January 29, 2023

What is the Accreditation I Should Look for in a School of Public Health?

If you are considering a career in the field of Public Health and are looking at Colleges and Universities for pursuing a Public Health degree it is important to be sure the program you choose is accredited. The Accreditation Process takes approximately two years and requires fulfilling a list of requirements for areas important for public health schools to complete. Accreditation provides potential students the guarantee that the program they enter will properly educate them in the required areas of study.

What is CEPH?

CEPH stands for the Council on Education for Public Health Accreditation. CEPH accredits schools of Public Health as well as Public Health programs at institutions that do not have a school of Public Health. It is a non-profit organization with a board of experts in the field from American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH). CEPH set the standards (there are more than twenty standards of criteria that need to be met) for a school of public health or public health program to maintain quality in curriculum, learning environment and financial stability of the program.

What is the Process for CEPH Accreditation?

The process of accreditation requires meeting the following elements:

  • Evaluation request in which the institution or program request to be evaluated by the applicable accrediting agency. In some areas there is more than one accrediting body.
  • Internal Review to assesses the program or school for its current effectiveness including its strengths, as well as areas for potential improvement. Assessment is based on the agency’s accreditation criteria and the specific goals that comply with agency standards. This is referred to as self-study.
  • External Review to analyze the self- study document and to evaluate issues raised in the self- study.
  • Public Comment allows input from the general public during accreditation including third party comments, public interest panels, and having public members serve on review teams.
  • Reporting the findings of the review whereby the evaluation team and the accreditation agency review the institution’s self-evaluation and the on-site visit. These findings are presented in the form of a written report.
  • Agency Review and Accreditation Decision to make a decision about the accreditation status of the institution or program.
  • Implementation when not in compliance with standards the program or institution is required to fulfill compliance within a specified time period, not to exceed one year.
  • Ongoing Review of the institution or program to ensure that the institution and its programs maintain compliance with standards and continue to improve.
  • Fair Process for accreditation is guided by published procedures.
  • Attention to the Public Interest to ensure accreditation that institutions and programs meet professionally determined standards of academic and operational integrity and quality.

What Does it Mean For a School of Public Health To Be “Accredited?”

CEPH also accredits public health programs, including MPH programs, at institutions that do not have their own schools of public health. If a school or program is CEPH accredited, you can be comfortable that it has met all the standards established by the public health profession. Once accreditation is achieved, they must be reaccredited after the first five years, then again every seven years.

What’s in the required curriculum to be accredited by CEPH?

The training for a Master of Public Health at an accredited School of Public Health or Public Health Program will cover five basic areas:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental health sciences
  • Health services administration
  • Social and behavioral sciences

All Schools of public health must offer MPH or equivalent degrees with specialties in each of these five areas and doctoral-level degrees in at least three of them. A program outside a school of public health can offer a general MPH or an MPH with areas of specialization..

How can I find out if a school or program is accredited?

You can search for accredited schools and programs at the CEPH website: http://ceph.org/

How Can I Find Out If My Program is CEPH Accredited?

You can search for CEPH approved programs at the following website: http://ceph.org/assets/Master_List.pdf

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