Master of Public Health program earns reaccreditation
Virginia Tech’s Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program has received continuing accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools and programs of public health. The accreditation term extends until December 2025.
The process involved a detailed self-study and an on-site review of all aspects of the program’s operations — including governance, finances, curriculum, research, outreach, student services, and faculty.
Administered by the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM) in partnership with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM), the program received initial CEPH accreditation in June 2013. It has the distinction of being the first MPH degree to be accredited at a veterinary college in the United States.
Established in 2010, the program’s mission is to protect, improve, and promote population health in southwest and southside Virginia, the commonwealth, Central Appalachia, the nation, and the world by training future public health leaders through learning, discovery, and engagement in public health.
“It is wonderful to receive this endorsement of our instructional, research, and outreach programs,” said Laura Hungerford, head of the Department of Population Health Sciences, which serves as the academic home of the program. “The collaborative efforts of our staff, students, faculty, external advisory board, and community partners, as well as the great support from the VMCVM, VTCSOM, and Virginia Tech administration made this success possible. The CEPH reviewers, who gave us a perfect score on all criteria, provided thoughtful comments and suggestions for our future growth.”
The program is grounded in a One Health approach, which recognizes the dynamic interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health and encompasses the interdisciplinary efforts of medical, veterinary, environmental health, and public health professionals to protect, promote, and improve health.
The two-year M.P.H. degree program attracts both full-time students who recently completed an undergraduate degree and part-time, mid-career professionals. Some students also pursue simultaneous degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, nutrition, geography, and other fields.
The curriculum includes biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, social and behavioral sciences, health policy management, and specific courses in two areas of concentration, infectious disease and public health education. Additionally, students engage in both a supervised field placement, where the student acquires practical experience in public health, and a final capstone experience demonstrating competence in the field.
“This reaccreditation lets students know that they are entering a program that will help prepare them for success in the field of public health,” said Susan West Marmagas, director of the M.P.H. program. “Thanks to a tremendous team effort to revise our program curriculum, we are already building for the future. New M.P.H. students in fall 2019 are benefitting from the program’s implementation of an enhanced curriculum to reflect the new national CEPH competencies required of all schools and programs by 2019.”
The program's final self-study document is available by request and the official CEPH accreditation report is available on the public health program website.