Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

Discover the most affordable online MPH programs and why pursuing an MPH degree may be a smart investment for your career in public health.
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If you're driven by the desire to improve community health, influence health policies, and make a difference on a local to global scale, an online master's in public health (MPH) might be the perfect fit for you.

It's a versatile degree that can lead you to rewarding a career in diverse sectors like healthcare, education, business, data analytics, and policy. But let's face it: Pursuing a master's degree can be expensive. Thankfully, there are affordable public health degrees available for the budget-conscious student.

Read on to explore the ins and outs of the most affordable online MPH programs and learn key insights to make an informed decision on your educational journey.

Featured Online MPH Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Best Affordable Online MPH Programs

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#1 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

UF's 48-credit online MPH degree allows students to choose a concentration in public health practice or social and behavioral sciences. Learners pursuing their MPH online complete a six-credit applied practice experience in a nonprofit or public agency setting. They also develop a major paper and presentation describing what they learned during their experience.

By the end of the program, students are capable of identifying and solving public health problems and empowering others. Graduates know how to create and sustain community partnerships and develop plans and policies that positively affect community health.

UF also offers an accelerated, 42-credit option for individuals who already possess a health-related doctoral degree. Candidates must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. Graduates are qualified to take the National Board of Public Health Examiners credentialing exam. The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Visit School Site

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,770
Out-of-state
$27,335
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
52,407
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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

UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health delivers an online MPH program with concentrations in leadership in practice, health policy, nutrition, registered dietitian. Known as MPH@UNC, the 42-credit program combines online coursework with live weekly meetings. Most students graduate in 20-36 months, depending on their enrollment status.

All students take a class on conceptualizing public health solutions, during which they learn to identify and develop solutions to public health challenges. Candidates work with community partners and communicate key information to the public regarding public health policies and programs.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and submit their official GRE scores. Prospective students must also provide college transcripts, a resume, a statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation.

The Gillings School is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,019
Out-of-state
$34,198
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,552
Out-of-state
$28,278
Retention Rate
96%
Acceptance Rate
23%
Students Enrolled
29,877
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

University of Illinois at Springfield

  • Springfield, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

UIS' 32-credit online MPH builds candidates' analytical skills, scientific knowledge, cultural competence, and an awareness of social justice issues. Students may select the general MPH option or engage in a STEM-focused environmental health track. The school also offers an MPH professional track for current physicians taking part in a residency program. In addition, candidates may seek a dual MPH/MPA degree online.

The MPH online program offers a variety of interesting classes, including one on emerging diseases. Students examine new and re-emerging infectious diseases around the world through the lens of public health, exploring disease's impact on economics, geography, politics and policy, and social systems.

Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or higher. They should also submit a personal essay and three letters of recommendation. Once enrolled, all UIS online students -- including out-of-state distance learners -- pay a reduced "e-tuition" rate. University of Illinois at Springfield is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,520
Out-of-state
$15,948
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,270
Out-of-state
$15,240
Retention Rate
79%
Acceptance Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
4,275
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#4 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

University of South Florida-Main Campus

  • Tampa, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

USF's online MPH program prepares the next generation of public health professionals for a variety of careers, with concentrations in epidemiology, public health practice, global disaster management, infection control, social marketing, nutrition and dietetics, and environmental safety.

The MPH online program features an asynchronous course structure developed with working professionals in mind. Students can complete assignments and participate in discussions largely on their own schedule. Some concentrations do require students to attend a one-week session at the university's Tampa campus. Most full-time students can complete the program in around two years.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and provide their GRE scores, official college transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose. Online learners, including out-of-state residents, can take advantage of a reduced tuition rate.

USF's College of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health. The University of South Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,559
Out-of-state
$15,473
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,350
Out-of-state
$19,048
Retention Rate
91%
Acceptance Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
44,246
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

Mississippi University for Women

  • Columbus, MS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

This university's 42-credit MPH online program allows students to customize their learning experience through elective courses like gender issues, stress management, human disease, and nutrition. Students can take all classes online, with no in-person sessions required.

Along with an internship in health education, all candidates must complete a thesis that explores and offers a potential evidence-based solution to a community health challenge. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and pass both a comprehensive final exam and the Certified Health Education Specialist exam to graduate.

Candidates interested in the online MPH program must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school and provide their official undergraduate transcripts, references, an admissions essay, and a current resume. Each applicant also engages in an interview with a faculty member. All distance learners pay in-state tuition rates, even if they live out of state.

Mississippi University for Women is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Visit School Site

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,425
Out-of-state
$7,425
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,425
Out-of-state
$7,425
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
2,811
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#6 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

Harvard University

  • Cambridge, MA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers both 45-credit and 65-credit MPH online programs. The 45-credit option accepts individuals with a prior doctoral degree or a master's degree in a health-related field who have completed at least a year of medical or dental school, or who have more than five years of health career experience. The 65-credit track remains open to applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree and two or more years of public health-related work experience.

The 65-credit track allows students to specialize in health and social behavior, health management, health policy, or nutrition. The 45-credit option offers specializations in epidemiology, global health, social behavior, health management, health policy, quantitative methods, and occupational and environmental health.

Although most learning takes place online, students do need to attend some on-campus sessions. The program also requires a practicum, which students can arrange through the Office for Career Advancement. Full-time students typically complete their MPH degree in under two years. Harvard is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$47,730
Out-of-state
$47,730
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$48,008
Out-of-state
$48,008
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
5%
Students Enrolled
31,655
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#7 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

Simmons University

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Boston-based Simmons offers an online MPH program that emphasizes health equity. The program features self-guided coursework and mostly online classes, with a few in-person immersion experiences at locations around the world. In these sessions, students closely examine public health issues and build their leadership skills to promote social change. Immersions center on issues like racism and oppression, global health and development, and border health and sustainability.

Applicants must provide a current resume, three letters of recommendation, transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities, and a personal essay. They should also hold a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, along with a passing grade in a college-level math course. The program does not require applicants to take the GRE.

The MPH online program's curriculum includes 12 core classes, two electives, and two health equity change project courses. Full-time students usually graduate in 21 months. Simmons College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$40,850
Out-of-state
$40,850
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$21,654
Out-of-state
$21,654
Retention Rate
83%
Acceptance Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
6,535
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#8 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Candidates pursuing FIU's online MPH can tailor program coursework to their interests and career goals. The 45-credit program takes 21 months to complete, and students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA to graduate. A six-credit practicum and culminating experience involves students taking on a public health challenge and developing an evidence-based solution as a final project.

The curriculum includes interesting courses such as AIDS epidemiology and control, which examines the epidemiology of HIV alongside the disease's effects on people, communities, and societies.

Admission requirements for the MPH online program include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants also must submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a current resume, and official GRE scores.

FIU's MPH program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,912
Out-of-state
$21,393
Retention Rate
89%
Acceptance Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#9 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

New Mexico State University-Main Campus

  • Las Cruces, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

NMSU's completely online MPH program was designed to meet the needs of working professionals. Students can specialize in health behavior and health promotion or health management, administration, and policy. An asynchronous course format means students can complete class requirements largely at their own pace.

To supplement the online coursework, the university’s Albuquerque Center provides students with more than 40,000 square feet of space to engage with fellow learners, receive support services, and meet with academic advisors. The center is also home to a computer lab and conference rooms.

To apply, prospective students should submit official college transcripts, three reference letters, and a personal statement. Eligible applicants must possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better. The online MPH program is open to residents in all but 13 states.

NMSU's public health programs are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. New Mexico State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,875
Out-of-state
$21,864
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$4,844
Out-of-state
$16,834
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
14,296
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#10 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

  • Stillwater, OK
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

OSU students who pursue an MPH online focus on addressing public health challenges in rural communities and underserved populations. The program features a flexible format that allows students to take courses and engage in experiences based on their interests and career goals. Students may enroll in elective courses on health psychology, global nutrition, aging, sexuality, and family theory, among many other topics.

Through class projects, students learn to assess community needs, create plans to address challenges, and simulate how they will implement their plans. Common focus areas include substance abuse, mental health, food insecurity, obesity, and maternal and child health -- issues affecting families and communities throughout Oklahoma. Toward the end of their studies, learners complete a practicum at a program-approved public health site.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. They also must provide a current resume, a 1,500-word statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and official GRE scores. Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,366
Out-of-state
$20,877
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,531
Out-of-state
$21,034
Retention Rate
83%
Acceptance Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
24,079
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#11 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

Johns Hopkins University

  • Baltimore, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health offers a Council on Education for Public Health-approved online MPH that allows working professionals to pursue an advanced degree. The MPH online program's part-time format means students take 1-3 classes each term, typically graduating within three years. The program features three start dates throughout the year, and students work in cohorts of 60 or fewer of their fellow learners.

Distance learners can complete some course requirements in person at the university's Institute of Public Health, which offers condensed classes in the winter and summer semesters.

Qualified applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, along with at least two years of public health experience. Prospective students should also submit three letters of recommendation, a goals statement, and GRE scores.

Johns Hopkins is located in Baltimore, Maryland. All distance learners, including out-of-state residents, pay the same tuition rate. Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Visit School Site

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$55,350
Out-of-state
$55,350
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$55,350
Out-of-state
$55,350
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
11%
Students Enrolled
27,079
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#12 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

East Tennessee State University

  • Johnson City, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Johnson City, ETSU delivers a fully online MPH degree with an epidemiology focus. Students learn to use data and research to assess public health concerns, reduce risks for disease within particular populations, improve community health, and influence effective public health policies.

Incoming students are expected to hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA, and to submit three letters of recommendation and their official GRE scores. Individuals who possess a master's degree or who have taken the GMAT in the last five years may seek an exemption from the GRE requirement.

ETSU's distance learners can access the school's Graduate Student Success Center, which provides academic advising, career services, personal counseling, goal setting, and online tutoring.

The university's public health program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. ETSU also offers reduced tuition for students who take all their courses online in a semester.

East Tennessee State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Visit School Site

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,340
Out-of-state
$25,487
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,640
Out-of-state
$23,760
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
14,191
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#13 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

University of Memphis

  • Memphis, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

UofM offers two MPH online programs: a conventional two-year degree and an accelerated 12-month option. Students on either track can take all required courses online and specialize in biostatistics, epidemiology, health systems and policy, social and behavioral sciences, or urban health.

The 42-credit program includes 18 credits of core classes and 18 elective credits, along with six credits consisting of a field experience and a master's project. Students must maintain a B average to graduate and take the Certified in Public Health exam.

To apply, prospective students provide official college transcripts, GRE scores, a statement of purpose, three recommendation letters, and a resume. The program only considers applicants with a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.

The online MPH program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Distance learners through UofM Global pay a reduced tuition rate. The University of Memphis is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,208
Out-of-state
$12,048
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,216
Out-of-state
$12,672
Retention Rate
78%
Acceptance Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
21,685
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#14 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

The University of West Florida

  • Pensacola, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Pensacola, UWF delivers a 42-credit online MPH program accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. The program features concentrations in general public health; global health; and health promotion, education, and behavior.

All students complete a two-term, six-credit practicum, during which they work directly with an approved internship advisor. Before graduation, students take a comprehensive exam. Program participants must maintain a B average to remain in good academic standing.

Eligible applicants to the MPH online program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They also must provide their official GRE scores, a statement of their career goals, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample.

Out-of-state candidates taking classes online can apply for waivers to reduce their tuition. Distance learners also receive access resources like academic advising, career counseling, military services, and technology assistance. University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$3,735
Out-of-state
$16,004
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,088
Out-of-state
$22,166
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
31%
Students Enrolled
12,557
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#15 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

Creighton University

  • Omaha, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Creighton's flexible MPH degree teaches students to promote meaningful change by meeting the needs of underserved populations around the world. The MPH online program's asynchronous format was developed to provide working professionals with maximum convenience. Students may also choose from concentrations in health policy and ethics or healthcare management, and/or seek graduate certificates in bioethics and healthcare management.

Program participants take part in a practicum experience tailored to their interests and career goals. This component involves working with a public health professional and completing a capstone project prior to graduation.

Application materials for the MPH program include a current resume, a personal statement, official college transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, but do not need to provide GRE scores. Students may begin the program in August, January, or May of each year. Creighton University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$39,630
Out-of-state
$39,630
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$16,128
Out-of-state
$16,128
Retention Rate
90%
Acceptance Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
8,821
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#16 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

East Carolina University

  • Greenville, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

ECU is located in Greenville, North Carolina. The university's Brody School of Medicine offers a 45-credit online MPH program featuring concentrations in epidemiology, community health and health behavior, and health policy administration and leadership. Students also engage in a 240-hour field placement and submit a final professional paper detailing the planning, implementation, and evaluation of a research project.

Applicants to the MPH online program should submit their official college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a letter of intent, a resume, and their MCAT or GRE scores. The program requires incoming students to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Starting in August 2020, students can enroll in ECU's new School of Rural Public Health. By combining multiple disciplines, the school aims to identify and address public health challenges in rural and underserved communities. ECU's online MPH is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,452
Out-of-state
$20,729
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$4,749
Out-of-state
$17,898
Retention Rate
82%
Acceptance Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
28,651
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#17 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

Shenandoah University

  • Winchester, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Shenandoah's School of Health Professions offers an interdisciplinary online MPH program that focuses on identifying and addressing public health problems in rural and underserved communities. The 45-credit program includes a course on rural health systems, in which candidates explore the health disparities and challenges many rural residents face. Students may also take elective courses on maternal and child health, global health, and environmental health.

Applicants to the online MPH program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary institution. Application materials include two letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement, and official GRE scores.

The School of Health Professions also offers a physicians’ assistant/MPH dual degree, which features 15 overlapping credits between the two degrees. An accelerated bachelors-to-MPH option allows Shenandoah undergraduates to seamlessly move into more advanced studies.

Shenandoah is located in Winchester, Virginia. All graduate students pay the same tuition, regardless of their residence status. Shenandoah University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$31,890
Out-of-state
$31,890
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$21,400
Out-of-state
$21,400
Retention Rate
84%
Acceptance Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
3,791
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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Why Should I Get an Online MPH Degree?

If you find yourself drawn to addressing health challenges on a community or global scale, an MPH might be a great educational path for you. This degree is well-suited for those looking to shape health policies and work in community outreach, health education, policy coordination, data analytics, or research.

The healthcare industry is projected to grow significantly in the coming decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare occupations are expected to grow much faster than average between 2022 and 2032, offering strong career prospects.

Moreover, public health jobs requiring a master's degree typically earn higher-than-average salaries. For example, the median pay for epidemiologists was $81,390 per year in 2023 — much higher than the median pay for all other occupations ($48,060).

Reasons to Get Your Master's in Public Health Degree Online

  • Minus

    Flexibility

    Online programs generally offer more flexibility, allowing you to balance your studies around your existing commitments.
  • Minus

    Accessible Learning

    Online learning provides the opportunity to study from anywhere, making it easier to access higher education from the comfort of your home.
  • Minus

    Cost-Effective

    Pursuing an online MPH program can be more cost-effective compared to traditional on-campus programs. You can save on commuting, relocation, and room and board costs.

Benefits of Getting a Master's in Public Health Degree

  • Check Circle

    Diverse Career Pathways

    An MPH can open doors to various career paths in policy development, research, education, and environmental health.
  • Check Circle

    Crucial Role in Tackling Health Crises

    With an MPH degree, you can qualify for leadership positions where you play an essential role in combating health crises.
  • Check Circle

    Makes You More Competitive

    In an increasingly competitive job market, where advanced roles in public health demand higher qualifications, earning a master's degree can set you apart from the rest.
  • Check Circle

    Higher Earning Potential

    An MPH can help you land leadership roles that earn higher pay. According to Payscale, the average salary for an MPH graduate is around $73,000, about $10,000 more than those with a bachelor's in public health.

What to Expect in an Online Master's in Public Health Program

MPH programs prepare you to become a leader in the field of public health. Through classroom instruction and field-based practice, you'll acquire skills to address public health challenges like disease prevention, health policy, community health, and more.

MPH programs typically require a total of 42-80 credit hours, depending on the specific program. How long it takes to complete an MPH program can vary depending on your pace of study. On average, full-time students can complete an MPH program in about two years. Part-time students might take longer, generally around 3-4 years.

In an MPH program, you'll dive into the five core disciplines of public health: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, community health and administration, and social and behavioral sciences. Many programs allow you to specialize in one of these areas.

Common concentrations in MPH programs include:

  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Community health and health promotion
  • Environmental health
  • Maternal and child health
  • Nutrition
  • Social and behavioral health
  • Healthcare administration

How Much Do Online MPH Programs Cost?

The cost of an MPH program can vary depending on the institution. According to the 2020 NCES National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, the median annual tuition for online master's in health-related programs was $9,310.

You may be able to find affordable online MPH degrees well below this average cost, however. For example, Appalachian State University estimates the annual graduate tuition cost for online in-state students at $3,963 and $14,470 for out-of-state students for the 2023-24 academic year.

Median Annual Tuition Cost for Online Master's in Health-Related Programs

Public Institution
$7,848

Private Institution (Nonprofit)
$10,500

Source: NCES Data Lab

How to Find an Affordable, High-Quality Online MPH Program

Finding an affordable online MPH program involves a bit of research. You'll want to consider factors such as accreditation, location, and the specific course offerings that align with your career goals. And, of course, you'll want to ensure the program is within your budget.

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    Accreditation

    Accreditation is a key factor to consider when choosing an online MPH program. It serves as a mark of quality and rigor, assuring you that the program meets industry-accepted standards for educational quality. Look for programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
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    Cost

    The cost of the program is a significant factor to consider. Online programs often have lower tuition rates and can save you money on commuting and relocation costs. The median cost over two years for online master's in health-related programs was approximately $15,700 at public schools and $21,000 at private non-profit schools. However, tuition can vary widely from program to program. This is why it's crucial to research and compare several programs to find the most affordable option.
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    Location

    While location may not be as important for online programs, it's still worth considering. A program's location may have unexpected implications, such as potential in-person commitments or clinical and/or internship requirements. It's wise to take this into consideration when selecting an online program, ensuring that you have a full understanding of what's involved. Lastly, check whether public universities charge out-of-state residents higher tuition rates and understand any available in-state agreements that could affect tuition costs.
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    Program Format

    The program format is another important aspect to consider. Look for online programs that provide flexibility and can be integrated into your current professional and personal life. For example, it's important to check whether a program is asynchronous or synchronous. Asynchronous programs allow you to learn on your own time and at your own pace, providing a higher level of flexibility. Alternatively, synchronous programs require you to attend live sessions at set times, providing real-time interaction. Both types have their advantages and can be chosen based on your specific needs and schedule.
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    Student Support Services

    Finally, consider the student support services available in the program. Look for programs that offer personalized academic counseling, accommodation services, access to learning resources, and career fairs. Some schools may have connections with specific employers in the field. These student services can enhance your educational experience and facilitate career success.

How to Pay for an Online MPH Program

An online MPH degree is a significant investment, but there are several ways to fund your education and make it more affordable. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an essential first step in securing funding for your MPH degree.

It determines your eligibility for federal financial aid, including grants, student loans, and work-study funding.

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are essentially free money designed to help you fund your education. They are typically based on various criteria, including academic merit, financial need, or in some cases, the field of study like public health.

This means they don't need to be repaid, making them a more desirable option than loans, which accrue interest over time. Before resorting to loans, it's advisable to exhaust all possibilities of scholarships and grants. Check with your program advisor for more detailed information on grants and scholarships offered through your school.

Student Loans

College loans can also help cover your educational expenses. The most common federal student loans for graduate students include the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. Student loans accrue interest over time and must be repaid after you earn your degree, so it's wise to exhaust all other payment options before you use loans to cover your educational expenses.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships offer you the opportunity to work part-time for the department while you're studying in exchange for a stipend or tuition credits. This enables you to earn or save some extra money that can be put towards covering your educational costs. Check with your school to find out if such options exist.

Featured Online MPH Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Online MPH Programs

What can you do with an MPH degree?

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Career opportunities with an MPH span sectors like biostatistics, emergency management, epidemiology, environmental health, global health, public health education, public policy, and community health. You might find positions in government health agencies, hospitals, nonprofits, and private sector organizations.

Some of the specific career roles include:

  • Biostatistician
  • Disaster specialist
  • Environmental policy analyst
  • Epidemiologist
  • Public health director
  • Public health educator
  • Community coordinator

Do you need a master's degree to work in public health?

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No, you don't necessarily need a master's degree to work in public health. Some careers require a graduate degree, while others only need a bachelor's in public health degree.

While not mandatory for all jobs, a master's degree can certainly open the door to more opportunities and lead to better job prospects, offering access to specialized roles like healthcare administrator or epidemiologist and potentially higher salaries and senior positions.

What is an MPH degree?

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An MPH, or master of public health, is a graduate degree that provides education and training across various public health disciplines. The degree is designed for individuals interested in promoting community health and preventing illness on a national or global scale.

The coursework includes applied practical experience to prepare you to research, understand, and address public health issues and develop strategies to improve conditions and behaviors affecting population health.

Is a master's in public health degree worth it?

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Deciding if an online MPH degree is worth it depends on your career goals and personal interests. If you're passionate about making a positive impact on community health, addressing health challenges, and looking to increase your earning potential, an MPH degree could be a worthwhile investment.

The degree can be completed in around two years and prepares you for high-paying leadership positions like biostatistician and epidemiologist, which saw median salaries of $104,860 and $81,390, respectively, in 2023. Plus, with an affordable MPH degree, you can gain this valuable qualification without breaking the bank.

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