Guide to Earning Your Master’s (MPH) in Epidemiology Online

Get answers to key questions, find top-ranked accredited schools, and start your journey towards earning your master’s in epidemiology online.

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Pursuing a career in epidemiology or related fields focused on studying and preventing the spread of diseases can be facilitated by obtaining a master’s degree in epidemiology online. With the ongoing pandemic and the potential for new diseases to emerge, the demand for epidemiologists is increasing. Pursuing an online master’s degree in epidemiology can provide a flexible and cost-effective path towards achieving this career goal.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 10-year growth rate for epidemiologists is 5%, which is above the national average for all occupations. Median pay is also quite high at $77,990 as of May 2019.

Earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a focus on epidemiology is the most direct way to enter the in-demand field of epidemiology. Thankfully, a growing number of accredited universities now offer online MPH epidemiology programs, making it easier to pursue this career path. This guide aims to provide an overview of the experience of obtaining a master’s degree in epidemiology online, present a list of top accredited schools offering such programs, and provide other useful information.

2024’s Best Online MPH Epidemiology Programs

As the demand for epidemiologists continues to rise, many universities now offer MPH epidemiology online degrees. However, not all programs are created equal, and some provide better value than others. Here are five universities that stand out in terms of quality and flexibility of their MPH epidemiology online programs.

About the ranking

College Ranking Methodology

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 the subject area offered partially or fully online.
  • Career placement and academic counseling services.

Assign Weightings

After generating the list of eligible schools, the STEPS data team then assigned weights and ranked schools based on their performance in a variety of key categories. Affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings, followed by online learning and academic quality metrics (equally weighted).

Online Learning

  • Number of online programs in subject area self-reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Percentage of graduate students at the school taking at least one class online.


  • Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on in-state tuition for graduate students per academic year.

Academic Quality

  • Student-to-faculty ratio: Schools with lower ratios ranked higher.
  • Percentage of students admitted. More selective schools ranked higher.

About Our Data

All STEPS rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: August 2023

Accreditation Glossary

ABHE: Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation

ABHES: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

ACCJC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

ACCSC: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

DEAC: Distance Education Accrediting Commission

HLC: Higher Learning Commission

MSCHE: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

NECHE: New England Commission of Higher Education

NWCCU: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

SACSCOC: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

TRACS: Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission

WSCUC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission


Texas A&M's innovative Master of Public Health program offers cross-disciplinary classes, so the students can learn relevant practical skills reagarding health issues a variety of populations and communities face. Graduates will be prepared to solve real-world problems while gaining a better understanding of the determinants of health, applied methods, epidemiology of diseases, policy and ethics, and interventions. Students can choose from six concentrations; Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, Occupational Safety and Health, and Biostatistics. The curriculum covers a variety of topics including investigation, assessment and intervention, research, and more. Each student must complete a field practicum and a capstone project.

Program Highlights:

Master of Public Health in Epidemiology

  • Credits: 45
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $7,696 per year (Resident); $15,492 per year (Nonresident)
  • Mode: 100% online
  • Accreditation: CEPH
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 19:1
Tuition (In-State) $
Accreditation SACSCOC
Online Students 24%

Kent State University's online Master of Public Health program is dedicated to high educational standards and working to improve public health through education, research, and policy. Graduates are prepared to be more effective and influential public health professionals. The Master of Public Health Program also promote real-world experience. The curriculum offers the theoretical tools and frameworks students need to make a difference in public health in their future career. Students choose from one of three specializations: epidemiology, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences. Each student will take the same set of six core courses, then four or five courses that are specific to their chosen specialization. The program culminates with a participation in a practicum course, and it is delivered online with flexibility to accommodate students' schedules.

Program Highlights:

Master of Public Health

  • Credits: 46
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $695 per credit hour (In state); $705 per credit hour (Out of state)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: CEPH and ASPPH
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 19:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Accreditation HLC
Online Students 70%


Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

The Master of Public Health concentration in Epidemiologic and Biostatistical Methods for Public Health and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins University is designed for students with quantitative backgrounds who wish to pursue a future career or advanced education in epidemiologic study design and statistical data analysis. Students will have an opportunity to participate in the design, conduct and analysis of research studies in public health and put those concepts into practice. Students who have already worked in a particular substantive area and have specific research questions will be best suited for this concentration. This curriculum allows students to outline lectures, participate in research-in-progress seminars, and articulate an appropriate hypothesis, study design, and data set.They'll summarize findings in a written research report as the MPH Capstone project and participate in a 100-hour practicum experience.

Program Highlights:

Master of Public Health concentration in Epidemiologic and Biostatistical Methods for Public Health and Clinical Research

  • Credits: 80
  • Length: 2-3 years
  • Cost: $1,321 per credit (Part time)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: CEPH
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 6:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Accreditation MSCHE
Online Students 81%


Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 13:1
Tuition (In-State) $$
Accreditation MSCHE
Online Students 35%
Academic Counseling Yes
Career Placement Yes
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 6:1
Tuition (In-State) $$$$$
Accreditation MSCHE
Online Students 29%

What You’ll Study in an Epidemiology MPH Online Degree Program

Enrolling in a master’s in epidemiology online degree program prepares you for almost any role within the field. After graduating, students can work in practice-based or research-based positions. To provide this professional flexibility, courses cover topics such as:

  • Chronic diseases
  • Infectious diseases
  • Data analysis and management
  • Biostatistics
  • Strategies for disease prevention and treatment

Students also apply their knowledge through a practicum, which often provides opportunities for developing a plan to address an actual public health issue. This allows students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills learned in their online epidemiology degree program.

Core Classes in Online Epidemiology MPH Degree Programs

Most programs leading to an epidemiology degree have two types of courses. The first includes core classes in public health optics. The second type is epidemiology specific. The five sample classes below give an idea of the types of courses to expect.

Foundations in Public Health

This course introduces the basic tenants of public health and the U.S. healthcare system. Students also learn about principles affecting how public health is run. These include social justice, human rights, racism, and public health programs throughout history.

Introduction to Biostatistics

Critical data analysis is key for anyone wanting a career in public health and epidemiology. This class introduces the fundamentals of statistical methods and interpretation and covers descriptive statistics, regression, and correlation.

Qualitative Data and Mixed Methods Analysis

Qualitative data is collected through direct observation and sampling methods like questionnaires and interviews. This course is designed to introduce students to the process of analyzing qualitative data and managing it alongside quantitative data in a mixed-method analysis.

Ethical and Regulatory Issues in Human Research

Research on humans helps gain an understanding of the common biological processes and health problems people encounter. This class explains the ethical and regulatory considerations when designing and conducting research involving individuals.


To gain a better understanding of knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, students complete a practicum to demonstrate application of these concepts to issues in public health.

What Can You Do with a Master’s in Epidemiology?

Obtaining an MPH degree in epidemiology can lead to a range of career opportunities in the public health, healthcare, and medical fiel