Professionals who are interested in an online Master’s in Public Health are individuals who are committed to the health and safety of all Americans. From administrators to health and safety engineers, these professionals make the country a healthier place to live with their day-to-day contributions. And while a bachelor’s degree is enough to prepare students to enter the field, a graduate degree will provide them with the opportunity to make a lasting impact.
Online degrees are no longer an afterthought for schools; many departments are placing significant emphasis on their virtual offerings, especially in the space of public health. Since most professionals interested in a graduate degree work full-time, they need access to degrees that can fit around their schedule, are affordable, and can deliver the certifications and endorsements that they need in order to advance in their career. The following ten schools can accomplish all that and more, so students should keep reading to find out more.
A lot of research was done in order to compile this list. Most of the information used was sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and its College Navigator database. From an initial pool of 115 schools that offered online degrees, the final 10 were selected based on their in-state graduate tuition rates.
Ranking Low-cost Online Public Health Master’s
10. University of Illinois at Springfield
Online Master of Public Health
Public health professionals who opt for the University of Illinois at Springfield will be met with a comprehensive curriculum that is formatted to be completed online. This degree has three tracks: MPH General, MPH Professional, and Environmental Health. Each concentration has their own requirements, but as the MPH General is the most popular, this is the track that will be discussed. Students will complete all of their coursework online. They must also complete an internship that is under the supervision of a preceptor that is approved by the department. Students will also have to complete 48 credit hours of coursework as well as a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Environmental and Occupational Health, Public Health Policy and Administration, and Risk Management and Communication.
9. Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
Online Master of Public Health, Family and Community Health Concentration
Purdue University confers a Master’s in Public Health online that is built to prepare students to identify, analyze, and resolve public health issues and concerns both in America and around the world. This program is currently undergoing the accreditation process by the Council of Education for Public Health. While the degree has several concentrations, only the Family and Community Health concentration can be found online. This degree focuses on health issues related to the family unit and the evolving definition of the term “family.” The degree requires a practicum which can be completed in their own community; there are no residency requirements for this degree. Students will also be required to complete 42 credit hours of coursework, a culminating experience, and a comprehensive written exam; all requirements can be met within two-and-a-half years of part-time study. Sample courses include Introduction to Environmental Health, Introduction to Quantitative Methods of Public Health, and Fundamentals of Epidemiology.
8. San Jose State University
San Jose, California
Online Master of Public Health: Online Format
The online Master’s in Public Health at San Jose State University is a hybrid degree that holds accreditation by the Council of Education for Public Health. Courses are delivered to students in the synchronous format and offer students to discuss the course’s subject matter in real time with both classmates and their professors. This is a cohort program that requires a five-day residency on the campus every year. Students will also complete a fieldwork experience in their own community under the supervision of a preceptor that is approved by the department. The curriculum has a focus on delivering an advanced but general view of public health, enabling students to understand the various disciplines that affect this field. This degree requires 42 credit hours of coursework, a practicum, and a culminating experience. Sample courses include Principles and Skills of Health Administration, Community Organization and Health Promotion, and Multicultural Communication for Health Professionals.
7. Idaho State University
Online Master of Public Health
Idaho State University is known for being the home of the only public health master’s online degree in the state to hold accreditation by the Council of Education for Public Health. This is an applied degree that focuses students on real-world skills and concepts that will translate into experience once the student moves into doing research and participating in their internships. Even though this is an online program, students are regularly invited to help professors with active research projects as part of their curriculum. The curriculum has a strong focus on public health from a macro point of view, preparing students to look at all parts of the field prior to joining it as a professional. This degree requires 48 credit hours of coursework, a research paper, an internship, a thesis or final project, and a comprehensive written exam. Sample courses include Technological Applications in Public Health, Leadership and Administration, and Social and Cultural Perspectives in Public Health.
6. University of Alabama at Birmingham
Online Master of Public Health in Health Care Organization
Students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have an incredible amount of options when it comes to finding an online public health master’s degree. The MPH available at this school offers two concentrations: Health Care Organization and Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership. It is also possible to earn a Master of Science in Public Health in Outcomes Research. The degrees offer students the opportunity to move into management and leadership positions in both the public and private sectors; this is the main focus of each of the curriculums, along with the concentration courses. The degree is delivered online with the exception of the Integrative Experience, which is completed under the supervision of a preceptor. It is possible to graduate within two years of beginning this degree, provided that students study full-time. Students will be required to complete a total of 44 credit hours of coursework, an internship, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Public Health Law, Management and Policy in Public Health Systems and Services, and Health Insurance and Managed Care.
5. University of South Florida
Online MPH – Master of Public Health
The University of South Florida has an astounding number of concentrations for its online Master’s in Public Health. There are seven concentrations, including Infection Control, Public Health Practice, and Epidemiology. This program is accredited by the Council of Education for Public Health and is delivered 100 percent online. The curriculum is comprehensive and exhaustive, preparing students for the various situations that may arise when they are in the field. Students will have the chance to take part in a field experience that takes place abroad alone or with a group of students; this is the only school in this ranking that provides field experiences abroad. Students will also be required to complete a minimum of 42 credit hours of coursework, a supervised field experience, a research paper, and a comprehensive written exam. Sample courses include History and Systems of Public Health, Translation to Public Health Practice, and Population Assessment.
4. South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota
Online Master of Public Health
The online master’s in public health at South Dakota State University is offered in conjunction with the University of South Dakota, enabling students to take courses at both universities and earning a degree from just one. The degree is accredited by the Council of Education for Public Health. It is delivered wholly online and covers the five basic tenets of public health education: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Health Services Administration. Students will undertake a comprehensive curriculum that will take three years to complete with three years of part-time study. This degree requires 42 credit hours of coursework, a practicum, a special project, and a comprehensive written exam. Sample courses include Advanced Health Care Management, Biostatistics for Public Health, and Rural Health Policies and Education.
3. University of West Florida
Online Master of Public Health
The University of West Florida confers an online Master’s in Public Health that is accredited by the Council of Education for Public Health. This degree is interdisciplinary in nature and heavily relies on competency-based courses and projects. Students can choose between a general MPH or take the Health Promotion, Education and Behavior concentration. The curriculum is delivered online through asynchronous and synchronous formats and can be completed in three years with part-time study. Students will be required to complete a two-term internship for graduation, which must be completed after the core curriculum has been successfully completed. Other requirements include 42 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health, Principles of Public Health, and GIS Applications in Public Health.
2. East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, Tennessee
Online Master of Public Health, Community Health Concentration
Students at East Tennessee University will be offered the chance to take on an online master’s in public health that focuses on community health. It was a degree that was designed for working professionals and is geared to enhance their knowledge of their specific field. Courses are delivered wholly online by the same professors who teach the degree on campus. While an exhaustive degree, students can expect to complete all the requirements within three years with part-time study. Students will have to complete a two-term internship that is part of their culminating experience. Other requirements for the degree include 42 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Community Health Assessment Research, Consulting and Implementation of Health Programs and Services, and Rural Health Research and Practice.
1. New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Online Master of Public Health
New Mexico State University delivers professionals a cheap public health master’s degree online that is accredited by the Council of Education for Public Health. The degree was created for working professionals who are unable to attend class on campus and follows an asynchronous format for its courses. It was designed so that even working professionals could reasonably complete the degree in three years. This degree does require a field experience; online students can complete this in their home community under the supervision of a preceptor that is approved by the department. Other requirements include 42 credit hours of coursework, a thesis, and a comprehensive written exam. Sample courses include Health Program Planning, Health Services Organization and Deliver, and Evaluative Approaches in Public Health.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Master’s in Public Health Degree?
An online Master’s in Public Health leads to several different career opportunities for students. Everything from health and safety engineer to environmental scientist to biostatistician is available with a graduate degree. In fact, most of the mid to senior-level positions are available for professionals, including:
- Health Care Administrator
- Health Informatics Specialist
- Research Analyst
- Public Health Project Manager
- CDC Program Director
- Child Health Specialist
- Bioterrorism Researcher
- Child Medical Officer
- Environmental Health Nurse
- Public Health Writer
- Non-Governmental Organization Manager
There are more than 100 different career options that are helped by a master’s degree in public health, ones that move into public and private sectors, government or private business programs, and more. Professionals should research more career options on their own in order to chart their own career path to the best of their ability.
How Much Can You Earn in this Field?
The average salary range for the field of public health is between $65,000 to $135,000. This accounts for the various career options available, public and private sector jobs, varying degrees of work experience, and more. Professionals should also take into account that credentials and licensure plays a large role in salaries as well, so if professional credentials are possible for them, they should sit for certification.
What are the Various Disciplines of Public Health?
Public health is a field that deals simultaneously with health, government, law, and public policy. This is because public health is controlled by the United States government and must adhere to governmental regulations and laws. Public policy also plays a large role because public health policy has so much influence in how American society views health concerns and trends.
Public health also incorporates other disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, race, diversity, class, medicine, and more. America is very diverse and requires professionals who understand the delicate balance of multicultural populations and their different health needs. Human rights is also a concern because there parts of America that are having public health crises which need to be addressed and are, unfortunately, underserved.
Does Accreditation Matter for this Degree?
Yes, accreditation matters for this degree. This is for a number of reasons, but mainly because it provides the industry with an educational and work experience standard to expect from professionals who graduate from these programs. It is a benefit that employers, the United States government included, has come to enjoy.
The only accreditation body that matters in this particular field comes from the Council of Education for Public Health. This council consists of experts who are members of the American Public Health Association and the Association of Schools of Public Health, both professional organizations that tout entities and agencies amongst its members. Programs that hold this accreditation are competitive, especially online programs, but they do provide students with a rigorous curriculum and a comprehensive set of field experiences.
This is not to say that a program without accreditation from the CEPH; indeed, many programs are high quality and even adhere to the council’s public health graduate program guidelines. But in order to seek preference with employers, the successful completion of an accredited program is advised.
Public health is a matter that few people take into serious consideration every day. However, it affects everyone’s life, to the point where the government has an entire department and several agencies dedicated to protecting the health of every American citizen. Professionals who are already in the film will be happy that they earned an online Master’s in Public Health; they only need to start researching programs to find the perfect fit.