Online Public Health Degree

By Brandon Mario D`Souza

Updated February 10, 2023

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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What is the science of public health? Public health is the science and practice of protecting people from illness, injury, and other physical and social conditions. It also involves promoting conditions in which people can be healthy. This means that public health workers must focus on such things as disease and injury control, disease prevention, and health protection. They also work to enhance community vitality, quality of life, and the overall sense of well-being that are so important to healthful living. Public health problems are not limited to a single socio-economic group, age group, sex, or geographic area. A Online Public Health Degree or a Bachelor of Public Health is an undergraduate degree that provides students with the knowledge and skills they will require to take up various public healthcare professions in a variety of settings. The public health degree also includes the study of community health, mental health, environmental health, epidemiology, etc., along with research and data interpretation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job market for Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers will expand by 17% between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. This article expounds on the undergraduate online public health degree and highlights its importance, career prospects, specializations, and more.

Best Online Bachelor’s Degree in
Public Health Programs

A school’s ranking from the best colleges for public health can be a good indicator of what students can expect from their program. Making it to the list of best public health programs will require several ranking criteria to be met, such as the school’s infrastructure, quality and experience of the faculty, program structure and flexibility, accreditation status, student support services, range of public health online courses, and more. Based on these and other factors, teams at FBD have put together a list of public health online bachelor’s degree programs that stand out from the hundreds available across the U.S.

Here are the best online public health degree programs: *

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

Find Online Bachelor’s Degree in
Public Health Near Me

Location is sometimes a significant deciding factor for many students when choosing from public health undergraduate majors. One of the main reasons behind this is the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, the latter being substantially more expensive than the former. Although online programs do not consider the students’ residency by state, many students may feel comfortable choosing a college closer to home or in a location of their choice. FBD teams have combed the country for some of the best and most affordable programs by location to make the choice easier for students. Here are ‘public health courses near me’:

What to expect From an Online Bachelors in
Public Health Program?

Types of Online Public
Health Degrees

Public Health Areas of

In a vast field such as public health, students are presented with the opportunity to explore and dive deeper into an area that interests them or they think can match them to the right career. Having specialized knowledge is always an advantage for students in that it is a seal of one’s specific knowledge and expertise in a sub-field of public health. Here are a few public health areas of specialization and concentrations for students to explore and consider:

Specialization Description Careers
EpidemiologyThis specialization is the foundation of public health education because it teaches students how to identify infectious disease causes and how to assist in preventing them by using statistical research, public policy, and community education. Students study human research ethics, preventative medical trials, and health economics, among other topics. Can work as educators or researchers for governments, hospitals, or universities.
Health Policy & ManagementThis specialization prepares students for a career in public health that focuses on the policies and initiatives that could potentially improve public health and how they should be implemented.Can work in government health departments, insurance companies, or hospitals.
Disaster ManagementThis specialization teaches students how to assess, plan for, and respond to catastrophic situations and disasters that represent a substantial threat to public health around the world, whether caused by nature or human activities.Can work in government agencies or for humanitarian non-governmental organizations.
BiostatisticsThis specialization focuses on analyzing and applying data to healthcare functions, including monitoring health trends and dangers in a specific community. Students learn probability theories, clinical trials, and statistical programming, along with informatics, which involves the use of data in health promotion and prevention.Can work as healthcare administrators, health informatics specialists, or biostatisticians.
Environmental HealthThis specialization emphasizes environmental factors contributing to poor health, such as water pollution, industrial waste, and climate change. Among the many things students learn are ergonomics, risk assessment, and environmental epigenetics. They may also research issues related to workplace health.Can work as environmental scientists, occupational health and safety specialists, or health educators.
Public Health and Safety degreeThis specialization focuses on the identification of risks that endanger the health and safety of people. It involves environmental health concerns and delves into the training, protection, and safe removal of dangerous hazards that pose a threat to safety.Can work in disaster management agencies, environmental agencies, or other government agencies.
Global Health (Online B.A. in Global Health)This specialization teaches problem-solving approaches that are applicable to a wide range of contexts. Students learn about healthcare reform, financial management, and healthcare delivery systems in underdeveloped nations as part of the curriculum. They learn to think ethically and develop an appreciation for different cultures. Graduates are equipped to work with international organizations, assisting in the containment of outbreaks and the elimination of inequities in health.Can work for government agencies or as health educators, nutritionists, or refugee coordinators.

Should I Get a Bachelors in
Public Health?

How to Get into an Online Bachelors in
Public Health Programs?

How to get a degree in public health? Most undergraduate programs in public health across the United States will have similar admissions requirements. Apart from these standard requirements, students may sometimes have to complete public health bachelor’s degree prerequisites before entering the program. Here are some of the essential requirements on how to get a public health degree:

Most colleges will expect students to have completed academic units in:

How long does it take to complete an Online
Bachelors in Public Health?

Accreditation for Online Bachelor’s
Degree in Public Health

Students can be confident that they are receiving a high-quality education from a program or institution that is accredited. To receive an accreditation label, a facility must demonstrate that it meets specific quality standards through a voluntary process. Students who have completed an accredited public health degree demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and skill in the field. Additionally, many licensing boards ask applicants to have completed an approved curriculum or demonstrate equivalency to be considered and qualify for licensure, making accreditation even more critical when choosing a bachelor’s in public health degree program.

In the world of public health, the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) is the primary accrediting body within the United States that accredits state, local, tribal, and territory health agencies across the country, along with public health programs. Another such exclusive programmatic accrediting agency is the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), which is an independent agency that accredits schools of public health and public health programs outside schools of public health. Where such programmatic accredited online public health programs are unavailable, an equivalent alternative is regional accreditation, provided by any one of the following authorized agencies:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Any of these six regional accrediting agencies are authorized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit a college.

More information on accreditation is available in the Accreditation Guide.

Free Courses for Online Bachelors
in Public Health

Online portals that claim to offer an entirely free online public health degree will almost always be fake. At best, students can find good, free online public health courses that can complement their bachelor’s studies and help them prepare for their examinations or specializations better. Although many sites offer free courses in public health, students should note that they will not get certificates in most instances, and even if they do, the certificate may not be of value in the job market. Here are a few resources to find free courses for online bachelors in public health:

Course Description Offered by
Public Health & Public Health-related TopicsCoursera’s public health courses include both foundational and specialized topics such as epidemiology, precision nutrition, and clinical research. Students can also explore tools and strategies to prevent disease, promote community health, and address health disparity.Coursera
Public Health & Public Health-related TopicsEdX offers free online courses in public health on a wide range of topics, including The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Health, Prescription Drug Misuse and Addiction: Compassionate Care for a Complex Problem, Antivaccination, and Vaccine Hesitancy, Epidemics, etc.EdX
Public Health & Public Health-related TopicsHarvard University offers a few free online courses ranging from 1 week to 10 weeks on a variety of topics, including The Health Effects of Climate Change, Strengthening Community Health Programs, The Opioid Crisis in America, and more. The courses are free to audit, but students must pay a fee if they want a certificate.Harvard University

Accelerated Online Bachelor’s Degree
in Public Health

Some colleges offer expedited, fast-track, or accelerated online bachelor’s degree in public health, allowing students to complete their studies in less than the standard four years and at a reduced cost. Students can pursue a 3+2 or 4+1 program that combines a bachelor’s degree with a master’s degree, allowing them to cut a year off the overall time of 6 years (4+2 years). This may be appropriate for students who want to complete their master’s degree before entering the workforce. Some universities allow students to transfer credits earned in another program, such as a certificate or associate degree, to reduce the time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree program. Work experience may also help reduce the time it takes to graduate. The following are a few examples of universities that offer an accelerated online bachelor’s degree in public health:

University of North Dakota (UND) – Bachelor of Science in Public Health & Master of Public Health

The University of North Dakota (UND) offers an accelerated online degree in Public Health that combines a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree and can be completed in a total of 5 years, instead of the standard requirement of 6 years.

Drexel University – Bachelor of Science in Public Health + Master of Public Health

The Drexel University, The Dornsife School of Public Health, offers a rigorous accelerated five-year (4+1) degree program for highly talented undergraduate students interested in fast-tracking their careers in public health. The degree combines a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a Master of Public Health (MPH).

How much does an Online Bachelor’s Degree
in Public Health cost?

How much is an online public health degree? Hundreds of colleges in the United States offer the bachelor of public health degree program. Therefore, it stands to reason that tuition fees can widely vary by institution and program. However, as an indicator, a report from CollegeBoard pegs the average in-state tuition at a 4-year public college at $10,740 and the average out-of-state tuition at $27,560. Private universities will cost the most, at an average of $38,070.

How to Pay for Online Bachelors in
Public Health Programs?

Scholarships for Online Bachelors
in Public Health

Students with a solid academic record might apply for one of the many undergraduate scholarships available. Universities, as well as other organizations and associates, grant scholarships to students who excel in academics or sports or belong to an ethnic minority or community. Among the many scholarships available in public health, here are a few examples:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardDeadline
The ACMPE Scholarship FundThe ACMPE Scholarship Fund Inc. (SFI) program supports individuals who, by virtue of experience, current position, and future career plans, demonstrate potential to contribute to the Medical Groups Management Association’s (MGMA) mission of transforming healthcare.Up to $3,000Closed for 2021 | TBA for 2023 in March 2023
Billy and Judy Bridgers Endowed ScholarshipThe Billy and Judy Bridgers Endowed Scholarship was established by alumni, colleagues, and friends to recognize the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s founding dean William F. Bridgers and his wife, Judy, for their years of leadership and service to public health. Special consideration is given to those who demonstrate a commitment to pursuing a career in public health. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA and be Graduate Students in the UAB School of Public Health.VariesFebruary 01, 2023
Ellen M. Buchart ScholarshipThe Ellen M. Buchart Scholarship requires an awardee to be enrolled as a junior, senior, or graduate student with a health or science-related major. Preference will be given to students in the public health programs at their respective colleges or university. Applicants must be a member of the Kentucky Public Health Association (KPHA) to receive the scholarship.$2,000March 14, 2023
North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA) ScholarshipThe North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA) offers undergraduate education scholarships for individuals pursuing an undergraduate degree applying to public health practice.$1,500Closed for 2021 | TBA for 2023

FAQs about Online Public
Health Degree

What is the science of public health?

How to get a degree in public health?

What are the best bachelor’s programs in Public Health?

What can you do with a B.A. in public health?

What is the average fee charged by the colleges?

How hard is a degree in public health?

Can I get a public health degree online?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after Online
Bachelors in Public Health

One of the best benefits of having a bachelor’s degree in public health is that it can prepare students to work in many different areas. What can you do with a B.A. in public health? Graduates may have the option of working for local, state, or federal agencies, health care organizations, as well as various nonprofit organizations. While many of the day-to-day tasks will depend on the size of one’s employer and the job title or position within the organization, one may have some everyday responsibilities regardless of the size of an organization or title. It is also noteworthy that additional education, certification, licensing, and experience are usually required for specific roles in some sectors.

Employment opportunities exist with the following types of organizations:

Some potential bachelors in public health careers include:

As for salaries, public health graduates can expect their salaries and job growth to largely depend on the type of job and years of experience. According to O*Net, Health Services Managers take home an annual median salary of $104,280 and have a 15% or higher job outlook between 2020 & 2030, much faster than the average.

Here is a quick run-down of bachelor of science in public health careers graduates can explore and their annual median salaries and growth potential, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

OccupationSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)Job Description
Health & Safety EngineerCommunication skills, observational skills, problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills, creativity$94,2406% (as fast as average)A health and safety engineer develops procedures and designs systems to protect people from illness and injury and property from damage. They combine knowledge of engineering and health and safety to ensure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other products will not cause harm to people or damage to property.
EpidemiologistLeadership skills, math and statistical skills, detail-oriented, critical-thinking skills, communication skills.$74,56030% (much faster than average)An epidemiologist is a public health worker who investigates patterns and causes of disease and injury. They seek to reduce the risk and occurrence of adverse health outcomes through research, community education, and health policy.
Health Education Specialist and Community Health WorkerInterpersonal skills, instructional skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills.$48,14017% (much faster than average)A health education specialist teaches people about behaviors that promote wellness. They develop strategies to improve the well-being of individuals and communities. A community health worker advocates for residents’ needs with healthcare providers and social service organizations. They implement wellness strategies by collecting data and discussing health concerns with specific populations. Although the two occupations often work together, the responsibilities of health education specialists and community health workers are distinct.
Environmental Scientists and SpecialistInterpersonal skills, analytical skills, self-discipline, communication skills, problem-solving skills.$73,2308% (as fast as average)An environmental scientist or specialist uses their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health. They may clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, or work with industry to reduce waste.
Medical and Health Services ManagerDetail-oriented, communication skills, leadership skills, technical skills, analytical skills, interpersonal skills.$104,28032% (much faster than average)A health services manager, also called a healthcare executive or healthcare administrator, plans, directs, and coordinates medical and health services. They may manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. A health services manager must adapt to healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.

Certifications and Licensing for Online
Bachelors in Public Health

Additional Resources for Online
Public Health Degree

Author Bio:

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners. | Page last updated: Dec 2023.