The University of South Carolina-Columbia is also featured in our ranking 50 Most Affordable MPH Online Programs.
Online Master of Public Health
Colleges across the nation offer Master of Public Health (MPH) programs, but most of those programs require that students take classes on a traditional campus. The University of South Carolina-Columbia offers an online MPH program that allows students to work full-time and juggle any other commitments that they might have as they work on a degree. This MPH program teaches students how to evaluate programs that benefit the general public and how to launch new programs. They'll also learn more about conducting research and writing reports.
Online students can only select a concentration in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior (HPEB). They'll take five required public health courses, including Introduction to Biostatistics, Introduction to Epidemiology and Concepts and Methods in Health Promotion. Students will then complete the HPEB core and take some more advanced classes. These two required areas include classes such as Community Health Development, Evaluation of Health Promotion Programs, Theoretical Foundations of Health Promotion and Consumer Health in Contemporary Society.
Though this is an online program, the university asks that students do some offline work. They will take a class called Public Health Practicum Seminar at the same time that they do a public health practicum. Students have the chance to talk about the experiences they have in the field with their peers. They can also pick up tips on how to work with others. It takes 14 weeks to complete this class and practicum. Students can work in almost any health care organization or facility. The University of South Carolina-Columbia requires that students work at least a few hours every week.
About University of South Carolina-Columbia
The University of South Carolina-Columbia ranks as one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the southern United States. Though this is the official name of the university, it goes by a handful of other names, including USC and South Carolina. Some call the university Carolina too. Founded in 1801, it is one of the south's oldest colleges and is the flagship institution in the USC system. Its campus is home to a number of collections donated by famous authors from around the world. Some also know the university for its art museums and other on-site attractions and for its numerous athletic teams.
USC ranks as one of the nation's best schools and one of the top colleges in the world. U.S. News and World Report ranked its graduate public health program as the 23rd best program in the country. It also ranks the university as the 46th best school in the United States. The university also makes multiple lists of the best research institutions in the world. Students have the chance to do their own research projects and to work with their professors on projects that they later publish. More than 34,000 students take classes on the main USC campus in Columbia, but the university has a total enrollment of more than 50,000 students across its online and traditional campuses.
University of South Carolina-Columbia Accreditation Details
South Carolina is one of the only schools in the state with accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Students can use CEPH resources while working on their degrees and after they complete their studies. This form of accreditation applies to both the university's traditional and online MPH programs and to undergrad public health program. The university's regional accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC). SACSCC accreditation not only helps students with their transfer credits, but it also allows any student who needs financial aid to both apply for and use that aid.
University of South Carolina-Columbia Application Requirements
Those applying to the university's online MPH program must meet the requirements of the Arnold School of Public Health and the university itself. USC requires that incoming students have a bachelor's degree in a health field such as biology or psychology. Those students must take a Physiology and a Human Anatomy class before enrolling and have a degree from an accredited school. Students can apply to the program before finishing their undergrad degrees though. The university also requires that a student score in the 50th percentile on the GRE and have a grade point average of at least 3.0.
Students must submit transcripts from all their past schools and provide the university with official copies of their records. They will also submit a resume that lists any public health or health experience they have and three letters of recommendation. Students can submit more letters, but each one should come from someone who has knowledge of the student's academic or professional work. USC also asks for an official GRE score and a statement of purpose. This statement should explain any goals the student has for working in the public health field and while in graduate school. Students can upload some of these documents to the online application.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Graduate students attending South Carolina will pay different rates based on whether they are residents or nonresidents. The same rates apply to both online and traditional MPH majors. The cost for South Carolina residents is around $569 per credit hour or $6,825 per semester. Nonresidents pay around $1,217 per credit hour or $14,598 per semester. Any student who takes more than 17 credits in a single semester will pay some extra fees.
Traditional students can work as assistants on the USC campus, but online students will need to apply for different types of financial assistance. The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs at South Carolina is a department that handles funding for graduate and doctoral students. Students can contact this department to determine if they qualify for and can apply for university financial aid. USC offers a small number of grants and provides students with travel grants that cover some of the costs associated with attending public health conferences.
Graduate students can also apply for one of the federal loan programs. There are both unsubsidized loans and PLUS loans. Unsubsidized loans provide students with up to $20,500 annually. Students can then apply for PLUS loans that cover any of their remaining expenses. Some students will also use alternative student loans. Only graduate students enrolled on a full-time basis can use federal loans to pay for their University of South Carolina-Columbia expenses.