Masters of Public Health (MPH) Degree in Ohio

Public Health Career Education in Ohio


Ohio is one of the least healthy states in the US. However, they recognize the importance of having educated and driven public health professionals to turn this around. 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. The state saw this problem as preventable and in 2014 introduce a four-year plan, The Chronic Disease Plan, aimed at reducing chronic diseases. 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.

2020 has seen Ohio continue with this plan, adding new goals that they hope to achieve by 2030. The state hopes to decrease the mortality rate of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and obesity, increase screening for various cancers, decrease the prevalence of tobacco smoking, and increase healthy eating and exercise among students and adults.

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.

In this guide, we take a look at what you can do to help Ohio reach its 2030 objectives. We’ll look at whether studying for Masters in Public Health in Ohio is the right path for you, and we’ll look at healthcare job predictions, expected salaries, and the various MPH courses on offer.

What is CEPH accreditation?

The CEPH, which is the Council on Education for Public Health, is an independent agency that works with the United States Education Department to ensure that the standards in health education

programs are being met. Job recruiters will check to ensure that your degree has CEPH accreditation, so it’s worth investing in one.

Earning Your Master of Public Health in Ohio

Once you’ve got your undergraduate degree and a decent amount of work experience, getting your MPH in Ohio, which is a major hub for higher education, is relatively straightforward. There are six universities offering 50 different courses and a diverse range of options. Your degree can be obtained from a public or private university.

Students in Ohio are given opportunities to practice across many areas including Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Dayton. There’s also work in rural communities near Kentucky and Indiana. Some of the standout MPH courses can be found at Case Western Reserve University, The Consortium of Eastern Ohio, The Ohio State University, and the University of Cincinnati. Most courses offer 42-credit hours and CEPH accreditation.

There are also numerous online programs for people who would like to further their public health education, but lack the time and finances. These programs are designed to be flexible, accommodating, and efficient.

Step One: Know the Basics

To apply for an MPH program, you need to have an undergraduate degree in any field. Most applicants come from sectors in health administration, business, nutrition, healthcare, and education. Although work experience is beneficial, especially when applying for post-MPH jobs, it isn’t essential as you’ll be doing practical work in your course.

Academic Overview

The Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH) sets the standards for MPH programs across the country. These standards are derived from an MPH Core Competency Model that was created by the Association of Schools of Public Health. The MPH Core Competency Model includes contains five competencies, which 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 identified seven interdisciplinary areas of focus that they believe are necessary for a graduate to function in a contemporary public health setting. These are:

    1. Communication and Informatics
    2. Diversity and Culture
    3. Leadership
    4. Professionalism
    5. Program Planning
    6. Public Health Biology
    7. Systems Thinking

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for master’s programs will differ from program to program and universities will usually list their specific requirements. However, generally speaking, the list below is a standard set of requirements for graduate-level MPH programs:

    1. Submission of GRE, LSAT, GMAT, or MCAT
    2. Submission of official transcripts from all other undergraduate and graduate institutions
    3. Submission of a 500-1000 word purpose essay
    4. Resume
    5. Two letters of recommendation
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Step Two: Choosing a State Public Health School

Choosing the school to do your MPH at should be based on a few important things. The first one is looking at whether or not the course has CEPH accreditation. Next, you should consider the location and tuition fees. The six universities that offer MPH courses are located all over the state, so you should be able to choose one that’s relatively close to you.

If you’re not able to find a suitable campus, you can look at some of the online courses on offer.

Getting Your MPH Online in Ohio

An online MPH can be earned in as little as 24 months. Some programs are 100% online, with weekly online discussions, and some courses are hybrids, with face-to-face course discussions and a practical research component. In Ohio, there are a few universities that offer online course. Wright State University School of Medicine offers one of the best courses and focuses on global health, emergency preparedness, public health management, and health promotion.

Kent State University College of Public Health has a program that covers the five competencies; biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health policy management, and social and behavioral sciences. The program offers 45 credit hours.

Step Three: Choosing a Public Health Specialization

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.

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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.

Q: What’s the Difference Between Bachelor Degree & Master’s Degree in Public Health?

A Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health is a four-year undergraduate degree that focuses on the 4Ps of Public Health; Prevention, Promotion, Protection, and Population-based care. It can be obtained through a Bachelor of Arts Degree, which focuses on the social, community, and economical aspects of public health or through a Bachelor of Science Degree, which focuses on the statistical, research, and natural sciences features.

Currently, there are only a handful of institutions offering bachelor programs in public health in Ohio. Ohio State University and The University of Toledo both offer Bachelor of Science degrees, with a focus on environmental health, US and international health, and emerging infectious diseases.

However, you don’t need a Bachelors in Public Health in order to do your Masters. The Master’s program accepts graduates from any bachelor’s background, although most course applicants come from the nutrition, nursing, health administration, environmental health, and even business areas.

There are far more Master’s programs in Ohio, which has six different universities offering over 50 accredited MPH courses. The program is more in-depth than the bachelor program and focuses on five core specializations, but it’s also adaptable and caters to working professionals who might not have the time to commit to full-time studies.

The MPH programs require students to do some form of practical work, either in an internship position or through supervised on-the-job training. There’s also semester-long research proposals and opportunities to be involved with grant proposals. The MPH is a solid, but challenging program that aims to prepare students across two spectrums: the research, statistical, and data part of it, and the social, community engagement part.

With an MPH under your belt, you’ll have a more career options, a better salary, more benefits, the opportunity to work with people who have common goals, and the scope to make a significant difference to the health of Ohioans.

Q: Where do Public Health Professionals Work in Ohio?

Public Health Professionals most often work in universities, colleges, or state research institutions. Sometimes they work for local clinics and sometimes they work for big hospitals. Depending on your specialization, you could also have the opportunity to work in the field, communicating with residents and collecting data. If you prefer something more low-key, then you can look at a specialization that focuses more on office work. This can be found in public or private institutions.

Overview: Public Health Careers in Ohio

For the last three decades, Ohio has hovered in the bottom ten of health rankings. There are more than 11 million people living in 88 counties, making it one of the most densely populated states in the US. More Ohioans suffer from illness and disability than most Americans and they spend more on health per person than all but 16 other states. In terms of diabetes, smoking, and obesity, it’s one of the worst in the country.

But there’s hope. The Chronic Disease Plan got the ball rolling and showed that there are people who are committed to improving the health of Ohioans. The plan was ambitious, and it succeeded in many ways – the prevalence of smoking decreased, air pollution decreased, and mental health facilities increased. However, some of its core aims fell short of its goals; diabetes increased by 22% and drug deaths increased by 77%.

The comprehensive plan and the increasing need to hire hundreds of committed public health workers to see these plans through make Ohio a tough, but extremely attractive choice for a public health career. Perhaps the biggest selling point is the access to some of the most sought-after higher education institutions in the country, the world-renowned healthcare and research facilities, and the national headquarters for banking, manufacturing, insurance, and restaurants.

Opportunities With a Public Health Degree in Ohio

In addition to being part of a wide-ranging plan that aims to prevent 342,000 cases of diabetes, 293,000 cases of heart disease, and 23,000 cases of cancer, individuals looking at public health careers in Ohio will also be able to enjoy its rich geographical diversity and access to some of the best Master of Public Health courses in the country.

The state also boasts thriving metropolitan and suburban areas. Its home to over 120 public health districts and is a hub for businesses in many sectors, including banking, retail, manufacturing, and utilities.

There are six different universities offering over 50 different accredited Master of Public Health Degrees.

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.

Job Growth Projections – Master’s-Educated Public Health Professionals in Ohio

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ohio will see strong job growth in the public health sector during the ten years between 2016 and 2026:

    1. Social and Community Service Managers +17.4%
    2. Statisticians +33.8%
    3. Microbiologists +5.5%
    4. Biological Scientists +20.5%
    5. Rehabilitation Counselors +16.2%

Salary Range – Public Health Professions in Ohio that Require a Master’s Degree

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics provided the following figures for public health jobs in Ohio in 2019. The salaries below range from the bottom tenth percentile to the 90th percentile:

    1. Social and Community Services Managers: $42,020 – $105,680
    2. Statisticians: $51,690 – $131,590
    3. Microbiologists: $36,630 – $114,520
    4. Biological Scientists: $33,210 – $124,210
    5. Epidemiologists: $48,010 – $101,100
    6. Social Scientists: $48,450 – $114,500
    7. Rehabilitation Counselors- $19,230 – $67,330

The Jobs & Careers You Can Get with a Public Health Degree 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.):


National Interstate


  • Prepares basic financial and business related analysis and reporting. Defines business and legal reporting requirements through research, interpretation of regulations, and business unit requests to meet customer needs.
  • Learns to effectively utilize reporting procedures that designate the use of check lists, submission logs, data transmissions and data receipt confirmations.
  • Learns to collect and analyze data for validity and accuracy in preparation of assigned reports.
  • Learns to develop and maintain department databases and assesses quality of data used in routine reports.
  • Beginning to develop knowledge of data sources content and structure to assess the quality of data.
  • May begin to identify and make recommendations for resolution of identified issues in data and reporting quality.
  • Utilizes department / company software to prepare basic data queries.
  • Beginning to develop understanding of industry products/coverages and applies that knowledge to support business activity.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience.
  • Field of Study: Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Statistics or a related discipline.
  • Experience: 0 – 2 years of related experience.
  • Physical Requirements
  • Requires prolonged sitting.
  • Requires continuous use of computer.
  • May lift, carry, push, or pull objects up to 10 lbs.• Requires regular and predictable attendance.
  • Epidemiology Investigator



  • Perform in-house or onsite visits.
  • Appropriate statistical analysis and methods using statistical computer software packages.
  • Write/edit reports and recommendations from data gather.
  • Determine impact on community considering persons, animals or environment tested.
  • Tabulate and analyze epidemiological data using appropriate statistical measures.
  • Explain semi-specialized matters to general public, healthcare professionals, and local health agencies.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Public Health or Preventative Medicine.
  • 3 courses or 9 months’ experience in use of statistical computer software.
  • 1 course or 3 months’ experience in epidemiology, physiology, statistics, human relations, interviewing.
  • 6+ months experience working in research or specific laboratory, identifying and researching infectious/chronic diseases or related environmental health problems.
  • Must be able to provide own transportation.
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    Resources for Students & Professionals

    Ohio Health Website The Ohio Health Website has information on health alerts, current health initiatives, support groups for various conditions, and a quick and easy way to find suitable healthcare workers near you.

    State of Ohio: Official Website For any travel, living, health, or state-related information, the official website for the state of Ohio is a great resource. If you’re thinking of relocating to Ohio this is a great way to get an idea of where to live and what Ohio has to be offered in terms of lifestyle and standard of living.

    Ohio Higher Education Website The Ohio Higher Education Website has information on universities and colleges, various degrees, admission requirements, tuition funding initiatives, anything related to getting a degree in Ohio.