Top 5 Online MPH Colleges

If you are thinking about going to college to earn your Master’s degree in public health (MPH), you are making a smart career decision. The demand for public health professionals continues to be on the upswing, as there is more focus on how to keep people from getting sick, rather than just treating them after they become sick.

Featured Online MPH Programs

In recent years, there has been a large increase in the numbers of public health programs offering master’s degrees. Now there are many excellent choices online, so that you can earn your MPH from the comfort of your own home. Our research indicates that the following five online programs are worth your strong consideration:


Johns Hopkins University

Online Master of Public Health


At this top notch private university, you can earn your MPH part time in two to three years. This program features a very flexible curriculum, and the university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.

Approximately 80% of the classes in this highly rated MPH online program can be completed online. It is a very strong option for the student who wants the highest quality public health education, but cannot relocate to the Baltimore campus to study.


Tuition for the part time MPH online program at Johns Hopkins University is $954 per credit hour.


University of Southern California

Online Master of Public Health


This online MPH is ideal for the student who wants to greatly enhance their understanding of public health policy and practice. You may choose to focus your public health studies on these areas:

  • Biostatistics

  • Epidemiology

  • Health Education and Promotion

  • Global Health Leadership

This program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The public health and medical school departments at USC receives more research money from NIH than any other private college in the US.


If you attend the online program part time, you will pay $18,432 each year for tuition.

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George Washington University

Online Master of Public Health


The web-based MPH program at George Washington University stresses health practice on the local, national and global levels. The curriculum also focuses on building your core public health competencies and skills by using case studies and other related materials from the US and overseas. This means that you can tailor your public health studies to your community, country or around the globe.

This program is fully accredited by CEPH, and coursework is in these areas:

  • Biostatistics

  • Epidemiology

  • Cultural competency

  • Health communication

  • Leadership

  • Public health biology

  • Systems thinking


The online tuition for this program is $1298 per credit hour.


University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Online Master of Public Health


No matter if you are a practicing public health professional or are new to the field, earning your MPH at this university will greatly broaden your view of public health around the country and the world.

This program is accredited by the the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Council on Education in Public Health.

Some of the skills that you will learn in this MPH program include:

  • Be able to describe how current health care problems originated

  • Be able to implement best practices in community approaches to health care promotion

  • Apply the most modern and effective epidemiological methods

  • Come up with effective research protocols and be able to interpret the findings

  • Design effective planning and evaluation procedures


The tuition for the part time, online MPH is $414 per credit hour.


Walden University

Online Master of Public Health


The MPH program at Walden University addresses the serious need for highly prepared public health professionals, and will give you the quality credentials that you need to be an advocate for public health in your community, country and the world.

This program is fully accredited by the The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.

The MPH program can be completed entirely online in two years, and it will give you a strong foundation in all of the core disciplines in public health. You also will have full access to accomplished scholars and practitioners in the field of public health in the government and nonprofit sectors.


The cost of this MPH program is $445 per credit hour.


Selection Criteria for Top5 Online MPH Colleges


The quality of any public health program rests on the academic standards of the department that offers it. The qualifications of the faculty, the research and reference resources available, the subjects covered in the curriculum, the standards for administrative support and evaluation… these are all aspects of your degree program that you really want to know are nailed down.

That’s why accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is a crucial criteria behind the schools on this list. As the speciality accreditation agency for public health programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Educationsince 1974, CEPH evaluates MPH programs according to the unique demands and core competencies required for public health service. Accreditation is so important that it is a requirement in order to sit for the major professional certification exam, the CPH (Certified in Public Health) from NBPHE (National Board of Public Health Examiners).


Public health is a field that is constantly evolving, and it’s evolving because of the hard work that instructors and graduate students put into both statistical and on-the-ground research efforts. Getting directly involved in the front-line investigations of emerging threats, old epidemiological issues, and new challenges such as the health effects of climate change are all deeply important not only to the state of knowledge in public health, but to your own formative experiences in the field.

Finding a school with the right blend of research that both covers your chosen concentration and offers enough depth in innovative and relevant investigations is important, which is why we’ve made research a priority in our selections.


Although the CEPH accreditation process covers the basic skills and qualifications that a public health program must require of faculty, there’s plenty of room above that baseline for schools to distinguish themselves. There’s no question that it’s a field that has rock stars… professors like Minnesota’s Ancel Keys, who launched the revolutionary Seven Countries Study, or James Harlan Steele of UT, widely considered to be the father of veterinary public health.

And while not every school has a faculty that reaches those heights, there are many that have instructors who are highly respected in the field. We sought out programs who have faculty with genuine on-the-ground experience and expertise in the field who are active in making important contributions in both research and practice.


Although cost was not our primary consideration in developing this top picks list, it’s always something to look at when considering what school to pick for a MPH degree. Online degrees are often a great option for pricing, since they avoid many of the expenses of on-campus education and frequently offer a flat-rate even to out-of-state students.


The top schools in public health don’t hide their light under a bushel; usually we’re not the only ones who have figured out they belong on lists like this. We consider the opinions of other popular third-party rankings, such as those from The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, or the Economist. Chances are good that a school we’ve found at the top of the spectrum has also been well-reviewed by one or more of them.

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Public health is a hands-on business, and any CEPH-accredited program will include an applied practical experience component that puts you out in the real world for a face-to-face exposure to the conditions that you will face in practicing after graduation. This kind of internship experience is critical for the kind of practical, well-rounded graduates that the field demands, and some schools do a better job of planning, supporting, and placing students in experiential positions than others. It’s a special challenge for online programs, which have to deal with widely dispersed student bodies and coordinate internships in accessible locations. The programs on this list are all at the top of their game in dealing with the challenges of practicum placements for remote students.

Remote Learning

When looking at online programs, there is a whole set of considerations that we apply beyond the basics required of any public health program. Is the remote program synchronous or asynchronous? Do you have the same access to faculty as on campus students? What kind of technical support is offered? How do experiential learning requirements and research opportunities fit in? These are all aspect that we consider before deciding what programs truly fit into the top online choices in MPH degrees today.


All schools shown here have been contacted and informed of their inclusion on this list. Schools that do not wish to be featured are immediately removed. School names are the registered trademarks of their original owners. The use of any trade name or trademark does not imply any association with the school.

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