Top Online MPH Programs with No GRE Requirement

Many online MPH programs are nixing the GRE requirement. Explore 2020’s best schools with GRE alternatives and what that means for you.

Last Updated: 08/07/2020
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The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) has long been the most common standardized test for graduate school admissions, including for students who want to earn their master’s in public health. However, given that more and more mid-career professionals are seeking advanced degrees – and they’re pretty far removed from their undergraduate programs – standardized tests like the GRE are becoming less and less important. In fact, some high-quality MPH programs, including those offered online, now waive the GRE score requirement.

To help you find a quality MPH program you can earn online that doesn’t require a GRE and doesn’t break the bank, we’ve put together a list of the best affordable schools offering online MPH programs without a GRE requirement. Let’s take a look at our top-rated programs for 2020 and see which one is right for you.

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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 Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia, MOPublic$$1

Graduates of the Master of Public Health at the University of Missouri have gone on to work as epidemiologists, research analysts, and prevention coordinators. Courses in the 45-credit degree are all online. Following 18 credits of coursework, students are assigned to an on-site public health internship. After the internship, students take advanced courses, including Public Policy Processes and Strategies, Applied Epidemiology in Community Assessment, Health Program Design and Management. They complete a final Public Health Capstone where they integrate theoretical knowledge into practical experiences. Mizzou’s Online Military Tuition Award offers active duty, veterans and military families a 10 percent reduction in the cost of the program.

Program Overview:

Master of Public Health

  • Credits: 45
  • Length: 21 months
  • Cost: $21,043/total cost
  • Mode: Partially Online (two in-person immersions)
  • Accreditation: HLC, CEPH
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
2University of South DakotaVermillion, SDPublic$$1

The accredited Master of Public Health degree at the University of South Dakota can be completed entirely online. The program is targeted toward students planning to lead public health initiatives serving rural communities. The curriculum emphasizes healthcare reform, health promotion, and epidemiological analysis. The major area coursework is concentrated on public health theory and practice, biostatistics, epidemiology, health systems and policy. Supporting courses are in managing health services resources, health promotion and disease prevention, diversity and social justice in rural and urban communities, experimental design and analysis, and public health immunology. Students must complete a Capstone project to graduate. Admission applications are available online.

Program Overview:

Master of Public Health

  • Credits: 42
  • Total credits in major coursework: 30
  • Cost: $465/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: HLC
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
67%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
3Purdue University-Main CampusWest Lafayette, INPublic$$1

The Master of Public Health at Purdue University is designed for professionals seeking to improve public health in local, regional, national and global communities. The academic focus is in examining community social factors, communication, health disparities, and nutrition at the family and community levels. Studies are in health behavior theory, epidemiology, qualitative methods, public health administration, program and policy evaluation, health promotion and disease prevention. All didactic coursework is offered entirely online. An on-site public health practicum is required at an approved professional setting. The culminating experience enables grad students to work on a project in-concert with a local agency.

Program Overview:

Master of Public Health

  • Credits: 42
  • Length: 2+ years
  • Cost: $25,989.60 (in-state); $34,389.60 (out-of-state)/total cost
  • Mode: Partially Online (practicum)
  • Accreditation: HLC, CEPH
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
43%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
4University of North Texas Health Science CenterFort Worth, TXPublic$$1

The Master of Public Health – Professional Option program at the University of North Texas is designed for students aspiring to lead initiatives at non-profit or governmental agencies. The 48-credit program requires candidates to have a minimum of three years’ public health experience or have completed an advanced degree for admissions. Twelve elective credits allow students the flexibility to customize their program. Students typically spend 12-15 hours a week on studies; students with outside work or family obligations can take the program on a part-time bases or opt for a one or two semester break without losing their standing. All courses are wholly online; however, a 600-hour on-site practicum is required for graduation.

Program Overview:

MPH - Professional Option

  • Credits: 48
  • Length: 2 years (full-time); up to 6 years (part-time)
  • Cost: $164 (resident); $668 (non-resident)/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (practicum)
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, CEPH
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
5University of FloridaGainesville, FLPublic$$$1

Students in the University of Florida’s 48-credit Master of Public Health degree program can select concentrations in either Public Health Practice or Social and Behavioral Sciences. Applicants with an accredited, health-based doctorate are eligible to take an accelerated 42-credit MPH program, shortening their time to graduate. Part-time students are allowed up to seven years to complete the online degree. All courses are delivered online except for the required Public Health Internship and Public Health Day Presentation of a major paper. Degree core courses include Statistical Methods for Health Science, Contemporary Public Health Issues, Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health, Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System, Environmental Health Concepts in Public Health, and Psychological, Behavioral, and Social Issues in Public Health.

Program Overview:

Master of Public Health

  • Credits: 42-48
  • Length: Up to 7 years, much faster in the accelerated 42-credit MPH program
  • Cost: $585/per credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (internship)
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, CEPH (CEPH applies to 48-credit option only)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
32%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
6University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, NCPublic$$$1

Entering students can choose from three concentrations in the 42-credit Master of Public Health at the University of North Carolina. Based on their career goals, graduate students can specialize in Leadership in Practice, Nutrition, or Registered Dietitian MPH. The Leadership in Practice concentration builds skills to organizations, teams, or projects to improve program delivery. and systems in eliminating inequities, improving conditions and fostering change in local and global communities. The MPH Nutrition concentration prepares graduates for leadership in health awareness campaigns. The Registered Dietitian track is for grads who research in dietetics and nutrition applied to healthcare systems. All courses are online except for a required 200-hour externship.

Program Overview:

  • Credits: 42
  • Length: 20 to 36 months (depending on specialization and full-time or part-time study)
  • Cost: $665/credit
  • Mode: Partially online (200-hour externship)
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC, CEPH
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
41%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
7University of ArizonaTucson, AZPublic$$$1

The University of Arizona’s MPH degree focuses on health education of underserved communities, chronic disease prevention, and the development of health policy. The practice-based degree offers concentrations in Health Services Administration, Applied Epidemiology, and Health Promotion. The number of credits varies based on concentration and degree completion requirements require a combination of core courses and concentration courses – all completed online. The program also requires students to complete a facility-based internship. Applicants must hold a bachelor degree with college-level courses in biology, algebra or calculus. GRE exam scores are also required for entry into the program. Graduate admissions forms are completed online.

Program Overview:

Master of Public Health

  • Credits: 42
  • Length: 2+ years
  • Cost: $950/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (internship)
  • Accreditation: HLC, CEPH
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
8University of Massachusetts-AmherstAmherst, MAPublic$$$$1

Students in the online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice degree at the University of Massachusetts must complete 42 credits (14 courses). Didactic and research-based coursework is completed online. There is also a 200-hour on-site practicum and a final Capstone project. Core courses are in biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral theory, and public health leadership. Three research courses and five elective courses (37 are available) round out the degree. Admission requirements for the GRE test may be waived if the applicant holds an advanced degree or a bachelor degree and five years of related healthcare experience. Graduate admissions applications are done online.

Program Overview:

Master of Public Health

  • Credits: 42
  • Length: 2-4 years
  • Cost: $622/credit
  • Mode: Partially online (200-hour externship)
  • Accreditation: NEASC, CEPH
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
80%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
9Simmons UniversityBoston, MAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$$1

Three modes of coursework make up the Master of Public Health degree program at Simmons University. The 45-credit hybrid program combines scheduled class meetings online, self-paced interactive coursework and two on-site immersion experiences. Immersions enable graduate students work on the ground with professionals, faculty and their peers to study health system challenges and solutions. The online curriculum includes courses in Health Equity & Social Justice, Biostatistics, Health Policy Analysis & Change, Public Health Leadership & Management, Health Advocacy, Community Organizing, & Innovation, and Public Health Project Planning. Students who meet the priority application deadline receive a $30 discount on application fees.

Program Overview:

Master of Public Health

  • Credits: 45
  • Length: 7 terms
  • Cost: $1,500/credit
  • Mode: Partially Online (internships)
  • Accreditation: NECHE, CEPH
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
10George Washington UniversityWashington, DCPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$$1

The George Washington University Master of Public Health program offered through the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Students have two track choices that can determine the time to graduation. The One-Year Accelerated Track features 60-80 hours a week in class time and is only available to students who are currently not working. The 18-Month Accelerated Track option requires 40-60 hours of weekly course work, designed for students who are working up to 20 hours a week. Online courses are the same as those in the campus-based MPH program. In both the one year and 18-month programs, students complete 17 credits of public health core courses, 10 program-specific credits, 16 elective credits, and 2 credits in a 120-hour on-site practicum.

Program Overview:

Master of Public Health

  • Credits: 42
  • Length: one year to 18 months.
  • Cost: $82,125/total program
  • Mode: Partially Online (practicum)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE, CEPH

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
75%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
11Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore, MDPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
52%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
12Baylor UniversityWaco, TXPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
97%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
13Walden UniversityMinneapolis, MNPrivate, For-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
14University of New EnglandBiddeford, MEPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education

Additional No-GRE Schools to Consider for Your Online MPH

Ashford University

The Master of Public Health through Ashford University is designed with affordability in mind; that’s one of the reasons the school doesn’t require the GRE. Admitted students can dive right into their education with one course at a time, each lasting for six weeks. Major core requirements come first, totaling up to 27 credits. Of those 27, three credits are for the capstone project, and another three are for the practicum, which will be completed during the last semester.

Then students can choose from Generalist Track Courses and Health Care Administration Track Courses; each track requires 15 credits. These credits will move you from the major courses to specialized ones, preparing you to move into the public health area that most interests you. Typical courses include those in applied behavioral science, environmental health, health services administration, and principles of biostatistics.

All courses must be completed with a 3.0 or above in order to graduate with the MPH from Ashford. This goal is aided by 24/7 tech support, round-the-clock library and writing center help, and a student-teacher ratio of 13 to one, helping assure more individual attention during the pursuit of the degree. Nineteen student organizations help ensure that students are engaged outside of class while a career center helps prepare you to move into the workforce upon graduation, including customized career planning and one-on-one coaching.

Boston University

The Online Executive Master of Public Health through Boston University’s School of Public Health takes one year of full-time study to complete. Beginning with the 2019-2020 admissions cycle, the GRE is no longer required under a three-year pilot program that looks at phasing out the test altogether. Boston University makes the case that the GRE is financially prohibitive, a poor predictor of academic success, and biased against women, minority students, and those from underprivileged backgrounds. In lieu of the GRE requirement, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and have at least five years of experience in the public health field.

The program is designed for working professionals. The courses that make up 42 credits focus on the biological, social, economic, political, behavioral, cultural, and environmental factors that affect the health of a variety of populations. The seven-week courses are entirely online and include live weekly sessions, cohort-based learning, practice-based teaching, and focus on leadership skills necessary to make a go at working in public health. Advanced fieldwork is required to ensure students can apply what is learned in the classroom to real-world situations. For those who need a little boost, financial aid – including scholarships – is available through the school.

Drexel University

The Online MPH in Global Health is offered through the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. The program holds a commitment to diversity and equity; thus, GRE test scores are not required with the application. The school actively seeks out students who round out the diversity of the school, especially from underrepresented minority groups. Students in this program will be prepared to apply ethical approaches and human rights principles to public health issues, design public health interventions for diverse populations, and develop strong monitoring and evaluation strategies.

Courses in Public Health Foundations and a three-course sequence on Public Health Methods begin the educational journey. Fifteen credits in core courses are then required before the student branches off into a specialization: Maternal Child Health or LGBT Health. The practical experience requirement includes depth (120-140 hours of field placement) as well as breadth (one experience per month). This can include everything from long-term learning experiences to short-term volunteer work. The program ends with the Integrated Learning Experience (ILE), conducted as a capstone course, which culminates in a written report that proves mastery of public health subjects.

Ohio University

Offered through the College of Health Sciences and Professions, the Online Master of Public Health at Ohio University offers 100% online coursework and the ability to graduate within two years. Given that this program is designed for working professionals in the field, the school does not require GRE scores to apply.

This MPH program is one of the few in the country that provides a strong understanding of rural health disparities, which helps prepare students to work with underprivileged populations on a variety of issues that matters in local communities. The comprehensive program requires 42 credit hours for graduation; courses include topics such as Program Planning and Implementation in Public Health, Biostatistics in Public Health, MPH Seminar, Grant Writing in Public Health Practice, and Chronic Disease Epidemiology.

The twelve three-credit courses are each seven weeks long, taught by faculty with many years of practical experience and a research background. Students can take one course at a time if they choose to do so. Once the coursework is complete, students must complete the capstone project by applying their education to real-world issues in their local communities.

University of Nevada, Reno

The Online Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice at University of Nevada, Reno offers a comprehensive curriculum with focus on finance and budgeting, health informatics, epidemiology, public health policy, biostatistics, and social and behavioral health. The program provides maximum flexibility with no residency requirement, 100% online courses, multiple start dates per year, graduation in as little as 24 months, and no GRE requirement for applicants.

Admission to the program is competitive. Students must provide proof of at least a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, up-to-date resume or C.V., a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a completed course in statistics, and the completed application form. Those who earned a GPA of between 2.75 and 3.0 can choose to submit GRE or other standardized test scores (GMAT or MCAT) for consideration for admission.

Once enrolled, students must complete 45 credit hours for graduation, including 21 hours of core courses, 18 hours in public health practice specialization, three hours in practicum and three hours in the capstone requirement. A sampling of courses includes Health and the Environment, Health Policy, Organizational Behavior and Leadership in Health Services, Public Health Finance, Public Health Law, and Epidemiological Surveillance.

University of New England

The 46-credit Master of Public Health from University of New England is designed to enhance students’ abilities in a variety of leadership areas, including analysis, communication, ethics, financial management, program health planning, and public policy, among others. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, a 3.0 GPA maintained during that undergraduate pursuit, and consistent performance in science and math courses. Though the GRE is not required by University of New England for the MPH program, those who don’t show proficiency in math and science courses can submit GRE scores instead.

Once enrolled, students can complete their studies in 18 months of full-time coursework. The 100% online courses include 31 credits of core courses, such as Research Methods, Social and Behavioral Health, Public Health Administration, and Biostatistics. Students must then choose among electives to build up 15 credits in areas of interest, such as Community Assessment, Occupational Health, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, and Global Health. Students will then complete the applied practice experience, which requires them to apply their hard-won education to real-world situations in their own community.

University of San Francisco

The Master of Public Health through the School of Nursing and Health Professions at University of San Francisco looks at a wide variety of factors for their competitive admissions process. These include employment background, previous coursework, research interest, long term professional goals, and preparedness. Applicants must offer up a bachelor’s degree earned with a 3.0 minimum GPA, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, resume, and completed application; some students might require more information, depending upon their international status. The GRE is not a requirement for any applicants to the MPH program.

Once enrolled, students can choose from three concentrations: Community and Public Health Practice, Health Policy Leadership, and Behavioral Health; however, only the Community and Public Health Practice concentration is available 100% online. The 14:1 student-teacher ratio allows for close interaction with peers and learned faculty. In addition to high-quality courses in the points that matter most for public health leadership, students will also complete 250 hours of fieldwork placement in a public health organization; this can be completed in the student’s local community if they so choose. The program has been fully CEPH-accredited since 2014.

Types of Online MPH Programs with No GRE

Why do schools offer the very important MPH with no GRE requirement attached? There are several reasons for this, as evidenced by the application requirements. Here’s what to expect from a school that doesn’t require the GRE.

Online MPH Programs with No GRE Requirement

Some programs have phased out the GRE altogether. Though there are some schools that have created other requirements to make up for the information the GRE might be able to provide, many of them have simply done away with the test, claiming it is too biased, doesn’t provide an accurate view of a student’s abilities, and is prohibitively expensive. These schools simply rely on the other traditional information found in an application, such as the GPA earned at the undergraduate level or the coursework completed before applying, to help them make a choice on students to admit.

However, there are some schools that allow students to submit their GRE scores to make up for something they might not have in the application process. This is especially true for those students who might have a lower GPA than the typical 3.0 required by most programs, or those who have not completed certain perquisite math and science courses. In these cases, students are allowed to submit GRE scores for consideration. In some schools, students can simply submit GRE scores if they want to present a more complete package to the admissions office – however, the GRE is considered as part of the overall application, not as something that gives a student an advantage over others who chose not to take the GRE scores.

Online MPH Programs with GRE Waivers

Some schools look to certain other criteria in order to waive the GRE requirement. A good example of this is a school that looks for a certain number of years of experience – often three to five years of work in the field – before the student applies to graduate school. In this case, that experience is considered more than enough to waive the GRE requirement that might otherwise be in place. This might also happen when a student has a certain amount of advanced coursework in public health, enough that they have learned a significant amount of information that holds them in good stead in the field and allows them to move seamlessly into the master’s coursework.