I imagine we’re all sorting through thoughts about what the future holds. This includes questions about what careers will be viable in the wake of Coronavirus. So many things are changing, and it could be years before we learn how much the world has ultimately shifted. One industry that is actually blooming in this unprecedented time is public health. In fact the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be an 11% boost in public health careers between 2018 and 2028. This statistic is subject to increase as we are becoming more and more reliant on public health workers while the world is on fire in so many ways. In fact, the American Public Health Association has just begun calling racism a public health concern and even a crisis in the wake of the George Floyd protests. The career options in public health and possibilities for advancement increase dramatically when an advanced degree is in the mix. In light of this complex time, an advanced degree online might be the best solution, as it is unclear when classrooms will be safe again. Not to mention, an online degree path offers an unmatched flexibility that traditional programs do not have. We have taken this into account while researching the best online mph programs for you. We looked at the following metrics while coming up with a framework for an accurate ranking:
- Success rate
If you are interested in being part of the solution in terms of architecting a safer and more habitable world for everyone, one of these programs might be an excellent first step for you to consider. Take a look and see if one of these options rings your bell.
Oregon Health & Science University and Portland State University
The Oregon Health & Science University and Portland State University have come together to offer one of the best online MPH programs. The program has a new name called Public Health Practice. Many students in the program are working while they fulfill their coursework, and the flexible format enables students to do it all. The focus of many offered classes is health disparities and primary healthcare. The foundation of the program is rooted in subjects such as: epidemiology, environmental systems, health systems, biostatistics, and behavioral theory. Students will engage with the concepts that define primary health care from the vision of the World Health Organization. Some of these tenants include: leadership, service delivery, stakeholder participation, public policy, and improvements in universal coverage. Many graduates go on to become clinicians along with a number of other positions within the field of public health.
Degree Type: MPH – Primary Care and Health Disparities
University of Nebraska Medical CenterOmaha, NE
The College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center offers a Master of Public Health Program. This is considered one of the best online MPH programs. The entire course of study is made up of 42 credit hours. The core classes emphasize critical knowledge that is important for all practitioners in the field. Some of the concepts of the program include scientific knowledge based information, prevention, and interdependency. The entire course of study leans towards a social justice approach. There is a six hour capstone requirement that includes a service learning arm. There are several program concentrations which include: emergency preparedness, biostatistics, environmental and occupational health, health promotion, maternal health and childcare, and public health administration and policy. This program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Students will learn complex skills related including conducting research.
Degree Type: MPH
University of California-BerkeleyBerkeley, CA
The University of California Berkeley offers an online Masters in Public Health Program that includes five concentrations. There are many aspects of this program that make it one of the best online MPH programs. Some of the topics covered in all of the programs include: community health sciences, health service management, biostatistics, epidemiology, and social and behavioral science. The degree specializations include: community health sciences, health policy and management, biostatistics and epidemiology, global health, and spatial data science. The program features extensive resources for professional development and career services, as well as access to an extensive network of students and potential colleagues. They just recently launched a new training module that is free for practice, perspective, and leadership. The faculty members in the program are experts in their fields of practice.
Degree Type: MPH – 5 concentrations
Des Moines UniversityDes Moines, IA
Des Moines University offers one of the best online MPH programs that focuses on health promotion in diverse communities. The entire course of study can be completed in two years. One of the perks is that they don’t require a GRE or GMAT test to get in. They are fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Another exciting aspect of this program is the fact that they require 180 of Applied Practice Experience (APE) in tandem with the entirely online coursework. This ensures that students will not only get a theoretical foundation, but also the practical skills to be in the field. Though they offer one degree program, there are three concentrations that students can choose from including public health practice concentration, public health administration and policy concentration, and health education and promotion concentration. All of the faculty members in this program are proven experts in their fields.
Degree Type: MPH
University of FloridaGainesville, FL
The University of Florida Masters of Public Health program is designed to effectively prepare students for a comprehensive career in public health. All of the coursework is delivered online with no on campus requirements, though it emulates the on campus program options in content. The entire course of study is made up of 48 credit hours. This is a very flexible option, not only because it is delivered online, but the classes are pre recorded, and students can watch them at their convenience. There are two concentrations that students can choose from including social and behavioral science and public health practice. The core courses are the same for each concentration and include: environmental health concepts in public health, statistical methods for health sciences, psychological, and behavioral, and social issues in public health. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.
Degree Type: MPH – Public Health Practice or Social and Behavioral Sciences
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, NC
The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill offers an online masters in public health degree program that includes the same curriculum and faculty as the traditional on campus course of study. The program is delivered through UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. The focus of the classes offered give students the skills to improve the sphere of global and local public health while diminishing obstacles like inequity. Students will be able to participate in live classes and discussions that meet weekly. There are three concentrations that students can choose between including: Nutrition, Leadership and Practice, as well as Master of Public Health Registered Dietician. The program can be completed at the student’s pace in as little time as 20 months. An interesting perk of this distance learning opportunity is that all students have access to a WeWork membership while they are enrolled. This gives them access to shared workspaces scattered throughout the world in 240 locations.
Degree Type: MPH – 3 concentrations
Texas A&M Health Science Center
Texas A&M Health Science Center offers a masters of public health program that focuses on epidemiology. The program is offered through the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, which features research heavy practice and preparation. This course of study is geared towards the purpose of disease prevention and elimination. Students will look at the ways disease impacts particular communities and populations. The program is specifically for residents of the United States. The degree plan for the online program is identical to that of the in person program, though there are no on campus requirements. Students have the option of participating on a part time basis, though they will not have as many options as far as graduation dates are concerned. All of the faculty members in the program are renowned experts in various aspects of the public health field.
Degree Type: MPH in Epidemiology
Loma Linda UniversityLoma Linda, CA
Loma Linda University offers two online masters of public health programs including health and wellness coaching and population medicine. Students will have the option of achieving a certification in Health Geoinformatics. The program that focuses on health and wellness coaching focuses on illness related to lifestyle, and behavioral and motivational strategies to support communities to embody healthier habits. Students will learn facilitation skills and tools to help people make healthy changes personally, interpersonally, and within communities. The population health program enables students to focus on faith based approaches to solving complex health issues in communities. There will be an emphasis on practical skill building as well as a theoretical approach to public health. One of the aspects of this program that puts it on the list for best online mph programs is the intimate learning environment that they foster, which includes a student to faculty ratio of 1 to 5.
Degree Type: MPH in Health and Wellness Education, Lifestyle Medicine, and Population Medicine
Colorado School of Public HealthDenver, CO
Colorado School of Public Health offers a master of public health degree program in leadership and public health practice. This course of study is geared towards working professionals who require flexibility to achieve their advanced degree. They believe geography should not be a barrier to getting the best education. The coursework includes both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities as students, meaning some classes meet at a certain time, while others can be accomplished at the learners convenience. Some of the core courses include: foundations in public health, epidemiology, occupational and environmental health, health systems management and policy, and also a comprehensive practicum and capstone integration project. There will be 12 credits dedicated to the concentration and 9 for concentration electives. The application heavily weights the student explaining why they believe they are a good fit for this particular program.
Degree Type: MPH – Leadership and Public Health Practice
University of Massachusetts-AmherstAmherst, MA
The School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a comprehensive online masters of public health program. The online format of delivery is designed to be flexible with no on campus requirements. They offer two concentrations including nutrition and health practice. The program is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and Council on Education in Public Health. Their programs are divided into three as they offer an mph in public health practice and an mph in nutrition. Students also have the option of participating in one of a few graduate certificate choices including: aging, policy, and public health, global health and public health ethics. All of the options give students a fair amount of agency to come up with a personalized plan to plug into their own unique academic and career goals.
Degree Type: MPH Public Health Practice or Nutrition
University of South Florida-Main CampusTampa, FL
The University of South Florida offers one of the best online mph programs. They pride themselves on their reputation as a leader in online education. They have seven distinct concentrations that students can choose from including: social marketing, nutrition and dietetics, health, safety, and environment, infection control, global disaster management, humanitarian relief and homeland security, public health practice, and epidemiology. They also have a myriad of online graduate certificates to choose from including: public health and policy programs, toxicology, disaster management, humanitarian assistance, public health generalist, among others. The virtual courses are designed with a unique innovation that has come from a collaboration between multimedia experts and teaching faculty. They utilize a variety of media to teach including podcasts, blogs, wikis, and web conferencing. They have a reduced tuition rate program that is worth looking into as well as a number of financial aid options.
Degree Type: MPH – 7 concentrations
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA
The Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California offers one of the best online masters of public health programs that includes six different concentrations. The concentrations are community health promotion, geohealth, global health, generalist, health services and policy, and biostatistics and epidemiology.Their motto is Build a Healthier, Safer World. An exciting aspect about this program is that not only does it offer theoretical coursework online, but all students will have the opportunity to engage in real-world research projects and hands on immersive experiences that are local to them or around the world. Students can work at their own pace and complete the program in as little time as one year. They ensure that students will be able to study the recent public health emergencies that include procedures and policies. They also have access to international trips relevant to their coursework and led by faculty members.
Degree Type: MPH – 6 concentrations
University of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham, AL
The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a fully online masters of public health program that includes several concentrations. The options are: concentration in environmental and occupational health, concentration in epidemiology. Concentration in health behavior, concentration in healthcare organization, concentration in population health, concentration in maternal and child health policy & leadership, among others. Students in the program are trained to work in their own communities, within a variety of healthcare settings, within the centers for disease control and prevention, or even within the world health organization. The alumni in the program have had great success in their career endeavors and many have been in the spotlight on many occasions. They work in a myriad of fields including those that feature the health of environmental, biological, social, and behavioral aspects of humans and animals. These programs have created initiatives that support the healing from dynamics associated with COVID-19 and foster current collaborations within communities.
Degree Type: MPH – 6 concentrations
University of North Texas Health Science CenterFort Worth, TX
The University of North Texas Health Science Center offers a master of public health program that is delivered entirely online through their distinguished School of Public Health. Public Health Leadership is the focus of this unique course of study. There are two options, one of which is 48 credits in length and was designed expressly for those who have recently graduated or are interested in a career change. It covers a range of public health challenges including program evaluation and health politics and policies. The other option is made up of 42 credit hours. It also has a focus of public health leadership, but is designed with students in mind that have already worked in the field of public health for a minimum of three years. There are five start dates a year and each online class takes eight weeks to complete.
Degree Type: MPH Public Health Leadership
University of Illinois at ChicagoChicago, IL
The School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago offers an online masters in public health program that includes the choice of one of three concentrations. These options include MPH in community health sciences, mph in health policy and administration, and mph in public health informatics. Diversity and inclusion are woven throughout the coursework and approaches to learning. The program offers students an opportunity to participate in a large variety of additional certificates if they are interested. There are many options that might elevate their chances of getting a career in their public health niche of interest. The University of Illinois at Chicago has a comprehensive career services program that supports their students and alumni to achieve career advancement. Their team of faculty members are experts in public health as well and offer valuable and relevant leadership.
Degree Type: MPH – 3 concentrations
University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia, MO
The University of Missouri at Columbia offers a Master of Public Health program that is delivered entirely online. There are no on campus requirements for this program, making it easy for self motivated students to continue working while also successfully completing this advanced degree program. Some of the coursework is delivered in a synchronous style, meaning there are set login times and opportunities for students to have live discussions and support each other through their course of study. The two programs that this one emulates are University of Missouri’s Veterinary Public Health and Health Promotion and Policy. There are many online resources associated with the program including advising opportunities, library tools and support, as well as access to faculty members. The majority of core coursework emphasizes intensive writing, oral competency, and multimedia assignment completion. Some of the topics include principles of public health and interdisciplinary perspectives in public health.
Degree Type: MPH
Emory UniversityAtlanta, GA
Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University has earned its place on the list as a school that offers one of the best online MPH programs. The program is an Executive Master of Public Health. They pride themselves on their stellar course of study that is designed for working professionals who require flexibility. A unique aspect of their online learning is no community building or collaboration is compromised by using an online format of learning. Students are given many opportunities for connection, collaboration and networking with each other as well as other professionals in the field of public health. The entire program is made up of 42 credit hours, and can be accomplished over the course of two years. Some students choose to take it slower and complete the program in three years instead. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public health.
Degree Type: EMPH for Working Professionals
Dartmouth CollegeHanover, NH
The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice offers an online master of public health program that has some on campus requirements. They utilize a cohort model, which means that each student will be matched for around 40 peers to move through the program with. They keep a faculty ratio of about 12:1, which ensures that there will be plenty of opportunities for students to have a significant amount of attention. The entire program runs over the course of 22 months, and students are expected to take one class at a time. Every student will participate in a practicum as well as a practicum intensive. This is almost like a synthesis of a master’s thesis merged with what is considered an integrative learning experience. Practicums are self designed and directed with the support of faculty members. All of these projects are inquiry based and geared towards solving complex problems.
Degree Type: MPH
University of San FranciscoSan Francisco, CA
The University of San Francisco offers a master of public health program that is delivered entirely online. The program is delivered through the School of Nursing and Health Professions. Students in this program will work with some of the leading health professionals in the field of public health to gain the necessary skills to be leaders themselves. They have a strong emphasis on collaboration and interprofessional skills. All students will have opportunities to practice their skills in a hands-on capacity. They offer a student to faculty ratio of 14:1, which ensures there will be many opportunities for support and collaboration. The program is fully accredited by the Council of Education for Public Health. The concentrations that students can choose from include community and practice and health policy leadership and behavioral health. Their approach is mission driven with a set of values that offers a foundation for the discipline.
Degree Type: MPH – 3 concentrations
University of ArizonaTucson, AZ
The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health offers an online master of public health program that is delivered entirely online. The program has three concentrations that students can choose from including health promotion, applied epidemiology, and health services administration. Students will learn all of the important skills necessary to make a large impact within their communities. The curriculum brings together applicable theories, research, and current understandings of the state of public health today as a way to understand how to promote healthier communities and a healthier world. The entire course of study is made up of 42 credit hours, and each course is eight weeks in length. All concentrations require an internship component that is made up of five credit units. On top of that is the capstone project that is one unit and consists of an integrated learning experience.
Degree Type: MPH – 3 concentrations
George Washington UniversityWashington, DC
The Milken Institute School of Public Health through George Washington University offers a best online MPH degree program. It is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. They want to meet the needs of their students and their complex life circumstances, and therefore they offer three different tailored options. One is an accelerated master of public health that will take one year to complete. The second program is more standard and should take eighteen months to complete. The third option is a customizable program that is designed for students who need a little more flexibility, and this can be completed on a full or part time basis. The online program offers live classes, enabling students to have conversations and participate in groups. There are many financial aid opportunities including a guaranteed $10,000 scholarship for students who enroll into the 2020 fall cohort.
Degree Type: MPH
A.T. Still University
A.T. Still University offers an online master of public health degree that believes in nurturing the concept of whole person healthcare. They want to build their students up to have the leadership skills to create a bright future for the field of healthcare. They are fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public health and the Higher Learning Commission. They are interested in admitting people who have diverse and unconventional academic, cultural, and life experience. Some of the areas of interest that will be covered in this program include: workforce issues, preventative healthcare, injury prevention, impact of water shortages, among many other current conditions that ail our society. There are many financial aid opportunities available for students who participate in the program. Alumni of the program have gone on to become health educators, health policy advisors, public health information officers, among others.
Degree Type: MPH
Loyola University ChicagoChicago, IL
The Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health at Loyola University offers a master of public health degree program that is delivered entirely online. Loyola is a Jesuit school that is built on faith based principles that include freedom of inquiry and social justice. Students will be taught the skills to build health equity within communities and the world at large. The entire course of study is made up of 42 credits that are made up of both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. The asynchronous classes make it easy for students to have the necessary flexibility to take care of other aspects of their lives. The program offers three concentrations including policy management, global health equity, and epidemiology. Six core courses are required for all students as well as classes that are specific to the student’s concentrations, applied practice, electives and integrative learning experiences.
Degree Type: MPH
North Dakota State University-Main CampusFargo, ND
North Dakota State University offers one of the best online master of public health programs. Pandemics and epidemics are considered a great deal in this course of study as well as the interconnected issues that come with living in a global society. Students can choose to specialize in management of infectious diseases, american indian public health, food safety, community health, or food safety. Students will have many research opportunities as well as other hands on experiences in the field. They are fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Alumni have an excellent track record of accessing employment in many facets of the public health field. Current students are actually being trained to be contact tracers for COVID-19. Recently, they have made their application process more streamlined and accessible. You will often find this program making headlines as they create change in communities.
Degree Type: MPH
University of Nevada-RenoReno, NV
The University of Nevada at Reno offers an online master of public health degree program that focuses on public health practice. They train their students to look farther then the physical health of a person and look at all of the factors including sociological, environmental, and economic that contribute to community health as well as that of an individual. Some of the important aspects of public health that are covered in the program include epidemiology and biostatistics, public health policy, finance and budget, health informatics, and social and behavioral health. There are many start dates each year, which makes it easier for students to matriculate. Students can graduate in as little as 24 months. There are no standardized test requirements, including the GRE, to get in. They are fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.
Degree Type: MPH in Public Health in Public Health Practice
How Do I Choose an Online MPH Program?
There are so many masters of public health programs to choose from, and when you are looking online geography does not have to be a factor. One thing to look for if you want to be sure you are getting the skills you need for the sake of easy integration into the field is public health program accreditation. You will notice that most, if not all, programs on this list have the Council on Education for Public Health accreditation. The doctorate programs in public health, you will find, are similarly accredited. This means the coursework, class themes, and faculty are heavily vetted, ensuring you will be prepared for the field. You might ask yourself How important is CEPH accreditation? The proof is in the pudding, meaning the best programs are stamped with this accreditation. CEPH accreditation criteria is a lot to contend with, so it is clear that the programs that achieve this status have done their job.
Why Should I Choose a Career in Public Health?
If you are looking into careers in public health you have found a career path that is not going anywhere anytime soon. Public health degree careers have been even more in demand since the coronavirus pandemic shifted the world. It has made us all consider the need for increased public health measures in ways we never imagined. This is to say, if you are asking is public health a good career, I imagine you are able to answer your own question. Another reason to plug into this career path is that you will have the tools to truly make a difference in communities and within the global sphere. There are also many ways to approach a career in public health, as you can work in so many settings and within a field that brings together your passions. Social justice and/ or faith can play a big role in the motivation to get an advanced degree and enter the field of public health. You can choose to work in diverse communities with specific populations such as children or elders.
How Do I Get a Job with an MPH?
Many of the programs above feature public health internships that can make you a desirable candidate for careers in the field. They provide some of the most valuable experience in the practice of public health. You can work within a niche or concentration that interests you, and therefore offer the key skills that can be plugged into your discipline of interest. In fact, if you are interested in CDC internships, that is a great place to start. Public health practicum opportunities not only give you experience, but excellent references when you are trying to ultimately get hired. The other thing about a master in public health is there are opportunities to make quite a bit of money. In fact, with a masters in public health that specializes in public health administration, payscale projects you can make $82,000 per year. When it comes time to sort through public health internships, look in the direction of an aspect of the field that might interest you.