Is an online MPH the same as one earned on campus?

online mph

Going back to school for an online MPH can be intimidating. Whether you haven’t been in school for a long time, or you have a mountain of existing responsibilities to contend with, the specter of going for a higher degree can make you wonder how you’ll make it work. Fortunately, there’s an ever larger pool of higher education institutions that are competing to give you a top notch education, at an affordable price and in a delivery method that can fit your life.

By earning an online MPH degree you have an opportunity to fit a Masters degree that can completely revolutionize your career and life into your ongoing schedule. Whether you want to attend school part or full time, over a few semester or over years, with some in-person participation or none at all, and a plethora of other options, chances are there’s a program that will fit your criteria. But will an online MPH degree be the same as one earned on-campus?

In some ways yes, in others no. If you need more constant stimulation and interaction to succeed at school, you might want to go to school on campus. If you know you’ll do a better job if you can take lectures and interactive classes, and complete assignments virtually, you’ll prefer online education. Also, you might want to attend a school in another state but not have the option to move. In that case online education might be the only way to attend the program of your choosing.

Public health is an area of study that has seen an explosion in online offerings. The demand for public health professionals is on the rise. Online MPH graduates often go on to work in health education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 16% growth in health educator jobs by 2026. That translates to 19,200 new positions, on top of the existing 118,500 in 2016. That’s much quicker than average, and a good indicator of the expected growth for many jobs a Masters degree in public health qualifies graduates for. We’ve ranked some of the best online MPH programs here.

Most colleges and universities take pride in figuring out how to provide the same quality of education online that they do on campus. To that end, the he Council on Education for Public Health, or CEPH does its part to authenticate online public health programs (generally Master’s and some doctorate programs). CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for accrediting schools of public health and other public health programs. CEPH accredits schools based on how they advance public health and promote student success.

Many of the schools we’ve ranked have received CEPH accreditation, including the University of West Florida, Nova Southeastern University, the University of New England, the University of Southern California, and Des Moines University.

So while an online MPH is different in many ways than an on-campus MPH, it can absolutely be its educational equal.

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