When researching the most affordable online bachelors in public health, advocacy and human welfare are some of the common themes that arise.
A degree in public health is perfect for those wishing to immerse themselves into their local community or government and fight for issues surrounding health.
While public health is a wide field, major specialty areas include epidemiology, health education, environmental health, etc. As issues surrounding healthcare and healthy living are becoming more well-known, society will need educated leaders to help others make smart decisions regarding their well-being. Also, consider College Choice’s Most Affordable Online Colleges.
What kind of Public Health degree should you get?
There are many merits to an online degree in public health versus a traditional setting (here is a list of College Choice’s best traditional Bachelors in Public Health programs). Other than the typical pros of being able to complete assignments according to one’s own schedule, the U.S. Department of Education has found that online learning actually produces stronger student learning outcomes than traditional learning settings.
Accredited Online College Programs
Of course, due to the nature of public health being a discipline with the goal of interacting with the community, students who undertake an online degree should have access to real-life experience in the health industry. In addition, because some employers may be biased towards an online degree, students should specifically look for programs that are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
How much money do people with a Bachelors in Public Health make?
Although salaries range depending on specialty, the median annual wage for epidemiologists was $69,450 and $51,960 for health educators in May 2015 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In fact, the BLS reports that jobs for epidemiologists are expected to grow faster than other occupations from 2014 to 2024. Currently, the highest paid careers within the field of public health are: health and safety engineer, environmental scientist, healthcare administrator, biostatistician, epidemiologist, and those that hold doctorate degrees.
What can you do with a degree in Public Health?
Majoring in public health opens up a vast array of careers within the health-science field. In general, jobs relating to immediate community outreach and education only require a bachelor’s, but jobs related to more analytical and data collection require master’s. Students with higher education open themselves up for more career advancement and higher pay.
What are the requirements for a degree in Public Health?
While most degree programs do not require any extra requirements upon acceptance into the school, some schools require that students meet minimum GPA requirements before declaring as a public health major and taking upper division classes. After completion, different occupations require certain licensing, training, etc.
For example, health educators must be registered with the state and have a license to begin working. Students should plan with a career counselor before graduation which qualifications are necessary depending on the desired field.
What are the most affordable online bachelors in public health?
Below is a list of College Choice’s most affordable online bachelors in public health programs. Schools have been chosen based on a variety of factors, such as endowment size, return on investment, financial aid, tuition, etc. Data was compiled from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS database, Payscale, the U.S. News & World Report, and individual college websites.
See our rankings methodology page.
Brigham Young University - Idaho
Bringham Young University-Idaho is a private university affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that empowers students who are passionate about their faith and education in order to prepare them as new leaders. The university has grown to over 32,000 on-campus students, as well as 33,000 online students each year. BYU-Idaho currently offers 11 online bachelor’s degrees, one of them being a BS in Public Health.
This 120-unit major can be completed entirely online. Students who complete this degree will be able to plan, implement, conduct research, and advocate for health education.
- Science (ie. Anatomy, Physiology, Biostatistics, etc.) and Public Health module (ie. Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases, Research Methods, etc.)
- Possibility of getting major credit by participating in an internship
All students take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) examination via the National Committee on Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC). Some possible careers upon graduation include public health educator, epidemiologist, or an international health specialist. In addition, if students take additional on-campus coursework they may be eligible for graduate programs in pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, etc.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Established in 1891, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro strives to be a model for the 21st century public research university as one that is inclusive, collaborative, and responsive. It is the largest state university in the Piedmont Triad with an annual economic impact of more than $1 billion. UNCG is known for focusing on enhancing health and wellness, which is showcased in their online BS in Public Health.
This degree can be completed by students who hold an A.A., A.S., B.A., or B.S. degree with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or greater. In order to apply for this major, students must be admitted into the university first.
- Graduates will be able to analyze public health trends, understand professions of public health, and interpret public health data
- Asynchronous (ability to log in on your own time) learning environment
Outside of classes, students are encouraged to get involved with academic clubs and organizations, such as the Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA), North Carolina Society for Public Health Education (NCSOPHE), North Carolina Chapter of the American Association for Health Education (NCAAHE), and the American Public Health Association (APHA). The program also offers graduate school choices for those that are interested.
American Public University
Charles Town, WV
American Public University is a private institution that has historically served students in the military. Although the university has over 88,000 students, education is very personalized with an average undergraduate class size of only 19. In addition, APU was ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2017 by the U.S. News and World Report.
All APU online classes start monthly for 8 or 16 weeks and are asynchronous. The BS in Public Health is 121 credits, with a maximum of 91 transfer credits allowed. This professionally focused program is designed to prepare students by exposing them to a variety of fields within the public health sector.
- 15-credit Health and Wellness concentration offered
- Military grant available for those that qualify
This program is intended for those students wishing to obtain a career as a community health worker or educator, dietitian, nutritionist, health services manager, or occupational health and safety technician. Those that choose to enroll in the Health and Wellness concentration will be prepared to take on careers in fields related to sports, psychology, etc.
The University of West Florida
The University of West Florida has become a bustling university over the last 50 years that has expanded to five academic colleges offering bachelor’s, master’s, specialist degrees, and a doctorate in education. UWF is also proud to have a strong positive economic impact on the surrounding region, generating more than $1.1 billion in total annual sales and approximately $703 million in Florida’s GDP. In keeping with its goal of becoming a more impactful university, UWF offers several online degrees.
The B.S. in Health Sciences is geared towards those who are interested in developing a career as a health professional or healthcare administrator. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in order to be eligible for the upper division Health Science program.
- Can choose from the Health Sciences, Healthcare Administration, Public Health, or Pre-Healthcare Professional degrees
- Additional electives available in order to prepare students for their specific career goals (ie. Bioterrorism, Gerontology, Sport and Exercise Psychology, etc.)
Some possible encouraged careers upon completion of this program are occupational therapist, physical therapist, chiropractic, nutritionist, or physician assistant. Courses specific to those careers are also available within the individual degree departments.
Youngstown State University
Located in Northeastern Ohio, Youngstown State University was founded in 1908 by the YMCA. With just over 12,700 students, YSU gives students the chance to feel like they are living in a big school, but with personalized attention and a small student-to-faculty ratio. As a university dedicated to urban research, YSU offers over 115 undergraduate and over 40 graduate programs, both on-campus and online.
The Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (BSAS) in Public Health is offered completely online with a total of eight 16-unit semesters. Minors in public health are also available.
- Five focus areas: epidemiology, biostatistics, health service administration, environmental health, and behavioral science/health education
- Two tracks: Health Education/Promotion and Environmental Health & Safety
- Two, three, and four-year course rotation sequence options
Students who take this degree are prepared to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) or take the sanitarian exam. In addition, potential careers upon graduation include health education, administration/management, health policy, community practices, and research.
University of South Florida
Made up of three institutions with 14 colleges, the University of South Florida was established in 1956 as the first independent state university. For the 2016-2017 school year, USF Tampa ranked among the top best 100 public national universities according to U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2016, in addition to being among the best in 2016 their online education program rankings.
USF offers two partially online degrees in Public Health: a Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (BSAS) and a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS). While a BSAS is specifically designed for those that hold an Associate in Science (A.S), a BGS is aimed at nontraditional students.
- 10 concentrations within the BSAS degree (ie. Computer Systems Technology, Deaf Studies, Public Health, etc.)
- BGS can choose from 12 concentrations (ie. Aging Sciences, Criminal Justice, Urban Studies, etc.) instead of a traditional major
Because the two programs are offered only partially online, students are given the opportunity to engage with their peers in a traditional classroom setting while still being able to complete their education during their busy lifestyle. Some possible career paths upon completion of these degrees include Rehabilitation Services Manager, Patient Care Services Administrator, or Community Health Manager.
Monroe College was founded in 1933 with the goal of providing both men and women with a professional, career-focused education. In keeping with this, all of Monroe’s faculty are dedicated to being student mentors both inside and outside the classroom. Monroe also allows students to attain their professional goals via online degrees. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Monroe was ranked third in the state of New York for best online bachelor’s degree programs.
The BS in Public Health focuses on education, injury prevention, disease prevention and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.
- Courses taught by experienced public health professionals
- Emphasized skills: data collection and analysis, program implementation, identification of community needs, etc.
Online courses at Monroe have been offered since 1998 during the technology and internet boom. Since then, courses have become more aligned with the latest technology, using learning tools such as video and voice chat, online grading, and weekly discussion boards. Future career opportunities include community outreach worker, patient advocate, or public health emergency response coordinator.
Arizona State University is a public, four-year university established in 1885 originally as a teachers college. Today it is recognized as a top-ranked knowledge enterprise, winning many awards and recognitions. ASU is currently ranked number four in the nation for its online undergraduate degree programs according to the U.S. News and World Report.
ASU’s online Bachelor in Applied Science (Health Sciences) is perfect for people who already have an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree who wish to pursue their career goals in public health. This 120-credit degree consists of 19 classes that take 7.5 weeks to complete.
- Incorporation of cutting-edge technology in research
- Networking opportunities with businesses such as Mayo Clinic, Barrow Neurological Institute, HonorHealth, Dignity Health, and Health Care Sector Partnership
The College of Health Solutions at ASU is among the top 10 universities in the country for employability. ASU was also listed as one of the Most Innovative Colleges of 2017 by the U.S. News and World Report. Students who complete this online degree have the potential of pursuing a career as a public relations specialist, community health worker, certified health education specialist, or educator.
Capella University is a completely online university striving to provide students with a challenging, professionally-oriented education. With over 37,000 students and 54 degree programs, students are engaging in competency-based education at their own pace and with a learning format that fits their specific needs.
Capella offers two program specializations: the standard BS in Public Health and a BS in Public Health with an Accelerated Master’s Pathway option. Both programs are affordable and meant to prepare students with the right public health skills to be successful.
- Hands-on training with Villa Health, a virtual simulation tool
- 8-14 general education courses, 14 core courses, 9-17 electives, and 1 capstone course
- Sample courses include: Biostatistics, Social Determinants of Healthy Equity, Environmental Health, etc.
Capella is also committed to providing affordable classes, offering a format that allows students to pay per credit based on the quarter system. The university also offers employer and association discounts, and low-cost general education courses. Potential careers to explore upon graduation with a BS in Public Health include policy analyst, health manager, or social services manager.
Trident University International
Trident University International was established in 1998 as an online university, specifically focusing on military and adult education. Its mission is to promote academic excellence through its strong commitment to students’ personal growth, professional development, and academic success. This commitment has been seen through Trident’s various awards, such as its Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences being ranked among the Best Value in 2016.
A Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) at Trident pushes students to experience what it is like in various health-related industries before graduation. Students can expect to be prepared to pursue graduate studies, develop strong problem-solving skills, and expand their awareness of emerging healthcare trends.
- Three concentration options: Health Care Management, Public Health, or none
- Three options within an area of specialization: Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, Health Care Administration, and Health Education
Because Trident’s BSHS program offers different specializations, students will be able to further prepare themselves for a specific career within the Public Health industry. For example, those that pursue a concentration in Health Education will have the option to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) examination. Currently program graduates are primarily working as Health Educators and Community Health Workers.