have become more rigorous over time, requiring extensive documentation.

Our 2016 CEPH Self-Study Report is now available.

In August 2011, the Department of Public Health signed a memorandum of understanding with the Knox County Health Department to create Tennessee’s first Academic Health Department (AHD). The purpose of the AHD is to bridge public health practice and academia. Read more about the UT-Knox County AHD here.

The Department of Public Health fosters working relationships between academicians and practitioners to participate in leadership development. In 1995, these efforts were formalized by co-establishing the East Tennessee Public Health and Preventive Medicine Forum. Other member organizations are: the Knox County Health Department, the East Tennessee Regional Office of the Tennessee Department of Health, the UT Department of Family Medicine, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, and the UT College of Nursing.

Integrative Learning Experience (ILE)

The written comprehensive examination provides an Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) that is required of all MPH students.  The exam is offered at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring and Summer). To secure a faculty recommendation of “pass” on the exam (70% or higher), students must successfully respond to two, multi-part, application based essay questions that reflect an integration of knowledge and skills acquired through foundation and concentration coursework.  Students are given two weeks to compose and submit their essay responses, which are submitted via the Canvas learning platform. Should a passing score not be achieved, the university permits students one opportunity to retake the exam in the following semester.

Attention future MPH applicants:  Please note that the number of departmental graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) with tuition waivers is very limited and are highly competitive. Preference for assistantships is given to first year PhD students. If qualified PhD student applicants are not available, assistantship opportunities will be extended to MPH students. Students who receive departmental GTA positions will be notified by the end of April for the following Academic Year.

Foundation MPH Competencies and Courses

Available Concentrations

The MPH program currently offers four concentrations. Please use the links below for an in-depth description or each concentration.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine / MPH Dual MPH Degree

The Department of Public Health is proud to offer dual degrees with the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Click here for more information.

UT’s Online MPH Degree

You can now earn your MPH online.  Available concentrations for the online program are Community Health Education (CHE)  and Veterinary Public Health (VPH).  More information here.

MPH Program Requirements for Admission

  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, as well as a 3.0 GPA for any previously taken graduate level courses.
  • GRE scores are not required for the MPH program.
  • Admission to the University of Tennessee Graduate School. An application that has been fully completed by the appropriate deadline.

Application Deadlines *

  • February 1—Summer admission
  • April 1—Fall admission
  • October 1—Spring admission**

*These dates are for domestic applicants only. International applicants should visit Graduate Admissions for current international deadlines.

** Only new, part-time students are accepted for spring admission. No full-time students will be admitted for spring entry to the MPH program. No spring admission for the Epidemiology concentration.


Two graduate minors are available to MPH students: the epidemiology minor and the Intercollegiate Graduate Statistics program (a statistics minor). Click here for a for more information about those programs.

MPH Memos Newsletter

Our program newsletter is released six times each academic year (three during fall semester and three during the spring semester). Read the latest edition and archives here.