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Today’s Top Online MPH in Epidemiology Programs

Earning your epidemiology master’s online can help you prepare for advanced work in the world of infectious diseases. This guide highlights 2024’s best programs, including the cost and curriculum information needed to choose the school that’s right for you.

Author: Kari Scare

Editor: Staff Editor

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Two scientists, one female and one male, examining samples and discussing findings in a laboratory setting, surrounded by scientific equipment.

If you’re interested in a career that positively impacts public health, an online master’s program in epidemiology teaches the skills necessary to plan and direct the study of public health problems, as well as find solutions to prevent and treat diseases. As an epidemiologist, you’ll study the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in society. You may also have the opportunity to influence public policy and improve preventative healthcare.

Before you can begin improving public health inititatives, you’ll need to earn your MPH in epidemiology. Earning a degree online is a great way to improve your career prospects while saving time and money; however, you’ll want to choose the best program for your timeline and budget. To help you, we’ve listed this year’s best master’s programs in epidemiology available online. Below, we discuss popular courses, accreditation, financial aid, admissions requirements, and potential careers for epidemiology majors.

Best Online MPH in Epidemiology Programs for 2024

Navigating the sea of online master’s degree programs can be overwhelming, especially in a field as crucial as epidemiology. Whether you’re passionate about tracking disease trends or safeguarding public health, there’s an online MPH in epidemiology program for you.

By choosing the right program, you can embark on an educational journey that prepares you for a meaningful career in the world of public health. Below, we break down the best online master’s programs for epidemiology in 2024, addressing concerns like cost, program quality, and specialization options to help you make an informed decision.

About the ranking
1
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

Kent State University offers an online master’s degree in public health. This degree focuses on education, research, and policies in public health while offering the flexibility and convenience of online learning. It offers three specializations for students to choose from: epidemiology, health policy and management, and social and behavioral sciences. This program has three annual start dates and does not require a GRE for admission. Each course can be completed in seven weeks, with fourteen courses total, which allows students to complete their degree in as little as two years. In addition to the epidemiology specialization, Kent State University also offers a master’s in clinical epidemiology.

Program Highlights:

Master’s in Public Health

  • Credits: 46
  • Length: Two years
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: ASPPH

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC
2
Great Falls, Montana
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$$

The University of Providence offers an online master’s degree in infection prevention and epidemiology. This program is offered asynchronously and can be completed in six semesters made up of eight-week courses. The University of Providence has a partnership with Providence St. Joseph Health, allowing students access to their facilities and preparing them for job placement. Once students graduate, they will be able to apply for a position at St. Joseph Health as well. To be admitted into this program, students must have a GRE score of 149 and a current resume and submit an application essay.

Program Highlights:

Master’s in Infection Prevention and Epidemiology

  • Credits: 42-45
  • Length: Two years
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: NACES

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
3
College Station, Texas
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

Texas A&M University offers a master’s degree in public health with six concentration options. These include environmental health, epidemiology, health policy and management, occupational safety and health, biostatistics, and health promotion and community health services. This program focuses on trends, causes, and patterns of diseases in populations. To be admitted into this program, students must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum GPA of 3.0. This program only has one start date in the fall each year. The curriculum consists of four semesters/terms and a practicum, all of which can be completed in approximately two years.

Program Highlights:

Master’s in Public Health

  • Credits: 45
  • Length: Two years
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: CEPH

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
4
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Type:
Public
Cost:
$$

Temple University offers a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology for students in practice- and research-oriented careers in epidemiology. This program can be completed on campus in two to four years, or online in three years. The College of Public Health offers a 5:1 student-to-professor ratio and renowned faculty members with real-world experience. Core courses include Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Data Management, Infectious Diseases, Strategies for Chronic Disease Prevention, Multivariable Regression of General and Generalized Linear Models, and Behavior Epidemiology. Students will also need to complete community-based fieldwork and a final master’s project.

Program Highlights:

Master’s of Public Health in Epidemiology

  • Credits: 42
  • Length: Three years
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: CEPH

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation MSCHE

Online MPH in Epidemiology Programs: A Closer Look

Our college rankings represent the very best online MPH in epidemiology programs, but they’re not the only ones you should add to your shortlist. We’ve spotlighted three additional quality programs below. All three are accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) and excel in learning flexibility and education quality. See if one has what you’re looking for.

Drexel University

Logo of Drexel University featuring a stylized blue dragon next to the words "Drexel University" in dark blue serif font, symbolizing its prominent online MPH programs in epidemiology.

An online MPH in epidemiology from Drexel University prepares you for tackling pressing urban, global, and public health issues. It combines biostatistics, a public health foundation, and practical experience to develop expert researchers and public health workers who can investigate complex health challenges and develop preventative strategies.

The MPH program at Drexel requires 120 hours of hands-on, practical experience that can be obtained through your current employer or another organization and either online or in person. A 3-credit integrative learning experience (ILE) is also required during your final quarter. This ILE involves writing a high-quality paper illustrating mastery of core public health and epidemiology competencies.

Drexel’s MPH in epidemiology online program involves 56 quarter credits and can be completed in as few as 12 months for full-time students who won’t be working outside the program. Longer and more flexible time frame options are also available. The program is completely online and does not require a GRE for admittance.

Harvard University

Logo of Harvard University featuring a shield with the Latin motto "veritas" and three open books, alongside bold text reading "Harvard University" on a transparent background, representing one of the best MPH programs.

The Master of Public Health in epidemiology program at Harvard University combines online, in-person, and field learning and takes two years to complete. It provides the advanced research and epidemiological skills needed for pursuing senior positions in a variety of settings. Two intensive on-campus sessions are required, one at the beginning and one in the middle of the program, and about two-thirds of credits are earned online. The program culminates with a year-long practicum that involves an integrative learning project and presentation.

Harvard’s MPH in epidemiology program is designed for those who want specialization in advanced quantitative methods of epidemiology and want to apply what they learn to clinical and population health research, policy, and programs. It also provides a public health framework for current epidemiologists.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in a related field. GRE scores aren’t required for 2023-2024 applicants, though this is expected to change in the future.

University of South Florida

Logo of the university of south florida featuring a green and gold color scheme with a stylized bull's head symbol above the words "university of south florida, Best Online MPH Programs.

The University of South Florida designs its MPH with a concentration in epidemiology for those wanting a broad understanding of public health alongside an emphasis on epidemiologic principles and methods. This program gives you the knowledge and skills to evaluate the health status of communities, consider related research, and develop strategies for health-related interventions and preventions.

USF’s online MPH with a concentration in epidemiology requires a minimum of 42 credits. Applied practical experience and an integrated learning experience are also required in addition to core and concentration courses. Epidemiology concentration courses depend upon your concentration focus. Concentration options are epidemiology, epidemiology and global communicable disease, epidemiology and global health, epidemiology, and maternal and child health. Students must also pass a comprehensive exam to graduate.

Ideally, applicants possess an undergraduate degree in science, math, or a health-related field. The ability to communicate well and think abstractly are also important.

Key Benefits of Earning Your Master’s in Epidemiology Online

Epidemiology is a high-demand career, and earning an MPH in epidemiology online can set you apart from others and make you more marketable because it shows you are serious about the field. The benefits of earning an online master’s in public health concentrated in epidemiology also include flexibility and convenience.

  1. Marketability

    By pursuing an online MPH in epidemiology, you can potentially secure higher-paying roles with increased authority. This degree signifies your dedication to enhancing your expertise and making a substantial impact in the field. Additionally, it opens doors to positions that specifically demand a master’s degree.

  2. Flexibility

    Most online MPH programs recognize the need for flexibility, particularly for students who must work full time while earning their degrees. Many reputable MPH programs offer a range of flexible timelines that cater to your needs and preferences. These flexible options include high-accelerated and flexible timelines to suit your lifestyle and academic pursuits. Additionally, many MPH programs offer field experience requirements that are adaptable and can be completed either on-campus or online.

  3. Convenience

    The many high-quality MPH in epidemiology programs available means you can find one that is most convenient for you. Whether you need to work full-time and take classes or want to finish as quickly as possible, a program exists to fit your unique needs. You can also find programs that are 100% online and ones with in-person practicums.

What You’ll Learn in an MPH in Epidemiology Program

An MPH in epidemiology online program develops skills in research, analysis, and big-picture thinking. This degree teaches you to analyze health conditions and develop strategies for preventing and managing disease spread. All online epidemiology master’s programs teach essential skills in public health, but each program provides a unique approach to epidemiology. One program might emphasize understanding the role epidemiology plays within the broad context of public health, while another is intended for public health professionals interested in developing quantitative and analytical skills in epidemiology and biostatistics. Several popular courses in online MPH epidemiology programs are profiled below to give you a general sense of what you may study.

Popular Courses

  • Practicum

    A practicum, also known as applied practical experience, is a capstone course that involves field training with a public health agency like a health department or community-based organization. This hands-on course is designed for students to apply the competencies learned in their MPH in epidemiology programs in a real-world setting. By getting real-world experience in a fast-paced agency, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the challenges faced today by public health professionals. Some programs allow students to complete practicums with their current employers.

  • Environmental Health

    Many MPH in epidemiology programs have multiple courses focused on different areas of environmental health. Overview courses look at fundamental topics like air pollution, water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, and ethics. They identify issues in assessing the effects of exposure and look at interventions for reducing adverse health risks.

  • Data Analysis

    Though found within many MPH in epidemiology courses, most programs also have one course focused only on data analysis. Data analysis courses cover the computer packages and the statistical tools used in biomedical research and teach fitting data with linear and nonlinear regression models. Emphasis is on problems arising in epidemiology, public health, and medicine.

  • Biostatistics

    Biostatistics courses teach simple and multiple linear regression, ANOVA (analysis of variance), and ANCOVA (analysis of covariance). They also emphasize basic statistical theory, parametric statistics, and other quantitative methods. Biostatistical courses also often use hands-on experience in statistical analysis and interpretation of data. Public health professionals use biostatistics to analyze large amounts of data related to health outcomes, disease prevalence, and risk factors. This helps them identify patterns, trends, and potential causes of health issues, allowing for evidence-based decision-making and effective public health interventions.

  • Infectious Disease

    Infectious disease courses survey the history of infectious disease and discuss disease control and outbreak investigation. They look at infectious disease from a global perspective, consider its dynamics within different transmission routes, and analyze modeling approaches. They also use case studies to discuss theory and emphasize practical application.

Accreditation for Online Epidemiology MPH Programs

Any quality MPH in epidemiology online program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. The CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs outside of public health. CEPH accreditation is important because some employers only want to hire graduates of CEPH-accredited programs, and some fellowships are only available to those attending CEPH-accredited schools and programs. Attending a CEPH-accredited program tells employers your degree program has been subject to a multi-level review and meets nationally-agreed-upon standards developed by public health academics and practitioners.

Schools should also have regional accreditation through one of seven agencies. A searchable listing of regional accreditations can be found at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

What You Can Do with a Master’s in Epidemiology

An MPH in epidemiology gives you the skills, expertise, knowledge to work in hospitals, government health agencies, pharmaceutical companies, academia, and insurance companies. Epidemiology professionals focus on a wide range of health issues, including infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, occupational health, and injury prevention. They also investigate the distribution and determinants of health and disease in populations, identify health disparities, and design and implement interventions to improve public health outcomes. Epidemiologists must have solid communication skills, be critical thinkers and detail-oriented, and be skilled in math and statistics. Since many positions require educating the public, teaching skills also are important.

Potential careers for graduates with an MPH in epidemiology are profiled below to give a sense of the skills needed and this degree’s potential.

Epidemiologist

Epidemiologists investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in humans to reduce the risk and occurrence of negative health outcomes. They do research, educate the community, and develop health policy. Epidemiologists must have at least a master’s degree, and most have an MPH.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$44,000

$70,990

$119,290

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Clinical Data Analyst

Clinical data analysts manage and examine clinical data. They coordinate with relevant departments to determine areas needing analysis and the best approach for doing so. These analysts also perform data validation and handle data reconciliation. Some employers require or prefer an MPH along with familiarity with common computer systems.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$49,000

$70,000

$89,000

Source: PayScale, 2019

Healthcare Risk Management Director

Healthcare risk management directors are responsible for protecting the institution they work for from possible loss by developing effective risk management programs. They analyze data to identify potential risks, evaluate the effectiveness of risk management programs, and make recommendations for improvement. They work closely with healthcare providers and staff to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and best practices for patient safety and quality care. Because of the complexity of the role, a master’s degree is typically required to pursue a career in healthcare risk management.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$77,000

$106,000

$152,000

Source: PayScale, 2019

Public Health Analyst

In addition to analyzing public health data, public health analysts work with community organizations, local governments, and healthcare providers to develop and implement public health programs and policies. They evaluate program effectiveness and make recommendations for improvement, often leading to significant advances in population health outcomes.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$48,000

$65,000

$102,000

Source: PayScale, 2021

Clinical Research Coordinator

A clinical research coordinator coordinates clinical and administrative tasks for research processes. They form, carry out, and organize the research process for clinical trials. They also perform administrative tasks for studies.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$39,000

$51,000

$68,000

Source: PayScale, 2021

Costs and Financial Aid for Online MPH Programs in Epidemiology

It’s crucial to understand the total financial commitment of earning your MPH in epidemiology online before you enroll in any program. By knowing exactly what’s expected of you financially ahead of time, you’ll be able to develop a plan to pay for your degree and look at all possible financial aid sources. Financial aid options include grants, scholarships, assistantships, associateships, and federal student aid. In addition to financial aid offered through a university’s graduate school, some individual schools of public health offer additional opportunities. Most schools also provide detailed funding tips, like those offered by the University of Arizona, that include internal and external financial aid opportunities. You can also find information on our financial aid page.

What Your Online MPH in Epidemiology Could Cost

The following table gives an idea of the cost of obtaining an online MPH in epidemiology. These top schools show how cost varies significantly. It’s also important to keep in mind that by the time you factor in all of the financial aid you don’t have to pay back, your program could cost considerably less that the school’s published price.

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost

45

See estimated total cost, which includes all fees.

$30,120 (resident)

$38,550 (non-resident)

42

$950 (changes based on # of credits enrolled)

$39,900

42

$1,995

$83,790

FAQs About Earning Your Master’s in Epidemiology Online

What are the admissions requirements for an online master’s in epidemiology?

Most public health programs require application through SOPHAS, the centralized application service for public health. SOPHAS, which is powered by the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), allows you to apply to multiple institutions using one application. In general, application requirements include the following:

  • Minimum GPA in a bachelor’s program
  • English proficiency for international applicants
  • Personal statement
  • Recommendation letters from at least two references
  • Essay or purpose statement discussing public health interest and career goals
  • Resume or CV

GRE scores are not always required, though some schools accept them for strengthening applications or those without math-related backgrounds. Also, some schools temporarily waive a standardized test requirement, but this requirement will likely be reinstated by some of them soon.

How long will it take to finish my master’s in epidemiology online?

The length of time in your MPH in epidemiology online program depends on whether you are full or part-time. Johns Hopkins estimates betweens two to three years of study for its MPH concentration in epidemiological and biostatistical methods for public health and clinical research. The University of Arizona estimates two years for working professionals in its MPH in applied epidemiology. The University of Alabama at Birmingham estimates 20 months of full-time coursework and at least six to eight semesters part-time for its MPH with a concentration in epidemiology. To graduate within two years from Texas A&M with an MPH in epidemiology, you must be a full-time student and follow a suggested schedule.

Can I earn a master’s in epidemiology 100% online, or do I need to visit campus?

Some MPH master’s in public health programs are completely online. Others, like Harvard University’s Master of Public Health in epidemiology, have in-person requirements. Most programs also have practicum requirements, and those often must take place in person. Like Drexel’s online MPH in epidemiology, some programs allow for virtual practicums, which means its program could be 100% online. Additionally, like USC’s MPH, some programs allow for practicums to take place with your current employer. Since requirements vary among programs, investigate thoroughly before applying.