The public health field provides a vital service to Americans. This field works hard to protect citizens from the many different dangers associated with the environment as well as other unseen factors.
For those interested in a field that works hard to protect the public, this is a great field to start. There are a variety of options available for individuals seeking a meaningful career dealing with public health. In terms of healthcare oriented careers, there are a few fields that take professionals out of the clinical setting.
Why Consider an Online Master's of Public Health Degree?
The public health field places individuals in positions that help administer, direct, and counsel medical health workers in order to provide a more solid and reliable public health administration. Public health professionals assist in making communities stronger and healthier.
An online Master's degree in Public Health gears learners toward a career than not only provides a great foundation for the professional, but also a great service to the community. This program provides everything an individual will need in order to be the first hand planner and coordinator for public health systems all around the United States. Deciding on how to approach this degree program is the first step in moving towards an excellent career in the healthcare field.
Consider featured accredited online Public Health programs seeking applicants for a Master's of Public Health:
- 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
- MPH @ Simmons, the online Master of Public Health program from Simmons College, 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.
Online MPH Programs
The most common degree path for prospects in the public health degree field is the online Master's in Public Health. This degree program encompasses the different aspects of public health from a small to large scale. For learners that are interested in learning the different guidelines and regulations set forth by national standards or those wanting to compare the relationships between health care systems and the overall wellness standing of their community, this field will satisfy.
Those interested in this degree program should have some background in the medical field - nursing or health majors are preferred. The information gained in lower degree programs will contribute well to the curriculum in this degree program, making health-oriented undergraduate degrees a great combination for this degree program. For students that are interested in combining the aspects of public health care to those of business, an online MPH/MBA program may be more suitable. This program prepares learners to be involved in leadership roles pertaining to both the business and health care aspects of companies.
The online MPH program typically requires learners to have several years of health care experience combined with an appropriate degree program. The MPH/MBA program is designed to mold learners into highly diverse business professionals. This degree program provides a versatile standing that allows graduates to find positions in careers both related directly and indirectly to health care.
As the field of public health continues to expand and find its way into the news more, public health professionals are looking for ways to expand their knowledge and further their careers. A Master's level degree is a great way to achieve this, but many do not have the flexibility or ability to stop working to go back to school. This, combined with the popularity of online education, makes an online Master's Degree in Public Health very appealing.
Why a Masters in Public Health? Public health is found in all areas of every day life. From wearing seat belts, to eating safe food, to garbage removal, to factory lighting, public health is all around. A Masters in Public Health is a good option for those just starting a career in public health as it will provide thorough knowledge and tools and for those who have worked in the industry for years, providing new information and a deeper understanding of their field.
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.
Online Master of Public Health at Simmons College
MPH @ Simmons, the online Master of Public Health program from Simmons College, 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.
Typical Length of an Online MPH Degree
An online Master's degree in Public Health can take anywhere from 18 months to 3 years to complete. Throughout the duration of the program, students will be introduced to the many different aspects of public health that are available. Since this is a master's level program, the large amounts of information provided must be condensed in a way that gives the most information is the least amount of time. Students are expected to keep up with the course curriculum and work hard independently in order to truly grasp each concept.
Public health is a very important field that contains may sensitive subjects. Professionals in this field must be the most knowledgeable and dedicated in the field. The program by itself can be completed completely online without any additional in-person requirements. The length of each program varies depending on the institution. If a student chooses to take classes at a regular pace, overall completion time will be around 2 years. There are different factors that can change the completion time of this degree program.
Students that choose to enroll in dual-degree programs will find that the length may increase due to the additional requirements for graduation. Master's level programs typically do not exceed 3 years in length overall.
Steps to Enroll in an MPH Program Online
Enrolling in an online MPH program will be the first big step towards a career in a growing field. Public health is a factor that influences the overall status of society. Different aspects of public health are considered with large policy changes are made by the government and even may be a deciding factor in some scientific studies.
Professionals working in this field are required to have thorough knowledge in a variety of different fields, so that the implementation of different studies will be done accurately.
Typical Curriculum in an Online Master's in Public Health Program
While in an online MPH program, students will take courses that both directly and indirectly pertain to public health. Environmental health concepts are a huge part of the curriculum of these programs. With the increase in industrial mechanics and international trade, it is vital that professionals be aware of the effect that these concepts have on the environment. Small changes have been proven to make substantial difference in overall health, so knowledgeable public health officials are needed to regulate these global aspects.
Students in this program will also indulge in courses that pertain to psychological and social issues of public health, which is a growing concern for officials. Crime rates are related to public health as a whole, so professionals in this field must learn the relationship between psychological health and sociology. Since this profession requires some knowledge of employee relations and leadership, courses will also cater towards these topics. A public health professional has many different responsibilities throughout his or her career, so the course work is very diverse.
The pre-requisites for an online course will be similar to those of a traditional school or program: A bachelors degree or recognized equivalent, a minimum GPA set by the program and successful completion of a standardized test such as the GRE or USMLE are the standard requirements. Many schools also require courses in math or statistics, courses in biology and/or social sciences and work experience. A statement of purpose and letters of recommendation are required for almost all masters level degrees. Online programs are great options for international students as well, but it is worth noting that there are some additional requirements for international students.
Typical Online MPH Curriculum & Classes
In most online MPH programs, the first semester of course work will focus on the core public health fields; policy, environmental health, biostatistics, epidemiology and public health theory. All MPH programs require students to specialize in a field of public health and online programs are no different. After the first semester of work a student will choose a specialty or track and course work will reflect that chosen track. A benefit many online students have is that they can attend school part time, taking longer to complete each semester, possibly allowing for more research into which track is the best fit for the student.
Once course work has been completed, online MPH students often are required to complete a comprehensive exam and/or a research paper in which they are able to show the culmination of their work through out the program. Also required by online MPH programs is Practicum or internship experience. These experiences are an integral part of the masters of public health program because they put what the student has learned into practice. These practicum experiences are often found by the student and set up in coordination with a practicum specialist to ensure the student will be able to successfully meet all the requirements.
The classroom experience is very different in an online MPH program from a traditional program and will vary from program to program. Some programs are 100% online, utilizing online course platforms to host lectures, provide discussion forums, and submit work. Other programs are entirely online with the exception of short seminars or workshops that require students travel to campus to take part. Lastly, some programs are hybrid programs where some learning is completed online and other parts are completed on campus. Each style of class room learning has its benefits and it is important when choosing a program to decide which will provide the best learning experience and will also be the most financially viable.
Consider a Featured Online Public Health Program
|School and Program Information||Online Program?||GRE Requirements||Time for Completion|
|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|
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|
100% Online vs. Hybrid or On Campus
The decision to choose a certain field for a degree program can be complicated enough without adding in even more options during your pursuits. After you have chosen the public health field for your education, you may have even more decisions to make in terms of your degree experience. How you want to pursue your degree may be another trivial factor to consider when moving into degree programs within your major. There are many different track options that may be more suitable for what you require as a professional and student. Read more below about your different options.
- 100% Online: MPH programs that are offered online are best suited for busy individuals that do not have the time to get involved with full-time traditional programs. Most universities require that students have a reliable computer, internet connection, and dedication to become enrolled in these types of programs. Online programs may require students to log in to their virtual classroom at least once a week to obtain assignments and participate in group discussions. Most programs also set their due dates for the end of the week, in order to allow students to complete work on their own time. Exams and communication also take place through the online course room.
- Hybrid: Hybrid MPH programs may be the happy medium between 100% online and traditional MPH programs. Students that still enjoy the traditional face-to-face experience, but require more flexibility may take part in hybrid programs so that they can indulge in both settings. Hybrid programs typically consist of courses in which students are expected to attend classes one day out of the week, but complete their homework and other assignments through an online course room. This can allow for more free time for working professionals, but still provide the same structure as traditional learning programs.
- On Campus: Students that are entering programs straight out of high school or undergraduate programs may be best suited for traditional programs. While a lot of students prefer online universities for their degree, some students are more drawn to the brick and mortar institutions that have been available for many years. This experience involves attending class in person, submitting assignments in class, and face-to-face communication with instructors and fellow students.
Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Learning for the MPH
Depending on the type of learner you are, you may find different instructional methods for appropriate for your learning style. A person's learning style can help shape their ability to work on their own or with others, and it an important factor to consider when choosing a degree program. As adults, most people can learn independently, while others may require more interaction and direction during their educational programs. MPH programs consist of both asynchronous and synchronous methods for students that are interested in enrolling.
Asynchronous programs are some of the most popular for online degree programs. In programs that present themselves as asynchronous, students are given the most freedom and ability for self-learning. These programs usually provide instructions via an online course room, without any direct interaction from instructors. Students may be required to read directions and submit assignments through pre-determined due dates post on the website. Asynchronous learning environments are usually more suitable for students that request the freedom to complete courses at their own pace.
Synchronous degree programs are a more instructor-guided option for students that like a more engaged environment. This type of degree program may include social aspects such as virtual discussions, live instructor chats, and group assignments. All of these are conducted in the online classroom and may require students to be involved through the use of microphones or web cameras. Student interaction is a huge component of synchronous degree programs, since some students learn more efficiently in a group.
Why Consider Online Degrees
With the rise of technology, the face of education has changed. People can get a degree in just about anything online. Since the online educational atmosphere has become dense with accredited and unaccredited schools, it is important to thoroughly research an online institution prior to enrolling.
Since technology has contributed so much to education over the last decade, the prevalence of online degrees has increased drastically. More people are enrolling in online programs in order to maintain full-time employment and care for families. Although at one point online degrees were seen as less than reliable than traditional degrees, they are commonly accepted by employees presently. These degree programs are thoroughly investigated by accreditation bureaus to ensure that the curriculum is up to date and provides for a quality education.
More employers are accepting online graduates to fill their positions. As an online graduate, students portray more responsibility. Online students are given the freedom to work at their own pace. There is a lot of self-instruction involved in online courses, which allows students to experience intellectual growth on their own. The freedom to complete assignments on their own time allows students to develop their own sense of responsibility, which contributes to better professionals later on. Online degrees are no longer something to be afraid of. The large numbers of successful online graduates each year are representative of how far technology has come in education.
Accredited MPH Programs
According to the Council on Education for Public Health, an accredited program must be evaluated to meet their standards of educational programs pertaining to public health. The Council was created to assist with the assurance that students are getting an education that will be accepted by employers and reliable for clients nationwide.
The Council of Education for Public Health is an independent agency that is accepted by the Department of Education to administer accreditation to schools that offer degrees in public health. An accredited program is more than just widely approved. These programs provide relevant course work that will contribute to effective professionals throughout the life of their career. When choosing a degree program, it is worth the effort to find one that is accredited in public health so that future opportunities are not withheld due to having a less than preferred degree.
Click the university name for information on admissions, courses, status of accreditation, and more
Online vs. Traditional Education: Main Differences
First Hand Experiences
As highlighted in classroom experience, online programs may have difficulty providing quality first hand experiences in the same way a traditional programs can. Because of this, it is important that the student be proactive in finding ways local to them to utilize their knowledge. The practicum experience is an invaluable tool online students can use to gain the first hand experience desired by many employers.
Employment and Accreditation
As online degrees become more popular, employers are becoming more accepting. However, this does not mean that just any program will be acceptable. Programs with an affiliation or are part of established traditional schools are highly favored. Programs that are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CePH) are even more highly considered by employers because it is an independent regulating agency for public health education. Some employers are starting to only hire students from CePH accredited schools, so it is important to research both potential employers and programs.
Typical Tuition for a MPH Degree
The tuition difference between traditional programs and online programs can be difficult to navigate. While some online programs may have lower cost per credit, there may be other costs that raise the cost such as Non-State Residency, technology premiums, and miscellaneous fees. Online programs do offer some cost savings to consider such as transportation, no moving fees, and e-books. Only by fully researching and comparing programs side by side can one determine which option will cost more.
Most Popular Concentration Options
Environmental Health is one of the top tracks in Public Health. Environmental health specialists are found in a variety of fields, but primarily work identifying hazards, ensuring compliance, investigating accidents, risk and disaster training, and passing laws and legislation to keep people and the environment safe. During their MPH, and environmental health professional will study topics covering waste management, toxicology, risk assessment and global environmental health. While the hiring rate is not among the highest, individuals with Masters level degree in Environmental Health can expect to make around $69,000 per year early in their career, making Environmental Health a very appealing option.
A close field of study, Epidemiology , has a strong hiring field and pays similar to Environmental Health. Epidemiologist investigate the patterns and causes of disease and look for ways to limit negative health outcomes. Course work for an Epidemiologist will often cover molecular biology, statistics, and research methods. Epidemiologists are found in many fields, including hospitals, environmental health and the government. Epidemiologists will often specialize further, choosing to focus on occupational heath, infectious disease, maternal and child health, emergency response, chronic disease, or some similar specialty. Additionally, many Epidemiologists also choose to enter into Medicine and practice as a physician. (salary information from BLS.org).
School Spotlight: University of Massachusetts Amherst
The University of Massachusetts Amherst's School of Public Health and Health Sciences offers a 100% online MPH accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Offering a MPH in Public Health Practice or Nutrition, the UMass has focuses on its strengths and designed courses to fit into the life of the working public health practitioner while offering world class course work. As one of the oldest online MPH programs, UMass has experience in placing students across the US in positive and developmental practicum experiences.(www.umass.edu) .
Career Possibilities with an Online MPH Degree
Choosing to pursue a degree in public health is truly an excellent choice for individuals wanting a career they can rely on. However, some may wonder how the program actually works. Public health is a highly diverse field that includes aspects from medicine to business. Some may choose to pursue the degree program outright, while others may find it beneficial to combine degree programs to get the most out of their education. Students interested in including public health into their degree program will find that this subject partners nicely with several different subjects. Individuals that desire to keep a medically-oriented focus on their degree program can combine the MPH with a degree in medicinal science or even an MD.
Public health officials seek the guidance of qualified medical professionals when developing strategies and implementing different procedures throughout the country. They seek out physicians to provide knowledgeable insight to these strategies in order to guarantee their effectiveness. Since there are also a large array of legal factors surrounding public health, some law students have found it profitable to combine their law degree with a degree in public health. Attorneys are used throughout this field to provide support for public health systems in the event that legal action is taken. An attorney specialist would prove to be beneficial in protecting the public during these circumstances. Business-oriented students can also combine their MBA with an MPH in order to add to their existing degree.
A degree than combines the aspects of public health and business can be a smart move for individuals wanting to stay ahead of the crowd upon graduation. As with any other social-oriented degree program, social work is involved in most areas. Individuals wishing to combine public health with a degree in social work will find programs that are suitable for their needs. Each of these combined degree programs will assure that learners get the very best of each subject so that they may provide a serve to the community that is irreplaceable otherwise.
Community Engagement as a Public Health Professional
Upon completion of a degree program in public health, professionals can take part in a variety of different responsibilities throughout their community. Those with a Master's degree in Public Health alone can work in many different areas including environmental scientists. As environmental scientists, professionals will analyze and interpret how the environment affects public health. In a public setting, different technologies and industrial concepts can provide convenience to society, but could also prove to be harmful.
It is up to an environmental scientist to test these theories to ensure that the public is safe from any hazards that may accompany new innovative products. Graduates can also work in specialty areas such as bioterrorism research, biosecurity specialists, or even professors of public health. Each of these fields provides its own individual benefits to the field of public health, providing expert information about the relationship between extrinsic factors and public health. Regardless of which career path is chosen, there are many different field to work in pertaining to public health.
Those with dual degrees can find a career based on what their degrees allow. Environmental lawyers are needed when issues arise concerning public health. Doctors are needed to consult with specialists about effects of the environment on public health. Business professionals are also needed to manage corporations or supervise a staff. This field is full of potential career options for individuals seeking a degree in public health.
Financial Assistance for Public Health Programs Online
Financial aid is a huge portion of the decision to pursue a higher degree. Some find it easy to use grants or loans to pay for their degree programs, but for others - it may not be so simple. Due to the importance of this degree program and its effect on the overall health of the nation, there are many scholarships available to those that qualify.
Depending on the state of residence, some students may qualify for scholarships on a local level. Many health-oriented businesses and organizations are quick to reward hard working public health students with scholarships to help pay for a higher degree. Larger organizations, such as the American Dietetics Association, awards scholarships yearly to students pursuing a degree in public health. Tylenol and General Mills also offer scholarships each year to deserving students throughout the country.
Scholarships are found at all levels of the community - from small memorial scholarships to larger corporate funded scholarships. Prospective students are encouraged to research the available financial assistance for this degree program in order to get the support they deserve.