Why This Matters

  • JOB GROWTH PROJECTED TO GROW 16% BY 2026

    The U.S. needs 19,200 new community health workers and health educators in the next decade. Projected job growth in this field is much faster than average.

  • EARN $30,000 MORE WITH AN ADVANCED DEGREE

    The median annual wage for an epidemiologist, a master’s-level entry position, is $69,660, double what many bachelor’s-level entry positions earn.

  • WORK IN ONE OF 6 DISTINCT AREAS OF FOCUS

    Public health covers a range of jobs that fall into the categories of research, government, education, administration, community outreach, and law.

Our Research

The field of public health encompasses many responsibilities related to keeping individuals and communities healthy. Tasks include studying patterns of diseases, educating people about healthy habits, addressing environmental causes of disease, and helping people access care. Some public health jobs can be obtained with a bachelor’s degree, but many that require specialized, advanced knowledge are only available to those with a Master’s in Public Health.

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits public health degree programs in the U.S. to ensure quality in public health education. Additionally, those who complete CEPH-accredited programs are eligible for the Certified in Public Health credential after receiving their degree. Therefore, we only evaluated online MPH programs that are CEPH-accredited.

We evaluated each program’s reputation in the field, flexibility, and cost. Using this information, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each degree on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 54 hours to write this article
  • 145 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 267 education programs we compared

The Top 47 Online Master’s in Public Health Programs

Best Online Master's in Public Health Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

As a complex field with critical responsibilities, public health demands that practitioners have the right knowledge and experience. Some MPH programs require students to already have a bachelor’s degree or professional experience in public health or a related field. If you don’t have a background in healthcare, it’s important to select a program that does not have a degree or professional prerequisites.

After earning their degree from a CEPH-accredited program, public health workers can obtain the Certified in Public Health, an optional credential that may make you more attractive to employers. Some jobs may require employees to have or earn this credential; attending a CEPH-accredited school will guarantee that you meet the educational requirements for the exam.

Even programs that have coursework that can be completed fully online typically require an in-person practicum and internship. When and where you complete this field experience depends on the program, so make sure that this requirement fits into your schedule and budget.

Many jobs exist under the umbrella of public health. Several online master’s programs offer concentrations in these various areas. However, those who have more general knowledge and are flexible in the type of job or setting they want might have the best job prospects, as competition for very specific jobs within public health can be stiff.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online MPH programs:

  • Am I eligible to enroll in this program as an out-of-state student? Practicum and internship requirements may affect your ability to enroll as an out-of-state distance learning student, even at schools that are part of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. Confirm with the program that they offer online degrees in your state.
  • What specializations are available? There are many opportunities for specialization within public health. Research these specializations, and confirm that your program of interest has the concentration you want. Certain jobs, like public health lawyer, may require an additional degree.

As part of your research process, get information about the programs’ application processes and deadlines. This information is typically available on the program’s webpage; you can also contact the program directly if you have questions.

Funding your graduate education is another important consideration. Ask the schools you are applying to about scholarship and financial aid opportunities and deadlines. For individuals already employed in the healthcare field, your employer might offer tuition reimbursement or other financial support options for earning your master’s degree.