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Degree Programs

The College of Graduate Health Sciences has ten programs leading to PhD and Masters degrees.

Students applying to one of our degree programs make an online application directly to that program. This printable brochure includes basic information about each of our programs. There are basic requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Health Sciences. Some programs may have additional requirements. Please contact the specific Program Director for additional information.

Combined Degree Programs

In addition to the PhD degree, the College has combined degree programs with other colleges:

AuD/PhD

The AuD/PhD program provides highly motivated and qualified students with an integrated advanced clinical and research program of study leading to the dual degree. This program combines the existing AuD program offered in the College of Health Professions with the PhD programs offered in the College of Graduate Health Sciences. The curriculum for each student is dependent upon their level of preparation and PhD discipline, and generally will involve initiating their research projects and course of study during their training in Audiology. As a result, the total time to graduation varies and depends on the student's background and research progress, but will typically be seven to eight years. Students must be accepted into the College of Health Professions prior to being considered for admission to the AuD/PhD program.

DDS/PhD

The DDS/PhD program provides highly motivated and qualified students with an integrated advanced clinical and research program of study leading to the dual degree. This program combines the existing DDS program offered in the College of Dentistry with the PhD programs offered in the College of Graduate Health Sciences. The curriculum for each student is dependent upon their level of preparation and PhD discipline, and generally will involve initiating their research projects during their four-year curriculum in Dentistry. As a result, the total time to graduation varies and depends on the student's background and research progress, but will typically be seven to eight years (as opposed to 10 years for each program independently). Students must be accepted into the College of Dentistry prior to being considered for admission to the DDS/PhD program.

DNP/PhD

The DNP/PhD program provides highly motivated and qualified students with an integrated advanced clinical and research program of study leading to the dual degree. This program combines the existing DNP and PhD nursing programs, which are based in the College of Nursing and College of Graduate Health Sciences, respectively. Unlike the traditional DNP program, the first three and final two semesters of the DNP/PhD program focus on developing students' ability to conduct clinical research. Thus, students do not enroll in clinical specialty courses until the fourth term of the program. The total time to graduation varies and depends on the student's background. Students must be accepted into the College of Nursing to be considered for admission to the DNP/PhD program.

MD/PhD

Students who are interested in obtaining an MD/PhD degree while attending Medical School at the University of Tennessee need initially apply only to the College of Medicine. Once admitted, students who desire to pursue both degrees need to contact the graduate program or the research faculty whom they want as their research advisor. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs of the College of Graduate Health Sciences will assist students in identifying appropriate programs and faculty. Once a student has identified a faculty advisor who is willing to have the student work on the doctoral dissertation within that laboratory, the student needs to obtain the approval only of the graduate program to enter the PhD phase of the dual degree program. Students do not need to submit GRE scores.

Because this is an informal program, there is not financial support during the MD phase of the program, but the student receives the normal stipend and tuition wavier in the College of Graduate Health Sciences upon entering the PhD phase. Normally, students complete the first 2 years of medical school including taking Step 1, USMLE. After completing the M-2 year (April), they enter the PhD phase of the program for 2 to 3 years. Once they have established their dissertation project, been admitted to candidacy, completed a substantial portion of the dissertation work, and obtained approval of their faculty committee, they reenter Medical School by starting their clinical rotations. Although it is possible to complete both degrees within 6 years, a more realistic time frame is 7 years--3.5 years in the PhD phase and 3.5 years in the medical phase. The slightly shortened medical phase reflects the use of medical electives to help students complete their dissertations.

PharmD/PhD

The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy has developed a unique dual-degree (PharmD/PhD) program for carefully selected, highly qualified students. This program combines the existing PharmD and PhD programs currently based in the College of Pharmacy and the College of Graduate Health Sciences, respectively. The program is designed to reduce the time normally required for a student to complete both degrees and to provide a stimulus for pharmacy students to enroll in the PhD program.

Admission Standards

General requirements are a bachelor’s degree with a grade-point average of at least 3.0 from an accredited college or university, a combined score (verbal and quantitative) of at least 1000/300 on the old/revised Graduate Record Examination, a score of at least 213/79 on the computer-based/Internet-based TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS or evidence of proficiency in English for students whose native language is not English, and three letters of recommendation. Some programs in the college may have additional or more stringent requirements.

Students may apply online. There is no application fee.

Application documents from any non-U.S. institution must be sent to and verified by a NACES accredited agency. All agencies charge a fee, but some agencies have programs that charge a flat fee and will send the verified transcript to specific institutions upon request (for example, the ICAP program provided by World Education Services).

Application Deadlines

  • February 1 - Nursing Science
  • February 15 - Speech and Hearing Science
  • March 1 - Biomedical Sciences
  • March 15 - Health Outcomes and Policy Research, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • April 15 - Dental Sciences, Epidemiology
  • May 15 - Biomedical Engineering
  • June 1 - Laboratory Research and Management, Pharmacology

Last Published: Feb 20, 2020