A Master of Public Health - or MPH - is a graduate level degree designed to prepare professionals to work for the general public to improve health for the entire population. Many professionals with an MPH work for non-profit organizations or a government organization, but some also work for different hospital groups or other for profit businesses.
Most MPH programs require a concentration or track in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Health Policy and Administration, or Social and Behavior Sciences, but Generalist programs are becoming more common to satisfy the demand of students enrolling in MPH programs.
CEPH Accredited MPH Programs
Some MPH programs are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). CEPH is "an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education" that sets standards and requirements for education among the public health schools accredited by the CEPH. While it is currently not a requirement for a school to be CEPH accredited in the U.S., the trend is moving in that direction. Some reasons for this are that some employment opportunities are only available to an individual from a CEPH accredited school or because the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) offers a national credentialing exam only to students from an accredited school or program.
*Consider accredited online MPH programs that can put a Master's of Public Health degree well within reach:
- The online Master of Public Health (MPH) program from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University ([email protected]) prepares public health professionals to make a difference in communities around the world, helping students succeed in advancing the health of populations locally and globally. Complete your MPH in 12 months. GRE waivers available.
Click here for admissions information.
- The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers fully online, part-time master’s degree and certificate programs, designed for working professionals. The Online Programs for Applied Learning (OPAL) focus on emergent industry sectors that have a resounding need for highly skilled professionals. These flexible, online graduate programs are currently offered in the fields of Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality, Population Health Management and Spatial Analysis, and can be completed in as little as 2 years. Request Information.
- The Online MPH at Benedictine University is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and offers four specialization tracks in Health Education & Promotion, Health Management & Policy, Emergency Preparedness, or Epidemiology. With the accelerated MPH track and two dual-degree options, you can also earn an MBA or MS in Management and Organizational Behavior with your MPH. A GRE-waiver is available to students who qualify and there is no residency requirement associated with the curriculum. Click for Admissions Info.
A Note on Accreditation
Institutions and programs in the United States, internationally and online may or may not be accredited by CEPH, but there are other accrediting bodies that make a university legitimate - whether online school or an on-campus location. Generally speaking, regional accreditation is the best, but there are other "program specific" accrediting bodies (the CCNE for Nursing, for example), plus national accrediting bodies. In your research, be sure to check with any universities you are interested in to see their accreditation. On this website, we only place universities that are accredited.
Schools and programs with a physical classroom can allow for a more personal approach and tend to have more hands-on access to health initiatives and experience. Additionally, some programs are adding online courses or will offer their full program online. An online MPH is a good option for an individual who desires to work while in school, or the school of choice would require the individual to move.
Featured Online Master's in Public Health Programs
The following sponsored schools offer MPH degrees online, and are currently accepting applicants for their programs.
[email protected] enables students to earn their Master of Public Health online from the top-ranked Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. Complete your MPH in 12 months. GRE waivers available.
The Benedictine University Online MPH is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and offers four focus areas to specialize in. An accelerated track is available, as well as two dual-degree options, so you can earn an MBA or Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior in tandem with your MPH.
Simmons' online Master of Public Health program, [email protected], is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global scale. You'll learn core public health methodology, leadership, and advocacy skills needed to improve population health equity. No GRE required.
International MPH Programs
International schools and programs may be a better option for someone interested in international public health. International public health differs from public health in that it tends to focus more on large, state populations and/or world organizations. The World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization are excellent examples of international public health. Currently there are five countries that have CEPH accredited schools or programs: Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Lebanon and Grenada.
Top MPH Programs
As with any graduate level degree, when choosing a school, university or program to attend it is important to conduct research on the school, classes, and faculty to determine which program will allow an individual to be the most successful in the pursuit of their degree, not to just choose the school or program deemed the "best". However, when considering multiple lists of "the top" MPH programs, some institutions were mentioned more than once. In no particular order they are:
- George Washington University
- University of South Florida
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- Northern Illinois University
- New Mexico State University
- San Jose State University
- University of West Florida
- Nova Southeastern University
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- East Tennessee State University
Each of these universities received high marks for their quality in academics, flexibility in degree options, cost of attendance, specializations, achievements and accreditation among other merits. However according to U.S. News, the top two ranking public health universities are Johns Hopkins University and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.