In this day and age where improvements in health are allowing people to live longer and therefore need healthcare longer, there is a growing need for educated individuals in the field of Public Health. Many students today are finding it much more convenient to get an online Public Health degree rather than attending traditional school since the flexibility provided allows them to create a better balance between work, school, and family life. There are a number of online MPH programs available for students who are looking for a quality education in the field. An MPH degree offers students a wide range of options for careers and is one of the most popular degrees among those working in Public Health.
Institutions in this ranking include private, not-for-profit and public schools which offer online MPH programs. None of the schools have been offered preferential treatment in the ranking, nor have any requested such. The methodology is fully disclosed so that any one person will be able to recreate the same ranking following the methodology and using the same sources. In some cases, when data was unavailable, an institution may have been omitted for those reasons.
Schools were scored based on four different numbers: the overall graduation rate, retention rate, residential cost of attendance (COA), and the overall grade given by students at Niche. Graduation and retention rates, the numbers stayed the same, only the % was dropped in order to made addition more simplified. For example, 65% would be considered as 65. While it is considered unheard of for any institution to have a total score of 400, it is possible for each of these four numbers to be 100 at their maximum.
Conversion scales, pictured below to the right, explain how affordability is ranked on a scale from 0 to 100 from the COA. There is also a scale which explains the letter to number conversion of grades obtained from Niche. After converting these into our numerical scale, the four numbers are added together to get a total score in order to rank the schools.
Why use graduation and retention rates? While these numbers are not always considered to be important factors for graduate students as they usually reflect students who are seeking out baccalaureate degrees, they were chosen as they are considered as a way to determine the overall success of an institution. For these reasons, they were chosen to be included in the ranking criteria.
The average cost of attendance is how we chose to measure the affordability of the college or university. Some schools offer different rates for residential students versus out-of-state students and in order to be fair, the residential cost of attendance was chosen to be taken into consideration for the ranking.
The Niche overall grade used as ranking criteria is a grade which has been determined by students who use the Niche platform in order to voice their opinions. Student opinion is valued, and thanks to Niche, we are able to use this measurement and convert it into numerical form in order to have input from actual students who have attended the institution as a contribution to the ranking.
The ranking formula is:
Graduation Rate + Retention Rate + COA + Niche Overall Grade = Final Score
25. Liberty University
Established in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, Liberty University is a private, non-profit Christian research university which is located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty is the largest Christian university in the world by enrollment size and as such it offers a large number of programs both on-campus and online. Liberty University offers its students a 100% online MPH program which is designed to guide working professionals through the fundamentals of public health and how we can learn from past events. Through the course of completing the degree, students will find themselves having the opportunity to look at public health in a number of ways and from different and distinct perspectives.
Students pursuing an online MPH at Liberty University must choose a cognate for their degree program from Global Health, Health Promotion, or Nutrition. The program consists of 42 total credit hours and up to 50% of the program hours may be transferred (if approved and allowable). After core and specialization courses are completed, the elective courses may be taken at the same time as completing the practicum.
24. University of Illinois at Springfield
Springfield, Illinois is home to the University of Illinois at Springfield which is a public university that was established in 1969. Students who are looking to enter or advance within the field of public health find that the Master of Public Health degree can provide them with the desired knowledge and, upon completion, credentials to get ahead in their chosen profession. The MPH degree is designed to help create future leaders in the field of public health in order to address growing concerns of our population’s well-being. Currently, all degrees by the department may be completed on-campus or may be taken entirely online, which include an MPH General, an MPH Environmental Health Concentration, and an MPH Professional Option and the student’s choice must be stated at the time of application.
All students participating in programs through the MPH department require 28 hours of core courses, which includes a 4-hour internship. Students who choose the general MPH or the MPH – EH options will have 48 hours of coursework to complete the program. The professional MPH requires 36 hours of coursework. There are also two joint programs, an MPH/MPA joint degree which requires 66 hours to complete and an MPH/HMS joint degree which requires 68. In order to change degree options, students must reapply. Students are required to pass a comprehensive written examination within one year of completing coursework in order to complete their degree. Students are allowed a maximum of three consecutive attempts.
23. Loyola University Chicago
The Windy City is the home to Loyola University Chicago (LUC) which is a private American Catholic research university which was founded in 1870. Today, Loyola is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation. The online MPH programs offered at Loyola are both online and in-person and designed to prepare the future public health leaders through a personalized educational experience, mentoring, rigorous research, and community engagement. The interdisciplinary MPH program and career-oriented concentrations are taught through multiple departments and institutes of Loyola’s high-ranking university system which include:
- – the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy
- – the Institute of Environmental Sustainability
- – the Stritch School of Medicine
- – the School of Social Work
- – the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
- – the School of Law
22. University of West Florida
Pensacola, Florida is home to the public institution, the University of West Florida (UWF) which was established in 1963. The online Master of Public Health program offered by UWF offers a high-quality interdisciplinary curriculum which is competency-based in order to teach students a deep understanding of public health so that they will be able to go on to become leaders in the field at local, national, and even global levels.
Students are able to choose from earning an online MPH generalist degree or an MPH in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. The program is 42 semester credit hours and the required elective courses give students an opportunity to tailor their degree in order to fit their interests and career goals. Being a multidisciplinary course of study, students will be able to learn many aspects of the field and gain the ability to view public health issues, problems, and policies from different perspectives. The program is also allied with several academic centers or certificate programs which offer students even more educational opportunities to deepen their understanding of public health in specific areas.
UWF has a close working relationship with area hospitals and the state public health facilities and even the military in order to provide a strong foundation in both healthcare and public health communities. This also helps to broaden internship opportunities for students at UWF. There is a 2-semester 6 credit hour internship required as a component of the online MPH program. Students are able to complete this under the guidance of an MPH Faculty Internship Advisor or a qualified mentor. Students are also required to complete and pass a proctored, closed-book MPH Comprehensive Exam in order to earn their degree.
21. Florida A&M University
Florida A&M University (FAMU) is a public HBCU in Tallahassee, Florida which was founded in 1887. An online Master of Public Health (MPH) is offered at FAMU through the Institute of Public Health within the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and is designed to help working adults further their education and become leaders in their field helping to preserve and promote good health in communities both locally and globally. FAMU is home to the first MPH degree offered online at an HBCU as well as the first accredited public health program in North Florida. It is no surprise that the FAMU MPH is one of the top producers of African American public health professionals in the United States.
FAMU recognizes that working professionals as students often seek out online programs for the flexibility they offer, so anywhere, anytime access is a key feature of the online MPH program. Students are able to learn through streaming audio and video lectures and are offered support through virtual office hours. Students will also enjoy free access to SAS, the leading statistical analysis software. Research assignments are tailored to the student’s areas of interest which can allow them to take advantage of their current work environment. The online MPH program is 5 semesters or 50 hours for full-time students. Students who choose to earn their degree part-time will take two courses at a time in sequence. Practicums are completed the final semester.
There are impressive employment connections which can be made through FAMU, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Congress, Florida Department of Health as well as other health departments across the country. Students may also choose to seek out employment in the private sector or community health centers. Opportunities are abundant for those holding an MPH degree.
20. Simmons College
Simmons College, located in Boston, Massachusetts, was established in 1899 and is a private women’s undergraduate college with a private co-educational graduate school. Simmons College offers students a 45-Credit online MPH program that takes 21 months to complete. The program is delivered through online courses, self-paced content, and in-person experiences designed to give students the real-world skills needed to become effective public health practitioners.
Students will explore the core areas of public health which include biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy/health services, social/behavioral health, and environmental health. Overall, students who complete the online MPH program at Simmons College will be prepared to become a leader in the public health field and to have a positive impact on public health at the local, national, and global level.
19. Mercer University
Established in 1833, Mercer University in Macon, Georgia is the oldest private university in the state. Mercer offers working adults an online MPH program which is taught by the same faculty as are found in the traditional classrooms on-campus. Students of the generalist MPH degree will learn valuable skill sets which can be applied to many opportunities in the field of public health. Mercer University has been educating public health care professionals since as early as 1998 and continues to be passionately committed to educating future leaders in public health.
Students learn how to promote wellness in ways such as improving access to health care and reducing environmental hazards, substance abuse, violence, and injury. Also, students will learn how to prevent disease as well as controlling infectious disease. Earning an MPH degree can be a rewarding opportunity to help improve the overall quality of life, and health, for families and communities.
18. Kent State University
Established in 1910, Kent State University is a public research university located in Kent, Ohio. In addition to having an excellent on-campus program, Kent State also offers an online Master of Public Health program with a choice of two unique specializations for students to be able to tailor their degree in order to fit their interests and public health career goals. These specializations are Health Policy and Management (HPM) and Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS).
The award-winning MPH curriculum consists of a minimum of 14 courses, or 46 credits, which can be broken down into 7 core courses which include the practicum for 25 credits, 5 specialization-specific courses for 15 credits, and 2 elective courses for 6 credits. Students are able to complete the program within 24 to 27 months. During their studies at Kent State University, students will learn knowledge and skills to help them become leaders in the field of public health.
17. George Washington University
Located in Washington, D.C. and founded in 1821, George Washington University (GW) offers students an online Master of Public Health degree program through their Milken Institute School of Public Health. Students, regardless of location, will find themselves helping to create solutions and solving some of the biggest challenges in the field of public health locally as well as globally. GW’s long-standing relationships with some of the world’s most influential health organizations allow students to help develop innovative and groundbreaking models for both national and international health care reform. Students may also participate in leading initiatives or programs which fight disease, improve upon community health policy, or assess the quality of other’s health care around the world.
The online MPH program consists of a blend of both live classes in an online classroom and real-world experience working in a public health practicum. Students can rest assured that they are getting the same degree as their peers who attend on campus as the courses are designed and led by the same faculty who teach the on-campus courses. The online MPH program at GW provides future public health leaders with a flexible online education making it an excellent choice for working professionals looking to expand their education.
16. University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in Birmingham, Alabama, is a public research university which was established in 1969 but has educational roots dating back to 1936. The School of Public Health at UAB offers students several program options for an Online Master of Public Health. Each is rich with a dynamic blend of online content, high-level collaboration with both peers and faculty, and real-world experience. The online MPH is designed to be convenient for working students who are unable to leave their jobs or relocate in order to pursue their degree.
There are online degree programs offered in both Environmental Health Sciences and Health Care Organization and Policy. Each program covers the same basic fundamentals as the standard degree but includes content which is tailored to the student’s specific interests and career choices. Most of the following programs offered at UAB range between 42 and 45 credits:
- – Online MPH in Environmental Health & Toxicology (ENHQ)
- – Online MPH Industrial Hygiene (IHYQ)
- – Online MPH in Occupational Health and Safety (OHSQ)
- – Online MPH in Health Care Organization (HCOP)
- – Online MPH in Maternal & Child Health Policy & Leadership (MCPL)
There is also an online dual-degree program for an MPH in Maternal & Child Health Policy & Leadership/Master of Social Work which is coordinated with University of Alabama (UA) School of Social Work in Tuscaloosa. This degree program is designed to prepare social workers for practice in public health programs that are concerned with the improvement and promotion of health of diverse populations which include women, children, and families.
15. University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is located in Tucson, Arizona and was founded in 1885 as the first university of the Arizona Territory. UA offers students an online MPH degree program with concentrations in Applied Epidemiology, Health Services Administration, and Health Promotion. The online program is designed as a 2-year program for working adults and is an interdisciplinary, professional degree in public health. Students will obtain knowledge and skills within the core areas of public health and will be able to obtain proficiency in one or more specialized areas of interest through completing advanced coursework. Students will also gain experience in applying their knowledge in order to solve real-world health problems in community settings during their internship training. The world-class faculty at UA help create their dynamic online learning experience which includes direct interaction, collaborative discourse, and integrative thinking.
14. Creighton University
Creighton University is a private Jesuit, Roman Catholic university and can be found in Omaha, Nebraska. Currently, the university serves more than 8,000 students and offers a variety of online programs for students who are unable to attend on-campus. Creighton’s online MPH program gives students the latest tools and techniques to be able to make their mark in the public health sector. Students are prepared for leadership roles in a wide variety of health-related areas within the field.
Students will learn:
- – To identify the health problems and needs of populations as well as evaluate how to meet those needs.
- – How to assure conditions which protect and promote the health of populations.
- – How to plan and put into place as well as evaluate health programs that address public health needs in cooperation with community members.
- – How to synthesize and communicate to the public their findings from research, practical experience in the field, and their own critical self-reflection on topics of public health concerns.
- – To carry out broad public health functions across various settings with competency.
Creighton’s online MPH degree program offers a choice of two concentrations alongside its dynamic and interactive core curriculum so that students are able to match their interests and career path to their program. The Health Policy and Ethics concentration prepares students to be able to answer some of the most difficult and intricate questions in the areas of bioethics, health-related law, and health care reform. Meanwhile, the Healthcare Management concentration sets its focus on leadership and management skills needed in order to obtain a position of authority and influence within public health organizations.
The online MPH program offered at Creighton can be completed 100% online so that adult learners are able to continue their education without concerns of attending a traditional classroom. This program is also one of the few online MPH programs which do not require a residency. Students are able to take 1 online course per 8-week session and often are able to complete the program within 2.5 years.
13. Grand Valley State University
Allendale, Michigan is home to the public liberal arts institution of Grand Valley State University and is one of the 100 largest universities in the United States, fifth largest in Michigan. The university has a large number of online and hybrid programs and among these are two online MPH programs. One online MPH program is offered with Health Promotion emphasis and the other with Public Health Administration emphasis. GVSU offers students a quiz to make sure that they are ready for online college and that it is the best choice for their lifestyle. Online and hybrid programs offered at GVSU are challenging and innovative, yet offer flexibility for students who are already working individuals.
12. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California can be found in Los Angeles, California. The Keck School of Medicine of USC offers an online MPH program which can be taken with several different concentrations, such as:
- – Biostatistics & Epidemiology – This concentration has students to engage in high-level research and analysis to improve public health in order to play a key role in preventing, treating, and controlling the spread of diseases.
- – Health Education & Promotion – With this concentration, students will strive to improve upon public health through means of education.
- – Global Health Leadership – This degree concentration is designed to help its graduates change the world through public health. Connecting with a global community can help the spread of infectious disease through long-distance travel, but at the same time it makes connecting with other public health officials across the world faster and easier.
- – Geohealth – Students will be able to learn spatial methods to improve public health.
- – Health Services and Policy – This concentration teaches students how to improve the quality of health at local and state levels, as well as federal levels.
The online MPH program is delivered through a customized online learning platform and state-of-the-art technology and was designed for students who want to study online and receive the same stimulating and rigorous academic program as those who choose to study on-campus. Students who choose the online MPH program are able to access the material 24/7 from anywhere with an internet connection. Students are able to engage with classmates and faculty in regular online sessions and virtual office hours as well as having the ability to meet online with classmates for study sessions and group projects or perhaps just to socialize.
Graduates will also have a wide variety of career options ahead of them upon completion, such as Hospital Administrator, Public Health Clinician, Health Educator, Data Analyst or Epidemiologist to name just a few.
11. Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is home to Temple University. Temple offers students a choice of two online MPH programs, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Health Policy and Management. These 45-credit programs are designed for working individuals who are able to complete the program within 3 years part-time. Courses are delivered in an accelerated 6-week format.
The program offers flexibility partially in an asynchronous format so that students are able to study when it is convenient for them, allowing them to create a better balance between work, school, and time with their family. There’s also live-stream course delivery in order to create a stronger link between students and Temple faculty members and researchers. The program also includes a local fieldwork experience which is both guided and supervised by Temple faculty.
Temple offers an option for students to complete dual MSW-MPH degree online.
10. San Diego State University
San Diego State University in San Diego, California offers a fully online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science. The program is offered through the SDSU Graduate School of Public Health and administered by the College of Extended Studies. The program has a 20-month duration and teaches students to be able to develop, implement, and evaluate public health programs. The program was designed for early- to mid-career professionals in the public health industry and, as it is fully online, allows its students to be able to study on their own time and be able to find a good balance between work, school, and home life.
9. George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia is where students will find George Mason University. Mason is home to a 42-credit online MPH program in the Public Health Practice concentration designed for students who wish to enter or advance in the field of public health. The online MPH program provides coursework in five core areas including biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health administration, as well as social and behavioral sciences. Students will examine social and environmental factors which are associated with improving community health, as well as the health of the overall population. Students who complete the course will also be prepared for the Certified in Public Health (CPH) examination.
8. University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is located in the capital city of Columbia, South Carolina and offers students 2 different online MPH programs. Both are designed to help enhance the knowledge and skills of students either working in the public health field or plan to do so in the future. The Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior offered by USC is designed for students who care deeply about the health and welfare of their fellow man and are either already working in the public health field or intend to upon graduation. Graduates of this 45-unit program will learn more about the fundamentals of public health and be able to contribute to the organization, the creation of policies, and learning and disseminating knowledge pertaining to public health. USC also offers a Master of Public Health in Health Services Policy and Management for students whose interests and career paths are better suited for this focus of study.
7. University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is located in Tampa, Florida and offers students a variety of online MPH programs in different concentrations so that students are able to find a program which is tailored for their chosen career path. Students participating in MPH programs at USF come from, and advance to, many different health organizations, careers, and locations. No matter if they are at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, in foreign military locations, or even in remote rural communities, it is certain that they are working hard and applying their academic knowledge to their real-life situations by mitigating health risks, working in a healthcare program, or working on public health policies. Students are able to choose between the following programs:
- – M.P.H. in Public Health Practice
- – M.P.H. in Public Health Administration
- – M.P.H. in Health, Safety & Environment
- – M.P.H. in Global Disaster Management and Humanitarian Relief
- – M.P.H. in Epidemiology
- – M.P.H. in Infection Control
6. University of Massachusetts Amherst
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is located in Amherst, Massachusetts and offers an online MPH in Public Health Practice. This is a general concentration which allows students to tailor their degree in order to suit the area of public health they are most interested in. It is a 42-credit course which is delivered 100% online, with no residency requirement so students are not required to visit campus. Students are able to take 1 to 3 courses per semester and since the program is asynchronous, fitting in school time with an already busy schedule is even easier.
5. Indiana University Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana is home to IU Bloomington and offers students an online MPH in Parks and Recreation. The program is designed for students who either are looking to gain employment or are currently employed in positions such as parks directors, program coordinators, proprietors of private recreation facilities, and health department personnel among other careers. Students will learn the skills needed in order to make decisions on resource and land use with public health in mind. The 44-credit hour program can be completed in as little as 2 years for full-time students or 4 years for part-time students. The program is a non-thesis program, however, it does require a 3-credit field experience of practical application of public health.
4. Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana is home to Purdue University which offers students who are dedicated to public health a degree program which can be taken either on campus or online. The online MPH includes a concentration in Family and Community Health which focuses on the needs of the family unit. The program is designed for both professionals already working in the field of public health as well as students who are looking to enter the field. Students will learn enhanced knowledge about epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health sciences, and behavioral and social sciences in order to gain a better understanding of public health as a whole. There is also a 400 work-hour practicum included as part of the program which can be tailored to suit the student’s area of interest and will serve as a solid foundation for their career goals.
3. University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley is located in the town of Berkeley, California and is considered to be a school of high academic prestige.The online MPH program offered through the School of Public Health is 14 courses totaling 42 semester units which is able to be completed mostly online with 2 intensive 1-week on-campus sessions. In all, students are able to earn their degree in about 2 ½ years. Students who complete the program can expect not only to learn in-depth knowledge about the core fundamentals of public health but should also prepare for rapid career growth upon completion.
2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers students four different online MPH programs to choose from. Many of the students are already professionals in one of the many different kinds of health organizations and enjoy the benefit of expanding their education at an institution which has a strong academic reputation.
The Executive Master of Public Health which is regarded by many to be one of top executive healthcare leadership programs in the nation is offered in a mostly online format. There are three annual visits to the campus at Chapel Hill consisting of 6 days in the fall semester, 4 in the spring, and 4 during the summer session.
MPH in Public Health Leadership with Leadership Track is another mostly online MPH program which only requires on-campus attendance for 2 four-day sessions which are typically held in August and May of the first year. This MPH offers four different focus areas which include public health practice, public health program development, public health nursing which is for BSNs only, and field epidemiology.
UNC at Chapel Hill also offers an online MPH in Public Health Leadership with Occupational Health Nursing Concentration. While most of the program is conducted online, there are 2 one-week on-campus sessions students must attend and they are usually held in late summer.
Public Health Leadership Global Online MPH is 100% online and was designed in order to create strong leaders with the intricate knowledge and analytical skills in order to create and implement policies or programs needed to address global public health issues.
1. University of Florida
The University of Florida, or UF, is located in Gainesville, Florida and is often recognized for its excellence in academics. UF offers a growing number of programs in the online format, which includes an online MPH program offered through the College of Public Health and Health Professions. The program is designed to give students all the benefits of the on-campus program offered fully online.
The online MPH is a 48-credit program and students have 7 years from the date of admission to complete the courses and program objectives. There are two concentrations available which are Public Health Practice and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Students who have already earned a health-based doctorate degree are able to request the online accelerated MPH program.