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VPH Curriculum

Veterinary Public Health Core Courses

In addition to core courses and electives, students must complete an Applied Practice Experience or field experience as well as an Integrative Learning Experience to fulfill the requirements of the MPH-VPH program. Through these experiences, the students utilize classroom knowledge for practical and real life applications.


Students will take 10 credit hours of electives for specialization.  Advisors will work with students to decide the best combination of electives to make the student competitive in whatever field they choose to enter. Electives can be determined based off of recommended tracks, which students have the option to select, depending on their ultimate career goals.


Applied Practice Experience

Managing Brucellosis in Bison, Montana, USA

Managing Brucellosis in Bison, Montana, USA

The Applied Practice Experience (APE) is a graduate-level internship where students apply classroom knowledge to career objectives in a professional setting. Students typically begin the APE by shadowing a VPH professional carrying out their regular duties in any of the five areas of veterinary public health. Some of the common areas in which students complete their VPH APE include zoonotic diseases, food safety, preparedness and emergency response, environmental health, epidemiology, biomedical research and veterinary regulatory medicine. Often during this 3-week minimum field experience, students take on projects and job duties requisite of professionals in their chosen field. Students should review the College of Public Health website for more information about the APE (CPH APE). 

Examples include:

  • Analyzing zoonotic disease surveillance data and writing summary reports
  • Conducting research in regulatory veterinary medicine and presenting findings at a conference
  • Processing lab specimens to aid county level health departments in identifying and measuring the prevalence of vector borne diseases such as West Nile Virus in their jurisdiction

Students gain real world experience that provides them a competitive edge when they prepare to enter the workforce. Furthermore, many students find that their APEs turn into job offers. Our graduate students have completed APEs at the local, state, federal, and international level. Please see the listings below for recent examples of positions filled for internships and field experiences.


Graduate Student Applied Practice Experiences


-Local Level-

Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Columbus Public Health
Columbus, Ohio
Emergency Response
London City Health Department
Madison County, Ohio
Zoonotic Diseases
Veterinary Public Health Program
Los Angeles Health Department
Los Angeles, California

-State Level-

West Nile Virus and Vectorborne
Zoonotic Diseases Program
Ohio Department of Health (ODH)
Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Foodborne Pathogen Testing
Consumer Protection Laboratory
Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA)
Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Brucellosis in Elk/Bison
Wildlife Laboratory,Montana
Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Bozeman, Montana

-Federal Level-

Regulatory Research
Office of Research, Center for Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Laurel, Maryland
Foreign Animal Disease Surveillance
Veterinary Services, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA-APHIS-VS)
Pickerington, Ohio
Norovirus Research and Surveillance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Atlanta, Georgia
Zoonotic Disease Surveillance Analysis
U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM)
Dayton, Ohio

-International Level-

Milk Quality and Food Safety
National Institute of Veterinary Research, Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development
Hanoi, Vietnam
Food Safety and International Food Systems
Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture & Fishery and University of the Republic of Uruguay
Montevideo, Uruguay
Toxoplasma in Wildlife
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Gondar
Gondar, Ethiopia
Infectious Disease Surveillance and Monitoring
Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)
Washington, DC, USA
Animal Identification and Global Movement
World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
Paris, France


Integrative Learning Experience

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) screening, Columbus, USA

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
screening, Columbus, USA

An Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) is developed and executed by the student in conjunction with a faculty advisor and committee to partially fulfill requirements of the MPH-VPH degree. All ILEs require a written manuscript showing proof of mastery of the curriculum by applying knowledge gained through coursework and the APE. Students can choose one of two options when pursuing an ILE:

  • Generate new knowledge or science through research (Thesis Option)


  • Identify a veterinary public health issue or problem and provide a solution (Non-thesis Option)


Thesis Option

Expectations for students completing a thesis include identifying a research problem, developing objectives and hypothesis, designing an experiment, running the experiment(s) in the field or the laboratory, organizing and analyzing data, and writing a manuscript (thesis) of publishable quality.

Non-thesis Option

Students pursuing the non-thesis pathway have multiple options in which the service project can take form. Common projects include, but not limited to, developing risk communication materials or emergency plans, creating educational materials to train public health professionals, conducting applied research and analysis with government and private industry data, or conducting comprehensive literature reviews that fill gaps in knowledge.

Integrative Learning Experiences usually require a year to complete and can take the form of field research, laboratory research, service projects, and comprehensive reviews. These student projects add to the knowledge base of Veterinary Public Health science and contribute to solving current human and animal health issues. To review ILE guidelines and timeline, visit:

Please refer to the table below for examples of previously completed projects.

Integrative Learning Experiences



‘‘A Retrospective Study of Leptospirosis in Ohio Animals between 2002 and 2005’’

Applied Field Research

“The Public Health Implications of Emergency and Disaster Planning at Ohio Animal Shelters”

Applied Field Research

“Prevention of Zoonotic Diseases on Dairy Farms: Assessing a Comprehensive Educational Program for Dairy Personnel”

Applied Field Research

‘‘Service Dogs and Biological Event Response to an Anthrax Attack’’


“Development of Educational Materials to Improve Management and Reduce the Burden of Pet Allergies”


“Laboratory Emergency Management Plan for the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory”


“To Treat or Not to Treat? Development of Decolonization/Treatment Guidelines for Veterinarians Dealing with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Positive Canines”


“Montana's Effort to Eliminate Wild Reservoirs of Brucella abortus: A Review of Competing Interests with Future Recommendations for Public Health Workers”


“E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks Related to Animal Contact in Agricultural Settings”


“Environmental Factors that May Contribute to the Transmission of Avian Influenza: A Study at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo”


‘‘Environmental Salmonella Surveillance in the Ohio State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital’’


“Optimization and Validation of a Duplex PCR Technique for the Identification of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus from Canine Samples”


Careers Filled

Norovirus detection in Ohio, USA

Norovirus detection in Ohio, USA

Graduates from Ohio State University’s MPH-VPH program secure professional careers with public and private entities at the local, state, federal and international level. The following list features government departments, military and other organizations that have employed our graduates as program managers, project coordinators, data analysts, epidemiologists, public health specialists, food inspectors, outbreak investigators, and many more.

Local and State Departments of Health

  • Ohio Department of Health
  • Madison County and Perry County Health Departments

U.S. and State Departments of Agriculture

  • Ohio Department of Agriculture

Local and National Diagnostic Laboratories

  • Ohio Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
  • Ohio Consumer Protection Laboratory
  • Plum Island Animal Disease Center

Federal Agencies

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)
  • Food Drug Administration
  • U.S. Geological Survey

Private industry

  • Food processing
  • Food service
  • Pharmaceutical

Uniformed Services

  • U.S. Public Health Service
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Army