Why This Matters


    According to O*NET, 23% of epidemiologists working to protect public health have obtained a doctoral degree, while just 7% of epidemiologists have obtained only a bachelor’s degree.


    Due to ongoing public health crises and the need for further education for those in the healthcare industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 5% increase in the need for epidemiologists in state and local government organizations by 2029.


    According to the BLS, the top 10% of epidemiologists in the country earned more than $126,040 annually as of May 2020, with the annual median wage sitting at $74,560.

Our Research

This list features the best online doctorate in public health programs. While most of these programs offer you the opportunity to learn at your own pace, some may be synchronous, meaning you’ll need to attend online lectures and stick to course schedules.

The Council on Education for Public Health is an independent agency that accredits post-secondary and post-graduate institutions offering programs with a focus on public health. Many programs on this list are accredited by this organization, but some are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or other regional accreditation organizations.

  • 62 hours to write this article
  • 56 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 99 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Doctorate in Public Health Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

When researching programs for an online doctorate in public health, it’s important to check that the school you select is accredited by a legitimate organization. You can check a school’s accreditation status using the Office of Postsecondary Education’s Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

The outlook for graduates of these programs is bright. Career options include epidemiologist, health department director, community health manager, and public health consultant. You may also want to consider a career in education by joining the faculty of a postsecondary institution or providing guest lectures.

Before obtaining a doctorate, some programs might require you to have a master’s degree, but others may accept you with just a bachelor’s degree. Prior to applying for a program, make sure you understand its prerequisites.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online doctorate in public health programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Every online doctorate program has different requirements, and it’s important to make sure you have all the prerequisites before you apply. Some programs may require you to have a master’s or bachelor’s degree in a specific field before you can be accepted into the program.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most online doctorate in public health programs take about three years to complete.

It’s important to take note of application deadlines and processes for every program that you’re interested in. Most schools make this information readily available on their website.

If you require financing for your degree, it’s also important to keep track of financial aid application deadlines, as well as any scholarships, grants, bursaries, or fellowships you plan on applying for.