Professionals in all sorts of areas, from direct patient care to public administration, are turning to online MPH degree programs to enhance their career. Why pursue a Masters In Public Health if you already have a professional career – or even already have a master’s degree or doctorate? A master’s in public health degree will prepare healthcare professionals to advance in their field. Generally, people in administrative and management positions within the healthcare industry can use an MPH degree to advance above middle management. There are some exceptions, but a Masters of Public Health degree will certainly help healthcare professionals advance in their careers.
In the past, online degrees were somewhat looked down upon. This is no longer true, especially in fields like public health, where working professionals already in their careers often use online degrees to increase their credentials and advance to higher positions and higher pay. These days, an employer does not even necessarily know whether or not their employees have earned their degrees online, and if they have established their experience and expertise, it doesn’t matter. Credentials plus experience means advancement, whether the degree is online or not.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Master’s in Public Health Online Programs
For the Best Master’s Program ranking of the best online MPH degree programs, BMP editors started with only the best – CEPH-accredited public health schools offering online and hybrid MPH degree programs. With our pool in place, we ranked programs according to four factors: Cost, Reputation, Salary Potential, and Student Reviews, using data from College Scorecard, IPEDS, Niche, and U.S. News & World Report.
1. Oregon Health & Science University and Portland State University
When you are looking into the best online MPH degree programs, you want to consider the program offered by Oregon Health and Science University and Portland State University. The unique online MPH program in Primary Care and Health Disparities, developed by OHSU and PSU in collaboration, focuses on providing students with a strong foundation in epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral therapy, and health systems organization to help students prepare for a career in public health. The degree at Oregon Health and Science University and Portland State University is fully online and does not require students to attend any classes on the school’s campus.
A key factor that sets Oregon Health and Science University and Portland State University apart is the standards set by the university for student education. The school follows the standards set by the World Health Organization, or WHO, to ensure that students fully understand the application of their skills in different environments and settings. The degree prepares students to work in a variety of settings and environments.
Program: MPH – Primary Care and Health Disparities
2. University of California, Berkeley
The decision to pursue a Master’s in Public Health online offers the flexibility to manage other obligations while finishing your degree. The University of California at Berkeley offers an online MPH degree program for students who want to pursue an MPH while working in a job or keeping up with personal obligations. The fully online program is designed for adults and allows students to work at their own pace.
A key factor that sets the University of California at Berkeley apart from other programs is the quality faculty involved in the online program. The school has expert faculty who have worked in epidemiology and public health before moving into teaching. They bring their experience and skills into the classroom and help students understand how to apply the skills they are learning in their career. The University of California at Berkeley offers five concentrations for students studying public health at the master’s level.
Program: MPH – 5 concentrations
3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
When you are looking for the best online MPH degree, you want to look at the program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. UNC’s online MPH degree program offers five concentrations for students who want to study public health. As a fully online program, it gives students the flexibility to keep up with their current job or career while working on their master’s degree. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the number one public school of public health in the nation, and its online MPH program meets the same standards as the on-campus courses.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill differs from other programs by allowing students to finish their degree in as little as 20 months. The accelerated program means students are able to work at a pace that fits their situation and their needs. You can take full-time or part-time courses through the online format, which allows you to finish your master’s degree when you have time.
Program: MPH – 5 concentrations
4. University of Florida
The University of Florida offers a master’s in public health online that allows students to work on their master’s degree at a time that fits their situation and schedule. The degree program is designed around the needs of working adults, so it gives you flexible classes and allows you to work at a pace that fits your situation and obligations. The fully online program recognizes that students may not be able to work on their degree full-time and allows students to take classes when they have time.
The way the University of Florida stands out is the option to accelerate the online program. The school offers two MPH concentrations and allows students who plan to continue into a doctorate program to go through an accelerated master’s program through the online system. That gives students a chance to finish their MPH in a reasonable amount of time and pursue the next steps of their career or education. The University of Florida is accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health and it meets the high standards set by the council for student education.
Program: MPH – Public Health Practice or Social and Behavioral Sciences
5. Texas A&M Health Science Center
Texas A&M Health Science Center offers an online MPH in Epidemiology that focuses on educating students in disease prevention and public health. The primary focus of the degree program is to prepare students for the challenges of a career in epidemiology and to ensure they understand the research processes associated with the industry. Texas A&M Health Science Center allows students to complete their MPH degree online and does not require students to attend classes on-campus for improved flexibility.
A critical way Texas A&M Health Science Center stands out from other programs is the focus on providing the same degree plan to students as those on the college campus. It follows the same format and standards as the on-campus program, so students are able to obtain the same high-quality education that employers expect when working with a reputable college or university.
Program: MPH in Epidemiology
6. University of Nebraska Medical Center
The University of Nebraska Medical Center offers an MPH program online that prepares students for the rigors of working in the public health sector. The degree program is the same as the on-campus program and requires students to take the same classes to ensure that you understand epidemiology, biostatistics, and advocacy when working in your career. The University of Nebraska Medical Center is accredited by the CEPH and meets the high standards set by the council for public health degrees
A key way the University of Nebraska Medical Center differs from other programs is the six concentrations available to students. You are able to work on specialized skills and abilities when obtaining your degree in public health. That allows you to focus on a specific area of public health and obtain a career that fits your long-term goals.
7. Colorado School of Public Health
The Colorado School of Public Health offers a fully online MPH program that is designed around the needs of students. The Leadership and Public Health Practice MPH degree focuses on leadership within public health and strives to ensure that students are prepared to work as a leader in their field. It prepares students to take on challenging roles and work with others to accomplish a specific goal. The way the Colorado School of Public Health differs from other online programs is by setting up a student-focused program that works directly with students to help with specific goals.
The Colorado School of Public Health stands out by focusing on providing a quality education that prepares students for the challenges of working in public health. It ensures that students understand the way statistical data helps address potential concerns within a population. It also teaches them leadership and communication skills students need to encourage policy changes that will impact their communities.
Program: MPH – Leadership and Public Health Practice
8. University of South Florida
The University of South Florida offers an online MPH program with six concentrations that help students accomplish their career goals. The flexible online programs ensure that students are able to find or make time to work on their degree. It works with adult students who may have career or personal obligations that limit their ability to go to a campus and follow a traditional schedule for their education.
A key way the University of South Florida differs from other programs is the wide array of options available for student communications. The school allows students to keep up with their coursework via blogs, web conferencing, streaming, and podcasts that allow students to work at their own pace and keep up with their classwork. It also gives students multiple formats for learning that fit their individual learning style. The University of South Florida offers online certifications that enhance an MPH degree and give students more advanced skills within their industry.
Program: MPH – 6 concentrations
9. University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers an online MPH program that prepares students for a leadership position in their field. The focus on leadership and developing communication skills ensure that students are able to handle the challenges of recommending policy changes or working with government agencies. It also helps students gain confidence in their abilities while they are working on their degree. UAB offers six concentrations for students who plan to study in the online MPH program.
A key way the University of Alabama at Birmingham stands apart from other programs is the practice-based process of learning in the program. The school recognizes that students need practice to work in a fast-paced environment. That is why the school offers online simulations and coursework that is designed to prepare students through critical examination and study.
Program: MPH – 6 concentrations
10. University of Massachusetts Amherst
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst offers an online MPH program that helps students prepare for their career. The school offers two concentrations: Public Health Practice and Nutrition. The degree programs give students a focused look into an area of study and help students prepare for the challenges of working in epidemiology with a focus on specific skills.
The MPH programs at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst are fully accredited programs by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as the Council on Education in Public Health. The school meets the high standards set by both accrediting organizations and ensures that students have a high-quality education that allows them to focus on their career goals. The accreditation gives students and potential employers confidence in the online program.
Program: MPH Public Health Practice or Nutrition
11. Emory University
Emory University offers an Executive MPH program that is designed around the needs of working professionals. The fully online program recognizes that students who are looking into a master’s program may be working in their career and seeking a higher level of education to advance in their job. It also recognizes that you may have limited time for your education due to your work and personal obligations. That is why it offers a flexible online program that works around your schedule.
The way Emory University stands out from other programs is the flexibility for students. You can follow a two-year or a three-year track for your education based on your schedule and needs. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to select between three concentrations for your degree that prepares you for the rigors of working in a specialized field of epidemiology and public health. Emory University is accredited by CEPH and SACS, which gives students and employers confidence in the standards set by the school for student education.
Program: EMPH for Working Professionals
12. Loma Linda University
Loma Linda University offers a fully online MPH program that is designed to work around the needs of working professionals. Students are able to work with the school to set up a flexible program to fit in their classes when they have time. The fully online program means that students do not need to spend any time on-campus and work through the online network to finish up their degree. Loma Linda University offers three concentrations for students in the online MPH program.
A key way Loma Linda University stands out from other programs is the commitment to digital education. The school works directly with faculty to ensure that the material is ready for students before they start a new semester. It also has a Digital Education Task Force that is focused on addressing concerns with student experience and ensuring that the program is able to run smoothly.
Program: MPH in Health and Wellness Education, Lifestyle Medicine, and Population Medicine
13. University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers online MPH programs that fit in with the needs of students who plan to work in epidemiology or public health fields. The degree programs give students flexible solutions to fit their situation and allow students to complete their master’s degree when they have time. It also works with students who want to take classes on-campus by offering on-campus and online formats for the MPH program. The MPH in Informatics at the University of Illinois at Chicago is the only fully online program for Public Health Informatics available in the nation.
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers three concentrations for their MPH degree program. The concentrations allow students to focus on a specific area of interest and work on developing the relevant skills associated with their career goals. By giving students a few options for their degree, it prepares students to focus on long-term goals within their job.
Program: MPH – 3 concentrations
14. Johns Hopkins University
If you’re looking for the best online MPH degree, you can’t go wrong with Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. John Hopkins is the worldwide leader for public health programs, and students can complete its Masters in Public Health online in 2-3 years part-time. Students enrolled in this program gain a solid foundation in public health with the flexibility of being able to choose from more than 200 courses for their electives. Each student must complete a capstone project that requires a short oral presentation as well as a 20-page report.
Johns Hopkins University has been ranked #1 for public health by U.S. News and World Report for 25 years. The school’s faculty is made up of highly-respected leaders from every area of public health who prepare students to help solve the world’s public health problems. Students can apply for a $2000 award to help fund their capstone projects.
15. George Washington University
The Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University offers an online Master of Public Health in several formats. Students can choose from a one-year or 18-month accelerated program or customize their schedule to attend online full- or part-time for up to four years. All of George Washington’s online MPH programs follow the same curriculum. However, the number of credits taken per semester is higher for the accelerated programs.
George Washington’s Milken Institute of Public Health has a top-notch faculty made up of enthusiastic and dedicated professors who are leaders in the public health field. Milken’s faculty engages in public health research to help find solutions to world health issues and take their results to Congress to try to bring about changes that will benefit the population as a whole. George Washington University’s location in Washington, D.C. makes it an ideal choice for students who wish to affect policy in the United States government.
16. University of Southern California
With six concentrations to choose from, the Master of Public Health online program offered by the Keck School of Medicine of USC may be the best online MPH degree for students who want to specialize in a specific area. The concentrations available are GeoHealth, health services and policy, community health promotion, global health, biostatistics and epidemiology, and generalist. Students learn about the significance of current public health policies and issues and gain experience working with a real-world public health agency.
As the oldest medical school in Southern California, the Keck School of Medicine of USC has a long history service to the community. A leader in innovation, the school receives more $230 million per year for sponsored research programs. Students can join in on trips to places such as Geneva, Costa Rica, and Panama to see how public health practices are applied around the world.
Program: MPH – 6 concentrations
17. University of Arizona
Students who pursue a master’s in public health online through the University of Arizona Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health have three concentrations to choose from: applied epidemiology, health services administration, and health promotion. Students enrolled in an MPH program at the Zuckerman College will be prepared to take on public health issues facing their own communities and to impact the world on a global level through public health.
The Zuckerman College of Public Health has achieved national and global recognition for its research and diversity. The school is committed to the community and to improvements in public health through research, innovation, technology, and scientific advancements. The Zuckerman College is working to find solutions for public health concerns such as diabetes, nutrition, environmental hazards, cancer, and bioterrorism. The school is working to raise funds for a $2 million scholarship endowment that will help support its students’ education financially.
Program: MPH – 3 concentrations
18. University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina offers an online MPH in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. The program takes 24-26 months to complete and is designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of students who are currently working in the public health field in schools, health departments, and other settings. Students who complete this program will develop strong leadership skills and learn to use behavioral and social sciences to encourage healthy habits.
The University of South Carolina has been committed to excellence for 200 years, and is determined to continue producing graduates who are creative thinkers, leaders, and problem-solvers. Online courses consist of prepared lessons that students can access on their own schedule. Discussion boards, chat rooms, and Blackboard facilitate discussions between classmates and faculty. USC has earned both the Community Engagement Classification and the top-tier research classification through the Carnegie Foundation.
Program: MPH – Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
19. Tulane University
The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM) at Tulane University offers an online Master of Public Health with concentrations in disaster management, occupational health and safety management, and occupational and environmental health. All of these programs prepare students for a career with a leadership role in public health. All students develop a solid foundation in every area of public health, regardless of specialty. The online program was designed to meet the needs of working professionals. The virtual classroom allows students to attend classes in real-time from anywhere in the world, and the Canvas learning management system makes it easy to see which lessons need to be completed.
SPHTM has been leading the educational revolution in distance learning since 1994. The school offers strong, well-rounded curricula, advanced educational technologies, and outstanding support for online students. Faculty members in the online school are experienced, with practical real-world experience in their areas of instruction. The flexible programs offered by SPHTM make it easy for professionals to advance their careers by earning a more advanced degree.
Program: MPH – 3 concentrations
20. Dartmouth College
The online MPH program at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice was created for working professionals who are excited about change and want to transform healthcare and make a positive impact on the world through public health. As part of the online MPH program, students complete an Applied Practice Experience (APE) while under the mentorship of a Dartmouth faculty member. This allows students to practice their skills through a real-life project while still earning their degrees. Students in Dartmouth’s online MPH program complete one course at a time as they work through the program.
The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice is dedicating to improving healthcare while reducing the cost. The Institute believes that by asking the right questions and being willing to work hard to find the answers, we can eliminate much of the waste that drives up the cost of healthcare in the United States.
21. University at Albany (SUNY)
The University at Albany School of Public Health offers a part-time online MPH degree with a Public Health Practice concentration. Students learn how assess public health concerns and to develop procedures and interventions to address them. By the time they graduate, students will know how to use evaluation models and will be prepared to serve in leadership roles in their communities in the area of public health. All MPH students complete an internship, which provides practical, hands-on experience to help develop the student’s knowledge and skills.
While attending the School of Public Health at the University at Albany SUNY online, you’ll benefit from the school’s 33-year relationship with the New York State Department of Health, which provides career and community service opportunities to students. Other benefits include shared research facilities and collaborative programs and projects.
22. University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions offers an online MPH with a concentration in Community and Public Health Practice. The program trains students to be ready for a career in any area of public health. Students learn to work with community partners and use evidence-based techniques to determine the best strategies to deal with a wide range of public health issues. This is a hybrid program with some on-campus requirements. This program includes courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, program planning, applied research methods, management, and more.
The School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco trains students for leadership roles and prepares them to face the challenges of an ever-changing national healthcare system. The school strives to promote excellence that is grounded in creativity, professionalism, transparency, cultural sensitivity, respect, and spirituality.
Program: MPH – 3 concentrations
23. Temple University
The College of Public Health at Temple University offers an online MPH with two concentrations available: health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences. The online MPH is ideal for students who have already entered the workforce and need to balance their real lives with the opportunity to advance their education. Students who enroll in the online MPH program benefit from the same outstanding faculty that teaches the on-campus MPH program. Graduates of the program are prepared to become leaders in their public health careers.
Temple University’s College of Public Health is daring to imagine a better future for public health through improved research methods and increased interdisciplinary training of public health professionals. The college encourages teams to collaborate on better designs and technology for preventing disease and keeping communities healthy. The online MPH is a part-time program that takes three years to complete.
24. University of North Texas Health Science Center
The School of Public Health at the UNT Health Center offers an online Master of Public Health with a professional option. The program is 100% online, allowing students keep up with work and family responsibilities while attending. Students can choose from three concentrations: geographic information systems, global health, or food security. There is a 48-credit program for career changers and recent graduates, and a 42-credit program for students with 3 or more years of experience in public health or another medical profession.
The UNT Health Science Center is one of the leading academic medical centers for graduate students in the country. The school is committed to remaining patient-centered while training the healthcare providers of the future. The UNT Health Science Center is a leader in the push for interprofessional education, which emphasizes the need for a team-based approach to healthcare. Students must complete a practicum, which is set up by the student and overseen by faculty.
Program: MPH Professional Option
25. University of Missouri
The School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri Health offers an online MPH with a concentration in either health promotion and policy or veterinary public health. This program may well be the best online MPH degree option for students interested in veterinary public health. The online MPH programs offer flexibility to students who have other obligations that make scheduling difficult.
The School of Health Professions is dedicated to improving health by providing an exceptional education experience for its students, and through advancements in research and technology. The school strives to be a model that other universities will want to follow. MU’s Health Professions students frequently attain some of the highest scores on national examinations, and the school has 100% certification and licensure pass rates and job placement rates for its graduate students. Fewer than five accredited schools offer an online MPH with an emphasis in veterinary public health.
What is a Master’s in Public Health?
There are many reasons for people in the healthcare sector to consider an online MPH (Masters in Public Health). To answer the question “Why pursue a Masters in Public Health?” you must first ask “What is Masters in Public Health?”
A Masters in Public Health is a graduate degree that educates professionals for advanced roles in public health, whether in direct care, management and administration, or research. It is a common practice for graduate Masters in Public Health programs to offer many different specializations that guide students toward a specific profession within the public health sector.
Most MPH programs also include a more general specialization, generally intended for students who are already professionals (for instance, nurses, doctors, or public administrators) who want to build their knowledge of public health to incorporate into their career. MPH graduates commonly work for government health organizations, nonprofits, healthcare facilities, or universities and research centers.
Why get a Master’s In Public Health? In addition to career advancement, an MPH degree will also better prepare professionals to serve their community’s healthcare needs. The higher level of knowledge and skills will enable them to better adjust the variety of issues that can arise in the community health setting. Choosing the right specialization within the MPH degree will allow healthcare professionals to make the greatest impact in the niche they choose to go into in their careers.
Will Employers Trust an Online MPH Degree?
The bottom line is that as long as a degree is from an accredited institution, it holds the same weight as a degree obtained through traditional educational methods. First of all, prospective MPH students need to make sure that their school is regionally accredited. After that, they need to make sure that their specific program is CEPH accredited. This is the most recognized and prestigious accreditor for MPH programs. A degree that has both of these accreditations will hold a great deal of weight with employers in the healthcare sector.
How Much Can I Make With an MPH?
As previously mentioned, there are many different specialties that healthcare workers who have MPH degrees go into, and as in other fields, a master’s degree makes a big difference in income. These specialties include working as an epidemiologist, a community health worker, or in an administrative position within a large healthcare organization or government agency. The salary varies widely between these different professions. Generally, those working in the public or non-profit sector make less. MPH degree holders working in the private sector are usually able to make more. A community health worker average is only about $45,000 a year, which is not much for someone who holds a master’s degree. On the other hand, salaries for MPH degree holders who work in management for large healthcare corporations can reach well into six figures later in their careers. Many MPH degree holders have to balance how much they want to contribute to the community versus how much they value a high salary. This is a dilemma for recent MPH degree graduates.
Do I Have to Take the GRE to Get an MPH?
The GRE, which stands for Graduate Registration Exam, is a common barrier to entry for graduate school students. Many different programs in a wide variety of fields require the applicants take the GRE. People who have anxiety about standardized tests or who simply do not feel they would do well on the GRE are often searching for MPH programs that do not require a GRE for application. Thankfully, there are many such programs. In fact, graduate programs have moved away from requiring the GRE in recent years. Public health is one area in particular where the GRE is often waived, particularly because students earning an MPH are usually seasoned professionals already. Because applicants have proven themselves in other respects, public health schools often do not require GRE scores.