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As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, the work of trained, competent, and effective public health professionals has never been more critical. These essential workers educate communities about a variety of public health concerns, providing the necessary information to keep populations safe and healthy.
An online bachelor’s in public health prepares learners for a variety of roles within the public health field, including positions as community health workers, nutritionists, and health services managers. As these roles grow in importance and availability, the value of this degree has never been more apparent.
Read on to learn more about bachelor’s in public health programs.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Public Health Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||University of South Florida||Tampa, FL|
|2||The University of West Florida||Pensacola, FL|
|3||California Baptist University||Riverside, CA|
|4||Central Washington University||Ellensburg, WA|
|5||Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester, NH|
|6||University of Arizona||Tucson, AZ|
|7||Excelsior College||Albany, NY|
|8||University of Missouri||Columbia, MO|
|9||St. Catherine University||Saint Paul, MN|
|10||Northern Arizona University||Flagstaff, AZ|
- How We Rank Schools
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2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Public Health Programs
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University of South Florida
|Tampa, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
USF's bachelor's in applied science program offers a public health concentration. This program confers a BS and emphasizes coursework in the foundations of global health, epidemiology, and health disparities. Students personalize their educational experience through 18 elective credits and complete a capstone course.
This degree completion program targets individuals who already hold an associate of science degree. Degree-seekers must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to remain in good academic standing.
Approximately 70% of USF public health alumni find a job within one year of graduation; many other graduates enter a master's or doctoral program. The university prepares degree-seekers for professional success by providing resume reviews, Handshake job-search software, and informational videos.
The University of West Florida
|Pensacola, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
Students pursuing UWF's online bachelor's degree in health sciences can specialize in public health. Courses in this major include informatics and your health, health information systems, and medical disaster management. Degree-seekers also complete a capstone course in their senior year.
UWF supports students' professional growth in many ways, such as by providing resume critiques, mock interviews, and internship opportunities. These and other resources help 97% of undergraduate alumni find a job or attain admission into another academic program.
After gaining admission to UWF, students must earn a minimum 2.5 GPA to qualify for the upper-division public health program. Some out-of-state degree-seekers may receive an in-state tuition waiver. Additionally, UWF awards merit-based scholarships to new online learners and transfer students.
California Baptist University
|Riverside, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
Prospective students who want a Christ-centered education can enroll in CBU's online bachelor's in public health program. In class, students analyze public health nutrition, pathophysiology, and research methods. Courses are delivered asynchronously, which may appeal to degree-seekers who work full or part time.
CBU's career center features numerous resources for students and alumni, including one-on-one advising sessions, a private job board, and a four-year roadmap for career success. Learners can also access informational videos that cover how to create a LinkedIn profile, among other topics.
Although aspiring first-year students may apply, CBU prefers applicants who possess at least 24 transferable credits. All students pay the same per-credit tuition rate at this Christian university. Incoming degree-seekers may qualify for federal grants and loans by submitting their FAFSA results.
Central Washington University
|Ellensburg, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
CWU's online bachelor's in public health program offers two concentrations: population health and pre-nursing. Core course requirements include writing in the health sciences, theories of human behavior, and professionalism in public health. In their senior year, students complete a capstone that involves original research and a presentation.
Online degree-seekers can take a career assessment, read career guides, and set up an appointment for a virtual counseling session through the school's career center.
CWU admits new degree-seekers at four points throughout the year, and admission requirements include a high school diploma that reflects a minimum 2.0 GPA. In-state students save significantly on tuition compared to out-of-state learners. Degree-seekers can research the latest institutional scholarships by visiting the university's scholarship central website.
Southern New Hampshire University
|Manchester, NH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
SNHU's bachelor's in public health program may be especially appealing to students planning to earn a master's in public health. The asynchronous curriculum features coursework in research and assessment, social and behavioral health, and programming planning. Other graduation requirements include an extended essay, which students complete during their final term.
Degree-seekers can complete a career assessment, receive personalized career coaching, and pursue research internship opportunities. Students can also take advantage of service learning projects and an extensive alumni community.
Prospective first-year students need not submit standardized test scores or recommendation letters, and all degree-seekers pay the same credit-based tuition. Phi Theta Kappa members receive an automatic 10% tuition discount, and learners may qualify for additional federal grants and loans.
University of Arizona
|Tucson, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
Both first-year and transfer students can enroll in Arizona's online bachelor's in public health program. The curriculum includes courses like the principles of health education and health promotion, introduction to epidemiology, and fieldwork in public health. In the fieldwork course, degree-seekers intern in a governmental or private health agency.
Degree-seekers can plan for a job hunt by using Handshake, completing a personal inventory, and developing a bespoke career plan with an advisor's help.
The university does not charge out-of-state tuition rates to online learners. New degree-seekers need only submit one application and their FAFSA results to apply for multiple institutional scholarships.
|Albany, NY||Graduation Rate: 64%||
Excelsior's bachelor's in health sciences program allows degree-seekers to transfer up to 113 credits. Participants can choose an area of emphasis in health and wellness, management, or public health. In the public health concentration, students complete coursework related to topics like epidemiology and the principles of public health.
Excelsior's career center features multiple online tools, including Focus 2 Career, Portfolium, and Big Interview. Students can also find links to job boards and professional organizations for public health undergraduates and alumni.
Excelsior uses a GPA cutoff for transfer credit and charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all degree-seekers. The university awards multiple need-based grants to eligible students. Active-duty service members and their dependents also receive a 50% tuition discount.
University of Missouri
|Columbia, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
Mizzou's online bachelor's in public health program targets degree completion students who already possess an associate degree or adequate transfer credit. The curriculum emphasizes areas like global health, public health ethics, and qualitative methods. Additionally, degree-seekers select one of two capstone course options: emerging issues in public health or digital storytelling.
Approximately 90% of Mizzou alumni find a job or enter a graduate program within six months of earning a degree. Degree-seekers can visit the career center's website to research career opportunities and download over 60 sample resumes.
Prospective first-time college students can apply but they must complete all general education requirements before entering the public health program. Out-of-state learners pay approximately 30% more in tuition than Missouri residents. Mizzou awards a 10% tuition discount to veterans, active-duty military personnel, and community college graduates.
St. Catherine University
|Saint Paul, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 56%||
St. Kate's bachelor's in public health program is suitable for learners who already possess an associate degree. Coursework in the 48-credit major includes environmental health, statistical analysis, and healthcare policy. Most learners can graduate in 24 months.
The career development center provides online learners with access to Handshake software, online workshops, and a graduate school application guide. These and other services help 88% of alumni find a job within one year of earning a degree.
Applicants should submit their undergraduate transcripts and a personal statement. As a private institution, St. Kate's charges the same per-credit tuition to all students. Degree-seekers may also qualify for institutional financial aid.
Northern Arizona University
|Flagstaff, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
First-year learners and transfer students can consider earning NAU's online bachelor's degree in public health. In class, students analyze the theories of health behaviors, sexual health, and the organization of health services. During a capstone course, learners develop an original public health initiative.
Students can contact the career center to identify professional interests, hone interviewing skills, and obtain references. Additionally, advisors work with degree-seekers one-on-one to develop their resumes and explore additional resources.
The program uses a 3.0 GPA cutoff for admission purposes but grants conditional admission to applicants who possess at least three years of work experience in public health and a minimum 2.5 GPA. New degree-seekers may qualify for institutional scholarships and grants.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Public Health Program?
Successful public health students traditionally boast strong analytical and communication skills and enjoy working with people as an ambassador of public health institutions.
As bachelor’s in public health programs take an interdisciplinary approach, program curricula can vary significantly, offering diverse concentrations and coursework. Common public health concentrations include biostatistics, epidemiology, and emergency preparedness. Learners may also study data analytics, security, and public health policy.
An online bachelor’s in public health typically requires degree-seekers to complete 120 credits. Full-time students usually graduate in four years. Students with an associate degree or prior work experience in the field can often enroll in accelerated programs that allow them to earn a bachelor's degree in two years.
Common courses in an undergraduate degree in public health include issues in public health, epidemiology and disease control, and public health education and communication. Prospective students should always ensure their potential schools hold institutional accreditation, and many of the best public health programs hold specialized accreditation through the Council on Education for Public Health.
As ambassadors of public health institutions, successful public health students traditionally enjoy working with people and boast strong analytical and communication skills.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Public Health Program?
While specific curricula vary by program, students can expect a combination of public health survey courses, specialized electives, and a capstone project. Undergraduate students often tackle courses in public health nutrition, pathophysiology, and research methods.
- Public Health Planning and Analysis
Through a survey of public health history and institutions, this course helps students build an understanding of health-related problems and influencing factors in different communities. Covered topics include healthcare management, medical ethics, and public health practices at the local, state, and national levels.
- Epidemiology of Infectious Disease
In this course, students build an understanding of the basic principles of epidemiology and investigate the consequences of infectious disease on a global scale. Learners explore the causes of current epidemics and pandemics, the spread of new and reemerging diseases, and the public health approaches used to combat these infectious diseases.
- Health Information Systems
This course provides learners with an overview of health information topics, including disease surveillance, patient care, and safety and environmental assessment. Students explore the legal and ethical issues related to patient information, informed consent, and security and confidentiality. This course also introduces students to commonly used computer programs for processing client data.
- Medical Terminology
Designed to give students a knowledge of the terminology used in the medical field, this course teaches practical approaches for understanding and internalizing the complex vocabulary of health professionals. Through an emphasis on the dissection of compound terms, students gain the ability to infer meaning through stem words, prefixes, and suffixes.
- Essentials of Public Health
This survey course provides learners with a working public health vocabulary. Students explore concepts like disease causation and prevention. Covered topics include the effects of health care policy, data and information analysis, and best practices for the application of scientific reasoning.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Public Health Degree?
An online bachelor’s in public health degree prepares learners for various roles within healthcare and social services. Thanks to their ability to improve community health, these professionals can pursue a variety of positions in clinical care, education, and advocacy.
A worldwide public health crisis has revealed the desperate need for competent, compassionate, and effective public health leaders. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% employment growth for health educators between 2019 and 2029.
See where an online bachelor’s in public health can take you.Learn more about public health careers here.
- Clinical Data Analyst
These health professionals manage clinical data for their organization. Typical responsibilities include data analytics, data mining, and data reporting. Clinical data analysts work closely with supervisors and managers to develop data-driven programs, perform tasks like data reconciliation, and recover missing clinical data.
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
Occupational health and safety specialists collect public health information and evaluate work environments and procedures. They examine workplaces to ensure that managers and employees alike follow appropriate safety standards and government regulations. Occupational health and safety specialists design and evaluate workplace standards to protect workers, as well as investigate workplace accidents.
- Health Educator and Community Health Worker
These health professionals teach people about behaviors and practices promoting wellness. Health educators develop programming and host events to educate clients about vital health topics. Similarly, community health workers inform individuals about available healthcare services while providing social support and advocating for community health needs.
- Dietician and Nutritionist
Dieticians and nutritionists advise people on what foods to consume to achieve health-related goals and lead healthy lives. These health professionals assess client health and nutritional needs, counsel patients on healthy habits and nutrition, and develop nutrition plans.
- Health Services Manager
These public health leaders plan, coordinate, and manage medical and health services. Knowledgeable in healthcare laws, technology, and regulations, health services managers improve quality and efficiency of care; manage facility finances; and ensure facilities comply with local, state, and federal regulations. These professionals work closely with medical staff and department heads.
Public Health Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Public Health Programs
- Is a bachelor's in public health worth it?
Yes. An online bachelor’s in public health provides the requisite skills to work in the field. Online degrees give learners the flexibility to study while balancing personal and professional obligations.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in public health?
Public health students hone the communication, management, and evaluation skills necessary for a variety of careers within public health. These professionals work in hospitals, government agencies, and private practices. Common job titles include community health worker, dietician, and health services manager.
- Is public health in demand?
Yes. COVID-19 revealed a grave need for talented public health professionals. The BLS projects that employment of health services managers will grow 32% between 2019 and 2029. During the same period, the BLS also projects 13% employment growth for health educators and community health workers.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in public health?
Salaries vary by position, location, candidate qualifications, and other factors. According to the BLS, health educators and community health workers earn a median annual salary of $46,910. Some managerial positions in the field pay salaries above $100,000.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in public health?
As in many fields, managerial positions within public health offer the highest pay by a significant margin. According to the BLS, medical and health services managers make a median annual salary of $100,980.