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Online Public Health Masters
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Accredited Programs and Schools
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Affordable Programs and Schools
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Best Programs and schools

Finding Online Master’s Degree in Public Health

masters in public health online

Programs leading to an Master’s in Public Health Online (MPH) degree represent the gold standard in qualifying graduates for a wide range of professions. And the field is growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health educators and community health workers is expected to increase by 16 percent from 2016 to 2026. Accredited online master’s degrees in public health can speed graduates into public health careers and specializations. Accelerated online MPH programs can be completed in as little as 18 months, although traditional programs may take up to two years. The best online MPH programs may offer specialized concentrations that qualify graduates for work as:

  • Healthcare Administrators
  • Research Scientists
  • Policy Directors
  • Healthcare Administrators
  • Health and Safety Engineers
  • Emergency Management Directors
  • Epidemiologists
  • Health Legislation Advocates
  • Health Biotechnicians
  • Public Health Educators
  • Nutritionists and Dieticians

This comprehensive guide provides an overview of the types of accredited online MPH programs, admission requirements, how to select the best affordable online MPH programs, degree requirements, job projections and salaries, and types financial aid.

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Most Affordable Online Master’s in Public Health for 2020

Graduate education in public health need not price students out of the program. According to CostHelper, the average total tuition for earning the cheapest online MPH runs from $26,000 to $33,000 for in-state students. CostHelper further reports on the varying tuition rates based on the type of institution. For instance, private schools such as the Catholic Benedictine University charge $32,340 for the degree, while an online for-profit institution such as Capella University charges $26,280 for its total MPH tuition.

Here are the 15 best affordable online Master’s in Public Health programs for 2020:

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Online Public Health Masters Q&A

The master’s in public health is a generalist, interdisciplinary degree that offers exceptional career options. It represents the minimal academic achievement for jobs in the public health sector. MPH students completing the degree can use it as a means of entering the human services and advocacy professions. At the same time, students can pursue a concentration in the public health fields to qualify for specific roles in the professions. These include concentrations including epidemiology, disease control, public education and program administration. The following questions and answers address MPH programs in detail:

What are common admissions requirements for online MPH programs?

Most programs require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree. Specific admission requirements vary by graduate program. Some schools require a health-related baccalaureate. Others accept students regardless of their post-secondary major. Most ask for application packets that contain official GRE scores, official or unofficial transcripts that show a 3.0 grade-point average for undergraduate work, two or three recommendation letters, a statement of student goals, and previous experience in working or volunteering at a public health program from two to three years.  Some schools to not require previous experience.  A majority of master’s in public health online programs do not have pre-requisite course requirements for admission.

What online courses will MPH students need to take?

Online MPH course requirements vary by program or institution. Didactic course may be offered 100 percent online. However clinical practice requirements include student attendance at practicums and internships. These are typically arranged in communities convenient to the online student.  Online MPH core coursework may include studies in:

Online MPH programs culminate in a capstone project or comprehensive exam.  There is no dissertation required.

How long does it take to earn a Public Health Master’s online?

Program length can vary by institution, the number of required credit hours, and the online course delivery system. Credit hours required for graduation very from 42 to 48 credits. Online master’s students can complete most programs in two to three years. Online MPH programs offering synchronous courses require grad students to attend programs at specific days and times. However, accelerated self-paced asynchronous studies can shorten the timer-to-degree that can speed the time to degree tofour to 18 months.

How much does an online Master’s in Public Health cost?

The cheapest online MPH program in-state tuition ranges from $12,00 to $25,00 to complete the degree.  Public or state instructions often offer lower tuition that rates charged by private schools.  In-state tuition at some healthcare schools’ tops $33,000. Out-of-state students can pay a premium total-program cost ranging from $25,000 to $60,000. Costs can also vary significantly by degree and concentrations. For example, The University of Minnesota’s total MPH degree tuition totals $41,160. However, the total cost of a concentration varies by specialization. The Environmental Health Sciences degree tuition totals $50,960. The Epidemiology concentration costs $41,160.00 for the degree.

Are hybrid programs offered for online master’s in public health students?

Hybrid programs combine online and on-campus studies. Ask the prospective schools the number of on-campus meetings where attendance is required and some of the following questions: Are online hybrid MPH students required to attend weekend seminars or week-long campus sessions? How long are the required on-site practicums or supervised internships? Does the MPH student have the time to attend on-campus or intuitional obligations?

Will an online master’s in public health program help me become licensed?

According to the National Board of Public Health Examiners, certification or licensing in public health tells employers, colleges, and lenders that the graduate has satisfied industry requirements for the mastery of the public health sciences.  It also demonstrates that the candidate has a commitment to continuing education in their MPH concentration. In addition, graduates can return to online MPH programs to add concentrations to bolster their qualifications for advancement.  Nutrition and dietician specialties often require state likeness for graduates to practice.

How do I choose the best, most-affordable online MPH program?

Create a short list of prospective MHP programs to evaluate. Key questions include:

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Financial Aid for Online Public Health Masters

What kinds of financial aid are available for online MPH students?

There are Federal financial aid programs that include loans and grants.  Individual universities may offer their own tuition discounts, merit or need-based scholarships and research grants.

What are the available Federal programs?

The Federal government offers low-interest student loans, grants, and work-study funding. MPH students may qualify for one or more assistance option at a time. Other federal assistance applies to military veterans and those with AmeriCorps community service.

Does each state have student financial aid programs for residents?

The best way to learn about the applicant’s state’s programs is to search by state department of education. To begin the application process, create an account online at the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.

What kinds of scholarships are available from a university?

University scholarships are awarded based on financial need or academic merit, however each public health school may offer career-specific scholarships. Financial aid, scholarships, and grants may be available from both the university and School of Public Health. Check the admissions or financial aid office of each prospective school.

Are there private endowments and scholarships in the public health fields?

There are scholarships from Federal Public Health organizations, non-profit foundations for public health education and research. Some may be based on the student’s special concentration, by gender, race, or religious affiliation.

What kinds of organizational/association scholarships are available?

Here’s a selection of organizational scholarships to explore:

Find more about Financial Aid here

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Careers & Salaries for Public Health Masters

An online MPH degree program prepares graduates for a wide range of roles as well as providing a foundational degree to enter doctoral work. However, master’s holders do have solid career options.  Here are 10 to explore:

(Note: These are Bureau of Labor Statistics links. Also, please link to pertinent sub-pages covering these specializations.)

  1. Healthcare Administrators: Job growth 2016 to 2016: 20 percent.  Median annual income: $98,350.
  2. Health and Safety Engineers. Job growth 2016 to 2016: 9 percent.  Median annual income: $88,510. 
  3. Hydrologists: Job growth 2016 to 2016: 10 percent.  Median annual income: $79,990.
  4. Emergency Management Directors: Job growth 2016 to 2016: 8 percent.  Median annual income: $72,760.
  5. Epidemiologists: Job growth 2016 to 2016: 9 percent.  Median annual income: $69,660.
    Find out more about an Online Master’s Degree in Epidemiology here.
  6. Health Informatics Specialists: Job growth 2016 to 2016: 22 percent.  Median annual income: $89,141. 
  7. Environmental Health Scientists: Job growth 2016 to 2016: 11 percent.  Median annual income: $69,400.
  8. Nutritionists and Dieticians: Job growth 2016 to 2016: 15 percent.  Median annual income: $59,410.
  9. Social Workers: Job growth 2016 to 2016: 16 percent.  Median annual income: $47,980.
  10. Public Health Educators: Job growth 2016 to 2016: 16 percent.  Median annual income: $45,360.
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Resources for Online MPH Student

MPH students can benefit from memberships in public health organizations, many offering student rates. They provide up-to-date information on public health policies and practice. Moreover, master’s students can build a professional network helpful in employment or career advancement. The following list includes links to organizations providing licensing, certification information, and examinations for MPH practitioners:

Public Health Associations:

American College of Epidemiology.  Advocacy, Meetings and Seminars.

Society for Public Health Education. Information on local chapters representing health promotion of communities and environments.

American Public Health Association.  Advocacy, info on best-practices.

Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. Represents institutions accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Organization with 15,000 members, many of whom are educators, clinical scientists, consultants, and researchers.

Licensing and Certifications:

National Practitioner Databank. Listings of licensing or certification requirements and organizations listed by state.

National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.  Details about The Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education (MCHES) qualifications and exams.

National Board of Public Health Examiners.  Information on Certified in Public Health credentials and examinations.

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Accredited Online MPH Programs and Schools

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
Capella University
225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-3389
$14,51610.3%
Colorado State University-Global Campus
7800 East Orchard Road Ste 200, Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111-0000
$9,00078%
Excelsior College
7 Columbia Cir, Albany, New York 12203-5159
$11,61049.8%
Grantham University
16025 West 113th Street, Lenexa, Kansas 66219
$3,90070.8%
South University–Savannah Online
709 Mall Blvd, Savannah, Georgia 31406
$13,09767.0%
Walden University
100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
$11,73920%
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Affordable Online MPH Programs and Schools

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
$16,531   89%
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
$30,41284%
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90007   
$57,25690%
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Old Main, State College, PA 16801
$17,14686%
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178
$37,08675%
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405  
$24,07276%
Tulane University of Louisiana
6823 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118   
$54,89675%
University of California-Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 
$29,19491%
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Best Online MPH Programs and schools

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
California State University-Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330
$15,41646.8%
Central Michigan University
1200 S Franklin St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48859
$14,30455.5%
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1720 2nd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35294
$8,23555.5%
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003
$9,22575.2%
University of South Florida – Main Campus
4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620
$15,86467.2%
University of Minnesota Digital Campus
3 Morrill Hall 100 Church St. S.E. Minneapolis MN 55455
$20,18155.3%
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182
$20,64066%

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