Master of Science in Public Health

Welcome from the Director

True to the history and legacy of Meharry Medical College the Public Health program teaches health caring and empowers diverse populations to improve the well-being of humankind. The public health program provides training to prepare public health practitioners ready to impact the healthcare system via policy, management and practice.


The Meharry Medical College Public Health program is CEPH accredited and consist of 45 credit-hours of course instruction, which includes an Applied Practice Experience and a Integrative Learning Experience. The core courses consist of 30 required credit hours and 15 electives; students may choose a concentration and select their electives accordingly. There is a variety of courses from which to choose to fulfill the course requirements for the public health degree.

Faculty & Staff

Leah R. Alexander

Leah Alexander MPH, PhD

Director and Associate Professor

Headshot of Aramandla Ramesh

Aramandla Ramesh MSc, PhD

Associate Professor

Mekeila Cook

Mekeila Cook, MA, PhD

Assistant Professor

Headshot of Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor, MPA


Headshot of Derek Wilus

Derek Wilus, MS


Mohammad Tabatabai

Mohammad Tabatabai, PhD

Professor and Director of Biostatistics

Headshot of Wansoo Im

Wansoo Im, PhD

Associate Professor

Headshot of Eleanor Fleming

Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH

Assistant Professor

Headshot of WIll Wyatt

Will J. Wyatt, MA, MPH


Headshot of Garrett Harper

Garrett Harper, PhD, MPH

Adjunct Professor

Vanisha L. Brown

Vanisha L. Brown, PhD, MPH

Adjunct Professor

Headshot of Marilyn Adams

Marilyn Adams

MPH Program Coordinator


The mission of the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) program at Meharry Medical College is to contribute to the public health workforce by increasing representation of individuals from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds through instruction, research and service that is evidence-based and culturally sensitive. These MSPH-trained additions to the public health workforce will be providers who have the knowledge, skills and training to understand, address and inform the public about problems and issues faced by underserved populations


The Meharry Medical College Public Health program’s goals is to:

  • Provide a quality educational experience in public health that provides the student population with the tools to address public health needs of all communities with sensitivity to the needs of underserved populations.
  • Provide a public health experience that results in employment in public health or continued education after graduation.
  • Provide opportunities for students to engage in scholarly activity that includes


The Meharry Medical College Public Health program is guided by the following values:

  • Excellence: consistently achieving outstanding levels of performance while uploading the highest standards of ethical behavior, intellectual honesty, and professional conduct.
  • Service: establishing and maintaining a nurturing community-based service-orientated culture and environment that exceeds expectations.
  • Accountability: accepting individual and collective responsibility for preserving and effectively managing the resources of the program.
  • Teamwork: encouraging, supporting and valuing the collaborative efforts of faculty, staff and students to advance the quality of education, and research.
  • Innovation: promoting creativity and the development of ideas that stimulate improvements in our intellectual and operational endeavors.
  • Diversity: fostering ethic, intellectual, social, and cultural diversity.
  • Advocacy: advocating for local, state and national health and public policies and training directed at improving the status of health of all individuals with an understanding of health care needs of underserved populations.

1. All students applications are processed through the centralized application service for public health (SOPHAS)


2. Qualified students will be emailed a supplemental application by the program


3. Deadline (May 17th Currently listed)


4. To be eligible for regular admissions to the Meharry Medical College Public Health program, candidates will be required
to meet the following preferred criteria:

  • Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent that is earned from a regionally accredited
    institution recognized by the United States Department of Education with an
    overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale)
  • GRE in the 50% percentile (GRE School Code: 1458)


5. Photo – please upload your application photo prior to submitting your completed application.


6. Official Transcripts of all coursework (Undergraduate and Graduate)


7. Official Scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)


8. International applicants are required to submit the TOEFL (TOEFL School Code:1458) score and official transcripts, reviewed by the following:
International Education Services (IES)
World Education Services (WES)
Global Credential Evaluators (GCE)
Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)


9. Letters of recommendation: Three (3) letters of recommendation from faculty or persons who are qualified to certify as to the applicant’s abilities or character before the respective deadlines, along with the Recommendation Cover Form for each letter.


10. Enrollment takes place in August of each year


All credentials should be sent directly to:

Meharry Medical College
Office of Admissions and Recruitment
1005 Dr. D.B. Todd, Jr. Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37208

Students are required to take the following required and elective courses based on their interest and intent to take the comprehensive examination or complete a thesis document.

Course Map

1st Year MSPH Students Fall 1st Year MSPH Student Spring
Course Credit Course Credit
Epidemiology I 3 Health Behavior 3
Biostats I 3 Health Administration and Planning 3
Foundations in Public Health 3 Data Management 3
Research Design 3 Environmental 3
Public Health Practice 1 Public Health Practice 1
Total Credits 13

Total Credits 13

2nd Year MSPH Students Fall 2021 2nd Year MSPH Student Spring 2022
Course Credit Course Instructor
Applied Practice Experience (2) 2 Integrated Learning Experience II 1
Integrated Learning Experience I (1) 1 Elective 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Total Credits 12 Total Credits 7

Total Credit Hour (30 required + 15 electives) = 45 hrs.

MSPH 700-01 EPIDEMIOLOGY I (Introductory). This course is designed to explore principles of investigating the differential distribution of disease among population groups, provide exercises demonstrating epidemiologic techniques, and introduce students to the use of data to treat and prevent disease and evaluate health care effectiveness.

3 credits.


MSPH 70-201 BIOSTATISTICS I (Introductory). This is an introductory course in the basic statistical concepts, principles, and methods used in the health sciences. Taught as part of the core curriculum for all Master of Science in Public Health students, the broad goal of this component is to enable students to have knowledge of the basics and their application in the experimental and non-experimental phases of health care administration and medical disciplines. The student should understand the traditional role of biostatistics and its newer role in the computer age and the age of innovative health care delivery systems.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 703-01 HEALTH PLANNING. This course provides an introduction to the planning processes used in various health care organizations. Includes such issues as allocation of resources and institutional change in the health care environment.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 705-01 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT. This course provides students a comprehensive understanding of strategic management in the health care environment. Strong emphasis is placed on the case study method. Health care organizations, like other organizations, are presented as ecological units relying on their environments (internal and external) as sources for attaining their various strategic objectives. As a result, students are exposed to the techniques for environmental analysis for the long-term direction of the organizations.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 707-01 ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH. This course is designed to survey those factors that impact the environment and human health. The student will be provided a conceptual framework for the study, analysis, and control of various environmental problems.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 708-01 HEALTH ECONOMICS. This course is designed to acquaint students, through lectures and discussion, with those principles and techniques of economic analysis that are helpful in developing and evaluating health programs. The course will concentrate on selected topics in economics, allocation of public goods, and economic dynamics. Case studies will be selected for their special relevance to the health field.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 711-01 HEALTH CARE ACCOUNTING. An intermediate-level course that will expose students to the process of generating and analyzing financial information in health care settings. The course will cover financial, managerial, and cost accounting topics. The students will learn about the accounting tools and techniques used in health care organizations through the use of theory and practical examples. The course will also educate the students on the limitations of financial information generated through the traditional processes.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 712-01 HEALTH CARE SEMINAR. This seminar is designed to provide students an opportunity to integrate previous course content into a framework relevant to health care. Seminar sessions, utilizing case materials, the graduate faculty, and occasional guest lectures, will focus on methods of health research, epidemiology, health economics, poverty and illness, research evaluation, communication skills, etc.

3 credits.


MSPH 714-01 EPIDEMIOLGY II (Advanced). This advanced course deals with epidemiology theory and methods in the actual study of disease etiology with particular emphasis upon case control study methods including matching, confounding, and selection techniques. Prerequisite: MSPH 70001.

3 credits.


MSPH 715-01 ORGANIZATION AND HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. This course is designed to provide a comprehensive, current introduction to the human resources management function as it relates to the delivery of health care and related services.

3 credits.


MSPH 716-01 BIOSTATISTICS II (Advanced). This course deals with statistics required for the analysis of medical care data. It covers further techniques for the application of statistical theory to actual data, combing lectures with computational experience. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the analysis of variance (ANOVA), linear and multiple expression, correlation, and distribution free methods. Prerequisites: MSPH 70001 and 70201.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 717-01 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH I (Introduction). A general overview of occupational health and safety, including historical development, concepts, and a general introduction to recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards. The diagnosis, pathophysiology, management, and prevention of work connected illness and accidents are surveyed.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 718-01 EXTERNSHIP/FIELD PLACEMENT. The application of skills gained in the class to actual health agency and community programs. Students will identify and solve real health problems in communities, operating agencies, local and state governments, etc. Required for all Mater of Public Health Students.

— 6 credits.


MSPH 720-01 DATA MANAGEMENT. An introduction to principles needed for processing large data files. Subject material will cover editing, encoding, structuring, and manipulating data, as well as timing considerations. Use will be made of the data processing/computing equipment at Meharry Medical College.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 722-01 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH II (Introduction). Workplace relationship of specific hazards such as solvents and metals is examined. Cancer is the main entity covered, its etiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and control. History taking (standard and predictive for placement and surveillance), patch treating, treatment trials, and protective measures are reviewed.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 730-01 HEALTH ADMINISTRATION. An introduction to the basic principles, concepts, and theories of management in the context of the health care delivery system. The course emphasizes the facts, problems, and issues of health care administration at all levels of the delivery system.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 732-01 HEALTH FINANCE. Analytic techniques, capital budgeting, cost of capital, evaluation, leverage, aspects of financial planning, and control.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 736-01 RESEARCH DESIGN. This course is designed as an overview of research design and methodology with specific attention to individual student needs as related to the completion of the thesis.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 738-01 MANAGED CARE. This course is designed to create a basic understanding of the managed health care environment in the United States. The course will cover: the history, growth, and development of managed care; the various types of managed care organizations; contracting in the current health care delivery system; medical management; general management; marketing; finance; underwriting; and legal/regulatory issues. The commercial HMO/PPO market, the emerging public HMO market (Medicaid, Medicare, and CHAMPUS), and special market segments (such as worker’s compensation) also will be covered in the course. The objectives of the course include preparing students to understand the basic structures, organization, and functions of managed care organizations; preparing students to function knowledgeably in a variety of managed care settings; preparing students to understand the relationship between managed care and various health care reform initiatives; and preparing students to negotiate effectively in managed care contracting scenarios.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 739-01 READINGS IN PUBLIC HEALTH. An intensive reading course under the guidance of a division faculty member in an area of public health. The class meets weekly to discuss the selected readings; each student will be required to write a minimum of one research paper on the semester’s readings. This paper cannot be related to the student’s thesis. The objectives of this course are to provide students an opportunity to investigate a topic of interest in public health in detail that is not covered by the required division curriculum for the Master of Science in Public Health degree and to provide an opportunity for advanced graduate students to conduct individual readings in public health to broaden their areas of knowledge and potential research opportunities.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 742-01 ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR. An advanced seminar on the health care organization in a competitive environment. Emphasis on concepts and practices of total quality management and new techniques and regulations in personnel management and group development.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 745-01: PROGRAM EVALUATION. This course will introduce students to the basics of program evaluation from the public health perspective. Elements of program evaluation will include such steps as engaging stakeholders, describing the program, focusing on the evaluation design, gathering credible evidence, justifying conclusions, and ensuring the use and sharing of lesson learned.

— 3 credits


MSPH 753-01 OCCUPATIONAL TOXICOLOGY. Basic toxicological principles such as dose response, metabolic pathways, and factors influencing toxicity are studied. The response of specific organ systems to toxic agents and recognition of clinical manifestations of specific classes of toxicants are emphasized.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 757-01 INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE. This course is a survey of the identification, evaluation, and control of those factors of the environment that may cause illness, lack of well-being, or discomfort among workers or in the community.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 790-01 HEALTH LAW AND ETHICS. A seminar designed to introduce the definitions, structures, and functions of the law and its effects on and its use in the American health care system. Fundamental legal principles relating to the delivery of health care services in this context are emphasized. Important topics include a primer on administrative law and the medical practice acts, health care practitioner and patient relationships, medical liabilities, hospital practices and the law, economic and social regulation of health care facilities, health antitrust law, and important ethics concepts in health care delivery.

— 3 credits.


MSPH 800-01 THESIS RESEARCH. This course will familiarize students with the process of research. The thesis process will help students better understand the effects of that process on providing new knowledge to the field of research (utilizing research design, methodology, and literature research).

— 1-3 credits.


MSPH 806-01 Integrative Learning Experience. The Integrated Learning experience (ILE) is an opportunity for MSPH students to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in coursework and other learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional public health practice. Faculty will utilize the ILE report to assess whether student have mastered the MSPH body of knowledge and whether the student can demonstrate proficiency in the required competencies. The Meharry Medical College Public Health program elected to provide students with two options to satisfy this requirement:

  • Option 1: A high-quality written paper using one of three methodologic approaches: (1) research, (2) program evaluation, or (3) policy analysis, all three are designed for the student to integrate the CEPH public health competences, and the knowledge gained from the Applied practice experience. Students will present their work to MMC faculty, staff, and stake holders via poster presentation.
  • Option 2: Written comprehensive essay exam and completion of one of the following professional certification exams: CPH, CHES, and MCHES. The comprehensive essay must be high quality professional writing using the appropriate technique and formatting

All public health students at Meharry Medical College must complete an ILE.

— 1 credit


Worship of God through Service to Mankind


The M.S.P.H. program strives to provide excellent education in public health, placing special emphasis on people of color from underserved backgrounds (regardless of race or ethnicity), delivering high quality health services, and conducting research that fosters the elimination of health disparities. Our students come from all over the United States as well as the international community.


Two student organizations at Meharry contribute to this atmosphere of learning, the Graduate Student Association and the Division of Public Health Practice Student Association (DPHPSA). These organizations promote student growth at Meharry Medical College and encourage positive relationships between the students, staff, faculty, and administration. Moreover, they demonstrate Meharry’s good will toward its neighbors through organized activities and volunteer projects in the community.


Our students are a vital part of these programs and are encouraged to attend meetings, give input, and in turn garner input from the student associations for the M.S.P.H. program. Students have participated in community service projects such as Hands on Nashville, the Nashville AIDS walk, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and High School Takeover. Professional and personal friendships that last a lifetime are formed around the Meharry Medical College M.S.P.H. experience.



  • To foster a spirit of unity within the M.S.P.H. program amongst all students, faculty, and administration.
  • To stimulate all students of Meharry Medical College to support and actively engage in activities that promote public health.
  • To serve as an educational unit to the community, raising the awareness of health and health disparities.
  • To provide a means for equitable review for all grievances and concerns pertaining to the academic atmosphere and the quality of student life while upholding the confidentiality and trust of its members.


Membership in the DPHPSA is open to all students enrolled in the Master of Science of Public Health Program at Meharry Medical College. Membership is not denied to any individual because of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, or handicap. The DPHPSA’s executive board meets biweekly during the academic year and the membership meets monthly.

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits schools/colleges and programs of public health in the United States. In 2009, CEPH voted to accredit the Master of Science in Health Public (MSPH) Program at Meharry Medical College for a five-year term, ending in 2014. The MSPH Program began its reaccreditation process in Fall 2012.


As part of the process, the MSPH Program was required to produce a self-study report to CEPH. The self-study report was review by the CEPH site visiting team. On the subsequent team’s visit to Meharry Medical College, it met with a variety of stakeholders including faculty, students, staff, administrators, advisory committee, alumni and other members of the community. Thirty days after the site visit, the committee will provide the program with a draft report containing their findings. CEPH has provided a draft of its report to the MSPH program to which the program has the option of responding.


A decision was made by the CEPH Board of Council on the Program’s reaccreditation in fall 2014. The Council voted to reaccredit the Master of Science in Health Public (MSPH) Program at Meharry Medical College for a seven-year term, ending in December 31, 2021.