Online Masters Degree in Public Health

Earning an accredited public health masters degree online is a good way for students to enhance their career opportunities in specialties such as biostatistics, nutrition and health services administration. While an online bachelor’s degree in public health is sufficient to get an entry-level position in the field, students pursuing online master’s degrees in public health are provided with the training necessary to advance into leadership positions. Some students choose to go above and beyond by earning an online PhD in public health. However, earning a thesis or non-thesis online master in public health typically qualifies a job seeker for high paying positions in government agencies, insurance companies and hospitals.

How long does it take to earn a public health master’s degree online?

Normally it takes 2 years to complete the best online masters degree programs in public health. This is approximately 50 quarter-credit hours of coursework.

What are the admission requirements for an online master’s in public health?

For admissions purposes, students applying to top online master degree programs in public health may be required to submit the following:

  • Application form
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Revised Graduate Records Exam scores (Revised GRE)
  • Personal statement or Essay
  • Letters of recommendation

Online masters public health programs typically desire that candidates have either a bachelor’s degree in public health from an accredited school, or a bachelors degree in a related field such as:

  1. Nutrition Science
  2. Healthcare Administration
  3. Bioethics
  4. Epidemiology
  5. Psychology

What types of online master’s degrees in public health can students pursue?

Accredited online masters in public health schools offer a variety of online masters degrees in public health. The following is a list of some of the types of public health masters degrees students may pursue:

  • Public Health Administration: Online master’s degree public health students learn about public health laws, policies, ethics and management practices in this specialization. They receive training in policymaking, facility maintenance, staff supervision and budgeting.
  • Maternal and Child Health: Online masters degree public health students learn how to improve healthcare for women, children and families. They study common health problems that mothers and children face, and learn methods for combating and preventing them.
  • Social Marketing and Health Communication: Students are taught how to use marketing techniques to influence attitudes and behaviors concerning personal and public health issues. They learn to research health problems, target audiences and create, test and implement promotional campaigns for television, print and social media.
  • Environmental and Occupational Health: Students analyze how humans are harmed by environmental factors and learn to recognize the common signs of danger. Students learn to reduce pollution, find causes of environmentally related diseases, and protect food and drinking water supplies.
  • Community-Oriented Primary Care: Students are taught how to recognize healthcare needs in specific populations and how to provide healthcare that fits those needs. They learn to analyze census and disease reports, conduct surveys and deliver healthcare to the elderly and the economically disadvantaged, among other groups.

What can students expect to learn in an online public health master’s degree program?

The best online master’s degree programs in public health teach students complex problem solving and critical thinking skills while expanding their knowledge of healthcare management, health promotion and disease prevention.

Common classes taken by students enrolled in top online master programs in public health include:

  1. Principles of Epidemiology- In this online public health masters degree class, students learn to use sound research methods and careful observation to trace the spread of diseases. Students are taught how to recognize and evaluate statistical and behavioral patterns and develop and test projections for probable disease outcomes.
  2. Occupational Safety and Health Management- This course teaches students how to recognize, reduce and prevent safety and health management issues. Students learn how to implement safety systems and protocols to prevent workplace injuries.
  3. Introduction to Biostatistics- This online master degree in public health course teaches students about statistical reasoning and interpretation. Students examine the outcomes associated with statistical patterns in biological data and learn how to assess the probability of an outcome through statistical analysis.

What careers can students pursue after graduating from public health masters programs online?

Public health master’s programs online graduates can choose from a variety of different job options, of which popular choices include:

  1. Health Services Administrator- Health services administrators manage medical facilities, overseeing budget planning, personnel decisions and other operational details. These executives earn an average annual salary of $84,270. Job growth for health services administrators is projected to be 22% over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations.
  2. Nutritionist- Members of this profession are experts in diet and nutrition, helping people learn how to eat healthier. The average salary for nutritionists is $53,250. Job growth of 20% is expected in this field by 2020.
  3. Epidemiologist- Epidemiologists study how diseases are caused and how they spread in order to improve disease control and prevention. Salaries for epidemiologists average about $63,010. Job growth is projected to be faster than average at 24% between 2010 and 2020.

Public Health is an exciting and growing field with plenty of different options for people looking for a career that fulfills their needs to serve the public and better communities while still making a solid wage. Professionals with a Master of Public Health degree can get jobs in the following fields: biostatistics, epidemiology, health services administration, health education, international health, maternal and child health, nutrition, and more. While there are entry level positions available to people with just a bachelor’s degree, a master’s is recommended for career growth. When it comes to applying for graduate schools offering Public Health degrees, professional who attend top ranked schools can expect better chances at job placement after graduation, an extensive professional network, and a high quality education. Here are some things to look for in a Masters of Public Health program.


Public health is all about perspective, innovation, and global initiative. Many public health professionals start their career by volunteering with the Peace Corps and jobs in the Public Health field often have a global reach. A diverse Master of Public Health programs will brings together a faculty that includes lawyers, non-profit professionals, educators, policymakers, medical students, and much more to ensure a well-rounded education for students.


Most Master of Public Health students will choose a focus or specialization which will tailor what classes fill their schedule and ultimately what kind of job they will get after graduation. Some specializations include Health Promotion, Community Health Sciences, Management of Infectious Diseases, and many more. Prospective students who know what they want to specialize in should consider the classes and courses offered by each program to find which suits their needs.

CEPH Accreditation

The Council on Education for Public Health employs the service of an independent agency which accredits schools offering public health programs. Accreditation ensures a Master of Public Health program offers equal amounts of education in research, service, and academic rigor. Plus, employers are known to go straight to the Master of Public Health programs graduation pool to start making hires.

The average salary for professionals with a Masters of Public Health degree is $58,00-$80,000 but there are many opportunities with six figure salaries as well once a person works up to upper management at a well-respected organization.

Earning a Master in Public Health doesn’t have to mean a big move and quitting a job however. Professionals interested in continuing working their full time job while attending graduate school will be pleased to find many of the top ranked programs offer online, long-distance, and part-time course options.

Below is a list of the top ranking Masters in Public Health programs. This ranking was determined through teacher surveys, student feedback, and reviews by experts in the field. Methodology includes data from hundreds of universities around the country for the most accurate results possible.

University of Iowa

University of Iowa offers a Master of Public Health with concentrations in a variety of areas. Students can choose from such areas as Policy, Ergonomics, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology and other areas. The university's College of Public Health is one of the fastest-growing parts of the school, having been established since only 1999. Fourteen years later, it's home to abundant enrollment, research funding and award-winning faculty.

Boston University

Boston University offers students both Master's and Doctoral degrees in Public Health, and for those interested in a dual degree a number of programs are available. Among these are MPH degree combinations with such areas as Law, Business Administration, Social Work, Medicine and Global Health. The university is known for offering students vast opportunities both at home and abroad, with study abroad sessions available for students who wish to work alongside Peace Corps volunteers.

Emory University

Emory University is not only one of the world's leading research universities, but also a school with a number of degree options for graduate students interested in Public Health. A number of Master of Public Health dual degrees are available to students in many different areas. Students can choose a basic MPH degree or dual degrees in such areas as Divinity, Nursing, Theological Studies, Law and others. Doctoral degrees are available with concentrations in Biostatistics, Environmental Health and other areas.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers Master's and Doctoral degrees in Public Health. Students can earn the MPH and know they received what is considered the flagship degree of the college. They will also be attending the top-ranked public health school in the United States as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. The school offers many online courses, making it easy to complete a degree part or full-time.

University of Michigan

University of Michigan provides students the chance to earn an MPH degree in a variety of fields. Choices can be made from Health Management, Health Education, Environmental Health and more. Besides standard coursework, students can also participate in such programs as ?Zombie? exercises to teach students emergency preparedness.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers graduate degrees in Public Health on both Master's and Doctoral levels. The first chartered university in the United States, the school is ranked as one of the top 30 universities in the country overall and the second-best school of Public Health in the nation.

University of Hawaii

University of Hawaii offers graduate programs on both Master's and Doctoral levels on its Manoa campus. Students can enjoy a diverse faculty and student population, and the school's unique geographical placement make it a perfect choice for students who desire opportunities to use their studies to create international leadership and influence.

University of Nevada

University of Nevada offers a Master's of Public Health through its School of Community Health Sciences. The program requires 45 credit hours for graduation, and students can specialize in epidemiology or social and behavioral health. Some courses are available online, and internships are available to gain job experience.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston gives students opportunities to gain a world-class education in Public Health while being able to give back to the community here and abroad. Master's and Doctoral degrees are available, with students studying at a school ranked near the top of public health schools nationwide. By providing tuition that's some of the lowest of any college in the nation, the school is able to meet the growing need for more doctors and nurses.

University of West Florida

University of West Florida offers a Master of Public Health degree that's very popular with students. The degree requires 42 credits for graduation, and can be completed totally online. Several concentrations are available for specialization including Emergency Management, Environmental Health, Infection Control and Occupational Safety and Health.

Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University offers a Master of Public Health through its School of Population Health. The first designated School of Population Health in the country, Jefferson is committed to educating students who are able to tackle the issues surrounding public health locally, nationally and internationally.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University, ranked as one of the top universities by U.S. News and World Report, offers a Master of Public Health degree and a combined MPH/MD degree. A big part of these degrees is the study abroad option that goes with them. Students have had the opportunity to complete internships with the World Health Organization and travel to such countries as Uganda and Bangladesh to assist with public health issues.

University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina is home to some of the best graduate programs in the country. Offering a Master of Public Health degree, USC provides students with numerous research and internship opportunities. The Carnegie Foundation considers USC one of the top research schools in the country, and U.S. News and World Report lists the school as one of the up and coming universities.

University of Georgia

University of Georgia graduate school offers students a Master of Public Health with a choice of five concentrations, including biostatistics and environmental health. Dual degrees are also available in Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy and Social Work. The program can be completed in two years, and requires 45 credit hours for graduation.

Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center

Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center offers a Master of Public Health degree that can be completed either online or in a traditional format. The degree is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, and students get many opportunities to test their skills both locally and abroad by completing internships and study abroad practicums.

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University offers a Master of Public Health degree with specializations available in Public Health Education and Environmental Health. The program has impacted life in Kentucky, with many graduates staying home to provide wellness and public health education to underserved populations.

University of Texas

University of Texas offers several dual degree MPH programs to students. Working in conjunction with the UT Health Science Center in Houston, students can pursue graduate degrees in Public Health with an equal emphasis on Social Work, Public Affairs and Global Policy Studies. Students in these programs can take advantage of the school's world-class libraries, computer facilities and research labs.

University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh offers a Master of Public Health degree through its School of Public and International Affairs. Students have the opportunity to earn dual degrees through this program in such areas as Law, Social Work, Information Science and Business. Specializations for students to choose from include European Studies, Latin American issues and Asian Studies.

SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn

SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn offers students exciting opportunities in Public Health. With construction of a new Public Health building set to begin, the school is preparing for many new programs. Students can receive a Master of Public Health degree or a dual MPH/MD degree. A Doctorate degree in Public Health is also available to those who wish to do advanced research.

University of Texas Medical Branch

University of Texas Medical Branch, founded in 1912 to serve the public health needs, has spent the past century becoming a major contributor to the promotion and protection of human health. The Master of Public Health degree trains students to help others maintain good health, and offers research opportunities in many areas to help find solutions to today's problems.

University of Montana

University of Montana offers a Master of Public Health degree which requires 42 credit hours for completion. The program emphasizes public health education and allows students to participate in various service activities to better serve both local and global populations. Distance-based learning opportunities are made available to students who wish to better serve patients in Montana and other areas.

University of San Francisco

University of San Francisco's faculty are winning more awards than ever before, and their dedication shows in the schools health programs. Ranked as a top research institution, the school offers a Master of Public Health degree for working professionals. Classes meet one evening per week, with some available online. The program can be completed in two years on a part-time basis, and is complemented by a 300-hour internship.

San Jose State University

San Jose State University offers a Master of Public Health degree that's composed of 42 credit hours and offers students numerous opportunities in the classroom and in the field. Students are taught by award-winning faculty with years of practical experience in all aspects of public health, and internships are used to complement classroom theory.

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania offers a Master of Public Health degree that prepares graduates for careers as practitioners or researchers in this fast-growing field. Internships are required, and have been conducted in such agencies as the CDC and National Institute of Health. Research opportunities are also available in such areas as School Safety and Minority Health Issues.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the state's only medical teaching facility, offers Master's and Doctoral degrees in Public Health. Through a combination of classroom, research and field opportunities students can develop their skills and put classroom theory to a real-world test. Students spend over 200 hours in the field, working in a variety of settings both urban and rural.

Montclair State University

Montclair State University is a challenging and engaging school that inspires students to be their best. The school's Master of Public Health degree lets students concentrate in Community Health Education, and allows them to use their skills in a variety of settings. Internships can be conducted in schools, workplaces, medical settings and other places in both urban and rural areas.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University offers a Master of Public Health degree available to students both online and on-campus. The school is deeply committed to serving the public health needs of the economically disadvantaged residents of Florida, and allows students numerous chances to help others while gaining an education.

A T Still University of Health Sciences

A T Still University of Health Sciences offers a Master of Public Health degree program that allows students to choose from a General concentration or a Dental concentration. Both programs are designed for working professionals, and can be completed online. A practicum is required for graduation, and students are allowed to use local organizations to complete this requirement.

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University, one of the world's most renowned research universities, offers students graduate degrees in Public Health, Public Health Sciences and Public Health Preparedness. Students can choose a degree based on their interests. For example, students interested in homeland security can select the PHP degree, which emphasizes how public health can be compromised and also protected from terrorist attacks.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Northeast Ohio Medical University offers a Master of Public Health which allows students many opportunities to gain knowledge in the classroom and then apply that knowledge in the field. Internships and research projects let students put classroom theory to the test, all under the watchful eyes of award-winning faculty from various backgrounds.

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University offers a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness. Students with an interest in combating terrorism will have opportunities to learn various techniques from faculty who have experience in a variety of fields including medicine, law enforcement, science and more.

Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University offers a Master of Public Health degree that is very popular with its students. Concentrations in School Health or Community Health are available, and students are encouraged to go out into the local community to assist with various public health issues such as immunizations, blood drives and bone marrow screenings.

Lenoir-Rhyne University

Lenoir-Rhyne University offers a Master of Public Health degree that's one of the best in the Mid-Atlantic. Students are provided opportunities to give presentations at state-wide health conferences and work with local community outreach organizations. Classes are offered at two convenient locations in Hickory and Asheville, and provide working professionals very flexible schedules.

University of Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts' School of Public Health offers students a Master of Public Health degree that offers many opportunities for learning both in and out of the classroom. The school has forged partnerships with many local health organizations to better serve those in need and give students places to conduct research and internships.

University of Nebraska Medical Center

University of Nebraska Medical Center uses the latest technology and facilities to serve its students. Offering a Master in Public Health degree, the school offers a low student-teacher ratio and encourages small-group learning processes. The university sponsors many student-run clinics throughout the state to better serve at-risk populations with their health needs.

Upstate Medical University

Upstate Medical University offers a Master of Public Health degree program for those students who already possess a Ph.D. and wish to obtain an MPH degree as well. All requirements of the Doctorate degree must be met before beginning the MPH, but students will get an array of research and field opportunities in urban and rural areas within the state.

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans offers Master in Public Health degrees with concentrations in various areas such as epidemiology, occupational health, community health and biostatistics. Students work closely with award-winning faculty on research projects involving breast cancer, cervical cancer, weight loss and tobacco cessation.

California State University

California State University offers a variety of Public Health degree programs for students who wish to work in many areas including health education, health policies, community health education and public health nursing. Students get to design and conduct individual research projects and participate in practicums with a diverse groups of patients, letting them develop an array of useful skills.

Arcadia University

Arcadia University, a top university when it comes to graduate studies and study abroad opportunities, offers students a Master's degree in Public Health that provides numerous chances to develop and refine their skills. Students can take advantage of domestic and international service projects, and can get a dual degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Armstrong Atlantic State University

Armstrong Atlantic State University, founded in 1935, offers students various learning opportunities. Its Master of Science in Public Health is fully accredited, the most recognized professional credential in public health and emphasizes Community Health Education.

Yale University

Yale University, perhaps the world's most respected university, offers students exceptional learning opportunities. Ranked as the third best university in the United States, it's Master of Public Health degree offers concentrations in such areas as Regulatory Affairs, Global Health and Chronic Diseases.

Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science offers a Master of Public Health degree that helps students learn how to apply community health education practices in urban areas. The school is recognizes as a national leader in addressing health discrepancies in urban settings, and encourages both faculty and students to conduct extensive research on urban health issues.

SUNY at Albany

SUNY at Albany provides perhaps the best array of graduate Public Health degrees of any school in the country. Offering Master's and Doctoral degrees in health policies, epidemiology, biometry and environmental health, the school's affiliation with the state Health Department and Albany Medical Center offer a variety of research and clinical opportunities.

New York University

New York University has over 17,000 graduate students enrolled, and it's Global Institute of Public Health offers a Master of Public Health degree that's looked upon with respect. Students can specialize in Community and International Health, Global Health and Public Nutrition.