Best Online MPH Programs

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Updated December 14, 2022

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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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

The Best Online MPH Programs of 2022

#1 Best Online MPH Programs

University of California-Berkeley

  • Berkeley, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The online master of public health (MPH) at University of California, Berkeley features concentrations in epidemiology and biostatistics, health policy and management, and public health nutrition. Students can also design their own interdisciplinary programs.  

Most classes run asynchronously with online group activities and remote faculty office hours. Enrollees complete two on-campus summer intensives.

Details:

  • Program: MPH
  • Campus: Berkeley, CA
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health 
  • Tuition: $1,341 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: 3.0 GPA; college-level statistics and epidemiology with a B+; for health policy and management concentration, two years of work experience 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 27 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
Average Tuition
In-state
$11,442
Out-of-state
$41,196
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
16%
Students Enrolled
43,185
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#2 Best Online MPH Programs

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a master of public health (MPH) degree online. Concentration options include applied epidemiology, leadership, nutrition, and registered dietician. 

The 42-credit curriculum includes student-selected practicums in real-world public health environments. Learners complete a comprehensive oral assessment and a project-based culminating experience. The program offers full-time, part-time, and accelerated study.

Details:

  • Program: MPH
  • Campus: Chapel Hill, NC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health 
  • Tuition: $1,997 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution; prerequisite classes
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 16 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $86,040 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,019
Out-of-state
$34,198
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
23%
Students Enrolled
29,877
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online MPH Programs

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

University of Florida's master of public health (MPH) degree online requires 42-48 credits. Students complete asynchronous coursework and proctored online exams. The program offers concentrations in public health practice and social and behavioral sciences.

Students select and arrange an applied practice experience at a public health site and complete a capstone project. 

Details:

  • Program: MPH
  • Campus: Gainesville, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health 
  • Tuition: $550 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; 3.0 GPA; for public health practice concentration, post-bachelor's professional work experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Self-paced
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.9% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $91,130 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
52,407
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Online MPH Programs

Johns Hopkins University

  • Baltimore, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The master of public health (MPH) at Johns Hopkins University emphasizes a population perspective on public health. Johns Hopkins offers an online MPH program with content areas that include food systems, humanitarian health, and infectious diseases. 

Students complete a population-based health practicum and a capstone project. 

Details:

  • Program: MPH
  • Campus: Baltimore, MD
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health 
  • Tuition: $987 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: Two years of post-bachelor's health-related experience or a doctorate in a field underlying public health; strong academic record shown on transcripts or GRE, MCAT, GMAT, or LSAT scores
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.5% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $95,360 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$55,350
Out-of-state
$55,350
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
11%
Students Enrolled
27,079
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 Best Online MPH Programs

University of Southern California

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine offers a fully online master of public health (MPH). One of the best online MPH programs, this program includes synchronous class sessions and industry expert mentorship. Enrollees can choose a one-year accelerated learning option.  

Some concentration options include global health, geohealth, and health services and policy. Learners can also customize a generalist track.

Details:

  • Program: MPH
  • Campus: Los Angeles, CA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health 
  • Tuition: $2,035 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
Average Tuition
In-state
$57,256
Out-of-state
$57,256
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
11%
Students Enrolled
48,321
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#6 Best Online MPH Programs

University of South Florida-Main Campus

  • Tampa, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

University of South Florida's online master of public health (MPH) offers seven focus areas. Options include epidemiology, infection control, and social marketing. 

Course delivery methods include blogs, discussion forums, podcasting, streaming, web conferencing, and wikis. 

Details:

  • Program: MPH
  • Campus: Tampa, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health 
  • Tuition: $431 per credit for in-state learners; $877 for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; 3.0 GPA; for nutrition and dietetics concentration, completion of accredited didactic program in dietetics or registered dietitian with two years of experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 30 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Minimal for some focus areas
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $97,850 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$4,559
Out-of-state
$15,473
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
44,246
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Best Online MPH Programs

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Florida International University offers a 45-credit master of public health (MPH) degree online. The curriculum blends coursework and lab research with a field practicum learners complete locally. Students end the program with a culminating integrative seminar experience. 

Enrollees can earn optional certificates in epidemiology, environmental health sciences, or health policy with minimal additional requirements.   

Details:

  • Program: MPH
  • Campus: Miami, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health 
  • Tuition: $600 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution; 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.7% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $166,710 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Best Online MPH Programs

The University of West Florida

  • Pensacola, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The online master of public health (MPH) at University of West Florida features a generalist track and concentrations in global health or health promotion, education, and behavior. One of the best online MPH programs,the 42-credit program includes a two-semester practicum and applied practice experience.

Out-of-state learners may qualify for a 90% out-of-state tuition waiver.

Details:

  • Program: MPH
  • Campus: Pensacola, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health 
  • Tuition: $385 per credit for in-state learners; $1,044 for out-of-state learners ($479 with waiver)
  • Admission Requirements: Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution; 3.0 GPA; GRE verbal score of 150, quantitative score of 146 (may be waived for applicants with 3.2 undergraduate GPAs or terminal/advanced professional degrees) 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.5% first-time pass rate
Average Tuition
In-state
$3,735
Out-of-state
$16,004
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
31%
Students Enrolled
12,557
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Best Online MPH Programs

Excelsior College

  • Albany, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online

Description:

Excelsior College's online programs include a master of public administration (MPA) that focuses on leadership and business in public service, including health policy. One of the best online MPH programs, the program includes a capstone solving real problems in public or nonprofit organizations.

Students can choose a cannabis control concentration or electives like critical issues in public health and communication strategy for the healthcare leader.  

Details:

  • Program: MPA
  • Campus: Albany, NY
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education 
  • Tuition: $695 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Self-paced
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 77.8% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $97,960 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
25,245
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 Best Online MPH Programs

University of Missouri-Columbia

  • Columbia, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

University of Missouri offers a master of public health (MPH) with emphasis areas in health promotion and policy or veterinary public health. The curriculum combines asynchronous and synchronous instruction, internships, and capstones.

Learners can pair this MPH degree online with a doctor of veterinary medicine or master's in journalism, public affairs, and social work.

Details:

  • Program: MPH
  • Campus: Columbia, MO
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health 
  • Tuition: $487 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: Postsecondary transcripts; 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $89,560 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$9,120
Out-of-state
$26,991
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
30,014
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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


Epidemiologist

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

    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.
  • Program Curriculum

    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?
  • Clinical Experience

    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

    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.
  • Program Length

    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?
  • School NCLEX Pass Rate

    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?
  • School Graduation Rate

    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.
  • Online Learning Format and Requirements

    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.

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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