Masters in Public Health Online Degree Programs of 2022

Master's Degree in Public Health Career Options & Salary

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Why Earn an Online Master of Public Health?

With continued global connectivity through travel, cooperative research, and international trade, it's more important than ever to have as many people as possible in possession of a degree such as a Master of Public Health, which can be gained from a campus or online MPH program or a relevant degree in health sciences. This is an ever-expanding field with many subjects that may be part of the core courses in a university program that reaches well beyond an individual's physical health. This may include water safety, childhood obesity, environmental health sciences and impact, biostatistics, community health or population health, community health education, health promotion and health education, mental health, safe housing, occupational health and safety, health systems, health management, epidemiology health policy management, and much more. This specialization covers the economic, environmental, and social health of local and global communities alike. By pursuing public health education in the form of an on-campus or online Master of Public Health, you are committing to a life of making a positive difference in the lives of every human on the planet.

A Master of Public Health may be available from a local state university or a school dedicated to the healthcare field with either an on-campus or online format. No matter where prospective students choose to earn their community health education, they must make sure that there is appropriate accreditation. Students who attend in-person or online schools with accreditation enter with some professional experience and leave with practicum experience that will help them succeed in the real world and increase their annual salary as well. These freshly minted MPH graduates will work as public health professionals to maintain the health of communities, improve public health outcomes for the health of populations, maintain health equity and lower health disparities, face various public health challenges including rampant mental health issues and infectious disease prevention, and much more.


To advance your career in this field you must have at least a Master of Public Health. This degree may increase your pay significantly, even if you were already in a health promotion or human health services administration position. Depending on the job, public health practitioners could quickly earn at least $20,000 more a year with a master’s over a bachelor’s degree and, if they choose to earn their degree online, they may do so without ever leaving their current job. Master’s degrees also allow on-campus or online MPH students to select a specialization or concentration in the public health field such as those in global health, environmental and occupational health and safety, health management, public health educator, and more. These unique areas of expertise will also provide an illuminating culminating experience and help you increase your pay, even if you already had professional experience in the field. If prospective students select a combined or dual degree program that provides them with expertise in another area, this is also a bonus. You also must have a bachelor’s degree or master’s and several years of work experience in the real world if you want to achieve any of the professional certifications such as the Certified in Public Health (CPH), Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), or the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).


A Master of Public Health degree provides tremendous career and financial advantages; however, it does not come without challenges and potential setbacks. These master’s degrees often take significantly longer to complete than master’s degrees in other fields, even if you're earning your degree online. You will have to commit at least two to three years of your life to an epidemiology health policy management program or something similar. The content of the curriculum is high-level and will provide access to clinical studies and leadership methods. It could be even longer if you cannot take the courses full-time each term and must instead attend part-time, as many online students do. Many Master of Public Health degrees also require several years of work experience before you can apply to a program, though not necessarily leadership experience. Therefore, you cannot continue your community health education immediately following your undergraduate degree. Also, if you are unable to secure a higher-level position, you may not be able to make enough money to justify your educational investment. Be sure to speak with your employer about tuition reimbursement opportunities to help eliminate some of the financial burdens of a graduate degree and ensure that the program you are considering is fully accredited.

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What are the Best Online Public Health Master's (MPH) Programs?


University of California-Berkeley

  • Net Price:$19,329
  • Retention Rate:96%
  • Graduation Rate:92%
  • Total Enrollment:42,327
  • Undergrad Students:30,799
  • Graduate Students:11,528
  • Diplomas Awarded:248
  • Grads Salary:$92,000
  • Student-to-faculty:19:1
  • University of California-Berkeley

Johns Hopkins University

  • Net Price:$20,680
  • Retention Rate:97%
  • Graduation Rate:95%
  • Total Enrollment:28,890
  • Undergrad Students:6,331
  • Graduate Students:22,559
  • Diplomas Awarded:414
  • Grads Salary:$89,000
  • Student-to-faculty:6:1
  • Johns Hopkins University

University of Washington

  • Net Price:$9,661
  • Retention Rate:93%
  • Graduation Rate:82%
  • Total Enrollment:48,149
  • Undergrad Students:32,244
  • Graduate Students:15,905
  • Diplomas Awarded:122
  • Grads Salary:$81,000
  • Student-to-faculty:20:1
  • University of Washington

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Net Price:$11,508
  • Retention Rate:95%
  • Graduation Rate:90%
  • Total Enrollment:30,092
  • Undergrad Students:19,395
  • Graduate Students:10,697
  • Diplomas Awarded:302
  • Grads Salary:$73,000
  • Student-to-faculty:13:1
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

San Jose State University

  • Net Price:$15,995
  • Retention Rate:86%
  • Graduation Rate:66%
  • Total Enrollment:36,208
  • Undergrad Students:27,701
  • Graduate Students:8,507
  • Diplomas Awarded:34
  • Grads Salary:$88,000
  • Student-to-faculty:25:1
  • San Jose State University

University of Southern California

  • Net Price:$39,759
  • Retention Rate:91%
  • Graduation Rate:92%
  • Total Enrollment:46,287
  • Undergrad Students:19,786
  • Graduate Students:26,501
  • Diplomas Awarded:196
  • Grads Salary:$87,000
  • Student-to-faculty:9:1
  • University of Southern California

San Diego State University

  • Net Price:$6,867
  • Retention Rate:89%
  • Graduation Rate:76%
  • Total Enrollment:36,334
  • Undergrad Students:31,491
  • Graduate Students:4,843
  • Diplomas Awarded:104
  • Grads Salary:$76,000
  • Student-to-faculty:27:1
  • San Diego State University

Michigan State University

  • Net Price:$8,738
  • Retention Rate:91%
  • Graduation Rate:82%
  • Total Enrollment:49,695
  • Undergrad Students:38,491
  • Graduate Students:11,204
  • Diplomas Awarded:34
  • Grads Salary:$73,000
  • Student-to-faculty:16:1
  • Michigan State University

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

  • Net Price:$17,291
  • Retention Rate:89%
  • Graduation Rate:84%
  • Total Enrollment:31,642
  • Undergrad Students:24,233
  • Graduate Students:7,409
  • Diplomas Awarded:70
  • Grads Salary:$75,000
  • Student-to-faculty:17:1
  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst

University of Rochester

  • Net Price:$36,254
  • Retention Rate:92%
  • Graduation Rate:86%
  • Total Enrollment:11,741
  • Undergrad Students:6,521
  • Graduate Students:5,220
  • Diplomas Awarded:18
  • Grads Salary:$83,000
  • Student-to-faculty:10:1
  • University of Rochester
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Overview of an Online Master's in Public Health

What Online Public Health Master’s Degrees are Available?

Most online master’s degrees law programs are not designed to gain you entrance into law school. Some online programs exist where you can complete an online master’s in law and a law degree at the same time, while some online master’s in law programs are designed for legal professionals who already possess a law degree, as a way to advance their careers. The overall objective is the same regardless of the title: to provide non-lawyer professionals with a strong foundation in law to advance their existing careers or to change professions.

Here are some examples of degree titles you will find:

  • Online Master of Public Health (MPH)
    This degree is considered a professional online master’s degree rather than educational, liberal arts, or scientific-based degree. Most MPH degree programs only take two years to complete and they often focus on biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health care administration, policy and behavioral, and social science.
  • Online Master of Arts in Public Health (MAPH)
    An MAPH will often focus more on social issues, such as state and federal health law, healthcare providers, and more. They also have a more general focus rather than a specialized approach. Many people who graduate with this type of public health degree will work for government agencies, health-related organizations, or for community health programs.
  • Online Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)
    The MSPH focuses on an in-depth, academic and research-based degree rather than a professional degree. You might work to solve existing global health problems by examining data. You might be required to complete a thesis and the program can be completed in two to five years, depending on the program.
  • Dual Degrees
    The dual degree is becoming increasingly popular with all online master’s degrees, particularly within the field of public health. Pubic health professionals can combine the previous degrees with any number of additional graduate degrees, including an MD, PharmD, veterinarian degree, law degree, MBA, and more.

Admission Requirements

The requirements for admissions to an online master’s program in this field will vary greatly based on the type of online master’s degree it is. All master of public health degrees, an online master of public health or on-campus MPH program, will require an online bachelor’s degree in a related field with a minimum GPA for an application to be successful, as established by the program. Some online programs will require a graduate degree entrance exam and others will not. If you do require one, the required exam will be dependent on the program type. The usual options are the GRE, GMAT, MCAT, or LSAT. You might also require several years of relevant work experience and letters of recommendation. If you wish to gain entry into the best online programs, you should also participate in giving back to the community and extracurricular activities either within the U.S. or in needy places in other countries. Keep in mind that if you wish to take a dual or combined degree program, you will have to apply to the two programs at the same time to qualify for this special opportunity.

How long does it take to earn an Online Public Health Master’s?

A standard degree in this field will take between two and three years. Many online programs will offer or require an internship before you graduate. Some online degree programs will take up to five years to complete. Each program will be different based on whether or not it is online. The required time will also depend on the number of courses you can commit to each term and whether or not you work or have other family or social obligations.

Potential Careers in Public Health with an Online Master’s

  • Public Health Program Director
    A program director in this field will oversee all healthcare facilities and services for their employer. You might work for a clinic or work in health information. If you work in a clinic, you will be responsible for the policies and procedures all doctors must follow. If you work in health information, you will enforce all federal regulations.
    Average Income: $83,500
  • Public Health Director
    A director is responsible for all administrative activities in regard to public health. You will establish the vision and goals of policies you design within a community. You must monitor and report on the results.
    Average Income: $83,500
  • Healthcare Administrators
    A healthcare administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations of various medical facilities, such as a hospital, doctor’s office, or research lab. You will establish goals and budgets in patient care.
    Average Income: $69,500
  • Epidemiologists
    An epidemiologist is a large part of public health. These individuals work to establish disease patterns, prevent outbreaks, and educate local communities. You might also be responsible for creating educational awareness programs and communicating information to the public, policymakers, medical professionals, and more.
    Average Income: $64,700
  • Health Informatics Manager
    A health informatics manager works in biostatistics and performance analysis. You will analyze and manage health and patient information. These positions are essential in the improvement of patient care, healthcare efficiency, and financial savings.
    Average Income: $68,400

Annual Salary by Occupation

Occupations Entry Level Salary Range Mid-Career Salary Range Late Career Salary Range
Health Educator $38,500 $50,500 $56,800
Epidemiologist $51,500 $75,400 $96,800
Environmental Scientist $43,600 $59,000 $81,700
Medical Laboratory Scientist $51,000 $60,200 $67,200
Health and Safety Specialist $56,300 $65,900 $78,600
Health Informatics Specialist - - -
Healthcare Administrator $55,400 $75,000 $91,800
Biostatistician $67,000 $86,500 $113,700

Options to Advance

You can become an executive and hold C-level positions with an online master’s degree in public health. If you wish to keep ahead of the competition for these types of business-related positions, you should have a dual degree in an MBA and an MPH or a similar combination. Any individual who wishes to advance their career in public health to the highest levels will require a PhD or a doctorate degree, as such positions usually require medical and laboratory work. You might also wish to conduct medical research or become a professor. If so, both positions often require additional graduate degrees. Also, for any high-level position, work experience will be equally as important as a graduate degree.

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