By Iris Stone
Posted August 2015
Online MPH programs can be particularly advantageous for busy adults. Whether you’re a health practitioner or completely new to healthcare, many schools will welcome you into their MPH degrees online without requiring any campus visits or face-to-face sessions. This particular article focuses on the most affordable online MPH programs available in 2015.
A career in public health is an attractive option for several reasons; the field is broad, diverse, and growing, and is perfect for people who are interested in helping others. Unlike careers in medicine or nursing, which are inherently quite specific, public health opens the door to a range of job opportunities. An MPH in particular can do wonders for your career prospects – by adding a graduate-level distinction to your resume, you’ll be eligible for work in epidemiology, biostatistics, social work, research, academia, education, promotion, management, volunteerism, clinical matters…the list goes on.
For this particular article, we started by initiating a thorough search for public health programs. We used College Navigator and Google to search, check, and confirm a list of all the public health master’s degrees in the United States that are offered via distance education. To clarify, this means that we only considered full graduate programs (not certificates) that are available 90% or more online (a few campus visits for seminars or workshops were acceptable, but “hybrid” programs and ones with regular face-to-face sessions in the curriculum were not).
Lastly, we used College Navigator to collect each school’s tuition rates for their graduate programs, as well as to determine the associated fees for attendance. For the purposes of creating a ranking, we averaged each public school’s in-state and out-of-state rates to determine a single approximate cost – although if they made the cut, we included both rates for the benefit of our readers. The 50 most affordable schools are described below, listed alongside their projected annual cost. For simplicity’s sake, we combined tuition and fees into a single value, but please note that in nearly all cases the fees account for only a small portion of the total price.
50. University of Illinois at Chicago
Despite it’s somewhat higher cost, the University of Illinois at Chicago makes up for it in more ways than one. First, UIC excels in versatility; it offers not one but three different MPH programs in Community Health Sciences, Health Policy Administration (Professional Enhancement Program), and Public Health Informatics. Particularly motivated students might also consider tackling the fully online Doctor of Public Health in Leadership. The school’s department of public health is accredited by the CEPH and provides courses entirely through distance education. As a student, you should expect to spend as many as 10 hours a week on schoolwork, which could cover biostatistics, environmental health, web-based systems, data mining, management, and more.
Tuition and Fees: $16,050/yr (In-state) $26,396/yr (Out-of-state)
49. University of Florida
Online Master’s of Public Health
The University of Florida prides itself on a “no campus visits required” approach to distance education. The highly flexible online MPH program provides two different lengths (depending on your prior education and experience) and utilizes up-to-date software that makes students’ experience on the web easy and convenient. Although you certainly don’t have to come to campus, UF does facilitate opportunities for MPH faculty and classmates to interact in person and get to know each other better. The comprehensive curriculum does plenty to get students prepared for the professional world, from courses in health management and policy to applications in public health practice and the social and behavioral sciences.
Tuition and Fees: $12,682/yr (In-state) $29,247/yr (Out-of-state)
48. University of New England
Master’s of Public Health (MPH)
As one of the few 100% online mph degree programs that is also accredited by the CEPH, the University of New England makes a strong case for its value. The 46-credit hour program covers a broad range of subjects – including communication, ethics, policy, epidemiology, and global health – and easily lends itself to distance education. Expert faculty showcase their skills through dynamic online sessions that encourage group interact, and they also hold traditional office hours through which struggling students can seek extra help. Students graduate with knowledge in disease prevention, health education and promotion, and public policy, allowing them to seek work in a variety of interdisciplinary fields.
Tuition and Fees: $20,565/yr
47. University of California-Berkeley
The University of California Berkeley is one of the most renowned institutions in the country, regularly earning top rankings across an array of fields. Thanks to the school’s foray into online education, you can now earn a distinguished UCB diploma from anywhere in the country. The two-year online mph program requires just one campus visit a year, during which students can meet their classmates in person and catch up with faculty face-to-face. Furthermore, the “professional” aspect of the program makes it ideal for working adults who come from a variety of backgrounds. Coursework covers environmental health, biostatistics, management, and epidemiology, among other subjects, and also requires a 110-hour practicum.
Tuition and Fees: $12,971/yr (In-state) $28,073/yr (Out-of-state)
46. University of Arizona
Master of Public Health Online
At the University of Arizona, changing the world is “all in a day’s work.” At least that’s the approach for this online master’s degree in public health, which is currently ranked #25 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. Not only that, but the Center for World University Rankings awards it a top 50 spot globally, while the QS World Rankings placed it in the top 20% in 2012. Those who are accepted into this prestigious program can graduate in just two years with a concentration in Health Promotion, Applied Epidemiology, or Health Services Administration. Faculty members have their research generously funded by the CDC, National Institute of Health, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, and they integrate their expertise and new discoveries into online sessions.
Tuition and Fees: $11,723/yr (In-state) $28,705/yr (Out-of-state)
45. Argosy University-Phoenix Online Division
Master of Public Health (MPH) in Public Health
This professional degree is ideally suited for those who already have a background in healthcare or a related field. The master of public health online program provides skills that will augment your understanding of research, community practices and the health sciences, and well as policy development and management. You’ll spend class time examining actual legislative issues and proposing new policies, assessing organizational values, and managing budgets in order to balance finance with patient health. In order to attend Argosy’s selective program, students need to maintain at least a 2.7 GPA in undergrad or a 3.0 GPA for their last 60 hours of coursework.
Tuition and Fees: $19,892/yr
44. University of South Carolina-Columbia
Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior – Professional Online Program
Public health degrees are inherently interdisciplinary, but the University of South Carolina takes it one step further. This online MPH trains students to become leaders in their field and advocates for change, to promote ideal health at every level, and to spread knowledge through research and education. Classes include Planning Health Promotion Programs, Community Health Development, and Consumer Health in Contemporary Society, as well as a practicum seminar and fieldwork. Not only does this nationally recognized school employ expert faculty, but it is also one of only a handful of public universities to earn both a top-tier research and community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Tuition and Fees: $12,424/yr (In-state) $26,170/yr (Out-of-state)
43. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Online MPH in Public Health Leadership
Students who have several years of experience in a work environment and want to boost their knowledge of public health would be a good fit for UNC’s master in public health online program. The degree is designed to build on previous professional knowledge and places an emphasis on leadership, helping students gain the skills they need to work as managers and administrators on a higher level. Available concentrations include Public Health Practice, Field Epidemiology, Public Health Nursing, and Global Public Health, each of which will put you on the path to a different rewarding career.
Tuition and Fees: $10,594/yr (In-state) $27,805/yr (Out-of-state)
42. Loyola University Chicago
Master of Public Health Program
Online degrees can sometimes lack interaction and a personal touch, but Loyola University at Chicago makes sure that its mph online program is different. The degree has full accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health and regularly supports measures that encourage research and community engagement. For example, one faculty member recently published a report on the energy metabolism of long distance runners, and a recent graduate won an award for her study of West Nile virus transmission in mosquitos and humans in a local area. If you choose LU at Chicago, you will have the choice between two concentration areas: Policy and Management or Epidemiology.
Tuition and Fees: $18,190/yr
41. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice Degree
Like many other master of public health programs online, this degree at the University of Massachusetts is most suitable for students from professional backgrounds. Doctors, lab technicians, social workers, healthcare administrators – all are eligible for this course of study. The program is not only CEPH-accredited, it is also the oldest 100% online MPH in the country. UMass is also serious about hands-on experience, and it requires public health students to spend at least 200 hours (paid or unpaid) in a relevant practicum experience. However, students who have at least three years of experience in healthcare and are currently employed full-time may reduce this requirement to 120 hours.
Tuition and Fees: $14,051/yr (In-state) $21,348/yr (Out-of-state)
40. South University
Public Health Master of Public Health
One of the keys to being a qualified public health professional is the ability to draw upon a wide range of knowledge and experiences. That’s why South University believes the best MPH degree is a broad one. The 56-credit program includes classes that cover everything from Public Health Informatics to Environmental and Occupational Health, Public Health Law and Ethics to Biostatistics. Students must also complete a 4-credit practicum/capstone course that can take the form of an internship, externship, or field experience. As an online college, South boasts a litany of approvals and accreditations in multiple states, ensuring that you can take advantage of this affordable education from anywhere in the country (note: except possibly Maryland for some courses).
Tuition and Fees: $17,135/yr
39. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Master of Public Health (MPH)
Florida A&M University has at least one very distinct claim to fame: it is one of the top producers of African American public health professionals in the entire country. It is also the first HBCU to offer an entirely online master’s degree in public health, and it is the first accredited MPH in the state. The university continues its track record of excellence and innovation in education by offering a program that is unusually independent and self-directed; students connect to audio and video lectures on their own time, attend virtual office hours as needed, and spend significant time on a research project of their own choosing. But that doesn’t mean you’re on your own – supportive professors who have experience in epidemiology, behavioral science, and environmental health will help pave the way for you to a similar career.
Tuition and Fees: $9,876/yr (In-state) $23,965/yr (Out-of-state)
38. Benedictine University
Online Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree
Another CEPH-accredited program, this online MPH covers every aspect of public health you could want, from health policy and environmental health to the biological, behavioral, and social aspects of community healthcare. Benedictine University also makes it easy to add a certificate to your list of credentials, providing you an added boost of expertise in Health Education and Promotion, Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness, or Health Management and Policy. What’s more, BU’s flexible program also provides opportunities to dual major, meaning you could graduate with a combined MPH/MBA or MPH/MS in Organizational Management and Behavior.
Tuition and Fees: $16,602/yr
37. University of West Florida
Public Health, M.P.H.
The University of West Florida excels in its career preparation and job placement abilities, as it boasts multiple regional connections. While online students sometimes lack accessibility to good practicums and internships, UWF leverages its relationship with state health facilities, regional hospitals, and military centers to offer its students the best possible work experiences. The university is also CEPH-accredited and has curriculum approval from the “Quality Matters” Program. The general online coursework includes classes in Biostatistics, Public Health Policy, and Disease Surveillance and Monitoring, and a long list of elective options gives you considerable freedom to customize your education to your personal interests.
Tuition and Fees: $9,062/yr (In-state) $24,140/yr (Out-of-state)
36. Nova Southeastern University
Master of Public Health Online Option
This web-based program uses Nova Southeastern University’s state-of-the-art technology to facilitate online learning. Classes like Research Methods in Public Health; Legal and Ethical Issues in Public Health; and Health Policy, Planning, and Management all take place through an interactive online web portal. However, it’s worth noting that NSU does require students to visit campus twice over the course of the program – once for a weekend orientation and then once at the culmination of the course for an exit/weekend seminar. Nova Southeastern also supports two relevant online certificates: Public Health, which provides additional advanced-level courses in general public health concepts, and Health Education, which focuses on promotional strategies and disease prevention in local communities.
Tuition and Fees: $16,532/yr
35. SUNY at Albany
Online MPH in Public Health Practice
For an accredited online MPH degree that has zero on-campus requirements, SUNY at Albany could be the way to go. The 51-credit hour program is more flexible than most, offering part-time study in three semesters per year. The CEPH-accredited program covers all the traditional aspects of public health in the classroom, and also incorporates both an internship and final capstone project to help students consolidate their skills. If you have significant prior experience in public health, you may be able to waive some of the required internship credits if you apply for an exemption after acceptance to the program.
Tuition and Fees: $11,611/yr (In-state) $21,431/yr (Out-of-state)
34. Creighton University
Online Master of Public Health
Some students might prefer an online public health masters program from a religious school, which is where Creighton University fits the bill. A Catholic institution aligned with the Jesuit values of service, education, and social justice, CU will serve as a welcome relief to students who truly have a passion for learning. Professors will not only support your passion but help you “turn your passion into progress,” by practicing studying health problems in defined populations, evaluating programs in relation to specific needs, and communicating important information from health research. Creighton also prides itself on “service-oriented concentrations,” which include Health Policy and Ethics and Public Health Services Administration. Lastly, this MPH program is part of Creighton’s School of Medicine, which ranks in the top 100 nationally according to U.S. News.
Tuition and Fees: $16,493/yr (In-state)
33. University of Missouri-Columbia
Online MPH Degree: Health Promotion and Policy Emphasis
The online MPH program at the University of Missouri features an emphasis in Health Policy and Promotion and offers attractively flexible course options. There are no face-to-face requirements and online classes are available at all times of the day, with only occasional requirements for synchronous sessions (where all students log on at the same time). Topics that you will visit throughout the curriculum include emergency preparedness, research methods, epidemiology, global health, management, public policy, and statistics. The university encourages MPH students to find ways to engage diversity, service, and interdisciplinary research, whether that means picking a dual major (such as in Veterinary Science, Social Work, Journalism, or Public Affairs) or traveling abroad to utilize your public health skills in a developing country.
Tuition and Fees: $9,431/yr (In-state) $22,938/yr (Out-of-state)
32. University of Nebraska Medical Center
Master of Public Health: Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, and Public Health Practice
They say variety is the spice of life, and at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, you’ll have a selection of degree options that rivals even the most comprehensive public health departments. The university’s master of public health online programs include degree concentrations in Biostatistics, Public Health Practice, and Environmental and Occupational Health, as well as a separate M.S. in Emergency Preparedness. Furthermore, UNMC supports two certificate programs – one in Public Health and one in Emergency Preparedness. All of these degrees are available entirely online and are accessible for one low cost; in other words, international students and Nebraska residents pay the exact same amount for online courses.
Tuition and Fees: $8,701/yr (In-state) $23,011/yr (Out-of-state)
31. University of South Florida
Online MPH – Master of Public Health (Various Concentrations)
The University of South Florida’s online MPH goes above and beyond when it comes to flexibility and versatility. The school actually offers seven different concentration options to suit any possible career goal, including Public Health Practice; Social Marketing; Global Disaster Management and Humanitarian Relief; Public Health Administration; Epidemiology; Health, Safety, and the Environment; and Infection Control. Uniquely, USF also offers a “weekend executive” program; although not offered online, this professional option is perfect for current health practitioners and is limits campus visits to intensive weekend seminars. And if that’s not enough for you, consider pursuing one of South Florida’s 11 different online certificate options, such as Concepts and Tools of Epidemiology, Applied Biostatistics, and Toxicology and Risk Assessment.
Tuition and Fees: $10,428/yr (In-state) $21,125/yr (Out-of-state)
30. East Tennessee State University
Online Masters of Public Health: Community Health, Epidemiology, and Health Services Administration
ETSU’s online public health master’s program offers three different degree concentrations: community health, epidemiology, and health services administration. Committed to offering a high-quality and affordable education to as many people as possible, the university provides substantial discounts to out-of-state students earning their degree online. Working professionals will enjoy the flexibility of the program, which includes both full-time or part-time options, as well as the opportunity to access live lectures and search an extensive video archive of lectures. During the program, you’ll also have many opportunities for research, internships, and community service, earning a top-notch education that contributes to ETSU’s 100% graduate employment rate within one year.
Tuition and Fees: $15,616/yr
29. Independence University
Public Health Master’s Degree (MPH)
Graduates of Independence University’s online Master of Public Health program find jobs in local, state, or federal organizations, as well as in various positions within the private and non-profit sectors. Courses such as Intro to Epidemiology and Nutrition for Public Health help students maximize their learning potential by concentrating on just one four-week course at a time. The degree is simultaneously flexible and rigorous, and you will be required to complete an internship before completing the 16-month program. Upon graduation, you will be ready to enter fields such as biostatistics, environmental health sciences, and health services administration, among others.
Tuition and Fees $15,469/yr
28. University of Colorado Denver
Online Master of Public Health: Leadership and Public Health Practice
Working professionals looking for an accredited master in public health online program emphasizing Leadership and Public Health Practice will enjoy the flexibility of this degree. Students may opt to complete all their courses in only two years by attending full-time, but they also have the flexibility to take as long as four years if it better suits their schedule. In addition to coursework in public health, epidemiology, and health sciences management, students will also participate in a practicum, complete a capstone project, and make three visits to campus to complete the face-to-face leadership requirement. It’s also worth noting that UC-Denver extends in-state tuition rates to online applicants in most western states.
Tuition and Fees: $7,816/yr (In-state) $21,874/yr (Out-of-state)
27. University of Alaska Anchorage
Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice
Students who are looking for an interdisciplinary degree to support their advancement in the growing field of healthcare can turn to the University of Alaska-Anchorage. The school’s Master of Public Health online program prepares mid-career students to assist their communities with complex issues. Students from all educational backgrounds – the natural sciences, social sciences, business, education, law, or healthcare – can gain access to this top program. Not only will this MPH degree open doors in the public and private healthcare sectors, but it is also a strong foundation for further graduate work at the doctoral level. And if you aspire to help improve public health in Alaska and the surrounding Artic region, you will find this program especially rewarding.
Tuition and Fees: $9,832/yr (In-state) $19,072/yr (Out-of-state)
26. West Virginia University
Online Public Health M.P.H.
WVU offers an online MPH for current healthcare and public health professionals, including physicians, nutritionists, and nurses seeking leadership positions in local, state, and national healthcare settings. The four-semester program offers both fall and spring start dates and focuses on health promotion, community health, and preventative medicine. Courses such as Environmental Health, Worksite Wellness, and Advanced Professional Writing will prepare you for the program’s culminating experience, which includes a final proposal, paper, and practicum project. Armed with both contemporary knowledge and relevant practical skillsets, you’ll have no trouble advancing your career in both the private and public sectors. In addition, WVU is committed to offering specialized support to adult learners, military members, and students with disabilities.
Tuition and Fees: $7,794/yr (In-state) $21,096/yr (Out-of-state)
25. Kent State University
Master of Public Health: Health Policy and Management
Kent State University’s online master’s degree in public health takes just two years to complete and includes an opportunity to attend a “global immersion” seminar. The program ranks among the most affordable fully online programs in the state of Ohio, and students can meet with an education counselor to tailor their Kent State experience to their professional policy and management goals. Thanks to its commitment to affordability, KSU provides plenty of ways for students to save money; enrolled students can receive a refund of their university application fee, and qualified applicants can even apply for a refund of the fee required to take the Graduate Record Exam.
Tuition and Fees: $10,652/yr (In-state) $18,168/yr (Out-of-state)
24. Monroe College
Master’s in Public Health Degree (MPH): Health Administration and Leadership or Community Health
Monroe College’s online master’s degree in public health caters to professionals of various educational and health career backgrounds who wish to serve local and/or global communities. Students must choose a concentration in either Community Health or Health Education and Leadership; the former is perfect for students who seek careers as epidemiologists, nutritionists, non-profit coordinators, or HIV/AIDS counselors, while the latter is suitable for students who wish to obtain employment as health systems analysts, program managers, risk managers, or patient safety advocates. While earning your online degree, you will enjoy unparalleled access to resources, such as a personal student services counselor, weekly online office hours, and 24/7 tutoring.
Tuition and Fees: $14,274/yr
23. University of Memphis
Master of Public Health
The University of Memphis empowers its students with the skills to promote thriving communities and address local and global health issues. Its online Master of Public Health program combines strong academic requirements with field-driven, real-world solutions to problems facing the healthcare sector. The five primary areas of study – biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health systems management, and social and behavioral sciences – provide students with the ability to focus on a specific path toward their master’s degree. And since U of M students come from a variety of backgrounds, such as medicine, journalism, and exercise science, you can qualify for this MPH regardless of your past educational and work experience. The university supports students with online library services, as well as services for veterans and the disabled.
Tuition and Fees: $9,867/yr (In-state) $18,651/yr (Out-of-state)
22. San Jose State University
Master’s in Public Health
This 24-month accelerated MPH online program at San Jose State University equips health education practitioners to become leaders in research, service, and collaboration throughout their communities. Distance education students meet once each week in a live, online class session via Blackboard, which affords the opportunity to engage with both professors and peers from the comfort of home. Faculty teach most courses sequentially in a six-week format, allowing students to fully immerse themselves and master one subject area at a time. The curriculum includes core courses in public health, biostatistics, and health education, and culminates in a required comprehensive exam. Although the degree is available entirely online, students often enjoy traveling to San Jose once each year to attend a conference with their cohort classmates.
Tuition and Fees: $8,589/yr (In-state) $19,749/yr (Out-of-state)
21. Idaho State University
Master of Public Health (MPH)
ISU offers the only fully online MPH program in the state that is accredited by the Council for Public Health (CEPH). Designed with working professionals in mind, the program aims to improve the well-being of local and global populations through quality academic-based instruction, scholarly research, community service and leadership, and continuing education. Graduate studies focus on health promotion, disease-prevention, and intervention programs, which you will study through an interactive Video Conference Classroom. This unique distance education system features audio/visual two-way instruction with expert faculty, bringing you closer to the feeling of a traditional lecture class. ISU also offers internship and research opportunities, and students can contribute to research through existing projects or by designing their own.
Tuition and Fees: $7,734/yr (In-state) $20,494/yr (Out-of-state)
20. University of North Dakota
Master of Public Health
One of the University of North Dakota’s many online programs is its Master of Public Health, which is also available at two satellite locations (one in Bismarck and the other in Casper, Wyoming). UND offers two specialization options, Population Health Analytics and Health Management and Policy, both of which are available in three plans of study: one year, one and a half years, and two years for degree completion. All students finish their master in public health online program with a practicum and “culminating experience.” The latter consists of a scholarly project, which allows students to synthesize their acquired knowledge in one assignment, and an MPH seminar, which focuses on contemporary issues in public health and includes both presentations and discussions.
Tuition and Fees: $8,225/yr (In-state) $19,703/yr (Out-of-state)
19. University of Illinois at Springfield
Both the Generalist and Environmental Health MPH options at the University of Illinois at Springfield are available entirely online. The online courses are heavily integrated with the on-campus classes, ensuring that distance education students receive the same caliber education as their local counterparts. However, note that there are not as many elective courses available in the online format, but that will not limit you from acquiring a degree in either specialty. U of I offers plenty of unique course options for curious students, including Environmental Facts and Fictions: the Mystery Genre; Epidemiology: the Science of Disease Discovery; Human Wellbeing; Chemicals and the Citizen; and Monsters, Medicine, and Myth.
Tuition and Fees: $9,948/yr (In-state) $17,630/yr (Out-of-state)
18. Capella University
Master of Public Health: General Public Health
Take your knowledge of public health to a new level with Capella University, a popular online college with degree options in almost every area. The school’s online MPH program takes about 18 months to complete (on average), but you can take anywhere from one to three courses per semester based on your schedule. And although some online programs can seem passive, Capella makes students’ learning both active and interactive through virtual simulations – including Riverbend City, an “adaptable learning environment” that simulates real-world public health challenges. When you’re not busy saving lives in a virtual reality, you’ll take standard coursework in environmental health, biostatistics, epidemiology, public health administration, and more.
Tuition and Fees: $13,770/yr
17. Walden University
Master of Public Health (MPH)
Walden University is another private, primarily online college that specializes in quality distance education. The school describes its online MPH degree as “cutting edge” and “interactive,” with multiple opportunities to examine real case studies, simulate solutions to actual health problems, and participate in field experiences in your local area. Walden also excels in its career preparation resources, including the one-of-a-kind “e-Portfolio” feature. This online tool keeps track of all of students’ assignments, projects, presentations, and research, helping them stay on course with their progress and giving them immediate access to work samples and ideas for potential employers.
16. University of Montana
Master of Public Health
The rigorous, 42-credit MPH at the University of Montana is comprehensive to say the least – it requires a professional paper, practicum, full portfolio, and six elective credits in addition to numerous core courses. Skill development focuses on communication, leadership, health promotion, and problem-solving abilities, while class discussions help students collaborate on creative ways to address contemporary problems in the field. The university also offers a certificate of public health, and collaborations with the physical therapy, pharmacy, and human performance programs make it easy for students to mix multiple areas of interest.
Tuition and Fees: $5,765/yr (In-state) $19,297/yr (Out-of-state)
15. Western Kentucky University
Master of Public Health
The National Council on Education for Public Health accredits the online public health master’s program at Western Kentucky University, a top-notch degree with a challenging curriculum. Students can choose from a concentration in either Health Education or Environmental Health, both of which will prepare them for careers in government, academia, or advocacy work. Both concentrations require core courses in biostatistics, behavioral science, epidemiology, research methods, and environmental health, while four elective classes help craft each of the specialties. Students also take an entire semester to work on a 3-credit internship and a 3-6-credit capstone course. Interestingly, WKU also hosts “Outbreak at Wastersedge,” an interactive online “discovery game” for public health students.
Tuition and Fees: $10,300/yr (In-state) $13,820/yr (Out-of-state)
14. University of Alabama at Birmingham
Online MPH (Various Concentrations)
While many schools offer specialization options within their public health programs, typically only one or a few of the variations are available 100% online. But the University of Alabama at Birmingham has put serious time and energy into its distance education coursework; students in the MPH online program can major in Environmental Health and Toxicology, Occupational Health and Safety, Healthcare Organization, or Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership. What’s more, UAB also offers a dual degree program in Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership/Social Work – also entirely online!
Tuition and Fees: $7,090/yr (In-state) $16,072/yr (Out-of-state)
13. South Dakota State University/University of South Dakota
Master of Public Health
This program is a collaborative initiative between the two main public universities in South Dakota. Pooling their resources and the knowledge of their top professors, SDSU and USD come together to create a top online master’s degree in public health. The program closely adheres to the five core tenants of public health education: epidemiology, environmental health, administration, biostatistics, and social/behavioral sciences. In-state students can also take advantage of some of the universities’ best resources, including career connections with the South Dakota Area Health Education Center, South Dakota Department of Health, and the Indian Health Services.
Tuition and Fees: $8,136/yr (In-state) $13,773/yr (Out-of-state)
12. National University
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
Prepare for a leadership position in the field of public health through National University, one of the largest non-profit universities in the country. The program takes a multidisciplinary approach to public health, combining elements of social justice, global studies, management, government, research, and healthcare into one fluid degree. In addition to earning full CEPH accreditation, the curriculum also garners full approval from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, suggesting that NU’s courses provide unparalleled education and career preparation training. As with all the top programs, NU requires MPH students to complete an internship and a capstone within one of multiple specializations, including Healthcare Administration, Health Promotion, and Mental Health.
Tuition and Fees: $10,638/yr
11. Indiana State University
Health Sciences: Public Health M.S.
If you’re interested in pursing a doctoral degree or assuming a position of “organizational responsibility” within the industry, Indiana State University’s MPH might be for you. Note that unlike some other master of public health online programs, ISU’s degree is not available to international students (with the exception of U.S. military members). Also, certain online programs are not available in all states, so students will need to check on Indiana State’s website to check that they qualify for admission. The department also has somewhat strict requirements for entry; all applicants must meet stringent GPA minimums and hold a relevant undergraduate degree and/or have professional experience that has prepared them for advanced study in public health.
Tuition and Fees: $7,040/yr (In-state) $13,646/yr (Out-of-state)
10. Indiana Wesleyan University
Online Master of Public Health
Earn your master’s degree in just two years through Indiana Wesleyan University. The 46-credit hour program consists of all the core topics of public health – environmental health, administration, epidemiology, biostatistics, and social/behavioral sciences – and makes it easy to do all your studying online. From a virtual library to experienced tech support, IWU is a “pioneer in online education.” Indiana Wesleyan also structures its program to allow students to take just one eight-week course at a time, giving them plenty of time to concentrate on important material. The courses emphasize public health as an essential aspect of both strengthening communities and supporting global systems, and IWU graduates can find work in organizations around the world.
Tuition and Fees: $10,235/yr
9. Grand Canyon University
Master of Public Health
Disease, politics, the environment, healthcare infrastructure – all these elements affect public health in communities across the globe. Grand Canyon University understands the cross-disciplinary nature of the field and can help you earn a comprehensive education through its master in public health online program. The broad-based curriculum is ideal for students who want to become leaders or subject area experts in a particular public health field; classes such as Networking and Professional Readiness, Public Health Policy, Health Care Innovation, and Business/Project Plan Evaluation and Development provide a solid dose of career preparation skills. Nurses who are interested in public health might also consider the Master in Science in Nursing: Emphasis in Public Health.
Tuition and Fees: $10,191/yr
8. University of North Texas Health Science Center
Master of Public Health Professional Option
The University of North Texas Health Science Center distinguishes itself as a school that specializes in just that – health science. Its degree options cover a wide range of science and medical programs, including three MPH track: Leadership, Health Policy and Management, and Professionalism. The latter of these three is available entirely online and focuses primarily on issues related to public health policy, practice, and ethics. Students complete numerous required courses as well as a Public Health Experience and Professional Option Capstone. These final courses will give you an opportunity to synthesize your skills and display your newfound knowledge in behavioral and community health, biostatistics, illness prevention, and epidemiology.
Tuition and Fees: $5,020/yr (In-state) $15,072/yr (Out-of-state)
7. Kaplan University
Master of Public Health
Kaplan University’s contemporary master of public health program online is informed by the recommendations of experts at actual healthcare organizations. The department values real world experience and requires all students to complete a field experience to gain on-the-job training – and potentially even a job offer. You’ll work with supportive staff along the way and enjoy personal advice from faculty members who are invested in your success. These are the same professors who will deliver engaging lectures that will prepare you to lead teams, evaluate public health problems, and employ evidence-based practices in the workplace.
Tuition and Fees: $9,840/yr
6. New Mexico State University
New Mexico State is another one of the few universities that offer an online MPH program that is also fully accredited. NMSU offers its graduate-level public health courses through the Albuquerque Center, which coordinates faculty advising and student support services in one central area. Online students who are local to the university can also take advantage of the computer labs, conference rooms, and faculty offices located in Albuquerque Center. NSWU has even received media attention, including a local piece in the La Cruces Sun News, for its ability to bring top educational opportunities to rural areas of the state.
Tuition and Fees: $4,822/yr (In-state) $14,891/yr (Out-of-state)
5. Concordia University-Nebraska
Master of Public Health Degree Online
If you’re interested in public health because you want to make a profound difference in the community, Concordia University at Nebraska has the tools to support your passion. The Christian program (and one of the few online MPH degrees with a religious focus) includes two service-focused specialty options: Health Policy and Administration and Community Health Education. The university also supports health-oriented mission trips around the world to places like Belize. During these experiences, you’ll set up medical clinics, improve hygiene and sanitation services in the area, educate local health workers, and host Bible study sessions for children in the town.
Tuition and Fees: $9,715/yr
4. Liberty University
Master of Public Health – Nutrition
Students who want to attend a Christian university for their online MPH might also consider Liberty, one of the largest colleges in the entire country. This degree is also unique in that it focuses on nutrition as its primary concentration; courses include Food-borne Illness Prevention, Performance Nutrition for the Physically Active, and Nutrition and Chronic Disease. In order to graduate, students also must complete a final practicum with an approved local agency or organization. Liberty encourages MPH students to use this experiential opportunity to build their leadership, communication, and teamwork skills, as well as to gain a better understanding of organizational behavior in the workplace.
Tuition and Fees: $9,710/yr
3. Northeast Ohio Medical University/University of Akron
Master of Public Health
Northeast Ohio Medical University leads a collaboration of multiple Ohio colleges – including the University of Akron, Ohio University, Cleveland State University, and Youngstown State University – to bring students an unbeatable experience in public health education. In fact, NEOMED’s slogan is “educating the next generation of physicians, pharmacists, and health researchers,” an exciting goal for any student who dreams of a future in healthcare. This “consortium program” is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health and is ideal for working professionals and other nontraditional students. The collaboration also brings faculty members, researchers, and academic experts from multiple universities, so students can feel confident that they are getting the best instruction possible.
Tuition and Fees: $9,666/yr
2. American Public University
Online MPH for Public Health Professionals
American Public University grounds its degree program in “extensive research and analysis” as a way to cultivate true academic scholars and strong critical thinkers. The flexible, versatile curriculum covers everything from public health law and policy to management and administration, as well as psychological and societal factors in community health concerns. APU is open about its accreditation status; although it does not currently boast CEPH accreditation, it has started the long approval process and is hoping to earn accreditation status within the coming years. Given the school’s focused commitment to quality and startlingly low tuition, you can bank on APU as a great value in MPH education.
Tuition and Fees: $6,150/yr
1. Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center
Master of Public Health
Des Moines University makes a strong case for its position as the top affordable MPH program. Not only does this Osteopathic Medical Center offer an unbeatable tuition rate, but its program is also CEPH-accredited, flexible, and career-oriented. Students who already have a bachelor’s can complete their degree in just two years, or they can opt for the “3+2” option and earn a B.S. in Health Sciences and an MPH in just five years total. The online master’s degree in public health includes unique, relevant classes such as Overview of the U.S. Healthcare System, Health Services Program Evaluation, Survey of Human Health and Disease, and Community Research Methods.
Tuition and Fees: $5,040/yr (based on 9 credits per year, or about one course at a time)
About the Author:
Iris Stone is a freelance writer, editor, and business owner who has written on a range of topics. She has experience covering content on medicine, healthcare, and career training, as well as education. Iris is also interested in science and mathematics and is currently studying to be a physicist. Check out her Google+ Profile.
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