Choosing the Right Online MPH Program

Earning an online Master of Public Health (MPH) is a great way to advance in your current profession, or to take a new path in life by changing careers. Since there are now many great schools that offer the degree entirely online, you can continue working in your current job without having to put your entire life on hold, including relocating to a university campus to make it happen.

Choosing an Online MPH ProgramIf you’ve spent any time searching the available online MPH programs, however, you’ve probably already discovered that not all programs are the same. Which program should you pursue? Which online MPH degree program is the best one for you?

Let’s take a look at several factors you should consider before choosing an online MPH program.

After considering these factors, you should be able to easily narrow your options to find the perfect program for your needs, career goals, and budget.

The Cost of an Online MPH

Tuition prices for online MPH programs are all over the map. Some are relatively inexpensive while others are significantly more costly. If cost is a major factor in your selection, take the time to compare the costs of the online MPH program you find interesting. Make a spreadsheet with information on each school including the number of credits required to graduate and the cost per credit hour. Don’t forget to include any additional fees schools may charge to come up with a total cost per degree program. If you have this information on a spreadsheet, you can easily sort the data to list the schools from the most affordable to the most expensive. This information will help you to find a great program that won’t break the bank.

The Reputation and Ranking of the School

Is the reputation and ranking of the school you earn the degree from important to you? It is to some people, and more importantly, some employers. On the other hand, there are also many employers who really don’t care where you earned your degree from, as long as you have the right combination of education and experience they need for an open position. There are also many small schools that offer online MPH degrees that may not necessarily be prestigious, but are fantastic educational experiences.

If reputation and ranking are important to you, you can easily check a school out by looking up its ranking in one of the popular collegiate rankings lists. One of the most popular is the list of collegiate rankings that is updated each year by U.S. News & World Report. The popular magazine’s rankings are compiled by weighing a variety of factors. View our latest list to learn more about the schools offering Online MPH Programs.

CEPH Accreditation for MPH Degrees

Is the college or university you are considering earning an online MPH through properly accredited? Don’t assume it is. There are a surprising number of schools in the United States that operate without any form of accreditation. This is perfectly legal in many states. New schools, for example, always start without any accreditation. And occasionally some schools are put on probation by their accrediting agencies. It happens more often than most realize. Just because a school has a fancy campus, a football stadium, and other amenities doesn’t necessarily mean it is accredited. Always check.

Regional accreditation is what you want to look for when investigating a particular school. Regional accreditation is the gold standard of collegiate accreditation in the United States. The term “regional accreditation” was derived from the fact that there are actually six of these accrediting agencies in the United States that oversee the schools that fall within the respective geographic regions they cover. A college or university with “regional accreditation” is considered to be properly accredited. Also, a school only needs to be accredited by one of these agencies, not all six.

Program accreditation is another form accreditation you should consider. Program accreditation is specialized accreditation just for specific schools within a university or specific degree programs. The organization that accredits MPH programs is the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Having CEPH accreditation simply means a particular MPH program has met or exceeded minimum standards as set forth by the organization. There is no requirement that schools acquire CEPH accreditation for their MPH programs. Although CEPH accreditation is voluntary, most of the larger schools, and more prestigious programs, do have this accreditation for their schools of public health. Learn more about the importance of CEPH accreditation for MPH Programs.

The Practicum

Some, but not all, online MPH degree programs require the completion of a practicum to graduate. A practicum is essentially an unpaid internship. The majority of online MPH programs with practicum requirements do allow you to complete this internship at a public health facility in your community under the guidance of a professional. The amount of time you need to spend in your practicum varies by program with the average being between 200 and 400 hours.

What are Your Career Goals?

Finally, among the most important factors to consider are your career goals. What do hope to accomplish in your life by earning the degree? Is it for career advancement? Are you earning the degree to start a new career? Or perhaps you are earning the degree for personal fulfillment.

This information is very important because it will help you determine whether you need to earn an MPH with a specific concentration or whether a general MPH would be more appropriate. If you are working in the field of nutrition, for example, then you would want to pursue an MPH with a concentration in nutrition. But if you work as a research assistant at a university, then an MPH with a concentration in biostatistics and informatics would be more appropriate.

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Schools with Online MPH Programs
A.T. Still University Online MPH
Benedictine University Online MPH
Concordia University of Nebraska Online MPH
Creighton University Online MPH
Des Moines University Online MPH
East Tennessee State University Online MPH
Emory University Online MPH
Florida A&M University Online MPH
George Washington University Online MPH
Idaho State University Online MPH
Johns Hopkins University Online MPH
Liberty University Online MPH
Loma Linda University Online MPH
Loyola University Online MPH
Medical College of Wisconsin Online MPH
New Mexico State University Online MPH
New York Medical College Online MPH
Northern Illinois University Online MPH
Nova Southeastern University Online MPH
OHSU-PSU School of Public Health Online MPH
Rivier University Online MPH Programs
San Jose State University Online MPH
Simmons College Online MPH Program
Tulane University Online MPH
University at Albany-SUNY Online MPH
University of Alabama Online MPH
University of Alaska Online MPH
University of California Berkeley Online MPH
University of Florida Online MPH
University of Illinois Online MPH
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Online MPH
University of Minnesota Online MPH
University of Montana Online MPH
University of Nebraska Medical Center Online MPH
University of New England Online MPH
University of North Carolina Online MPH
University of North Texas Online MPH
University of South Carolina Online MPH
University of South Florida Online MPH
University of Southern California Online MPH
University of West Florida Online MPH
West Virginia University Online MPH

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