Public health officials monitor health hazards within a community and educate the public on living healthy, meaning they are the cornerstones of healthy communities. If you are interested in ensuring public health, you should further your education by getting an online Master’s Degree in Public Health.
People who work in public health research and understand complex health hazards that may cause harm to large populations. They want their communities, surrounding neighborhoods, state, and even country to be aware of any health risks and hazards. For example, public health professionals were in charge of researching and investigating COVID-19 and what actions the public should take to stay safe and healthy.
If taking part in this type of crucial work appeals to you, read on to learn why you should earn your Master’s Degree in Public Health online, where you can find the best public health programs, and what jobs you can secure upon graduation.
Benefits of Getting Your Master’s in Public Health Online
There are many benefits to earning your Master’s Degree in Public Health online. Firstly, earning your master’s degree opens up new career opportunities that you were not able to get with a bachelor’s degree. Secondly, how you reach this goal is up to you, but learning online is a great way for professionals to further their careers without having to sacrifice their time while attending a traditional, on-campus program.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of completing your degree online.
Financially Affordable: Receiving a degree online means you don’t have to pay any extra fees like a traditional university student would pay. This means there are no dorm, dining, transportation, or laundry costs you have to worry about. You are just responsible for your cost of classes.
Work on Your Own Time: If you are already in the public health field and gaining work experience, then online courses are perfect for you. If you’re not able to partake in the traditional college experience, many online MPH programs have flexible schedules. This means you are able to work on your projects at your own pace without sacrificing your professional or personal duties.
Resources: Just because you are going to school online doesn’t mean that you are not provided the same resources as a traditional student. Many universities offer online students access to career centers to help them find jobs after graduation. They also provide you the opportunity to speak to your professor and connect with your other classmates.
Best Online Master’s in Public Health Programs
It is important for you to receive your degree from a reputable, regionally accredited university that offers great programs worth your time and money. Each school’s curriculum and specializations are different, so choose one that fits your future career goals.
George Washington University is a private university based in Washington, D.C. The GW Milken Institute School of Public Health offers students a program that allows them to learn from working professionals. Its program is focused on teaching students to be leaders in the public health field, ensuring those who want to advance their careers succeed and go on to protect the health of people around the globe.
What is unique about George Washington University’s Master’s Degree in Public Health is that there are three different programs to choose from.
The school offers a 12-month master’s degree program that involves taking 11.5 credits per quarter. The only catch is that you will not be able to work due to the class load.
It also offers an 18-month master’s degree program. During this time, you will be taking 7.5 credits of intensive classes per quarter. Due to this workload, you are only able to work part-time.
Lastly, you are able to customize your own program to fit your schedule. If you are unable to do their 12- or 18-month program, they allow you to choose how many classes you take per quarter and work toward earning your graduate degree at your own pace.
Some classes you will take are:
- Biostatistical Applications for Public Health
- Principles and Policies of Epidemiology
- Introduction to Public Health Communications and Marketing
Along with your core public health classes, you can take elective classes in these public health areas:
- Environmental and Occupational Health
- Global Health
- Health Policy
- Epidemiology and Public Health Research Methods
Tufts University is a private research university based in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Its program is analytical and data-driven for students who are interested in research to make their communities healthier. The program is also based around epidemiology and biostatistics.
During this program, you will learn about using qualitative, quantitative, and other research methods in the public health field. You will also apply epidemiology and biostatistics to public health policies, and learn other forms of analysis and data use for research purposes.
Tufts University’s online program takes between 20 to 36 months to complete depending on how fast you want to earn your degree.
Some of the classes you will take are:
- Analytical Workflow Management
- Public Health Practice Epidemiology
- Public Health Action: Programs, Policy, and Advocacy
- Healthcare Organization: Budgeting and Management
Baylor University is a private university based in Waco, Texas. It offers a great online program to earn a Master’s Degree in Public Health. The program focuses on teaching you how to best serve your community and people around the globe by partnering with different public health organizations.
Baylor University offers its students, online and on-campus, a chance to do a weekend trip to Baylor to volunteer within the community and use your knowledge to practice. If you are unable to attend this practicum, the school does require students to complete their own practicum within their own community to gain experience and test their skills.
Some classes you will take at Baylor include:
- Global Public Health
- Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior and Public Health
- Determinants of Health and Health Equity
- Fundamentals in Environmental Health Science
John Hopkins is a private university based in Baltimore, Maryland. Its program is fully online and is designed to educate students on critical disciplinary training to solve complex public health issues around the globe. This program includes 12 different elective specialties that students are able to take if they wish to specialize in a certain sector.
Earning this degree can take two to three years depending on your schedule and how many classes you want to take per term. The school suggests taking anywhere from one to three classes per term.
Some of the courses offered include:
- Biological Basis of Public Health
- Biotechnology and Health Security
- Epidemiology of Aging
- Essentials of Population Health Management
- Health Behavior: Improving Health Through Health Education/Programs
Michigan State University is a public university based in East Lansing, Michigan. Its program is rigorous and requires a lot of attention. The program focuses on educating students to become leaders in public health. Students are able to take classes part-time or full-time.
Though the program is online, you cannot work on it at your own pace. You can take classes anytime throughout the day, but you must participate in your course regularly to meet expectations. It is estimated you will spend about 12 hours a week on coursework. Michigan State University’s program is designed to meet the expectations of the Council on Education for Public Health.
Some of the courses you will take include:
- Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health
- Environmental Factors of Health
- Principles of Public Health Leadership
- Poverty and Public Health
- Comparative Global Healthcare Systems
After graduating from any of the above programs, you can apply to any position that requires a master’s degree, meaning your career opportunities broaden and your salary will rise.
Public Health Jobs With a Master’s Degree
- Median Pay: $70,990 per year
- Entry-level Education: Master’s Degree
- Number of Jobs in 2019: 8,000
- Job Growth: 5% Increase
- Highest Paying States: Massachusetts, Washington, New Jersey, Washington D.C
- Highest Employment Level: California, Texas, Washington, Georgia
Epidemiologists are public health workers who analyze data to reduce public health risks. They investigate diseases to determine the cause, patterns and trends, and how they spread so effective prevention policies can be implemented and treatments can be found. They are able to work within local and state governments, as well as hospitals and colleges.
Most epidemiologists specialize in a certain section of public health. Those areas include:
- Maternal and child health
- Infectious diseases
- Mental Health
- Environmental Health
- Public Health preparedness and emergency response
- Occupational health
- Oral health
- Median Pay: $91,410 per year
- Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree, but some jobs may require a master’s degree
- Number of Jobs in 2019: 26,400
- Job Growth: 4% increase
- Highest Paying States: California, New Mexico, Washington D.C, Colorado
- Highest Employment Level: California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania
Health and safety engineers design systems and procedures to protect people from illnesses and property from damages. They are responsible for investigating accidents and determining how similar incidents can be prevented in the future.
There are a few different jobs that a health and safety engineer can work hold. These include:
- Fire prevention and protection engineers
- Product safety engineers
- Safety systems engineers
- Median Pay: $46,910 per year
- Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree, but some employers require a master’s degree
- Number of Jobs in 2019: 127,100
- Job Growth: 13% increase
- Highest Paying States: Washington D.C., Rhode Island, Georgia, Maryland
- Highest Employment Level: California, New York, Florida, Texas
Health educators provide education to communities. They develop and implement programs to educate and improve the health of their community. Community health workers collect data on health concerns and share that information with certain affected populations and communities.
These professionals are the bridge between the community and professional healthcare workers. They also develop strategies to improve the health of the communities. They are able to work in healthcare facilities, nonprofits, colleges, and public health departments.
- Median Pay: $100,980 per year
- Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s Degree but some employers require a master’s degree
- Number of Jobs in 2019: 422,300
- Job Growth: 32% increase
- Highest Paying States: Washington D.C., New York, Hawaii, California
- Highest Employment Level: California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas
Medical and health services managers oversee certain departments, clinical areas, or groups of physicians. They plan and coordinate medical services, including department goals, work schedules, recruiting and training staff members, and monitoring budgets. Some positions that are available for medical and health services managers are as nursing home administrators, health information managers, and clinical managers.
Is an Online Master’s in Public Health Right For You?
After reading this article, you should know which schools offer the best online programs for a Mater’s Degree in Public Health. With an understanding of what classes you’ll take and what careers you can land upon graduation, you should be able to decide if this the right career path for you.
If you want to become a leader in the public health environment while continuing to do what you love, protecting the public from any infections and diseases, then enrolling in an online Mater’s Degree in Public Health program is the right decision.
Once you reach your goal, remember there are many public health associations you can join. One of them is the American Public Health Association. This is a member-based organization that influences policies to improve public health.
If an online Master’s Degree in Public Health is right for you, be sure you apply to a regionally accredited university with a program that fits your needs.
Online Master’s in Public Health FAQ
Can I work on my degree on my own time?
For the most part, yes. Most online degree programs allow you to work on your degree at your own pace. Other programs may have deadlines and a schedule you must follow.
Is it a good idea to get my degree online?
Yes. If you are working in the public health field and want to get your master’s degree, getting your degree online is a great way for you to attend school while also gaining work experience.
Does an online master’s in public health cost less than a traditional college experience?
Yes. Online classes are affordable. You do not have to worry about on-campus fees.
How long does an online master’s in public health take to complete?
Depending on your program and the pace at which you take classes, it typically takes two years to earn your master’s degree.