The field of public health in Ohio offers wide-ranging opportunities for individuals interested in improving the health of the communities they live in. Six universities in Ohio offer degrees in the field of public health. The population’s overall health in Ohio benefits from the ready availability of primary care physicians and a low rate of uninsured residents; however, challenges facing the state include high rates of poverty, increasing rates of death from drug overdoses, and high rates of obesity and diabetes.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects long-term growth of 12.5% for health educator jobs.

In 2013, Ohio’s health ranked 40th in the nation. Like the rest of the country, Ohio’s growing population requires an increased number of public health professionals. In response to some of the public health challenges facing the state, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects long-term growth of 12.5% for health educator jobs. If you’re interested in working in the field of public health, it is worth exploring online MPH programs in Ohio. Earning an online public health degree in Ohio is a convenient, accessible, and affordable way to advance your career and help others.

Ohio’s primary health goals include preventing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases, preparing for events that threaten public health, addressing health disparities, creating strong communities, and assessing and monitoring environmental health.
The Ohio Department of Public Health coordinates a number of initiatives to improve public health, including the Creating Healthy Communities program, which works on expanding access to healthy foods, increasing opportunities for physical activity, and promoting tobacco-free living. The program focuses on prevention and lowering the rates of chronic disease among all Ohioans, regardless of their socioeconomic status. The Creating Healthy Communities program includes numerous projects, such as establishing new parks; making communities safer for pedestrians and bicyclists; and expanding access to farmer’s markets, community gardens, and healthier vending machine options.

Ohio’s Violence and Injury Prevention Program works to stop prescription drug abuse, falls in older adults, and injuries among children. Other public health programs in Ohio focus on rape prevention, women’s health issues, and chronic health problems.

Internships and fellowships both offer a way for individuals to gain valuable experience in the field of public health. Internships, which can be paid or unpaid, are usually offered to students who have yet to graduate in exchange for school credit. Alternatively, fellowships are generally filled by graduate or post-graduate students and supplement academic experience with real-world knowledge. Most fellowships are paid. Students earning an MPH in Ohio have access to numerous public health internships and fellowships, including the ones listed below.

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Public Health Internship

Any undergraduate or graduate student interested in a public health career can apply for these positions. ODH has locations in numerous cities throughout the state. Paid and unpaid internships expose students to real-world public health issues. Students can apply by emailing [email protected] for more information.

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Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) Internship

This internship program is based in Columbus and offers part-time, unpaid internships to students interested in health policy. Students gain an understanding of health policy issues in Ohio and beyond. Students from any academic program can apply, although graduate students are preferred. Applicants can email [email protected] for more information.

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Velosano/Special Projects Internship

The Cleveland Clinic offers this unpaid internship, which lets students work as part of a large community initiative to raise money for cancer research through bicycling. The intern gains real-world experience working for a large nonprofit health organization. Interested students can apply online.

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Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition (MHAC) Internship

This intern works part-time at the Cleveland office to help MHAC with program, administrative policy, and advocacy needs. Projects include writing content for a weekly newsletter, doing independent research, and assisting in meeting preparation. Interested students can apply by visiting MHAC’s website.

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Internship at the Office of Physician and Professional Recruitment

The Cleveland Clinic offers this unpaid summer internship, which exposes students to a variety of departmental and group projects at a large nonprofit health organization. Individuals can apply online.

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A public health official’s salary depends on several factors, including their experience, credentials, education, type of position, and geographic location. Public health professionals holding a master’s degree or higher, as well as those with many years of experience, tend to have greater earning potential and better career opportunities. Although public health workers in Ohio make slightly less than the average public health professional in the United States, the cost of living in Ohio tends to be substantially less compared to many other parts of the country.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Ohio 2,060 $28.68 $59,650
United States 63,260 $32.60 $67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Ohio

It is important to identify the large employers in Ohio to gain a better idea of the career opportunities that may be available after you graduate from an online MPH program in Ohio. Looking into these employers can help you can decide if you’d like to pursue a public health career in this type of setting.

Employers Number of Employees
Cleveland Clinic Health System 49,050
Mercy Health 32,035
University Hospitals Health System, Inc. 26,000

Public Health Research Centers in Ohio

If you’d like to conduct health-related research, it’s important to look for public health research centers to familiarize yourself with job opportunities available after graduation. The following list identifies a few of the public health research centers in Ohio.

  • Center for Public Health Practice: Ohio State University runs this public health practice research center, which endeavors to increase the skills of public health workers and support the organizations where they work. The center offers training opportunities, organizational support, and accreditation support.
  • Prevention Research Center: Operated by Case Western Reserve University, this research center works with communities to prevent and reduce chronic disease. The center partners with Cleveland neighborhoods to develop, test, and implement strategies to improve community health.
  • James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence: This research center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital conducts child health policy research with the goal of improving childhood health and wellbeing and improving healthcare for children both locally and globally.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Ohio

Professional organizations in public health offer numerous opportunities for both current students and recent graduates of public health programs in Ohio. Benefits of membership in these groups include networking opportunities, access to continuing education and professional development programs, and discounted rates to annual conferences. Many professional public health groups also provide career services and job boards to members. The list below contains a sampling of professional organizations for public health professionals in Ohio.

  • Ohio Public Health Association (OPHA): This association is the voice of public health in Ohio and works to promote policy development that ensures health equity for all Ohioans. The association is open to everyone who works in or supports the field of public health in Ohio. Benefits include networking, professional education, and advocacy.
  • Ohio Society for Public Health Education: The Ohio chapter of SOPHE offers professional development, leadership, and advocacy work in public health education. Members work for government agencies, hospitals, health insurance companies, higher education, and nonprofit groups. Benefits include newsletters, reduced prices for continuing education credits, and access to scholarships.
  • Ohio Environmental Health Association (OEHA): This organization educates and advocates for the environmental health profession and participates in legislative work. It is an affiliate of the National Environmental Health Association. Member benefits include professional advocacy, professional development, and access to publications.

There are not any general public health certifications or licenses required to work as a public health professional in Ohio. However, because the field of public health is so broad and can lead to many different types of careers, there may be certification or licensing requirements for specific positions. This is particularly true if you end up doing clinical work.

Earning a voluntary certification in public health demonstrates to prospective employers that you have the knowledge required to be a successful employee.

It is possible to become voluntarily certified. Earning a voluntary certification in public health demonstrates to prospective employers that you have the knowledge required to be a successful employee. Voluntary certification also demonstrates a willingness to go above and beyond, a commitment to professional standards, and a recognition of the importance of continuing education. One certification to consider is the Certified in Public Health (CPH) certificate from the National Board of Public Health Examiners. This certificate demonstrates knowledge of key issues in the field of contemporary public health.

It is important to attend an accredited school while pursuing a master’s in public health online in Ohio. Accreditation is a process that demonstrates that colleges and universities have met certain minimum educational standards. Choosing an accredited school means you can be reasonably sure you’ll receive a quality education. Two different kinds of accreditation exist: regional and national. Regional accreditation is more popular and is typically considered more prestigious than national accreditation. Most schools accept transfer credits from regionally-accredited institutions, but this is not always the case for credits earned at nationally-accredited schools. The regional accrediting body for Ohio schools is the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Students interested in pursuing a master’s in public health degree should also look to see if a public health program has been accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Programs accredited by the CEPH meet certain minimum academic standards determined to be fundamental for a successful career in public health.

Kent State University

Kent State’s MPH program offers five concentrations: biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences. Each concentration includes online classes, but only the health policy management and social and behavioral sciences concentrations are available entirely online.

The curriculum consists of 46 credits, including 25 core credits, 15 concentration credits, and six elective credits. Most full-time students graduate in 24 to 27 months. Each course lasts seven weeks, and students take one course per term. The format is ideal for working professionals and for students balancing personal obligations.

The program, which is one of the most practical online MPH programs in Ohio, culminates in a career-centered practicum experience, during which students learn from established professionals. During a global immersion seminar, students gain a unique perspective on the field of public health.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants must also submit official GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. A GRE waiver is available for applicants with significant professional experience.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University is based in Columbus. OSU’s partially-online MPH degree is one of the most respected public health programs in Ohio. The master’s of public health requires 45 to 48 credits, including core courses, specialization courses, and electives.

Students complete a two-credit practicum and a culminating project, during which students apply classroom knowledge and experience to develop a solution to a public health issue. MPH students can specialize in areas such as biomedical informatics, biostatistics, clinical translational service, environmental health sciences, and epidemiology.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. They must also have verbal and quantitative GRE scores in the 50th percentile and have earned at least a four on the analytical writing portion. Prospective students should submit letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal essay. OSU students have access to academic advising, tutoring, financial aid assistance, and career services.

Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

Organized by the Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives, this scholarship provides aid to minority students in healthcare management graduate programs, including MPH programs.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 31
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a minority student enrolled in their final year of an MPH program. Must also be able to demonstrate financial need and be a U.S. or Canadian citizen.

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Cathy L. Brock Scholarship

This scholarship is offered through the Institute for Diversity in Health Care Management. It is awarded to graduate students from ethnically diverse cultures and is designed to increase the number of minorities entering the field of healthcare management.

Amount Offered: $1,000
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, currently enrolled in an MPH program, demonstrate financial need, and have a 3.0 GPA.

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David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship

This scholarship recognizes graduate students in public health who have demonstrated a commitment to working in health policy and have a record of leadership.

Amount Offered: $10,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 2
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a U.S. citizen in their first year of graduate study at any UPHA or ASPPH member graduate program.

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CPH General Scholarship for Second-Year MPH Students

The College of Public Health at Ohio State University offers this scholarship to second-year master’s of public health students to support their continuing studies. The scholarship is funded by alumni and friends.

Amount Offered: Up to $2,000
Scholarship Deadline: March 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must have completed at least one year of full-time study in Ohio State’s MPH program.

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Corris Boyd Scholars Program

Amount Offered: $40,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 17
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a full-time student of color with a 3.0 GPA, a U.S. citizen, and starting a master’s degree program in the fall.

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The Elliott C. Roberts Health Care Scholarship

This scholarship recognizes graduate students in healthcare administration or comparable programs from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Applicants must also have demonstrated a commitment to community service.

Amount Offered: $1,000
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be in their first or second year of graduate school and pursuing a degree in healthcare administration or a related field. They must also demonstrate financial need, be a U.S. citizen, and have a 3.0 GPA.

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Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications to Reduce Tobacco Use Among Priority Populations

The Adams scholarship is given to students working on projects to end tobacco use. Students are expected to use creative art to raise awareness of the harmful effects that tobacco use has on disadvantaged populations.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 30
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must have engaged in tobacco-related community service, demonstrate financial need, and have a 2.0 GPA.

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Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship

Offered through the Society for Public Health Education, this scholarship is awarded to a student who is a national SOPHE member who has excelled academically.

Amount Offered: $1,500
Scholarship Deadline: September 30
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must have held national SOPHE membership for at least three months at the time of application and be pursuing a public health degree.

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Professional Development Award

The College of Public Health at Ohio State University offers this professional development scholarship to its graduate students. The award can help pay for conference registration, travel, and/or food and lodging.

Amount Offered: Up to $1,500
Scholarship Deadline: March 15, April 15, November 1
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must have completed at least one year of Ohio State’s MPH program.

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Transamerica Retirement Solutions Leaders in Health Care Scholarship

This private scholarship from Transamerica Retirement Solutions is available to graduate students in public health who demonstrate a commitment to community service.

Amount Offered: $5,000
Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be in their first or second year of graduate school and pursuing a healthcare administration or similar degree. They must also excel academically and be a U.S. citizen.

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