MPH Program Guide

With a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, you can pursue a rewarding career protecting the health of individuals, families and communities. Explore accredited MPH programs and their requirements, tuition and other helpful information with our guide.

Sponsored MPH Online Programs

The program cards/tables featured on this page were last updated in November 2022. For the most current program information, please refer to the official website of the respective school.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Master of Public Health (MPH)

Earn your Master of Public Health (MPH) from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health in as few as 20–24 months. The CEPH-accredited online learning experience offers four concentrations.

  • Three accredited concentrations: MPH Leadership, MPH Nutrition, and Applied Epidemiology
  • Part-time and full-time program options
  • Curriculum includes applied field experience. Field placement services available.

George Washington University


Master of Public Health

With the online Master of Public Health (MPH) program from GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, you can earn your MPH in as few as 12 months. Make a meaningful difference in public health without having to relocate. No GRE required.

  • Complete in as few as 12 months  
  • No GRE required  
  • Accredited by CEPH 

Boston University


Online Master of Public Health

Fully online and offered by the No. 6 School of Public Health, the Boston University Online MPH program offers a skills-based curriculum focused on health equity that prepares graduates to solve real-world public health problems. In just 24 months students will acquire the knowledge and skills to influence change and transform lives in their communities across the globe. No GRE/GMAT required to apply.


What is an MPH?

Stated directly, a MPH is a Masters in Public Health. ‘MPH’ is an acronym for the Master of Public Health Degree. Within the Public Health sector, ‘MPH’ is the common vernacular for the graduate or Masters level degree in Public Health, similar to an MBA for the business field. There are over 30 different specialty tracks or concentrations of the MPH that are available.

What Does Someone With an MPH Degree Do?

The field of public health is concerned with the general health and well-being of individuals and greater society. Public health professionals may conduct research to uncover trends in the spread of disease, identify health disparities or develop policies and legislation aimed at improving public health.

By earning your MPH degree, you can provide direct support to people and organizations through educational programs, supervision, consulting and patient services. Connecting the general public with resources and services—immunizations, family planning tools, occupational safety programs, access to healthcare—is also an important activity in public health work. This can help communities better understand the factors that impact their health as well as preventive measures to mitigate disease and illness.

What You Should Know About the Master of Public Health Degree

An MPH program provides students with the relevant knowledge and hands-on experience they need to enter the field or advance their public health career. However, not all programs are exactly alike. As you explore your options, pay attention to factors like time commitments, opportunities to specialize your studies and capstone projects that demonstrate your proficiency.

Course Structure

Public health is a multidisciplinary field that draws on biology, pathology, immunology and other related sciences. Masters of Public Health candidates should be prepared to take courses that approach public health from a variety of perspectives. This will provide you with a broader knowledge base and give you a better idea of the specializations available within public health.

Social Factors of Public Health

Social factors play a big role in shaping public health outcomes. Depending on your concentration, you may touch on various social aspects of public health, such as access to healthcare, housing and nutrition, forms of discrimination or economic policy. This information can be useful when developing effective plans to prevent or reduce illness within communities.

Career Options for the Masters in Public Health

Public health professionals help to manage the threat of disease and promote positive health outcomes. If you’re interested in a career that makes a difference in the lives of others, an MPH program can prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to treat patients and educate the public.

Top MPH Programs

While an MPH is not necessary to enter the field of public health, it does have its benefits. Students who earn their Masters of Public Health may be better suited for advanced roles with more responsibilities, which often translates to a higher salary. Do you have a particular position in mind? Consider tailoring your studies to your desired subfield by choosing a specialized online MPH program.


If you’re interested in a career that investigates the biology and communication of different diseases, an epidemiology degree program can provide you with a broad understanding around how to control disease. An MPH in Epidemiology focuses on the acquisition, spread and treatment of disease. Through this concentration, you may study how age, sex and other social characteristics contribute to disease prevalence.

Read the Epidemiology MPH Online Guide


Biostatistics blends public health and mathematics to study and analyze health and disease within different communities. By drawing on data, biostatisticians can aid in public health decision-making, design effective interventions and assess the impact of health policies and programs. It may help to have a background in data analysis or statistics before pursuing an MPH in biostatistics.

Read the Biostatistics MPH Online Guide

Environmental Health

How do environmental factors impact human health? What are the effects of environmental hazards? Environmental health professionals aim to answer these questions while addressing a range of factors such as air and water quality, food safety and the built environment. An MPH in environmental health can provide students with a perspective that considers the environment as a whole when solving public health issues.

Read the Environmental Health MPH Online Guide

General Public Health

Students who prefer a broad education in public health may find that the general public health track meets their goals. The MPH may cover topics for various professional pursuits, such as administration, research and microbiology. If you’re interested in a public health career, but aren’t ready to specialize, becoming a public health generalist can open up a wide array of opportunities.

Read the Generalist MPH Online Guide

Social and Behavioral Science

Within societies and communities, people are grouped—or may group themselves—based on economic status, religious belief, or other social or behavioral characteristics. By understanding how group practices can impact overall public health, social and behavioral science professionals can develop effective regimens that lead to positive outcomes. They may also study the acceptance of health programs within different populations.

Read the Social Public Health MPH Online Guide

Disaster Management

From global pandemics and natural disasters to acts of terrorism, crises can occur at any time. Public health professionals can contribute to developing effective disaster preparedness and response procedures. Students who complete an MPH in disaster management may work with first responders and community officials to minimize devastation, prevent illnesses and ensure safe housing and shelter for disaster victims.

Read the Generalist MPH Online Guide

International Public Health

Do you want to understand public health from a global scale? Are you interested in a career path with the potential for international travel? Earning your MPH with a specialization in international public health can help you prepare to research disease and illness, and document health-related trends in certain areas. This degree track may also open up opportunities to work with patients and professionals around the world.

Public Health Policy

Public health, analysis and leadership intersect in the public health policy concentration. The topic explores the laws, regulations, actions and decisions implemented within society to promote health. Students may discuss immunization, reproductive health, overdose protection, data privacy and other issues pertinent to public health.

Public Health Management

Delivering the proper support and resources to the public requires critical thinking and analytic skills. The public health management concentration may introduce topics that encourage proper use of public health policy and management skills in the workplace. Learn what it takes to run and manage a healthcare facility, promote positive patient outcomes and encourage employee success.

Read the Health Administration and Management MPH Guide

Public Health Education

Public health combines topics like biology, policy, law, social behavior and epidemiology. Students pursuing a degree in public health education should understand the interdisciplinary nature of the field in order to be an effective instructor. Whether you want to teach in an academic setting or provide training within an organization, teachers are needed to promote knowledge of disease and illness control.

Health Services Administration

In a health services administration MPH program, students can gain an understanding of the planning that goes into health services. This may include approaches for developing policies and programs that meet patient needs, an in-depth look into biostatistics and the basics of epidemiology. Graduates of this major can play a large role in community health services planning, development and assessment.

Read the Health Services MPH Online Guide

Family and Child Health

An MPH in Family and Child Health focuses on public health policies directed at children and families. Coursework might cover reproductive issues, adolescent health and wellness and general nutrition. This can prepare students for work in government departments at the local, state and national levels.

Community Health

Public health professionals focused on helping communities may study the environmental, psychological or societal influences on the ways those communities respond to illness and disease. Through this major, you might also learn to leverage research and policy analysis to effect change through legislation.

Read the Community Health MPH Online Guide


Nutrition is a huge contributor to individual health and wellness, and can be a strong predictor of how someone will respond to a health crisis. Earning your MPH in Nutrition can introduce you to the relationship between nutrition and disease development, as well as factors that impact food safety and water access.

Read the Public Health Nutrition MPH Guide

Health Promotion

An MPH in Health Promotion can give students the expertise to develop and implement effective health programs for the general public. In this program, you may learn research methods and behavior change models used to improve health behaviors. This can give you the skills and knowledge to collaborate with government and policy-making officials, allowing you to play a large role in promoting overall public health.

Read the Public Health Promotion Degree Guide

Infectious Disease

When an infectious disease outbreak occurs, it’s up to public health officials to limit the spread and inform the public about what is happening. By focusing your MPH studies on infectious diseases, you can learn about the biological mechanisms behind infection and explore different tactics for designing education and intervention programs suited to particular groups or geographical areas.

Public Health Administration

Students seeking positions in public health organizations or management may find that an MPH in Public Health Administration meets their needs. Whether you want to work for a local, state or national agency, you can learn about the planning and coordination of public health services from an organizational standpoint.

MPH in Healthcare

Do you want to apply your knowledge of public health toward a career in healthcare? An MPH in Healthcare can prepare you for management, consulting or government roles dedicated to providing effective patient care. Healthcare professionals may be responsible for educating the public about the spread of illness and disease, working one-on-one with clients and consulting at health centers.

MPH in Local, State or Government Agencies

Public health professionals work at all levels of government to conduct research and provide guidance around health-related issues. They may oversee food and water production, hazard management, large disease outbreaks, emergency response systems or potential environmental safety concerns.

MPH for Pharmaceuticals

Before drugs can be administered to patients, they must be developed, tested and approved to ensure that the public is protected from dangerous or ineffective products. By focusing your MPH coursework on pharmaceuticals, you can gain the skills necessary to provide important insights to drug manufacturers and perform oversight procedures imperative to public health.

MPH in Environmental Science

The environment refers to where people live, the toxins or hazards they are exposed to every day and their natural environment. It is one of the many factors that determines how people might respond in the event of disease or illness. MPH students specializing in environmental science may learn how to assess factors that affect public health such as pollution, waste management, wildlife and climate.

Business MPH

Businesses often employ public health professionals to help them provide healthy work environments for their employees. This may involve implementing waste management programs, crisis prevention plans and other health-related initiatives. With a business MPH, you can help prevent potential mishaps and help protect businesses from lawsuits or closures as a consultant or in an in-house role.

Read the Joint/Dual MPH Online Guide

MPH in Public Policy and Writing

Public health professionals can contribute to public policy through their research and writing. They must be able to properly communicate their knowledge of illness and disease prevention and management, as well as their desired regulatory changes. Students can learn how to use public websites, books, magazines and other media to spread information and bring attention to important subjects that require the public’s attention.

MPH in Education

Public health educators prepare new and upcoming professionals for meaningful careers. Do you have a passion for public health and want to provide others with the information they need to live a healthy life? Whether you’re interested in instructing university students, hosting seminars or speaking at community events, an MPH in Education can give you the tools to instruct on various practices that promote public health.

Accredited MPH Programs

Public health is a highly influential field that gives you the chance to make a positive impact in people’s lives. However, it’s important to choose the right educational path that will help you reach your goals. 

Programs that are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) adhere to strict criteria, including coursework that aids in the development of specific competencies, post-graduation outcomes and a minimum requirement for provided resources. The independent agency is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education specifically for the accreditation of public health institutions.

CEPH Accreditation

University programs that have received CEPH accreditation are widely recognized by employers across the country. These MPH programs provide quality education, meet national academic standards and teach students the skills necessary to properly assess and implement public health programs throughout the United States.

Last Updated: November 2023