The CPH requires a thesis for the MS degree specializations. For the MPH degree specializations, most students complete a non-thesis integrative learning experience (ILE) project. Although uncommon, an MPH student with advisor’s approval may choose to complete a thesis to fulfill the ILE requirement. MHA students choose the non-thesis option, however, there is a rarely used option for MHA students to complete a research-oriented master’s thesis. More details for the MS, MPH, and MHA degree program regarding the capstone requirements and Master’s Examination are summarized below.
The MS degree requires an oral presentation of a written thesis and a final oral examination. The Master’s Examination is administered and evaluated by the student’s Master’s Examination Committee. All members of the committee must be present at all times during the presentation and examination.
The committee for a student graduating under the thesis option will guide the thesis and administer the Master’s Examination (given orally). The usual committee composition is the student’s advisor, and, at a minimum, a second CPH faculty member chosen with the agreement of the student and advisor. The two faculty members must have category M or P Graduate Faculty status with the Graduate School and at least one must have a primary appointment in the College of Public Health. Any exceptions must be approved by the Division Chair/Program Director and the ASGC Chair. Students are encouraged to add additional members representing another discipline outside the CPH to complement the expertise of the CPH committee members.
The public presentation should be no longer than half an hour and the entire exam should be limited to less than 2 hours. If desired by the student, guests are welcome during the public presentation and may ask questions, however, they will be excused prior to the beginning of the Master’s Examination. Students should discuss inviting guests with their advisor.
The Graduate School Handbook outlines additional criteria regarding the Thesis that students are advised to review in Section 6.2.
Master’s Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) Project
The student graduating under the non-thesis option completes an ILE project and will have a committee composed of the advisor and at least one second faculty member. Students will consult with their advisor to identify the faculty member from within the university who will serve as the second reader for the ILE project. The presentation of the ILE serves as the “Master’s Examination” and the faculty advisor and second reader constitute the “Master’s Examination Committee”. Both faculty members must have category M or P Graduate Faculty status at Ohio State. The second committee member is chosen with the agreement of the student and the faculty advisor and must be approved by the Division Chair/Program Director.
Any additional committee members are chosen with the agreement of the student and the faculty advisor. Any exceptions must be approved by the Division Chair/Program Director and the ASGC Chair. MPH specializations may be more restrictive regarding committee membership, such as requiring that all committee members must have a primary appointment in the College of Public Health.
The public presentation should be no longer than half an hour and the entire session should be limited to less than 1.5 hours. Guests are welcome during the public portion of the ILE presentation and may ask questions, however, will be excused prior to the beginning of the questions and discussion led by the advisor and second reader. Students should discuss inviting guests with their advisor.
Master of Health Administration
The MHA curriculum is designed such that students complete their Master’s Examination as part of their required coursework. Therefore, by default MHA students choose the non-thesis option. However there is a rarely used option which entails completing a research-oriented master’s thesis. Students wishing to discuss this option should consult with their advisor and the MHA program director. The thesis option allows students to enroll in thesis-oriented independent study courses with their advisor, in lieu of elective course typically taken with the MHA degree.