Issues in public health have been around for quite some time, but the topic might be important now more than ever. As we continue to embark on the unknown, professionals in the field of pubic health are in high demand. An online Master of Public Health is a graduate-level degree that will focus on promoting collective health and safety of people. Students in these programs can expect less of a research-oriented degree and more of an applied, hands-on fieldwork degree. Graduates of online MPH programs can pursue careers in health care settings, non-profit organizations, or government agencies.

With an accelerated degree program, public health professionals are able to complete their degree in a shorter amount of time and advance their career accordingly. Many accelerated degree programs are taught over an online learning platform that allows for incredible flexibility. This makes it possible for the student to explore advancement opportunities while still on the job. In most cases, students will be able to accept new employment opportunities prior to graduating simply due to the fact that they are able to use their newly learned skills almost immediately.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Accelerated MPH Online Programs

For the Fast Online Master’s ranking of the most affordable accelerated online MPH programs, FOM editors feature only accredited, legitimate colleges and universities. Programs are presented in order of tuition cost, using the current figures from IPEDS – lowest tuition to highest. 

1. New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that is among New Mexico’s best accelerated MPH online programs. NMSU’s degree is also noted as one of the most affordable online MPH programs and only requires two years to complete, even for those working professionals. New Mexico State University’s MPH degree has received accreditation from the CEPH and offers concentrations in health behavior & health promotion, or health management administration & policy. Check out NMSU’s dual degree, which includes a Master of Social Work.

Established as Las Cruces College in the late 1880s, New Mexico State University now operates as a land and space grant school with a student enrollment that exceeds 24,000 students across all campuses. New Mexico State University also holds the distinction of being one of the flagship schools in New Mexico and the state’s oldest institution of higher education.

Program: MPH

2. University of Montana

The University of Montana offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program that is one of Montana’s most affordable online MPH programs with CEPH accreditation. The University of Montana’s degree is also among the best accelerated MPH online programs in the state, needing only two years to complete – all online. This 42 credit MPH program from the University of Montana includes classes like epidemiology, fundamentals of biostatistics, and public health administration and management, plus an integrative learning experience, among others.

Founded in the mid-1890s before Montana entered the union, the University of Montana operates as Montana’s flagship campus with more than 10,650 students each year. The University of Montana is organized into nine colleges/schools offering degrees in humanities/sciences, education, forestry/conservation, health sciences, technology, arts/media, honors, business, and law.

Program: MPH

3. University of Nevada, Reno

The University of Nevada, Reno offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that is one of Nevada’s most affordable online MPH programs with CEPH accreditation. With multiple start dates each year, the Reno campus of the University of Nevada’s accelerated MPH online programs can be completed in only 24 months, without a residency requirement. Sample coursework for this MPH degree program includes environmental health, public health law, and ethics, information systems management, and health policy, to name a few.

The Reno campus @ the University of Nevada is a land grant school that was established in Elko, Nevada, in the mid 18740s. In addition, UN Reno is a space-grant school that is also home to the state’s first medical school, with medical facilities throughout the state. More than 20,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students attend classes online and on the reno campus each year.

Program: MPH

4. University of North Texas Health Science Center

The Health Science Center at the University of North Texas Health offers a Master of Public Health Leadership degree (MPH) program that is among Texas’s most innovative accelerated MPH online programs. In addition, UNTHSC’s most affordable online MPH programs require degree candidates to complete 48 graduate semester credits. The school offers a 42-credit hour MPH program for working learners who have at least three years of professional experience in the medical or public health field. Both programs can be completed in as few as 24 months.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center is an academic medical facility that was established in 1970. UNTHSC is a senior member of the UNT system with more than 2,100 students each year. The University of North Texas Health Science Center is home to TECH Fort Worth, a biochemical incubator project and the largest research growth of all academic health centers in Texas.

Program: MPH Professional Option

5. North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that provides two specializations – community health sciences or epidemiology. North Dakota State University’s innovative accelerated MPH online programs can be completed in only two years – entirely online. The foundational classes for ND State’s most affordable online MPH programs include public health management and policy, environmental health, essentials in epidemiology, to name a few.

Established as an agricultural college in 1890, North Dakota State University now operates as the flagship and research institution of higher education. More than 13,060 students attend classes online and on the school’s Fargo campus. The university offers more than 200 academic and diploma programs online and on-campus. North Dakota State Universi is also a land-grant and space-grant school that is a member school of North Dakota’s university system.

Program: MPH

6. Texas A&M Health Science Center

Texas A&M Health Science Center offers a Master of Public Health degree program (MPH) with a specialty in Epidemiology that is among the Lone Star State’s most affordable online MPH programs. In addition, Texas A&M Health Science Center’s accelerated MPH online programs offer students a completion timeframe of two years, without any required residencies. Sample coursework for this MPH degree includes principles of environmental health, assessment & intervention – problems in public health, and an applied practicum, to name a few.

Founded in the late 1990s, Texas A&M Health Science Center is the academic medical of the A&M university system, with more than 600 students attending classes each year. Texas A&M Health Science Center is organized into five schools/colleges in the areas of public health, pharmacy, nursing, medicine, and dentistry.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

7. Colorado School of Public Health

The Colorado School of Public Health offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program with an academic concentration in Leadership and Public Health Practice that is among Colorado’s most innovative accelerated MPH online programs that have a completion time of only two years. Colorado School of Public Health’s most affordable online MPH programs require students to finish a minimum of 42 graduate semester credits. The core classes for CSPH’s MPH program include epidemiology, foundations I public health, and social & behavioral factors and health, plus a capstone and practicum, to name a few.

The Colorado School of Public Health is an academic medical college that is organized to represent these schools – the University of Colorado, the University of Northern Colorado, and Colorado State University. The school maintains three campuses throughout Colorado ad was established in 2008. The Colorado School of Public Health offers 18 concentrations through five divisions in biostatistics/informatics, community/behavioral health, epidemiology, health system/management, and environmental and occupational health.

Program: MPH – Leadership and Public Health Practice

8. University of West Florida

The University of West Florida offers a CEPH-accredited Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that provides students three academic specializations – global health/health promotion, education & behavior, and generalist. Students enrolled in UWF’s accelerated MPH online programs are required to complete 42-semester credits, which can be completed in two years. In addition, UWF’s most affordable online MPH programs include classes in environmental health, epidemiology for public health professionals, and biostatistics for public health, plus a practicum, among others.

Founded in the mid-1960s, the University of West Florida is also a member school of Florida’s state university system. More than 12,650 undergraduate and postgraduate students study online and on the university’s Pensacola campus in west Florida. At the time of its inception, the University of West Florida became the sixth school of the state system, which now has twelve member schools across the state.

Program: MPH

9. San Jose State University

San Jose State University offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that is ranked among California’s most affordable online MPH programs. San Jose State University’s public health master’s degrees are also accelerated MPH online programs, with an anticipated completion time of two years. Students enrolled in San Jose State University’s online MPH degree are required to complete 42 graduate units. This is a residency requirement for a few days each year of study.

San Jose State University (San Jose State) is a public university that was established in the 1850s. This state school is noted to be the founding member of the CSU system, with a student enrollment that exceeds 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. San Jose State University consistently ranks as one of the schools that produce the highest number of graduates that work for technological firms in nearby Silicon Valley.

Program: MPH

10. University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that provides students six academic specialties. The academic concentrations available in the University of Alabama’s accelerated MPH online programs include occupation/environmental health, health behavior, epidemiology, organization & policy, and maternal/child health policy leadership. Students can complete one of these most affordable online MPH programs in about twenty-four months. Sample classes include quantitative methods in public health, public health leadership, and public health management & evaluation, among others.

Established in the 1939s as an academic extension facility, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is a research institution of higher education that is also a member school of the state university system. With more than 22,450 students. The University of Alabama offers more than 125 academic and diploma programs from the university’s twelve academic divisions.

Program: MPH – 6 concentrations

11. Florida A&M University

Florida A&M University offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that is among the Sunshine State’s most innovative accelerated MPH online programs that can be completed in about two years. FAMU’s most affordable online MPH programs are the first of its kind to be offered by an HBCU, and the first MPH accredited program in the northern part of Florida. Florida A&M University’s graduate degree in public health requires the completion of 50-semester credits and is available to both full and part-time students.

Established more than 100 years ago in 1909, Florida A&M University is recognized as an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) school and the third-largest HBCU in the nation, with more than 10,000 students attending classes online and on-campus. Florida A&M University is the only HBCU in Florida and a member of Florida’s state university system.

Program: MPH

12. East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that prepares graduates for leadership roles throughout the healthcare system. East Tennessee State University’s most affordable online MPH programs are offered with four concentrations in biostatistics, epidemiology, community health, and environmental health, with no GRE requirement for any of the available concentrations. East Tennessee State University’s accelerated MPH online programs have received accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health.

East Tennessee State University (East Tennessee) was established in 1911 as a state-funded normal school for teachers and now operates multiple campuses that serve 14,250 undergraduate and graduate students each year. East Tennessee State University offers the only master’s degree program in storytelling. Tennessee State University holds the distinction of being the fourth biggest university in Tennessee.

Program: MPH

13. University of South Florida

The University of South Florida offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) academic degree program with a variety of educational concentrations. These accelerated MPH online programs from USF offer specializations in social marketing, nutrition & dietetics, health, safety, and the environment, infection control, public health practice, & global disaster management. Classes for these most affordable online MPH programs include history and systems of public health, biostatistics, survival analysis, and population assessment, plus a practicum, among others.

The University of South Florida was chartered in the 1950s but now is a multiple campus institution of higher learning and the 4th largest school in the Sunshine State, with a student enrollment that exceeds 50,500 students. The University of South Florida is a space-grant school organized into fourteen schools/colleges that offer nearly 200 undergraduate and graduate program options.

Program: MPH – 6 concentrations

14. University of Nebraska Medical Center

The University of Nebraska Medical Center offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that requires degree candidates to finish at least 42 graduate credit units. This accelerated MPH online programs include concentrations in public health policy, maternal and child, epidemiology, health promotion, environmental and occupational health, biostatistics, and emergency preparedness. Students enrolled in UNMC’s most affordable online MPH programs can finish the program in only two years. 

Chartered in the 1860s as Omaha Medical College, the University of Nebraska Medical Center became a member school of the state’s university system in 1902. This academic university serves more than 4,100 students each year online and on the university’s Omaha campus. Notable alumni of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College include a Whitehouse Fellow, governors, nursing school deans, CEOs of pharmaceutical companies, and many distinguished medical professionals.

Program: MPH

15. Eastern Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University

Eastern Virginia Medical School & Old Dominion University offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that can be completed in only five terms/semesters, making it one of Virginia’s accelerated MPH online programs. Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Master of Public Health degrees offers students these academic tracks – health management & policy and epidemiology. EVMC’s most affordable online MPH programs have received accreditation from CEPH. Check out the university’s dual Master of Public Health with an MD – medical doctor degree.

Eastern Virginia Medical School was established as an independent public medical school in 1973 and currently operates a 500+ bed hospital in Norfolk.  Old Dominion University, also located in Norfolk, was established as a division of the largest College of William and Mary in 1930. Eastern Virginia Medical School serves more than 1,200 students each year.

Program: MPH

16. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH @ UNC) program from the nation’s top school of public health in the nation. These accelerated MPH online programs can be finished in less than 1.5 years if studying full-time. UNC’s most affordable online MPH programs are CEPH accredited, with concentrations in leadership, epidemiology, and MPH Nutrition. UNC’s program offers rolling admission with four start dates throughout the year.

Founded in the late 1790s, the University of North Carolina (North Carolina) now operates as the flagship campus of the state’s university system. Also considered a public ivy, the University of North Carolina serves more than 30,050 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year. The University of North Carolina is recognized to be one of the United States’ oldest institutions of higher education.

Program: MPH – 5 concentrations

17. University of Florida

The University of Florida offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program with an academic emphasis in public health Practice or Social/Behavioral Sciences that mandates the completion of 48-semester credits, with no residencies or campus visits required. The University of Florida’s accelerated MPH online programs can be completed in only 24 months and is CEPH-accredited. Additionally, the University of Florida’s MPH programs are among the most affordable online MPH programs in the nation.

Established in the 1850s as a land-grant school in Gainesville, the University of Florida now operates as sea and space-grant school with a student body exceeding 56,550 students, which makes it one of the single campus enrollments in the nation. The University of Florida has been ranked among the top ten schools by US News and World Report’s 2021 edition.

Program: MPH – Public Health Practice or Social and Behavioral Sciences

18. University at Albany (SUNY)

The University at Albany (SUNY) offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that provides an academic emphasis in Public Health Practice that can be completed in only two years, making it one of the best accelerated MPH online programs. SUNY Albany’s most affordable online MPH programs are CEPH accredited and require 45 to 51 graduate credit units, depending on the study path. Classes for this degree include the biological basis of public health, methods of epidemiology, principles of statistical inference, and health care organization delivery and financing, include a nine-credit internship, among others.

The University at Albany (SUNY Albany) is a member school of the state’s university system that was established in the 1840s as a state-funded school for teacher’s training. The University at Albany is a multiple-campus school that serves about 17,500 students each year from New York’s capital and online. It is estimated that the University at Albany has an economic contribution to the state of more than one billion dollars each year.

Program: MPH

19. Kent State University

Kent State University offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that is considered among Ohio’s best accelerated MPH online programs that are CEPH accredited. Kent State University’s most affordable online MPH programs require degree candidates to complete 46 graduate semester units to meet the public health degree’s requirements. Classes are delivered in seven-week terms and offer students three academic tracks in social/behavioral sciences, epidemiology, and health policy & management. Core classes for this MPH degree include fundamental of public health epidemiology community health needs assessment, and public health administration, plus an applied practice experience, among others.

Kent State University was chartered in 1910 and operates as a multi-campus institution of higher education. In addition, Kent State University is a member of Ohio’s university system with a student enrollment that nears 36,000 across all campuses and online. Kent State University holds the distinction of being Ohio’s third-largest institution of higher education.

Program: MPH

20. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that can be finished in about 24 months – making the University of Arizona’s programs among the most innovative of accelerated MPH online programs.  The University of Arizona’s most affordable online MPH programs offer degree candidates three academic emphases, applied epidemiology, health services administration, and health behavior health promotion. This graduate degree in public health requires the completion of 42 graduate semester units.

Founded as a land-grant school in the 1880s – years before Arizona became a state, the University of Arizona is now a comprehensive research school organized into nineteen separate colleges/schools. More than 45,840 undergraduate and graduate students attend classes online and on the school’s Tucson campus. The athletes that represent the University of Arizona are known as the Wildcats and are members of the PAC-12 conference.

Program: MPH – 3 concentrations

21. Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that is among the most affordable online MPH programs in Illinois and beyond. Northern Illinois University’s graduate degree in public health offers two academic emphases in health services management or health promotion. This master’s degree in public health from Northern Illinois University is ranked among the best accelerated MPH online programs with CEPH accreditation.

Established in 1895 as the teacher’s training school expansion progressed, Northern Illinois University now operates as a space-grant higher learning institution with the main campus in DeKalb and satellite facilities throughout the state. The school’s online platform and campus facilities serve more than 16,550 students each year. Northern Illinois University is organized into seven schools/colleges.

Program: MPH

22. Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that is ranked among Kentucky’s best and most affordable online MPH programs. Students enrolled in this competency-based master’s degree from Western Kentucky University can finish the minimum required credits of 42 in about 24 months. Required core classes for WKU’s accelerated MPH online programs include community health organization, epidemiology, bio statistics, applied methods of public health practice, health behavior, and health disparities, to name a few.

Chartered in 1906, Western Kentucky University now operates as a comprehensive space-grant school with an on-campus and online student enrollment of 20,270 students. Western Kentucky University’s campus is located on top of a hill with expansive views of the Barren River Valley. Western Kentucky University offers a variety of programs through its five academic schools/colleges in education, business science/engineering, health/human serves, and arts/letters.

Program: MPH

23. University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior that can be completed 100% online. The University of South Carolina’s graduate public health degree can be completed in only two years, making the university’s master’s degree program among the best accelerated MPH online programs in the state. Additionally, The University of South Carolina’s most affordable online MPH programs requires students to complete a minimum of 45 graduate semester units.

The University of South Carolina (SC) was established as SC College in 1801. Since the University of South Carolina has grown to include the main campus in Columbia, plus various satellite campuses throughout South Carolina that serve more than 52,150 students each year. The University of South Carolina is the state’s flagship higher learning institution.

Program: MPH – Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior

24. University of Massachusetts Amherst

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program with an emphasis in Public Health Practice or Nutrition that is ranked among New England’s most affordable online MPH programs. UMass Amherst’s also offers accelerated MPH online programs that can be completed in as few as 24 months. The University of Massachusetts’s graduate degree in public health has received accreditation from the Council on Education of Public Health.

The University of Massachusetts (UMass) is a member school and the largest campus of the state’s university system. Founded in the mid-1960s, the University of Massachusetts is also the flagship school and a ‘Five-College Consortium’ member. The school’s western Massachusetts campus in the Berkshire Mountains is home to more than 30,400 students.

Program: MPH Public Health Practice or Nutrition

25. Des Moines University

Des Moines University offers a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) program that is among Iowa’s most affordable online MPH programs that can be completed in only two years. In addition, Des Moines University’s master’s degree in public health has received CEPH accreditation offers academic tracks in public health administration and policy, health education & promotion, and public health practice. Applicants to Des Moines University’s Master of Public Health degree are allowed to transfer up to 12-semester credits if eligible.

Des Moines University was established in 1898 as a private university dedicated to health sciences and osteopathic medicine. The school’s Des Moines campus serves more than 1,550 students and covers more than 20 acres. Des Moines University is organized into three colleges that offer all post-baccalaureate programs in the medical and health sciences.

Program: MPH

What Are the Benefits of an Accelerated MPH Program?

An accelerated MPH program offers benefits that will allow the graduate to move their career forward at a much faster rate. Accelerated degree programs make it possible for a student to turn a 24-month MPH program into an 18-month program, freeing up six months of their time that will allow them to earn more experience on the job. With accelerated MPH programs, lessons are condensed to include more information in fewer sessions.

This type of learning not only speeds up the process, it can also make it easier for the student to learn. By grouping certain lessons together, concepts that work together are often easier to understand. Accelerated programs provide the same quality lessons as traditional programs just at a much faster pace. These programs are ideal for students who are already working and want to pursue their education without giving up their seniority in the process. They can gain experience, earn their degree, and apply for new opportunities for advancement all at the same time. 

There are many public health careers that fall into the scope of an MPH degree program. Healthcare administrators, registered nurses, epidemiologists, dietitians, community service managers, and various health counselors are some of the more popular MPH careers. Individuals who are already employed in these fields often find that returning to school to earn their degree is the best way to move forward. The difficulty they experience is in the timing. Most cannot afford to leave their job to go back to school. Online degrees make it possible to do both at the same time.

How Much Can I Make with an MPH?

Returning to school to earn an online MPH will dramatically increase your earning potential. When combined with other factors, your ability to earn is only limited by your dedication and commitment to your job. Individuals who only have a few years on the job can expect to start out on the lower end of the scale, approximately $55,000 to $75,000 per year depending on location. Just enrolling in an online MPH degree program can start to bump up your pay as you work through your courses.

Individuals who have several years of experience and are able to earn their MPH degree online can eventually earn as much as $125,000 per year as a public health administrator or in a managerial position in a large firm. The more experience you can add to your education, the better off you will be. Being able to maintain a solid work schedule when you return to school is the key to continuing to build that experience. It also guarantees that you will not lose your seniority. You can continue working toward your career goals without stressing over having to leave your job.

Do I Need the GRE to Get an Online MPH?

In order to enroll in an online MPH program, you do not necessarily need a GRE. A General Record Examination is a good way for a student to show their past educational experience. Many schools do not require a GRE to enroll in their graduate programs, but may have a much stricter set of requirements when it comes to their overall GPA and other areas of performance. While it is beneficial to have a GRE, it is not always a necessity if you are able to provide the information they are looking for in other ways.

Earning your MPH degree without a GRE is not impossible. Your years of experience on top of any other educational experience you may have under your belt may be more than enough to allow you to pursue your online degree and get the credentials you need to complete your education. With a GRE, the process may go a little quicker and make things easier on the school when it comes to verifying your past education, but it is not a requirement.

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