The availability of online public health degrees has steadily increased over the past few years, partially due to the shortage of 10,000 public health physicians and reporting of the need for more than 250,000 public health employees by the year 2020.
Many universities were challenged to create more opportunities for students to study public health. Because the area of study is so impactful, it is important to have a highly educated workforce. The vast majority of public health workers needed will require a master's-level degree, which is why many universities made the decision to work through their school of public health to bring their MPH programs online.
Online Public Health Degrees
With the multitude of resources available through digital mediums, receiving a degree in public health online is achievable. Public health, the science of improving health and safety in communities through education, policy, research and prevention, is a dynamic and diverse field of study. A degree in public health (certificate, Associate's, Bachelor’s, Master's, or Doctorate) will help prepare an individual to influence and maintain public health in varying communities.
Public Health Program Areas
There are currently over 35 colleges and universities that offer a public health degree online, or through a hybrid program. Through these almost 40 universities, you will find hundreds of online public health degree options, the majority being masters-level.
We also have featured public health programs in our database, where you can directly get in touch with universities offering a public health program online and get more information on their program directly from the source. Some of these universities are accepting applications for students right now, and they may be the right fit for you.
Consider a featured online master's in public health program, currently accepting applicants:
- 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.
- UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health, the No. 1-ranked Public School of Public Health, offers an online Master of Public Health program, [email protected]. Earn your master’s degree in as few as 24 months. Part-time and full-time program options are available. GRE, GMAT or MCAT scores are required to apply.
Click for admissions information from OnlineMPH.UNC.edu
- The Master of Public Health (MPH) online program from Baylor University, [email protected], offers a specialization in Community Health. Improve quality of life in Texas communities and around the world. The program can be completed in as few as 18 months. No GRE required.
Learn more from [email protected]
- MPH @ Simmons, the online Master of Public Health program from Simmons University, prepares students to become public health practitioners and address health inequity at a local, national, and global level. The program can be completed in 21 months. No GRE required to apply.
Click for admissions information.
School Spotlights: Online Public Health Degrees
Online MPH at the George Washington University (MPH @ GW)
The online Master of Public Health (MPH) program from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University (MPH @ GW) 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.
Online MPH at the University of North Carolina (MPH @ UNC)
UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health, top-ranked on U.S. News' most recent list in 2015, offers an online Master of Public Health program, MPH @ UNC.
Admissions information at OnlineMPH.UNC.edu.
Master of Public Health (MPH) Online from Baylor University
The service-oriented Master of Public Health online program from Baylor University is now accepting applications. Complete the program in as few as 12 months. GRE scores are not required.
Earn a Master of Public Health Online From Baylor
Online Master of Public Health at Simmons University
MPH @ Simmons, the online Master of Public Health program from Simmons University, prepares students to become public health practitioners and address health inequity at a local, national, and global level. The program can be completed in 21 months. No GRE required to apply.
Admissions information at Online.Simmons.edu.
Why Public Health?
Since a degree in public health can lead to a variety of careers, (research, non-profit, government, health policy, community education, etc.) determining if a career in public health is the right choice may be difficult. When considering this option, it is important to remember that the cornerstone of public health is education. This may be educating the general public, a specific demographic within a larger population, policy makers, or governments. A strong motivation to keep populations healthy and safe is key to any career in public health.
Online vs. Hybrid Public Health Degrees
Some universities do not quite yet have the infrastructure to bring their public health program fully online. Thus, many schools decide to create hybrid programs. With these programs, students take some or the majority of their coursework online, but are required to go to the campus in order to complete at least part of their coursework.
Consider a Featured Online Public Health Program
|School and Program Information||Online Program?||GRE Requirements||Time for Completion|
Online MS in Health Informatics & Analytics from Tufts School of Medicine. Harness data to improve human health. Bachelor’s required.
|check_circle Online||GRE Waivers Available||As few as 20 months|
|George Washington University
Online MPH, Online MHI, Online MHA
|check_circle Online||GRE Waivers Available||As little as 12 months|
|University of North Carolina
The University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health is an Accredited School of Public Health under the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
|check_circle Online||GRE, GMAT or MCAT scores required||As few as 20 months|
The service-oriented Master of Public Health online program from Baylor University is now accepting applications.
|check_circle Online||No GRE Required||As few as 12 months|
Develop the methodological, leadership, and advocacy skills needed to address health inequity during our 21-month program.
|check_circle Online||No GRE Required||As little as 2 years|
First Hand Experiences
An individual who will succeed in an online public health degree may be an individual with access to real-life experiences, easily self-motivated, and dedicated to their education. Many online degrees do not have the capability to provide in-person applications of what is learned. In traditional education settings this can be achieved through classroom work, class field exercises and student organizations. Innovative online coursework, however, has begun to imitate it’s traditional counterpart by offering field experiences and real life immersions that allow for the development of practical skills in the field.
Although online degrees are becoming more mainstream, be aware that some employers may have a bias towards online degrees. It is important to make sure that the program being applied to is at a reputable institution. Some online programs are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), an independent agency regulating public health education. Degree programs with a CEPH accreditation will ensure a standard of quality in both classes and curriculum. Some employers look specifically for individuals with degrees from CEPH accredited schools.
Tuition Estimates for MPH Programs
While some online programs may cost less, others may cost more due to non-state residency, technology premiums, and miscellaneous fees. There are some cost savings aspects to online degrees such as no transportation needs, no moving fees, and e-book savings. Only by fully researching and comparing programs side by side can one determine which option will cost more. Whichever you choose between 100% online or hybrid is up to you, and it will come down to the question of which program structure appeals to you and your schedule the most.
What Are the Requirements for an Online Public Health Program?
Currently the most common degrees for public health offered online are certificates, bachelor’s and master's programs. Doctorate and associate programs, while available, are less common. The prerequisites for online public health degrees will align with the prerequisites for a traditional degree. This usually means a standardized test scores (ACT or SAT for Bachelor's, GRE for Master’s), high school or college transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume or CV, and a personal statement. Some certificates and master’s degree programs may also require a bachelor's degree in public health or similar field for acceptance into the program.
Typical Online Public Health Curriculum & Classes
Similar to the prerequisites, the curriculum and classes will be vary depending on the online degree level and institution. For most degree programs (not certificates) there will be base, core courses that must be completed before electives or concentration classes may begin. If the school is CEPH accredited, core classes might consist of some combination of health policy, biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, and public health concepts and theories.
Information About Online Learning
According to a study on online learning by the US Department of Education, classes with online learning on average produce stronger student learning outcomes than classes with solely face-to-face instruction in the more traditional university setting. According to the study, the same goes for hybrid programs that incorporate at least some form of online learning.
Considering the emergence of technology in education (EdTech), it is becoming easier and seamless for students to study online. Learning management systems are becoming advanced, quicker internet speeds are making viewing streaming lectures very common, and navigating websites or interactive activities is second-nature to most online degree seekers. EdTech is highly invested in by venture capitalists and even the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds grants for education and EdTech companies that they believe will continue to advance the area to make degrees accessible to the masses.
Online learning could be considered one of the major breakthroughs for education, with students and universities alike both experiencing the many benefits to remote education.
See below and feel free to use our filters below to find all accredited online public health programs in the US, and be sure to contact us if we are missing a program.