Program for Experienced Professionals - Master of Public Health

The MPH degree Program for Experienced Professionals (MPH-PEP) is the oldest MPH program in the state of Ohio and has graduates in many leadership positions in the state and beyond.

The combination of on-campus and distance learning components reduces traditional class time without losing the essential interactions between faculty and students.

  • On campus -- four weekends per semester
  • Distance learning -- course websites that allow students to access course materials, communicate with the instructor and other students, take quizzes, and submit assignments.

Program of Study

The curriculum for the MPH-PEP is similar to that for the full-time MPH, requiring a minimum of 45 credit hours. However, PEP students do not specialize, other than through their use of electives and their choices for practicum and culminating experience.

The specific PEP course requirements recognize the needs and interests of more experienced students, with emphasis on general preparation for positions of leadership in public health. The division of time in the curriculum is as follows:

  1. Required courses (28 credit hours)
  2. Practicum (2  credit hours)
  3. Culminating project (3 credit hours)
  4. *Electives (13 credit hours)

*Electives (13 credit hours)

Thirteen credit hours of electives may be applied toward the 45 total hours required for the degree (naturally, students may take more if they wish).

Students are encouraged to consider electives from all divisions in the College. Some courses will be offered in formats to make them more accessible to PEP students (e.g., evening, weekend, distance education). All courses offered by the College of Public Health are approved as PEP electives (provided they are not fulfilling other degree requirements for the student).

In addition, students may also take approved courses in other departments at Ohio State or at other universities.  With the continuing changes of this university and others with the semester conversion, there is not a published list of pre-approved elective courses not offered by the College of Public Health. Elective courses taken in other departments or other universities must have prior approval.  Students who wish to take an elective that is not offered by the College of Public Health must submit an elective course approval form along with a course syllabus and course description to their faculty advisor.  In order to receive approval, the course must be at the graduate level, relevant to public health, and contribute to the student's career goals and objectives. 

The MPH-PEP curriculum can be completed in two years. The program is designed to begin in the summer with one introductory course.  Students take two courses per semester during the regular academic year (mid-August to May).  The second summer is left open for a practicum experience and electives.  In the second academic year, students again take two courses per semester, including completion of a culminating project.

Recommended Preparation

Students in the MPH Program for Experienced Professionals (PEP) are chosen based on a combination of characteristics. They must first have the academic skills to succeed in the curriculum and benefit from it, as measured by traditional indicators. PEP students are also expected to bring a significant experience base to their cohort in the program, and show potential for leadership positions in public health. Thus admission is limited to persons who either have at least an undergraduate degree and two or more years of work experience, or a relevant doctoral degree and at least one year of health-related work experience.

For information regarding application materials, test scores and codes, and decision timelines see our frequently asked questions page.

Who chooses the MPH-PEP degree?

  • County health commissioner
  • Clinical fellow in infectious disease
  • Environmental health director, local health department
  • Community health surveillance coordinator
  • Quality improvement specialist, hospital
  • Resident in pediatrics
  • College nurse
  • Wellness coordinator
  • Program manager, nonprofit health agency
  • Managed care contract specialist
  • Epidemiology investigator, state health department
  • Health educator, local health department
  • Industrial hygienist, federal agency
  • Staff pharmacist, hospital
  • Research manager, clinical medical department
  • Foundation program officer
  • Medical faculty member
  • Public health emergency response coordinator



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