Best Online Public Health Degrees in 2020

What can a degree in public health do for you? Compare some of today’s best schools, review program options, and see how an online program can make your career grow.

Last Updated: 08/03/2020
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Choosing where to earn your public health degree online is a big deal. It is important that you do your research before applying to schools to find the ones that best fit your personal and academic needs. At first glance, online public health degree programs may appear similar, but each college or university has something unique to offer. In addition to cost and convenience, you will also need to evaluate each school’s course offerings and faculty strengths.

Our Best of 2020 rankings list below can help you get started in your search. Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and universities themselves, we’ve created a collection of what we believe are the best public health degrees you can earn online for the cost. With our help, you can find an accredited program that works for you, offers the credentials your future employers want, and has a price you can afford. Learn which online programs stand out in 2020.

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About the ranking

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Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

#School NameTypeCostOnline ProgramsMore DetailsSchool InformationOnline StudentsAcademic CounselingCareer PlacementStudents w/Institutional AidMedian Earnings 10yrs After EntryAccreditation
1University of FloridaGainesville, FLPublic$$1

Prospective grad students interested in a career in public health can choose from among several online study options at the University of Florida. UFL’s Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is available with two concentrations (Public Health Practice and Social and Behavioral Sciences) that can be completed entirely online with no required campus visits. This 48-credit hour program is available in a part-time study format. Students not interested in attending a full master’s program can opt for UFL’s online Graduate Certificate in Public Health, available with the following six emphasis options: Community Health Management; Environmental Health; Food Safety; HIV/Aids; Public Health Foundations; and Veterinary Public Health. Each certificate program consists of five courses and can be completed in three to five semesters.

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
32%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
2University of South Florida-Main CampusTampa, FLPublic$$1

A wide variety of online study options is available to public health students by the University of South Florida, beginning with its fully-online Bachelor of Science in Applied Science with Public Health Concentration. This program consists of 120 credit hours of general education, major-specific, and concentration courses, and is typically completed with four years of full-time study. USF additionally offers a Master of Public Health degree with seven specializations, as well as 14 public health graduate certificates, all featuring online coursework. Some MPH specializations and graduate certificates, however, include some on-campus or other in-person components. USF also offers its Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree in a hybrid online/on-campus format with Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health and Public Health and Clinical Laboratory and Practice concentration options.

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
62%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
3California State University-NorthridgeNorthridge, CAPublic$$1

California State University, Northridge’s online Master of Public Health degree program is open to students with a previously-earned bachelor’s degree in a public health-related field. Coursework is completed entirely online though asynchronous class assignments and live, synchronous online sessions for each class that meet weekly between 6 pm and 8pm Pacific Time. Additionally, students must complete a 300-hour (accomplished over two consecutive terms) in-person field experience internship at an approved public health agency or organization. This 42-credit hour cohort program is designed to be completed in seven semesters over two-and-a-half years of academic study. Students admitted into the program are guaranteed enrollment in all required courses.

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
57%
Accreditation#N/A
4The University of West FloridaPensacola, FLPublic$$1

The University of West Florida is home to a number of online graduate-level degree and certificate options for students interested in the public health field. The 42-credit hour Master of Public Health (MPH) program features didactic coursework that is entirely online, although students are required to complete an in-person two-semester practicum at an approved hospital or other public health agency or facility. Three concentrations are available: MPH in Global Health; MPH in Health Education, Promotion and Behavior; and Generalist MPH. Online public health graduate certificates are available in two areas: Emergency Management and Infection Control and Environmental and Occupational Health. Both certificates require completion of 18 credit hours of coursework and feature fully-online study.

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
5University of IowaIowa City, IAPublic$$2

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health offered by the University of Iowa is intended to provide improved public health practice and workforce capacity in the State of Iowa and the upper Midwest. The program features an 18-semester hour curriculum that can be completed 100% online. All courses are also available on the school’s Iowa City campus. Students can earn their certificate in as little as two semesters but have up to five years to complete all requirements. All courses in this certificate program completed with a B- grade or better can be applied to IU’s Master of Public Health program.

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
76%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
6Oklahoma State University-Main CampusStillwater, OKPublic$$2

Oklahoma State University is home to two graduate-level options that feature online, in-person, and hybrid courses for students seeking to advance their professional careers in public health. The Master of Public Health (MPH) program requires completion of a total of 42-credit hours of coursework culminating in either a thesis (which may be completed online) or practicum (which requires in-person attendance at an approved practice site). Students may tailor their elective course selections to focus on one of 13 areas of specialization. OSU’s Certificate of Public Health in Rural & Underserved Communities program requires completion of 15-credit hours of coursework emphasizing the five core competencies of public health: healthcare administration, epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, and the social and behavioral sciences.

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
73%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
7New Mexico State University-Main CampusLas Cruces, NMPublic$$2

There are three online academic options available to NMSU students interested in starting or advancing their careers in public health. NMSU’s Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) degree program consists of 120-credit hours of general education and major-specific core and elective courses, and is designed to be completed with three to four years of full-time study. The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program is a 42-credit hour program also designed to be completed in three to four years. MPH students choose between concentrations in Community Health Education (with thesis and non-thesis options) and Health Management, Administration & Policy (non-thesis only). NMSU’s 15-credit hour Graduate Certificate in Public Health is designed to provide public health professionals with advanced practice knowledge and skills, and can be completed with one to two years of study. All three programs feature 100% online didactic coursework. However, both the BPH and MPH programs require completion of in-person field experiences.

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
8American Public University SystemCharles Town, WVPrivate, For-Profit$$3

There are three public health degrees available from American Public University, all featuring fully-online coursework. APU’s Associate of Science in Public Health degree provides students with a foundational understanding of the public health profession to prepare them for entry-level positions. This 60-credit hour program is typically completed in two years of full-time study, and all coursework can be applied to APU’s public health bachelor’s degree program. The 120-credit hour Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree is designed for both students interested in entering the public health profession and current professionals seeking advancement in their careers. Bachelor’s students choose from Emergency and Disaster Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Public Health Informatics, and General concentrations. Finally, APU’s Master of Public Health degree prepares current professionals for leadership roles throughout the public health field. The 47-credit hour program culminates in a capstone project (thesis or research paper) that demonstrates the students understanding of the program’s objectives and social science methodology.

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
52%
AccreditationDistance Education Accrediting Commission
9University of ArizonaTucson, AZPublic$$$5

The University of Arizona offers online academic options on both the undergraduate and graduate levels for students interested in studying public health, starting with its Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree program. This fully-online program requires completion of 120 credits of general education and major core coursework along with courses in one of three areas of emphasis: Global Health, Health Systems: Theory & Practice, and Public Health Practice. UA’s Master of Public Health degree is offered with three online concentrations: Applied Epidemiology, Health Promotion, and Health Services Administration. All concentrations require 42 total credits and can be completed in as few as two years. Courses are available entirely online. However, all MPH students must complete an in-person internship in their chosen concentration at a program-approved public health site. UA additionally offers two fully-online public health graduate certificates in Public Health and Global Health & Development.

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
10San Diego State UniversitySan Diego, CAPublic$$1

Through its World Campus division, San Diego State University offers an online Master of Public Health (MPH) designed exclusively for early-career to mid-career professionals seeking to move into leadership positions in the public health field. The 18-month, 51-credit unit cohort program features fully-online coursework presented in an asynchronous format. All students must additionally complete 180 in-person internship or field experience hours at a program-approved public health agency or facility. Admission is open to applicants with a previously-earned bachelor’s degree in any major from an accredited university. Applicants must also be currently employed in the public health field and have three years of experience preferably in a public health-related career or organization.

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
21%
Accreditation#N/A
11University of Southern MississippiHattiesburg, MSPublic$$2Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
73%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
12University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia, MOPublic$$3Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
13San Jose State UniversitySan Jose, CAPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
35%
Accreditation#N/A
14East Carolina UniversityGreenville, NCPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
49%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
15Kent State University at KentKent, OHPublic$$$3Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
79%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
16University of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham, ALPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
74%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
17University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboro, NCPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
18Idaho State UniversityPocatello, IDPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
69%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
19Arizona State University-SkysongScottsdale, AZPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
53%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
20Florida Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityTallahassee, FLPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
21Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk, VAPublic$$$2Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
70%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
22Mississippi University for WomenColumbus, MSPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
84%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
23Capella UniversityMinneapolis, MNPrivate, For-Profit$$$6Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
50%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
24University of North DakotaGrand Forks, NDPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
25University of Maryland-College ParkCollege Park, MDPublic$$$3Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
47%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
26Eastern Washington UniversityCheney, WAPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
51%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
27The University of MontanaMissoula, MTPublic$$2Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
48%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
28University of Nevada-RenoReno, NVPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
44%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
29University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, NCPublic$$2Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
41%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
30University of South Carolina-ColumbiaColumbia, SCPublic$$$3Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
62%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
31University of Illinois at SpringfieldSpringfield, ILPublic$$$3Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
86%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
32Oregon State UniversityCorvallis, ORPublic$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
68%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
33University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinneapolis, MNPublic$$$4Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
34South Dakota State UniversityBrookings, SDPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
53%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
35Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff, AZPublic$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
36University of South DakotaVermillion, SDPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
67%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
37Indiana University-Purdue University-IndianapolisIndianapolis, INPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
57%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
38Lamar UniversityBeaumont, TXPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
20%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
39Youngstown State UniversityYoungstown, OHPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
68%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
40East Tennessee State UniversityJohnson City, TNPublic$$2Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
37%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
41University of Illinois at ChicagoChicago, ILPublic$$$$3Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
67%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
42Columbia Southern UniversityOrange Beach, ALPrivate, For-Profit$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
68%
AccreditationDistance Education Accrediting Commission
43Ohio University-Main CampusAthens, OHPublic$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission

Profiling Online Public Health Degree Programs

School profiles like the ones we’ve provided below can be incredibly helpful as you research online public health degree programs. They can give you a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to earn your degree online, how much it will cost, what classes you’ll take, and much more. Learn more about online bachelor’s degrees in public health at two of the most popular online universities and see if they may be right for you.

Southern New Hampshire University

HAMPSHIRE-UNIVERSITY

SNHU is a private Institution located in Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire. Established in 1932, the school today serves approximately 88,000 online students and holds regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

The school offers a bachelor of science in public health degree entirely online for remote learners. The faculty delivers courses in an asynchronous format, including courses such as fundamentals of public health, social and behavioral health, programming planning in public health, and public health education and communication.

Prospective students do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores for consideration. SNHU also subscribes to a rolling admissions policy and offers six eight-week undergraduate terms per year. Students need to complete 120 credits for this program and can transfer up to 90 credits from previously earn courses at accredited institutions. Graduates of this program move on to careers as public policymakers, scientists and researchers, social workers, epidemiologist, first responders, community planners, health educators, and more.

Walden University

WALDEN-UNIVERSITY

Established in 1970, Walden is an online for-profit institution located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The school offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, including an online bachelor of science in public health. Public health students choose from concentrations in healthcare management, health promotion and wellness, and health psychology and behavior.

Online students choose from three degree completion options that cater to the learner’s schedule. Firstly, Walden offers a course-based option, which allows students to engage in synchronous course meetings with faculty on a predetermined schedule. Secondly, learners can take advantage of a competency-based option wherein they complete assignments with no weekly deadlines and work at their own pace. Lastly, Walden offers an accelerated track for undergraduates who plan on pursuing a master’s degree upon graduation. In this scenario, you can earn 20 master’s-level credits while completing your undergraduate requirements.

In total, bachelor’s degree speakers need at least 181 quarter credits for graduation. Core major courses include principles of epidemiology, public health education and communication, and planning public health programs. Additionally, bachelor students complete a five-credit capstone course.

Online Public Health Degrees & Accreditation

Colleges and universities that offer valuable education typically possess regional accreditation. Accrediting bodies ensure that educational institutions meet particular standards and evaluate them on a regular basis. In sum, schools with regional accreditation provide quality education to their students and are worth your hard-earned tuition dollars.

Some schools will seek out programmatic accreditation, which is usually specific to one degree program or department. For public health departments, the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) offers the top programmatic credential. This accreditation improves the school’s reputation and visibility among the public health community, helps institutions attract world-class faculty members and top students, and increases the school’s access to a diverse network of resources in the public health arena.

Accreditation-img

Aside from offering reassurance that you as a student are pursuing a worthwhile education, school-wide and programmatic accreditation shows your prospective employers that, upon graduation, you’ve completed a rigorous curriculum that’s been carefully vetted and approved by credible outside parties. Additionally, in order to receive federal financial aid, the federal government and other types of public funding institutions require you to attend an accredited institution. You must submit your FAFSA before the deadline to be considered for funding.

Accreditation-img-mobile

A Look Inside the Online Bachelor’s in Public Health

Before you apply to a program, it is important that you spend a significant amount of time researching the cost, curriculum, and potential career prospects you may encounter upon graduating. When it comes to your education, you can never be too informed about the decisions you’re making. In the sections below, we offer a list of key questions that you should answer during the early stages of your search for an online public health program.

What do you learn in an online public health program?

Every public health program is different and brings unique strengths to the table. At the same time, these programs also share a core set of introductory and intermediate public health courses. Here’s a list of courses and common topics they cover to give you an idea of what you will face as a public health student.

Anatomy and Physiology

Undergraduate students in public health need to understand the basics of molecular and cellular mechanisms and organ systems of the body. These courses typically include laboratory exercises and lectures from faculty members. These classes are common and often required among undergraduate public health programs and usually include the word “introduction” in their titles.

Biology and Public Health

Courses in this category help learners explore causes of human diseases from an ecological perspective. Faculty assist public health students in examining population-based case studies of infectious diseases, genetically determined diseases, and disease transmission. Any type of introductory biological course that is designed for public health students at your school will cover the essential information you will need regarding diseases, risk factors, and transmission.

Research Skills and Public Health Professions

These introductory classes help prepare you for various types of research you may conduct upon graduation. You will develop foundational assessment skills, learn how to use data collection methods, and create executable research designs. While these courses are important for your undergraduate success, these research skills courses also prepare you for graduate-level coursework.

Behavioral Health and Sociology

These courses provide an overview of foundational information in the social and behavioral sciences as it pertains to public health majors. You will explore the essential theories, principles, and research techniques that have historically been used to solve public health issues. Using case studies, students explore a variety of factors related to human behavior, including culture, ethnicity, gender, and poverty.

Practical Skills in Public Health

These courses help undergraduates develop the necessary planning, time management, and leadership skills professionals in public health employ in a variety of contexts. Faculty cover essential theories, planning methods, and concepts that lead to the promotion of successful public health programs and effective public health policies.

As a public health student, you will learn a wide variety of valuable skills that are applicable both inside and outside of the public health field. The training you receive and skills you’ll develop prepare you for detail-oriented careers and help you be a more effective communicator, researcher, educator, and leader.

  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Teaching and presentation skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Research and analysis skills

What concentrations or tracks are available in public health?

Although concentrations and specialized tracks tend to be more common at the master’s degree level, bachelor’s students in public health can sometimes narrow down their interests while progressing through their undergraduate curriculum. In many cases, focusing on a concentration area helps you develop specialized skills that prepare you for more specific careers upon graduation. Additionally, the concentration area will help keep your academic interests and research focused as you advance through a program. This way, you’ll be better prepared for graduate studies in public health, should you choose to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree.

Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study of diseases and health among populations of humans. In this concentration area of the field, you focus more on communities and research individuals as parts of a larger collective. It is also the scientific study of health patterns and risk factors among populations, with special attention given to infectious diseases, disaster scenarios, and other epidemic situations.

Health Policy and Management

This concentration best serves learners interested in improving health policies in their communities at the state and national levels. Undergraduates with this concentration learn about the basic skills and methods for impacting public health policies and regulations, utilizing data-based solutions to improve healthcare, and conducting effective health policy research.

Global Health

Students with a concentration in global health focus on both local and worldwide issues in public health. This specialization is good for students interested in working with government organizations, research institutions, and other partners who develop, improve, or analyze public health programs or projects around the globe.

Biostatistics

For public health students interested in a more mathematical approach to public health, a concentration in biostatistics may be an excellent fit. In these specialized tracks, you learn how to apply statistical research methods to analyze healthcare, clinical data, biomedical information, and more. Undergraduate students develop an understanding of statistical probability, random variation, various types of research methods, and ethical principles commonly employed in the field.

Community Health

Undergraduate public health students with a concentration in community health explore psychological, cultural, and social behaviors as it relates to public health and community-based interventions. Learners also study political and social action, local and national health agencies, and the effectiveness of health maintenance organizations in hospitals.

How long does it take to complete an online public health degree program?

Similar to most online bachelor’s degrees, the online degree in public health usually takes full-time students four years to complete. Many colleges and universities accept transfer credits or offer you credits for prior learning experience which can shorten your time in a public health program.

There are several factors that can affect the duration of your degree as an online public health bachelor’s student. The most significant determinant of time is your enrollment status as a full- or part-time learner. Depending on how many courses you are able to take each semester, part-time status may increase your time in school by one or two years.

How much does it cost to earn a bachelor’s in public health online?

The cost of your online public health degree varies between schools. Even though you may be taking entirely online courses, even where you live can affect the cost of your online education. Colleges and universities often charge different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state learners.

Furthermore, the longer you spend in school, the more you can expect you spend on education-related expenses outside of tuition, such as commuting to campus for hybrid courses, acquiring learning materials, and time away from your job. For the cost of a specific online bachelor’s programs in public health, find a school in the ranking above and visit its tuition and fees page.

Paying for Your Online Public Health Degree

A college education cost a significant amount of money and requires careful planning ahead of time. There are many options to help you pay for school, you just need to look for them. Regardless of your financial situation, you should apply for as many funding opportunities as possible, provided you meet the requirements. This list below contains five of the most common ways public health degree-seekers obtain funding for their education.

1

Scholarships

Scholarships may come through your department or college as well as from outside sources. Scholarship awards can come from public and private organizations, government bodies, private individuals, and more. Legitimate scholarships do not require you to submit an application fee to apply. You should apply for as many scholarships as possible, provided that you are competitive candidate based on the stated criteria. Scholarships are essentially free money for your education that do not need to be repaid.

Explore 15 of the best scholarships for public health students.

2

Financial aid

The U.S. Department of Education provides students more than $150 billion in financial aid every school year. In order to be considered for these funds you must fill out and submit a FAFSA. All students should submit this free application form regardless of their financial situation. This need-based aid may come in the form of a loan, grant, or work-study position.

3

Grants

Grants are often need-based awards and come from the federal or state government, your school, or private organizations. A common grant for public health students to receive is the Federal Pell Grant. The amount of the grants change each year and do not need to be repaid, provided you finish your studies as intended each year.

4

Work-Study

These are part-time jobs for students in financial need. The positions are available to part- and full-time students and can significantly offset the cost of your education and living expenses. Be sure to check with your school’s department of financial aid to ensure that federal work-study program is available at your school, as this is not a universal program.

5

Loans

After you send in your FAFSA, the federal government considers your candidacy for an education loan. Alternatively, you can apply for a loan through a private financial institution, such as a bank. Most students choose a federal loan over a private loan, as the interest rates are usually better through the government. A loan helps you cover your educational and living expenses but it must be paid back to the loaner plus interest.

What’s After Your Online Bachelor’s in Public Health

It is important for new students to fully understand the industry that they’re preparing to enter upon graduation. As you look into degree programs to pursue your bachelor’s in public health, be sure to cast a wide net and learn as much as you can from credible sources. Make sure you examine the career paths that will become available to you with your public health credentials, as well as how much you can expect to earn in those roles.

Do I need certification or licensure with a bachelor’s in public health?

In many cases, you do not need to possess a particular type of certification or license to pursue a career in public health with a bachelor’s degree. Several elective certifications are available to bachelor’s degree-holders, however. Ultimately, a certification shows your prospective employers that you’ve gone the extra mile to hone your skills and set yourself apart from other candidates in the job market.

The most commonly sought out certification, the Certified in Public Health (CPH) designation, comes from the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Students can also pursue specialty certifications such as one from the Certification Board for Infection Control and Epidemiology, which requires that candidates have a bachelor’s degree in public health and at least two years of work experience.

OnlineBachelor
OnlineBachelor

What can you do with a public health bachelor’s?

A bachelor’s degree in public health positions you for a variety of exciting and rewarding careers. Whether you want to work in the public or private sector, a public health degree can serve as one of the most important steps to a fulfilling career. Depending on your area of interest or concentration area, you may find yourself working as a clinical researcher, healthcare consultant, nutritionist, social worker, and more. A bachelor’s degree also prepares you for additional education in a master’s in public health program. The chart that follows illustrates only a small taste of what’s out there for bachelor’s degree-holders in public health.

public-health-bachelor-chart
public-health-bachelor-chart

How much can you earn with a public health bachelor’s?

While a bachelor’s degree in public health can position you for success in a variety of lucrative careers, your education level and amount of experience also greatly affect your earning potential. In the table that follows, we offer a spectrum of salaries based on education levels, experience, and geographic location for several common public health professions.

Career# EmployedEntry-LevelEarly CareerMid-CareerExperiencedLate Career
Medical and Health Services Managers372,670$58,680$76,050$99,730$130,820$182,600
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary199,480$43,370$61,280$97,370$160,580
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists88,390$42,450$56,060$73,020$91,030$108,520
Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health80,480$42,520$53,580$71,130$94,590$124,620
Epidemiologists7,060$42,240$54,930$69,660$89,950$112,600
Health Educators58,780$32,030$39,800$54,220$74,660$98,530
Community Health Workers56,130$26,070$32,280$39,540$51,650$65,890

Continuing Education & Related Degrees

Perhaps you are interested in earning a bachelor’s in public health to expand your career options or advance up the ladder in your current position. Maybe you want something a little different than you originally planned. In public health, there’s plenty of opportunities to advance with additional education, such as a master’s in public health, or to pivot into a related career with a second bachelor’s degree. Take a look at a few of the degree options that may be a good fit if you’re currently studying or working in public health.

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Continuing Education

If a DNP doesn’t seem like the right fit, students looking to advance their nursing careers or increase their expertise may want to explore other online nursing degrees. Earning an advanced education is a big decision that warrants careful consideration, so exploring alternative degree programs is a smart idea. These may be great options for nursing professionals who want to advance their careers but aren’t set on a DNP route.

Master’s in Public Health Online

Like most master’s degrees, the MPH allows you to further develop your knowledge in the field, particularly in a specialized area. Master’s programs are typically 2-3 years in length and can require an extensive final project or traditional master’s thesis, depending on your program. The MPH is usually best for students who already possess a bachelor’s degree in the field.

Doctor of Public Health Online

The doctor of public health is usually the next step for current master’s degree-holders who wish to pursue the top education and research positions in the field. Most colleges and universities, especially top-tier institutions, require their full-time, tenure track professors to possess a doctoral degree. You can also obtain research and education jobs outside of universities and work for private research organizations, the state or federal government, nonprofit institutions, and more.

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Related Degrees

Healthcare Administration

Healthcare administration programs best serve individuals interested in the business side of healthcare. Sometimes referred to as health services managers, professionals in healthcare administration have strong leadership skills and an understanding of the complexities of the healthcare system, hospitals, clinics, and the relevant technology. You can find entry-level positions in a variety of roles, including jobs in human resources departments and hospital management.

Health Science

Health science programs prepare you for a variety of exciting jobs in the field, including occupational therapy assistant, surgical technician, registered health information technician, and more. While pursuing your degree, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, you will choose a specialization area in health informatics, epidemiology, administration, or another popular area. In any case, a health science program will ensure that you understand the foundational knowledge of the field, including topics in medicine and nutrition, to pursue a variety of career paths upon graduation.