Public Health Schools and MPH Programs in Washington

Nicknamed “The Evergreen State,” Washington is known for its evergreen forests. With Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks, the state also has many hikes and trails to explore.

As described above, only two public health schools in Washington offer CEPH-accredited Master of Public Health programs. Both schools offer online MPH programs while the University of Washington also offers on-campus learning. 

Public Health Schools and Highlights in Washington

The two schools that offer accredited MPH programs in Washington were established in the 1800s. Both offer comprehensive program initiatives that encourage discussion around public health issues. If you’re looking for an online MPH in Washington, each school below has a program that may be a good fit for you.

Eastern Washington University – College of Health Science and Public Health

601 E. Riverside Avenue, STE 403, Spokane, WA 99202

Eastern Washington University was established in 1882, originally known as the Benjamin P. Cheney Academy. In 1889, the same year Washington was given statehood, the school changed its name to the State Normal School at Cheney. The school underwent two more name changes before it became Eastern Washington University in 1977. EWU prides itself on four key traits: grit, grace, gratitude and greatness.

Though Eastern Washington University’s main campus is located in Cheney, its College of Health Science and Public Health (CHSPH) is located in Spokane. This Master of Public Health in Washington collaborates with the Washington State Department of Health and local health organizations to host a monthly public health presentation known as the Grand Rounds. During this event, experts come together to discuss various matters relating to public health. The topics covered focus on critical challenges in public health, evidence-based practices, potential solutions for problems and other major public health issues in the community.


University of Washington – School of Public Health

3980 15th Ave. NE, Box 351616, Seattle, WA 98195-1616

The University of Washington started out as the Territorial University of Washington in 1861 when Seattle had a population of about 250, according to the University of Washington Libraries. It wasn’t until 1876, however, until the first degree was granted. 

The University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health opened in 1970, launching its MPH program in 1980. In the most recent rating by Global Ranking of Academic Subjects,  the UW School of Public Health ranked No. 4 in the world. UW launched its Population Health Initiative in 2016. A $210 million donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with $15 million worth of funding, led to the The Hans Rosling Center for Population Health. The building houses the UW Department of Global Health, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and parts of the School of Public Health. 


Online MPH Programs in Washington

When you’re looking for the right degree program for you, there are several factors to consider. If convenience and flexibility are priorities, it may be worth pursuing an online Master of Public Health in Washington.

EWU’s online MPH in Washington is conducted entirely online, besides the internship part of the program that may require in-person work for an organization. This may make it convenient for professionals to advance their careers while working. 

The University of Washington offers both on-campus learning and online learning. UW’s online MPH program takes 18 months to complete. This online MPH in Washington is primarily online; three on-campus sessions are also part of the program. The first and third sessions are mandatory while the second one is optional. This hybrid format may be ideal for those who would like to have some in-person interaction with classmates and faculty.

Public Health Careers Outlook in Washington

Once you finish studying at a public health school in Washington, you may want to stay in the state to pursue a public health career. Below, we collected average salary and job growth rate information for several public health careers in Washington. All data comes from O*NET OnLine

Based on the table information, public health careers in Washington have higher salaries than those in the United States as a whole, and several jobs also have higher growth rates in Washington than the rest of the country.

Job TitleMedian Salary in WA, 2020 (Yearly)Median Salary in U.S., 2020 (Yearly)Projected Job Growth in WA, 2018–2028Projected Job Growth in U.S., 2019–2029
Health Specialties Professors
Environmental Health Specialists
Medical and Health Services Managers /Healthcare Administrators
Health Educators
Occupational Health Specialists
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Health Informatics Specialists

Specializations to Consider in Washington

All of the above occupations in the public health field in Washington have an average salary that is higher than the national average. While the salaries in these professions are generally higher than the national average, some professions are expected to see more significant growth than others. Only the biostatistician and medical and health services manager/healthcare administrator professions are predicted to have a lower growth rate than the national average.

The following jobs have higher projected job growth rates in Washington state compared to the United States as a whole:

  • Health specialties professors
  • Environmental health specialists
  • Epidemiologists
  • Health educators
  • Occupational health specialists
  • Medical records and health information technicians
  • Dietitians and nutritionists
  • Health informatics specialists 

Because of the higher job growth rates of these professions, it may be worth pursuing a Master of Public Health in Washington with a specialization related to one of these careers. Alternatively, the three public health professions with the highest job growth rates in Washington, based on the above chart, are health specialities professors, biostatisticians, and medical and health services managers/healthcare administrators. 

Organizations to Work for With a Public Health Degree

According to the Washington State Department of Health, the state’s public health system includes 39 local health jurisdictions. Below are some organizations that may serve these jurisdictions and have employment opportunities for you to consider after you finish an MPH program in Washington.

  • Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts: This non-profit association provides education and advocacy opportunities to public hospital district members in the state.
  • Bree Collaborative: Named after the late Dr. Robert Bree, a pioneer in medical imaging, this partnership brings together public and private health care stakeholders to identify quality improvement opportunities in Washington. It has worked on various health care topics, such as cardiovascular health, chronic pain, opioid use and suicide care.
  • University of Washington Medicine: The UW healthcare system includes Harborview Medical Center and various UW Medical Centers across the state. Careers may range from compliance to laboratory work. 
  • Washington Health Alliance: This organization works with health care providers and patients to improve the efficiency of healthcare services in Washington.
  • Washington State Department of Health: The state’s Department of Health is responsible for ensuring that Washington citizens receive quality health care. Job opportunities may encompass case management, budget analysis, bioinformatics and more.
  • Washington State Health Care Authority: This organization provides health insurance for more than two million Washington residents through Apple Health (Medicaid) and other programs.
  • Washington State Hospital Association: This association works with hospitals and other health systems to enhance the health of the communities that they serve. It may be a good resource to find hospital job opportunities. 

State Health Information

Washington has about 7.6 million residents, according to the most recent estimate from the Census Bureau. As the population grows, residents may start thinking more about what is needed to protect themselves against widespread illness, disease or poverty. Once you complete an MPH program in Washington and work as a public health professional in the state, you may work on programs and initiatives that improve residents’ overall health and wellness. 

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the average life expectancy at birth for residents of Washington is 80.3 years. This is slightly higher than the national life expectancy of 78.7 years. Even though the life expectancy is longer than that of the nation, more than one million non-elderly adults in Washington had a pre-existing health condition

In terms of healthcare coverage, the majority of Washington residents (52.9%) were on insurance plans provided by their employer, while 6.6% of Washington residents were uninsured in 2019. Whether you work to help those with pre-existing health conditions or improve residents’ access to healthcare, there are many opportunities for those with public health degrees in Washington state.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Last updated March 2021