Individuals with a Master of Public Health degree have an array of opportunities in the rewarding field of public health, such as improving access to healthcare, developing educational or health care programs, performing epidemiological research, and shaping public health policy.
Those with a Master’s degree in Public Health have opportunities to serve local, national, and international communities.
Many public health jobs require a graduate degree. Public Health Master degree programs prepare students for administrative leadership roles, advocacy positions, or advanced research positions.
Those with a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree have the required foundation to lead public health initiatives. An MPH degree is regarded as the standard credential for a career in community health advocacy.
Individuals with a Master of Public Health degree have opportunities in fields such as:
- Health Services Administration
- Environmental Health
- Health/Education/Behavioral Science
- Public Health Nutrition
- International Health
- Public Health Practice
- Biomedical Laboratory
- Community Health
Individuals with a Master’s degree in Public Health are qualified for positions such as:
- Public Health Adviser: $83,000
- Health Policy Analyst: $73,000
- Public Health Research Scientist: $68,000
- Public Health Management Analyst: $67,000
- Director Public Health Services: $63,000
- Health Educator: $61,000
- Health Communications Specialist: $59,000
- Environmental Health Analyst: $37,000
Salary source: indeed.com (November, 2012)
Online Master of Public Health Degree Programs Ranking Guidelines
We selected the online Master of Public Health degree programs based on the quality of the program, the types of courses offered, the faculty, awards, rankings, and reputation, including the school’s reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.
The Best Online Master of Public Health Degree Programs
1. Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
The Career Master of Public Health degree program includes three tracks: Applied Public Health Informatics, Applied Epidemiology, and Prevention Science.
All students in the program complete a practicum.
The Applied Public Health Informatics track covers terminologies, foundational principles, and methodologies. It also provides an in-depth application of tools, data sources, and policies as they relate to the field of public health informatics.
The Applied Epidemiology track meets the needs of students who seek to work as an epidemiologist in a practice-based setting.
The Prevention Science track emphasizes the development and assessment of community- or population-based interventions. The track also provides the foundations of behavioral theories, program planning, research, design, evaluation, and health communication.
Emory University is ranked as tied for 6th in the Top Public Health Schools list, and as #20 in the 2013 edition of the Best Colleges in National Universities, by U.S. News & World Report. The university is also ranked #40 in the private colleges list and #23 in the research universities list by Forbes. The Times Higher Education World University Ranking lists Emory University as #75 in the world.
2. University of Florida, College of Public Health and Health Professions
The Master in Public Health program is designed for people employed in public health and related agencies and organizations, as well as for working physicians, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, and other health professionals.
The online MPH degree program provides a concentration in Public Health Practice.
The online MPH program provides competence in essential public health service areas. It includes a range of courses in environmental health, epidemiology, health policy, health management, biostatistics, and the social and behavioral sciences, with a focus on applications to public health practice.
The online Master in Public Health program also includes integrative internship experiences tailored to individual objectives.
The online Master’s in Public Health core courses are shown below:
- Statistics Methods for Health Science I
- Principles of Epidemiology
- Psychological, Behavioral, and Social Issues in Public Health
- Environmental Health Concepts in Public Health
- Seminar in Contemporary Public Health Issues
- U.S. Health Care System, or Introduction to Public Health Administrative Systems
University of Florida is ranked #17 in the Top Public Schools list, and #29 in the Top Public Health Schools list, by U.S. News & World Report in 2013. The university was ranked #7 in the 2012 Best Value Public Colleges list by Princeton Review, and #2 in the 2012 SmartMoney magazine’s list of universities whose graduates get the highest salary return for their tuition dollars.
3. University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Public Health
The online Master of Public Health in Health Care Organization degree prepares students for management positions in the healthcare sector.
The program covers the public health system and the fundamental skills required for practice in the public health sector. Students learn to apply basic planning and management skills required for administration of healthcare organizations.
The curriculum includes coursework in basic management principles, as well as in selected content in finance, economics, law, marketing, and health insurance.
Core requirements of the Online Master of Public Health in Health Care Organization program are shown below:
- Intermediate Statistical Analysis I
- Intermediate Statistical Analysis II
- Introduction to Epidemiology
- Integrative Experience
- Fundamentals of Environmental Health
- Social & Behavioral Sciences Core
UAB is ranked as tied for #16 in the list of the top public health schools by U.S. News & World Report. The university is also ranked #151 in the 2013 edition of the Best Colleges in National Universities list, and #80 in the top public schools list, by U.S. News & World Report. UAB has also been named one of the Best Southeastern Colleges by Princeton Review.
4. University of South Florida, College of Public Health
Students in the online Master of Public Health with a concentration in Public Health Practice program enhance their abilities to mitigate health risks, transform public health policy, and effectively participate in healthcare programs.
The Public Health Master degree is designed to prepare experienced health professionals to obtain leadership roles as members of multidisciplinary teams and effectively develop, implement, and evaluate programs having an impact on the health of the public.
The Master degree in Public Health program offers a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills for health professionals working in public health settings. Students gain skills related to epidemiology, public health practice, program analysis and inference from data, community-based health policy, and program planning. The program covers the development of programs which take into account social, cultural, ethical, economic and legal factors, and budgeting and management.
The Master of Science in Public Health program includes five core discipline areas:
- Environmental Health Policies
- Health Policy Management
- Social and Behavioral Sciences
University of South Florida is ranked as tied for #21 in the top public health schools list by U.S. News & World Report. The university is also classified as a Research University with Very High Research Activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
5. University at Albany, School of Public Health
The online Master of Public Health degree program offers a solid academic foundation in the core disciplines of public health.
It’s a part-time study program. The practice-based internship may be waived for students with previous public health experience.
The core courses of the online Public Health Master degree program are shown below:
- Principles of Statistical Inference I
- Principles and Methods of Epidemiology I
- Social and Behavioral Aspects of Health
- Biological Basis of Public Health
- Health Care Organization, Finance, and Delivery
- Introduction to Environmental Health
- MPH Capstone
University at Albany (part of the State University of New York system) is ranked as tied for #25 in the top public health schools list, and as #131 in the 2013 edition of the Best Colleges in National Universities, by U.S. News & World Report.
6. UMass Online, UMass Amherst
The Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice is designed for full-time, working, health program administrators, public health workers, and healthcare professionals not seeking an academic career, but planning to continue working in the healthcare field.
The online MPH degree program covers subjects such as best-practice community approaches to health promotion, research and design, and interpretation of findings from research studies.
The Public Health Masters degree also reviews various subjects, including applied epidemiology. methods for analyzing data, planning and evaluation, and regulations and laws in public health.
Some of the elective courses in the online Master of Public Health program are shown below:
- Environmental Regulation and Compliance
- Globalization and Health
- Health Care Organization and Administration
- Social Justice and Public Health
- Financial Management of Health Institutions
- Health Economics and Reimbursement
- Health Program Planning
- Public Health Law
The University of Massachusetts, a highly respected school, provides online degrees through UMass Online. UMass Online received the Sloan Consortium Award for the Most Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program.
In 2012, the University of Massachusetts was ranked #42 in the Top Public Schools list, and and #34 in the Top Public Health Schools list, by U.S. News & World Report.
7. University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine
The online Master of Public Health degree program thoroughly covers five core areas of public health: Biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental and occupational health, health policy and the social and behavioral sciences. The program offers three tracks: Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Health Education and Promotion, and Global Health Leadership.
Via the core curriculum students examine the strengths and needs of diverse global communities using the principles of epidemiology and biostatistics. Students learn what it takes to empower communities and examine ways to build the ability of a community to solve public health problems via collaboration and the placement of public health professionals.
Students study the health service delivery in the United States as they learn to plan, implement and evaluate collaborative health promotion an disease prevention interventions.
The online Master of Health degree program admits its first class in January of 2013. The ranking of the online program is based on the on-campus Master of Public Health degree program. Graduates of the online MPH program receive the same MPH degree granted to graduates in the on-campus program.
University of Southern California is ranked #24 in the 2013 edition of the Best Colleges in National Universities, and #38 in the Best Value Schools list, by U.S. News & World Report.
8. University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health
The online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice degree program is designed for working public health professionals seeking to add to their skill set to meet public health challenges.
The public health practice concentration prepares students for planning, evaluating, and managing programs and organizations in public health practice. The program includes a combined practicum/capstone experience.
Some of the core courses of the online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice degree program are shown below:
- Health Services Administration
- Applied Research in Public Health
- Epidemiology in Public Health
- Health Promotion Program Planning
- Public Health Program Evaluation
- Health Care Finance
- Strategic Planning & Management in Public Health
9. Creighton University, Center for Health Policy and Ethics
The online Master of Public Health program provided through the university’s Center for Health Policy and Ethics, focuses on public health for vulnerable populations.
Via a community-focused, interdisciplinary approach to biostatistics, epidemiology, and health ethics, the online MPH program provides the knowledge to help students serve people at risk.
The online Master in Public Health degree program includes courses in public health ethics, community-based participatory research, and public health systems management.
The online MPH degree program provides concentrations such as Health Policy and Ethics, and Public Health Services Administration.
The Health Policy and Ethics Concentration includes courses such as Health Policy, Law and Health Care Ethics, and Social and Cultural Contexts of Health Care.
The Public Health Services Administration Concentration includes courses such as Health Economics and Finance, Health Planning and Program Evaluation, and Public Health Leadership. The program also includes a capstone project and practical experience.
Creighton University is ranked #1 in the 2013 edition of Best Colleges in Regional Universities (Midwest), and #1 Best Value School for Midwest Regional Universities, by U.S. News & World Report. The university is included among the 2013 Best 377 Colleges”by Princeton Review.
10. University of Illinois Springfield, Department of Public Health
The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS), through its Department of Public Health, offers a Master of Public Health degree program, which covers subjects such as access to quality care, environmental protection, prevention and control of disease, data analysis and evaluation, and policy planning and administration.
The Master of Public Health degree provides a concentration in Environmental Health.
The mission of the UIS Department of Public Health is to prepare students to become productive members of the public health community.
The required core courses of the online Master of the Public Health degree are shown below:
- Community Health Research
- Biostatistics for Health Professionals
- Environmental and Occupational Health
- Foundations of Epidemiology
- Community Health Education
- Public Health Policy and Administration
The University of Illinois Springfield is ranked #2 public regional university in the Midwest Region in the 2013 edition of America’s Best Colleges, by US News & World Report.
The online Master of Public Health degree program provides three tracks: MPH in Health Policy and Law; MPH Epidemiology; and MPH Health Management.
The program reviews subjects such as access to health care services, injury and substance abuse, and environmental hazards.
The Public Health Master degree also covers subjects such as epidemiology, biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences, health services administration, and environmental health sciences. Students receive training in communication and leadership.
The online master of Public Health degree provides the methodological, theoretical, and practical experience relevant to address public health issues with respect to policy and research and with an emphasis on economic and racial health disparities and bioethics.
The online MPH program includes a capstone project and a practicum training experience. Via the practicum, students gain practical experience in a public health environment.
The online Master of Public Health program also covers interdisciplinary subjects such as:
- Diversity and culture
- Communication and informatics
- Public health biology
- Systems thinking
- Program planning
Loyola University Chicago is ranked #106 in the 2013 Best Colleges in National Universities list by U.S. News & World Report.
12. West Virginia University, School of Public Health
Students in the online Master of Public Health Practice degree program complete a proposal and implement a practicum project. The curriculum combines the core public health competencies with an emphasis on methodological coursework.
Student enhance their ability in program planning, implementation and evaluation efforts in public health practice. They enhance their skills in using basic quantitative and qualitative research designs used in public health.
Students learn to address the social, personal, environmental and economic determinants of health in designing multi-component interventions to resolve population health issues. Students enhance their ability to apply social science and behavioral theories and concepts utilized in planning and evaluating public health programs.
West Virginia University ranked #90 among the top public schools by U.S. News & World Report.
13. Florida International University, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work
Florida International University (FIU), through the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, offers an online Master of Public Health degree program, which includes the following public health core courses: Health Statistics, Introduction to Public Health Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Public Health, Introduction to Environmental Health, and Introduction to Health Policy and Management.
The Online Master of Public Health program includes courses such as:
- Public Health in Minority and Urban Populations
- Public Health Nutrition
- Environmental & Occupational Epidemiology
- Primary Health Care Strategies
- Health Promotion in Institutional Settings
- Data Management
- Program Development and Evaluation in Health Promotion
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine named FIU among the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges, in its 2011 survey. U.S. News & World Report lists the university as a Best Buy in higher education.
The online Masters of Public Health degree program includes courses focused on current needs and emerging trends in important subjects in healthcare, including the effects of genetics, personal choice, and the environment on health.
The online MPH degree program provides the tools required to lead organizations, companies, and agencies involved with the important issues of public health, such as controlling infectious disease and improving access to healthcare.
The online Master in Public Health degree covers core areas such as:
- Health policy
- Health services management
- Behavioral and social aspects of public health
- Environmental health
Benedictine University was included among the top 20 percent of colleges in America by Forbes magazine in 2011.
15. A.T. Still University, Department of Public Health
The mission of the Master of Public Health degree program is to prepare public health professionals for leadership in advancing public health, addressing health disparities locally, nationally, and globally, and promoting individual and community health and well-being.
Students are required to complete a practicum.
Some of the courses in the Online Master in Public Health degree are shown below:
- Environmental Health Sciences
- Public Health Policy and Politics
- Public Health Biology
- Public Health Financial Management
- Public Health Systems Policy and Management
16. University of West Florida, School of Allied Health and Life Sciences
The curriculum of the online Master of Public Health program includes core competency areas, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, social and behavioral sciences in public health, and health care policy and administration.
Students are required to complete an internship. Students can take the Public Health Masters degree program on a full-time or part-time basis.
Some of the courses in the online Master degree in Public Health are shown below:
- Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health
- Public Health Care Policy and Administration
- Survey of Environmental Problems
- Epidemiology for Public Health Professionals
- Epidemiological Study and Design and Statistical Studies
- Environmental Health
- Public Health Care Policy and Administration
The University of West Florida has been named a Best Southeastern College by Princeton Review, and was ranked #27 on the Forbes Top 100 Best Buy Colleges list for 2011. In 2014, The Council on Education for Public Health re-accredited UWF’s master’s program through 2021.
17. University of New England, College of Graduate Studies
The online Master of Public Health program enhances student skills in an array of professional areas, such as communication, analysis, program development, and public health practice and management.
The online Master degree of Public Health includes courses such as Principles of Epidemiology, Public Health Policy and Management, Introduction to Environmental Health, Biostatistics, and Social and Behavioral Health.
Students complete a practicum. They also have opportunities to participate in research in areas such as health disparities, rural delivery systems, environmental health, and chronic disease prevention.
University of New England is ranked as one of the Best Universities in the North providing “a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs” by U.S. News & World Report.
The objective of the online Master of Public Health program is to prepare students to address the health of populations, eliminate disparities in care, and work to make improvements in health systems.
Students learn to develop, manage, and analyze programs designed to alleviate public health problems at the community level. They learn to engage and communicate effectively and appropriately with diverse communities to achieve shared goals.
Students also gain field experience relevant to their area of specialization.
The online MPH degree program includes a health policy specialization.
The online Master of Public Health degree program covers core public health subjects such as:
- Environmental health sciences
- Social and behavioral aspects of health
- Healthcare systems and financing
- Program evaluation
- Law and ethical issues in public health
- Quantitative and qualitative research methods
The online Masters in Public Health degree uses a multidisciplinary approach emphasizing behavioral, psychological, and social factors influencing population-based health disparities, environmental public health concepts, principles of epidemiology and biostatistics, economic factors; and public health administration systems and processes.
The online MPH degree includes a practicum and capstone project.
The Master of Public Health degree program includes courses such as:
- Environmental Health
- Public Health Administration
- Public Health Policy
- Social, Behavioral, and Cultural Factors in Public Health
Students in the Master of Public Health degree program gain a deeper understanding of interdisciplinary competencies, including communications, leadership, and diversity.
The online MPH degree program covers subjects such as the following: communication in public health; social, behavioral, and cultural factors in public health; biostatistics; public health biology; environmental health; health policy and management; leadership, professionalism, and ethics in public health practice; and program design, planning, and evaluation.
The Master of Public Health degree program includes a written capstone and a field practicum. The field practicum can be completed at any federal, state, county, or city public health agency.