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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Public Health
How much do people with a public health master's make?
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.
Many 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.
Foundations of Public Health
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.
Public Health Interventions
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.
Epidemiologists 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 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.
Medical and Health Services Manager
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.
Health Education Specialist
|Career||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030)|
|Medical and Health Services Manager||$104,280||32%|
|Health Education Specialist||$48,140||17%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Best Online Master's in Public Health
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