Is CEPH Accreditation Important for MPH Programs?

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Pursuing a Master of Public Health, or MPH, opens numerous doors to candidates who are looking for work in areas such as health communication, health policy and program planning and evaluation. While there are many schools that offer this program, it is important to find one that is accredited, especially if you intend to take classes online. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is one of the organizations responsible for providing this accreditation to schools that offer MPH programs.

How Does a School Become CEPH Accredited?

Schools that wish to become CEPH accredited must meet the proper criteria, including a high level of academic excellence and the ability to prepare students for careers after graduation. Once a school feels it meets this criteria, it must contact the CEPH to request an evaluation. The school will be responsible for conducting an internal review, addressing the strengths and weaknesses of the program and comparing it to the criteria of the accrediting agency. The agency will then review this self-report, as well as gather and evaluate public comments on the school and its program. After all this information is evaluated and compared to the criteria, the accrediting agency will create a report. This report is reviewed by the school, which may comment on the contents or dispute any information. CEPH will then make a decision based on this report as to whether to accredit the school.

What Does This Accreditation Mean?

When the CEPH looks at each institution or program, the agency ensures they meet a set list of criteria to determine whether to accredit the school. These criteria often include what versions of the program are available, whether the coursework offered provides the highest quality education and the transferability of credits earned. Accreditation acts as a seal of quality for students, offering them assurance that they will receive a quality education. Accreditation also offers a level of prestige to the program and validates the worth of the program to future employers. CEPH accredited programs must offer advanced degree options, prepare students to sit for professional certification exams and create internship opportunities for students.

Is CEPH Accreditation Necessary?

Due to the small number of schools that are accredited with the CEPH, students often wonder if it is necessary. There are many employers who will only hire candidates who earned their MPH from a CEPH accredited school. This fact creates more opportunities for graduates of CEPH accredited schools. Other benefits of choosing an accredited school include:

  • Assurance of a program that is committed to the promotion of public health and safety through the education of competent public health professionals
  • Assurance that the curriculum meets current standards of the field
  • A dedication to the education for all students
  • More opportunities for federal funding
  • The ability to transfer credits if you wish to change schools

If you are considering pursuing an MPH, whether through traditional methods or online, you should consider the importance of choosing a CEPH accredited school. The advantages of graduating from a CEPH accredited school may ensure your future working in public health. While it is more common to find accredited on-campus programs, MPH@GW is an online Master of Public Health that is fully accredited by CEPH.