Masters of Public Health (MPH) Degree in Ohio


According to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the leading causes of death and disease in the state are chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. High blood pressure, obesity and poor nutrition are all risk factors that lead to chronic diseases, contributing to statewide healthcare costs that average $50 billion annually.


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However, the ODH sees this burden as a preventable one and has already begun executing a comprehensive plan to reduce chronic disease rates by 2018. The plan outlines a series of goals, alongside a host of new standards designed to help ODH organizations and supporters better monitor potential health risks and the results of the programs aimed at reducing these risks.


Executing a plan like this is an immense and multifaceted proposition that requires the expertise of specialized public health professionals skilled in program evaluation, policy development and administration. The Master of Public Health is designed to prepare public health professionals to develop effective health policies, administer programs accordingly and evaluate the effectiveness of these programs to make improvements where needed.


Earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Ohio


The Master of Public Health (MPH) is a customizable, interdisciplinary degree designed to advance the careers of public health professionals by honing their skills and focusing them towards the core issues and established competencies of the field. MPH programs also welcome a diverse array of professionals with undergraduate degrees in areas like psychology, business administration, teaching, and health administration, among others.


Online and part time MPH programs help to provide a degree of flexibility that can help even the busiest professionals complete graduate school with minimal disruption to work and family life. Alternately, fast track options allow MPH graduate students to earn their degrees in just one year.


The public health sector relies on an interdisciplinary approach to promoting health and safety. Public health policy and program development relies on the statistical analysis of biostatisticians as much as political support from public administrators. Epidemiologists are crucial to determining where and how to initiate public health education campaigns.


Program Overview


Since 2004, Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited programs have been based on the MPH Core Competency Model developed by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH). The five critical competencies are:


  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy Management
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences


While the five core competencies form the basis of MPH programs, the ASPH also identifies seven interdisciplinary areas necessary to be effective in a contemporary public health setting:


  • Communication and Informatics
  • Diversity and Culture
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • Program Planning
  • Public Health Biology
  • Systems Thinking




MPH programs typically allow students the option of selecting a particular focus or customizing the program with electives from multiple disciplines. Most of these specializations will consist of between 10 and 15 additional credits alongside core courses and can cover a vast array of subjects outside of the core competencies. Examples of focus areas include:


Health Communication: The ODH website features a healthy lifestyles tab, outlining tips and tricks families and individuals alike can adopt to combat health risks. Active lifestyle choices, healthy eating, and safe environments are all emphasized alongside a list of warnings and considerations for tobacco and drug users.


Developing programming like this is the job of health communications specialists. Students in a health communication focused MPH program will find themselves discussing education techniques and marketing as much as they discuss potential epidemics and statistical analysis. The health communication focus area uniquely positions professionals to introduce new programming to their communities and ensure that their programs reach as many people as possible.


Courses within this specialization may include:


  • Leadership Seminar
  • Global Health Communication Interventions
  • Preventing Health Disparities
  • Social Marketing
  • Marketing and Research for Public Health


Health Policy: Health policy can be confusing. Discussing it requires an understanding of current policy in the public and private sector, alongside an awareness of the current state of the medical field. The Ohio Collaborative for Clear Health Communication is an organization that sits amidst the chaos and confusion, dedicating itself to providing a clear picture of the state of health policy for legislators and members of the public.


Efforts like these provide a level of clarity that heavily influences the development of legislation and policy when it comes to health. However, straddling the fence between the medical, legal, and business worlds requires a specialized kind of education that a health policy focused MPH can provide. Students in a health policy specialization will find themselves grappling with political concerns as much as health ones and developing the tools they need to condense that complex slew of information into something palatable for a non expert.


Courses within this specialization may include:


  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health
  • Public Health and Law
  • Global Health Diplomacy
  • Leadership Seminar
  • Law, Medicine and Ethics


Program Planning and Evaluation: The ODH developed an adolescent health program coupled with its chronic disease efforts to help stop the development of lifelong disorders before they start. Part of this was a health symposium focused on adolescents held in 2014 and again in 2015. The symposium provided adolescent care specialists with an outlet to discuss and debate potential outcomes in the years to come of their active programming. It also provided resources for professionals at every level to use to enhance their adolescent health programming.


The people attending that symposium were program planning and evaluation experts. Their job is to constantly evaluate the efficacy of their programs and to implement new initiatives in the event that their efforts are found to be lacking or inefficient. Organizations walking out of the symposium adopted new guidelines for sexual health and adoption education that are still undergoing analysis, and MPH educated program planning specialists will play a major role in evaluating the impact of those new guidelines and ensuring that their programs continue to operate at the highest possible level.


Courses within this specialization may include:


  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
  • Researching Violence Against Women and Girls
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health
  • Social Marketing
  • Marketing Research for Public Health


Global Health: The recent drought in California left public health officials concerned about the potential impact of another year of water shortage. However, California is not the only place in the world running short on potable water. Countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia have struggled for years with outbreaks of Ebola that are directly related to a lack of available clean water according to the CDC.


Clean water initiatives are just one of many global health concerns monitored by global health specialists. An MPH program focused on global health does more than just teach someone how to handle a drought. It teaches professionals like the ones working in California how to correlate their own situation to the ones happening overseas and to develop techniques and initiatives that stand to make an impact on a worldwide scale. This kind of perspective widening programming is absolutely essential for the continued maintenance of global health.


Courses within this specialization may include:


  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
  • Researching Violence Against Women and Girls
  • Global Health Communication Interventions
  • Preventing Health Disparities
  • Global Health Diplomacy
  • Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
  • Climate Change and Social Change


Accelerated One-Year and Part-Time Options


Most MPH programs offer flexible options that allow students to graduate at their own pace.


Part-time options allow busy students to take as long as four years to complete the program. For students working full time or pursuing other professional and academic goals, this may be the best option for earning a master’s in public health.


Most MPH programs also offer an accelerated one-year option that involves a heavier course load, allowing students to graduate in as little as 12 months. The curriculum is no different than a standard online or campus based MPH program, but is designed around a much more time consuming schedule.


Admission Requirements


Admission requirements for master’s programs differ according to a university’s policies, however, standard requirements for MPH programs include:


  • Submission of GRE, LSAT, GMAT, or MCAT
  • Submission of official transcripts from all other undergraduate and graduate institutions
  • Submission of a 500-1000 word purpose essay
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation


Projected Job Growth in Ohio for Some Key Public Health Professions


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a wide variety of career paths that build off of the core competencies of accredited MPH programs are set to experience strong job growth in Ohio during the ten-year period from 2012 to 2022:


  • Social and Community Service Managers-15%
  • Statisticians-19%
  • Microbiologists-5%
  • Biological Scientists-1%
  • Rehabilitation Counselors-25%


Salaries for Public Health Professions in Ohio that Require a Master’s Degree


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics furnished the following salary figures for a number of key public health jobs in Ohio in 2014. The figures below show salary ranges from the tenth percentile to the 90th percentile.


  • Rehabilitation Counselors: $21,970 to $63,280
  • Statisticians: $54,650 to $116,000
  • Biological Scientists: $28,280 to $90,350
  • Social and Community Service Managers: $42,050 to $82,430
  • Microbiologists: $39,930 to $65,660


Career Opportunities for Public Health Professionals with Master’s Degrees in Ohio


A customized MPH prepares graduates for a vast array of professional opportunities in public health, from program administration to epidemiology. Below are a handful of job postings that represent just some of the options available to public health professionals with a master’s degree. (The following are examples only and are not representative of a job offer or an assurance of employment.):


Quality Control Analyst III, Alkermes, Inc.


  • Responsibilities
    • Environmental Monitoring
    • Performing utilities monitoring and testing
    • Technical writing and publishing
    • Lead training for environmental department including facility aseptic training.
  • Requirements
    • Experience with standard practice related to water sampling, enumeration of organisms, and environmental monitoring in aseptic environments
    • Experience reviewing documents
    • Experience leading training related to environmental monitoring


Epidemiology Investigator, State of Ohio


  • Responsibilities
    • Initiates, designs, and conducts projects related to health risks and disease morbidity for maternal and child health.
    • Oversees and conducts analysis of individual and group level data and statistical analysis software
    • Examines implications of data to public health programs and recommends interventions
    • Verifies use of variables and coding in databases
    • Interprets study findings in context of existing policies, laws, and environmental factors
  • Requirements
    • Six years of experience as an epidemiology investigator


Primary Counselor, Amethyst


  • Responsibilities
    • Provides quality substance use and abuse assessment in a clinical setting
    • Work with clinical director and AoD counselor facilities to conduct counseling sessions weekly
    • Serve as a liaison to the community and clients
    • Implement behavioral health curriculum and discuss revisions to program
    • Assess client’s risk of lethality
  • Requirements
    • 4-5 years working with diverse populations
    • 2-3 years experience with sexual abuse and domestic violence
    • 1-3 years experience working with mental illness
    • 3 years of chemical dependency experience preferred