Affordable Online Master’s in Public Health Programs

Public health officials help to ensure individuals and communities practice healthy behaviors. Professionals from a wide range of careers may be interested in transitioning into the public health field, including nurses, scientists, business managers, and health educators.

Graduates of online MPH programs gain the skills needed to analyze and interpret health data, evaluate and amend healthcare policies, and communicate with a diverse community. The degree prepares professionals to advance in their public health careers and earn higher salaries. Many positions within the field are open to master’s degree-holders, including roles as health policy advisors, epidemiologists, disease investigators, and health officers.

This ranking is designed to help people interested in the rapidly growing and lucrative field of public health find a program they can afford. Our methodology takes into account affordability and return on investment when ranking MPH online programs. By earning an affordable degree online, you can save on education costs, complete your degree faster, and fit courses around your schedule. On this page, you’ll find the most affordable online master’s degrees in public health.

Online Public Health Master’s Degrees at a Glance

Fast Facts

Time to Complete Most online master’s in public health programs require 42 to 48 credits and take an average of two years to complete.
Credit Hours The average full-time student takes two or three classes per semester, earning between 21 and 24 credit hours per year.
Concentrations
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Public health and nutrition
  • Global health and disease control
  • Environmental health science
  • Health policy and management
Accreditation The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits the best master’s in public health online programs.
Additional Considerations Some programs require residencies, while others are designed for working professionals and are only offered part-time.

50 Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Public Health
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

New Mexico State University

Value Score 8.40
Average Tuition $4,088
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 41%
Number of Online Programs 9
Part-time cost per credit hour $227

Although competition was stiff among the best online MPH programs of 2017, New Mexico State University’s offering took the top spot. Provided as an online MPH in community health education, this program features all the same degree requirements and is accredited by the same bodies as the campus-based program. Comprising 48 credit hours, this MPH was designed to be completed in three years by learners moving through the course of study on a part-time basis. All courses are taught via Canvas, Centra, and a range of other cutting-edge learning platforms, and are provided asynchronously to ensure students can balance outside obligations while furthering their educations. This program has been in existence for more than 20 years, 17 of which have been fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. The program also offers two Peace Corps graduate programs.


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2

University of North Dakota

Value Score 8.39
Average Tuition $7,044
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 51%
Number of Online Programs 13
Part-time cost per credit hour $293

Home to one of the few MPH online programs with a concentration in big health data analytics, the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks makes it possible for graduates to enter this nuanced sector of the field. By helping students understand how data can be intrinsic to success, learners are able to collect, maintain, and translate big data to help a range of public and private healthcare groups. Although the program is offered 100% online, the department places great emphasis on providing opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate on research projects. It also maintains an exchange program with the University of Bergen in Norway for students interested in learning more about system dynamics. As one of the more affordable MPH programs on this list, UND offers reasonable tuition and a range of STEM loan forgiveness programs.


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3

Lamar University

Value Score 8.38
Average Tuition $5,940
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 80%
Number of Online Programs 10
Part-time cost per credit hour $330

Offering one of the best online MPH programs in the state of Texas, Lamar University’s master of public health provides an exclusive, online-only specialization in health disparities for students looking to understand chronic conditions and how those affect communities of lower socioeconomic status. Comprising 42 credits in total, learners complete 27 hours of core topics, nine hours of electives, and six hours of a culminating capstone. A sampling of current required and elective courses range from social epidemiology and health program administration to health promotion in diverse communities and disparities in workplace health. Based on whether they enroll on a part-time or full-time basis, students can expect to complete all requirements within two to three years. Students may expedite this process by electing to complete summer courses. No matter the path a student chooses, all requirements can be met without ever setting foot on the Beaumont campus.


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4

South Dakota State University

Value Score 8.16
Average Tuition $5,264
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 23%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $347

Conducted in collaboration with the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University offers students throughout the nation the option to embark on one of the most innovative MPH online programs in the United States. This program is widely recognized for its emphasis on rural public health, an increasingly in-need segment of the population. Enrolled learners delve into the five core areas of public health education throughout program curriculum: biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, health services administration, and environmental health. SDSU’s program maintains accreditation via the Council on Education for Public Health. All online learners can rest assured knowing instruction is provided by the same professors leading discussions at the Brookings campus, but distance students have the added benefit of participating via webcams, discussion boards, and chatrooms.


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5

University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus

Value Score 8.04
Average Tuition $6,516
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 24%
Number of Online Programs 13
Part-time cost per credit hour $362

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus administers one of the most flexible MPH online programs in the country. The program caters exclusively to working professionals who seek leadership roles in the world of public health. The school's MPH in leadership and public health practice program works to address both rural and urban public health issues and also instills the skills needed for graduates to advocate for better policy. While all core, concentration, and elective courses may be completed entirely online, students do need to visit the Denver campus three times throughout their course of study to complete requirements for the leadership and public health practice program. Because the University of Colorado is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, students who live in one of 15 participating states are eligible to receive a significant tuition discount.


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6

The University of West Florida

Value Score 7.92
Average Tuition $7,088
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 78%
Number of Online Programs 13
Part-time cost per credit hour $378

Pensacola’s University of West Florida offers one of few online MPH programs that include both an internship component and a comprehensive examination at the end of a student's time at the school. The internship, which must be completed over the span of two semesters, allows learners the opportunity to gain practical understanding of how different theories and methodologies are put into practice. The Program's comprehensive exam requires students to demonstrate mastery of the five core competencies outlined by the Council for Education of Public Health. Rather than offering a concentration, the department tries to maintain a wide range of electives that allow learners to gain more nuanced knowledge in areas that interest them most. Currently available elective courses include environmental toxicology, bioterrorism, disease transmission in urban environments, and strategies for prevention of infectious diseases.


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7

University of Illinois at Springfield

Value Score 7.78
Average Tuition $7,996
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 65%
Number of Online Programs 11
Part-time cost per credit hour $349

As one of the more comprehensive MPH online programs available, the University of Illinois at Springfield’s master of public health is 48 credit hour program that helps students understand how environmental factors affect community health, how to identify and measure health, and how public health services are typically delivered. Requiring entrants to hold at least a 3.0 GPA from their bachelor’s degree alongside GRE scores, this program is considered competitive. Aside from required core courses which comprise 24 hours, learners also complete a four-hour internship at an approved public health facility. The program's remaining 20 hours are set aside for approved electives and provide students the space to specialize their knowledge in an area of their choosing. No matter the electives a student decides to complete, they can rest easy knowing they’ll never have to set foot on campus if they don’t want to.


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8

Augusta University

Value Score 7.73
Average Tuition $5,144
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 19%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $215

Whether a student is based in eastern Georgia or further afield, the online learning department of Augusta University makes it possible for them to complete an affordable MPH program. In addition to studying both foundational and in-depth topics surrounding public health, learners benefit from the opportunity to undertake one of four available concentrations. These include health management, health informatics, environmental health, or social and behavioral sciences. Although 90% of these degrees can be taken fully only, enrolled students are required to visit the Augusta campus a couple times to meet graduation requirements. Aside from coursework, students complete a 50-hour field practicum and take a capstone course requiring a culminating experience. To help learners dig deeper into specific areas of interest, students must also complete six hours of elective courses. All told, this program requires students to complete a total of 45 credit hours.


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9

Idaho State University

Value Score 7.70
Average Tuition $5,106
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 58%
Number of Online Programs 5
Part-time cost per credit hour $406

As the only online MPH program accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health in the state, Idaho State University is uniquely positioned to provide educations to both local and non-resident students alike. The program is focused on community health, and students move through a course of study that introduces them to important topics within biostatistics, community health promotion, epidemiology, ethics, policy, research methodologies, and environmental health. Designed with the working professional in mind, this program requires the completion of 48 credit hours and is typically be completed in three years. After finishing an on-site practicum, learners have the option to complete either a researched, comprehensive thesis or undertake a long-form project utilizing all that they’ve learned throughout the program. Learners may also take part in domestic or international internships to develop more practical knowledge if it fits within their schedules.


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10

The University of Montana

Value Score 7.40
Average Tuition $4,135
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 18%
Number of Online Programs 1
Part-time cost per credit hour $283

Rather than offering a concentration or specialization area, the affordable MPH program at the University of Montana provides a broad-ranging plan of study that prepares graduates for myriad roles within the field of public health. Offered fully online, learning is augmented by opportunities for students to participate in service activities and research programs that further build their skills. Comprised of 42 credits, students complete 27 core hours before moving into six elective credits of their choosing. The program also requires nine credits toward capstone activities, including a field practicum, a professional research paper, and the completion of a portfolio during the program. Students who are able to complete 21 credits per academic year can finish the program in two years, while those studying on a part-time basis take six credits per semester and finish their degree in three-and-a-half years.


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11

University of Nebraska Medical Center

Value Score 7.35
Average Tuition $7,830
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 14%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $290

The College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center offers MPH online programs in three different concentration areas. The distance learning master of public health is offered with specializations in areas of biostatistics, public health practice, or environmental and occupational health to help learners with specific career goals find their niche. Learners planning to enroll in this program must hold a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA along with GRE scores and letters of recommendation. Considering its quality and competitiveness, UNMC's offers a surprisingly cheap MPH program. All students pay the same flat tuition rate, regardless of their state of residence and no matter which concentration they elect to pursue, all learners must complete 45 credit hours to meet program and school requirements (which include a research component and a field practicum).


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12

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Value Score 7.34
Average Tuition $7,340
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 78%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $383

Prospective online MPH program students can find much to choose from at the University of Alabama’s Birmingham campus, which currently offers seven different concentrations for students seeking to sharpen their specializations. As of the 2016-2017 academic year, students choose from environmental health and toxicology, epidemiology, health behavior, health care organization, industrial hygiene, maternal and child health policy/leadership, and occupational health and safety. All of these programs are taught 100% online, meaning students never have to set foot on campus. In addition to these offerings, the school also hosts a range of dual MPH programs online, allowing students to combine public health studies with programs in business, physician’s assistantship, dental medicine, pharmacy, or health administration. Most MPH programs take between 42 to 45 hours for completion, including 20 hours devoted to their chosen specialization.


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13

University of Missouri-Columbia

Value Score 7.31
Average Tuition $8,402
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 31%
Number of Online Programs 12
Part-time cost per credit hour $350

Mizzou Online, the distance learning arm of the University of Missouri, provides an affordable MPH program with an emphasis in health promotion and policy for students interested in roles surrounding advocacy and administration. Comprised of 45 credit hours and taught via the School of Health Professions, learners can expect to complete this program in two to three years and pay $19,719 for the entire degree. Aside from specialized courses, students also cover topics related to research methods, global health, epidemiology, community-based public health interventions, American healthcare, and health program design and evaluation. After leaving Mizzou, graduates have gone onto roles as HIV case managers, prevention coordinators, and statewide community organizers, to name just a few options. Recognized as a military-friendly school, students identifying as veterans, active service members, reservists, National Guard members, or as a spouse of one of these are eligible for the online military tuition award.


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14

Liberty University

Value Score 7.26
Average Tuition $7,781
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 97%
Number of Online Programs 18
Part-time cost per credit hour $457

As the largest provider of online degrees in the world, students enrolled in evangelical Christian college Liberty University's online MPH programs enjoy resources found only in larger institutions. In addition to receiving an admissions counselor to guide them through important decisions, students benefit from teaching provided by leading researchers in the field. Three specializations are currently available for students considering this path: global health, health promotion, or nutrition. Each comprise 42 credit hours in total and students have the the option to transfer up to 15 credits at the time of matriculation. Courses are taught in eight-week blocks, making it easier for those who want to complete the program at an accelerated pace to do so. While a thesis isn’t required, students gain in-depth knowledge of research methods in public health to prepare them for future roles requiring fact-finding skills. Toward the end of their time in the program, all learners complete a practicum at an approved site in their region.


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15

University of South Florida-Main Campus

Value Score 6.94
Average Tuition $8,350
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 35%
Number of Online Programs 19
Part-time cost per credit hour $431

Students seeking variety will find much to like at the University of South Florida, where the online MPH program includes seven different options for specializing in the field. These options are truly wide ranging and include epidemiology; global disaster management and humanitarian relief; infection control; public health administration; health, safety, and environment; public health practice; and an executive MPH in public health practice. Many course programs are asynchronous, but there may be a scattered incidents where students need to sign in at specific times to attend lectures or participate in assignments. Depending on whether or not he or she enrolls on a full-time basis, a student can expect to complete this program in two or two-and-a-half years. Comprising 49 credits, all learners – regardless of their area of concentration – complete a supervised field experience, a special project, and a public health capstone course.


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16

National University

Value Score 6.94
Average Tuition $10,962
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 66%
Number of Online Programs 39
Part-time cost per credit hour $406

In accordance with the standards set out by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, National University’s online MPH programs emphasize broad-based learning underscored by quantitative and qualitative approaches that serve students well — regardless of where they work in the field. No matter if a student plans to work at the local, state, federal, or global level, they’ll be prepared upon graduation. National operates on a quarter unit system, meaning that students must complete 72 quarter units — or 16 courses in total — to qualify for graduation. After completing their first eight core courses, students move into a sequence of classes in their chosen area of specialization. Current concentrations include health promotion, healthcare administration, or mental health. Regardless of their chosen path, all students must complete a 120-hour structured work experience and a two-month capstone program that addresses a relevant issue in public health theory or practice.


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17

University of Florida

Value Score 6.69
Average Tuition $10,770
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 41%
Number of Online Programs 32
Part-time cost per credit hour $449

The College of Public Health and Health Professions at The University of Florida provides enrolled students with an online MPH program. The program's available specializations include biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, public health policy and management, public health practice, and social and behavioral sciences. No matter which path students intend to pursue, they can rest assured knowing they’ll be taught by leading researchers and practitioners in the field. As a research university, UF students enjoy access to opportunities to assist in ongoing projects. Aside from core courses and concentration area studies, learners complete a five-credit internship, a special project,a major research paper, and a presentation at the university’s Public Health Day event as part of the program's 48-credit graduation requirement. Designed for working professionals and tailored to maximum flexibility, this program is taught on a part-time basis.


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18

San Jose State University

Value Score 6.68
Average Tuition $6,738
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 10%
Number of Online Programs 1
Part-time cost per credit hour $374

The CEPH-accredited online MPH program at San Jose State University in California is offered on an accelerated basis to ensure students complete their degrees within 24 months of matriculation. The program's required 42 credit hours cover studies in epidemiology, health administration, computational statistics, research design and methodology, and multicultural communities, resulting in a wide-ranging education. While most courses are taught asynchronously via state-of-the-art web conferencing, students typically need to meet online once a week for a live lecture via Blackboard Collaborate. Rather than taking multiple classes at once, all courses — which last five to seven weeks — are taught sequentially. Students must visit campus once a year for a four to five-day intensive learning session. Although its price tag makes it notably a cheap MPH program, students working toward LGBT equality or HIV prevention are eligible for to apply for a departmental scholarship.


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19

Old Dominion University

Value Score 6.67
Average Tuition $8,492
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 51%
Number of Online Programs 13
Part-time cost per credit hour $464

In collaboration with Eastern Virginia Medical School, Old Dominion University in Norfolk is able to offer online MPH programs in areas of epidemiology, global environmental health, health management and policy, or health promotion. Granted jointly by both institutions, students benefit from the resources of two top schools while enjoying the ease and flexibility provided by ODU Online. Fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health since 2000, the program is currently approved until 2019. Although this degree path is open to students throughout the country, those in Washington state cannot enroll due to individual state requirements. The schools also offer a dual M.D./M.P.H. program. Comprised of 49 credits, students benefit from the opportunity to complete six credits in electives alongside core courses, a community practicum, and a capstone seminar. Offering excellent flexibility, students can complete this program on a full or part-time basis.


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20

Concordia University-Nebraska

Value Score 6.54
Average Tuition $9,783
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 80%
Number of Online Programs 13
Part-time cost per credit hour $543

Unlike other online MPH programs dedicated to preparing individuals for micro-level roles in public health, the Nebraska campus of Concordia University offers an online MPH degree for students who want to work on macro-level issues related to policy and legislative efforts. The school's health policy and administration emphasis allows learners to complete studies in areas of leadership and organizational management in health care, public health finance, and human resource management in health care. All told, this 39 credit hour program can be completed in as few as two years and eight weeks, although students are also allowed to transfer up to nine credits from an existing program. To help students move through requirements quickly, all courses are provided in eight week blocks. For learners worried about standardized testing anxiety, they’ll be happy to know that CU’s program requires no GRE scores. And regardless of where in the country they live, all students pay the same standard tuition rate per credit hour.


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21

East Tennessee State University

Value Score 6.43
Average Tuition $7,812
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 34%
Number of Online Programs 5
Part-time cost per credit hour $434

The affordable MPH program at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City was designed to ensure graduates are knowledgeable and thoughtful developers, implementers, and evaluators of community and population-focused public health programs. Whether a student wants to study community health, epidemiology, or public health administration, ETSU is equipped to provide the nuanced courses required for each of these emphasis areas. Before applying, students need to ensure their baccalaureate GPA is at least a 2.75 and that they have reasonable GRE scores. Regardless of their chosen concentration, students need to undertake 43 credit hours and complete a public health field experience comprising six credits. Some of the courses all learners can expect to take as part of core requirements include environmental health practice, philosophy of public health, biostatistics, epidemiology, and health service administration.


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22

California State University-Northridge

Value Score 6.40
Average Tuition $6,738
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 11%
Part-time cost per credit hour $374

Tseng College, the school of graduate, international, and midcareer education, oversees California State University's online MPH program. Available exclusively as a distance education program, students in this degree concentrate their knowledge in community health education — a perfect path for those who want to teach communities and populations about proper health procedures. Taught via a cohort format, students enter the program with like-minded professionals and complete the seven terms of coursework alongside each other. Offered via an asynchronous format for optimum flexibility, students should plan for weekly lectures and assignments that can be completed on their own time. Rather than requiring a thesis — in addition to a field practicum — learners enrolled in CSU’s program instead complete a comprehensive examination to qualify for graduation. Students interested in learning more can sign up to attend one of the school’s webinars that are provided a few times per year.


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23

University of Memphis

Value Score 6.17
Average Tuition $8,622
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 34%
Number of Online Programs 15
Part-time cost per credit hour $479

The University of Memphis’s Global Campus administers the school’s affordable MPH program via distance education. While this program doesn’t offer any specific concentrations or specializations, the degree is generally focused on urban and global health concerns, and how to advocate for underserved communities. Like the many different paths within the public health arena, UM students are also diverse: current students plan to use their degrees in areas of medicine, nursing, psychology, education, engineering, and journalism. After being accepted in the program, students can expect to complete 42 semester hours in areas of epidemiology, health policy and organization, environmental health, and social/behavioral science principles. In addition to a 240 hour practicum experience, learners decide whether they want to complete a master’s project or master’s thesis. Regardless of which they choose, all learners must pass a comprehensive oral examination to qualify for graduation.


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24

Ferris State University

Value Score 6.15
Average Tuition $6,324
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 23%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $527

Michigan’s Ferris State University offers a general online MPH program emphasizing all program tenets required by the Council on Education for Public Health. While not provided as a specialization, students in this program concentrate on how to serve the special population needs of rural communities seeking health services. For students looking for an accelerated degree, this 42 credit hour program can be completed in two years or less. FSU students can also rest easy with the knowledge that every course features a low student-to-faculty ratio and is taught by qualified faculty with significant experience in the field. In order to ensure online MPH program enrollees have the real-world experience needed to succeed, the department has divided the capstone course into two stages to cover more materials. As an added bonus, all students are required to complete a grant and research proposal writing course to help them secure funding for future programs or initiatives.


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25

University of Akron Main Campus

Value Score 6.14
26

University of Alaska Anchorage

Value Score 5.92
Average Tuition $9,306
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 49%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $423

Individuals aspiring to public health careers are focused on working with communities and populations to not only identify health issues, but also create and evaluate programs to help meet their unique needs. The MPH online program at the University of Alaska at Anchorage is specifically designed for those students who want to specialize their learning in public health practice. Designed for both recent baccalaureate graduates and those who have already been in their careers a few years, this flexible program ensures students can complete the program without distraction from their current professional or personal responsibilities. While all coursework is provided via distance learning, students are expected to attend one mandatory meeting per year (which typically occurs during the same time that the Alaska Public Health Summit is held on campus). All students are expected to defend their capstone thesis in person.


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27

West Virginia University

Value Score 5.83
Average Tuition $8,568
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 29%
Number of Online Programs 7
Part-time cost per credit hour $476

As a heavily research-based institution, it’s no wonder that West Virginia University's MPH online program mirrors the institution's approach to learning. Offered as a master of public health in social and behavioral sciences, a combination of research and hands-on learning helps students understand how factors related to behavior, society, and the environment contribute to individual and community health. Developed for individuals currently employed in public health or health care positions, this program assists graduates in deepening their skill sets and allows them to better learn how to create and implement programs to impact population health in positive ways. This program requires a total of 44 credits, including a two-semester culminating project completed during a student's last year that includes a written proposal, practicum project, research paper, and poster. All told, learners enrolled on a full-time basis can expect to complete all degree requirements within four semesters of matriculating.


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28

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Value Score 5.80
Average Tuition $9,143
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 15%
Number of Online Programs 8
Part-time cost per credit hour $508

The Gillings School of Global Public Health at the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina offers a global online MPH program for candidates who aspire to address public health issues across the globe. Also overseen by the Public Health Leadership Program, students gain valuable managerial and leadership skills to help guide individuals, organizations, and communities in improving public health. Whether a student aims to work in Austria or Zimbabwe, the overarching knowledge of how global health services and public health organizations operate will help them move into any situation with a range of foundational knowledge. In order to apply for this program, applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field, a professional degree, or have completed all prerequisites before submitting an application. Candidates should also have at least three years of work experience.


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29

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Value Score 5.57
Average Tuition $8,019
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 6%
Number of Online Programs 3
Part-time cost per credit hour $406

Florida A&M University, in partnership with the Institute of Public Health, offer a general online MPH program for learners looking to move rapidly through coursework while also enjoying the flexibility that’s become synonymous with distance learning. As a leading producer of African American public health professionals in America, this institution is also uniquely positioned to assist this population in identifying and addressing community health issues. The department maintains excellent relationships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Congress — alongside many other local, state, and national health departments — and many graduates have gone on to meaningful careers at these institutions. This program requires students to complete 50 credits (or five semesters for full-time learners). Part-time students will complete two courses at a time and typically finish in three-and-a-half years. Regardless of their timeline, all students complete the required practicum during their final semester to provide the flexibility to accept a possible job offer at the completion of the internship.


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30

Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center

Value Score 5.50
Average Tuition $10,350
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 61%
Number of Online Programs 1
Part-time cost per credit hour $575

Having received the longest reaccreditation term possible from the Council on Education for Public Health just last year, it’s safe to say that Des Moines University’s MPH online program has a bright future. Recognizing that students considering this career path have many options when it comes to specialization, the school currently offers three fully online concentrations: general public health, health service management, and health promotion. Regardless of which one they choose, all students completing this degree at a full-time pace can expect to finish the required 46 credit hours — which includes six elective credits, a field placement, and a capstone project — within two-and-a-half years. The program's student body is diverse, with applicants including current professionals in the field, individuals changing careers, recent college graduates, and clinical dual degree students working toward another professional degree.


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31

University of South Carolina-Columbia

Value Score 5.45
Average Tuition $12,384
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 24%
Number of Online Programs 25
Part-time cost per credit hour $516

Unlike other programs that are designed for many different types of learners, the University of South Carolina's program is uniquely tailored specifically for current practitioners already working in the community, a health department, at a school, or via another public health worksite who want to gain deeper knowledge about the field. Offered as an online MPH program with a concentration in health promotion, education, and behavior, this program helps graduates learn how to advocate for change, facilitate healthful practices, develop programs aimed at promoting good health, and evaluate existing program to ensure they’re beneficial to the community. Because most courses last between seven and eight weeks, learners are able to complete this 45 credit program within 24 to 26 months of study. As an added benefit of this cheap MPH program, local and out-of-state learners enjoy the same reasonable programmatic tuition rate of $24,891 for all required courses.


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32

SUNY at Albany

Value Score 5.08
Average Tuition $10,870
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 16%
Number of Online Programs 3
Part-time cost per credit hour $453

Operating as part of the State University of New York system, students enrolled in the University at Albany’s affordable MPH program enjoy the benefits of a large educational system while also taking advantage of a smaller community. Offered as a master’s degree of public health with a concentration in public health practice, students learn a lot about the theories and evidence-based approaches to public health intervention, planning, and evaluation. Graduates of this program are qualified to assess needs, develop initiatives, and use their research and data-collecting skills to provide reports on their effectiveness. Offered exclusively as a part-time program for individuals already working in some capacity, students typically finish all the requirements of this 51 credit hour within three-and-a-half years of matriculating thanks to the school’s year-round course offerings. The program's 51 credit hour requirement total includes 21 core hours, nine electives, nine credits toward an internship, and 12 hours devoted to a concentration.


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33

California Baptist University

Value Score 4.92
Average Tuition $11,232
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 28%
Number of Online Programs 10
Part-time cost per credit hour $624

Students seeking both a quality online MPH program and a Christian educational foundation can find all this and more at California Baptist University. In addition to studying generalist topics in areas of public health promotion and disease intervention, public policy and healthcare advocacy, and the American health care system, students also learn how their beliefs can underpin their work as public health professionals. Unlike other programs, students at CBU are not required to complete a capstone project or thesis, but they will need to complete practicum hours at an approved public health location. All told, students complete 42 credit hours, but due to the fact that these courses are taught in shorter blocks than a typical semester, students may finish the program in as little as 16 months of full-time study.


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34

Northern Illinois University

Value Score 4.87
Average Tuition $8,176
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 11%
Part-time cost per credit hour $494

From its home in DeKalb, Northern Illinois University offers its excellent online MPH program to learners across the nation. Offered as a generalist degree with the option to specialize, students enrolled at NIU receive training for direct care positions, advocacy and legislative roles, and programmatic roles focused on design, implementation, and evaluation. In order to meet all graduation requirements, learners must complete 25 hours of core courses, 15 credits related to their specialization, and six hours related to an internship and comprehensive examination at the end of their studies. Learners who are able to take nine to 10 hours per semester (the equivalent of three courses) can complete the program in 24 months thanks to a mix of courses lasting between eight and 16 weeks. Current specializations available fully online include health promotion and health services management.


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University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Value Score 4.86
Average Tuition $12,782
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 34%
Number of Online Programs 5
Part-time cost per credit hour $606

UMassOnline, the distance learning arm of the University of Massachusetts, currently offers two fully online MPH programs in either nutrition or public health practice. Learners in the nutrition track complete a total of 44 credits designed to prepare them to solve complex nutrition problems within communities. Students also learn how to assist others in taking care of their nutrition. Students in this program include individuals with MD degrees, dieticians, and WIC nutrition educators. The public health practice track requires 42 credits and introduces topics such as topics in epidemiology, research design, data analysis, influence of environmental factors, and best practice in community approaches to students who are already working in the field. Both programs are taught on a part-time basis (students complete one to two courses per semester) and are typically finished within three to three-and-a-half years. Students enrolled in this cheap MPH program pay the same tuition rates, regardless of their location.


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Northeast Ohio Medical University

Value Score 4.74
Average Tuition $9,288
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 1%
Number of Online Programs 1
Part-time cost per credit hour $553

As a member institution of the Consortium of Eastern Ohio Master of Public Health program, Northeast Ohio Medical University students enrolled in the school’s MPH program online enjoy the benefits of resources and qualified faculty from five different universities in the region. Designed with the working professional in mind, this nontraditional program helps current practitioners deepen their understanding, enhance current skills, and become more competitive for senior-level roles. While a lot of courses are taught asynchronously, the program also incorporates interactive videoconference lectures that students will need to sign on for from time to time. All elective courses can be taken at any partner universities, meaning that if NOMU doesn’t have a certain course, students may still be in luck. The program currently calls for learners to complete 42 credits comprised of six core courses, studies related to the generalist track, a range of electives, and a capstone project.


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Southern New Hampshire University

Value Score 4.67
Average Tuition $18,810
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 92%
Number of Online Programs 33
Part-time cost per credit hour $627

Operating as one of the largest providers of online degrees in the United States, students at Southern New Hampshire University benefit from attending an institution that has developed distance learning into a fine science. The university currently offers two different options for those seeking MPH online programs: a generalist track and a global health track. While the first is ideal for learners who may want to work in many different areas of the field throughout their career, the program's global health concentration equips learners for international roles that call for deep knowledge of world health issues, nongovernmental agency priorities, and international health law and policy. Requiring 12 courses in total and taught via flexible 10 week terms, students enrolled on a full-time basis can finish this program in as few as 15 months. Working professionals can also rest easy knowing that every class is taught asynchronously and they’ll never be required to visit the New Hampshire campus. Even better, no GMAT or GRE scores are needed to be admitted.


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Creighton University

Value Score 4.52
Average Tuition $15,052
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 55%
Number of Online Programs 7
Part-time cost per credit hour $800

Omaha’s Creighton University stands out among others in this ranking for being the only institution with a Jesuit affiliation. The online MPH program at Creighton incorporates Jesuit ideas of social justice and service while teaching students how to serve at-risk populations in both rural and urban locations. In addition to generalist coursework, learners select a service-oriented concentration to help further hone their skills. Current options available fully online include health policy and ethics or public health services administration. Home to some of the most renowned public health practitioners in the country, distance learners need not worry that their courses will be led by teaching assistants or adjuncts — all Creighton professors in this department teach both campus-based and online courses.


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University of Maryland-College Park

Value Score 4.36
Average Tuition $11,376
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 9%
Number of Online Programs 9
Part-time cost per credit hour $632

The School of Public Health, housed at the College Park campus of the University of Maryland, is home to an online master of public health program formulated to equip students with skills in administration, practice, planning, research, and policy development. Unlike other programs that place heavy emphasis on teaching and research, UM’s online MPH program heavily focuses on the development of meaningful mentorship programs and the opportunity to build authentic community connections while still in school. A fully online concentration in public health practice and policy is also made available to learners aspiring to roles focused on leading public health policy and advocacy efforts. Although most coursework is available online, students are required to visit the campus on six different weekends throughout the program of study. The required internship and capstone project can be done close to their homes. Graduates of UM’s program can currently be found filling meaningful roles as policy analysts, health educators, epidemiologists, research associates, and community planners.


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Nova Southeastern University

Value Score 4.24
Average Tuition $16,760
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 54%
Number of Online Programs 52
Part-time cost per credit hour $931

From its College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida provides a versatile, interdisciplinary online MPH program designed to fulfill the goals of many different types of public health practitioners. Alongside core competencies, learners select from a range of electives in areas such as clinical trials, substance abuse, public health issues of the elderly, public health genomics, women’s health, or interprofessional leadership. Once core courses are completed, students are expected to undertake a semester-long field experience and subsequently produce a professional report on an area or field that a student plans to pursue after graduation. Learners can also choose to complete a range of elective projects, such as a grant proposal writing practicum or public health research intensive. In addition to the university holding regional accreditation, this program is also fully approved by the Council on Education for Public Health until 2021.


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University of Arizona

Value Score 4.22
Average Tuition $11,040
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 23%
Number of Online Programs 8
Part-time cost per credit hour $789

The University of Arizona in sunny Tucson is all about providing students with an affordable MPH online program with plenty of program options. Aside from learning about broad-based topics that apply to the entire field, students can also elect to complete a concentration in applied epidemiology, health promotion, or health services administration. Whether a student hopes to work with a local community or a tribe on the other side the world, this program prepares learners to transcend geographical and cultural borders while providing skills and knowledge applicable to countless public health issues. Although offered as a full-time plan of study, this program was designed with the working professional in mind. Students who aren’t sure which specialization path is right for them can take an interactive quiz to help better understand how each option caters to their ultimate goals.


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Benedictine University

Value Score 4.17
Average Tuition $16,695
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 60%
Number of Online Programs 7
Part-time cost per credit hour $650

Rather than offering additional specializations within its online MPH program, Benedictine University in Illinois instead allows students to use the program's required 12 elective credit hours to complete a certificate program in addition to their graduate degree. Options within this scheme currently include health management and policy, emergency preparedness, health education and promotion, and epidemiology. These skills, when combined with the core public health competencies, create knowledgeable and empowered public health professionals who are able to contribute to topics ranging from urban planning and social sustainability to health epidemics and behavioral aspects of public health. According to a recent survey of alumni, 88% of former students feel that Benedictine’s MPH program prepared them for their current careers, while 38% said they qualified for additional compensation based on the education they gained at BU. All told, students are expected to undertake 17 to 19 courses and a 240-hour internship experience before graduating. While this may sound like a lot of coursework, most full-time students receive their degree after two years of study.


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Michigan State University

Value Score 4.14
Average Tuition $16,122
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 22%
Number of Online Programs 14
Part-time cost per credit hour $672

Housed at the Flint campus, Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine offers online MPH programs that incorporate studies related to chronic diseases, environmental health risks, social factors, and healthy behaviors to help students understand how to affect healthful change within government agencies, private organizations, and community health centers. Whether working in an urban or rural setting, the concepts taught in this program prepare students to take on myriad public health challenges in a professional manner. MSU’s 42 credit program champions research-based teaching while also ensuring that learners are provided with a flexible structure that makes it possible to continue working while enrolled. The program's current course of study includes 18 credits of core courses, 18 credits devoted to electives, and six credits related to a culminating experience. As of now, this experience includes a 240 hour practicum and a capstone paper requiring learners to demonstrate competencies and skills within public health.


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Independence University

Value Score 4.07
Average Tuition $15,616
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100%
Number of Online Programs 5
Part-time cost per credit hour $868

Designed for professionals who haven’t previously worked in healthcare or public health, Independence University’s MPH program online exists to provide the foundational knowledge graduates will need to gain initial employment in public, private, or nonprofit sectors. Topics include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, social and behavioral sciences, epidemiology, and health services administration. The school maintains excellent ties with a number of potential employers, including the American Red Cross, Novant Health, and a range of medical centers, research centers, and hospitals across the United States. For learners who seek to kickstart their graduate degree and quickly jump into a meaningful role, this California-based institution offers numerous start dates throughout the academic year. After completing this 16 month generalist program, graduates have gone onto invigorating positions as health promotion specialists, public health policy coordinators, public health awareness managers, and health services administrators.


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University of California-Berkeley

Value Score 4.06
Average Tuition $11,220
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 9%
Number of Online Programs 1
Part-time cost per credit hour $623

With a focus on ensuring every graduate of the online MPH program gains a truly interdisciplinary education, the Berkeley campus of the University of California works with every student to create individualized plans of study that equips them for future aspirations. Offering students the opportunity to complete concentrations in health policy and management or global health, UC Berkeley works diligently to ensure the department stays relevant and responds to the needs of the public health field. Rather than asking students to take a large number of classes, this program is divided into what the university calls Breadth Courses. Students complete six breadth courses during their first year, all of which are designed to incorporate multiple disciplines and to provide an overarching understanding rather than teaching each topic individually. During the second year, students complete two more breadth courses. While most coursework is completed from the comfort of a student’s home, students are required to visit the campus once each year.


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Everglades University

Value Score 3.83
Average Tuition $15,696
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 49%
Number of Online Programs 4
Part-time cost per credit hour $654

Students whose goal is to confront complex health issues upon graduation from an online MPH program will find all they need and more at Florida's Everglades University. This degree uniquely focuses on ensuring students have the broad-based administrative skills necessary to take up roles beyond entry-level by the time they graduate. Whether working to improve access to care, monitoring and controlling infectious diseases, influencing policy related to health care, or providing community health assessments, graduates of Everglades will have all these skills by the time they receive their degree. In addition to 21 credits related to core competencies, students also complete four classes related to the public health administration concentration and one class that serves as a capstone course. Unlike other programs in this ranking, Everglades students are not required to complete a field practicum (a fact no doubt welcomed by many working professionals). Comprising 36 credit hours in total, full-time students typically complete this program in 48 weeks.


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A T Still University of Health Sciences

Value Score 3.64
Average Tuition $30,443
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 38%
Number of Online Programs 1
Part-time cost per credit hour $548

Students seeking a truly unique online MPH program will certainly find what they’re looking for at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences. Offering the first and only master of public health with a dental emphasis in the world, graduates of this program truly stick out amongst the competition. Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, this course of study incorporates both the core public health competencies required of all accredited programs while seamlessly integrating a range of dental content. The resulting degree prepares students who are able to address the myriad public health issues that affect dental health. Positions currently held by alumni include dental director at a community health center, dental personnel in a federal health agency, epidemiologist, researcher, and dental director for a state health department. Learners completing three courses per semester can finish this degree within two years of study.


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University of Vermont

Value Score 3.60
Average Tuition $14,664
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 5%
Number of Online Programs 1
Part-time cost per credit hour $611

Rather than working to prevent individual illness, students enrolled in the University of Vermont’s MPH program online recognize that the purpose of a public health degree is to help them ascertain needs and then develop programs that deal with the health of entire populations and communities. The 42 credit hour program leads to a generalist degree that covers the five core competencies outlined by the Council on Education for Public Health. While part-time students may take up to five years to complete this program, motivated learners benefit from the opportunity to participate in an accelerated MPH program that takes just one year of full-time study. While no specialization tracks are currently offered, students seeking a specialization can use their nine hours of electives to focus their learning. Before being accepted to the program, all applicants must hold a bachelor's degree at or above a 3.0 GPA and have at least one semester of biology or other science under their belts. While those outside the field of healthcare are able to apply, the majority of accepted students worked as health professionals before enrolling.


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New York Medical College

Value Score 3.58
Average Tuition $27,004
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 85%
Number of Online Programs 6
Part-time cost per credit hour $1,025

Because New York Medical College is singularly focused on topics surrounding medicine and healthcare, learners benefit from an institution void of competing academic interests while also enjoying a wider range of complementary courses that count as electives. The school’s current MPH online programs include concentrations in areas of behavioral sciences and health promotion, environmental health science, and health policy and management. The third concentration also includes an accelerated option. Aspirational students may also elect to combine a graduate certificate with their studies by using their electives toward programs in emergency preparedness, environmental health, industrial hygiene, global health, health education, or public health. Regardless of the concentration chosen, all require students to complete 46 credit hours. This path typically takes students two years, but the accelerated path makes it possible to graduate within one year of matriculation.


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University of New England

Value Score 3.48
Average Tuition $22,449
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 54%
Number of Online Programs 5
Part-time cost per credit hour $839

Rounding out this year’s ranking of the best online MPH programs is the University of New England, a private institution based in Maine. As the only online public health program accredited by the Council on Education for Public health within the state, UNE’s degree is uniquely positioned to serve both local learners and those living further afield. Offered as a generalist curriculum, students take 15 credits related to the five core competencies, 10 credits related to understanding research methods and gaining hands-on skills, and 21 electives allowing them to specialize their knowledge. Recognizing that many students can’t easily fly to Maine to complete courses, this program is available 100% online and never requires students to set foot on a plane. Motivated learners can expect to meet all program requirements within 18 months. As an added benefit, students won’t need to take the GRE to be accepted to this program.


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What Will I Learn in My Online Master’s in Public Health Program?

Graduate programs in public health combine a comprehensive look at the health care industry with master’s level work in a wide array of fields. Most MPH online programs require students to complete some form of fieldwork and/or a culminating capstone experience. Coursework varies with individual programs, but common classes include:

  • Principles of Epidemiology Epidemiology is public health at its essence, investigating the causes and patterns of diseases and injuries that affect humankind. The class includes research and data analysis and explores overarching themes in public health.
  • Social and Behavioral Issues in Public Health This class traces the human causes of common health care problems, as well as how to avoid them, by examining the cultural and personal choices individuals make that affect their health. Students examine these issues and determine intervention strategies to improve community health.
  • Health Policies and Management This class focuses on the administration of health care and investigates how health care delivery systems, insurance, economics, and public policy combine to influence the modern American health care industry.
  • Environmental Health Sciences This course studies how human habitats affect health. Students examine environmental threats, toxicology, exposure and risk, and epidemiology as they relate to work and home environments. Topics include measuring pollutants and mitigation methods for environmental problems.
  • Biostatistics In this class, students learn how to analyze and quantify public health issues using data and statistics. Coursework includes research methods, probability theory, control groups, confidence interval testing, variables, and sample size determination.

Concentrations for Public Health Master’s Degrees

Public health is a wide-ranging field, encompassing marketing, management, environmental health, biostatistics, and public policy. Most online MPH programs allow students to specialize in a particular area or concentration. These options might include:

  1. Epidemiology: Students study root causes of human health problems and prepare themselves for careers in hospital labs, government offices, and global health organizations.
  2. Public Health Communication and Marketing: Pupils specialize in communication and marketing and learn how to use the media to influence public health issues. Coursework includes public health branding, communications skills, and marketing research.
  3. Public Health and Nutrition: Nutritionists and dieticians study how food impacts human health.
  4. Global Health and Disease Control: This specialty explores epidemiology on a worldwide scale, investigating threats to public health posed by disease. Students learn to track outbreaks and minimize the impact of epidemics.
  5. Biostatistics: Biostatisticians analyze statistics and data related to health care.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Public Health Graduates

Master’s In Public Health Careers

Graduates of online public health master’s programs are prepared to work in a variety of careers within the scientific, administrative, and academic sectors. Jobs are available in global non-governmental organizations, corporate hospitals, schools, or the government. Students who hold a master’s degree are qualified to do fieldwork tracking viral outbreaks in remote corners of the world, manage large corporate health care facilities, analyze data for health care trends at insurance companies, and teach nutrition classes. Below is a short list of careers that students with an online master’s in public health might pursue.

Health Educator

$44,390 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Required

Health educators teach individuals and communities ways to improve their overall health and well being. They work for corporations, clinics, nonprofits and governmental organizations, and schools where they focus on studying the factors that impact community health as well as methods to counter problems through education. Most health educators only have a bachelor’s degree, but earning a master’s in public health online gives individuals a distinct advantage that can lead to higher-level positions.

Projected Growth Rate 13%

Epidemiologist

$70,820 Avg Annual Salary
Master’s Degree Required

Epidemiologists look for threats to public health by tracking patterns and researching causes of diseases and injuries. They work in labs, offices, and in the field for state and local government agencies, hospitals, clinics, and schools. Master’s degrees are usually required for entry-level positions.

Projected Growth Rate 6%

Statistician

$80,500 Avg Annual Salary
Master’s Degree Required

Biostatisticians study data and draw conclusions related to public health. They collect and analyze health care statistics to improve community health, often working for governmental organizations, insurance companies, or large corporations. Most statisticians have a master’s degree.

Projected Growth Rate 34%

Dietician/Nutritionist

$58,920 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Required

Biostatisticians study data and draw conclusions related to public health. They collect and analyze health care statistics to improve community health, often working for governmental organizations, insurance companies, or large corporations. Most statisticians have a master’s degree.

Projected Growth Rate 14%

Medical/Health Services Manager

$96,540 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree Required

Medical and health services managers are the administrators and executives at health care organizations. These individuals work in the public or private sectors to direct health services where they run clinics and departments or oversee entire medical facilities. These management positions often require a master’s degree.

Projected Growth Rate 17%

Public Health Licensure and Certification

Many public health careers require licensure. Nutritionists, for example, have a much easier time finding work if they have a registered dietitian credential. Epidemiology does not require licensing, but graduates with certification from an organization like the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology are more attractive to potential employers. One of the main benefits of pursuing a master’s in public health online is that it prepares students for these types of licensure exams. For example, distance learners who pursue a concentration in health education are typically prepared to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist exam.

  • Certified Health Education Specialist: The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing administers this certification program; this certification is advantageous for students seeking health education positions.
  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionists: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics provides this credential to graduates of public health nutrition programs; many employers and states require it to practice.
  • Registered Environmental Health Specialist: Many states require that workers in the field of environmental health carry this certification from the National Environmental Health Association.

Job Placement for Master’s in Public Health Graduates

In the broad field of human services, a master’s degree earns you far more than a bachelor’s degree. According to a recent report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, individuals working in human services see an average earnings boost of 37% if they hold a master’s degree. Many higher-paying positions in public health require licensure, and it is common for online MPH programs to prepare students to sit for these licensing exams. Advanced education also makes finding employment easier; in the same study mentioned above, Georgetown University showed that 94% of these master’s graduates are successfully employed.

Master’s in Public Health Salary

Because careers in public health vary widely, the accompanying salaries also cover a wide range. No matter what field you go into, however, the more experience you have the more you tend to earn. The following table includes data from PayScale and shows the median salaries for graduates of public health programs at different stages of their careers.

Public Health Careers by Experience
Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Epidemiologist $60,380 $57,000 $74,000 $87,000
Health Educator $43,766 $39,000 $46,000 $54,000
Public Health Analyst $61,830 $55,000 $78,000 $61,000
Health Care Consultant $75,117 $69,000 $85,000 $116,000
Registered Dietician $49,068 $49,000 $53,000 $78,000

Do I Need to Take an Entrance Exam to Enroll in an Online Master’s in Public Health Program?

Many online master’s programs in public health require applicants to submit GRE or MCAT scores. These standardized exams test an individual’s analytical skills, critical thinking, verbal ability, and quantitative reasoning. The GRE focuses more on math, science, reading, and writing, while the MCAT includes these topics in addition to natural, behavioral, and social science principles. Students typically devote a month or more to preparing for these exams, often studying a few hours a week. Many students also choose to take theses tests shortly after finishing their undergraduate studies while this information is fresher in their memories.

Not every school requires applicants to take these tests. Many online programs in public health with a nutrition focus don’t mandate standardized tests at all, while those in health care administration typically do. Additionally, some programs allow work experience to serve as a substitute for standardized testing. Because so many programs fall under the banner of public health, the requirements differ widely. Be sure to check the specific requirements for your program.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Public Health Degrees

Whatever program you select, it is important to make sure that it is accredited by a reputable agency. When it comes to affordable online master’s in public health programs, accreditation is vital to ensure that your diploma and qualifications will be accepted by potential employers. When you enroll in a program accredited by a recognized agency, you know that it meets certain standards and is a legitimate educational institution.

Most schools are accredited by a regional or national agency. Large public schools and most selective private schools tend to be regionally accredited, while trade schools and community colleges are often nationally accredited. Many colleges and universities that focus on one area of study are also nationally accredited. When you’re comparing different online public health master’s programs, look for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health; many of the nation’s top-ranked schools have their seal of approval.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversee the accreditation process on the national level and provide resources to check a school’s credentials. CHEA maintains a list of accrediting agencies and accredited schools at its website.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Public Health Program

Financing advanced study continues to become more difficult each year thanks to the rising costs of education. Fortunately, there are many scholarships, grants, and loans that students can apply for to help supplement the cost of school. The rapid growth of the public health field, and the accompanying rise in demand for students, has triggered an expansion of funding sources. Dozens of agencies sponsor grants and scholarships to help aspiring public health workers. Because of the broad nature of the field, these aid sources are widespread. They are sometimes tied to specific industries, like environmental health or public health education. Additionally, scholarships in public health occasionally require future service in an underserved community.

One of the first steps for any prospective college student is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. After doing so, students receive a federal aid package that describes what type of aid they are eligible for. Students can then start looking for potential grants and scholarships.

Public Health Scholarships

Corris Boyd Scholars Program $40,000

This scholarship is open to students at any Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) member school.

Scholarship Deadline: April 17

Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be a full-time student of color at an AUPHA school and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention $750 a week for 9 weeks

This federal agency offers a variety of paid fellowships to degree seekers in public health; most of these programs are built around summer internships.

Scholarship Deadline: TBA

Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be U.S. residents who have health insurance and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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HOSA Scholarships Varies

HOSA is the Society of Future Health Professionals; it provides scholarships in an array of health care fields, including public health. Scholarship are only open to HOSA members, but membership is easy to obtain.

Scholarship Deadline: April 1

Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be HOSA members; eligibility varies per field.

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National Health Corps $5,500 grant*

Under the auspices of AmeriCorps, the National Health Corps sends students into underserved communities to provide 17,000 hours of hands-on service.

Scholarship Deadline: Rotates based upon the program.

Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be at least 17 years old.

*Loan forgiveness and stipends are all available

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Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Scholarships $500-$10,000

Scholarships are awarded to graduate students in nutrition and diet-based programs.

Scholarship Deadline: April 17

Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be academy members who are enrolled in an advanced degree program and intend to practice nutrition.

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