Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield’s master’s degree in public health (MPH) has received accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). This is the first time in the 32-year history of the program that it has received national accreditation.

CEPH accreditation is considered the gold standard of quality and professionalism in the field of public health education. In December 2022, the UIS Department of Public Health submitted a comprehensive self-study outlining UIS’ compliance with the 188 CEPH accreditation standards. A three-day in-person site visit was completed in January 2023. The rigorous accreditation process, spanning three years, thoroughly evaluates program aspects, including curriculum, faculty, facilities and student support services.

For 30 years, UIS’ MPH program has maintained a strong reputation, even without national accreditation, thanks to the robust Graduate Public Service Internship (GPSI) program running alongside the MPH program. Recent data indicates that 80% of on-campus MPH students secured GPSI positions, helping them cover the cost of tuition.

This accreditation is expected to yield several benefits for students, alumni and the program itself:

  • Graduates benefit from this accreditation as it enhances their professional mobility and employment opportunities, particularly for positions that require graduation from an accredited program or college
  • Prospective students can also benefit from accreditation, as it provides a consumer protection purpose by assuring that the program or college has met industry-established standards.
  • Employers can be confident that graduates possess the essential skills and knowledge required for today's jobs. Moreover, the accreditation process engages practitioners in defining standards and ensures that educational requirements align with the current training needs of the profession.

According to a recent study in the American Journal of Public Health, 82% of public health graduate degrees awarded in the U.S. in 2020 came from CEPH-accredited programs and institutions, underscoring the significant advantage the UIS program now holds.

CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit colleges of public health and public health programs. CEPH is also responsible for accrediting MPH programs in other countries, such as Canada, Japan and Taiwan. The accreditation for UIS was approved during CEPH's June meeting and will last through 2028.

Information about MPH internships, jobs and networking opportunities can be found on the MPH Facebook page.