Jan 28, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog

Public Health: Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, M.P.H.

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Marisa Colston, Department Head
(423) 425-4743 or email at Marisa-Colston@utc.edu

Mark Stoutenberg, Program Director
(423) 425-4194 or email at Marcus-Stoutenberg@utc.edu


The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a concentration in Chronic Disease Prevention and Control in the Department of Health and Human Performance. The MPH Program is a two-year, 45 hour, non-thesis program that trains students to serve as public health practitioners. This unique program is dedicated to educating and training future public health professionals to be leaders committed to combating chronic diseases through an environment rich in learning, community engagement, and public service.

For the most current and comprehensive information regarding the MPH Program, please see the UTC Master Of Public Health Program website.

Mission Statement

The UTC MPH Program seeks to train public health practitioners and researchers in the methods of assessment, effective intervention implementation and evaluation, policy development, and community engagement to reduce the impact of chronic diseases and to address health disparities and improve the overall health in our local and regional communities. Recognizing that many chronic disease-related challenges arise from economic, social, environmental, political, and health care inequalities, the MPH Program brings together inter-professional teams to solve complex health problems and to train the next generation of community health leaders.

Vision Statement

Academic and practice-based excellence to meet the community health challenges of chronic diseases and to secure local, regional, and national health equity for the future.

Admission Requirements

Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited four-year institution, and are in good standing at the last institution that they attended, are eligible for consideration to the UTC MPH program.  There is no specific undergraduate degree required for program admission, but a background and/or experience in a health-related field is desirable.

UTC Graduate School Admission Requirements

The following are minimum requirements for admission and do not guarantee acceptance into a specific graduate degree program.  The decision to admit an applicant to pursue graduate study at UTC is based on evaluation of both qualitative and quantitative information.  To ensure adequate consideration, the applicant should submit the completed application and supporting credentials to The Graduate School office by the application dates noted in this publication.  Those filing applications after the established submission dates cannot be assured their credentials will be processed in sufficient time to secure admission for that term.  Financial aid may also be delayed.

An applicant for admission must furnish the following materials to The Graduate School Office.

  • A completed online application form available on the web site at The Graduate School website.
  • A nonrefundable payment of $35.00 (domestic applicants) or $40.00 (international applicants).
  • An official transcript from each college or university previously attended.  These transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to the UTC Graduate School office.
  • Students whose native language is not English are required to provide scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all applicants. (Refer below for the description of circumstances that may allow applicants to apply for an exemption to the TOEFL/IELTS requirement.)

Supplemental application materials as required by the program, including official report of the applicant’s score on the prescribed test(s) for admission, such as the GRE or GMAT

To be eligible for Degree Regular Admission an applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or foreign equivalent and be in good academic standing at the last institution attended.  In addition to the previous two requirements, an applicant for regular admission must meet on of the following requirements from a regionally accredited institution or foreign equivalent.  All GPAs are based on a 4.0-point scale; the last two years of undergraduate coursework are equivalent to approximately 60-70 semester hours or 90-100 quarter hours. (updated GPA requirements approved by Graduate Council spring 2011)

  • 2.70 minimum GPA for all undergraduate work taken for the baccalaureate degree or
  • 3.00 GPA for the last two years of undergraduate academic coursework or
  • 3.00 GPA for 30 or more semester hours undergraduate credit after earning the first bachelor’s degree or
  • 2.70 GPA for the last two years of undergraduate academic coursework and a 3.00 GPA on a fewer than 24 hours graduate coursework or
  • 3.00 GPA for 24 or more graduate hours or
  • An earned master’s degree or higher-level degree with at least a 3.00 GPA.

Students who do not meet this admission requirement should contact the staff of the Graduate School to discuss alternative requirements.  Applicants who are seeking admission to a degree program must submit scores on the appropriate standardized test as required by the proposed major department.

An applicant who graduated from an unaccredited institution may be considered for admission with a 3.0 cumulative average.  Scores must be submitted from the appropriate admissions test if the applicant is seeking admission to a degree program.

Public Health Program Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements in applying to the UTC Graduate School, students seeking admission to the Master of Public Health program with an emphasis in Chronic Disease Prevention and Control will be asked to submit:

  1. A Statement of Purpose/Interest in the Program
  2. Resume/curriculum vitae
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. GRE* score taken within the last five years
GRE exceptions
  • GRE may be waived for applicants to the MPH program who have 4 more years in public health related experience.  The Department of Health and Human Performance at UTC determines what constitutes such experience for their discipline.
  • Students who have completed a PhD, MD, or MBBS and have completed Step 1 and 2 of the USMLE, at the time of application may apply for a GRE waiver.
Academic records should indicate that the applicant:
  • Finished their undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA. Students with a GPA between 2.70 and 2.99 may be considered for conditional acceptance.
  • Graduated with a rank in the upper half of their undergraduate class
  • Completed an undergraduate program that provided them with appropriate preparation to undertake an MPH program of study in chronic disease prevention and control (such as exercise science, nutrition, psychology, public health or sociology) OR have public health related work experience.
Other requirements include:
  • Demonstration of a broad educational background reflecting a strong interest in public health that is related to chronic disease prevention and control.
  • Description of why the student is interested in the UTC MPH in Chronic Disease Prevention & Control and their specific career goals in the field of public health.
  • GRE scores taken with the last five years. While there is no minimum GRE score, students are encouraged to achieve an “above average” GRE score on the verbal and quantitative sections defined as: a cumulative verbal and quantitative score of 300, an overall ranking in the 50th percentile or better, and an analytical writing score of 4.0 or better
  • The committee reserves the right to interview applicants via an online platform (i.e., Zoom) or by phone on a case-by-case basis.

Admission Process

Applicants must submit the completed application, support credentials, and payment (as described above) to the UTC Graduate School by published application dates.  Applicants must also submit the required documentation and materials required by the Public Health program (as described above). Completed applications received by an early review date (i.e., March 1st) will be reviewed by the MPH Admissions Committee.  The MPH Admission Committee will consist of a minimum of three faculty member and the MPH Program Coordinator.

  • Applicants will be ranked on their undergraduate/graduate GPA, public health and work experience, interest in the field of public health and chronic disease, and future plans in public health, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.
  • Upon completion of the review, students will be notified that they have been admitted to the program, assigned to a wait list, or denied admissions to the MPH program.

Once an applicant becomes a candidate for admission, they will be asked to accept their position in the MPH within two weeks of notification.  When a candidate does not reply in a timely fashion, or declines admission, that position in the cohort becomes vacant and the next candidate, in order of rank, will be notified.  Students placed on the wait list will receive a final notification of their admission status no later than June 1st.  Candidates not accepted into the MPH program will receive written notification from the UTC Graduate School.

Program completion requirements, to include degree requirements:

Full time UTC graduate students enroll in 9-credit hours or more, while a part-time student takes 8 or fewer hours.  A full-times student will be able to complete the MPH program in five semesters or less, while part-time students will complete the program based on a timeline that fits their personal circumstances, as long as it lies within the graduate school standards for degree completion.

To complete the MPH program, students must complete the following:

  • 45 credit hours of study
    • 33 required credit hours, which includes a culminating 3-credit capstone project
    • 12 credit hours of elective courses
  • Two public health rotations (i.e., in the 2nd and 3rd semester), each a minimum of 30 hours, with a public health-related agency.  Rotations must be approved by the Program Director, Program Coordinator, or the student’s Faculty Advisor.
  • Documentation for their Applied Practice Experiences (APE)
  • A proposal and final report for their Integrative Learning Experience (ILE)
  • CITI module for Social & Behavioral Research Investigators
  • Professional resume/CV and cover letter
  • Instructional workshops (through the UTC library) on AMA writing and academic referencing
  • An oral public presentation
  • A conference (oral/poster) presentation
  • Program exit interview

Program of Study

Core Course Sequence Requirement

The MPH program is a full-time, cohort-based program consisting of 45-credit hours to be completed over four semesters (Fall I, Spring I, Fall II, Spring II).  The program is designed for the courses to be taken in a specific sequence from one semester to the next.  This sequential ordering of courses allows for educational content, materials and activities to be integrated together and build upon previous learning from one semester to the next. Of the 45-credit hours, 33 are considered a part of the core course sequence and include: nine 3-credit hour courses, three 1-credit seminars, and a culminating capstone project (3-credit hours).

Elective Track Requirements

In addition to the required core courses, students will completed 12-credit hours of elective coursework.  Working with their faculty advisor, students will identify a series of specific courses (i.e., an area of emphasis or a track) to enhance their professional development.  Students may elect to complete a Generalist track that provides them with a broad array of graduate classes related to public health.  Other students may elect to complete a specialized track of courses within the specific discipline (i.e., public administration, biostatistics) related to public health.

Transfer Credit

A majority of the coursework must be taken within the UTC MPH program.  A maximum of 12-credit hours may be accepted as transfer credit.  To be considered for transfer credit, a course taken at another university must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Carry graduate credit from a regionally accredited university
  • Have a grade of B or higher
  • Be related to public health or an acceptable area of emphasis with in public health (i.e., economics, management, leadership, administration).
  • Fit within the timeframe of the student’s program of study, and
  • Not have been used for a previous degree a the same degree level or for an undergraduate degree.

Initiation of procedures to have transfer credit accepted is the responsibility of the student, who must have one official transcript sent to the UTC Graduate School directly from the institutions(s) at which the course(s) were completed.  The student should present the syllabus to the program director/coordinator. If the coursework is comparable in requirements and standards for the MPH program, the course(s) may be listed on the student’s Application for Admission to Candidacy form. This form should then be submitted to the Dean of The Graduate School for final evaluation and approval. If approved, the credit will be incorporated into the student’s official academic record. In most cases, transfer credit will be applied to the elective credit hours and not towards the core requirements, which are designed around specific competencies.


Fall I Semester

PUBH 5110- Foundations in Public Health I- Exposure to Public Health Practice & Chronic Diseases (3 hours)

PUBH 5120- Foundations in Public Health II - Health Systems and the Enviornment (3 hours)

PUBH 5130- Foundations in Public Health III- Principles of Epidemiology & Biostatistics in Public Health Practice (3 hours)

PUBH 5140- Seminar - Integrating Science & Practice into Public Health (1 hour)


Summer Semester I

Elective (3 hours)

Spring II Semester

PUBH 5890 - Public Health Capstone Experience (3 hours)

Elective (3 hours)

Elective (3 hours)

Total: 45 hours

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