Best Online Master’s In Public Health Degrees

Earning a master's degree in public health can lead to new career opportunities. Here, we list the best online master's in public health programs for 2021.

Updated September 26, 2022

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Best Online Master’s In Public Health Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

Public health experts keep communities safe from diseases and promote wellness. Earning a master's in public health online prepares graduates for leadership roles in the field.

A master's in public health degree includes public health education, research methods, epidemiology, and environmental health classes. The courses strengthen the analytical and decision-making skills needed for public health careers. An online master's in public health (MPH) offers a flexible, accessible route to an MPH degree.

Our list ranks the best online master's in public health programs. Prospective graduate students can use the rankings to find the right fit for their schedule, budget, and career goals.

View Our Rankings List Here

Frequently Asked Questions About Public Health

How much do people with a public health master's make?

With a public health master's degree, graduates earn above-average salaries. Epidemiologist professionals earn a $74,560 median annual salary, while health services managers earn over $104,000.

Can you become a doctor with a public health degree?

Yes, a master's in public health degree prepares graduates for medical school and other healthcare careers. After earning an MPH, graduates qualify to apply to doctoral programs.

What kind of jobs can you get with a public health degree?

A graduate public health degree leads to opportunities in public health administration, health education, and epidemiology.

Why Get a Master's Degree in Public Health?

A master's degree in public health leads to careers in epidemiology and public health administration. During a public health program, graduate students strengthen their research, program planning, and analytical skills. MPH graduates become health services managers, epidemiologists, public health administrators, and health education specialists.

An online delivery method appeals to working professionals and busy students. The flexible enrollment options and course schedules help graduate students balance school with other responsibilities. Earning an online master's in public health often saves students money. Distance learners benefit from more choices.

How Much Does a Public Health Degree Cost?

Earning a master's degree typically costs $30,000-$120,000. Tuition rates vary depending on the program and delivery format. In general, public universities charge the lowest tuition rates for in-state students.

Choosing an online delivery format often saves graduate students money. Instead of attending a local school or relocating, distance learners compare the most affordable MPH programs for their budget.

Additional Online Student Fees

Besides tuition, master's in public health degree-seekers must consider other fees. The total cost of earning a master's in public health online includes fees, technology costs, books, and other expenses. Some online universities charge a distance learning fee or a graduation fee. Graduate students should expect to spend several hundred dollars each term on books and supplies.

Programs with in-person requirements, including a practicum, add to the total cost. Students need to budget for transportation, parking, and other expenses. Prospective MPH students can contact programs for an estimate of the total degree costs.

How Much Do Public Health Majors Make?

Public health majors work as epidemiologists, health services managers, and health educators. In these diverse roles, they report above average salaries. Besides a strong earning potential, public health professionals benefit from high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 30% more jobs for epidemiologists in 2030 compared to 2020. Medical and health services managers see an even higher 32% projected growth from 2020-2030.

Courses in Public Health

A master's in public health degree strengthens analytical, communication, and research skills. Learners take classes in public health methods, epidemiology, environmental health, and health systems. Master's students may also focus the degree with a concentration or electives.

During an online master's in public health, graduate students often complete a practicum or internship locally. Programs work with enrollees to arrange appropriate placements with community and healthcare organizations.

This section describes common classes for students earning their master's in public health online. While each program sets its own curriculum, many include the following options.

    Foundations of Public HealthMany master's in public health degrees include foundational courses introducing public health systems, interdisciplinary methods, and public health delivery. Students explore the history of public health, the relationship between public health and healthcare systems, and current public health issues. The class prepares learners for advanced coursework.
  • Public Health Interventions

    Public health decision-makers design interventions to improve public health and promote wellness. The class focuses on identifying potential interventions, creating and implementing a plan, and evaluating an intervention. Participants examine intervention strategies, outcome evaluation, and monitoring interventions. The assignments may include projects and presentations.
  • Epidemiology

    Epidemiologists study the spread of disease and the best methods to improve outcomes from disease. In epidemiology graduate courses, students examine public health epidemiology, disease distribution, disease measurement techniques, and experimental study design. They learn how to investigate an outbreak, screen for diseases, and analyze epidemiologic research.

Career and Salary Outlook for Public Health

An online master's in public health prepares graduates for many career paths. Public health experts work as epidemiologists and public health administrators. Other career paths include opportunities in community health, health education, and public health policy.

The BLS reports a strong projected growth rate for many of these roles. The earning potential in public health careers varies depending on the job title, location, and experience. This section introduces some common career paths and salary data.

    EpidemiologistEpidemiologists research the causes of disease in a community. They study public health challenges to reduce risk and minimize the harm caused by disease outbreaks. Epidemiologists use sources like observational data, surveys, and medical samples to track public health problems. They also oversee programs dedicated to public health.
  • Medical and Health Services Manager

    Medical and health services managers oversee health-related services at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. Sometimes called healthcare administrators, they set long-term goals for their department, supervise staff, and oversee the budget. Medical and health services managers often recommend policies to improve quality in healthcare services.
  • Health Education Specialist

    Health education specialists, or health educators, teach the public about health and well-being. They create programs and plan events to educate people about different health topics. Health education specialists train healthcare providers and supervise health education programs. As part of their job, health education specialists analyze data on community health issues.
Career Salary Outlook
CareerMedian Annual SalaryProjected Growth Rate (2020-2030)
Epidemiologist$74,56030%
Medical and Health Services Manager$104,28032%
Health Education Specialist$48,14017%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Best Online Master's in Public Health

#1 Best Online Master’s In Public Health Degrees

The University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Florida offers a number of graduate programs through its online platform. The master of public health (MPH) is an excellent choice for people with a bachelor’s in public health who want to advance their education with a master’s. Enrollees have more control over their schedules by completing the rigorous graduate curriculum remotely.

Students enrolled in the MPH program benefit from the school's 17-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Learners complete specialized coursework and training focused on advanced theoretical concepts and practices in public health. Obtaining this degree is of great benefit to those who want to advance their careers and pursue higher-paying positions.

Tuition for Florida residents is $10,770 per year, and tuition for out-of-state residents is $27,335. Many degree-seekers qualify for financial aid, such as grants and scholarships, from the school and third parties. Another popular way to finance their education is to take out student loans, a funding method used by about 22% of learners at the school.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
52,407
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online Master’s In Public Health Degrees

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Busy public health students attend Florida International University because they can earn graduate degrees at an institution that prioritizes learning flexibility. Remote learners have access to the Miami school’s catalog of 31 online master's degrees, including the master of public health (MPH). Accessibility is a key determining factor for many degree-seekers exploring graduate school, and this program addresses that concern with a flexible format.

Applicants usually need a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in the same field or a related one. A big draw to a master’s degree, like the MPH program, is the intensive coursework that provides enrollees with advanced preparation in their field. In addition to enhancing career prospects, this program prepares degree recipients for a doctoral program.

Tuition is $8,912 per year for residents of Florida, and $21,393 per year for nonresidents. Learners can use resources at the financial aid department to determine if they qualify for financial assistance, like grants and scholarships. Loans offer another viable option to help cover students’ tuition bill.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online Master’s In Public Health Degrees

The University of California, Berkeley

  • Berkeley, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master of public health (MPH) at the University of California, Berkeley is one of the nation’s top-ranked programs for public health students. The program prepares learners for high-level career opportunities not always available to those who hold a bachelor’s alone. A terminal degree like a doctorate is the next stop for some holders of an MPH.

People see the appeal of remote learning and that is a draw for the school. Students can juggle their various responsibilities thanks to this program's flexibility. No matter if enrollees study remotely or on campus, they benefit from a supportive learning environment that includes faculty and community support.

Though the department can provide more information, the application requirements include a bachelor’s degree and transcripts. The acceptance rate is 16% at this school, but expect some differences across programs. The tuition rate for California residents is about $11,442 per year, and learners can help fund their education with grants, loans, and scholarships.

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,442
Out-of-state
$41,196
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
16%
Students Enrolled
43,185
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#4 Best Online Master’s In Public Health Degrees

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill enrolls students in one of the nation’s best master of public health (MPH) programs. Learners receive the advanced training employers expect from highly skilled professionals. Degree-seekers earn this MPH so they can also pursue a doctorate later on if they choose.

This program's online format attracts people who see the appeal of remote learning. Participants can fit in other responsibilities, such as work, caregiving, and family life, because of the program’s flexibility. Enrollees also like the fact that faculty serve as mentors, and that they can study in an environment that sees each learner’s potential.

The application requirements for this program include a bachelor’s degree and transcripts, but the department can provide more information. The acceptance rate is 23% at this school, but expect some differences across programs. If accepted, students in North Carolina can expect to pay around $10,552 per year before applying grants, loans, and scholarships.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,019
Out-of-state
$34,198
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
23%
Students Enrolled
29,877
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online Master’s In Public Health Degrees

The University of Southern California

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Southern California, a private college located in Los Angeles, specializes in rigorous programs that meet the diverse needs of today's learner. People can choose from 55 master's degrees available online. The master of public health is a good option for public health students who want advanced degrees.

Logistics is no barrier to earning this degree, which was designed with adaptability and flexibility in mind. Real-time interaction is often not required, and enrollees can complete coursework at their own pace within a given timeframe. Deep experience providing rigorous degrees that emphasize both quality and flexible learning is a hallmark of this institution.

The school’s admissions statistics show that about 11% of applicants get in, with some variations across programs. Interested learners will need a bachelor's degree in order to be considered for this program, but other requirements may apply. Degree-seekers may also need to submit official transcripts, provide letters of recommendation, and participate in an interview.

Average Tuition
In-state
$57,256
Out-of-state
$57,256
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
11%
Students Enrolled
48,321
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

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