The University of South Florida is also featured in our ranking 50 Most Affordable MPH Online Programs.
Online Master of Public Health at the University of South Florida
The Master of Public Health (MPH) is the main professional degree in the public health field. The degree provides a set of principles and skills essential for students looking to apply their training in a professional setting, protect the well-being and health of populations, and provides leadership in a specific health specialty. All MPH students complete coursework designed to prepare public health professionals to effectively and actively contribute to innovative, culturally appropriate, and population-based approaches concerning emerging and current public health problems.
The MPH core involves coursework in social and behavioral sciences, environmental and occupational health, health policy and management, epidemiology, and biostatistics. In addition to the public health core, MPH students further focus their skills by completing coursework in one of several online-only concentration areas such as social marketing, public health practice, nutrition and dietetics, infection control, epidemiology, healthcare organizations and management, and global disaster management, humanitarian relief, and homeland security.
All MPH students must complete a minimum of 42 semester credit hours, although some concentrations require additional credits before students may earn their degree. The most generalized MPH concentration, public health practice, provides students the opportunity to develop public health practice leadership skills, expand their knowledge of modern healthcare organizations, and learn advanced tools to help improve and protect the health of the greater community.
The MPH in Public Health Practice provides students with the tools to work within the areas of education, evaluation, and surveillance as well as the clinical care of local, state, and national populations. In addition to a comprehensive, rigorous curriculum, final graduation requirements include a comprehensive examination, a written special project, and the completion of a supervised field experience, which can be conducted through a planned group experience or at a location of the student’s choice. Prior groups have traveled to sites such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Panama, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Hawaii. Regarding the project, a faculty advisor helps each student to plan and complete a project that demonstrates his or her research skills and integrates core competencies in an area of his or her professional and personal interests.
Students may complete all degree requirements almost entirely online with minimal on-campus requirements of no more than one calendar week. Courses are available in the online format in the summer, fall, and spring semesters. Depending on the time of entry into the concentration, academic status, student circumstances, and course sequence and availability, students may earn their degree within two and a half to five years.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida (USF) is a public research university located in Tampa, Florida. Founded in 1956, USF also belongs to the State University System of Florida and, with an annual enrollment of more than 48,000 students, is the fourth-largest public university in the state. The USF system is comprised of three institutions: USF Sarasota-Manatee, USF St. Petersburg, and USF Tampa. USF is home to 14 colleges that offer more than 130 doctoral, specialist, and graduate degree programs as well as more than 80 undergraduate majors. According to U.S. News & World Report, USF ranked 140th in “National Universities” and 68th of the “Top Public Schools” in 2018. In addition, U.S. News & World Report named the school’s graduate-level programs in public health, criminology, education, and library and information studies among the five best in the country.
University of South Florida Accreditation Details
The University of South Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award doctoral, specialist, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees. The SACSCOC is one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and it recognizes U.S. post-secondary institutions that have met or exceeded its standards of quality. Accreditation is achieved through rigorous external and internal review processes during which the school is evaluated against these standards. Accreditation indicates that the school has the services, programs, and resources sufficient to not only accomplish but also sustain its mission. Accreditation is not only limited to on-campus programs; when an institution is accredited, the entire school is accredited, including instructional sites, distance learning programs, online programs, and reported branch campuses. In addition to earning regional accreditation, a number of specialized programs at USF have earned accreditation from the accrediting agency in their respective fields as well.
University of South Florida Application Requirements
Students seeking admittance into the online Master of Public Health (MPH) program are required to complete a School of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) application to begin the admission process. Applicants will receive a link to complete the University of South Florida (USF) application once the SOPHAS application enters the USF system. Applicants must also pay a nonrefundable application fee. Prior to beginning a graduate program at USF, including those offered by the College of Public Health, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and submit official transcripts from all universities previously attended. Applicants are required to provide Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores earned within five years prior to applying and provide a resume or curriculum vitae. Other required documents include a statement of purpose and objectives as well as a minimum of two or three letters of recommendation, depending on the concentration chosen.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Non-Florida residents can expect to pay $525 per credit hour for degrees earned through the College of Public Health (COPH). In addition, all students must pay an additional $30 per credit off-campus fee for online COPH courses. Students may also be expected to pay fees for activities, technology, student services, and other expenses not included in the tuition rate. USF offers a reduced rate program that allows out-of-state students taking online courses in the COPH to take advantage of a reduced tuition rate. In addition, the USF COPH honors tuition waivers for Florida state employees as seats are available. Students may also consider the employee tuition assistance program as well as other forms of financial aid such as scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. Those considering applying for financial aid at the University of South Florida must first submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility.