2019 Best Master's in Public Health Online Programs

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The 15 schools on this list offer the best online master's programs in public health. Ranked #1, University of California - Berkeley offers three concentrations for its online MPH program, including community health science, data science, and global health. University of Alabama at Birmingham is ranked #7 and offers the cheapest tuition at $8,235 each year. Concentrations include epidemiology, health behavior, and industrial hygiene.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

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Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 University of California - Berkeley $29,296 $115,200
#2 #2 California State University-Northridge $15,416 $107,700
#3 #3 San Diego State University $20,640 $101,000
#4 #4 Central Michigan University $14,304 $99,300
#5 #5 The George Washington University $38,180 $102,100
#6 #6 Johns Hopkins University $21,610 $95,000
#7 #7 University of Alabama at Birmingham $8,235 $92,800
#8 #8 University of Washington - Seattle $27,520 $94,400
#9 #9 Tulane University $23,310 $91,600
#10 #10 University of Massachusetts - Amherst $9,225 $89,300
#11 #11 University of South Florida - Main Campus $15,864 $88,500
#12 #12 University of Minnesota Digital Campus $20,181 $85,300
#13 #13 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $40,525 $87,100
#14 #14 Loma Linda University $28,640 $79,400
#15 #15 Benedictine University $20,770 $65,100
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo. Updated 2018.
  • Annual Tuition: $29,296
  • Median Salary: $115,200
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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University of California, Berkeley is consistently ranked among the top 30 public schools in the nation. With an annual endowment of $4.3 billion, it has acquired the resources to accommodate the needs of over 42,000 students in on-campus and online programs. To be accepted into their online public health graduate program, students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, have two years of work experience, and demonstrate ability to excel in a graduate program through metrics such as high baccalaureate GPA and GRE scores. Students in the program must also attend at least one on-campus session each year. As one of America's most premier universities, students can be certain that they're getting the best education with this top-rated online MPH program.

  • Annual Tuition: $15,416
  • Median Salary: $107,700
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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California State University- Northridge is the largest institution in the California State University System with approximately 39,816 students. Situated in the San Fernando Valley area, CSUN welcomes students from around the world with its distance-based education programs, which include its fully accredited, fully online Master of Public Health Community Health Education degree. Developed by its award-winning health science faculty, this virtual program requires degree-seeking students to possess a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA with an optional GRE completion. If students have a lower undergraduate GPA, it is advised they complete and attach their GRE with at least one of the three sections above 50 percent. The MPH program concentrates on rearing working professionals through coursework that focuses on health education and epidemiology.

  • Annual Tuition: $20,640
  • Median Salary: $101,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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San Diego State University, known as SDSU, is a top-rated public university in the California State University System. It provides an affordable alternative for distance-based and traditional students with its prestigious faculty in pertinent areas of study, including public health with its fully online MPH program. The program is an 18-month long, $30,000 MPH plan in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science that allows for self-paced work through pre-recorded lectures and asynchronous coursework. Administered through the university's College of Extended Studies through the Graduate School of Public Health, SDSU's online MPH program is offered to students in 19 U.S. states and two American territories: Puerto Rico and American Samoa. To be admitted students must have at least three years of work experience.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $14,304
  • Median Salary: $99,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Central Michigan University offers 200 academic programs and is recognized for its mission to serve students across the country with its online program designed for working professionals. Through its distance-based education portal, CMU Online, CMU offers the same quality it is known for through a series of online programs that span educational levels. Its premier MPH program consists of 48-credit hours at a cost of $596 per credit hour with concentrations in Maternal and Child Health; Public Health Communication and Informatics; and Substance Abuse Services. To be admitted, prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA no lower than a 3.0, two letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and an updated resume.

  • Annual Tuition: $38,180
  • Median Salary: $102,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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The George Washington University is one of the oldest private research universities in the country after being chartered in 1821 by the United States Congress as the living, academic, memory of the country's first president. GW provides opportunities for distance learners through fully online, fully accredited options. Its top-rated online MPH program, presented through the Milken Institute School of Public Health, has two accelerated options for distance-learning students: a 12-month accelerated track and an 18-month accelerated track. Both options require at least a 3.5 undergraduate GPA to be admitted and consist of more than 40 hours of weekly coursework. These accelerated tracks allow distance-learning students to tailor their coursework to their personal and professional schedules.

  • Annual Tuition: $21,610
  • Median Salary: $95,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Johns Hopkins University is the most prestigious private medical and health institution in the country with campuses across the world: most notably, in Baltimore and Washington D.C. where its medical school, nursing school, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health are located. The latter offers fully online, distance-based programs for online students. Every new student in the MPH program, whether online or on-campus, is awarded the Welch Scholarship, which is incrementally disbursed for no more than 80 credits and is often used to fund courses. The online option also requires 16 credits to be completed on-campus, which totals a minimum of 4 weeks throughout the entire MPH program. 

  • Annual Tuition: $8,235
  • Median Salary: $92,800
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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A public university located in the heart of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is an institution that provides a perfect mix of southern hospitality and expert-led academic rigor from 12 schools, with online-learning options designed for working professionals and distance-based students. It offers seven fully online MPH programs and one hybrid course with concentrations in epidemiology; health behavior; environmental health and toxicology; health care organizations; outcomes research; industrial hygiene; occupational health and safety; and maternal and child health policy and leadership. UAB has shown a commitment to providing students, regardless of location, the best tools and resources to earn a degree on their own time with their professional and personal schedules in mind.

  • Annual Tuition: $27,520
  • Median Salary: $94,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
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The University of Washington, known as UW, is one of the top public universities in Washington and is home to nationally ranked research facilities. Most notably, it is cited as one of the leading universities in scientific performance and research, including health and medicine. These programs provide opportunities for hopefuls both in the Seattle area and around the world through faculty-led, distance-learning options. UW's online executive MPH program is a blended format that includes asynchronous work, webinars and teleconferences, and on-campus sessions, which last three to five days every quarter throughout the seven-quarter program. Prospective students enjoy an asynchronous master's program complete with full accreditation and rigorous coursework.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $23,310
  • Median Salary: $91,600
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Located in downtown New Orleans, Tulane University is a private research institution that boasts a highly gifted student body, with a 17 percent acceptance rate across traditional, on-campus departments and their leading distance-learning programs for online students. Tulane offers an online Master of Public Health program through its Department of Tropical Medicine, completed over the course of two to three years. Prospective online students must hold a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to be admitted through Tulane's holistic process, which only admits approximately 28 percent of program applicants.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,225
  • Median Salary: $89,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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Known as UMass Amherst, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public, land-grant university and serves as the flagship institution for the University of Massachusetts system. Situated in a small rural town nestled between urban centers, UMass Amherst offers a top research faculty of over 1,300 experts who produce unparalleled academic results through traditional, on-campus coursework and virtual distance-learning programs. UMass Amherst's Master of Public Health program was one of the first fully online MPH programs in the country when it launched in 2001. Today, the MPH program also includes an online MPH in nutrition option, which remains the only properly accredited program of its kind. As part of SARA, UMass Amherst accepts students from every state except for Alabama, Arkansas, and Oregon. 

  • Annual Tuition: $15,864
  • Median Salary: $88,500
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Located in Tampa, the University of South Florida offers 200 academic programs on-campus and online across its 14 colleges. They have been heralded as a leading institution in online education, and have a top-ranked master's program in public health. The online options for USF's MPH program include global disaster management, humanitarian relief and homeland security; epistemology; public health practice; infection control; social marketing; nutrition and dietetics; and health, safety and environment. The coursework is administered through the Office of Educational Technology and Assessment, which provides support and resources for more than 5,000 students enrolled in USF's online MPH programs. As one of the first universities to offer these programs through distance-based technology, USF remains an innovator in the industry of online degree delivery.

  • Annual Tuition: $20,181
  • Median Salary: $85,300
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Saint Paul's University of Minnesota is considered one of the nation's Public Ivys, which includes the top, most academically rigorous public institutions. It is also home to one of the largest campuses in the country with over 51,000 students across its traditional campus and distance-based digital campus. Known for its rigorous School of Public Health, UMN offers two online programs: an MPH in Administration and Policy and an MPH in Maternal and Child Health. Both options consist of 42-credit hours and require prospective students to have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Through the digital campus, both programs are designed for professionals in the field who want to advance their careers through additional training and credentials.

  • Annual Tuition: $40,525
  • Median Salary: $87,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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With the top public health program in the country, the University of North Carolina has provided students with access to premier educational opportunities through distance-based programs and on-campus resources. UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health offers MPH programs to prospective professionals who are passionate about leading the world of public health. Its student-centered, inclusive online MPH programs include concentrations in nutrition, leadership in practice, and a hybrid MPH/RD option. These 42-credit programs are modeled after the Gillings MPH Core, which was designed by a diverse group of students, faculty members, and industry leaders to provide the best, most comprehensive education. Among the oldest universities in the country after being chartered in 1789, UNC is a top choice in any area of study.

  • Annual Tuition: $28,640
  • Median Salary: $79,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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Loma Linda University is a private, Seventh-day Adventist health sciences university located in the Southern California city of Loma Linda. With a current enrollment of 4,482 students, Loma Linda University specializes in health and medical-related academic programs and as a result is considered an option for prospective students looking for distance-learning MPH programs. The university's online platform, LLU Online, offers Health Education, Lifestyle Medicine and Population Medicine concentrations in the MPH department. These programs are fully online and fully accredited by the American Public Health Association. With an 86 percent job placement rate and 1:5 faculty to student ratio, Loma Linda’s MPH program is a great option for students looking to advance their career.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $20,770
  • Median Salary: $65,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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A private, Catholic university located in the rural town of Lisle, Illinois, Benedictine University is a small institution with only a few programs across all levels of education. However, they do offer a distance-based program that provides an opportunity for prospective students to complete an online MPH degree. With an average cost of $670 per credit hour, they also provide an affordable option for distance learning students interested in working in public health or professionals seeking opportunities to advance their career. Consisting of 46-credit hours, the online MPH program also includes optional certificates in health management and policy, health education and promotion, and epidemiology. Benedictine University's online MPH program is a great, cost-effective option for people with a self-paced learning style.

Online MPH and MS in Public Health Programs Overview

Program Requirements

Applicants to an online MPH or MS program will need to have already earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Most schools will require transcripts from undergraduate degrees as well as some combination of standardized test scores, personal statements, letters of recommendation, and resumes or CVs. In general, a master's degree in public health will require about two years to complete.

Curriculum

Online public health master’s degree programs cover five major competency areas: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health services administration, and social and behavioral sciences. In addition to those five areas, common classes will also include occupational safety, health policy, human nutrition, and immunology. The curriculum contains a mixture of classes in social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, and management issues.

Many MPH programs allow students to specialize in a particular area, such as international public health, human rights, maternal and child health. These programs are usually aimed at aspiring public health practitioners, people who want to lead in organizations like government health agencies, public health research organizations, or private healthcare facilities. Because of the practitioner focus of the MPH, many programs also include a fieldwork requirement. During this requirement, students spend several hundred hours interning in a public health setting of their choosing.

In contrast to the MPH program, the online Master of Science in Public Health degree program focuses more on the natural sciences and quantitative skills which are useful for careers that involve conducting research on issues affecting large segments of the population. Examples of concentrations available in the MS degree program are: environmental health, health policy and management, occupational health, or social and behavioral health.

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