Best Online MPH Programs 2022

February 21, 2022 , Modified on March 22, 2022 · 4 Min Read

Public health nurses are in high demand. Get started on a career in public health by earning your MPH degree online.

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Best Online MPH Programs 2022
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The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a spotlight on public health professionals and their role in preventing infectious diseases, making now a great time to launch a career in public health. While individuals with a public health degree hold many different positions, they all work to reduce illness and encourage healthy practices among communities and individuals.

This guide explores some of the best online master of public health (MPH) programs, how to find the right program for you, and the application process. Our data-driven methodology ranks the best online MPH programs according to metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Read on to learn more, or go straight to our list of the best online MPH programs.

Featured Online MPH Programs

What Can You Do With an MPH?

After earning an MPH, you can become a public health nurse and work for hospitals, health systems, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Public health careers are often very satisfying for people who enjoy systems thinking, collaboration, and making a difference in communities.

Common careers for MPH-holders include:

Healthcare Consultant

Master's degree required

Healthcare consultants teach organizations to become more efficient and effective at preventing and treating illnesses and injuries. These professionals need excellent analytical skills, strong communication abilities, and an aptitude for finding and solving problems.

Learn more about Healthcare Consultants

Public Health Analyst

Master's degree required

Public health analysts use data from many sources to plan or evaluate public health programs. They must demonstrate strong statistics skills and be comfortable with collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data for a variety of audiences.

  • Salary: $79,490, according to Payscale data from December 2021
  • Job Outlook: 14% growth from 2020-30 for all management analysts

Learn more about Public Health Analysts


Master's degree required

Epidemiologists study how diseases spread and how they can be prevented. Along with quantitative and qualitative research skills, epidemiologists need a background in social science, medicine, and psychology. They must be able to communicate clearly and effectively.

Learn more about Epidemiologists

What to Look for in an Online MPH Program

An online MPH program should fit your career interests, academic background, and learning style. Program length and structure are also important aspects to consider, especially if you plan to work while earning an MPH degree online. Keep the following factors in mind as you explore your options.

Admission requirements tell you how likely you are to be admitted to a program, what kind of candidates are most successful, and what a school values in students. Every MPH curriculum is slightly different, and elective course offerings vary between programs. Does your chosen program include specialization options and elective classes in your area of interest? Do the course descriptions sound relevant and interesting? Like their on-campus counterparts, online MPH programs include a clinical component. While many schools let distance learners complete clinicals at facilities near the student's home, others expect online students to travel to certain locations. Are you able or willing to commute? Accreditation is an independent review process organizations use to ensure that a school meets quality standards. Most employers and credentialing associations exclusively consider candidates who complete accredited programs. Most full-time online MPH programs last 2-3 years, although accelerated options may be even shorter. A program's schedule should fit your career timeline and budget. Will you be able to remain employed while you study? An institution's National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) pass rate indicates how well its programs prepare nursing students for the workforce. What are the pass rates for other relevant exams? A below-average graduation rate can be a sign of poor student support and ineffective teaching. If you're considering attending an online MPH program at a school with a low graduation rate, talk to an admissions counselor or alumnus about the causes. Some programs use a synchronous format that requires distance learners to meet online at set class times. Asynchronous programs feature flexible schedules and less structure, making them ideal for working professionals.

Applying to an Online MPH Program

Once you've chosen some potential online MPH programs, assemble your application materials. Leave yourself plenty of time to write your application essay and obtain the necessary paperwork, and be sure to alert your references beforehand.

Admission Materials

Most schools request undergraduate or other college transcripts, an essay or personal statement, and at least two references. Some also ask for NCLEX or GRE scores.

GPA Requirements

Most online MPH programs expect applicants to hold a 3.0 GPA or higher. However, a strong work history, excellent GRE scores, or relevant life experience can sometimes make up for a lower GPA.

Why Is Online MPH Program Accreditation Important?

Every program in this guide is accredited. You should attend an accredited program to receive the best possible education. Below are just a few reasons why accreditation is so important.

  • Independent third-party organizations develop accreditation criteria according to industry best practices, making accreditation a vital indicator of a quality program.
  • The most valuable certifications require a degree from an accredited program.
  • Credits earned through unaccredited programs rarely transfer to accredited programs, and graduate schools typically accept applicants with accredited undergraduate degrees.
  • Many employers prefer to hire candidates with degrees from accredited programs.
  • Students attending unaccredited programs do not qualify for federal financial aid.

Paying for Online MPH Programs

Many students worry about paying for an online MPH program. Distance learners avoid some transportation costs and building fees associated with on-campus study. However, they must still cover the cost of tuition, books and class materials, and travel to fulfill on-campus or clinical requirements.

Fortunately, nursing students can choose from a variety of financial aid opportunities. Contact your school for information about loans and grants, or pay for your degree by applying for scholarships from professional associations, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. You may also be eligible for federal loan forgiveness programs if you agree to work in underserved areas after graduation.

The Best Online MPH Programs of 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Online MPH Programs

Can you earn an MPH online?

Many schools offer MPH programs online. Students who attend an online MPH program study the same topics and earn the same degree as their on-campus counterparts.

How long does it take to get an MPH?

The average MPH program requires 2-3 years of full-time study. Many online MPH programs offer part-time options, which may take longer. Some schools offer accelerated options that allow candidates to graduate in under two years.

Are online MPH programs worth it?

That depends on your budget and career goals. Most public health careers offer above-average salaries and challenging, personally rewarding work. However, earning an unaccredited MPH degree online is not worth the investment, as it may limit your employment options in the future.

Are there any one-year MPH programs?

There are two kinds of accredited one-year MPH programs online: accelerated programs and regular one-year programs. Accelerated programs compress more content into a year. There are also a variety of online MPH programs that last just over a year.

Related MPH Program Resources

Professional organizations like the following groups benefit students and recent graduates alike. Many offer certification programs, continuing education credits, and other professional development opportunities. Additional resources may include exclusive job boards and career counseling, access to publications, and invitations to conferences and networking events.

APHA offers public health internships and fellowships for graduate students, along with continuing education programs and other professional development options. Students and new professionals qualify for reduced membership rates. Formed in 2012, APHN welcomes public health nurses at all practice levels. Online visitors can access a full webinar archive and watch presentations from past meetings and conferences. The IEA represents epidemiologists and other infection control professionals in more than 100 countries. Members receive access to the association's academic publication, The International Journal of Epidemiology.

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