Best Online Master’s of Public Health 2022

by TBS Staff Writers, Barbara Field
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 Online College in California

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.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Health policy and management; epidemiology and biostatistics; public health nutrition.

Accredited By: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Berkeley's online master of public health degree requires attendance on-campus for summer sessions during the student's first and second years. During these 15 day periods, students meet their classmates and interact with faculty. 

The 27-month online MPH degree can be completed in two years with the approval of the academic student advisor.

Prospective students must provide transcripts indicating the competition of stat/epi coursework with a "B+" grade or higher. Prior to admission, students must have completed a two-year work requirement.

Available Scholarships: Dean's Health Equity and Leadership Award 

#2 Online College in Florida

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.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Public health practice; population health management; environmental health; social and behavioral science; biostatistics; epidemiology

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Located in Gainesville, Florida, UF's master of public health program comprises 48 credits, with six concentration options. Students address real public health challenges in their communities through the applied practice experience course. Coursework concludes with a capstone project.

This MPH program emphasizes community engagement through internships and volunteering. Students study alongside a faculty mentor throughout the program.

Prospective students should complete an application, submit previous transcripts, and include TOEFL scores. 

Available Scholarships: The Judson A. Clements Memorial Scholarship

#3 Online College in Maryland

Johns Hopkins University

School Information
Location Baltimore, Maryland
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 93%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Aging and public health; child and adolescent health;

epidemiologic and biostatistical methods for public health and clinical research; food, nutrition, and health; food systems; global environmental sustainability and health; health leadership and management; health systems and policy; humanitarian health; infectious diseases;

social and behavioral sciences in public health; women's and reproductive health

Accredited By: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

The 80-credit online master of public health degree available at Johns Hopkins prepares students to solve global health challenges. Core courses comprise approximately 45-50 of these credits, with students choosing additional electives.

All students complete a practicum experience (minimum of 100 hours) at a health department or other organization. The program also requires a capstone project. 

Students are eligible for a $2000 award to apply towards their practicum or capstone projects through the MPH Field Experience Fund. Every MPH student receives guidance from an advisor.

Available Scholarships: Reed Frost Scholarship: Reed Frost Scholarship

#4 Online College in North Carolina

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.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Concentrations Available: Leadership; nutrition; applied epidemiology; registered dietitian

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

UNC-Chapel Hill's online master of public health degree prepares public health leaders for the front lines. Students explore essential methodologies about public health and critical thinking to solve challenges. 

Students can enroll full- or part-time and can complete the program in as few as 16 months. A UNC-Chapel Hill placement specialist helps all students with options for the practicum requirement. 

Prospective students can choose from four start dates throughout the year, depending on their chosen concentration and cohort model.

Available Scholarships: Guaranteed tuition scholarship

#5 Online College in California

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.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private 

Concentrations Available Biostatistics and epidemiology; community health; global health geohealth; health services and policy

Accredited By: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

USC's online master of public health degree is the only MPH program affiliated with a medical school. Students can enroll during the spring, summer, or fall semesters. The program takes place entirely online with no required campus residency periods. Students can choose to fast-track coursework and complete the program in one year. They also receive mentorship opportunities with professors and industry leaders. 

Advisors and counselors offer personalized assistance to fit student needs throughout the online master of public health degree. The university is service-oriented and offers students round-the-clock tech support.

Available Scholarships: Public Health Leadership scholarship

#6 Online College in Florida

The 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.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Generalist; global health or health promotion; education and behavior

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Recognized as a military-friendly school for over 10 years, UWF's online MPH program caters to those with families or those working full time. The program also welcomes students from diverse backgrounds and features an asynchronous learning format.

After completing 15 credit hours of foundational core courses, students complete coursework in their chosen concentration and electives. Students explore career options, including salary expectations. 

UWF offers tuition waivers for non-residents that covers about 90% of the tuition. Prospective students also benefit from a streamlined admissions process.

Available Scholarships: Active-Duty Out-of-State Waiver

#7 Online College in Florida

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.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

FIU's 45-credit-hour online master of public health degree offers learners the option to complete coursework on a full- or part-time basis. Students take courses, such as health behavior and public health, public health statistics, and health policy.

Prospective students need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, three letters of recommendation, and a written statement of purpose for admission. The MPH program at FIU does not require GRE scores.

Once students are enrolled in this online MPH program, they must pass each course with a minimum "B" grade, including public health core courses. Students can graduate in one year, or three semesters.

Available Scholarships: FIU Online Academic Merit Scholarship

#8 Online College in Florida

University of South Florida-Main Campus

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.

Fast Facts

School Type: ​​Public

Concentrations Available: Epidemiology; public health practice; global disaster management; humanitarian relief and homeland security; infection control; social marketing;

nutrition and dietetics and health; safety and environment

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

USF's online master of public health program allows out-of-state students to pay a reduced rate on tuition. Students complete most requirements online, with a one-week on-campus requirement.

The USF MPH program faculty meet with local students to offer guidance and mentorship. The program readies professionals to take on leadership roles and positively make a difference in their communities. 

Available Scholarships: Ann Winch Fellowship

#9 Online College in Wisconsin

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.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Admission into MCW's MPH online program requires a bachelor's degree, official transcripts with a minimum 3.0 GPA, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation. The program also accepts up to 14 transfer credits based on review by the MPH program director. 

Students must complete a total of 42 credit hours to earn their master of public health online. Once enrolled, students have up to five years to successfully finish all coursework.

Coursework takes place entirely online, with no mandatory on-campus classes or events.

Available Scholarships: Limited merit based scholarships

#10 Online College in New Hampshire

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.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Global health

Accredited By: New England Commission on Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

The master of science in public health degree at SNHU helps students gain knowledge and competencies to benefit people from their local communities to those across the globe. Learners spend two terms gaining hands-on experience and conclude program requirements with a capstone project.

Graduates of SNHU's master of public health program go on to work for private companies, governmental agencies, healthcare nonprofits, universities, and hospitals. 

SNHU accepts students on a rolling basis and does not require GRE scores for admission. Students can transfer a maximum of 12 credits toward their degree. SNHU offers a 25% discount for active military members and their spouses. 

Available Scholarships: Online and Continuing Education Scholarship 

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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