Masters Degrees in Public Health Online

Online MPH programs offer students a flexible path to getting an advanced degree and beginning (or continuing) a solid career. Get the inside scoop on earning your MPH online, from choosing the right school and accreditation to online coursework, practicum, and how much it all costs.

Last Updated: 05/11/2022

Best Online MPH Programs for 2022

The Master in Public Health (MPH) is an increasingly popular degree, and many schools have risen to the challenge, meeting the demand for strong, CEPH-accredited education in the field. With so many great options available, how can you know you’re choosing the best one for your unique needs? It can help to narrow down those options based on the key factors that matter most to you. Our list of the best online MPH Programs for 2022 allows you to do just that, and gives you the “top” programs according to your own must-have criteria including affordability, accreditation, and student benefits.

About the ranking

Methodology for the STEPS Best Online Programs in 2022

Generate List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

Assign Impact of Data Points

After generating the list of eligible schools, the STEPS data team then assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability. Online program availability and overall affordability received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. When unable to verify this number, a star-based system was used to signify the number of programs relative to peers.

Affordability

  • Cost:
    Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid:
    Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling:
    Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement:
    Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

All STEPS rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021

1
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Total online programs: 4

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 60%
Online Students 6,420
2
University of South Carolina-Columbia

Columbia, South Carolina

Total online programs: 4

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 83%
Online Students 2,515

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 14:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 77%
Online Students 3,312

Total online programs: 4

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 20:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 38%
Online Students 570
5
George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia

Total online programs: 4

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 13:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 71%
Online Students 1,253
6
Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Total online programs: 4

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 6:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 57%
Online Students 4,640
7
University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 76%
Online Students 2,293
8
George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 34%
Online Students 2,617
9
University of Lynchburg

Lynchburg, Virginia

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 10:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 100%
Online Students 280
10
Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 51%
Online Students 3,201
11
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 11:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 54%
Online Students 8,411

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 14:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 58%
Online Students 536
13
University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 35%
Online Students 5,583
14
Central Washington University

Ellensburg, Washington

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 20:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 65%
Online Students 194
15
University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 14:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 71%
Online Students 4,488
16
Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 88%
Online Students 254
17
Purdue University-Main Campus

West Lafayette, Indiana

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 13:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 40%
Online Students 3,362
18
Portland State University

Portland, Oregon

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 19:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 56%
Online Students 440
19
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 22:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 6%
Online Students 160
20
Indiana University-Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 61%
Online Students 3,367
21
University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 68%
Online Students 3,161
22
Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 11:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 100%
Online Students 1,382
23
New York University

New York, New York

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 8:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 57%
Online Students 11,371
24

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 22:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 67%
Online Students 3,588
25
University of Maryland-College Park

College Park, Maryland

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 43%
Online Students 3,214
26
Idaho State University

Pocatello, Idaho

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 13:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 70%
Online Students 782
27
University of Illinois Springfield

Springfield, Illinois

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 12:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 91%
Online Students 238
28

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 80%
Online Students 1,263
29

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 73%
Online Students 978
30

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Institutional Financial Aid 96%
Online Students 420
31

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 82%
Online Students 1,152
32
East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 19:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Institutional Financial Aid 49%
Online Students 829
33
University of Evansville

Evansville, Indiana

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 10:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 100%
Online Students 24
34
Texas State University

San Marcos, Texas

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 22:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 31%
Online Students 1,861
35

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 14:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 100%
Online Students 15
36
University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 15:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 89%
Online Students 949
37
The University of Montana

Missoula, Montana

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 66%
Online Students 225
38
East Tennessee State University

Johnson City, Tennessee

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 16:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 56%
Online Students 421
39
Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 15:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 77%
Online Students 404
40
Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 78%
Online Students 477
41
The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 20:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 65%
Online Students 1,852

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 19:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 76%
Online Students 7,194
43
St Catherine University

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 11:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 100%
Online Students 371
44
Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 69%
Online Students 819
45
University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 84%
Online Students 697
46
Tufts University

Medford, Massachusetts

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 10:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 38%
Online Students 2,352
47
Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, Georgia

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 22:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Institutional Financial Aid 22%
Online Students 561
48
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 80%
Online Students 1,044
49

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 53%
Online Students 391
50
Shenandoah University

Winchester, Virginia

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 10:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 100%
Online Students 393
51
Simmons University

Boston, Massachusetts

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 9:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 99%
Online Students 67
52
Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 18:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 73%
Online Students 641
53
Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 19:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$
Institutional Financial Aid 72%
Online Students 469
54
Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Total online programs: 2

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 14:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 79%
Online Students 1,852

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 7:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 0%
Online Students 793
56
Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

Total online programs: 3

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 10:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 47%
Online Students 958
57
Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 13:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$
Institutional Financial Aid 78%
Online Students 4,197

Total online programs: 1

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to- Faculty Ratio 17:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Institutional Financial Aid 68%
Online Students 2,743

Get to Know the MPH Online

By the time a student reaches the master’s level in public health, they already have a firm grasp of foundational concepts in the field, and likely a few years of work experience to go along with it. This is why more and more MPH programs are becoming mostly or fully online – many of the courses lend themselves to delivery via distance learning, and many of the students want or need to balance work, home life, and school. However, that doesn’t mean that all programs are entirely online. Let’s take a look at the different options available.

Types of Online MPH Programs

Online master’s programs tend to have multiple options available to cater to the often-diverse needs of graduate students. Many of those students have been in the workforce for a number of years and are looking for a quick career boost with a fast and flexible program. Some of them are working professionals who simply can’t take time off from that employer to pursue higher education, or they have family and community obligations that demand much of their time. How are schools accommodating these needs with their online MPH programs?

The Standard Online MPH

The MPH online is designed for those who are already working in the field and want to further their career with the master’s designation. Therefore, many of these online programs are extremely flexible, giving students the opportunity to take classes in several different timelines. For instance, some programs might allow students to take one class at a time and work at their own pace; others will require students to take a certain number of courses with their cohort, thus allowing for more peer and professor interaction. A variety of start dates is also a common thread among online MPH programs, providing even more flexibility for those who might need to juggle work and personal obligations along with higher education.

In addition, many schools ask students to meet on campus a few times each year. These campus visits are designed to build camaraderie among the cohort, allow students to get to know each other and their professors, and attend discussions and lectures that spark further interest and passion in the field. These campus visits may occur a few weeks each year, but again it varies – some require several weeks, others just two-to-three-day per year.

The Online MPH Curriculum

Though each school might have a different curriculum structure and some differences in any elective courses, the core courses of the MPH program teach the most important aspects of theory, research, policy, and other important points in healthcare. Here’s what students can expect from the core courses in any MPH curriculum.

Public Health Policy: A cornerstone course of the MPH program, this focuses on helping students learn to address public health problems and crises from the point of view of policy and using various methods of assessment to see how well the policies are working.

Applied Epidemiology: This course is an in-depth look at the field of epidemiology; students will be exposed to studies on the impact certain diseases can have on families, communities, countries, and the world at large.

Interested in specializing your entire MPH degree in epidemiology? Check out our dedicated guide to earning your master’s in epidemiology online.

Health and the Environment: Students will explore the role of environment in human health, how chemical and biological factors affect health and behavior, and how the environment can have an impact on physical aspects and disease in individuals and broader communities.

Health Policy and Management: This course provides an in-depth look at the healthcare system at large, including health management concepts, policy issues, research methodology, and the applications of existing and new policy to population-based healthcare.

Public Health Research: Research is a vitally important part of public health policy. This course looks at a wide variety of points concerning research, such as variable and objectives, theory and research relationships, ethics, designing research questions, and taking valid measurements, among other related factors.

Ethical Factors in Public Health: This course looks at public health from an ethical standpoint, including the role of morality and faith in public health policy, as well as ethical points to ponder when designing research and implementing policy.

Health Services Administration: Students will learn the basics of administration for health services, including an overview of financial and managerial accounting, operational and capital budgeting, management skills, and value-enhancing decision making. This course goes hand-in-hand with the practicum.

Communication in Healthcare: This course looks at the layered roles of communication in public health, from the doctor-patient relationship to broad national health campaigns. The role of communication in shaping health behaviors, forming attitudes and beliefs and changing the way information is exchanged will all be addressed.

Practicum & Earning an MPH Online

Many MPH online programs require practicums: supervised, in-person experiences that help drive home the lessons learned in the online classroom. In most cases, practicums can be completed at an approved facility near the student’s location. For some, this approved location might be where they already work, thus allowing for even more flexibility in their degree pursuit.

However, some practicums occur on campus. These “intensives” might last anywhere from a few days to a week and are designed to allow students to meet with their cohort, consult with faculty and engage in in-person learning that broadens their understanding of the classroom material.

Online MPH Programs with No GRE

In some cases, students can enter the online MPH program without fulfilling the GRE requirement. The Graduate Record Examination is the standard test used by many schools to help weed through applicants to their programs. However, some schools look at other factors that make up a student’s history, such as grade point average or work experience, and let those hold more weight than the GRE score. Some schools will allow those who have a certain amount of work experience, such as five years in the public health field, to waive the GRE requirement when entering the master’s program.

One-year Online MPH Programs

Those who want to hit the fast track with their education can opt for the one-year online MPH. Keep in mind that this highly accelerated program requires intense focus, which can make it more difficult to continue working during that time – in fact, those in this program will likely take an overload of courses to complete their degree in the one-year time frame. Finishing the program quickly gives you a higher credential that allows you to look for promotions, higher pay, and more. The one-year online MPH is best for those who have the time to devote themselves solely to their education.

CEPH Accredited Online MPH Programs

Accreditation is critical when looking for the right fit in MPH programs. Regional accreditation is the gold standard for ensuring a school meets all the criteria of a high-quality education; regional accreditation is institutional, so a school obtains it as a whole. Programmatic accreditation is also important to help ensure students who graduate from a particular program are well-versed in their new field and ready to begin their new career. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA), is the organization responsible or accrediting MPH programs. When looking for a top-notch program that provides the recognition your eventual degree deserves, make CEPH accreditation a priority.

Online MPH Program FAQs

Choosing the best program for you is only the first step. Earning an MPH online requires preparation before entering the program, staying on top of things during your studies, and getting yourself ready to transfer to a solid career afterward. To prepare for those challenges, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into when you enroll in the MPH program. The following FAQs tackle some of the most important questions you can ask as you navigate the full process.

Can You Get Into an MPH Program Online?

When applying to an MPH program, remember that first, you will have to be accepted into the graduate school at the college you wish to attend. Those admissions requirements tend to be the same across most schools, with expectations that include official transcripts, a personal essay, a resume, and letters of recommendation. However, keep in mind that some schools will allow you to simply apply directly to the graduate program.

Admission to the program can include many of the same elements as for general admission to the school, with a few notable exceptions: some schools will not require the GRE if you have substantial work experience, while others might require it if you’ve been out of school for five years or more. The personal statement will be tailored to showcase your prowess in the public health arena, and the letters of recommendation should come from those who are very familiar with your abilities in the field. In addition, some programs want to see a certain amount of work experience; make sure you have met that requirement before applying.

How Long Does an Online MPH Take?

The MPH program can take as long as four years to complete, assuming part-time study – with many schools capping the window of completion at five years – or as little as one year of accelerated, intense study that requires focus on little but school with a heavy course load. Here’s what to expect from the various potential timelines.

Term Course Credits
Fall 2019 Communication and Teamwork 2
Fall 2019 Epidemiology 3
Fall 2019 Biostatistics 3
Fall 2019 Survey Research Methods 3
Spring 2020 Foundations of Health Policy 9
Spring 2020 Environmental Health 1
Fall 2020 Ethics in Healthcare 1
Fall 2020 Health Administration 3
Fall 2020 Data-informed Decision-Making 3
Fall 2020 Planning and Evaluating Change 3
Spring 2021 Health Policy 3
Spring 2021 Population Health Strategies 3
Spring 2021 Comparative Health Systems 1
Spring 2021 Healthcare Communication 2
Through All Terms Practicum 12

How Much Does an Online MPH Cost?

Earning an MPH online means pouring in a great deal of time and effort, as well as making a financial commitment to your future. Before taking that leap, it’s important to understand what kind of bottom line you’ll be looking at as you start the program. We gathered information on five MPH programs to provide you with a firm idea of what the financial commitment might look like.

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Total Cost
Southern New Hampshire University 42 $627/Credit $26,334
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 80 $872/Credit $69,720
The George Washington University 45 $1,750/Credit $78,750
UC Berkeley 42 $1,275/Credit $51,072
Dartmouth College 56 $1,324/Credit $74,140