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

Getting your master’s in epidemiology can be a flexible, convenient, and affordable option for earning your advanced degree in the field. Read our guide to get answers to key questions, find top-ranked accredited schools, and start your journey towards earning your master’s in epidemiology online.

Author: Shannon Lee
Editor: STEPS Staff

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A woman with gloves handles a sample after earning her master's in epidemiology online.

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 27%, which is far above the national average for all occupations. Median pay is also quite high at $81,390 as of May 2023.

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.

Affordability

  • 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

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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