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Even though “public health” can be a somewhat elusively understood profession, the online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is one of the most popular online master’s degrees currently available. Even professionals in the field of public health can sometimes find it difficult to definitively describe what exactly public health is and is not–often it is only when public disasters or disease outbreaks strike that society is reminded again that there is this system called public health. Public health is not treating a disease, it is working to prevent the disease in the first place. Public health does not manage large-scale health crises, it looks at populations to promote education and better procedures to avoid a future crisis. In essence, public health is a network of healthcare professionals engaged in a process of preventing disease and harm and presenting information to help the public disengage from unhealthy or harmful practices.
- University of South Florida
- University of Nebraska Medical Center
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Tulane University
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of North Texas Health Science Center
- University of Florida
- University of Massachusetts Amherst
- University of South Carolina
For those who want to enter or advance in the field of public health, a master’s degree is a must. But due to busy lives, family obligations, and sheer distance between a currently working professional and the reputable MPH program of their choice, pursuing the degree online is the way to go. There are many online and mostly-online programs for those interested in an MPH. We have looked through many exceptional programs and picked the best based on our criteria. Read on to discover the methodology we used and the schools we picked for this ranking, and get to work joining the admirable field of public health!
Our methodology: For the most comprehensive list of the best online Master of Public Health online degree programs, we focused on several important sources that are available to the public: the the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), the American Public Health Association (APHA), U.S. News and World Report, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the websites of schools offering online MPH degree programs. We developed a four-point crediting system to rank the top schools, as follows:
- School reputation (25%)
- Affordability (25%)
- Program accreditation (25%)
- Accessibility/flexibility (25%)
#50. Removed by editor
#49. Liberty University
In 1971 Lynchburg Baptist College was begun by charismatic evangelical Pastor Jerry Falwell with the help of the church he pastored. Falwell’s church, Thomas Road Baptist Church, was fully supportive of the new college in Lynchburg, Virginia situated on Liberty Mountain. Tuition was only $200 the first year, and 154 students enrolled with the desire to “influence the moral and ethical course of America,” which was a distinct goal of the school. Changing names in 1976 to Liberty Baptist College, the school changed again in 1985 when it gained university status—Liberty University would be the final name. Liberty Online is the well-prepared culmination of the distance education program that started that same year and has been in existence for over thirty years delivering many “disciplines from a Christian worldview.” Being the largest Christian university across the world, Liberty is a non-profit, private coeducational school with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Liberty University’s MPH degree program is offered completely online through the School of Health Sciences. A 42-credit hour program, three cognates are available–Global Health, Health Promotion, and Nutrition. There are general core courses that each student must take regardless of their chosen cognate which cover the public health basics in epidemiology and biostatistics, and then there are specific courses in those specialization areas which cover topics such as “Diabetes, Obesity & Eating Disorders,” “Health Communication & Advocacy,” and “Sanitation in Developing Countries.” In addition, all MPH students must complete a Practicum internship/field experience that is relevant to the particular specialization they have chosen. Liberty Online has been offering education to distance learning students for several decades–they have perfected not only the coursework but also the support offered. Many tutorials help prospective and current students find success through Liberty.
#48. Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan saw the creation of one of the first schools in the United States to teach agriculture from a scientific perspective in 1855. The Agricultural College of the State of Michigan opened to 63 students (all male) in 1857. Initially students were expected to work for three hours each day manually on the campus. By 1961 the school had gained a full four-year degree program, and it became the model for all future land-grant universities (courtesy of the Morrill Act of 1962 which enabled states to use federal land to sell in order to fund institutions of higher education). The name of the school changed to State Agriculture College as it became coeducational in 1870, and the school would undergo several more name changes prior to finally becoming Michigan State University (MSU) in 1964. Now this public research university educates more than 50,000 enrolled students both on-campus and online, and it is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The MPH degree at MSU is a collaborative program offered through the College of Human Medicine, Division of Public Health. This 42-credit hour program with an “emphasis on applied knowledge” is entirely online and the curriculum is inspired by CEPH’s “MPH Foundational Knowledge and Competencies.” Eighteen core courses cover topics like “Epidemiology and Public Health” and “Biostatistics for Public Health,” and students get to select eighteen additional hours of elective courses. The Culminating Experience of a combined six-credit hour Practicum and Capstone paper complete the program. Ideal for professionals in the middle of their career who desire to participate in practicing and implementing preventative health measures for the public, this MPH degree program easily lands in our top 50. All courses are delivered asynchronously for utmost flexibility, and students can opt to complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis depending on their schedules.
Marion College, the original name of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), was incorporated in 1919 but officially founded in 1920 in Marion, Indiana. Initially the vision for the school was an institution to train teachers—the town locals addressed the Indiana Conference of The Wesleyan Methodist Church to ask that the Fairmount Bible School be converted to a normal school in Marion. The school conversion was approved by the Conference, but the college grew to become a comprehensive liberal arts university with learning sites throughout the state of Indiana and in Kentucky and Ohio and no less than sixteen regional Education Centers. Because of this expansion outside of the city of Marion and an increased liberal arts focus, and because of the association with The Wesleyan Church denomination, the school became Indiana Wesleyan University in 1988. Regional accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: With a curricular and programmatic emphasis on Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Health Services Administration, and Social and Behavioral Sciences (the five “core areas of public health”), the online MPH degree program at IWU is presented “from a distinctly faith-based foundation.” Keeping in line with its Christian-faith heritage, IWU’s online MPH program prepares students through its mission to “improve the health of populations locally and globally through enhancing health systems, building stronger communities, and facilitating healthy behavior from a faith-based foundation.” A 43-credit hour program, students engage in one eight-week course at a time and participate in a mentored practicum and a one-credit culminating capstone project. All online students at IWU are assigned an Academic Advisor, and the Off-Campus Library Services is an invaluable resource for distance learners with an “extensive collection of books, journals, databases, electronic materials and library services” to assure the online student has the materials and research they need. Pursuing CEPH accreditation
In 1854 Jesuit Priest Anthony Maraschi transplanted from Italy to San Francisco, California and quickly went to work on establishing a Society of Jesus church and school. Known as St. Ignatius Academy, the school would come to be the city’s first university. Classes began in 1855 with only three students (only males were admitted), but three years later student enrollment increased to 65. The school received an official charter for the State of California in 1859, and it moved locations several times. In 1930 the college became University of San Francisco (USF), and in 1964 women were granted full admission. Now this private Jesuit Catholic university enrolls over 11,000 students in its five schools and colleges–Law, Management, Education, Nursing and Health Professions, and Arts and Sciences. USF is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The CEPH accredited MPH degree program at USF’s School of Nursing and Health Professions can be completed online or at two of USF’s on-campus locations. For students who choose the online option, they participate in fully online, asynchronous courses and must select two out of three residencies that can occur as virtual webinars or on-campus seminars. The required 45 credit hours can be taken part-time to graduate within two years or as an accelerated program in under a year. The curriculum includes such classes as the interdisciplinary “Social Justice, Health Policy, Ethics, and Public Health Law” and the foundational “Public Health Systems Leadership and Administration.” Taking a very Jesuit “perspective of educating leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world through socially responsible learning within a community of high quality scholarship and academic rigor and sustained by a faith that does justice,” the MPH at USF is perfect for the student who desires to make a positive change in the world through public health administration. CEPH accredited
#45. Creighton University
Mary Lucretia Creighton was a charitable, loving woman who lived in the 1800s and was known for her altruism and kindness towards those in need in Omaha, Nebraska. When her husband Edward died in 1874, she decided to start a Catholic college in his honor. Sadly, she passed away a few years later, but she left a sizable amount in her will to go towards the development of the school. Local Bishop James O’Connor enlisted the assistance of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) to run the school, and in 1878 Creighton College opened its doors to 120 male students. Women could be students at the professional schools beginning in 1892 when Creighton became Creighton University, but were granted full admission to the College of Arts and Sciences in 1951. One of the twenty-eight Catholic universities or colleges in the Jesuit tradition, Creighton enrolls over 8,000 students currently in its nine schools and colleges. Regional accreditation is provided by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: With a vested interest in approaching public health from the Jesuit-stance of social justice and servitude, the fully online MPH at Creighton imparts students with the ability to formulate “health programs for at-risk populations as well as those who do not have access to adequate healthcare.” Taking one course at a time in each eight-week session, students can expect to complete the 43-credit hour program in about two and a half years. The twenty-two credits of core courses cover topics like “Public Health Ethics” and “Introduction to Community-Based Participatory Research” and students choose fifteen hours of coursework in a concentration in Health Policy and Ethics or Healthcare Management. The remaining credits are made up of a practicum experience and a Capstone. As an added incentive for prospective students who have a high ethical standard and for who empathetic-led public health practices are a draw, past students sing high praises of the program and its ethical and compassionate approach to healthcare.
When a group of Fort Lauderdale businessmen and city leaders began conspiring at their regularly-scheduled breakfast gathering in 1965, the idea for a new kind of school was born. Desiring an institution of higher education for that part of Florida that would be rich in the physical and social sciences, the group created the graduate-specific Nova University of Advanced Technology. Initially located in Fort Lauderdale, the school would grow to encompass a World War II airfield as part of its campus. Nova began expanding its curriculum, and in 1994 would merge with Southeastern University of the Health Sciences to become Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Multiple campuses of the university are available around the state and in Puerto Rico, and nearly 25,000 students are currently enrolled. NSU is a private research university with regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Offering students up to five years to complete the 42-credit hour program, the online MPH at NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine appeals to both working professionals and those who cannot transfer full-time to Florida for their education. Requiring several campus visits–a weekend orientation and exit seminar and a weekend seminar at the end of the program–all coursework is available online. Core classes include subjects such as “Health Policy, Planning, and Management” and “Environmental and Occupational Health,” and students have a wide selection of electives from which to choose. Electives cover topics from “Culture, Ethnicity, and Health” to “Vaccines and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases” to “Public Health Issues in Child Protection,” just to name a few. A six-credit hour Public Health Field Experience and a final comprehensive exam are also required. For prospective students who are interested in the program, a good resource to understand the focus and scope of NSU’s online MPH is the College of Medicine publication Outlook. CEPH accredited
Established as St. Ignatius College in 1870 Chicago, Illinois by the Society of Jesus, Loyola University would become one of the major financial resources of the growing city. Jesuit Priest Father Arnold Damen was the official founder of the school, and at first it was located very near the city center. In 1909 the school was renamed Loyola University Chicago (LUC), and three years later began moving to what is now the flagship main campus–the Lake Shore Campus. Multiple professional schools and colleges were initiated through the early years–the School of Sociology (which would lead to the School of Social Work) began in 1914 and enrolled the institution’s first female students. Now this private coeducational Jesuit university is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, and there are six campuses in Chicago. LUC has been regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1921.
Program Details: LUC’s Health Sciences Division offers two degree tracks for their MPH degree program, one of which is completely online. The Public Health Policy and Management concentration is ideal for students who desire “interdisciplinary training in politics, epidemiology, ethics, economics, law, and management.” A 42-credit hour program, students can focus on just Public Health Policy or Health Management, or both if they so choose. The program has a distinct “emphasis on racial and economic health disparities and bioethics” with core courses such as “Human Behavior in Social Environment” and “Environmental Health.” Students also must take track-specific courses, a choice of one ethics course, six credits of electives, and participate in a practicum and culminating experience. A mentor is assigned to each student to assist them with guidance and supervision in their field experience practicum setting (internship), and students are also assigned a specific Capstone (culminating experience) project mentor. CEPH accredited
Two medically-focused schools would lead to the creation of a private, stand-apart medical and graduate school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin called the Medical College of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin College of Physicians and Surgeons was started in 1893 and the Milwaukee Medical College in 1894. Just over a decade later the Milwaukee Medical College would merge with Marquette University (a college at that time), and then in 1913 Marquette would purchase the Wisconsin College of Physicians and Surgeons to become the independent Marquette University School of Medicine. When Marquette University developed financial problems in the 1950s and 60s, the schools severed ties and Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) was born in 1970. MCW is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and serves nearly 1,000 enrolled medical students and almost 400 graduate-level students.
Program Details: The Institute for Health and Equity serves as the home of the online MPH degree program at MCW. A 42-credit hour program, students are expected to take one to two courses a semester to complete the program in the required five-year time limit. The program is made up of five core courses, seven required courses (including a field placement and capstone), and the remaining coursework in the program is chosen from electives such as “Challenges in Maternal and Child Health,” “Infectious Diseases,” and “Racial and Ethnic Inequalities in Health.” As a fully online degree, prospective students in the MPH program are given opportunities to test the waters such as an interactive PowerPoint presentation, and current students are offered distance learning support and resources. The MPH program has been in existence at MCW since 1986 and has a “highly successful history of helping students reach their educational goals, increase their knowledge, and further their careers.” CEPH accredited
Dr. Andrew Taylor Still had been plagued with medical tragedy. He served as a doctor in the Civil War and grieved the illness-related deaths of several of his children and the death of his first wife due to childbirth complications–these losses led him to develop a different approach to medicine in the mid-1800s. The American School of Osteopathy (ASO) was established in Kirksville, Missouri by Dr. Still in 1892 to train others in his approach, which was considered very radical (some even thought he was a charlatan). A two-room building served as the first classroom for the five female and sixteen male students, and now this private, non-profit graduate-level institution is known as A.T. Still University (ATSU). Over 5,000 students are enrolled in the six schools on two campuses–the main campus in Kirkville and a campus in Mesa, Arizona–and online. The Higher Learning Commission grants ATSU with its regional accreditation.
Program Details: The online MPH degree at ATSU is a comprehensive, 64-credit hour program. The goal of the program is to “create elite healthcare professionals who are prepared and driven to make a difference and lead the future of healthcare.” Through core coursework in topics like “Leading Healthcare Organizations” and “Public Health Policy and Politics” and electives choices such as “Cultural Change in Geriatrics” and “Community Health and Social Media,” students gain a solid foundation of leadership skills and become knowledgeable in current public health trends and best practices. Prospective students can even participate in an online demo course to see if the program is a good fit and to experience what online learning is like through ATSU. There is a required six-credit hour practicum in which students must perform 240 contact hours in a public health internship or field experience, but through the “family and culture” of the MPH program at ATSU, students are fully supported with guidance and supervision throughout the practicum experience. CEPH accredited
The University of Vermont was chartered in 1791 (the same year that Vermont claimed the 14th spot of statehood in America), and its founding can be attributed to Ira Allen (brother of Ethan) who had donated land and money and petitioned for the school since 1780. Begun as a private university, ten students started class in 1801. Dedicated to equity even in its nascent years, UVM (as the University is known–the initials stand for “Universitas Viridis Montis” which translates from the Latin into “University of the Green Mountains”) declared in its charter that “rules, regulations, and by-laws shall not tend to give preference to any religious sect or denomination whatsoever” and admitted women and African-American students prior to most schools. The school gained public university status when it added the State Agricultural College as part of the benefit of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, and now this research university is the only land-grant school in the state. Located in Burlington, UVM is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: For individuals from all educational and professional backgrounds, the fully online MPH is available through the association between UVM and the Larner College of Medicine. This generalist, 42-credit hour degree program offers many fields of study for a highly-customized degree. There are five core disciplines at the forefront of the program: Behavioral Science/Health Education, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, and Health Services Administration. The curriculum is taught by the renowned UVM Public Health Faculty who are also researchers, practitioners and experts in the field. With classes covering topics like “Investigating Disease Outbreaks” and “Climate Change and Public Health,” students will receive the most up-to-date public health information and be prepared for many different careers in the field. Students also receive the benefit of a very dedicated support team–from the first inquiry into the program to graduation day, students are advised and guided as they craft their customized curriculum. Pursuing CEPH accreditation
The Morrill Act of 1862 enabled the state of West Virginia to found the Agricultural College of West Virginia as a land-grant institution in 1867. The first class in the Morgantown, West Virginia school consisted of six college students (all male—females would not be admitted as full students until twelve years later), 100 preparatory school students, and six instructors. Within its first year the name of the school was changed to West Virginia University (WVU). When the first ten women were admitted in 1889, they joined the 198 enrolled men. The female students would have a curfew and a dress code until 1973, however—unlike their male student counterparts who had no such restrictions. This public university is the flagship of the state with multiple campuses and is also a space-grant institution. Now with fourteen colleges and schools, the research-intensive WVU enrolls more than 31,000 coeducational students and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The MPH degree in Biostatistics through the School of Public Health at WVU can be completed entirely online (there are several other MPH specializations available, but they are all on-campus programs). This 42-credit hour program is designed for students who want a solid core in public health with an added specialization in the “science of applying statistical theory and principles to research in public health, medicine, biology, pharmaceuticals, environmental science, and other related fields.” With coursework in subjects such as “Introduction to Meta-Analysis” and “Biostatistical Consulting,” students will be prepared for careers in the public health and pharmaceutical fields. Students must complete both a 180 contact hour “practice-based experience” as part of the curriculum and a culminating experience. As an online program, the MPH in Biostatistics furthers the online Applied Biostatistics Certificate program and all classes are taught by the same experienced on-campus faculty and presented online asynchronously. CEPH accredited
A history of three distinct schools led to the creation of the University of New England (UNE). First was Westbrook Seminary, which was established in 1831 in Portland, Maine. The College Séraphique was started in 1939 by Franciscan Monks in Biddeford, Maine to educate boys and young men of Québécois (native Quebec) descent. It started as a high school and junior college, but became a four-year school in 1952 renamed St. Francis College. By the 1970s St. Francis was experiencing financial difficulties and merged with the New England College of Osteopathic Medicine to become the University of New England in 1978. In 1996 Westbrook was integrated into UNE, and now the school has three campuses–the two in Maine and one in the country of Morocco. Now with five colleges and over 13,500 students, this private coeducational university is the largest in Maine and is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
Program Details: The 100% online MPH degree at UNE is the only CEPH-accredited program like it in the state. Requiring 46 credit hours, the program can be completed in eighteen months and is taught by faculty members who both practice and conduct public health research. Twenty-five credit hours of required coursework is predetermined for students–five core courses and three classes covering “Principles of Public Health,” “Research Methods,” and “Integrated Public Health Practicum.” The remaining twenty-one credit hours are chosen from a selection of electives such as “The Obesity Epidemic: A Public Health Perspective,” “Foundations of Maternal and Child Health,” and “Applied Epidemiology.” This integrative, impactful degree program uses Blackboard as its online delivery method, and also offers a great deal of student services for the online student, because as UNE states, a “successful student is a supported student.” From a dedicated Student Support Specialist for each student to Blackboard tutorials, UNE’s online programs are as solid and resource-rich as their on-campus counterparts. CEPH accredited
In 1870, Buchtel College was established in Akron, Ohio by the Ohio Universalist Convention with great influence and financial support from local residents and especially from successful manufacturer John R. Buchtel (who gave half a million dollars over his lifetime to the school). As the school’s ties to the community grew to outshine its denominational influence, and as it desired funding available only to non-denominationally-affiliated schools, the college severed its ties with the Universalist Church in 1907. Buchtel College began to struggle financially, and in 1913 the management of the school transferred to the city and it became the University of Akron (UA). Now this public coeducational research university is a member of the University System of Ohio and has branch campuses in three other Ohio locations. Over 300 academic degree programs are available to the nearly 23,000 students, and UA is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Through the partnership of the Consortium of Eastern Ohio Master of Public Health (CEOMPH), the MPH degree program at The College of Health Professions School of Nursing at The University of Akron gives students the benefit of not just one great university’s expert faculty, but also the faculty of four other great schools: Cleveland State University, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Ohio University, and Youngstown State University. Students are guided through the program as a cohort with all six core courses taught synchronously via interactive videoconferencing on Saturday mornings. The remaining coursework in the 42-credit hour curriculum are comprised of nine credits of generalist track courses and fifteen credits of electives. Students can choose electives from any of the five universities in the CEOMPH, but all approved electives are not online classes, so students need to take care in selecting if they desire a completely online experience. CEPH accredited
The Dr. S.S. Still College of Osteopathy was established in Des Moines, Iowa in 1898 by husband and wife doctors, Summerfield Saunders Still and Ella Still. From the beginning women students were treated as equals and made up a large part of the student enrollment. Located in the downtown area, the college changed names in 1905 to the Still College of Osteopathy. By 1927 the school had grown to the point it needed a larger campus space, and moved to a new location. Through the years there were several more name changes and one more move to its current location–the school has been known as Des Moines University (DMU) since 1999 and is now located on a twenty-two acre campus. With a mission of improving “lives in our global community by educating diverse groups of highly competent and compassionate health professionals,” DMU is a private non-profit osteopathic medical school educating almost 2,000 enrolled students. The Higher Learning Commission regionally accredits DMU.
Program Details: Three concentration areas are possible with the MPH online degree program at Des Moines University. Students can choose between the General Public Health track, Health Service Management, and Health Promotion in this 46-credit hour program with a vision of improving “health for all through our commitment to innovative education, scholarship, service, and advancement of public health.” The program can be completed in approximately thirty months, but prospective students can begin taking the classes even before they are admitted to get a head start, test the programs compatibility with their needs, or for Professional Development. Students in all three tracks are expected to complete required core coursework in topics like “Overview of the U.S. Health Care System” and “Basic Statistics and Research,” core coursework in their chosen concentration, two elective course selections from topics like “Infectious Diseases of Humans and Animals,” “Policy and Practice: Emergency Preparedness,” and “Cardiovascular Epidemiology,” a 180 contact hour internship, and a culminating Capstone Project. CEPH accredited
When Senate Bill 53 was signed into law by the Governor of Idaho in the early spring of 1901, it paved the way for the Academy of Idaho to be established in Pocatello, Idaho later that spring. Due to the determination of the town’s mayor and the donation of private lands for the campus, a specific location was chosen (called the “Battle of the Blocks”). Classes started the following year, and within the next fifteen years enrollment would increase to 300 students and the name of the school would be changed to Idaho Technical Institute. The name would change three more times before becoming Idaho State University (ISU) in 1963, and now this coeducational public doctoral-research (as designated by the Carnegie Foundation) university offers 250 academic degree programs to the over 12,500 enrolled students online and at the main campus in Pocatello, and at the sister campuses in Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities regionally accredits ISU.
Program Details: Offering the only CEPH accredited MPH in the state, the Idaho State University online degree integrates all recommended Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals into the program. Ideal for both students who are working and need to have their days free or rural professionals who cannot travel to the ISU campus, the 48-credit hour program offers core coursework in classes such as “Social & Cultural Perspectives in Public Health” and “Health Program Planning” asynchronously for a great deal of flexibility and accommodation. Advisors are assigned to students upon admission to the program, and online classes are kept small to ensure that students get the time and support they need from the faculty members and professors both inside of “class” and individually. After graduation, ISU MPH students still receive support through the resources and trainings provided by ISU’s Workforce Development. CEPH accredited
The town of Columbia, Missouri benefited from the first public university to be chartered west of the Mississippi River when the Missouri Legislature passed a bill to establish a university in 1839. The Boone County locals advocated for their town to be the location of the school with a bid of $117,921 in donated funds and the promise of acreage. Two students were the first graduating class in 1843. Named the University of Missouri (affectionately nicknamed “Mizzou”), the institution became a land-grant university in 1870 and started to grow exponentially. Now the University of Missouri System’s flagship school, Mizzou has eighteen colleges and schools with over 33,000 enrolled students and more than 300 academic degree programs of study. This comprehensive public coeducational university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The online MPH through University of Missouri’s School of Health Professions follows the on-campus Health Promotion and Policy emphasis curriculum. With both synchronous and asynchronous classes, students can participate in the program with no required campus visits. With 45-credit hours (thirty-nine required core course credit hours and six credits of electives), students generally complete the program in two years if they participate in the program full-time. Courses cover topics like “Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health” and “Public Policy Processes and Strategies” in order to give students a solid basis in “behavior change theory and program planning and evaluation with valuable knowledge of how policy decisions are influenced and made.” A great deal of support is available to Mizzou online students, and MPH students receive the benefit of services such as academic advising, a career center, and writing center support, just to name a few. CEPH accredited
In 1893 the University of Montana was conceived of for the city of Missoula, Montana as part of a ploy between Missoula town residents and the residents of the town of Helena. Helena wanted to be declared the newly-admitted to the union State of Montana’s capital, so Missoula promised to stay out of the bidding war for state capital if Helena would support it as the site of the newly chartered school. Missoula was selected and classes began in 1895 in a temporary location since the campus was just in the beginning stages of construction. The University of Montana (UM) sits at the foot of Mount Sentinel and is the second largest university in the state system. As part of the Montana University System and in association with the three other universities around the state in the system, UM is the flagship campus with over 230 collective acres on its main campus and South Campus and over 13,000 students enrolled in the eleven colleges and schools. This public coeducational research university is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Program Details: The School of Public and Community Health Sciences at UM’s College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences houses the online MPH degree program. A total of 42-credit hours constructs the degree with a specific focus on the “unique challenges resulting from the intersection of rural and global public health issue.” The degree requires twenty-seven core credits, nine credits of a culminating Capstone (including a practicum, a professional paper, and a portfolio), and six credits of electives. Core classes cover topics like “Fundamentals of Biostatistics” and “Environmental and Rural Health,” and students can choose electives from within the department in topics such as “Multicultural and Native American Public Health” and “Public Health Genetics” (electives from other departments–such as the Health Services Administration or Social and Behavioral Sciences departments–may be taken with advisor approval). All coursework is online, but students need to be prepared to defend their professional paper on-campus. CEPH accredited
Six years before officially becoming a state, North Dakota founded the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks in 1883. With a dedicated focus on providing a liberal arts education (a rarity in that day), the school included a normal school for the education of teachers. Coeducational from the beginning, eight male and female students made up the first graduating class. Those first students only paid $3.50 a week to be residential students, but had to contend with no furnace to heat the halls in the winter and windows that wouldn’t open to cool the summer days, as well as drinking water that had to be hauled in by barrel from town. Now this fully-equipped public university is classified as by the Carnegie Foundation as having high research activity and enrolls nearly 15,000 students. UND is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: A program with a clear emphasis on analytics, the MPH degree at UND’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences offers two analytic-intensive specializations: Population Health Analytics and Health Management & Policy. Eighteen of the required 42 credit hours are core courses covering topics like “Introduction to Data Management in SAS” and “Health Care Systems” and the remaining coursework is devoted to the specialization curriculum and the final, six-credit hour practicum (that can be completed locally, nationally, or even internationally) and culminating scholarly project. The two specializations each require twelve focus-specific credit hours and allow six credits of electives chosen by the student. The program is taught on-campus, but all classes are delivered via a live-broadcast in order to accommodate distance learners. Students can complete the program full-time in just one-and-a-half years, but have up to seven years to complete it if taking classes part-time. CEPH accredited
With the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the Arizona Territory was eager to participate and found a university. The Territory’s Legislature approved the establishment of the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1885, and construction on Old Main—the campus’ first building—began in 1887. This would be the future state’s first university, and thirty-two students started class in 1891 in the completed building (which still stands today). From the first six teachers providing instruction in 1891 to the more than 3,000 current academic staff providing education, the University of Arizona (UA, or “Arizona”) is a public research university with a very high research designation by the Carnegie Foundation. Over 42,000 coeducational students are enrolled in more than 350 offered academic degree programs. The Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation to Arizona.
Program Details: Ideal for students who would like to finish a program in under two years, the fully online MPH degree through the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at AU is a modular program with each of the courses taking seven and a half weeks to complete. The 42-credit hour program offers three concentrations and requires an internship (six credits) which can be completed in the student’s local community. Core courses include classes such as “Sociocultural & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health” and “Fundamentals of Health Budgeting & Financial Management.” The coursework for the concentrations in Applied Epidemiology, Health Services Administration, or Health Promotion comprise 50% of the degree curriculum for a really specialized focus. The instructors for the online program are the same world-renowned faculty involved in current research that teach the on-campus MPH program, and prospective students can hear from them and former students directly (through a series of webinars) regarding the benefits of AU’s online MPH degree. CEPH accredited
Benedictine monks in the St. Procopius Abbey of Chicago, Illinois developed a university in the suburb of Lisle in 1887 for young men who specifically had Czech or Slovakian lineage. Originally called St. Procopius College, the school would go on to be named after the “father of western monasticism,” St. Benedict, first as Illinois Benedictine College in 1971 and then Benedictine University (BenU) in 1996. The private, Roman Catholic university has as its mission to be “an inclusive academic community dedicated to teaching and learning, scholarship and service, truth and justice, as inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition, the social teaching of the Church, and the principles of wisdom in the Rule of St. Benedict.” Becoming coeducational in 1968, student enrollment now reaches almost 10,000. With branch campuses in Mesa, Arizona and Springfield, Illinois, BenU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The comprehensive, 58-credit hour online MPH degree program at BenU offers six session start dates a year and can be completed in just two years. Students start with 46 credits of foundational coursework; the core curriculum covers topics like “Research Methods in Public Health,” “Community Health Analysis,” and “Management of Health Services Organizations.” The remaining credits can be used to gain a public health certificate alongside the MPH. Certificate possibilities include Emergency Preparedness, Health Education & Promotion, Health Management & Policy, and Epidemiology. A thesis paper is not required for graduation, but students must participate in an internship with 240 contact hours. Support services and resources are also comprehensive, starting even before an application is submitted. Prospective students can go through a step-by-step guide to the admissions process, explore the online delivery system, and be assigned a program manager for whatever guidance is desired. CEPH accredited
In 1856 the Maryland Agricultural College was chartered and two years later over 400 acres were selected and purchased in College Park, Maryland by the school’s founder, Charles Benedict Calvert, to serve as the campus site. Thirty-four male students were the first to enroll in 1859 when the doors opened for class. The school became a land-grant institution in 1864 but suffered financial troubles during the Civil War. A resurgence in enrollment occurred, and the school regained momentum. In 1916 two major changes happened—the state of Maryland gained control of the school, renaming it Maryland State College and women were enrolled for the first time. The first black students were not allowed admission until 1951, and in 1988 the state’s higher education system restructured to transform the school into University of Maryland, College Park. Known since 1997 as simply University of Maryland (UMD), this public research university is the flagship of the state with nearly 40,000 students enrolled in fourteen schools and colleges. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education regionally accredits UMD.
Program Details: UMD’s School of Public Health offers a hybrid online Master of Public Health, Public Health Practice and Policy (MPH-PHPP) degree program with coursework provided completely online plus six required weekend residencies of on-site instruction. Requiring 42-credit hours of fifteen mandatory courses and both an internship and Capstone Project to graduate, students study topics such as “Foundations of Environmental Health,” “Healthcare Strategic Planning and Evaluation,” and “Health Law and Ethics” in order to master elements of leadership in the public health world. Students move through the program as a cohort and can complete the program in just two years. A web-page maintained by UMD’s Office of Extended Studies is full of resources and guidelines specific to online public health graduate students that can help both prospective and current students find the services and support they need to be successful. There is also a School of Public Health-specific career center that assists both current students and alumni, so UMD support continues post-graduation. CEPH accredited
The Anchorage Community College (ACC) opened in Anchorage, Alaska in 1954 with evening classes for the 414 first students. Elmendorf Air Force Base was the first location for the classes–the school would move to its current location in 1967 and offer both evening and daytime classes. Just prior to that in 1962, ACC had been brought in as part of the University of Alaska statewide system, like other community colleges and schools in the state. The University of Alaska, Anchorage Senior College (ASC) was also developed around that time to complement the junior-level ACC, but by the late 1970s ASC became a full four-year school and was renamed University of Alaska, Anchorage (UA,A). In 1987 the two schools merged to form the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). More than 200 academic degree programs are offered at the main campus and other extension campuses for the approximately 20,000 enrolled students, and UAA has been regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities since 1974.
Program Details: The MPH in Public Health Practice through the Department of Health Sciences at UAA’s College of Health is an interdisciplinary, 42-credit hour program with specific emphasis “on the needs of Alaska and the circumpolar north.” The core coursework in subjects like “Circumpolar Health Issues” and “Public Health Emergencies and Disasters” and interdisciplinary electives are all 100% online, but students will be required to come to campus once a year for a face-to-face meeting with faculty and other MPH students (this requirement is currently under suspension, but will be reinstated at some point) and also come to campus to defend their final practicum thesis or project. The practicum requirements are dictated by CEPH accreditation, and students should expect to put in 225 hours over the course of two semesters. Students in the program generally graduate within two to four years, depending on the manner in which they take classes–either full or part-time. CEPH accredited
Established in 1857 by George Minns, Minns’ Evening Normal School would become the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast. Originally a school to train teachers in San Francisco, the school became California State Normal School five years later. In 1871 the school moved to its current location in San Jose, and just over a decade later opened a branch campus in Los Angeles (which would go on to become UCLA). Two name changes–San Jose State Teachers College in 1921 and San Jose State College in 1934–and an expanded curriculum and sports programs caused the school to grow rapidly. Yet more name changes would occur before then final name was assigned–California State University, San Jose in 1972, and then finally San José State University (SJSU) in 1974. Now this coeducational, comprehensive public university (which is the founding school of the California State University system) currently enrolls over 30,000 students. Regional accreditation is granted by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: SJSU’s online MPH degree program format through the International and Extended Studies department is a twenty-four month, cohort-model program that starts every fall for approximately twenty-five students. Classes are delivered sequentially and synchronously, so students get the benefit of moving through the program with their cohort and participating together each week as if in an actual classroom. In addition to the cutting-edge online technology of “web conferencing that includes two-way audio, multi-point video, interactive whiteboard, application and desktop sharing, virtual breakout rooms, and session recording,” students come together once a year on-campus for four to five days of a residency. With a curriculum based on the CEPH recommendations, the 42-credit hour program provides a specialization in community health education (one of only five in the country) and requires a culminating experience. Due to the rigors of the program (which mirror the intensity of the on-campus MPH degree program), SJSU offers multiple advising resources to current students. CEPH accredited
Las Cruces College began in New Mexico when it was still just a territory. The two-room school building provided classes in the school’s inaugural year of 1888. Just a year later the New Mexico territorial legislature wanted to take advantage of the Morrill Act of 1862 and start a land-grant school near the town of Las Cruces. This new school was named New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, and it would merge with Las Cruces College in 1890. Thirty-five students started class that first year in the two-room building while the new campus was under construction. By 1960 the school would become New Mexico State University (NMSU), and now this Hispanic-serving institution serves over 15,000 students on the 900-acre main campus and has multiple branch campuses, a satellite in Albuquerque, and many extension centers throughout the state. NMSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: With an online program that mirrors the on-campus program, the 42-credit hour MPH offered completely online through the NMSU Department of Public Health Services at the College of Health and Social Services offers students the same quality program asynchronously for their convenience. Core courses cover topics such as “Epidemiological Approaches to Disease Control and Prevention,” “Community and Psychosocial Aspects of Public Health,” and “Health Services System: Administration and Organization,” and there are two concentration options: Community Health Education or Health Management, Administration and Policy. A field experience provides students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned and culminates the program. Online students can also benefit from the services provided by NMSU’s Albuquerque Center (located at the Central New Mexico Community College Montoya Campus) which offers advising and coordination of all other online student services. CEPH accredited
The State University System of Florida would gain another university for the system thanks to a vote by the Florida Legislature in 1963. The city of Pensacola would be the recipient of the school, and the University of West Florida (UWF) would be the sixth school in Florida’s twelve-university system. Five years after the vote to begin the university, classes started for the senior and graduate-level students. By 1983 the university would become a full four-year institution and admit freshmen for the first time. A nature-preserve serves as part of the 1,600-acre main campus in Pensacola, and nearly 13,000 graduate and undergraduate students are currently enrolled. UWF is a space-grant institution, and this coeducational public research university has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: The 42-credit hour MPH degree offered completely online through University of West Florida’s Department of Public Health offers students an opportunity to explore a multidisciplinary program with the added benefit of customizing it to fit their career goals. Students can opt for a general track or select the specialization in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. Both tracks require core public health classes in topics like “Epidemiology for Public Health Professionals” and “Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health,” and the specialization offers concentration courses in subjects such as “Health Education and Interactive Technology” and “Social Marketing in Health Education.” An internship and a comprehensive exam are also required. With the “highest quality instructional methodologies, innovative delivery methods, and interactive approaches to engage students,” several key student services are also made available for online students–such as academic and career advising, and military and disability services–in order to help achieve success. CEPH accredited
When the childless bachelor Johns Hopkins passed away in 1873, he bequeathed $7 million to the town of Baltimore, Maryland to be used for the establishment of a university and a hospital to bear his name. Hopkins was a Quaker who had gained a fortune in the railroad industry and was known for his altruism and humanitarianism; within three years of his death the school named Johns Hopkins University (simply called Johns Hopkins) was founded. Hopkins’ home was not suitable to be used as a campus location, so the school started in a downtown site initially. The school thrived and moved eventually to the 140-acre Homewood Estate, which would be the main campus for Johns Hopkins. With other campuses at home in Maryland and D.C and abroad in Italy, Singapore and China, Johns Hopkins is a private research university with regional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: The part-time online MPH degree program at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health offers asynchronous, per-recorded lectures so classes can be completed when convenient for each student. In addition to online coursework, the 80-credit hour program requires at least four weeks of on-campus face-to-face classes of the student’s choice. A free, non-credit course, Introduction to Online Learning, is required at the beginning of the program to help future students become acclimated to the online culture at Johns Hopkins; students then take the core coursework and choose their electives from over 200 offered classes. An assigned faculty advisor assists and guides each student through their studies as well as the 100-hour internship experience and the final Capstone Project paper and oral defense (the presentation and defense can be done over the internet for online students). The program is admittedly rigorous and comprehensive, but as an added benefit all online/part-time students receive the Welch Scholarship to defray the cost of tuition. CEPH accredited
#23. Emory University
In 1836, Emory College was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in Oxford, Georgia. The school was named for Methodist Bishop John Emory, who had tragically died in a carriage accident the year before. The school did not begin to flourish until the later part of the century, and by 1914 an interesting and life-changing proposition was presented to the small school. Coca-Cola mogul Asa Candler wrote a letter offering funding and land in Atlanta to move the school there, and by the following year the plan to relocate was solidified–the school became Emory University. Initially a school for white males only, women were allowed full admission in 1953 and students of color in 1962. Now this private coeducational research institution enrolls over 15,000 students in eleven schools and colleges, and regional accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory offers an Executive MPH (EMPH) degree program as a hybrid online program. With required long-weekend residencies held twice each semester, students become part of a “truly interactive” component of the Emory MPH program that is “critical to building a community of learners” to tackle today’s public health issues. All other coursework is offered online, and within this 42-credit hour program there are three tracks from which students can choose: Applied Epidemiology, Applied Public Health Informatics, or Prevention Science. All students start the program in the fall semester, and in general complete the program in two years. Eleven core courses and a two-credit practicum serves as the foundation for all students regardless of chosen concentration, with classes such as “Social Behavior in Public Health” and “Public Health Advocacy.” This program is for currently working practitioners with at least three years of professional experience. CEPH accredited
The Evening Institute for Young Men was begun by the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Boston, Massachusetts with classes held for the first time in 1898. It was a success, and within the next decade classes would begin to be held during the day as well. In 1916 the school became Northeastern College, but just five years later the name changed again to Northeastern University (NU). The student body was still only male for many more years—it would be after World War II ended that women would be enrolled. Now, this private research university has almost 25,000 students and over 300 academic degree programs. In addition, there are satellite campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, San Jose, California, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Regional accreditation comes from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The MPH in Urban Health degree through NU’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences is a fully-online program that provides students with research and best practices to develop and hone the “cultural sensitivity required to communicate effectively with, and advocate for, diverse urban populations.” Requiring 42-credit hours, general education classes cover topics like “Race, Ethnicity, and Health in the United States,” “Principles and History of Urban Health,” and “Society, Behavior, and Health” with elective selections offering such courses as “Health and Human Rights” and “Food, Food Policy, and Health” among others in order to perceive and explore how public health is affected by issues “ranging from poverty, violence, and substance abuse to immigration, migration, and suburbanization.” A 200-contact hour practicum is also required, but students can participate in the program full or part-time and have between two and five years to complete it. CEPH accredited
In 1868 two established California colleges (the College of California in Oakland and the land-grant school Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Arts College) merged to form the University of California (UC). The new school would welcome forty students and ten instructors in its first year. By 1873 UC, which had been occupying the campus of the College of California in Oakland, moved locations to Berkeley. In 1919 a branch campus was founded in Los Angeles, and the University of California system was born; in 1952 the “University of California” became a distinct entity separate from the specific Berkeley campus, and each of the ten schools within the system became autonomous. Known since 1952 as UC Berkeley, this public research institution is the flagship of the system with over 40,000 students enrolled in the 170 academic departments within the fourteen colleges and schools. UC Berkeley has been fully regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges since 1949.
Program Details: The Berkeley online MPH degree at the School of Public Health is a two-year powerhouse of a program in which students take six core courses in their first year and two core courses plus electives and a practicum in the second year. With renowned faculty teaching the same rigorous curriculum as on-campus (such as core course “Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health” and elective “Global Health Disaster Preparedness and Response”), students take fourteen courses (at least 42-credit hours) to graduate. With several different tracks that students can choose to follow, the degree is very customizable. Students can follow an interdisciplinary approach, or choose from either the Health Policy and Management (HPM) concentration or Global Health concentration. A required on-campus “working visit” during each of the two summer sessions affords UC Berkeley online MPH students the opportunity to partake in many of the student services that are always available online in a face-to-face manner. CEPH accredited
In 1952 the state of California determined to develop a satellite campus for Los Angeles State College (which is now known as Cal State Los Angeles). The original plan was to locate the campus in Baldwin Hills, but the residents and community leaders of San Fernando Valley begin advocating for the school to be in their area. The leaders organized a dinner in 1954 for twenty-three legislators at the well-known Brown Derby restaurant—they planned a presentation to sway the legislators to build the school in San Fernando Valley. The presentation convinced the lawmakers, and the school was built in Northridge and opened in 1958. Gaining its independence from Cal State L.A. just four years later, the school was renamed San Fernando Valley State College. By 1971 it became California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and regional accreditation is provided by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The Tseng College of Extended Learning at CSUN provides a fully online MPH: Community Health Education degree program in conjunction with the College of Health and Human Development. The program is designed for students with little or no experience who are “seeking to enter or advance in the field” of public health by presenting a curriculum which focuses in the “five core areas of public health and professional preparation (biostatistics; environmental health; epidemiology; health policy and management; and social and behavioral science).” Students move through the 42-credit hour, two-year program as a cohort, moving together through the coursework sequentially. Classes include topics such as “Current Issues in Health Education,” “Advanced Concepts of Health Behavior,” and “Curriculum Development in Health Education.” A 300-contact hour Practicum is required for graduation, and can be chosen from appropriate placements in the student’s location (with advisor approval). CEPH accredited
Both the Northwestern and Northeastern areas of the state of Ohio would benefit from having normal schools located in their midst due to the passage of Ohio’s Lowry Normal School Bill of 1910. The towns in the Northwestern part of the state started petitioning for the school to be in their communities, and the town of Kent can thank the ingenuity of the Kent Board of Trade reception committee members in providing the state commission site-scouting team with a freshly-caught blue-gill fish dinner after a disastrous scouting expedition. The dinner made up for the commission member’s earlier experience (miscommunications had caused them to be left at the train station and the proposed site of the school was a muddy, foggy mess due to the weather), and Kent was chosen as the site of the school. Kent State University grew out of this now-famous “blue-gill dinner,” and this public research university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The College of Public Health at Kent State offers a fully-online, 46-credit hour MPH degree program with two specialization options. The Health Policy and Management (HPM) specialization is ideal for individuals who want to make a difference on a local or national level through policy change, and the Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) specialization is a good fit for professionals who desire to “prevent disease, promote health and health equity, and manage chronic illnesses” on an individual and collective-community basis. Fifteen of the 46 credit hours are devoted to the specializations; the remaining credits are made up of twenty-five credits of core coursework in subjects such as “Fundamentals of Public Health Epidemiology” and “Public Health Administration” and a practicum experience, plus two electives chosen from topics like “National Health Reform” and “Sex: A Wicked Public Health Problem.” For those who are not sure if the program is right for them, several current students share their online MPH stories to give prospective students a glimpse of the Kent State online community. CEPH accredited
#18. National University
David Chigos had a vision in 1971 for a non-traditional academic program for working professionals and adults. As a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander and director for employee education at a large international defense corporation, Chigos had a unique perspective on the needs of adults for relevant and applicable degree programs offered in a format that could fit into their busy lives. National University opened as a private non-profit school in 1972 for twenty-seven students offering evening and weekend classes (eventually moving into distance/online learning as well). Chigos served as the university’s first president, and now National has headquarters in La Jolla, California and branch campuses in other parts of the state as well as Nevada and online to serve the almost 25,000 enrolled students. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has been continuously providing regional accreditation to National University since 1977—just five years after the school opened its doors.
Program Details: Through the Community Health department at the School of Health and Human Services, National’s online MPH degree program offers three specialization options: Health Promotion, Healthcare Administration, and Mental Health. All students take the eight required core courses (36 quarter units) in topics like “Theories of Health Behavior” and “Public Health & the Environment” and then participate in their eight specialization required courses (36 quarter units) to complete the degree (students may transfer up to thirteen and a half quarter units from another institution). With an emphasis on applying “the concepts and methods of social justice and social and behavioral sciences relevant to the identification and solution of public health problems,” this program is ideal for individuals who desire to solve health problems societally and address inequities through social justice advocacy. The goal of producing leaders in the public health field translates into strong field placement/internship opportunities and timely capstone project experiences. CEPH accredited
A charter in 1895 led to the opening in 1899 of the Northern Illinois State Normal School in DeKalb, Illinois. Twenty-seven men and 146 women were the first class to enter the teacher-training institution (with classes held in an impressive castle-like building on the prairie), and over the years the school grew exponentially. By 1955 the school transitioned into Northern Illinois College as it had been adding academic programs beyond just education, and just two years later the school gained university status as Northern Illinois University (NIU). The mission to “promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service” has not changed through the years, and now seven colleges serve the over 19,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Regional accreditation for this high-research public university comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The online MPH degree at NIU’s School of Health Studies through the College of Health and Human Sciences promotes understanding public health from many different points of reference. Students learn to “analyze topics such as health concerns in cities versus rural areas, childhood obesity or the health effects from climate change” in this comprehensive program. Two specializations are offered: Health Promotion and Health Services Management. Depending on the specialization chosen, students must take 43-46 credits in order to graduate. Core coursework covers topics like “Problems and Issues in Environmental Health,” “Principles and Methods of Epidemiology,” and “Community Health Planning.” Both programs develop students into leaders in the field–the Health Promotion specialization prepares students for the Certified Health Education Specialist (C.H.E.S.) exam, and students in the Health Services Management specialization (if they choose the requisite electives) are eligible to participate in the Illinois Nursing Home Administrators Licensing Examination. CEPH accredited
The East Tennessee State Normal School opened its doors in 1911 in Johnson City to twenty-nine high school and normal school students. The students in the normal school were entering a two-year program to become teachers. The normal school would become a four-year program and change its name to East Tennessee State Teachers College in 1925. Five years later the name would change again to State Teachers College, Johnson City and student enrollment would surpass 1,400 students. Two more name changes would occur–East Tennessee State College in 1943 and East Tennessee State University (ETSU) 1963. Now eleven schools and colleges serve over 14,500 enrolled students at this public university with multiple branch and extension campuses throughout the state. Part of the Tennessee Board of Regents university system (although governed by an institutional Board of Trustees), ETSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Three MPH degree concentrations are available completely online at ETSU: Community Health, Epidemiology, and Public Health Administration. All three concentrations require sixteen core courses that cover topics like “Philosophy of Public Health,” “Environmental Health Practice,” and “Health Service Administration.” The remaining credits in the 43-credit hour program are made up of concentration courses, electives and a final, six-credit hour culminating experience (“Pubic Health Program Field Experience – Community and Behavioral Health”). With a goal of constructing “practitioners who can develop, implement, and evaluate community-based interventions and work to establish effective collaborative organizational and community partnerships,” the MPH Community Health degree provides the same on-campus quality program in a convenient delivery with online classes offered both synchronously and asynchronously. A dedicated online tech support service is available to assist students with any questions or problems they may have with the online process, in addition to other services and resources to help the online student succeed. CEPH accredited
In 1912 the West Tennessee Normal School opened as an institution to train teachers in Memphis, Tennessee. As the school grew and expanded its curriculum, it first became the West Tennessee State Teachers College in 1925 and then Memphis State College in 1941. By 1957 the school gained full university status and was renamed yet again, this time to Memphis State University. Two years later, the school’s first African-American students were allowed admission. The Memphis State Eight, as they were called, were admitted but still singled out with many restrictions—supposedly for their own safety. These restrictions (not being allowed to freely roam campus but only attend class and leave immediately after) were relaxed and lifted as more students of color came to campus and the novelty of integration wore off. Becoming renamed one final time in 1994, the University of Memphis (UofM) is a public research institution with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: Five focus areas await the MPH degree student through UofM Global’s online program: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Health Systems and Policy, and Social and Behavioral Science. A 42-credit hour program (unless it is determined that an incoming student needs to gain a more solid background in public health basics–then addition hours are required), the core curriculum covers topics like “Environmental Health” and “Social and Behavioral Sciences Principles.” The focus area choice determines the twelve credit hours of specialization electives, and a practicum of 240 contact hours completes the degree. With the claim of “from admission to graduation, we are invested in your success,” UofM Global provides many resources and services to online students as part of the Global Experience, as well as experienced faculty at the helm of the coursework. The Global faculty members are all specifically trained for online instruction to assure that the quality of UofM’s programs translate across the internet. CEPH accredited
In the 1870s in early Los Angeles, California, Judge Robert Maclay Widney was instrumental in leading local key leaders in advocating for a university. At the time Los Angeles was the wild west, so in 1879 Widney went about developing a Board of Trustees and getting donations from three wealthy Californians of 308 lots of land and an endowment to form the future campus for the University of Southern California (USC). Ten teachers were the first faculty members when the school officially began in 1880 with 53 students, and tuition was only $15.00 each term. Now the school enrolls over 40,000 students and is the oldest private institution of higher education in Southern California. A sea-grant and space-grant research university, USC also has the most powerful quantum computer in the world which resides on-campus in a specialized facility. Regional accreditation comes from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The Department of Preventive Medicine at Keck School of Medicine of USC offers the only medical school-based online MPH degree program. In addition to the prestige of the medical school’s world-class faculty presenting a rigorous academic program, students have the ability to customize the degree with five concentration options: Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Health Education and Promotion, Global Health Leadership, GeoHealth, and Health Services and Policy. Each concentration track requires twenty units towards the completely online degree requirements, and students have three start dates a year at which to begin their online education journey. With “enrollment advisors, academic advisors, career counselors and practicum coordinators . . . personally invested” in the success of each student, prospective students can be assured that the level of support they will receive will not be affected by their distance from campus. CEPH accredited
In 1790, President George Washington addressed the nation in his first State of the Union address—one of his presented ideals was the notion of a national university centrally located and accessible to the people of America. Almost thirty years later in 1819, a consortium of Baptist ministers advocated to Congress with a petition for this vision of a school, and in 1821 Columbian College was established. With funding and 46 acres purchased in the District of Columbia, classes began in 1822. Women were admitted in 1888—Mabel Nelson Thurston was the first female student. Other milestones were reached, and the school became George Washington University (GW) in 1904 to honor the first president and his vision. GW is a private coeducational research university which now enrolls over 25,000 students—a far cry from the first graduating class of three male students. The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools regionally accredits George Washington University.
Program Details: The Milken Institute School of Public Health offers George Washington University’s online MPH degree program (called MPH@GW) with several offered length-options. Students can participate in the MPH@GW program on a part-time basis to complete in two, three or four years, or opt for one of the two full-time accelerated options and complete the program in twelve months or eighteen months. The curriculum is the same coursework no matter how quickly or slowly students determine to engage in it, with 45 required credit hours in courses such as “Comparative Global Health Systems,” “Biological Concepts for Public Health,” and “Principles and Practice of Epidemiology.” Electives can be chosen from a broad range of topics or grouped together in a particular focus area (Environmental and Occupational Health, Global Health, Health Communication, Health Policy, or Program Planning and Evaluation). A practicum and a culminating experience are both required to complete the program. CEPH accredited
In 1905, Loma Linda Sanitarium was established in Loma Linda, California in a complex that was twice-failed as a resort. The property had been purchased through the vision of Seventh-day Adventists John Burden and Ellen G. White as the perfect place for people to heal and learn. A year after the sanitarium was founded, The Loma Linda College of Evangelists started and offered courses in religion, arts and humanities, industry and medicine. By 1909 the school was declared a medical college, and the next year the name was changed to Loma Linda College. In 1961 the school had expanded and gained university status as Loma Linda University, and now this private Seventh-day Adventist coeducational health sciences university serves more than 4,500 students with over 100 programs of study. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges provides regional accreditation.
Program Details: Two online MPH degrees are offered at Loma Linda’s School of Public Health. The MPH with a concentration in Lifestyle Management is a 56-unit program for current practitioners who want to further their reach in the arena of public health and both advocate for “lifestyle change interventions and promote healthy behaviors for patients with chronic diseases.” The MPH Health Education program also requires 56 units to graduate, and is the only online program of its kind in California. Students in both programs focus on helping provide health instuction to patients and potential patients to help prevent and manage disease. The Health Education program in particular gives students the skills to fill in the blanks between “credible health information and the people that need it.” All MPH students must participate in a practicum as well as a culminating experience with guidance from a faculty advisor. CEPH accredited
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (commonly referred to simply as the University of Minnesota or UMN) was founded in 1851 with a three-part mission of emphasizing Research and Discovery, Teaching and Learning, and Outreach and Public Service. Located in both Saint Paul and Minneapolis, UMN is a land-grant, space-grant, and sea-grant coeducational school. This public, high-doctoral research university (as categorized by the Carnegie Foundation) is the flagship institution in the University of Minnesota system as well as the oldest and the largest. With over 47,000 enrolled students in the nineteen schools and colleges, the University of Minnesota is considered one of the Public Ivy schools (meaning that its academic prestige is equal to an Ivy League school but available and more affordable through a public university). Regional accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The University of Minnesota’s renowned School of Public Health (SPH) offers a fully-online MPH degree with a focus on
In 1801, South Carolina College was established in Columbia, and classes began four years later. Nine students and two instructors were the first in the school that would thrive and grow for multiple decades, but the Civil War brought financial and physical ruin to the state of South Carolina, and the school was forced to close. When it reopened as the University of South Carolina (USC) in 1873, students of all backgrounds were admitted—including African-American students in a progressive and unfortunately unique move for a public university in the South. That school closed as well, and when it reopened it was again a segregated institution (and would be until black students were allowed admission again in 1963). Now, this flagship school of the University of South Carolina System is a coeducational sea-grant, high research institution with over 34,000 students enrolled in Columbia, which remains the main campus. USC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.
Program Details: The MPH in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior (HPEB)-Professional Online Program through the Arnold School of Public Health at USC is a 45-unit, interdisciplinary degree for those who are already working as practitioners in the field of public health and want to make deeper and more long-lasting improvements in society. Created for students who want to be an “impactful agent of change,” the program requires fifteen credits of a public health core curriculum and fifteen credits of a HPEB core. The remaining credits are made up of the HPEB focus courses (“Race, Ethnicity, and Health: Examining Health Inequalities,” “Consumer Health in Contemporary Society,” and “Applied Health Communication”) and a practicum seminar and field experience. All classes are delivered completely online and in an asynchronous delivery for flexibility, and students can finish the program in about two years. CEPH accredited
The Massachusetts Agricultural College was started as a land-grant school in 1863 in Amherst, Massachusetts with the passage of the federal Morrill Act of 1862. With a first student body of 56 male students, four instructors and four buildings on the 310-acre campus, classes began in 1867. Females joined the enrollment in 1892, and the school continued to grow in size and curricular scope through the years and has had several name changes. Known as University of Massachusetts since 1947, it has been designated as the flagship university in the University of Massachusetts System since 2003. Officially named University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst), this public research university now encompasses more than 1,400 acres and enrolls over 30,000 students. The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges grants regional accreditation to UMass Amherst.
Program Details: UMass Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences offers two online MPH options–the general track MPH in Public Health Practice or the specialized MPH in Nutrition. The concentration in Nutrition is the first online degree of its kind–requiring 44-credit hours to graduate, students take core MPH courses, nutritional core classes in subjects such as “Nutritional Epidemiology” and “Nutritional Problems in U.S.,” three electives, and a 200-contact hour practicum. The Public Health Practice track requires 42-credit hours with a focus on the core coursework, six electives and the same practicum requirement. All classes are delivered asynchronously for flexibility and convenience, and prospective students are allowed to take up to four courses as a non-degree student before being admitted. This allowance of classes prior to admission is a benefit for individuals who desire to get a head start on coursework or who want to test an online course to see if the program is a good fit for them. CEPH accredited
Several schools that were established in and around Gainesville, Florida in the 1800s would later combine to form the University of Florida. The Gainesville Academy, East Florida Seminary, and the Florida Agricultural College were some of the schools that would become the University of the State of Florida in 1905. The school’s president, Albert Murphree, endeavored and achieved an enrollment increase from 200 students to over 2,000 by 1909. This public coeducational research university is a land-grant, space-grant and sea-grant institution with a campus of around 2,000 acres in northern Florida. Now simply the University of Florida (UF) and known as the Florida Gators, nearly 55,000 students are enrolled in this school that is one of the oldest in the State University System of Florida. Regional accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Designed to emphasize the “development of competence in key public health skills and to meet current standards in the field of public health,” the online MPH degree offered through the College of Public Health and Health Professions at UF is a totally online, asynchronously-delivered program. Requiring 48-credit hours to graduate, students start with “core courses in Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Public Health Management and Policy, and Social and Behavioral Sciences” before choosing a concentration in Public Health Practice or Social and Behavioral Sciences. The two concentrations cover the bases for both students who are interested in a more medical approach (Public Health Practice) or a psychological/anthropological perspective (Social and Behavioral Sciences). All students must participate in a public health internship and the culminating experience, which entails a final professional paper that must be presented and defended. Student support begins early in the academic journey and continues through to graduation to assure online student success. CEPH accredited
In 1966 Dr. D.D. Beyer, Dr. George Luibel and Dr. Carl Everett, osteopathic physicians, seek and receive from the state of Texas a charter for the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth. Four years later the school would welcome its first class of twenty students, and five years later in 1975 the school would be housed under North Texas State University. In 1993 the school would officially become the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC), and by 1999 it would join with the University of North Texas Denton and Dallas to form the three-school UNT System. With the core values of serving others, integrity, respect, collaboration and being visionaries, UNTHSC has as its mission to “Create solutions for a healthier community.” Over 2,000 students are enrolled at this graduate-level school, and UNTHSC has regional accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: UNTHSC offers two online MPH options for students interested in their MPH program. The 48-credit hour MPH Online degree and the 42-credit hour MPH Online – Professional Option. Both take an interdisciplinary approach, but the students in the Professional Option must have already achieved an advanced degree or be enrolled in another master’s program along with the MPH program or have a demonstrated history of professional experience in the heath field. There are required core courses for both programs covering topics such as “Environmental Determinants of Health” and “Leadership for Public Health,” and then students choose twelve credits of electives (for students in the standard online program their electives will fall into one of two tracks: Global Health or Geographic Information Systems). Prospective students are given the opportunity to attend a School of Public Health Admissions Webinar for assistance with their application, and once admitted all online students are able to take advantage of all the same student services that are available on-campus from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. CEPH accredited
Going by the date on which students first began taking classes, the oldest public university in the United States is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC, UNC Chapel Hill, or “Carolina”). Chartered in 1789, the school’s cornerstone was laid in Chapel Hill, which was somewhat in the middle of the state. Classes began in 1795 with one student—Hinton James. All classes were held originally in one building, but now the campus of this public research university covers more than 700 acres in downtown Chapel Hill. Initially just admitting white male students, women were enrolled for the first time in 1877 and black students were granted admission to the graduate schools in 1952. Now fourteen schools and colleges offer more than 250 academic degree programs to the nearly 30,000 enrolled students. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges provides regional accreditation to UNC.
Program Details: The MPH@UNC is a brand-new online format of the some of the same stellar on-campus MPH programs offered at UNC Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Three different degrees are offered, all 100% online–the 42-credit hour MPH, the 42-credit hour MPH with Leadership Track, and the 51-credit hour Master of Public Health/Registered Dietitian degree in Nutrition (MPH/RD). All three programs offer online students the same curriculum, faculty and well-known rigorous instruction as their on-campus counterparts, just in an online delivery. Utilizing “live online classes, accessed through a highly interactive and mobile online campus,” students will engage in courses that “develop public health leaders and real-world problem-solvers.” Through the UNC Gillings School Public Health Leadership Program, prospective students can register for online information sessions for these new degrees that will be offered in 2018. CEPH accredited
Being a bustling international port, New Orleans, Louisiana was beset by many transmittable diseases in the early 1800s. In response to this, seven young medical doctors established the Medical College of Louisiana in 1834. Transitioning into a public university by 1847, the school became the University of Louisiana. Almost forty years later, wealthy businessman Paul Tulane provided assets of over $1 million towards the development of an institution of higher learning–the University of Louisiana thus became Tulane University in 1884. Having a mission to “create, communicate and conserve knowledge in order to enrich the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to think, to learn and to act and lead with integrity and wisdom,” Tulane is a top research university serving over 13,500 currently enrolled students. Closing temporarily once during the Civil War and again after Hurricane Katrina, Tulane has come out stronger and is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: Three distinct MPH degrees are offered through the distance learning online format through the Center for Applied Environmental Public Health (CAEPH) at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The program provides MPH specializations in Occupational Health and Safety Management, Occupational and Environmental Health, and Disaster Management. All classes are provided synchronously in real-time, but are also recorded for students who need added flexibility. Designed for professionals already mid-career in the public health field, the core MPH degree curriculum focuses on the five foundational basics of epidemiology, behavioral science, environmental health, biostatistics, and management to further each student’s scope and professional potential. The concentrations then serve to specialize each student’s chosen focus area–specific focus classes include topics like “Principles of Industrial Hygiene,” “Environmental Aspects of Disaster Response,” and “Biological Basis of Disease.” CEPH accredited
The Medical College of Alabama was founded in 1859 in Mobile, Alabama with classes held in a rented building. Fifteen students began the one-year program in 1859 and graduated that following year—the school would become a three-year program in 1893. The institution moved to Tuscaloosa in 1920 and then again to Birmingham, joining with the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa’s Birmingham Extension Center (which had opened in 1936) to become the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Originally an independent institution, the school is now part of the three school University of Alabama System and the largest employer in the state. Becoming the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 1984, this public coeducational research university enrolls nearly 20,000 students. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges provides the regional accreditation to UAB.
Program Details: The 42-credit hour degree program through the UAB School of Public Health takes the approach of promoting “practice-based skills to critically examine and address the breadth of public health challenges” and offers five different departments with a multitude of concentration options for the online MPH student. The departments of Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Health Care Organization and Policy offer concentrations such as Epidemiology, Health Behavior, Health Care Organization & Policy, Industrial Hygiene, Maternal and Child Health Policy & Leadership, and Occupational Health & Safety. Students have three different start-dates to begin the program, but all applicants to the program must be able to demonstrate that they have met The Biological Basis of Public Health Competency Requirements. To complete the program students are required to participate both in an internship and a Public Health Integrative Experience. CEPH accredited
Three medical colleges developed in the mid to late nineteenth century in Illinois–the Chicago College of Pharmacy, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Columbian College of Dentistry. In 1867 Illinois participated in the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 to form the University of Illinois in Urbana. Nearing the end of the century, all three medical colleges started merging with the University, and by 1913 they were completely incorporated. Other health-based science schools developed in the ensuing decades, and when they merged they first became the Chicago Professional Colleges of the University of Illinois, and then in 1961 became the University of Illinois at the Medical Center (UIMC). Urbana’s curriculum was used to create a two-year program in 1946 in Chicago, and those who successfully completed it could then go to the University of Illinois to finish their degree. There was great demand for a four-year degree-granting school in Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle (UICC) opened in 1965. By 1982 UIMC and UICC united to become the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and regional accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Claiming the distinction of being the only school in the nation to offer a completely online MPH in Public Health Informatics degree program, UIC’s School of Public Health also offers two other online MPH degrees with concentrations in Community Health Sciences or Health Policy and Administration. The programs range from 42 to 45 required credit hours, and all classes are offered asynchronously. The curriculum covers topics like “Social Ethics and Public Health,” “Public Health Concepts and Practice,” and “Leadership in Public Health Practice.” The School of Public Health at UIC has been offering distance learning opportunities for over a decade, so online students receive the benefit of years of honing the programs to make the most of the online experience. In addition, a comprehensive School of Public Health Career Services is available to all students whether on-campus or online. CEPH accredited
Begun as a private medical college–the first one in the state if Nebraska–in 1880, the Omaha Medical College joined the University of Nebraska System twenty-two years later. Adding programs to include dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and a graduate school through the first half of the 1900s, the school was consolidated by the University of Nebraska into one University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) campus in 1968. Now one of four campuses within the University of Nebraska System, the UNMC flagship campus remains in Omaha, but there are branch campuses in four other Nebraska cities. Just under 4,000 students are currently enrolled in the six colleges of UNMC, and the entire institution has as its mission “to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.” Regional accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center offers multiple online master’s degrees and several certificate options. Two MPH degree concentrations are accessible completely online–the MPH in Biostatistics and the MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health. Both programs require 45-credit hours and share some of the same core curriculum, with classes like “Foundations of Public Health” and “Public Health Environment and Society.” The focus then goes in different directions: the Biostatistics concentration curriculum emphasizes “statistical and quantitative evaluation of public health research and programs” while the Environmental and Occupational Health specialization concentrates on “ecological health, environmental health, occupational health, and safety or toxicology with particular emphasis on agriculture.” Just as on-campus, advisors, online library resources, and career services are all available to online students–the only difference in their education experience is the flexibility and convenience of gaining their degree. CEPH accredited
Having begun as a Florida House Bill that passed in 1955, the University of South Florida (USF) was created to fill the gaps for public higher education in Hillsborough County, Florida. In 1957 the name of the school was determined and construction began on the Tampa campus, and classes started in 1960. Just three years later, the first graduating class achieved a total of 326 degrees. Part of the University of South Florida System along with USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee, USF in Tampa is designated as the main campus in the System. Over 50,000 students are enrolled throughout the entire USF System, and this metropolitan public research university has 14 colleges that offer more than 100 academic degree programs. Regional accreditation is granted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: With no less than seven distinct online MPH degree specializations available through the USF College of Public Health (and an online DrPH program and thirteen online MPH graduate certificates), prospective students are sure to find a program track to fit their needs in our number one pick. With the goal of imparting a “set of skills and principles essential for students who intend to apply their training in a professional setting, provides leadership in a specific health specialty to improve and protect the health and well-being of populations,” this program requires a minimum of 42-credit hours (some concentrations require more credit hours than others) and covers foundational coursework in “biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy and management, environmental and occupational health, and social and behavioral sciences.” Online students can choose to customize their degree with focus areas in Epidemiology, Public Health Practice, Global Disaster Management, Humanitarian Relief & Homeland Security, Infection Control, Social Marketing, Nutrition & Dietetics, and Health, Safety & Environment. A distinguished leader in online education due to the dedicated Office Of Educational Technology & Assessment, USF’s online students are fully supported and academically-challenged in order to produce qualified and exceptional public health professionals. CEPH accredited