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Online Master of Public Health (MPH)

Translate your passion for public health into practice with an online Master of Public Health from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. We will prepare you for a versatile career dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of all individuals.

Online Master of Public Health Program

Prepare to pursue a career as a culturally competent public health professional who takes a holistic approach to improving community health.

Gain foundational research, policy, leadership, and community skills.

Concentrate your degree on Community Health Education, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, or Veterinary Public Health.

Connect with faculty improving health equity and helping underserved populations through their research.

Complete coursework and Applied Practice Experience without relocating.

Advance Your Career

Inquire About Our MPH Degree

Why Choose UTK MPH For Your Online Master of Public Health

UTK MPH students are bound together by a joint purpose—to improve the health of our communities. As an online Master of Public Health student, you contribute to that mission no matter your location. 

Our online MPH challenges you to integrate theory and concepts with professional experience. You gain insight into the impact of health systems, policy, and the environment as well as the ability to assess data and programs. We offer four concentrations that provide pathways to various public health careers; whether you want to educate the community about health-related matters, use data to identify health patterns, manage complex population-based programs, or explore the link between humans, animals, and the environment and its impact, we have a concentration for you. 

You complete your coursework 100 percent online and apply what you learn in real-world settings through our Applied Practice Experience.

A bridge crosses the river on the edge of campus at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

UTK MPH Program Quick Facts*


Approximate proportion of UTK MPH students employed by their Applied Practice Experience site upon graduation.


Agencies and facilities across 32 states have provided practice sites for UTK MPH students.

* Statistics reflect outcomes from the on-campus MPH program, which varies from the online MPH only in modality.

Online Master of Public Health Overview

As a UTK online Master of Public Health (MPH) student, you gain the skills you need to become a public health leader. You grow alongside your peers, who come from a wide variety of professions and disciplines. You also get to form tight-knit relationships with expert faculty and supportive advisors. 

While all of your coursework is completed virtually, you receive the same quality of instruction and material as your residential counterparts without having to relocate. And because you can choose to complete your 42 credits at a part-time or full-time pace, you gain even more autonomy over your schedule. 

An online Master of Public Health positions you to pursue several different career paths and specialties. That’s why we allow you to focus the scope of your degree by choosing from one of four concentrations: Community Health Education, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, or Veterinary Public Health. We invite you to explore these concentrations in more detail to determine the right one for you and your career aspirations. 

No matter your concentration, you develop foundational knowledge that’s rooted in traditional public health core competencies and emerging public health ideas. You learn how to address public health matters by interpreting data, identifying structural bias and health inequities, advocating for policies and programs, assessing population needs, and collaborating with other professionals. 

In your last semester, you apply the skills you’ve been building to real-life situations through an Applied Practice Experience (APEx). You get to pick the site of your APEx, allowing you to work at an organization within your community.

Online Master of Public Health Concentrations

When you pick one of the following concentrations, you gain specialized public health skills and knowledge that help you advance your specific career goals.

A group of UTK students sit in a circle and present health education information to youth

Community Health Education (CHE)

Learn to use appropriate educational strategies and methods to facilitate the development of policies, procedures, interventions, and systems conducive to the health of individuals, groups, and communities.

Two people wearing lab coats, gloves, and hairnets work in a lab with both computers and microscopes.

Epidemiology (EPI)

Leverage data and conduct qualitative and quantitative population research to identify and describe health patterns, investigate outbreaks, and determine disease origin among diverse groups of individuals.

Two health professionals discuss a patient case using a laptop

Health Policy and Management (HPM)

Develop comprehensive skills in team leadership, financial management, human resources management, communications, program planning and administration, and the facilitation of change.

A woman taking care of a horse

Veterinary Public Health (VPH)*

Explore the link between animal, human, and environmental health to expand upon the veterinary knowledge and skills you gained during your professional education.

* The Veterinary Public Health concentration is available only to veterinary students enrolled in a DVM degree program, graduate veterinarians, and licensed veterinary medical technicians (LVMT).

Online MPH Foundational Competencies

All online MPH graduates demonstrate the following competencies. These competencies are informed by the traditional public health core knowledge areas that include biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, health services administration, and environmental health sciences, as well as cross-cutting and emerging public health areas. These competencies are in compliance with the most recent criteria established by The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in 2021.

  • Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, and computer-based programming and software, as appropriate
  • Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy, or practice
  • Apply epidemiological methods to the breadth of settings and situations in public health practice
  • Compare the organization, structure, and function of healthcare, public health, and regulatory systems across national and international settings
  • Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities, and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community, and societal levels
  • Assess population needs, assets, and capacities that affect communities’ health
  • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs
  • Design a population-based policy, program, project, or intervention
  • Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs
  • Discuss multiple dimensions of the policymaking process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
  • Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
  • Advocate for political, social, or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
  • Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity
  • Implement principles of leadership, governance, and management, which include creating a vision, empowering others, fostering collaboration, and guiding decision-making
  • Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges
  • Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  • Communicate audience-appropriate public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  • Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content
  • Perform effectively on interprofessional teams
  • Apply systems thinking tools to a public health issue

Online Master of Public Health Curriculum

No matter which concentration you choose, all students must take a set of foundational courses to establish a core skill set.

Study of the environmental factors (natural, anthropogenic or combination) on human health and the integrity of the ecosystem.

Exploration of public health and healthcare systems, health policy formulation, and associated implications for management and leadership.

Application of descriptive and inferential statistical methods to analyze and interpret data for health-related problems and programs.

Introductory course on the different types of program evaluation, including formative research, process evaluation, monitoring of outcomes, impact assessment and cost analysis. Covers experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental study designs and the strengths and limitations of each.

The distribution and determinants of health-related outcomes in specific populations with application to control of health problems. Issues addressed include: historical origins of discipline, hypothesis formulation, research design, data and error sources, measures of frequency and association, etiologic reasoning, and disease screening.

This course applies an ecological framework to health assessment and program planning to address health disparities. Requires 25 or more hours of community service learning.

In-depth discussion of timely topics reflecting scope of public health as a discipline and its interrelation with many other academic and professional disciplines. Speakers both internal and external to The University of Tennessee are featured.

The MPH program requires the completion of two semesters of PUBH 509.

Online MPH Applied Practice Experience

Similar to an internship, the Applied Practice Experience (APEx) hands-on opportunity allows you to gain professional experience by actively integrating theory and concepts in a real-world setting.

Throughout this 240-hour minimum work experience, you develop and demonstrate public health competencies while contributing to projects that benefit the organization. The APEx is also a great way to network with current professionals, allowing you to leverage this opportunity as an entry point into the public health sector. 

The APEx typically occurs in your last semester. You select where you want to perform your APEx, which allows you to pick a site near you that best aligns with your individual career and educational goals. You can conduct your APEx online or in person, depending on the site you choose. The site needs to be approved. We are able to provide assistance should you need help finding a location.

Online Master of Public Health Faculty

The Master of Public Health faculty are dedicated to bringing health to all communities. For more information about the online MPH faculty, please visit the faculty directory.

A professional UTK MPH faculty headshot of Jennifer Russomanno

Jennifer Russomanno, DrPH, MPH, CHES


Jennifer Russomanno received her doctorate and MPH from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research focuses on examining food inequities and insecurities in underrepresented populations.

A professional UTK MPH faculty headshot of Jiangang Chen

Jiangang Chen, MD, PhD


Jiangang Chen researches potential environmental impacts on human reproduction. He received his PhD from UC Davis and Master of Medicine degree from Beijing Medical University.

A professional UTK MPH faculty headshot of Samantha Ehrlich

Samantha F. Ehrlich, PhD, MPH


Samantha F. Ehrlich is a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist whose research focuses on pregnancy exposures, behaviors, and outcomes related to obesity and diabetes in women and their children.

Headshot of Daleniece Jones, MPH, PhD

Daleniece Jones, PhD, MPH


Daleniece Higgins Jones is a molecular epidemiologist whose research focus is on molecular microbial food safety epidemiology. She received her PhD from the University of Memphis.

A professional UTK MPH faculty headshot of Laurie Meschke

Laurie L. Meschke, PhD, MS


Laurie L. Meschke utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methodology in examining adolescent health. Her research also focuses on opioid use disorder and rape prevention education. She received her PhD and Master of Science degree from Penn State.

A professional UTK MPH faculty headshot of Chika Okafor

Chika C. Okafor, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVPM (Epi)


Chika C. Okafor is an epidemiologist whose research is focused on improving judicious use of antimicrobials in animals. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Nigeria and his Master of Science and PhD from Michigan State University.

A professional UTK MPH faculty headshot of Jennifer Perion

Jennifer Perion, PhD, CHES


Jennifer Perion researches aging, including the needs of family and professional caregivers and the experiences of older adults with dementia. She received her PhD from the University of Toledo.

Headshot of Peyton Prothero, MPH

Peyton Prothero, MPH


Peyton Prothero (she/her/hers) received her bachelor’s in public health, health promotion, and health behavior from Oregon State University and her MPH in Community Health Education with a minor in Epidemiology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is also a certified health education specialist.

Headshot of Brittany Shelton, MPH, DrPH

Brittany Shelton, DrPH, MPH


Brittany A. Shelton (she/her/hers) is a health disparities researcher who earned her MPH and DrPH from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with her degrees focused on health policy and organization.

Headshot of Kenneth D. Smith, PhD

Kenneth D. Smith, PhD


Kenneth D. Smith is a health economist and public health practitioner. He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he studied economic demography and health economics.

A professional UTK MPH faculty headshot of Thankam Sunil

Thankam S. Sunil, PhD, MPH


Thankam S. Sunil researches health disparities at the local and global levels. He received his PhD from the University of North Texas and MPH from the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center.

Headshot of Phoebe Tran, PhD, MS

Phoebe Tran, PhD, MS


Phoebe Tran is a cardiovascular disease epidemiologist. She received her PhD in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale University and Master of Science in epidemiology from Harvard University.

Amy Wotring

Amy Wotring, PhD, MPH, CHES


Amy J. Wotring received her PhD from the University of Toledo and her MPH from the Northwest Ohio Consortium of Public Health. Her research interests are focused on health promotion in the community, especially in older adults.

Frequently Asked Questions

To learn more about the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, online Master of Public Health program and its admission process, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Have Questions?

UT MPH Online Program Governance

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.

Online Master of Public Health Nationally Accredited by CEPH

The University of Tennessee MPH program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the nationally recognized accrediting body for this discipline. 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 CEPH.

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