Information Guide

A master’s degree in public health is a graduate degree that prepares students for leadership roles in the public health field. Public health is a discipline dedicated to helping communities build and maintain good health habits, and defending against disease, addiction, and other epidemics that can arise in a population. The MPH degree includes coursework that focuses on administration, epidemiology, environmental health, behavioral health and other specialized topics, often taking two to three years to complete. Many schools now offer degrees in public health through online education. These programs allow you to continue working in the field while you advance your education.

Online Degrees in Public Health

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.

Purdue University Master of Public Health
Purdue University – Purdue University offers a Master of Public Health degree which 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.
Benedictine University Master of Public Health
MPH: Health Education & Promotion
MPH: Health Management & Policy
Benedictine University – With the Master of Public Health from Benedictine University, students develop an advanced knowledge of the educational and leadership development of public health. The degree program is designed for individuals interested in public health policy in America and abroad. Courses include public health law, policy, and administration.
Indiana Wesleyan University Master of Public Health
Indiana Wesleyan University – Indiana Wesleyan University offers an innovative and effective accredited online program. The Master of Public Health prepares students for high-level careers as healthcare managers, managed healthcare plan coordinators, hospital administrators, and much more. Courses cover a variety of subjects including Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Health Services Administration, and Social and Behavioral Studies. IWU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Grand Canyon University MSN: Public Health
MPA: Healthcare Management
Grand Canyon UniversityMSN in Public Health from Grand Canyon University 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.

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What is a Master’s Degree in Public Health?

Public health is the science and art of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, healthy lifestyle promotion, and research into disease and injury prevention. Public health professionals study epidemiology, the spread of disease and other health problems through communities, and use what they learn to deploy effective treatment and education campaigns against the biggest threats to a community’s wellbeing.

Public health officials differ from health care providers in that they attempt to prevent health issues from happening on a community scale. They strive to improve the health and wellbeing of people by fighting for health care equity, quality, and accessibility. Clean air, clean water, adequate food and shelter, access to medical care, health education, disease prevention, and safe working environments are just a few of the issues public health officials address.

Types of Degrees

The MPH is the most widely recognized credential for leadership positions at public health organizations. Knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines are offered to MPH students, so when they become public health officials in the field they’re able to define, assess and ultimately resolve public health problems.

Master of Public Health Degrees

Master of Business Administration Degrees in Public Health

Master of Public Administration Degrees

Why Earn a Degree in This Field?

The public health field is an exciting and growing field of study, offering an abundance of job opportunities to suit a variety of interests and skills. Professionals within the public health field are constantly challenged to confront complex health issues, such as improving access to health care, controlling infectious diseases, and reducing environmental hazards, violence, substance abuse, and injury. Working in the public health field combines several of the most desired skills on the job market today, so someone who is qualified to work in this field will likely have career flexibility later in life. Analytical skills and the ability to understand and even generate statistics and mathematical models are useful for studying epidemics and widespread health concerns. The ability to explain complex issues clearly and collaborate with a team and work with multiple organizations toward a single goal is crucial.

Public health professionals come from varying education backgrounds and specialties. Protecting the health of the public is up to many specialists within varying professions: teachers, journalists, researchers, administrators, environmentalists, demographers, social workers, laboratory scientists, and attorneys are just a few.

An MPH degree is designed for people who enjoy crunching numbers, conducting research, and working with people. Persons within the public health industry also need to be passionate, motivated, creative, and have a commitment to diversity and a genuine dedication to solving complex problems.

Degree Requirements

Many graduate students apply to MPH programs through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS). SOPHAS makes applying to MPH programs an easy process because you only have to fill out one application to apply to many of the schools that are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)

Before applying to SOPHAS, students need to take a standardized graduate school entrance exam. People often take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), but depending on the program, other tests may be necessary, such as the M-CAT or L-SAT. MPH schools also look at GPA, as well as career achievements, professional experience, and clarity of career goals. Admissions aren’t based on one criteria, but rather on an overall assessment of an applicant’s ability to successfully complete the degree.

It is important to know your financial aid options before applying to an MPH program. There are many loans and scholarship options available for MPH students. Checking with your program’s financial aid office would be a good first step. The Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) offer a great resource for applying for financial aid or the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Internship Experience

The internship experience is a critical component of education for public health students. An internship helps validate what you’ve learned in the classroom. It’s important to consider whether a school’s internship program suits your needs and professional interests.

It is possible to enter an MPH program immediately after completing undergraduate study, but it is sometimes a good idea to get a year or two of work experience between undergrad and graduate school. This experience can make you more qualified for financial aid, and prepare you to get the most out of your graduate school courses. Usually students who go directly into an MPH program from an undergrad program have worked and/or volunteered in public health initiatives. These students typically have a clear and direct route they wish to take with an MPH. Some students enter MPH programs with no background in public health, but usually a background in some health-related field. However, the vast majority of students enter an MPH program after working in the field for a few years.

Employment Options

Graduates of MPH programs are qualified for numerous positions in diverse environments. The MPH degree has no geographic boundaries, and therefore graduates can work anywhere in the world. There are traditional public health settings, such as local health departments, state health departments and local community-based organizations. Federal government jobs are a popular choice among many public health graduates. Many federal agencies that hire public health professionals include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, and other agencies within the National Institutes of Health. Graduates also pursue jobs with national and international non-governmental organizations, such as the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization.

With so many different specializations to choose from, you’ll qualify for a variety of jobs. Community health is a popular choice that qualifies public health graduates to work as community health educators for organizations and health departments, program managers for state health departments, health information specialists for the federal government, research associates for pharmaceutical companies, health promotion specialists for corporations, and other mid-level management positions across a diverse range of institutions. Within each area of specialization, there are unique job opportunities in various branches or departments. Examples include:

Two government agencies that employ public health workers in various positions include:

The public health job market is on the rise. With many challenging epidemics such as HIV and AIDS, droughts, food shortages, and global warming, public health officials are needed mitigate these risks.

Now that you’ve done your research on public health degrees, it is time to take action. The list below includes many accredited online universities offering programs in public health, and you can get in touch with any of them individually to learn more about their financial aid offerings, program schedule, individual courses, and requirements for graduation. If you want more information on any of the schools below, just click the appropriate link, and if you still want to read more about job opportunities, salaries, and the skills you need to succeed in public health, this site has plenty of information to help you make the most informed decision possible about your education and your future.

Looking for a Public Health degree program?

Use the degree finder form below, and we'll match you with degrees that are right for you.