The 5 Best Public Health Degrees in Michigan

Andrews University Berrien Springs Michigan

Public Health Degree Programs in Michigan

Best Public Health Degrees in MichiganMichigan is the tenth most populated state in the country and the 11th most extensive in land area. Its economy has been deeply wounded by a loss of manufacturing work, which has opened up investments to some degree. However, there has been somewhat of a resurgence in auto manufacturing, and the state’s economy is also known for its forestry, agriculture, services, and high-tech industry. Its most recent unemployment rates came in at 4.5%, and it had the 14th largest gross state product in 2017. 30 of the top 1000 companies in America are headquartered in Michigan.

Those looking to capitalize on Michigan’s fallen stock have helped exacerbate longtime issues of income inequality, discrimination, drug use, and an assault on public utilities, most famously demonstrated in the Flint water crisis. Major public health problems in Michigan include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Chronic Illness
  • HIV
  • Lack of public funding
  • Lack of insurance and/or access to care
  • Obesity

U.S. News & World Report ranks Michigan 34th in healthcare access, 24th in healthcare quality, and 26th in public health. Within public health specific rankings, it ranks 40th in mental health, 40th in low smoking rate, 41st in low obesity rate, 37th in low mortality rate and 31st in low infant mortality rate.

Michigan desperately needs public health professionals, and its education system has begun to reflect that need. On this ranking, you’ll find programs that specifically target the Flint water crisis and how environmental policy shapes water and air quality. You’ll also find a plethora of classes designed to help you combat Michigan’s other serious public health issues.

Earning your degree in public health from a Michigan school doesn’t confine you to working in Michigan, but it certainly would help you get a job in the area. You could work in:

  • Advocating for better care and higher standards.
  • In environmental health.
  • Leading campaigns to curb obesity, smoking, and infant mortality.
  • Doing research on the public health problems that impact Michigan.
  • Since public health problems let you specialize in areas important to you, you can focus on what you’re passionate about in the field.

On this list we’ve ranked five of the best public health degree programs in Michigan using the following methodology:


In building the ranking for The 5 Best Public Health Degree Programs in Michigan, we here at OnlineMastersinPublicHealth looked through all of the MPH programs available in the state of Michigan. Programs may be available online, hybrid, or on-campus. These were then examined and evaluated considering the schools which offered them. We then followed a standard methodology which is explained below.

Methodology for Public Health Degrees

1) University of Michigan

Michigan is a highly ranked public, research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was founded in 1817 and currently serves over 46,000 students while providing an 11:1 student to faculty ratio. Michigan is known as a leading research university in the country and has produced 25 Nobel Prize winners, 6 Turing Award winners and 1 Fields Medalist. The school offers more than 200 undergraduate majors, 100 doctoral programs, and 90 master’s programs. Its Michigan Wolverines offer 27 varsity sports competing in NCAA Division 1. Its notable alumni include U.S. president Gerald Ford, 26 Rhodes scholars, and a plethora of playwrights (Arthur Miller), U.S. legislators (Dick Gephardt), and billionaire CEOs (Google’s Larry Page), among its nearly 500,000 living alumni.

Michigan offers a wide variety of public health degrees through its school of public health. They include four graduate degrees, a joint degree, several dual degrees, and two undergraduate degrees. Students complete these degrees through different departments of the Public Health school, which include Bachelor’s in Public Health, Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Health Education, Health Management and Policy, and Nutritional Sciences. Michigan offers on-campus MPH’s that can be customized to student’s interests, M.S. degrees in Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Health Management and Policy, and Nutritional Sciences, a DrPH, and both a B.A. and B.S. in Public Health. Michigan is looking to begin an online MPH in the Fall of 2019.


2) Michigan State University

MSU is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan. It was founded in 1855. It often ranks among the top 30 public universities in the country and the top 100 research universities globally. Over 50,000 students attend MSU, which offers a 16:1 student to faculty ratio. In total, it offers more than 200 academic programs through 17 colleges. Its Michigan State Spartans compete in the NCAA Division 1 in 12 varsity sports for men and 13 for women. Its notable alumni include billionaire Dan Gilbert, actor James Caan, Magic Johnson, and many others. In total there are well over half a million living alumni of MSU.

MSU offers an online MPH. All required courses and advising are offered online. The program requires 43 credits and meets all standards of MPH Foundational Knowledge and Competencies set by the Council on Education for Public Health. It can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis (students can complete the program in under two years, or in up to six). The program is broken down into ten credits of foundational courses, 15 credits of core courses, 12 credits of elective courses and six credits in culminating experience courses. Students specialize through choosing electives in Public Health Policy/Administration, Global and Cultural Public Health, Public Health Epidemiology/Biostatistics/Surveillance, Infections, Disease, and Public Health, and Public Health Nutrition. Their culminating experience will come through a practicum or a capstone project.


3) Calvin College

Calvin College Michigan
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Calvin is a private, liberal arts college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was founded in 1876 by the Christian Reformed Church. Calvin offers majors and minors in 109 academic/pre-professional disciplines. Over 3,800 students attend the school, which has a 12:1 student to faculty ratio. It’s known for its off-campus programs and its uncommonly high rate of students that study abroad. Notable alumni include Betsy and Richard DeVos, filmmaker Patricia Rozema, and screenwriter/filmmaker Paul Schrader. The Calvin Knights compete in the NCAA Division III, offering ten men’s and eleven women’s varsity sports. The U.S. News & World Report ranks Calvin 1st in its 2019 Regional Colleges Midwest ranking.

Calvin offers a Bachelor’s in Public Health. It blends coursework in sociology, biology, economics, political science, math, international development, health education, and how they impact public health. Graduates will be prepared to begin careers in biostatistics and epidemiology, health education and health policy, and global and environmental health, or to continue your public health education at the graduate level, or study medicine, nursing or social work at the graduate level. Calvin also offers a minor in public health. Requirements for its Bachelor’s program include Ethical Dimensions of Health Care, Health Economics and Health Policy, and Diversity and Inequality in the United States. Students are strongly encouraged to take an internship as part of this program.


4) Grand Valley State University


Grand Valley is a public liberal arts university in Allendale, Michigan. It was founded in 1960. Grand Valley offers students programs in more than 200 areas of study, with 82 undergraduate majors and 36 graduate programs that include 74 graduate emphases and certificate programs. Over 25,000 students attend GVSU, which has a 16:1 student to faculty ratio. USNR ranked it 14th in their 2019 Best Value Schools ranking. GVSU’s Lakers play in NCAA Division II sports teams are called the Lakers, and compete in all 19 intercollegiate varsity sports. The school’s notable alumni include a number of professional football players, Michigan legislators, MMA fighters and pro baseball players.

Grand Valley offers a Master of Public Health that comes in an online or hybrid format, offering greater flexibility. The program comes in two emphasis areas: Epidemiology and Health Promotion. After taking 51-54 credits, students can become professionally certified through the National Board of Public Health Examiners Certified in Public Health (CPH) Exam. The school offers information sessions about its MPH on a regular basis in the run-up to semesters. Rolling admissions to the program begin after November 1st, 2018, with a deadline for applying on 3/1/2019. GVSU’s MPH is focused on social justice action and research that helps promote public health and deter widespread health problems.


5) Andrews University

Andrews University Berrien Springs Michigan
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Andrews is a private, Seventh-day Adventist university in Berrien Springs, Michigan. It was founded in 1874. Currently, 3,300 students attend Andrews, which offers a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Andrews is comprised of eight schools/colleges, that let students access 130 undergraduate majors and 70 graduate majors. In health, it offers programs in Nursing, Physical Therapy, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology, Public Health, and Nutrition & Wellness. Andrews offers men’s basketball, soccer and club ice hockey, and women’s basketball and soccer. Notable alumni include news anchor Bill Shadel, physicist Melba Newell Phillips, and governor-general of Jamaica Sir Patrick Linton Allen.

Andrews offers a Bachelor of Science in Public Health in Environmental Health. Sample courses include Water & Air Quality, Nutrition in the Life Cycle, Environmental Risk & Policy. They also offer related degrees including Nutrition Science and Dietetics (you can choose to specialize in one over the other), Exercise Science, Nutrition, and Fitness. These programs will prepare you to earn an Andrews’ online MPH, and/or begin your career in public health. Andrews’ MPH comes in a Nutrition and Wellness concentration. It emphasizes vegetarian nutrition and offers 50% tuition scholarships for MPH students. It can be completed in 18 months of full-time study. Sample courses include Biostatistics, Grant Writing, and Current Issues in Nutrition and Wellness. Andrews also offers several related health programs.


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