The Top 5 Best Online Master of Public Health Schools in 2023

Online Master of Public Health - featured image

The public health field plays a crucial role in health promotion, disease prevention, and individual empowerment to manage disabilities and illnesses. In this field, every awareness campaign, scientific finding, and policy has the possibility to impact lives across the globe.

Public health is a unique combination of inquiry, action, and research, that altogether brings together people coming from all walks of discipline, perspectives, and backgrounds to study and find out the very causes of health problems. From there, these public health professionals work together and come up with innovative and long-lasting solutions to ultimately improve the quality of life.


Overview:

With a bachelor’s degree in Public Health, you will learn how living conditions affect general health outcomes. You will find out how professionals in the public health sector work together and uncover health conditions and build solutions that address these problems.

An online master of public health allows students enrolled to achieve a flexible schedule via an online format. Online MPH programs allow working professionals, as well as those with other obligations, to continue doing what they’re doing and fulfill their academic obligations without having to leave home.


Methodology

Uncovering and addressing the state of health of the public entails a set of skills specific to the job! To become a professional in this field whose expertise lies in research and consultation, choosing the most appropriate online Master of Public Health is a critical step.

The five online graduate programs on our list stand out for these distinctive features:

  • Delivered 100% online or in blended class format, with asynchronous or synchronous coursework, enabling adult learners to obtain the degree without compromising their professional obligations,
  • Rigorous and complex Master of Public Health curricula to produce the most competent graduates that are fit for research-intensive work in the sector,
  • Easy access to coursework, as well as 24/7 technical support, on the Learning Management System or virtual platform,
  • Availability of federal financial aid options or scholarship programs offered by the graduate school to qualified learners,
  • Transfer credit programs and accelerated degree completion options,
  • Proper accreditation from organized agencies that set the standards for online graduate program instruction that may or may not be specific to the Public Health online master’s program,
  • Student reviews that are consistently positive, indicating a conducive learning environment for online graduate students.

The 5 Best Online Master of Public Health Graduate Programs

Prospective students who plan to enroll in an online MPH program can continue this graduate degree to advance their future and career without compromising their full-time jobs. The best online MPH programs will help you meet both your education and career plans.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham - School of Public Health
Online Master of Public Health

The public health online master’s program of the University of Alabama has several concentrations and educational programs including:

  • MPH: Concentration in Occupational and Environmental Health
  • MPH: Concentration in Epidemiology
  • MPH: Concentration in Health Behavior
  • MPH: Concentration in Health Care Organization & Policy
  • MPH: Concentration in Maternal & Child Health Policy & Leadership Skills
  • MPH: Concentration in Population Health
  • MD/MPH: Public Health/Medicine
  • MPH/MBA: Public Health/Business Administration
  • MPH/MHSA: Public Health/Health Administration
  • MPH/JD: Public Health/Juris Doctoral Degree
  • MPH/MS: Public Health/Nutrition Sciences- Dietetic Internship, Clinical Track
  • MPH/OD: Public Health/Optometry
  • MPH/PharmD: Public Health/Pharmacy
  • MPH/MSPAS Public Health/Physician Assistant Studies
  • MPH/MPA: Public Health/Public Administration
  • MPH/DVM: Public Health/Veterinary Medicine
  • MPH/MSW: Public Health/Social Sciences
  • MPH/MPA: Public Health/Public Administration
Standout Features:

Most of the UAB’s MPH concentrations in its School of Public Health are delivered 100% online. Meaning, that a working public health professional can complete the program at their own pace, and will no longer have to travel to and from the campus just to attend the classes. All these online degree programs are also similar to their on-campus versions, and you get awarded the same degree after you the master’s is completed online.

The program also offers financial aid and scholarships to make the online MPH program more affordable for many. Students can also join in an APE (Applied Practice Experience) in their respective communities, and complete the whole program with an Integrative Learning Experience project. This is a program evaluation that solidifies the skills and knowledge of each student thru a written demonstration. This will also prepare students for their capacity in entering a workplace working as public health professionals.

Did you know?

The University of Alabama is consistent among school rankings as being one of the best online public health programs in the country. The online programs are designed to provide the most outstanding educational experience there is.

In this master’s degree, programs are all asynchronous. Online MPH students can finish their assignments, check the course content, or plan team-based work at times that are most suitable for their schedules. The courses are also taught by the same faculty members in the on-campus programs.


University of South Florida

University of South Florida - College of Public Health
Online Master of Public Health

The University of South Florida – College of Public Health offers several online graduate degree and certificate programs so that off-campus students wanting to seek more public health training can join without setting aside their present working conditions. As a leader in global health education, these programs are provided by a team of instructional and graphic designers in the university’s Office of Educational Technology and Assessments.

Concentrations of the master’s of a public health program for online students include:

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health Practice
  • Global Health, Disaster Management, Humanitarian Relief, and Homeland Security
  • Social Marketing
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Health, Safety, and Environmental Health

The online graduate certificates include:

  • Public Health Generalist
  • Concepts and Tools of Epidemiology
  • Health, Safety, and Environment
  • Homeland Security
  • Disaster Management
  • Humanitarian Assistance
  • Infection Control
  • Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health Policy and Programs
  • Social Marketing and Social Change
  • Applied Biostatistics
  • Toxicology
  • Assessing Chemical Toxicity and Public Health Risks
Standout Features:

Because the school has a dedicated team of graphic and instructional designers for their online programs, the multimedia experts and teaching faculty, and health educators deliver the programs through new technologies like podcasting, blogs, wikis, discussing forums, streaming media, and web conferencing.

Every year, the school produces more than 5,000 public health practitioners through its various online master’s in public health degree programs.

Did you know?

To better provide community health promotion and program development, students of the College of Public Health have the chance to see public health practice from a global standpoint.

Through international field experiences, study abroad courses, and other opportunities provided by research institutes or private companies in the health care industry, some students can travel to more than twenty countries, including, Malaysia, Panama, Belize, Uganda, Ecuador, and practice their leadership and analytical skills in pharmaceutical companies, nonprofit organizations, and consulting firms.


University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill - Gillings School of Global Public Health
Online Master of Public Health

The online Master of Public Health degree at the University of Carolina Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health sits on the top spot of the best public school of public health and holds the 2nd spot of the overall best public health school based on a 2023 US News and World Report (ranked in 2022).

In this online master of public health degree, four concentrations are offered, namely:

  • MPH Leadership: Data analysis and records show that in a health care system, efficient leaders are very important. In this concentration, you will learn and earn leadership skills that are crucial in leading teams, organizations, and projects in minimizing health disparities. The healthcare industry needs good leaders that can help in improving a person’s overall well-being while fostering local and global changes in communities.
  • MPH Nutrition: The field of health services also needs public health programs that focus on improving the health of communities, families, and individuals through nutrition outreach, educational programs, and policy.

Aside from the core health education, this public health online program concentration lets you focus on behavior change, nutrition science, counseling, and the effect of dietary culture.

  • Applied Epidemiology: This concentration prepares students to further understand other master’s degree areas like public health surveillance systems, how to conduct studies to address common research questions, recommend study designs, or communicate health findings to different audiences.
  • Nutrition and Dietetics: Those who plan to become registered dietitians can take advantage of this concentration. Students enrolled in this field are prepared to meet the prerequisites set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration for the licensure exam.

Aside from the basic health services and practices, students will also develop a deeper and more scientific understanding of dietetics and nutrition, and obtain a solid foundation in public health practice and research.

Standout Features:

An accredited college by the Council on Education for Public Health, the program can accommodate all the unique needs of health care and working professionals. The school offers rolling admissions where all applications are reviewed and decided quickly.

Students can start the program at the time they are most convenient, thanks to the four annual start dates that the school provides. There is also a full-time and part-time pacing with synchronous programs and asynchronous setup. You can complete the whole program in as few as 20 months or as many as five years.

Did you know?

What makes UNC Gillings a great choice not only for its online MPH programs but for all its online master’s programs is the unparalleled support you can get from all the corners of the community: from the admissions to the program staff, down to the alumni network.

The online master’s starts by pairing you with an admissions counselor to help you prepare your application– from a comprehensive exam to federal financial aid concerns, down to a virtual campus tour.

A team of academic experts, including an academic coordinator, field placement specialist, a faculty mentor, and a student success adviser will also help you achieve success during the whole duration of your schooling. From there, it will be easier for you to land a job in government agencies and organizations that deals with human health, and general public health as a whole.


University of California Berkeley

University of California Berkeley - Public Health
Online Master of Public Health

The University of California Berkeley is proud of being one of the best schools offering online MPH programs in the country. In this 27-month-long public health online program, students can:

  • Access the school’s career and network resources no matter where you’re at in the world.
  • Specialize in a master of public health in different areas of study including Community Health Sciences, Health Policy and Management, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Spatial Data Science and Global Health.
  • Learn from leading figures in the public health industry
  • While the program is an online format, students can still meet their classmates (15 days on a required on-campus summer session) for program evaluation.
Standout Features:

The school is dedicated to its admission review process, making sure that applicants are notified of their application at least 6-8 weeks after submission. Financial aid, scholarships, employer sponsorships where from government agencies or private entities, and current fellowship opportunities are also honored.

Did you know?

Fortune Magazine ranked Berkeley Public health the third best master in public health online school. And while the program is a demanding experience, each student will closely work with group members on team projects or in discussion forums. This makes the public health practitioners less stressed with the online program.


University of Washington

University of Washington - School of Public Health
Online Master of Public Health

This public health program is 18 months long and ideal for working professionals who are facing some of today’s most challenging health issues. The program has a set curriculum that strongly focuses on public health leadership. In this public health program, students can also:

  • Improve their evidence-based knowledge in program evaluation and development;
  • Expand their research methods in health equity, health promotion, community health, and health education;
  • Learn the standard disciplines of biostatistics, population health, environmental health, epidemiology, social and behavioral health, and health management and policy.
Standout Features:

Following completion of the program, students can become public health leaders in government health agencies, federal agencies, academia, public health nonprofits, and other health industries at home and overseas. Although the program format is online, students are still required to attend three on-campus sessions.

Did you know?

Before applying, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and have at least two years of professional experience. Take note though, that this online program is only accepting US citizens or permanent US residents. International applicants may still be qualified provided that they obtain a non-student visa that allows them to study in the US.

Career Paths for Master’s Degree Holders of Public Health

If you’re already a bachelor’s degree holder in public health and you wish to explore a variety of careers in the field, getting a master’s degree is your first step. While public health intersects with other careers like in business, pharmaceuticals, law, technology, or science, there are other popular positions waiting for those who have a master’s in public health.

Healthcare Administrators: They oversee how hospitals, research labs, and other healthcare facilities operate on a daily basis.

Registered Nurses: They provide patient care, analyze test results, assess a person’s health, and administer treatments and medicines to patients.

Epidemiologists: These health practitioners study disease patterns and focus on improving public health outcomes thru their published research, creating community education programs, and making new health policies.

Social and Community Service Managers: They overlook community outreach organizations and social service programs like homeless shelters, abuse clinics, and mental health facilities.

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians: They are the ones that organize, study, and report all health information data. Health information technicians also go over patient records to ensure all the data is secure and accurate.

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder & Mental Health Counselors: Health counselors advise patients suffering from mental health problems, alcoholism, eating disorders, drug addictions, and other behavioral problems.

Dieticians and Nutritionists: These professionals assess a patient’s nutritional needs and provide counseling on proper eating habits. They make personalized meal plans for patients and work with other professionals in health care in coordinating and improving patient care.

Online Master of Public Health - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

Is accreditation necessary for a Master of Public Health program?

To ensure that the MPH degree program will meet the industry standards, choose a school that has a US accreditation. MPH degrees have only one national accrediting body, the Council on Education for Public Health.

What is the usual cost of attendance for an online MPH degree?

The cost of attendance varies from as little as $7,000 or as expensive as $80,000, depending on the school, and whether the cost is considered out-of-state or in-state tuition. In general, a reputable online MPH program can cost you around $25,000 or less.


Key Takeaways

  • Master’s in Public Health online is a truly versatile degree.
  • After graduating, you can engage in different careers ranging from occupations in research and epidemiology to roles in policy and community health.
  • While it’s possible to earn up to six-figure salaries, this graduate program is both time-consuming and expensive.
  • Getting an MPH degree is indeed a huge decision to make but pursuing this program is definitely worth it.

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor