2020 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs

By the OnlineU team | Updated 8/12/2021
2020 Most Affordable Public Health Masters Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 8/12/2021

Graduates of online master's in public health (MPH) programs work in a variety of capacities, such as epidemiologists and environmental specialists. Many of these are lucrative, high-growth occupations. For example, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that medical and health services managers earn a median annual salary of $100,980, and demand for these professionals is projected to grow by 32% over the next decade.

Below, we provide a list of 25 accredited colleges offering the most affordable online MPH programs. We also include information about the cost of a degree, options for funding your program, and whether an online MPH will be worth it.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our rankings of the most affordable online bachelor's in public health degrees. View our methodology or learn more about OnlineU.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 New Mexico State University $5,593
# 2 #2 Columbia Southern University $5,670
# 3 #3 Lamar University $5,775
# 4 #4 University of Missouri $6,804
# 5 #5 Mississippi University for Women $7,424
# 6 #6 University of Nevada - Reno $7,525
# 7 #7 North Dakota State University - Main Campus $7,867
# 8 #8 American Public University System $8,400
# 9 #9 University of Alabama $8,820
# 10 #10 SUNY at Albany $9,605
# 11 #11 University of Illinois at Springfield $9,774
# 12 (tie) #12 (tie) South Dakota State University $9,781
# 12 (tie) #12 (tie) University of South Dakota $9,781
# 14 #14 Indiana State University $10,820
# 15 #15 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota $11,050
# 16 #16 Shenandoah University $11,200
# 17 #17 Southern New Hampshire University Online $11,286
# 18 #18 University of Alabama at Birmingham $11,529
# 19 #19 Texas A&M University-College Station $11,636
# 20 #20 Purdue University Global $11,760
# 21 #21 University of South Carolina-Columbia $12,017
# 22 #22 San Jose State University $12,075
# 23 #23 University of Nebraska Medical Center $12,180
# 24 #24 Nova Southeastern University $12,200
# 25 #25 University of Massachusetts - Amherst $12,915
#1
#1

New Mexico State University

Las Cruces (NM)
Annual Tuition: $5,593
Annual Tuition: $5,593
Annual Tuition: $5,593

New Mexico State University (NMSU) offers an online Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Health Behavior and Promotion (HBHP) or Health Management, Administration, and Policy (HMAP). Students in the 42-credit program must attend an on-campus orientation at the beginning of their first semester. Students can complete the remaining degree requirements online, including 15 credits of core courses, 18 credits of concentration courses, three credits of cultural foundation courses, and... three field experience credits. Students in the HBHP concentration may choose between a thesis and non-thesis option, while students in the HMAP track must select the non-thesis option. The program can be completed in 3-4 years.

Online courses are asynchronous and delivered through the Canvas learning management system. Online learners will also utilize Skype, Zoom, and Adobe Connect technology. Students can pay for tuition per-credit-hour and enroll in a payment plan. Active military students are eligible for reduced tuition rates. There are many awards available to current graduate students, including the Mike Watts Outstanding Leadership Award, Merit-based Enhancement Award, and more. Students have access to the ICT Help Desk and electronic library resources.

Applicants must submit an institutional application to NMSU and the graduate program supplement application. After applying, prospective graduate students will be contacted via email with additional instructions.

  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1150
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 966
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 809
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (575) 646-0111

Example Classes: Biostatistical Applications in Public Health, Community and Pyschosocial Aspects of Public Health, Environmental Public Health Issues, Epidemiological Approaches to Disease Control and Prevention, Health Services System: Administration and Organization, Techniques of Health Communication/Education

#2
#2

Columbia Southern University

Orange Beach (AL)
Annual Tuition: $5,670
Annual Tuition: $5,670
Annual Tuition: $5,670

Columbia Southern University (CSU) offers an online Master of Public Administration degree. The 36-credit program focuses on resolving societal problems regarding ethics, policy, and more. Students are required to complete 24 credits of major courses, including Public Administration Ethics, Organizational Policy, and Strategic Planning, in addition to 12 credits of concentration courses. Students must develop a comprehensive personal leadership training plan in the Critical Issues in Leadership course....

Online coursework is asynchronous, and students must complete assignments within set deadlines. Students may enroll in a self-paced study option; however, this program is not eligible for financial aid. CSU accepts transfer credits for previously earned academic credits or professional experience and offers a reduced tuition rate for active duty military members. Additionally, students can pay tuition through weekly, biweekly, or monthly payment options. Tuition fees cover the cost of textbooks. Multiple scholarships are available for military and public safety personnel, such as the Robert G. Mayes Memorial Scholarship and the Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship. Additionally, the Knight Scholarship is intended for prospective students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate online degree program.

Students must have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution to apply to the graduate program. Applicants must submit a completed application and official transcripts.

  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 22%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 14,364
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 5,670
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC
  • Phone #: (251) 981-3771 x1278

Example Classes: Applied Biostatistics, Concepts of Environmental Health, Grant Writing in Public Health, Law and Ethics in Public Health, Public Health in Genetics, Public Health Research Methods

#3
#3

Lamar University

Beaumont (TX)
Annual Tuition: $5,775
Annual Tuition: $5,775
Annual Tuition: $5,775

Lamar University offers an online Master of Public Health program that focuses on health issues that affect low socioeconomic populations, including how to approach and control major environmental health problems. The 42-credit curriculum includes 27 credits of core courses, nine credits of electives, and a 6-credit capstone course sequence where students develop a research proposal and seminar. The core courses cover theories in social and behavioral sciences, health program administration, and... research methods in diverse populations. Students can complete the program in 24 months.

Online classes follow an asynchronous format. Coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, where students can access pre-recorded video lectures and simulations, submit assignments, and participate in discussion boards. Students have the option to pay tuition by the course. Military and veteran students can receive credit for prior military training or education. The application fee is waived for active duty military members. Online students have access to technical support and electronic library resources.

To apply, students must submit an online application (with fee) and official transcripts; however, community college transcripts are not required for graduate applicants. Prospective students must have a bachelor's degree from a nationally accredited university with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Average SATs: 960 -1140
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,222
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 6,150
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (409) 880-7011

Example Classes: Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Foundations of Health Promotion in Diverse Communities, Health Program Planning and Evaluation in Diverse Communities, Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle Interventions, Public Health Surveillance and Emergency Preparedness

#4
#4

University of Missouri

Columbia (MO)
Annual Tuition: $6,804
Annual Tuition: $6,804
Annual Tuition: $6,804

At the University of Missouri, students who enroll in the Master of Public Health program must select one of two areas of emphasis: health promotion and policy or veterinary public health. The 45-credit hour curriculum for both concentrations includes research projects, internships, and a capstone course that provide students with hands-on experience. The program also prepares students to meet specific competencies in accordance with the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) guidelines. MPH... students may consider participating in a two-week summer study abroad program. If desired, students can choose to earn one of four dual degrees that combine an MPH with a doctor of veterinary medicine, master’s in journalism, master’s in public affairs, or master’s of social work.

At “Mizzou,” students read course materials, complete and submit homework activities, and participate in discussion forums, all through the Canvas learning management system. Distance learning students have access to academic advisors and career development services.

The application deadlines are June 1 for a fall start date, October 1 for a spring start date, and April 1 for a summer start date. Bachelor’s degree holders can submit their applications online. Additional application materials include transcripts, a resume, letters of recommendation, and two essays.

  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Average SATs: 1120 -1340
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 835
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,423
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (573) 882-2121

Example Classes: Developing and Evaluating Global Public Health Programs, Health Care in the United States, Health Promotion Campaign Successes and Failures, Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Global Health, Mental Health Policy, Public Policy Processes and Strategies

#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $7,424
Annual Tuition: $7,424
Annual Tuition: $7,424

The Mississippi University for Women (MUW), a coeducational college, offers an online Master of Public Health degree. Enrolled students must complete a total of 45 credits, three of which are devoted to either a thesis, an internship, or a capstone research project. Core courses include environmental health sciences, community health education methods, program administration, gender issues, and social and behavioral sciences. The program also helps develop organizational, planning, and research skills.... The curriculum prepares students to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam, and graduates have gone on to work in government agencies, schools, and other health care facilities.

MUW students use the Canvas online learning system to access course materials, submit assignments, and engage in class discussions with their peers and instructors. The university charges the same per-credit fees for in-state and out-of-state students, and it offers payment plans. Various types of financial aid may be available for online graduate students.

Interested students should submit their applications online by August 1. Along with their application forms, they need to submit official transcripts of a bachelor’s degree, references, a resume, and a personal essay.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Acceptance Rate: 98%
  • Average SATs: 960 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 809
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 118
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (662) 329-4750

Example Classes: Community Health Education Methods, Environmental and Occupational Health, Gender Issues in Health, Nutrition for Health, Stress Management, Survey of Human Disease

#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $7,525
Annual Tuition: $7,525
Annual Tuition: $7,525
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Average SATs: 1070 -1290
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 187
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 879
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Phone #: (775) 784-1110

Example Classes: Epidemiological Surveillance, GIS and Spatial Analysis in Public Health, Health Policy, Public Health Information Systems and Data Management, Public Health Law

#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $7,867
Annual Tuition: $7,867
Annual Tuition: $7,867
  • Online Degrees: 5
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Average SATs: 1040 -1265
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 354
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 238
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (701) 231-8011

Example Classes: Biostatistics, Community Health Leadership, Environmental Health for Public Health Professionals, Essentials in Epidemiology, Public Health Management and Policy, Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health

#8
#8
Annual Tuition: $8,400
Annual Tuition: $8,400
Annual Tuition: $8,400
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 37,335
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 7,914
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (877) 468-6268

Example Classes: Disaster Health Management, Emergency Management Health and Medical Issues, Ethical Issues in Public Health, Public Health in America, Quarantine

#9
#9

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa (AL)
Annual Tuition: $8,820
Annual Tuition: $8,820
Annual Tuition: $8,820
  • Online Degrees: 5
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Average SATs: 1080 -1340
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,856
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,659
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (205) 348-6010

Example Classes: Advanced Foundations of Health Promotion, Health Disparities, Sexuality Education: Theory and Practice, Techniques of Research in Health, Theories of Health Behavior, Worksite Health Promotion Programs

#10
#10

SUNY at Albany

Albany (NY)
Annual Tuition: $9,605
Annual Tuition: $9,605
Annual Tuition: $9,605
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Acceptance Rate: 54%
  • Average SATs: 1090 -1250
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 140
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 737
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Phone #: (518) 442-3300

Example Classes: Biological Basis of Public Health, Global Environmental Health Policy, Grant Writing for Public Health, Health Care Organization, Finance, and Delivery, Program Evaluation, Value-Based Health Care

#11
#11
Annual Tuition: $9,774
Annual Tuition: $9,774
Annual Tuition: $9,774
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Acceptance Rate: 52%
  • Average SATs: 995 -1220
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 889
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 859
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (217) 206-6600

Example Classes: Analytical Epidemiology, Community Health Education, Economics for Policy Analysis, Environmental Risk Assessment, Epidemiology of Infectious and Chronic Diseases, Public Health in the Political Arena

#12
#12
Annual Tuition: $9,781
Annual Tuition: $9,781
Annual Tuition: $9,781
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Acceptance Rate: 91%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1260
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,221
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 314
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (800) 952-3541

Example Classes: Environmental Health, Maternal and Child Nutrition, Nutrition and Aging, Parasitology, Rural Health Policies and Education, Women and Children's Health

#12
#12

University of South Dakota

Vermillion (SD)
Annual Tuition: $9,781
Annual Tuition: $9,781
Annual Tuition: $9,781
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Acceptance Rate: 87%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1180
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,921
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 983
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (605) 658-6200

Example Classes: Drugs and Behavior, International Health Systems, Promotion of Health and Prevention of Disability, Public Health and Native American Communities, Public Policy and Addiction, U.S. Health Services System

#14
#14

Indiana State University

Terre Haute (IN)
Annual Tuition: $10,820
Annual Tuition: $10,820
Annual Tuition: $10,820
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,894
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 880
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (812) 237-6311

Example Classes: Applied Communications in Health Professions, Health Behavior Theories, Health Policy Leadership, Principles of Environmental Health, Statistical Methods in Health Sciences

#15
#15
Annual Tuition: $11,050
Annual Tuition: $11,050
Annual Tuition: $11,050
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1196
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 49
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,381
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (507) 457-1600

Example Classes: Design of Community Health Programs and Interventions, Environmental Determinants of Health, Evaluation of Community Health Programs, Population Health and Community Organizing, Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health, Strategic Health and Human Services Leadership

#16
#16

Shenandoah University

Winchester (VA)
Annual Tuition: $11,200
Annual Tuition: $11,200
Annual Tuition: $11,200
  • Online Degrees: 4
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Average SATs: 1000 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 5
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 492
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (540) 665-4500

Example Classes: Health Communication, History and Philosophy of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health, Public Health Law and Ethics, Public Health Perspectives on Chronic Disease, Rural Health System

#17
#17
Annual Tuition: $11,286
Annual Tuition: $11,286
Annual Tuition: $11,286
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 86,849
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 19,526
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
  • Phone #: (603) 668-2211

Example Classes: Biostatistics, Health Policy and Management, Population-Based Epidemiology, Principles of Environmental Health, Program Planning and Evaluation for Public Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences

#18
#18
Annual Tuition: $11,529
Annual Tuition: $11,529
Annual Tuition: $11,529
  • Online Degrees: 7
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Average SATs: 1090 -1365
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,398
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 3,338
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (205) 934-4011

Example Classes: Assessing & Managing Environmental Risks, Finance for Health Professionals, Fundamentals Of Air & Water Pollution, Health Economics and Public Health Policy, Health Insurance & Managed Care, Social and Ethical Issues in Public Health

#19
#19
Annual Tuition: $11,636
Annual Tuition: $11,636
Annual Tuition: $11,636
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 76%
  • Graduation Rate: 82%
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Average SATs: 1160 -1390
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 137
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,950
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (979) 845-3211

Example Classes: Biostatistics I, Data Management/Computing, Epidemiologic Methods I, Introduction to Health Policy & Management, Principles of Environmental & Occupational Health, Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health

#20
#20

Purdue University Global

Indianapolis (IN)
Annual Tuition: $11,760
Annual Tuition: $11,760
Annual Tuition: $11,760
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 76%
  • Graduation Rate: 27%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 28,447
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 9,331
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (317) 208-5311

Example Classes: Environmental Health, Foundations in Public Health, Health Behavior, Public Health Leadership and Administration

#21
#21
Annual Tuition: $12,017
Annual Tuition: $12,017
Annual Tuition: $12,017
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 77%
  • Acceptance Rate: 72%
  • Average SATs: 1180 -1370
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 454
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,462
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (803) 777-7000

Example Classes: Applied Health Communication, Consumer Health in Contemporary Society, Evaluation of Health Promotion Programs, Health Promotion Research Methods, Race, Ethnicity, and Health: Examining Health Inequalities, Theoretical Foundations of Health Promotion

#22
#22
Annual Tuition: $12,075
Annual Tuition: $12,075
Annual Tuition: $12,075
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Average SATs: 1020 -1260
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 324
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,611
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WSCUC
  • Phone #: (408) 924-1000

Example Classes: Community Organization and Health Promotion, Computational Public Health Statistics, Environmental Health, Health Services Organization, Multicultural Communication for Health Professionals, Principles and Skills of Health Administration

#23
#23
Annual Tuition: $12,180
Annual Tuition: $12,180
Annual Tuition: $12,180
  • Online Degrees: 10
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 147
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 528
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Phone #: (402) 559-4000

Example Classes: Applied Research in Public Health, Epidemiology in Public Health, Health Care Finance, Health Promotion Program Planning, Public Health Program Evaluation, Strategic Planning & Management in Public Health

#24
#24

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale (FL)
Annual Tuition: $12,200
Annual Tuition: $12,200
Annual Tuition: $12,200
  • Online Degrees: 3
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Acceptance Rate: 58%
  • Average SATs: 1070 -1280
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 292
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 5,532
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Phone #: (954) 262-7300

Example Classes: All Hazards Preparedness, Community Health Project, Culture, Ethnicity, and Health, Global Health, Public Health Issues of the Elderly, Substance Abuse: Prevention and Intervention

#25
#25
Annual Tuition: $12,915
Annual Tuition: $12,915
Annual Tuition: $12,915
  • Online Degrees: 2
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 82%
  • Acceptance Rate: 58%
  • Average SATs: 1190 -1390
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,217
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,282
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
  • Phone #: (413) 545-0111

Example Classes: Communicable Disease Epidemiology, Nutritional Epidemiology, Public Health and Childhood Obesity, Public Health and Diabetes, Public Health Emergency Management, Violence as a Public Health Problem

Common Master's in Public Health Courses

Public health professionals develop and implement programs designed to promote wellness within their communities and beyond. Master's programs in public health prepare graduates to assume these roles by teaching them the core competencies, foundational knowledge, and analytical skills they need to work both in research and practical environments. Courses commonly found in an online Master of Public Health program include:

  • Principles of Public Health: One of the first courses in a master's of public health program, this class introduces key topics, such as community and environmental health, social and behavioral determinants of health, epidemiology, biostatistics, and health policy and systems. Case studies provide real-world applications of these concepts and show how they are interrelated.
  • Biostatistics: With a heavy emphasis on advanced mathematical concepts, this course examines the use of quantitative methods to help solve public health problems. Students use probability, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and nonparametric tests to analyze research data that pertains to public health.
  • Community Health: One of two companion courses that explore major disciplines within public health, a community health course focuses on the socioeconomic, racial, and cultural determinants of a community's health. Coursework also examines the models and programs used to address common concerns.
  • Environmental Health: The companion to a community health course, an environmental health course informs students about the effects of natural and human-caused conditions on a community's health. Students learn to investigate, analyze, and develop policies and programs considering environmental factors such as air, water, soil, and other physical characteristics that create healthy living environments.
  • Epidemiology: This introductory course provides a general overview of the causes of diseases, disorders, defects, and injuries that may occur in human populations. Students develop critical thinking skills as they analyze public health problems and evaluate possible interventions and treatments.

How Much Does an Online MPH Degree Cost?

Of the schools we've researched at OnlineU to rank the most affordable online master's degrees across subjects, the median annual tuition rate for online master's programs is $10,448 at public colleges and $11,475 at private universities. For the most affordable online MPH degrees, the cost of annual tuition ranges from $5,593 to $12,915.

The total cost of an online Master of Public Health (MPH) can vary based on several factors but the most significant is tuition. To get an accurate comparison of tuition fees, students can determine a school's per-credit tuition rate and multiply that by the number of credits required to graduate. At the 25 schools on our list of most affordable online MPH degrees, the per-credit tuition rates start at $315 and go up to $700, and most programs require 30-50 credit hours.

In addition to tuition, prospective students need to add in the cost of books, supplies, and various fees charged by the school, including application and technology fees. Some students may also need to account for special expenses, including childcare, student loan interest, and travel costs associated with any on-campus residencies or workshops that are a required part of the curriculum.


Funding an Online MPH Program

Students who would like to earn a Master of Public Health degree online have a number of options for funding their education. Most students begin the process by filling out and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The school or schools they're interested in attending will then provide an offer detailing the types of financial aid that are available. The best options are funding types that don't need to be paid back, which include scholarships, fellowships, and grants offered by universities or private organizations. Some online graduate students may also be able to cover a portion of their educational expenses through teaching assistantships or by engaging in other types of work-study programs. Many students will also be eligible for federal or private loans, but these are less desirable due to the interest that must be paid back.

Because there is a growing need for public health professionals, many organizations offer financial aid for students pursuing degrees in this field.

Because there is a growing need for public health professionals—the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13% increase in the need for health educators through 2029, for example—many organizations offer financial aid for students pursuing degrees in this field. Some of the available master's-level scholarships include:

There are also fellowships available for MPH students:


Is an Online MPH Worth It?

Students may be wondering whether a master's in public health will be a useful stepping stone for their future goals, and whether online programs provide the same benefits as in-person programs do.

A Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from an accredited college or university is a versatile credential, ideal for anyone who is interested in health issues and serving the public. On campus or online, the curriculum for most MPH programs encompasses courses from the social sciences, such as health-related public policy, psychology, and health education, as well as scientific courses in epidemiology, infectious diseases, and environmental health. This level of diversity means that graduates are prepared to pursue a number of different occupations in the field.

Not only are there numerous career opportunities for MPH degree holders, many of these occupations are increasing in demand and offer comfortable salaries.

According to ONET Online, the need for clinical research coordinators—who earn a median annual salary of $129,100—could increase by 7%, which is above the 4% growth rate for all occupations. Public health management analysts earn a median annual salary of $85,260, and demand for these individuals is expected to grow by 8% or more. The need for environmental health scientists is also projected to increase by at least 8%, and these professionals earn median annual salaries of $71,360. When these outcomes are compared to the initial cost of an online MPH, a master's degree might be a smart investment.

Earning an MPH through distance education brings its own benefits:

  • Many of today's hiring managers understand the value of an online education from an accredited university and are starting to have just as much respect for online MPH degrees as for traditional, on-campus degrees.
  • With so many online degrees—including some with special concentrations, such as health policy, community nutrition, or health education—to choose from, students can easily find the right program at the right cost for their needs.
  • In addition to honing their abilities for research and analysis, online public health students are able to develop "soft" skills, such as collaboration, communication, time management, organization, and problem solving, that are extremely valuable in the workplace.

Online MPH programs are often as effective at preparing graduates for rewarding careers in public health as their on-campus counterparts, and they offer some unique benefits to students. Ultimately, however, determining whether an online MPH degree is a good choice for an individual is a personal decision based on career goals, interests, and financial resources.