A Guide To Master Of Public Health (MPH) Online Degree Programs

Dealing with disease, nutrition, and general physiological welfare of people on a community or even population scale is the purview of a public health official. Working to head off disease epidemics, gathering health statistics, and trying to understand why groups of people are affected by certain health concerns are some of the issues students confront when pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. For students who already have a career or a family, and just can’t go back to college full time, there are online universities that offer MPH degrees that can be earned on a flexible schedule. Master of Public Health online degree programs are designed for people with busy lives who still wish to further their education in the field of public health

Online Programs Compared to Traditional Colleges

The explosion of online programs in recent years demonstrates just how many people in today’s society want to pursue an education but feel that the traditional format and scheduling of such an education is, for them, just not feasible. Suddenly, people with busy lives have access to Master of Public Health programs that can be completed around their schedules. This means that their full time jobs, their families, and their lives can all be maintained even as they work toward this advanced degree. Traditional schooling is a wonderful option. It just doesn’t work for everyone.

Master of Public Health degree programs are largely academic and research oriented, so much of the work can be done electronically, but some of the projects may require students to do more than sit and work on the computer. Doing research often involves data-gathering and conducting interviews, and reading books or journal articles that might not be too easy to find online. Don’t go into online education thinking that it will be easy. The work is just as rigorous as it would be at a regular college, but the classroom time and accountability systems have been transferred online.

Master of Public Health Course Subjects

If you take a Master of Public Health degree online, there are some courses you’ll be able to do entirely online, and some for which a practical element will require you to step out and interact with people in person.

Theoretical Classes That Can Be Completed Entirely Online

MPH Courses That May Require Practical Research

Costs of Online Master of Public Health Programs

If you studied public health or a related field as an undergraduate, you may not have to take as many courses to finish out a master’s degree. However, if your undergraduate degree was in a totally different subject, you might have to take a few prerequisites, and it may be harder to find scholarships to help you through an MPH. The following is a breakdown of the estimated costs for various portions of your MPH degree, presuming that you have no prior experience and plan to take all of your courses online.

Financial Aid for Online Master of Public Health Degrees

Seeking financial aid is a must for anyone considering going to college, whether for the first time or for a second or third degree. The logical first step in this process is to fill out the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA), which simultaneously applies you for most of the government’s loan and grant offerings, including Perkins loans, Stafford loans and Pell Grants. After that, applying for the Lifelong Learning Tax credit via the Internal Revenue Service is a good place to look for extra funds, and talking to the financial aid office at your chosen university can yield some nice subject or merit based scholarships. Around half of applicants to online schools think that their education will be paid for entirely by financial aid, and this unfortunately isn’t usually the case, but almost any student can get at least a few thousand dollars, and possibly much more, to offset the amount of money that comes out of their pocket. The balance of the bill can usually be covered by low interest, fixed-rate loans from the government, which have long, flexible repayment schedules that are manageable for most budgets.

Public health is a field that combines politics, science, sociology, and logistics to achieve goals that affect communities and populations. Combining interpersonal skills with a head for numbers and the ability to incorporate fine details into a big picture understanding of the behavior, habits, health, and needs of a community are important skills that you’ll learn in a public health degree program. You must practice these skills and continue to study after school to keep up with rapid changes in the way information is gathered and analyzed. Lifelong learning is becoming more of a necessity in every field, and is doubly important in disciplines that have broad reaching, even global, consequences.The graph below shows the percentage of total financial aid given out on various bases (i.e. federal grants, tax benefits, et cetera)

Learn More About Online Public Health Degrees

This article has provided a broad overview of how online public health programs work, and how to prepare for them, but one of the best ways to learn more about specific programs or degrees is to contact some schools you are interested in. The links below can help you get in touch with schools that offer accredited online public health programs, so you can find out more about their financial aid offerings, curriculum, and other useful info about their degrees.

Best Online MPH (Master of Public Health) Degrees

Public health is the science of preventing disease and promoting health at the population level. Programs prepare students to become leading public health professionals capable of addressing current global public health problems. By clicking on the logos below, you can receive more information regarding your degree and school of choice.

Walden University Master of Public Health
MPA: Health Policy
Walden University – The Walden University MPH degree teaches the development of healthy individuals, organizations, and communities. The program provides core study in the public health field, using real-world teaching methodology, industry leading professors, and a capstone fieldwork practicum. Those interested in policymaking may find Walden's MPA in health policy to be of interest.
Capella University Master of Public Health
MPH: Behavioral Science
MPH: Health Policy
Capella University – The MPH program at Capella University prepares students for careers in public health management, social welfare, or research. Key facets of the curriculum include the behavioral, psychological, and social factors that contribute to the health of populations. Specializations include behavioral science and healthcare policy. Courses include International Public Health, Environmental Health Concepts in Public Health, and Principles of Biostatistics.
Kaplan University Master of Public Health
MPH: Health Education
Kaplan University – Graduates of the Kaplan University MPH program are ready to take their careers to the next stage at the government, nonprofit, or private level. The online program provides students with an education on how to analyze and apply scientific research, prepare public health policies, develop health education programs, and review the impact of occupational and environmental factors. Kaplan offers several specializations within their MPH program, including health education.
University of Liverpool Master of Public Health
MPH: Epidemiology
MPH: Health Mgmt
MPH: Intl Public Health
University of Liverpool – The University of Liverpool Master of Public Health degree provides a foundation in the science of promoting health and preventing disease. Areas of emphasis within the MPH program include epidemiology, healthcare management, and international public health. As an added convenience, the university offers a modular system that provides students the flexibility of obtaining credits at partner institutions.
Benedictine University Master of Public Health
MPH: Disaster Mgmt
MPH: Health Education
MPH: Health Policy
MPH/MBA Dual Degree
Benedictine University – Benedictine University's Master's in Public Health program features a curriculum of public health core with a focus on the needs of today's healthcare industry. Courses feature a conceptual, factual, and skill base where students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a professional setting. Benedictine offers areas of emphasis within their MPH program: disaster management, health education, and healthcare policy. They also offer an MPH/MBA dual degree.
Grand Canyon University Master of Public Health
Grand Canyon University – The Grand Canyon University Master of Public Health program is recognized as a leader in training the next generation of public health advocates. Featuring a curriculum that is developed around a multidisciplinary methodology, courses include Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, and Social, Behavioral, and Cultural Factors in Public Health.
Boston University MS: Health Communication
Boston University – At the Boston University online Master of Science in Health Communication program, students are taught cutting edge methods in hospital administration through a dynamic curriculum that examines current healthcare issues. The program gives students a world class education in the art of communicating health literacy.

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