Best Online Master's in Public Health (MPH)

The best online MPH programs offer affordability and quality academics and lead to careers in management, statistics, and more.
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Updated May 20, 2024

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Earning a master's in public health (MPH) can help you positively impact your community. With this degree, you can work across a variety of fields related to healthcare, including as a community educator, biostatistician, or epidemiologist.

This interdisciplinary master's degree builds on various skills and offers you the opportunity to impact individuals, communities, and even national policy for generations to come. Additionally, the program's scope widens your options and gives you transferable skills to work on many different issues.

Let's dive into some of the best online MPH programs, how to choose one, and what you can do with your degree.

Featured Online Public Health Programs

Best Online MPH Programs

#1 Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

  • Indianapolis, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Avg. Cost per Credit:

In-State | $519

Out-of-State | $622

Credits to Graduate: 44-50 credits

IUPUI's master's in public health (MPH) program offers several different MPH specializations for online learners, including epidemiology, health policy and management, and public health informatics. 

The number of required credits varies by program, with students completing a mix of core coursework, concentration classes, electives, and practical experiences. To apply, you must have a bachelor's degree and at least one year of coursework in algebra, finite mathematics, or statistics. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,795
Out-of-state
$30,477
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,090
Out-of-state
$24,864
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
29,390
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
89% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Avg. Cost per Credit:

In-State | $565

Out-of-State | $565

Credits to Graduate: 42

Liberty University's MPH program is based on eight-week courses and takes approximately two years to complete. It can be completed entirely online. Liberty University allows you to transfer up to 50% of applicable credit hours. 

You can specialize in community health promotion, environmental health, global health, or nutrition. You must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA to qualify for admission. Part-time students pay a slightly higher tuition of $615 per credit hour. Liberty University — founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell — describes its work as training "Champions for Christ."

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$14,791
Out-of-state
$14,791
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,935
Out-of-state
$7,935
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
93,349
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

University of New England

  • Biddeford, ME
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Avg. Cost per Credit:

In-State | $800

Out-of-State | $800

Credits to Graduate: 42

The University of New England offers a 100% online MPH program. However, you do have the option to participate in a two-week in-person immersion program near Sekondi, Ghana. You can specialize in epidemiology, global health, or health education. 

The health education focus area prepares you to take the health education specialist certification examination. You must have a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited school to apply, and all applications are reviewed holistically. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$37,390
Out-of-state
$37,390
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$27,466
Out-of-state
$27,466
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
7,208
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#4 Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Avg. Cost per Credit:

In-State | $1,764

Out-of-State | $1,764

Credits to Graduate: 42

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's MPH program offers 13 concentrations in topics like applied epidemiology; health behavior; health equity, social justice, and human rights; nutrition; and public health data science. 

However, only the applied epidemiology, MPH leadership, and applied nutrition specialties are available entirely online. You can study as a full-time or a part-time student.

Students are paired with a faculty mentor, student success advisor, academic coordinator, and field placement specialist.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,019
Out-of-state
$34,198
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,552
Out-of-state
$28,278
Retention Rate
95%
Acceptance Rate
25%
Students Enrolled
30,092
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, OR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Avg. Cost per Credit:

In-State | $560

Out-of-State | $560

Credits to Graduate: 60 quarter credits

At Oregon State University, the online MPH program focuses on public health practice, while the on-campus program offers more options for specializing. Instead of writing a thesis, you participate in an integrated learning experience. The online program starts in the fall only. 

You must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA — either cumulative or in your last 90 credits of coursework. The program does not require a thesis but does require an internship. An internship coordinator helps with this placement.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,846
Out-of-state
$29,445
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,257
Out-of-state
$26,109
Retention Rate
85%
Acceptance Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
32,312
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#6 Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) 

Avg. Cost per Credit:

In-State | $949

Out-of-State | $949

Credits to Graduate: 42

The University of North Dakota's online MPH program offers specializations in health management and policy, indigenous health, and population health research and analytics. Its mission focuses on health in the Great Plains and beyond. 

All three options are available in online synchronous or asynchronous formats, as well as on campus. The program reports that its recent graduates have a 100% placement rate in health careers. 

You can also join an accelerated, five-year bachelor's in public health education and MPH option. Graduates are eligible to take the certified in public health exam.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,540
Out-of-state
$12,810
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,060
Out-of-state
$16,590
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
13,615
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • Lubbock, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) 

Avg. Cost per Credit:

In-State | $217

Out-of-State | $738

Credits to Graduate: 45

The MPH program offered through Texas Tech University's Health Sciences Center takes 15-24 months to complete. You can choose from four options for the final integrated learning experience: a research thesis, a public health project, a comprehensive exam, or a capstone course.

The program covers issues related to diversity, scarcity, adversity, and need; innovative problem-solving; ethics in program planning and evaluation; managing environmental and occupational health hazards; and modeling rural community engagement. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,665
Out-of-state
$19,344
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,360
Out-of-state
$16,176
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,274
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

Medical College of Wisconsin

  • Milwaukee, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Avg. Cost per Credit:

In-State | $1,036

Out-of-State | $1,036

Credits to Graduate: 42

The Medical College of Wisconsin's MPH program offers degree and certificate options. You also have the ability to transfer from a certificate pathway to the degree program. 

The school is part of the Institute for Health and Equity and emphasizes reducing health disparities. Note that you must attend graduation on campus. The program focuses on public health practice but does not offer specializations. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$30,000
Out-of-state
$30,000
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,506
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

University of Illinois Springfield

  • Springfield, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Avg. Cost per Credit:

In-State | $366

Out-of-State | $366

Credits to Graduate: 48

The University of Illinois Springfield's MPH program charges one of the lowest tuition rates in the country. Additionally, all online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

The program offers a generalist public health practice degree as well as a specialization in environmental health. You can also pursue joint MPH/master of public administration or MPH/master of human services options. The required integrated learning experience is a comprehensive examination.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,592
Out-of-state
$16,120
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,247
Out-of-state
$14,021
Retention Rate
74%
Acceptance Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
4,146
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Best Online Master’s in Public Health (MPH)

University of Kansas

  • Lawrence, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Avg. Cost per Credit:

In-State | $700

Out-of-State | $700

Credits to Graduate: 42

The University of Kansas' MPH program is a generalist pathway, culminating in a capstone course as the required integrated learning experience. The curriculum includes 21 core credits, concentration credits, and a three-credit capstone. Online MPH students pay the same tuition, regardless of their location. 

Applicants must hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher and have completed at least one course in college algebra. The program also prefers but does not require that applicants have at least one year of work in a public health setting. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,092
Out-of-state
$26,960
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,989
Out-of-state
$23,951
Retention Rate
86%
Acceptance Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
26,744
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

How We Chose These Schools

At TheBestSchools, we pride ourselves on our proprietary ranking methodology to help prospective students like you find the best fit. Our ranking system uses data from the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate schools without bias while accounting for key factors like academic quality, online offerings, and affordability.

This ranking is from 2023. Learn more about how our formula works on our ranking methodology page.

Online Master's in Public Health: Program Overview

An online master's degree in public health trains you in epidemiology, public health policy, and environmental health. While pursuing your MPH degree, you can often choose a specialization like biostatistics, public health policy, or health administration.

Most online MPH programs incorporate an internship or practicum experience. Depending on the program, your internship may require 6-12 months to complete. Earning a master's in public health degree online typically takes two years of full-time study. However, some programs offer accelerated options to expedite the graduation timeline.

Common Courses in Online MPH Programs

MPH Joint/Dual Degrees

Earning an MPH joint/dual degree can prepare you for specialized roles. For example, a dual MPH/master's in healthcare administration program offers training for management roles in healthcare.

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

How to Choose an Online Master's in Public Health Program

When choosing an online MPH program, you should consider factors like cost, program length, and specialization options. It's also important to consider your career goals. By considering these factors, you can find the best fit for your professional goals.

Program Format

The program format is an important consideration as you look at online MPH programs. Some questions to consider include:

  • Can you complete the program part time or must you attend full time?
  • What are the considerations and accommodations for students with a learning disability?
  • What financial aid options does a program offer?
  • Are there additional academic help or tutoring resources available?
  • Does your program offer synchronous or asynchronous classes?
  • Is there a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Accreditation

You should also research institutional and programmatic accreditation before submitting any applications. Accredited programs meet industry-specific standards for educating students in public health, and only accredited universities can distribute federal financial aid to students.

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.

Cost

Online programs often cost less than traditional on-campus programs. One contributing factor to lower fees is far lower overhead costs, including building maintenance, student health, and campus security. Additionally, some public schools charge all online learners the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live.

Specializations

As an MPH candidate, you can focus your education on specializations that prepare you for unique roles within the public health sector. It is crucial to check that your prospective program has the specialization you want to pursue. Common specializations include:

  • Biostatistics: Professionals in this field use statistics to answer research questions in medicine, biology, and public health.
  • Epidemiology: Epidemiologists produce research-backed data to help public health professionals make decisions about ongoing events and health policy.
  • Environmental Health: These workers focus on the relationship between the environment and people to promote human health and well-being and create safe communities.
  • Health Policy and Administration: These professionals deal with critical policies and program issues that impact illness prevention and health promotion in individuals and communities.

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

Earning a master's in public health degree prepares you for careers in healthcare settings, nonprofit organizations, and the public sector. An MPH degree can lead to job opportunities as a health educator, public health specialist, epidemiologist, or healthcare administrator. This degree can also prepare you to pursue a doctorate in public health.

The following table summarizes common public health careers, including median annual salaries and projected job growth rates.

Public Health Careers and Salaries
Public Health Careers Median Annual Salary (2022) Projected Growth (2022-2032)
Epidemiologist $81,390 27%
Health Education Specialist $62,860 7%
Medical and Health Services Manager 110,680 28%
Social and Community Service Manager $77,030 9%
Statistician (Biostatistician) $104,860 30%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Public Health Job and Salary Outlook

The typical salaries for MPH graduates encompass a wide range that depends on your position, geographical location, and experience. However, according to Payscale data from May 2024, the average annual salary for workers with an MPH was about $73,000.

Many jobs in the healthcare field are projected to see increased demand in the coming years. This is especially true for epidemiologists, medical and health services managers, and biostatisticians — these positions are each projected to grow ~5-6 times faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

Is a Master's in Public Health (MPH) Worth It?

Many professionals in the public health space have either an MPH or Ph.D. MPH programs emphasize the practical aspects of public health necessary to work as a researcher, disease investigator, educator, and/or advocate.

With a master's in public health, you can qualify for advanced positions in public health, including within healthcare centers, nonprofits, and government agencies. An MPH degree is often well worth the time and effort for those seeking a career in public health.

Frequently Asked Questions About MPH Degrees

How long are MPH programs?

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?

A master's degree in public health (MPH) helps qualify you for meaningful public health leadership roles in the private and public sectors. The curriculum for a public health degree varies between programs, but most schools offer similar foundational coursework.

This typically includes training in areas like infectious diseases, public health policy, and public health education. These courses help strengthen your research and analytical skills to prepare you for advanced careers in the public health field.

MPH vs. MHA: Which is better?

The answer to this question depends on your goals. A master's in healthcare administration is a more business-focused credential. However, both MPH and MHA degrees provide leadership skills and can be earned through an online program. Additionally, some dual-degree MPH programs also give you the option of completing an MHA degree.

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