Contemplate the following quotations from Ralph Waldo Emerson and Winston Churchill: “The first wealth is health;” and, “Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” If truth be told, when we are sick, we would give just about anything to be well. We would pay just about any price, and in fact, we do. Health is certainly more valuable than wealth. Next consider Churchill’s connection of health and citizenship. When we are sick, we are unproductive and unhappy, thus, our country suffers. We do less, travel less, and work less—even care less. Extend this line of logic and one quickly arrives at just how vitally important the field of public health is.
What is public health?
The Center for Disease Control defines public health as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health and efficiency through organized community effort. This organized effort takes place through public and private institutions, non-profit organizations, charitable groups, religious organizations, communities, and individuals. This community effort, along with a growing global population means that the need for healthcare workers will continue to grow. Additionally, in most developed nations, the population is aging, putting more strain and greater need on public health.”
Why is earning a degree in public health a good idea?
The World Health Organization reports an estimated shortage of 7.2 million workers in this essential field, and that number is expected to grow to 12.5 million by 2035. Every year, Americans spend more than $2.5 trillion on healthcare related expenses, yet many challenges remain: disparities in health, fragmented and inefficient health delivery systems, increasing numbers of uninsured patients, and patient safety and medical errors – to name a few.
Our world is faced with many hardships and challenges, yet in the midst of them are opportunities for heroic virtue. Whether your passion is social work, research, management, or field work, public health has a niche for you. Our universities offer numerous programs in public health. For example, there are dual Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees like an Master of Art in Bioethics/MPH or an MBA/MPH degree. There are MPH concentrations in dozens of areas, for example in biostatistics, an area devoted to collecting, analyzing, and organizing data to be used to improve public health, or maternal and child health. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.3 million new jobs over the course of ten years, adding more jobs than any other group of occupations.
What are some jobs and salaries in public health?
Graduates from MPH programs go on to various public health practice and research initiatives in academia, governmental agencies, community-based organizations and private industry. As a public health major, you will have specialized knowledge and skills needed to address public health issues. You will have the ability to analyze, synthesize and evaluate information to make sound decisions and solve problems as well as leadership and communication skills necessary when working in public health.
A sample of some job titles and mean wages collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics include:
- Medical and Health Services Managers: $103,680
- Health Specialties Teachers: $112,950
- Genetic Counselors: $72,090
- Epidemiologist: $69,500
- Environmental Scientists: $64,000
- Health Educators and Community Health Workers: $43,800
- Biostatician: $76,000
- Health Educators: $55,260
What Are the Best Master’s in Public Health Degrees for 2017?
For this ranking we consulted a variety of sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and PayScale to produce a list that reflects what we believe are the best programs in the country to earn a Master in Public Health. We believe this list will assist you in finding a program that will offer you a balance in affordability, reputation, and return on investment to start you on your journey of success in the public health profession.
College Choice Score: 100
Average Tuition: $1,264
Known as one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Harvard University was founded in 1636, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Harvard’s 22,000 students enjoy an iconically beautiful campus with one of the best college libraries, and several arts, cultural, and scientific museums.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers a wide array of Master of Public Health degrees. In fact, there’s just too many to mention here. There are Dual/Joint Degrees, Summer-Only MPH, 45-Credit MPH (for those with a doctorate or enrolled in a doctoral program), and 65-Credit MPH, all with various sub-choices. Admission requirements vary, but for the 65-Credit MPH degree requirements include a bachelor’s degree, two years of relevant work experience, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, CV or resume, and an acceptable GRE score. The 65-Credit MPH has concentrations in Global Health, Health and Social Behavior, Health Management, and Health Policy. Students complete a practicum and culminating experience collaborating with professionals throughout the two-year program. With outstanding quality to be expected at Harvard, there is also great flexibility. On top of world-class faculty there are incredible resources like Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, leaving no doubt that Harvard belongs at the top of list.
Johns Hopkins University
College Choice Score: 94.8
Average Tuition: $1,290
Founded in 1876 by famed entrepreneur and abolitionist Johns Hopkins, the University bearing his name is one of the top universities in the nation. JHU is located in Baltimore, Maryland and known for incredible research. The School enrolls over 20,000 students.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers full-time, part-time, online, and dual-degree MPH programs. The traditional full-time degree takes one year and is intense. Students choose from one of 12 concentrations: Aging and Public Health, Child and Adolescent Health, Food, Nutrition and Health, Global Environmental Sustainability & Health, Infectious Diseases, Women’s and Reproductive Health to name a few. One thing to note is that MPH degrees at JHU are a rigorous 80 credits. As far as curriculum goes, JHU follows a comprehensive core, elective/concentration(s) are chosen, proceeding to a practicum and MPH Capstone written and oral presentation. Also not for the faint of heart is the online or dual-degree programs. The online is a hybrid style with 80 percent online and 20 percent on campus. The 80-credit degree takes two to three years to complete. For such a stellar program with amazing flexibility and options, it may come as a surprise that the cost per credit is $1,290.
Columbia University in the City of New York
College Choice Score: 90.8
Average Tuition: $1,446
Not many American schools can say they were established by a King, but Columbia University can. King’s College was born in 1754 by royal charter of George II. Nowadays Columbia’s beautiful and historic campus is enjoyed by 30,000 students.
Mailman School of Public Health has a unique and effective MPH program. In consultation with 150 members of the faculty, as well as students, alumni, and employers, the curriculum is set up for the 21st century. Students first take a core, which is broken down into six “studios” further broken down into 18 modules. Students are strongly discouraged from working during their first year as they are learning fundamental concepts in a cohort of peers. Next is specialization, with a choice of 20 Certificates from global health, to biostatistics and epidemiology. Mentorship and community connections are fostered and utilized. One such way is the Integration of Science and Practice (ISP). These small groups of 20 students study cases and work together throughout the program learning collaboration, leadership, and communication. Lastly, the capstone internship applies knowledge and leads to a Master thesis or research project. The fact is, CU knows how to educate, and choosing to earn your MPH here is sure to pay off.
College Choice Score: 82.4
Average Tuition: $1,700
Emory University is a top-ranked private institution recognized internationally for its outstanding liberal arts colleges, graduate and professional schools, and incredible health care system. It is located on a beautiful campus in Atlanta, Georgia’s historic Druid Hills neighborhood and home to 14,000 students.
Rollins School of Public Health at Emory has numerous Master of Public Health degree options. The MPH is available in a general format, providing a broad and comprehensive training, but also in various concentrations: Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Biostatistic, Environmental Health, Global Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Global Epidemiology, Health Policy, Health Care Management and Global Health. The MPH degree is two years and 42 credits, and in addition to core coursework, involves a practicum and culminating experience of a thesis, Capstone Seminar Project, or Special Studies Project. Working professionals with at least three years experience can enter the Executive Master of Public Health program, which features two on-campus sessions each semester with interactive online coursework for a total of 42 credits. All EU MPH programs are Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited. Lastly, options for dual MPH degrees are offered in Business, Bioethics, Divinity, Law and more. Emory would not be #4 without a rock-solid reputation, fully accredited and relevant curriculum, and bonafide results.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 77.6
Average Tuition: $1,580
Founded in 1821, George Washington University educates 15,000 total students only four blocks from the Whitehouse. The School is particularly known for having over 12,000 internship opportunities in places like the White House, Bloomingdale’s, National Institutes of Health, and the World Bank.
The Milken Institute of Public Health at GW offers a slew of MPH degrees. From a traditional on-campus degree with over a dozen concentrations, to a full- or part-time online MPH, to dual-degree MPH programs in Law, Medicine, M.A. in International Affairs, Peace Corps, and Physician Assistant. Most of the MPH programs at GW are full-time, 45-credit, on-campus degrees. All programs are CEPH certified and feature the best training in core competencies including real-world application through the practicum and culminating experience. Another option for those who are motivated is the one-year accelerated MPH. Given the demanding course load, students approved for this program track are not permitted to work while enrolled. If you are accepted to the program, the curriculum and faculty are the same as the traditional on-campus MPH. The MPH at GW is respected, accredited, and affordable at $1,500 per credit. Given these and the incredible location to boot, George Washington University’s MPH ranks #5.
College Choice Score: 77.4
Average Tuition: $1,537
Founded by an ardent Bostonian abolitionist in 1839 as the Newbury Biblical Institute, Boston University is now a premier private research university. The main campus is situated along the Charles River in bustling Boston and the School also has their University Medical Campus in Boston’s South End neighborhood. BU has 33,000 students from more than 130 countries.
At BU’s School of Public Health (SPH) “you’ll gain a strong, integrated, problem-based foundation in the values, history, methods, and functions of public health.” Focused on career preparation and practical experience, BU’s Master of Public Health imparts the knowledge, practiced skills, and leadership to make a real difference in world on day one. The MPH at BU is different by offering the Integrated Core, then two choices from 17 Integrated Graduate Certificates, which are similar to concentrations, and then proceeding to the Practicum and Integrative Learning Experience (ILE). The Practicum takes place at one of over 300 sites where students spend a minimum of 240 hours in a public health organization. After this they move into Career Development, “a hallmark of the BU MPH,” and finally the ILE. This can be completed either full or part time and is 48 total credits.
College Choice Score: 77.2
Average Tuition: $1,208
Founded in 1834 as Medical College of Louisiana, Tulane University now offers degrees in architecture, business, law, liberal arts, medicine, public health and tropical medicine, the sciences and engineering, and social work. The University enrolls a total of 13,581 students on a 110-acre uptown campus in New Orleans.
The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine offers Master of Public Health degrees in a number of concentrations and areas: Community Health Sciences, Disaster Management, Epidemiology, Health Education and Communications, Health Policy, Health Systems Management, International Health and Development, Maternal and Child Health, and Nutrition.
The MPH programs are 45 credits, and include core competencies, a 300-hour field practicum and final research project in the specialization of choice. If you are fascinated by infectious diseases and have a passion to see them eradicated, you may consider Tulane’s Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (MPHTM). This degree focuses on infectious diseases and public health in tropical regions. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation, CV or resume, GRE scores in the upper percentiles, or an acceptable GMAT or MCAT score (depending on the program). With excellent options and quality at an affordable $1,206 per credit, Tulane is worthy choice for an MPH.
University of Washington
College Choice Score: 76.9
Average Tuition: $1,687
“Let there be light” is a fitting motto for the University of Washington. It is a multi-campus university in Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell, as well as a world-class academic medical center with an enrollment of 45,000 students. The University has 16 colleges and schools and confers more than 12,000 professional degrees annually.
The School of Public Health offers a Master of Public Health with “rigorous academic skills, practical experience, and multidisciplinary studies” that prepares young men and women for work in the 21st century. The degree has many concentrations: Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Global Health, Health Services, and Interdisciplinary Nutritional Sciences. There are several sub-concentrations as well, such as Maternal and Child Health under Health Services and Public Health Genetics and Biostatistics. All the MPH programs are accredited and guided by the CEPH Competencies, from Evidence-Based Approaches to Leadership and Communication. For working professionals, UW offers the flexible Online Executive MPH Program. The degree is two-years and involves online courses and six on-campus sessions, chiefly aimed to accomplish the intentional team-based approach. With a cost per credit of $1,607, a reputable program, and solid financial aid available, UW ranks #8 on our list.
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
College Choice Score: 74.8
Average Tuition: $2,784
Founded in 1817, and originally located in Detroit, the institution’s home moved to Ann Arbor in 1837. Since those days, the University has grown to include 19 schools and colleges with a total enrollment of approximately 44,000 students and 3,100 faculty.
A leader in public health and research since 1941, the School of Public Health offers a Master of Public Health with concentrations in Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Health Education, Health Management and Policy, and Nutritional Sciences. Also available are seven dual degrees in Law, Medicine, Social Work, and an MBA to name a few. An Executive MPH degree is available to mid-career health professionals and is convenient and flexible; the program is hybrid and takes 18-25 months. The traditional on-campus MPH is a two-year 48-credit program and all students participate in a summer internship where they explore areas of interest and become acquainted with community and other public health organizations agencies. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s, minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a reflective essay, CV or resume, and a GRE or MCAT score.
University of California-Berkeley
College Choice Score: 74.2
Average Tuition: $1,056
Serving approximately 37,500 total students and offering hundreds of majors, UC Berkeley has something for just about everybody. Founded in 1868, with the vision to “contribute even more than California’s gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations,” UC Berkeley is doing just that.
The School of Public offers a Master of Public Health, on-campus or hybrid, with concentrations in Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Global Health & Environment, Health & Social Behavior, Health Policy & Management, Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology, Interdisciplinary, Maternal & Child Health, Public Health Nutrition. The hybrid degree is a two-year program with only one required visit to campus per year. Another option is the Interdisciplinary MPH, an 11-month program designed specifically for those who hold a doctorate or are currently working on one, and who possess an aptitude for self-directed work. The traditional MPH also takes two years and involves foundational curriculum in key areas, management, leadership, and analysis, a practicum, and a thesis depending on the program. The cost per credit is $1,096 and financial aid is available. If you’re looking for joint or dual degrees, or any MPH degree, UC Berkeley is worth consideration.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
College Choice Score: 73.4
Average Tuition: $1,912
Opening its doors in 1795 as the nation’s first public university, the University of North Carolina has been vital to the American university system. Now with 30,000 undergraduates and graduates, UNC offers just about every degree possible. UNC gives back too, with more than $7 billion in economic impact every year.
Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) the Gillings School of Global Public Health offers a Master of Public Health on-campus, hybrid, and fully online. The Gillings Global Gateway works with faculty and students to coordinate research, teaching, and practice efforts in more than fifty-five countries. The Master of Public Health program a requires a minimum of 42 credits. Every department offers an MPH concentration: Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Policy and Management, Health Behavior and Health Education, Maternal and Child Health, Environmental Science, Nutrition, and Public Health Leadership. The Leadership MPH is targeted at those with at least three to five years of professional experience seeking to gain knowledge and skills to enter the world of management and leadership. Considering the options of on-campus, hybrid, and online, as well as the cost per credit ($1,900) and the academic quality a, UNC is an excellent choice.
University of California-Los Angeles
College Choice Score: 72.1
Average Tuition: $1,309
Founded in 1919, and now one of the most successful and preeminent schools in the nation, UCLA is big and makes a big impact. There are approximately 44,000 total students who study in hundreds of programs and thousands of courses. Notably, UCLA has incredible health care with a neuropsychiatric hospital and a children’s hospital.
The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has worked to advance public health for over 55 years. One particular way the School accomplishes this is by providing excellent Master of Public Health degrees. UCLA offers an MPH with five concentrations (Biostatistics, Community Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Sciences or Health Policy and Management), an accelerated MPH, Executive MPH, and many dual-degree programs. The traditional MPH is a highly competitive two-year program that involves coursework in foundational knowledge of the health sector, management and policy, and leadership skills. The capstone field experience is a full-time, 10-week summer internship; this is followed up by a final report and presentation. The accelerated MPH is worth mentioning, especially if you have prior doctoral-level training. The one-year program prepares those with an interest in policy, management or quality. Cost per credit is at $1,309.
College Choice Score: 71.9
Average Tuition: $4,180
To mention Yale is to imagine history, tradition, excellence, and beauty. In 1701 the charter was granted for a school “wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences (and) through the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for public employment both in Church and Civil State.” As the third oldest institution of higher learning, this Ivy-league powerhouse offers myriads of options for its 12,000 students.
Yale offers a Master of Public Health, Advanced Professional MPH, Accelerated MBA/MPH in Health Care Management, a Five-Year BA-BS/MPH, and 10 joint degree programs from business, to forestry, to nursing and more. The traditional MPH is a two-year program that includes core coursework, a summer internship, and a Master’s thesis. There are seven concentrations available. The Advanced Professional MPH Program is for those already in the public health field seeking professional development and career advancement. The innovative and first-of-its-kind Accelerated MBA/MPH in Health Care Management is a 22-month program with an international internship preparing individuals to take up leadership in global health care. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation, CV or resume, GRE or MCAT score (and others depending), and a statement of purpose.
University of Pittsburgh
College Choice Score: 71.7
Average Tuition: $1,726
The University of Pittsburgh has accolades stretching back to when U.S. Constitution was signed. Pitt offers a world-class education to 33,000 students. Sitting on 132 urban acres in Pittsburgh’s historic Oakland neighborhood, most of the main campus is a National Historic District and is known for having great architecture from Neo-Gothic to modern, like its centerpiece 42-story “Cathedral of Learning.”
The Graduate School of Public Health is organized into seven departments. Each department offers an Master of Public Health degree: Behavioral and Community Health Science, Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, Human Genetics, and Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. At Pitt, there is also a self-designed MPH program called the Multidisciplinary MPH open to physicians, dentists, and veterinarians or holders of doctoral degrees in the health sciences. Joint degrees include: MPH/JD, MPH/MSW, MPH/MID, MPA, or MPIA, and unique to PItt, an MPH in Public Health Genetics and MS in Genetic Counseling. All MPH students are trained and evaluated in core competencies of public health, but also leadership, diversity, and planning. If you choose Pitt to earn your MPH, you choose a top-ranked school that produces results.
University of South Florida
College Choice Score: 71
Average Tuition: $877
There are 49,000 students in the University of South Florida System, which is comprised of three schools in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee. There are countless academic options in 14 colleges offering more than 180 undergraduate and 40 graduate programs. USF is one of 40 public research universities nationwide with “very high research activity” designated by the Carnegie Foundation.
The College of Public Health serves nearly 1700 students and offers a multitude of Master of Public Health options. There is the traditional MPH with about 20 concentrations (some are for USF Pediatric Residents and Fellows only); odds are though, if you want it, USF has it. There are many online options for the MPH, which has a choice of nine concentrations. There are also dual MPH programs in Master of Health Administration, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Physical Therapy and Social Work. In addition to excellent options and quality, a USF degree is very affordable at $877 per credit. The program (traditional and online) is about 42 credits and includes a field experience, special project and comprehensive exam. The College of Public Health is fully accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH).
Texas A & M Health Science Center
College Choice Score: 68.9
Average Tuition: $1,200
The Texas A&M University Health Science Center (TAMHSC) is part of Texas A&M University and was founded in 1999. It is a comprehensive health science center “transforming health through innovative research, education and service in dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health and medical sciences.” There are over 600 students earning degrees through five colleges.
The School of Public Health offers the Master of Public Health degree with concentrations in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Occupational Safety and Health, Health Policy and Management, Health Promotion, and Community Health Sciences. Admission requirements through SOPHAS varies slightly for each area, however, in general they are a bachelor’s, minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75-3.0, letters of recommendation, CV or resume, and a GRE or MCAT score. The program curriculum leads students through a core into areas of specialization ending with a capstone project and practicum for a total of 45 credit hours. The cost per credit is reasonable comparatively at $1,200, and financial aid is available through assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships. Students also have access to help fund their MPH through the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health.
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
College Choice Score: 67.1
Average Tuition: $3,071
The University of Minnesota was established in 1851 in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) as a land grant university. The university is organized into 19 colleges and schools, and has sister campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester. This School has 30,500 undergraduate students on the Twin Cities campus, and 16,300 graduate and professional students.
The School of Public Health at UM offers a variety of ways to earn a Master of Public Health: a traditional MPH, online, executive/distance, joint degrees, and an accelerated BS/MPH in Environmental Health. The traditional MPH has six concentrations: Community Health Promotion, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Maternal and Child Health (online option available), Public Health Nutrition, Public Health Administration and Policy (executive degree and collaborative degree with Arizona State University), and Biostatistics. The Executive MPH program in Public Health Practice is designed for professionals with an advanced degree or public health professionals with significant work experience who have completed the School’s Public Health Core Concepts Certificate. One particular reason to consider UM is the international connections; student have participated in their degree program at more than 115 different sites in 15 countries.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 63.5
Average Tuition: $1,255
With approximately 37,000 undergraduates and 16,000 graduate students, the University of Florida is one of the top universities in Florida. Tracing its origins to 1853 and continuously operating since 1906, this public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university boasts that 56 percent of students graduate with no debt.
The College of Public Health and Health Professions offers a variety of ways to earn a Master of Public Health: traditional MPH, online, accelerated, collaborative & joint MPH programs, and combined bachelor’s & MPH. The traditional MPH is an on-campus, full-time, two-year 48-credit program with a choice of six concentrations: Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Public Health Policy and Management, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Public Health Practice. Core curriculum culminates in an internship, seminar, and a major paper and presentation. The online MPH is the same program, but fully online with no campus visits required. Specifically designed for those working in the field, the accelerated MPH requires prerequisite classes, experience, and is 42 credits with the flexibility of full- or part-time. Admission requirements include a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (waiver possible), transcripts, CV, letters of recommendation, a GRE passing score (waiver is possible), and
certain prerequisites depending on the specific program.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
College Choice Score: 63.3
Average Tuition: $956
The University of Nebraska Medical Center is located in Omaha and is one of the four campuses in the University of Nebraska System. The School enrolls 3800 total students and offers outstanding medical training contributing with its hospital partner, Nebraska Medicine, an annual impact of $4.2 billion.
The UNMC College of Public Health offers a Master of Public Health program that “emphasizes the areas of prevention, scientific knowledge base, interdependency with other areas of knowledge and practice, and social justice.” The MPH is CEPH accredited and guided by UNMC Core Competencies focusing on clear objectives leading a comprehensive and complete education in public health. The program is 45 credits and includes the following concentrations and online options: Biostatistics (On-Campus or Online Program), Community Oriented Primary Care, Environmental and Occupational Health (On-Campus or Online Program), Epidemiology, Health Promotion, Maternal and Child Health, Public Health Administration and Policy, and Public Health Practice (Online Program). There are also eight MPH dual-degree options. Admission requirements include a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, transcripts, CV, and letters of recommendation, a GRE passing score (waiver is possible), and certain prerequisites depending on the specific program.
Saint Louis University
College Choice Score: 63.2
Average Tuition: $1,075
Located in the historic city of St. Louis, Missouri, just five minutes away from the Gateway Arch on the Mississippi Riverfront, sits Saint Louis University. Home to more than 8,200 undergraduates and 4,600 graduate students, SLU, the second-oldest Jesuit University, offers more than 90 undergraduate programs and nearly 100 graduate programs.
The College of Public Health and Social Justice is serious about serving the community and helping foster a more equitable world. The College offers several options for earning a Master of Public Health. The curriculum aims at competence in the five core areas of public health: behavioral science, biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental and occupational health, and public health administration and policy. In addition to this core, students choose one or two of nine concentration areas: Behavioral Science and Health Education, Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness (Online Option Available), Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Global Health, Health Management and Policy, Maternal and Child Health, and Public Health Practice. In addition to these, there are four dual-degree options: MD, JD, MSW, and MS in Nutrition and Dietetics. The MPH is 42-54 credits depending on the program, is full time and takes two years. Notably, it is the only accredited Catholic, Jesuit school of public health in the nation.
Ohio State University
College Choice Score: 63.2
Average Tuition: $1,093
Ohio State University was originally founded for mechanical and agricultural training. OSU is now comprehensive and the third largest university in the country with 59,000 students. A member of the Association of American Universities and a Public Ivy, academic options, quality, and accolades abound.
At Ohio State, the MPH is offered in two formats: a traditional weekday format and a more flexible part-time format for experienced professionals who desire career advancement. There are eight concentrations at OSU: Biomedical Informatics, Biostatistics, Clinical Translational Science, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Health Promotion, Program for Experienced Professionals, and Veterinary Public Health. There are too many dual-degrees to mention, however, suffice it to say, if you are drawn to an MPH combined with another OSU offers it. The MPH program is 42-48 credits and includes core courses, a practicum, which many students choose to pursue in international settings, and a culminating experience designed for students to integrate and synthesize their knowledge and skills in a real-world situation. OSU is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
University of Iowa
College Choice Score: 63.1
Average Tuition: $2,684
The University of Iowa is one of the nation’s top public research universities, a member of the Big Ten conference since 1899, and an Association of American Universities member since 1909. The University serves 31,000 students and is home to one of the nation’s largest academic medical centers. Also notable is that Iowa City, where the UI is located, is known as one of the country’s most livable communities.
The UI College of Public Health offers a general Master of Public Health for working professionals that is flexible in terms of courses and time, and a full-time MPH with concentrations in Community and Behavioral Health, Epidemiology, Occupational and Environmental Health, Policy, Quantitative Methods. There are several dual MPH programs as well: MD, DVM, PharmD, and JD. There is also a distance-learning MPH for Practicing Veterinarians and several undergrad to grad options for an MPH. Admission is competitive and requires a bachelor’s degree, minimum 3.0 GPA, letters of recommendation, and an above average score on the GRE or other graduate admission examinations. All in all, the core coursework, 200-hour capstone practical experience, and the excellent reputation of UI will prepare you to take the next step to achieving your goals.
College Choice Score: 62.7
Average Tuition: $1,370
Founded in Philadelphia in 1891, by philanthropist and financier Anthony J. Drexel, Drexel University has evolved and grown while retaining their core identity to provide “practical arts and sciences”. The University serves 26,000 students with over 200 degree programs through their uniquely developed co-op method.
The Dornsife School of Public Health offers a two-year, full-time MPH degree with concentrations in Community Health and Prevention, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, and Health Management and Policy, an Executive MPH, and two dual-degrees in MPH/MD and MPH/JD. The traditional MPH is 64 credits, which is more than other schools, and in step with Drexel’s mission focuses on practical experience. Students complete core coursework and then take part in a 120-hour first-year practicum. The second year features specialization courses and a community-based master project. The Executive MPH is an online/on-campus hybrid and flexible degree for working professional seeking to advance in their careers. The EPMH is a general degree but offers some personalized options as well. Classes meet one Friday and Saturday a month for 21 months and are taught by full-time Drexel faculty. Drexel MPH degrees are CEPH certified and the cost per credit is $1,370.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
College Choice Score: 62.4
Average Tuition: $1,435
Big dreams can go a long way. At University of Alabama Birmingham their dream is noble: “To educate, advance discovery, care for the sick, respond to the needs of our community and establish Alabama as a progressive economic center that can change the world.” UAB offers 51 bachelor’s, 54 master’s, 40 doctoral, and four specialist degrees to 18,000 students.
At UAB’s School of Public Health, results matter. The only CEPH-accredited public health school in the state produced seven Clinton Global University Scholars in 2016. The School offers many Master of Public Health options: The Fast Track MPH (5th Year Program), MPH with five concentrations, MPH in Care Organization, General Theory & Practice, Health Policy, Public Health Preparedness Management & Policy, Maternal and Child Health Policy & Leadership (MCHPL), online MPH degrees in Health Care Organization and MCHPL, and multiple dual-degrees. The program is 42 credits with an internship and integrative practical experience. Admission requires meeting the Biological Basis of Public Health Competency Requirement by either a previously earned Medical, Dental, Nursing, or Dietetics degree, extensive and substantial education, or a minimum score of 70 on the Biological Basis of Public Health Exam.
University of South Carolina
College Choice Score: 60.5
Average Tuition: $1,142
The Palmetto State established South Carolina College on Dec. 19, 1801, as part of an effort to unite South Carolinians in the wake of the American Revolution. Today, USC is a flourishing university with 33,770 students and one of only 32 public universities to earn the Carnegie Foundation’s top-tier designations in research activity and community engagement.
The Arnold School of Public Health, one of first accredited public health schools in the nation, is “making a vital impact through innovative research, education and outreach programs.” The School offers a Master of Public Health in General Health, Physical Activity and Public Health with two specializations in Programmatic or Surveillance, Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, Health Services Policy and Management, a dual MSW-MPH degree, MPH/MD, and MPH/PharmD, and online MPH degrees in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior Professional Program. The MPH programs are CEPD certified and the non-dual programs, including the online programs, are 45 credits; students are expected to average a minimum 3.0 GPA or risk being suspended from degree candidacy. The degrees take one to three years and the cost per credit is $1,142.
University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center
College Choice Score: 59.3
Average Tuition: $999
Founded in 1890 on what was once only prairie, the University of Oklahoma is now a booming public research university with 31,000 students. True to the founder’s vision who remarked upon seeing the empty prairie, “What possibilities!” anything can grow if you have the drive to make it so.
Perfectly suited for those working in the public health sector and seeking leadership roles, the Master of Public Health at University of Oklahoma is quality-assured and affordable at $999 per credit. The MPH curriculum and sequence is based upon competencies set forth by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) and is the state’s only College of Public Health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). A total of 44 credit hours, students move through a core of 22 courses, to an area of concentration, and finally to the Culminating Experience. This consists of a 240-hour practicum, master’s research paper, and a cumulative exam. Concentrations available are: Biostatistics, Occupational and Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Promotion Sciences, and Health Administration and Policy, Public Health Preparedness and Terrorism, and General Public Health. Admission is through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS).
University of Maryland, College Park
College Choice Score: 58.8
Average Tuition: $1,168
Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland College Park is the flagship institution of the UM System. The School’s 37,000 students have amazing choices with 250 academic programs, not to mention the tremendous advantage of having the Library of Congress, National Archives and the Smithsonian Institution a mere five miles away.
If you are looking for a university to earn your Master of Public Health, you definitely want to examine UMD. The School of Public Health, which is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, offers multiple full- and part-time options as well as online. The MPH comes with concentrations in Behavioral and Community Health, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Sciences, Health Equity, Health Policy Analysis and Evaluation, Physical Activity, and Public Health Practice and Policy (online). The concentration in Physical Activity is unique. It is led by the Department of Kinesiology, where faculty members bring expertise in physiology, psychology, sociology, communications, history, engineering, education and neuroscience to address challenging public health problems.
Graduates will be “equipped to navigate the intersections of research, practice, planning, administration, and policy development, and to tackle current and emerging public health issues.” The program at UMD features a “Public Health Core” and a practicum experience in collaboration with agencies and organizations like the National Institute of Health, American Kidney Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente.
University of Kentucky
College Choice Score: 58.6
Average Tuition: $1,225
The University of Kentucky is land-grant school founded in 1865 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky. Since then, UK has grown into a school of 30,000 total students and offering hundreds of degree options.
One of 16 Colleges at UK, the College of Public Health has a respected reputation. The College offers a Master of Public Health with five concentrations: Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Behavior, Population Health Policy and Management. The College also offers two dual-degree options: MPH/MD and MPH/PharmD. The MPH with a concentration is a minimum of 42 credit hours and includes a research component and capstone project. If you decide to earn your MPH at UK, rest assured with their student-learning competencies, you will emerge prepared and confident to enter the workforce. Admission is competitive and requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and official GRE, GMAT or MCAT scores must show verbal and quantitative scores at the 50th percentile or better. Cost per credit is $1225 and assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships are available through the guidelines set by the Graduate School.
University of Illinois at Chicago
College Choice Score: 58.4
Average Tuition: $3,953
“Teach, research, serve, care.” These keywords form the ethos of University of Illinois at Chicago. Formed in 1982 by the consolidation of two medical campuses, UIC is now a large school serving 30,000 students with five regional campuses.
The School of Public Health at UIC is committed to “protecting and improving the health and wellbeing of people around the world by educating public health professionals and the community, conducting research and affecting public health policy.” One way to accomplish this mission is through their excellent Master of Public Health degree. The MPH at UIC has five concentrations: Community Health Sciences, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, or Health Policy and Administration. Admission requirements include a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, transcripts, CV, letters of recommendation, and though there is no GRE minimum score, the higher the score, the more likely you’ll be accepted, as the MPH is very competitive. Applicants typically have at least 150 on each the verbal and quantitative sections. There are also several dual MPH programs: MBA, MD, DVM, MSW, and JD to name some. The School of Public Health is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
University of Arizona
College Choice Score: 58.2
Average Tuition: $1,389
Located in sunny Tucson, the University of Arizona is a place of inquiry, research, and discovery. Serving approximately 43,000 total students and offering more than 300 majors, UA has something for everyone. Established in 1885 as a land-grant university, now with two nationally recognized medical schools and a top-notch research program, UA produces graduates who are prepared.
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health offers a traditional MPH, online MPH, and many dual-degree options. The MPH is a two-year program for full-time students, though it can be completed part time for up to six years. There are concentrations available in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health, Family and Child Health, Health Behavior Health Promotion, and Health Services Administration. There is also a two-year, completely online MPH with three possible concentrations. New in fall of 2017 is the unique MPH concentration called “One Health.” It focuses on “the intersection between humans, animals and their respective environments are needed to solve complex diseases.” If you’re seeking a dual degree in MD, PharmD, JD, MBA, MA in Latin American Studies, or Naturopathic Medicine, UA may be the perfect fit for you. With outstanding options, relevant and high quality programs, and a $1,389 cost per credit, it’s easy to see why UA made our list.
University of Georgia
College Choice Score: 56.2
Average Tuition: $1,109
History is deep at the University of Georgia: two signers of the Constitution, the first state-chartered university, the birthplace of American public education, the 15th institution to attain sea-grant status for excellence in marine research, education and advisory services, and the list goes on. The School offers hundreds of academic and extracurricular options to 36,000 total students.
The College of Public Health at UG offers many options. The traditional MPH consists of seven concentrations: Biostatistics, Disaster Management, Environmental Health Science, Epidemiology, Gerontology, Health Policy and Management, and Health Promotion and Behavior. The MPH program is for health professionals seeking to gain knowledge, skill, and experience and takes two years. It is 44 credits and culminates in a cumulative exam. Six dual-degree options are offered. The degrees vary in length from two to five years depending, and since they’re collaborative with other departments, admission and program details vary. In general there is a minimum GPA, letters of recommendation, and a passing score on the GRE, GMAT, MCAT, or TOEFL for international students. UG is definitely a place to consider for a MPH as well as their dual programs. The cost per credit is $1,109 and scholarships are available.
East Tennessee State University
College Choice Score: 54.5
Average Tuition: $900
Located in Johnson City, Tennessee, the northeast corner of the state, is East Tennessee State University. In the shadow of the Buffalo and Cherokee Mountains on 340 beautiful acres, 15,000 students are engaged in over 140 academic programs. ETSU is known for excellent medical training, their unique contribution to bluegrass and country music, and the nation’s only master’s degree in Storytelling.
With a strong reputation for healthcare related training and degrees, the College of Public Health offers multiple options if you’re seeking a Master of Public Health. The traditional MPH is offered with five concentrations: Biostatistics, Community Health, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, and Health Services Administration. The College offers a dual MPH/MD degree as well as the completely online MPH, which includes three concentrations: Health Services Administration, Epidemiology, and Community Health. If you’re considering ETSU for your MPH, you can be assured it is accredited. In fact, the program has been continuously accredited since 2000 and boasts over 175 affiliations with internship sites. Admission to the graduate program in public health is based upon scholarship, letters of recommendation, and evidence of potential mastery, including a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75, and satisfactory scores on the GRE. A respected institutional reputation, quality and accredited program, and an affordable price at $900 per credit make ESTU an option worth considering.
San Diego State University
College Choice Score: 51.2
Average Tuition: $835
San Diego State University is the oldest and largest university in San Diego and serves 35,000 students from over 100 countries. What began as San Diego Normal School to train young women to be elementary teachers, is now a top research university in the nation. Achievement is emphasized as SDSU has more student Fulbright recipients than any other California State University.
There are ample options at SDSU for earning your Master is Public Health degree. Concentrations include Biometry, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Management & Policy, Health Promotion & Behavioral Science; the School also offers a Dual MPH and Master of Social Work, Dual MPH and MA Latin American Studies, and a Dual MPH/MD. The MPH degree with a concentration is approximately 50 credits and the curriculum includes core classes in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Behavioral and Social Science in Public Health, and Health Services Administration. Once this is completed, students proceed to 15 credits of concentration specific courses, fieldwork, a research component, and a capstone thesis or project. Other dual degrees require anywhere from 60 to 90 credits and take about three years. The MD option is unique in terms of admission and offerings, and is tailored to UCSD medical students who anticipate careers involving aspects of public health covered by the MPH. Great options, quality, and price at $865 per credit make SDSU a solid pick.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
College Choice Score: 50.2
Average Tuition: $3,938
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts. The School sits on 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston. UM-Amherst enrolls 30,000 total students.
The School of Public Health and Health Sciences of University of Massachusetts offers its prospective students the following graduate degree options: Masters of Public Health (Worcester campus), Online MPH in Public Health Practice, Online MPH in Nutrition Degree, and Concurrent Dietetic Internship/Online MPH in Nutrition (DI/MPH-N). The MPH is 42 credits and includes core classes, a practicum, and a capstone experience. The Online MPH in Public Health Practice Degree is one of the first online programs of its kind and is completely geared towards working professionals with doctoral and MD degrees, registered dietitians, health educators, WIC nutrition educators, and others in related fields. It takes three years to complete and consists of 44 credits. An interesting option at UM is the Concurrent Dietetic Internship/Online MPH in Nutrition (DI/MPH-N). This 56-credit competitive program (only five people are admitted per year) is two parts: The MPH in Nutrition portion of the DI/MPH-N is 100 perfect online, flexible, and interactive, and is complemented and enhanced by 12 credits in the Dietetic Internship.
SUNY Buffalo State
College Choice Score: 48.1
Average Tuition: $956
The State University of New York system is an incredible resource for research, learning, and scholarship in America. The largest comprehensive four-year college in the SUNY system is Buffalo State. Founded in 1871 and enrolling 10,500 students, the School is known for research and excellent academics.
Located on a beautiful 125-acre campus, students enjoy 177 undergraduate and 63 graduate programs. If you’re looking for a Master of Public Health, SUNY Buffalo is a fine choice. In fact, The School of Public Health and Health Professions offers multiple MPH options. SUNY Buffalo’s MPH program “prepares you to address these issues with a comprehensive understanding of public health philosophy, as well as the practical knowledge and skills needed to create real change.” Besides a General MPH, there is an accelerated one-year program and five concentrations to choose from: Biostatistics, Community Health and Health Behavior, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Services Administration. If you’re interested in the medical field, you may consider the unique MPH/MD combined program as well. This is a five-year program that is essentially a double graduate major where the degrees are conferred separately; it is demanding and rigorous. SUNY Buffalo’s MPH is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (the only one in Western New York), is affordable at $956 per credit, and has an outstanding reputation.