Masters in Public Health Online (MPH) Programs

With the rise of technology, the face of education has changed – people can get a degree in just about anything online. Among these emerging degree programs are online master’s in public health(MPH) programs, and with such a crowded field of online education options, it is important to thoroughly research an online institution prior to enrollment. 

This article includes pertinent information about online master’s in public health degrees. From the difference between on-campus and online MPH programs to admissions requirements and program list with accreditation status, this article should help students decide if a master’s in public health online is right for them. 

Explore Master’s in Public Health Online Programs

A master’s in public health from an accredited online program may help set you up for an exciting career change. This list of online MPH programs was curated to provide the most accurate and helpful information on Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited degree programs online. In order to help you find the best online public health programs for you, we’ve listed programs that have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 and do not require prerequisite courses or professional health experience for admission into the program. 

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Baylor University Logo

Earn your degree in as few as 18 months
42-credit program • GRE not required • Live Classes


Tufts University Logo

Earn your degree in as few as 20 months
42 credits • GRE not required • Live classes 


UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Earn your degree in as few as 16-20 months
42-credit program • GRE not required • Live Classes


Simmons University

Earn your degree in as few as 21 months
42-credit program • GRE not required • Live Classes

MPH/Registered Dietitian Programs

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Earn your degree in as few as 32 months
42 credits • GRE not required • Live Classes

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List of CEPH Accredited Online MPH Programs
School Name Number of Concentrations Credit Hours
Baylor University 1 42
Emory University 3 42
Florida International University 1 45
George Washington University 6 45
Simmons University 1 42
Tufts University 2 42
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 1 42
University of New England 1 46
University of North Carolina 2 42
University of West Florida 3 42
Western Kentucky University 1 42

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Baylor University

The Master of Public Health online program from Baylor University, MPH@Baylor, 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.

Location: Waco, TX
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE Requirements: Scores not required
Credits Required: 42 credits
Concentrations Available: Community Health

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Emory University

Emory University offers an Executive MPH degree for working professionals who have a minimum of three years paid work experience in a relevant field. The 42-credit program is offered in hybrid format, with students needing to be on campus for two sessions per semester.

Location: Atlanta, GA
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE Requirements: Scores required for epidemiology concentration
Credits Required: 42 credits
Concentrations Available:

  • Applied Epidemiology
  • Applied Public Health Informatics
  • Prevention Science

Website: Emory University

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Florida International University

Florida International University offers a CEPH-accredited MPH program that can be completed in 18 months. The 45-credit program is offered in the Generalist track with small class sizes.

Location: Miami, FL
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE Requirements: Scores not required
Credits Required: 45 credits
Concentrations Available: Generalist
Website: Florida International University

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George Washington University

With the online Master of Public Health) program from GW’s 12th-ranked Milken Institute School of Public Health, you can earn your MPH in as few as 12 months. Make a meaningful difference in public health without having to relocate. No GRE required. Apply now!

Location: Washington, D.C.
Minimum GPA to Apply: n/a
GRE Requirements: Scores not required
Credits Required: 45 credits
Concentrations Available:

  • Global Health
  • Health Policy
  • Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology and Public Health Research Methods
  • Health Communication, Program Planning and Evaluation

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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 the local, national and global levels. The program can be completed in 21 months. No GRE required to apply.

Location: Boston, MA
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE Requirements: Scores not required
Credits Required: 45 credits
Concentrations Available: Health Equity

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Tufts University

Tufts University School of Medicine, top-ranked for graduate study in public health by U.S. News & World Report in 2019, offers an online Master of Public Health program with a built-in concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The program is CEPH accredited and features collaborative online classes and a real-world Applied Learning Experience.

Location: Boston, MA
Minimum GPA to Apply: n/a
GRE Requirements: Scores not required
Credits Required: 42 credits
Concentrations Available:

  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Population Health Promotion

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University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences offers a CEPH-accredited online MPH program with a concentration in Rural and Global Public Health. Students must complete two capstone courses and a minimum of 200 hours of field experience.

Location: Little Rock, AR
Minimum GPA to Apply: n/a
GRE Requirements: Scores required
Credits Required: 42 credits
Concentrations Available: Rural and Global Public Health
Website: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

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University of New England

University of New England offers a CEPH-accredited Generalist MPH program. This program is 100% online in asynchronous format and is offered in both full- and part-time options. Students who attend this program full time can receive their degree in as few as 18 months.

Location: Biddeford, ME
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE Requirements: Scores not required
Credits Required: 46 credits
Concentrations Available: Public Health Practice
Website: University of New England

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University of North Carolina

MPH@UNC is the online Master of Public Health (MPH) program from the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, ranked the No. 1 public school of public health in the United States — and No. 2 overall — on U.S. News & World Report‘s 2022 list of Best Public Health Schools. We offer three courses of study: MPH Leadership, MPH Nutrition and MPH/Registered Dietitian (MPH/RD). The program may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. No GRE required.

Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Minimum GPA to Apply: n/a
GRE Requirements: Scores not required
Credits Required: 42 credits
Concentrations Available:

  • Applied Epidemiology
  • Leadership
  • Nutrition
  • MPH/Registered Dietitian

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University of West Florida

University of West Florida offers a CEPH-accredited MPH program with Generalist; Global Health; and Health Promotion, Education and Behavior concentrations. Students who enroll in this program are required to complete an MPH Practicum and sit for and pass the MPH Comprehensive Exam.

Location: Pensacola, FL
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE Requirements: Scores required
Credits Required: 42 credits
Concentrations Available:

  • Generalist MPH
  • Health Promotion, Education and Behavior
  • Global Health

Website: University of West Florida

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Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University offers a CEPH-accredited Generalist MPH program. This program provides students with the foundation to address and improve the health and wellbeing of the public.

Location: Bowling Green, KY
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE Requirements: Scores required
Credits Required: 42 credits
Concentrations Available: Generalist
Website: Western Kentucky University

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Why Consider an Online Master’s in Public Health?

Since technology has contributed so much to education over the last decade, the prevalence of students attending online degree programs has increased. Online degree programs receive the same accreditation review process that their on campus counterparts in order to ensure that the curriculum is up to date and the education is of the highest quality. There could be a lot of self-instructions involved in online courses, which could allow students to experience intellectual growth, independently. 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. Here are some benefits of an online master’s in public health for you to consider:

  • Engaging Online Learning Experience: Many comprehensive online MPH programs leverage synchronous coursework to allow students to chat with professors and classmates in real time. This paired with other technological advances have made online programs not only convenient but incredibly viable as well. 
  • Flexibility and Cost Saving: Online programs allow for flexibility in scheduling that make them highly appealing to busy, working professionals or those running a household. What’s more is that completing a degree online both cuts down transportation costs and allows professionals to continue earning a salary whilst attending classes. 
  • Abundant Online MPH Programs Options: The abundance of options for online programs means that students are able to choose a degree program and a university without the constraints of having to relocate to attend classes

When choosing an MPH degree program, it is worth the effort to find one that is accredited in public health to best set yourself up for success in the field. According to the Council on Education for Public Health(CEPH), an independent accrediting agency for the field of public health, an accredited MPH program must be evaluated to meet their standards of educational programs pertaining to public health – this is the best way to assure programs are of a high quality to best meet student needs. Accredited online MPH programs have also recently become prevalent as CEPH reviews online programs as well to ensure that they uphold the same standards as their on campus counterparts.

Types of Online MPH Programs

There are many different types of online MPH programs to consider, and different program experiences within those types. Explore the following options and formats to see which MPH program type is best suited to your needs.

100% Online, Hybrid, and On Campus Programs

To help find the right school environment and program format that fit your needs, we have provided a break down, along with the benefits of the different MPH program options available.

  • 100% Online: Master’s in public health online programs are best suited for busy individuals that do not have the time to get involved with full-time traditional programs. Often, online MPH programs utilize online course platforms to host lectures, provide discussion forums, and submit work. They may require students to log in to their virtual classroom a few times a week to obtain assignments, participate in group discussions and, for programs that include live classrooms, attend lectures. 
  • Hybrid: Hybrid online MPH programs may be the happy medium between traditional and online MPH programs. Some learning is completed online and other parts are completed on campus – with a roughly equal split of on-campus and off-campus components. 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 or more days 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 a similar structure to traditional learning programs.
  • On Campus: Students that are entering programs straight out of undergraduate programs may be best suited for traditional programs. While a lot of working 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 Online Learning Methods

Depending on the type of learner you are, you may find different online instructional methods more appropriate for your learning style in completing a master’s in public health online program.

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. Asynchronous learning environments are usually more suitable for students that need the freedom to complete courses at their own pace.

Synchronous 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 lectures, 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. Synchronous programs are the best choice for an online MPH program that best mirrors the traditional version – as interaction with both peers and professionals is typically heavily emphasized.

Online Master’s in Public Health Program Experience

Prerequisites in Online MPH Programs

The prerequisites for a master’s in public health online will be similar to those of a traditional school or program, with most programs requiring:

  • A bachelor’s degree and college transcripts
  • A minimum GPA set by the program
  • Standardized test scores, such as the GRE, MCATS, LSAT, etc.
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume or CV
  • Letter of recommendations

Many schools also require prerequisite courses in math or statistics, biology and/or social sciences and they should be completed prior to online MPH applications. Some programs may also ask for health-related work experience before applying.

Online MPH Curriculum

While completing online MPH programs, students will take courses that both directly and indirectly pertain to public health. Some of the many areas that typical MPH programs touch upon include: 

  • Environmental Health Concepts: With the increase in industrial mechanics and international trade, it is vital that health 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.
  • Psychological and Social Issues in Public Health: Topics like leadership and employee relations are often included in coursework to help prepare students for the more socially dynamic aspects of their jobs in public health. Psychology as well plays a role in public health as a whole, and students will often spend time studying how psychological trends impact health overall. 
  • Core Public Health Fields: Policy, environmental health, biostatistics, epidemiology and public health theory. Some MPH programs require students to specialize in a field of public health and online programs also commonly follow this model. After the first semester of work an mph student might choose a specialization or track and course work will begin to be tailored directly to the chosen track. A benefit many online MPH 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 them.

Once coursework has been completed, online MPH students often are required to complete a comprehensive exam and/or a research paper in which they attempt to demonstrate their mastery of the entire public program accompanied by an internship or practicum. Practicum and internship experiences are often found by the student, sometimes with assistance from their school or faculty, and set up in coordination with a practicum specialist to ensure the student will be able to successfully meet all the requirements.

Public health professional has many different responsibilities throughout his or her career and, as a result, the coursework is extremely diverse.

Program Length

An online master’s in public health might take anywhere from 18 months to three years to complete. Since this is a master’s level program, there are many different topics to cover, and online MPH programs typically attempt to condense the wide amount of information in efficient and effective ways. If a student chooses to take classes at a regular pace, overall completion time will usually be around two years. There are many different factors that can change the completion time of the average online MPH program, including family, work, or personal commitments.

Students that choose to enroll in dual-degree programs may find that the length may increase due to the additional course requirements for graduation. Master’s level programs typically do not exceed three years in length overall.

Online MHA vs MPH – Which Is Better for You?

There are great degrees and career options for those interested in bettering the healthcare system. The more prominent fields that focus on this are public health and healthcare administration. MHA and MPH programs have similarities, however there are distinct differences when it comes to areas of study and career opportunities. 

An online MPH program prepares individuals to work with specific populations and communities to improve their health through awareness, education, policy, and research. During the course of study, students develop skills and gain advanced knowledge in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health policy & administration, and social & behavioral sciences, with the opportunity to select a specialty to further focus in. Depending on the university, the MPH program may offer a concentration in healthcare administration. This allows students to have the skills needed for not only research and programming, but additional skills to advance their career further specifically in the healthcare administration field.

Online MHA programs are designed to teach students the skills needed to manage healthcare systems and take on leadership/management roles within healthcare organizations. Throughout this program, students will learn about finance, marketing, and human resources. Plus, students will develop advanced skills in communication and strategic decision making. An MHA degree program is better suited for those interested in the business and policy side of healthcare.

FAQs about Online Master’s in Public Health

Researching master’s degrees and programs can lead to interested students having many questions. Below we curated answers to some common questions relating to masters in public health online programs.

Is an online MPH program accredited by the CEPH?

Yes, same as traditional MPH degrees, online MPH programs are accredited by the CEPH as well. There are about 60 CEPH-accredited online MPH programs. Generally the curriculum and learning outcomes of on-campus and online MPH programs are very similar. They mainly differ in how the courses are delivered.

Are the concentrations available for on-campus and online MPH programs the same?

It depends on the school. Some schools bring all of their concentrations online, while others do not. Students can review the below program table we compiled to get an idea of the types  of concentrations that are available.

Does it take longer to complete an online MPH program than a traditional one?

Not exactly. It depends on how many credits the program requires and how many credits the student takes each semester. Generally an online master’s in public health program can be completed in 12 to 24 months.

Can I apply for a MPH program without a background in public health?

Yes, but some schools may require the completion of prerequisite courses, such as statistics and chemistry, prior to acceptance. It is also important to note that some universities require previous work experience in the health field to be accepted into their master’s program in public health.

Is it possible to transfer any credits toward the MPH between schools?

Yes, transferring credits can be possible; however, it depends on the university and program you are trying to transfer the credits to. Typically, credits are more easily transferred within CEPH-accredited programs/schools.

Are there part-time online MPH programs available?

Yes, some schools offer part-time online MPH programs for those who work or have less time to commit to a full-time, in-person program. It’s worth noting that it takes longer to complete a degree through part-time enrollment.

Do online MPH programs accept international students?

Yes, most of the schools welcome international students. However, they may require additional materials for admissions as they do for traditional programs, such as English Test TOEFL and transcript translations. Check with your desired school to learn more about their international student policy.

Information last updated February 2021

Sponsored Live Online MPH Programs

Sponsored

Earn your degree in as few as 12 months
45-credit program • GRE not required • Live Classes


Baylor University Logo

Earn your degree in as few as 18 months
42-credit program • GRE not required • Live Classes


Tufts University Logo

Earn your degree in as few as 20 months
42 credits • GRE not required • Live classes 


UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Earn your degree in as few as 16-20 months
42-credit program • GRE not required • Live Classes


Simmons University

Earn your degree in as few as 21 months
42-credit program • GRE not required • Live Classes

MPH/Registered Dietitian Programs

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Earn your degree in as few as 32 months
42 credits • GRE not required • Live Classes

Sponsored