East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University is also featured in our ranking 50 Most Affordable MPH Online Programs.

Online Master’s of Public Health at East Tennessee State University

Students in the online MPH program at ETSU have the option for full or part-time study, finishing the program in about 16 months at the earliest and six years at the latest. All students begin by completing the public health core which consists of 16 credit hours including classes like Social and Behavioral Foundations of Public Health and Environmental Health Practice as well as statistics and epidemiology introductory courses. The remaining 27 out the 43 needed credit hours are made up of four specialty classes, three electives, and six hours of a practicum experience. Electives can be chosen from anywhere in the MPH catalog but must be approved by an adviser to ensure that they are appropriate for the individual’s program of study and career goals. Before graduation, students complete the 6-credit hour course entitled Public Health Program Field Experience during which they are placed at an organization in their communities and have the opportunity to actually work in the field.

Three of the five master’s of public health concentrations at East Tennessee State University are 100% online. The Epidemiology specialization focuses on research methods with an emphasis on data management and analytics to study disease and injury within a given population in order to understand causes, make predictions, and improve outcomes. Another concentration, Community Health, centers around local health policy, education, and promotion. Students learn to evaluate current programs and implement new ones to fill identified needs in a community. The final completely online concentration is Public Health Administration which includes courses like Managing Health Care Organizations and Human Resource Management in Health Organizations. Students opting for the Biostatistics or Environmental Health specialties can take many of their classes online but do need to go to campus for the courses specific to the concentration.

About East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee University is located in Johnson City, Tennessee, a college town in the northeastern-most part of the state, and currently offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs in 11 distinct divisions including the College of Public Health, College of Business and Technology, and College of Medicine. Only one of these, the College of Education, existed at the school’s beginning in 1911 when it opened solely as an institution to train K-12 teachers. Over time, the school grew, eventually gaining university status in 1963 and now enrolling over 14,000 students making it the 4th largest school in Tennessee. ETSU celebrates diversity and works to preserve the history and culture of Southern Appalachia. There are many service-learning opportunities for students in the surrounding areas, and in all areas of study, ETSU emphasizes the importance of contributing to society at large and the local community. Due to their low student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1 and focus on both didactic and practical learning even in introductory classes, many programs at East Tennessee State University have received recognition for excellence. In fact, the U.S. News and World Report has rated the ETSU graduate public health programs #31 nationally.

East Tennessee State University Accreditation Details

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is responsible for evaluating post-secondary institutions in the southeastern region of the United States to ensure they meet established standards in a variety of areas from student outcomes to financial reporting. Student Learning, Transparency, Accountability, and Integrity are some of the categories examined during each 10-year review. This process protects students from spending money on a sub-par education, encourages schools to continually improve, and helps future employers by ensuring that graduates are well prepared for the workforce. East Tennessee State University has maintained accreditation since 1927 and is due for its next re-certification in 2023. Additionally, different industries have their own accrediting organizations that certify particular programs. At ETSU, the undergraduate and graduate public health degrees are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. This organization verifies the effectiveness of these programs by evaluating a variety of factors including departmental financial resources, faculty expertise, the curriculum, opportunities for hands-on learning, and career advising.

East Tennessee State University Application Requirements

Applicants to ETSU’s online MPH program begin the process by using the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) to submit their application. With this, they must also include undergraduate and graduate transcripts, a resume, and letters of recommendation. The main requirement for admission is an undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 2.75 and acceptable GRE scores. Some individuals are exempt from the GRE including anyone who has previously earned a graduate degree or those who wish to submit GMAT scores instead. The MPH program has one start date per year in the fall, so all materials must be received by February 1st for priority admission and by June 1st at the latest if seats remain open. One important consideration is that it can take up to two weeks between the time a student submits their application on SOPHAS and when the university receives it, so applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition plus fees for the online MPH program at Eastern Tennessee State University is $588 per credit hour for in-state students and $823 for out-of-state students who qualify for the eRate by taking only online classes during the semester. The total cost for the 43-credit-hour degree program equals about $25,000 and $35,000 for residents and non-residents respectively. After submitting a FAFSA, students work with ETSU staff to determine their eligibility for assistance including scholarships, grants, and loans. The College of Public Health offers scholarships for graduate students based on academic achievements, demonstrated financial need, or community service and leadership experiences. These include the Wykoff Public Health Student Scholarship and the Bruce A. and Amelia R. Goodrow Endowment among others. Another option for working students is to take advantage of any tuition reimbursement benefit their employers might offer. Additionally, after graduation, many public health professionals can enroll in a government loan forgiveness program. These programs cancel the remainder of a student’s debt after a designated number of years of employment in a high-need area as well as on-time loan payments. Finally, East Tennessee State University also allows students to pay their semester bill in installments without any additional fees.