15 Best Master’s in Public Health Online Programs – 2024

January 26, 2024

mph masters in public health online

What else could underscore the importance of public health more than the last few years? After a global pandemic, shifting perspectives about the efficacy of proven treatments like vaccines, and looming questions about conditions such as long COVID, society has a huge need for professionals who can understand and communicate complex problems related to human health. Continue to learn more about master’s in public health programs online and the top 15 online MPH programs for you to consider.

It’s Growing in Popularity 

Interest in public health didn’t just start with COVID-19. During the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 90s, interest in the Master’s in Public Health (MPH) degree skyrocketed. Since 1992, the number of MPH degrees conferred grew by 300 percent, according to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. There are also four times as many institutions granting MPH degrees. Interestingly, the population of people seeking an MPH is also diversifying. The percentage of non-white graduates jumped from 25 percent in 1992 to 47 percent in 2016. In that same time span, the number of women earning an MPH jumped from 63 to 73 percent. 

With the growth in popularity, it’s no wonder that there would be an uptick in demand for accessible ways to study public health. Credible, online options for students to earn a Master’s in Public Health have emerged in recent years, giving people the option to study from anywhere and earn their degrees while (perhaps) remaining in the communities they wish to serve. 

What You’ll Study in a Master’s in Public Health Program

MPH students might study the following: 

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology 
  • Public policy 
  • Community education
  • Maternal health 
  • Global health
  • Environmental health 

If you pursue an MPH, you’ll learn how to communicate health issues within a community, how to help diverse groups work together to solve health problems, and how to educate the public when a need emerges. 

You’ll help your community develop better health practices based on current scientific knowledge and best practices while also promoting healthier lifestyles.

But how do you go about finding a credible online MPH? 

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Public Health Program 

If you’re considering studying public health and you want the flexibility of an online program, the following things should be on your list of criteria to consider when choosing a school: 

  • Accreditation 
  • Overall cost 
  • Available financial aid 
  • Synchronous vs. Asynchronous vs. Hybrid Delivery
  • Program focus 
  • Faculty research 
  • Physical location and opportunities for hybridity, if desired 
  • Connections with agencies for internships  
  • Job placement record for graduates 


The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is the accrediting body that creates the guidelines and ensures and promotes the quality of public health higher education programs. The council’s vision is “Excellence in public health education for a healthier world.” The accreditation criteria are available on the CEPH website, but suffice it to say, it is the council’s mission to ensure a high quality of public health education. When you find an accredited school, you can trust that you’re headed in the right direction. 

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous vs. Hybrid Delivery 

You might have gotten a handle on these terms during the pandemic, but if you’re new to online learning, it’s worth your while to consider whether your program will be delivered synchronously or asynchronously

Synchronous delivery means that you will attend your class “in-sync” with the professor—and everybody else in the class. You’ll show up on Zoom (or some other video call system) and sit in your seminars, lectures, and discussions, just as you would at an in-person university. This is great for people who want and need the social structure of appearing in front of others to maintain focus, to generate creativity, or to simply enjoy their studies. It’s also great if you have a schedule that allows for you to show up online when your classes are held. 

If you bartend during the evenings, for example, and all your synchronous classes are held after the traditional 9-5, you might consider attending a program that allows you to structure your own time. That’s where asynchronous delivery comes in. 

Best Master’s in Public Health Online Programs 

Asynchronous delivery is out of sync with the clock. Or, in other words, all the content you need will be provided for you, and you follow through the program at your own pace, watching recorded lectures, reading content, and finishing assignments before the deadline at the time of day that works best for you. This is great if, again, you have to work or take care of a family while you attend school and you don’t want to worry about showing up late to lecture or having to sit in discussion when your kids need to go to soccer practice. It means you’ll have to be a bit more self-directed, and some students might find this challenging, especially when the temptations of “working from home” are always looming. You can always do another load of laundry before you watch that recorded lecture, after all. 

But any well-structured asynchronous program is going to build in modalities for student success that help to keep you on track. 

Hybrid delivery means that there will be some online elements to your degree program and some in-person components, when you would be expected to show up on campus. The word “low-residency” might also trigger you to look for how much time you’d be expected to show up in-person. 

With any delivery system, you should look for and apply to programs that meet your specific needs. Don’t worry about fitting yourself into a program that will stress you out just because it seems credible. The beauty of an online education is that you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to time and space, and you should maximize what’s possible to make the most of your experience. 

To keep things tailored toward online learning, we’ve kept this list focused on only fully-online programs. 

Which Online MPH Is Right For You? 

The following list of online MPH programs will give you information about the cost, admissions, and other notable program details. Compare across the details and find out which programs make the most sense for you, your budget, and your goals. 

Note: We’ve selected only CEPH accredited schools for this list. 

Program  Pertinent Info Costs 
1)Brown University School of Public Health 
  • Program designed for working professionals with 2+ years of work experience, current public health workers, and international students  
  • Work on local, national, international scales 
  • Consistently nationally ranked as a top program 
  • Program length: 48 credit hours, complete in as few as 2 years 
  • Cost per course $5,000
  • Required courses: 12 
  • Total tuition: $60,000 
2) Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Online MPH 
  • Advanced Online MPH typically admits students with significant post-grab study or another advanced degree, i.e., MD, PhD, JD, or another Master’s
  • Curriculum resembles “innovative” in-person MPH 
  • Synchronous delivery
  • Program length: 4 semesters 
  • 2024-2025 tuition: $37,020
  • Estimated Program Fees: $1,536
  • 35%-40% of students receive scholarships ranging from $7,500 to $10,000 per academic year  
  • Tuition increases in price every year 
3) George Mason University Master of Public Health
  • Designed for working professionals who aim to advance in the public health field 
  • Flexibility in course delivery 
  • Required credit hours: 42 
  • Transfer up to 12 approved credits from other institutions
  • $725 per credit hour
  • $30,450 total tuition for 42 credits 
  • Additional costs include $35 per credit hour for a distance learning fee and a $60 new student fee.

Best Master’s in Public Health Online Programs (Continued)

4) George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health 
  • Combines medicine, business, and health policy at local, national, and global scales 
  • Complete on a full or part-time basis 
  • Required credit hours: 45 
  • Program length: as few as 12 months
  • $1,835 per credit hour 
  • $82,575 total tuition for 45 credits 
  • Guaranteeing a tuition scholarship of $10,000 to students who are accepted and enrolled into the upcoming cohort
  • Costs subject to annual review 
5) Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 
  • Rigorous, generalist program developed for working professionals worldwide 
  • Asynchronous delivery 
  • Optional synchronous online opportunities for “additional applied learning and engagement”
  • Program length: 2 years, part-time only 
  • $34,650 total tuition
  • No additional student fees  
  • $1,386 estimated cost for books/course materials 
  • Limited grants/scholarships exist, but all student needs cannot be met 
  • Tuition increases annually 
6) Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • 200+ course offerings to choose from 
  • Asynchronous modality allows for schedule flexibility
  • Online and Online-Plus allows for 100 percent remote study or hybrid model with at least 4 credits taken on Baltimore campus 
  • Program length: 80 credits; part-time, 4 years; typical time to completion: 2-3 years 
  • All admitted students receive the Welch Scholarship 
  • $1,027 per credit (reflecting Welch scholarship of $294 per credit)
  • Total tuition: $82,160 

Best Master’s in Public Health Online Programs (Continued)

7) Northeastern University Bouvé College of Health Sciences 
  • Program has an urban focus with various course options, including Social Determinants of Health concentration 
  • Fully online and hybrid options exist
  • Full-time and part-time options exist
  • Program length: minimum 2 years of full-time study / 42 credit hours
  • $1,815 per credit hour 
  • $76,230 total tuition 
  • Tuitions and fees subject to annual changes without notice 
8) The Ohio State University College of Public Health 
  • Online MPH for Experienced Professionals provides training in population health leadership and management 
  • Graduates are prepared “to address the social determinants of health that drive health inequities, such as poverty, racism and violence.”
  • Part-time program designed for work-life balance 
  • Program length: 42 credit hours
  • Total tuition, Ohio Residents: $35,012 
  • Total tuition, non-residents: $36,412 
  • Instructional fees: $782 per credit hour 
  • General Fees: $30 per credit hour 
  • Distance learning fees: $100 per semester 
  • Non-resident surcharge: $200 per semester 
9)The University of Arizona Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health 
  • Four concentration areas: Applied Epidemiology, Global Health, Health Behavior Health Promotion, Health Services Administration 
  • 50 percent of coursework is concentration-based 
  • Total program length: 42 credits 
  • Complete in as few as 2 years

Best Master’s in Public Health Online Programs (Continued)

10) University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health  
  • Concentration in Climate, Rural, and Global Public Health available online via Blackboard via any remote location 
  • Program addresses how “anthropogenic climate change is affecting the health of vulnerable communities” 
  • Requires Biology Competency and a Writing Workshop 
  • Program length: 42 credits
11) University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions 
  • Targeted at the health professional who has already earned a doctorate or those working professionally in a related field/capacity
  • Broad exposure to a wide variety of concentrations necessary for leadership positions 
  • Not appropriate for new bachelor’s graduates 
  • Program length: traditional 48 credits or accelerated 42 credits
  • $35.75 per credit hour 
  • Accelerated total tuition: $1,502 
  • Standard total tuition: $1,716
  • UF Employee Education Program tuition waiver considered on a case-by-case basis 
12) University of Kansas Online MPH and Certificate Programs
  • Generalist program designed with the working professional in mind 
  • Students prepared for careers in public health administration, global health, maternal & child health, nutrition and data management
  • Online certificates in public health practice, epidemiology, and essentials of public health also available 
  • Program length: 42 credit hours
  • $700 per credit hour for both residents and non-residents 
  • Total tuition: $29,400 
  • Details on fees available on the program website 

Best Master’s in Public Health Online Programs (Continued)

13) University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences 
  • One of the first online, accredited degrees of its kind 
  • Designed with the working professional in mind 
  • Take up to four courses to “try before you apply;” earn a B or better and transfer the credits into the program later
  • Program length: 42 credits
  • $653 per credit 
  • Total tuition: $27,426
  • Graduate school entrance fee: $507 
14) University of Michigan School of Public Health 
  • MPH in Population and Health Sciences 
  • Interdisciplinary nature brings together faculty from across the School of Public Health 
  • Students come from a variety of professional and academic backgrounds
  • Program length: 42 credits
  • Michigan Resident total tuition and fees: $48,000
  • Non-resident total tuition and fees: $53,000
15) The University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • Gillings ranked #1 in Public Health by US News and World Report 
  • Concentrations include Applied Epidemiology, Leadership, Nutrition 
  • Start in Spring, Summer, or Fall 
  • Program length: 42 credit hours
  • $1,735 per credit
  • Total tuition: $72,870 
  • Student Fees (spring/fall): $28.69 per credit

What’s Next?

If you’re ready to dive into applications, check out College Transition’s best advice on how to optimize your GRE score, the top GRE vocab words to study, and—if you’re worried—how to overcome a low GPA.

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