Master of Public Health -- Program for Experienced Professionals

The Master of Public Health Program for Experienced Professionals (PEP) is The Ohio State University College of Public Health’s first program focusing on building a new population health workforce.

As national, state and local trends move toward cross-system alignment and integration, it is crucial for today’s health professional to understand how public health, health care, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies can work together to prevent disease and injury, eliminate disparities and improve health outcomes for whole populations. The Ohio State MPH-PEP curriculum is designed to address these trends and provide a world-class education for health professionals interested in becoming leaders in public health, health care and community health systems.

Designed for busy professionals, the MPH-PEP offers courses in public health’s core disciplines combined with courses concentrating on the application of skills in population health management and leadership—with a convenient mix of both in-person and distance-based learning methods. In-person courses are held on the Ohio State campus on 3-4 weekends per semester with approximately half of the courses available online. This allows for maximum flexibility without losing the personal relationships between students and with our faculty that enhance the learning experience.

Courses are taught by a both College of Public Health faculty and public health, healthcare and health policy experts who bring both academic rigor and practical experience to the program.


Program of Study

All students must complete 45 credit hours of coursework, consisting of 15 credits of core public health courses and an additional 16 credits of required courses, including content related to public health organization, program evaluation, health economics, strategic planning and operations management. Students can then choose nine credits from a set of selective courses that best fit their individual interests, with topics including project management, organizational leadership, economic evaluation, health data utilization and identifying and using evidence. Finally, all students complete a practicum and culminating project to gain practical experience and apply their knowledge to real-world situations.

The program’s requirements include:

  1. Public Health Core Courses (15 credits)
  2. Required courses (16 credits)
  3. Selective courses (9 credits)
  4. Practicum (2 credits)
  5. Culminating Project Seminar and Culminating Project (3 credits)

For a complete list of course offerings and a sample curriculum plan, please see the PEP Curriculum Guide.

To fit around the schedule of working professionals, coursework is delivered through both in-person class sessions (a maximum of four weekends per semester in fall and spring, and three weekends in summer) and distance learning. Distance learning is online and takes advantage of interactive course websites that allow students to access course materials, communicate with the instructor and other students, take quizzes, view lectures and other teaching material and submit assignments.


Recommended Preparation

PEP students come from many sectors, including public health, healthcare, health sciences research, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and social work—however, anyone interested in working in a field that addresses population health factors is encouraged to apply. Students in the PEP MPH Program are chosen based on a combination of characteristics. They must have the academic skills to succeed in the curriculum and benefit from it, as measured by traditional indicators (3.0 or greater undergraduate GPA and 50th percentile or better GRE score). PEP students typically have some experience in an aspect of public health or health care. An undergraduate degree is required for admission, and work experience and/or a relevant graduate degree preferred.


If you have questions, please contact Andrew Wapner, DO, MPH, MPH-PEP Program Director at Wapner.1@osu.edu or 614-292-8675.


Lindsay Harmon-Matthews, PEP '15
"The PEP program was instrumental in preparing me for my new role as Rehab Team Lead for Quality Assurance (QA).  As a physical therapist, I was already accustomed to working with patients one on one; but, my public health training helped me understand the factors that impact health status on a broader level.  The breadth of subjects covered in my PEP courses from program evaluation and health care organization management to biostatistics, health care economics, and others introduced me to information I have referred to many times as I’ve prepared for my QA role.  The practicum and culminating project allowed me to put new skills into practice within my organization."