Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

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by TBS Staff Writers

Updated September 26, 2022

reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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Online Public Health Master's

A master's degree in public health (MPH) qualifies graduates for meaningful public health leadership roles in the private and public sectors. Online public health degree programs offer advanced training in areas like infectious diseases, public health policy, and public health education. Students who earn a master's in public health online also gain practical training through local internships. The flexible schedules of online MPH programs appeal to working professionals seeking career advancement and or career changes into the public health field.

An MPH degree prepares graduates for in-demand careers, such as epidemiologist or healthcare administrator. This degree also leads to opportunities as public health managers, infectious disease specialists, and health educators.

Our list ranks the best MPH programs with online enrollment options. Prospective students can use our rankings to find the ideal program for their career goals. This article also explores common MPH courses, MPH dual-degree options, and career paths in the field.

MPH Programs for You

The Best Online Master's of Public Health (MPH) Programs

#1

University of California, Berkeley

School Information
Location Berkeley, California
Admission Rate 16%
Graduation Rate 93%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The master of public health program at the University of California, Berkeley offers a flexible online format. The online master of public health program strengthens specialized skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles with higher earning potential. A master's degree can also prepare candidates for opportunities in new fields.

The master's curriculum examines advanced theories and practices in public health. Learners focus the program with electives or a concentration. Applicants without a public health background may need to complete prerequisite courses to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees can often complete professional internships at approved locations in their own community. The program encourages graduate students to attend networking events to expand their professional connections.

University of California, Berkeley at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 16%

Total Online Master's Programs: 2

Program Name: Online master of public health

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,442

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $26,544

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#2

University of Florida

School Information
Location Gainesville, Florida
Admission Rate 37%
Graduation Rate 88%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Gainesville, the University of Florida enrolls master's students in its top-ranked online public health program. The online MPH program builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. With a master's degree, candidates can also pursue new career opportunities.

The master's curriculum emphasizes both practical and theoretical approaches to public health. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. Applicants who majored in public health or a related field typically meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees work with the program to identify internship opportunities at approved sites in their local communities. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

University of Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 37%

Total Online Master's Programs: 42

Program Name: Online MPH

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,770

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $27,335

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#3

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Information
Location Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Admission Rate 23%
Graduation Rate 91%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The online master's degree in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers high academic quality. Graduates prepare for advanced roles in the field during the rigorous MPH in leadership program. A master's degree helps candidates advance in their current field or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum emphasizes both practical and theoretical approaches to public health. Learners prepare for focused career paths by choosing electives and concentrations. The program encourages individuals to gain experience in public health before applying to the program.

Online enrollees coordinate with the program to complete internships at approved sites in their local area. The program encourages graduate students to attend networking events to expand their professional connections.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 23%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program Name: MPH in leadership

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,552

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $28,278

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#4

University of Southern California

School Information
Location Los Angeles, California
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 92%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Graduate students interested in a master's degree in public health can earn their MPH from the University of Southern California, located in Los Angeles. The master of public health program builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. Earning a master's degree can help candidates advance in their current career or pursue a new career path entirely.

The master's curriculum explores advanced methodologies and research in public health. Learners specialize the program by choosing from a variety of electives. The master's program recommends a background in public health for applicants.

Online enrollees complete internship requirements at approved sites in their community. Graduate students also build professional connections through virtual networking events and other activities.

University of Southern California at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 11%

Total Online Master's Programs: 55

Program Name: Master of public health

Graduate Tuition In State: $46,272

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $46,272

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#5

University of West Florida

School Information
Location Pensacola, Florida
Admission Rate 31%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The online master of public health program, offered by the University of West Florida from its Pensacola campus, ranks as a top program. Graduates train for leadership roles in the field while earning their degree from the online MPH. With a master's degree, candidates pursue new career opportunities.

The master's curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners prepare for the job market by choosing a specialty through electives. Applicants with prior experience in public health or a related field often meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees gain hands-on experience during professional internships in their local area. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

University of West Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 31%

Total Online Master's Programs: 15

Program Name: Online MPH

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,088

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,166

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#6

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The master of public health program at Florida International University, located in Miami, uses a flexible distance learning format. The MPH program draws on a rigorous curriculum that prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree can also prepare candidates for opportunities in new fields.

The master's curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners prepare for the job market by choosing a specialty through electives. The program encourages applicants to gain experience in public health before applying.

Online enrollees complete internship programs in their local area to gain hands-on experience. Internships and other practicum activities also provide professional networking opportunities.

Florida International University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 58%

Total Online Master's Programs: 31

Program Name: Online master of public health

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,912

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $21,393

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#7

University of South Florida

School Information
Location Tampa, Florida
Admission Rate 48%
Graduation Rate 75%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Graduate students seeking an online public health degree can enroll in the master's program at the University of South Florida, located in Tampa. The MPH program encourages career training throughout its curriculum, preparing graduates for leadership positions. A master's degree can also lead candidates to new career paths.

The public health practice curriculum emphasizes both practical and theoretical approaches to public health. The specialized concentration can help them stand out in a competitive job market. The master's program recommends individuals have a background in public health or a related field when applying.

Online enrollees coordinate with the program to complete internships at approved sites in their local area. These and other practicum activities provide professional networking opportunities.

University of South Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 48%

Total Online Master's Programs: 27

Program Name: MPH with a concentration in public health practice

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,350

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,048

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#8

Medical College of Wisconsin

School Information
Location Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 3% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

From its campus in Milwaukee, Medical College of Wisconsin hosts a top-ranked master of public health program. The MPH program helps graduates move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. A master's degree can also lead candidates to new career paths.

The master's curriculum emphasizes current research in public health. Learners choose electives or a specialization to stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants without a degree in public health or a related field may need to meet prerequisite requirements to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees gain hands-on experience during professional internships in their local area. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

Medical College of Wisconsin at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Total Online Master's Programs: 1

Program Name: Master of public health

Graduate Tuition In State: $30,000

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $30,000

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#9

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Graduate students seeking an online public health degree can enroll in the master's program at Southern New Hampshire University, located in Manchester. The master of public health program strengthens specialized skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. A master's degree also helps candidates pursue new career paths.

The master's curriculum explores advanced methodologies and research in public health. Learners focus their training by choosing electives based on their interests and career goals. Applicants with prior experience in public health or a related field often meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees complete internships in their local community to gain real-world experience. Internships and other networking events help graduate students expand their professional network.

Southern New Hampshire University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 88%

Total Online Master's Programs: 22

Program Name: Master of public health

Graduate Tuition In State: $18,810

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,810

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#10

Bethune-Cookman University

School Information
Location Daytona Beach, Florida
Admission Rate 84%
Graduation Rate 33%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Daytona Beach, Florida, Bethune-Cookman University offers an online master of public health program. The MPH in health equity strengthens industry-specific skills, preparing graduates for leadership responsibilities. With a master's degree, candidates advance their current career or more into new career paths.

The master's curriculum explores research and methodologies. Learners specialize the program by choosing from a variety of electives. Applicants who majored in public health or a related field typically meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees work with the program to identify internship opportunities at approved sites in their local community. Internships and other practicum activities provide professional networking opportunities.

Bethune-Cookman University at a Glance:

Type of school: Private, nonprofit, four-year

Admission Rate: 84%

Total Online Master's Programs: 4

Program Name: Master of public health in health equity

Graduate Tuition In State: $13,500

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,500

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Best Online Programs

Online Master's in Public Health Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Master's in Public Health Degree?

An online master's degree in public health trains students in epidemiology, public health education, and environmental health. During an MPH degree, graduate students often choose specializations like biostatistics, public health policy, and health administration. Coursework strengthens research and analytical skills to prepare graduates for career paths after graduation.

Most MPH online programs incorporate an internship or practicum, which distance learners complete in their local area. Depending on the program, the internship may require 6-12 months. Earning a master's in public health degree online typically takes two years for full-time students. Some programs offer accelerated options to complete degrees in less time.

Featured MPH Programs

Choosing an Online MPH Degree Program

When choosing an online MPH program, prospective applicants should consider factors like cost, program length, and concentration options. In addition to researching tuition, applicants can look for programs that offer discounts for fully online learners.

It's important to consider career goals when selecting their programs. Does the program offer practicum or field experience opportunities? What specializations can graduate students choose? Can graduate students pursue dual degrees? By considering these factors, prospective public health graduate students can find the best fit for their professional goals.

Accreditation for Online Master's in Public Health Degrees

Prospective MPH online students should research institutional and programmatic accreditation before submitting any applications. Accredited programs meet high standards for educating students in public health, and only accredited universities can distribute federal financial aid to students.

In the public health field, students should only consider institutions that hold regional accreditation. The Council on Education for Public Health grants programmatic accreditation to schools of public health and public health programs. Only graduates from accredited MPH programs qualify for professional certifications and licenses.

What Can I Expect When Pursuing a Master's in Public Health Online?

During an MPH degree, graduate students study topics like biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health policy. They also complete internships or practicums related to their career interests. MPH online curricula vary between programs, but most schools offer the same foundational coursework.

Common Courses in MPH Online Programs

MPH Joint/Dual Degrees

Earning an MPH joint/dual degree can prepare graduates for specialized roles. For example, a dual MPH/master's in healthcare administration program offers administrative training for management roles in healthcare. Similarly, an MPH degree coupled with with a master's in public policy trains graduates in crafting healthcare policy.

MPH dual degrees offer complementary graduate training in less time. Earning an MPH and a master of business administration (MBA) individually would take at least 3-4 years, but joint MBA-MPH programs usually require just two years.

MPH dual-degree programs usually include:

  • Business
  • Dental
  • Environmental studies
  • Information technology innovation
  • International and development economics
  • Law
  • Medical
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Pharmacy
  • Public affairs
  • Social work
  • Urban planning

Public Health Careers

Earning a master's in public health online prepares graduates for careers in healthcare, nonprofit organizations, and the public sector. They hold titles such as public health manager, epidemiologist, and infectious disease specialist. The degree can also lead to opportunities in healthcare administration, community service management, and public health education.

This section explores public health careers, including job duties, median annual salaries, and projected job growth rates.

Medical and Health Services Manager

Median Salary: $100,980 Projected Job Growth: 32%

Medical and health services managers oversee medical facilities and departments. They create policies to improve patient outcomes, set goals for their departments, and supervise clinical practitioners. Medical and health services managers also oversee budgets and maintain records for their organizations.

Some employers prefer to hire medical and health services managers with master's degrees in public health or healthcare administration. Candidates usually need work experience in the healthcare industry. Some roles, like nursing home administrator, require licenses. Medical and health services managers can also pursue professional certifications offered by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management, the American Health Information Management Association, or the American College of Health Care Administrators.

Biostatistician

Median Salary: $92,030 Projected Job Growth: 33%

Biostatisticians, also known as biometricians, work at the intersection of biology and statistics. They conduct research into the source of infectious disease outbreaks, analyze data on medications, and design experiments to better understand diseases. Biostatisticians often work for pharmaceutical companies, healthcare organizations, and public health agencies.

Most biostatisticians have a strong background in statistics, along with training in biology, medicine, or public health. They typically hold graduate-level research degrees, such as MPH degrees. Some of the best MPH programs offer concentrations in biostatistics.

Environmental Scientist

Median Salary: $71,360 Projected Job Growth: 8%

Environmental scientists research links between the environment and human health. These professionals analyze environmental data in the lab and recommend policies that improve public health outcomes. They also create plans to prevent or address environmental issues like pollution. The profession often requires travel for fieldwork.

Most environmental scientists hold bachelor's degrees in environmental science or other closely related fields. An MPH degree with a focus in environmental health prepares environmental scientists for career advancement. Many also participate in internships.

Epidemiologist

Median Salary: $70,990 Projected Job Growth: 5%

Epidemiologists research infectious diseases and patterns of community spread. They also develop health policies and community education programs to increase awareness of public health dangers. These professionals use tools like interviews and surveys to identify the causes of disease, then help create public health programs to address those causes.

Careers in epidemiology typically require master's degrees in public health or a related field. Some roles, including in academia, may require a doctorate. During an MPH program, aspiring epidemiologists can pursue epidemiology specializations and gain practical experience through internships.

Social and Community Service Manager

Median Salary: $67,150 Projected Job Growth: 17%

Social and community service managers oversee programs that serve public needs. They design programs and services based on community needs, manage other social and community service specialists, and plan outreach strategies. Social and community service managers also use data analysis to identify areas for improvement in services and write grant proposals to secure funding for their organizations.

Social and community service managers typically hold bachelor's degrees in public health, social work, or public administration and have previous work experience. Some positions require master's degrees. This career requires strong organizational and communication skills.

Health Educator

Median Salary: $46,910 Projected Job Growth: 13%

Health educators design and implement programs to teach communities about health. They research the community's health needs, teach people about health conditions, and offer training programs for health professionals. Health educators also measure the effectiveness of their programs and collect health policy data.

Most health educators hold bachelor's degrees, though some positions require master's degrees, like an advanced public health education degree. Some employers prefer to hire candidates with certified health education specialist or master certified health education specialist credentials.

Master's in Public Health Questions

How Long Is an MPH Degree?

Most MPH programs take around two years for full-time students. Programs that incorporate internships may require additional time. Incoming students with transfer credits and those who choose accelerated programs can earn MPH degrees in less time.

What Is an MPH Degree Good For?

An MPH degree prepares graduates for careers as public health planners, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, and healthcare administrators.

Is an MPH a Doctor?

An MPH trains graduate students in public health, but an MPH graduate is not a doctor. After earning an MPH degree, graduates can pursue a doctorate in public health or apply to medical school.

Why Get an MPH as a Medical Doctor?

A doctor who wants to move into policy-making roles, design and oversee clinical trials, or work in international healthcare can benefit from earning an MPH.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Public Health?

An MPH leads to career opportunities as a health educator, public health specialist, epidemiologist, or healthcare administrator. The degree also prepares graduates to pursue doctoral training.

Which Is Better: MHA or MPH?

An MPH and a master of health administration (MHA) emphasize different skills. An MHA focuses on management and administration skills, while an MPH degree concentrates on research and public health programs.

Should I Get an MBA or MHA?

Both an MBA and an MHA can provide focused training for careers in healthcare administration. An MBA may offer more versatility for professionals considering careers outside of healthcare.

Header Image Credit: SDIProductions | Getty Images

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