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.
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.
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.
MPH graduates employed or pursuing further education within one year of graduation.
* 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.
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.
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.
Develop comprehensive skills in team leadership, financial management, human resources management, communications, program planning and administration, and the facilitation of change.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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
No, we don’t require applicants to take the GRE.
Yes. To qualify for the Veterinary Public Health concentration, you will need to be enrolled in a DVM degree program, be a graduate veterinarian, or be a licensed veterinary medical technician.
Students spend an average of nine hours per week for a three-credit hour class. Not all classes include synchronous instruction. Those that do include one hour of live instruction per course per week.
Yes, students pick where they do their Applied Practice Experience. You will have an applied experience coordinator and advisor available to help you find a location, should you need assistance.
No, it is not required for students to miss work for their Applied Practice Experience. Students set their own APEx schedule, allowing them to complete the required hours when it best works for them.
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.