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SNHU gradute Kerry Smith talking among Colleagues. With the text Kerry Smith '12

Master of Public Health Online MPH Degree Program

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Register By: July 24 Classes Start: July 26

Why earn an online MPH from SNHU?

  • Affordable MPH: $627/credit (42 credits total)
  • Transfer up to 12 credits
  • Applicant for CEPH accreditation
  • Gain practical experience and professional connections
  • Online classroom is available 24/7
  • No GRE/GMAT required

Online Master of Public Health Program Overview

Tackle complex public health challenges and transform lives with an online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program.

You'll learn how to act swiftly to help control disease outbreaks, develop and enact wellness programs for communities, recommend and champion policy changes with global implications and track progress toward your goal of improving the population's health. You'll be ready to implement effective campaigns, shape public policy, analyze evidence-based research and monitor epidemiological findings – all while earning the widely recognized credentials needed for elevating the health of individuals and populations globally and locally.

"We look at the issues that are going on in our communities through a social justice lens," said SNHU adjunct instructor Dede Teteh, a certified health education specialist and public health researcher. "The main difference between [public health] and medicine is we don't look at people one by one. We work with communities and examine trends in behaviors and health outcomes."

There is no greater example of the need for public health professionals than the COVID-19 pandemic. In what felt like a blink of an eye, they became a guiding light, sought after by government officials, organizations and non-profits to provide advice, data, public health updates, and recommendations for various populations on how the public could remain safe, protecting themselves and others. From wearing masks to social distancing to limiting gatherings, they were trusted partners in stopping the spread and keeping populations safe.

The shortage of public health professionals was sorely felt throughout the unfolding of COVID-19 as health care facilities struggled to keep up. In an article published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in relation to the pandemic, one of the key initiatives outlined for 2021 was maintaining appropriate staffing in all healthcare facilities, an essential factor in providing a safe work environment for healthcare personnel and safe patient care1.

SNHU has designed our purpose-built program to align with competencies defined by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) and incorporated the World Health Organization (WHO) core functions - so you'll graduate ready to make a difference in a range of industries, from nongovernment industries to national research institutes.

Learn how to:

  • Solve population-based health problems through analysis of patterns and trends within public health
  • Combine assessment, monitoring and prevention strategies to improve the wellness of people and communities
  • Propose evidence-based programs that improve access, quality and delivery of healthcare
  • Apply research to evaluate the development and implementation of programs
  • Analyze policy and create outreach strategies to promote the health and social justice of individuals, communities and populations
  • Develop initiatives that protect and promote healthy lifestyles

CEPH Accreditation:

Southern New Hampshire University is an applicant for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health. The accreditation review will address the Master of Public Health and the Master of Public Health with a concentration in Global Health programs. Other degrees and areas of study offered by this institution will not be included in the unit of accreditation review. Additional information can be found on the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) website.

Program vision:

Champion public health and health equity globally through education empowerment, inclusivity, and capacity-building.

Program mission:

Empower professionals across the country to advance their communities’ health, through the delivery of high quality, affordable and innovative learning experiences, scholarship, and community engagement.

Concentration Options

Career Outlook

As the social and economic impacts of public health continue to grow, community leaders are turning to qualified professionals who can help guide their path toward wellness.

Take, for example, the annual costs for treating diabetes or smoking-related illnesses. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these treatments cost hundreds of billions of dollars per year. However, research has shown that states with strong control and prevention programs can cut back significantly on those expenditures.1

For these reasons and more, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for health educators and community health workers will grow by 13% through 2029, more than twice the average for all occupations.2 Those with a public health degree can find opportunities in a wide variety of settings, including schools and colleges, hospitals and healthcare facilities, nonprofit organizations, private businesses and government organizations.

Students should research specific public health jobs and the educational requirements within each public health discipline as some may require specific degrees or additional education. Some public health jobs you may want to explore include:

  • Biostatistician. Design studies and use statistical formulas and protocols to examine health data and draw conclusions about disease and health.
  • Community health worker. Identify health-related issues, collect data, present findings and help connect community members with health resources.
  • Disease surveillance specialist. Provide reporting and surveillance services, including case management, data collection and diagnostic visits for public health clients.
  • Director of prevention and control. Lead teams, set goals and provide guidance that meets compliance and regulatory standards to develop and implement preventative health strategies.
  • Environmental health scientist. Examine how water, land, air and environmental factors, like climate change, affect human health.
  • Epidemiologist. Collect and study data to determine which groups in your community are at risk for certain diseases or health conditions.
  • Health policy expert. Write policies and promote health initiatives that impact the healthcare industry, other industries and the public at large.
  • Health educator. Administer public health campaigns on topics like emergency preparedness, immunizations, nutrition and stress management to educate the public especially during an emergency.
  • Health research analyst. Use data to identify areas that could be improved in a community or facility, which can then inform changes by leaders and policymakers to protect the population's health.
  • Infection prevention professional. Apply practical methods of preventing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases, typically within a specific population.
  • Public health investigator. Observe and prevent the occurrence and spread of food-borne, communicable and other infectious illnesses among the public, using knowledge of sanitation standards and health laws.

For example, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, epidemiology, in particular, became a highly sought-after profession.

Dr. Jamie Ritchey with the text Dr. Jamie RitcheyThere are many paths to becoming an epidemiologist, but most begin with a master of public health degree. “(An MPH degree) is a requirement to work for many health departments, non-profits, universities or other government jobs as an epidemiologist, but not always. Public health nurses frequently work as epidemiologists as well,” said Dr. Jamie Ritchey, epidemiologist and adjunct faculty at Southern New Hampshire University. “To lead most university research requires (a MPH).”

Dr. Elisea Avalos Reyes with the text Dr. Elisea Avalos Reyes“Epidemiology is the study of diseases. Epidemiologists study trends, rates, predictors and risk factors for diseases and other health-related incidents in specific populations,” said Dr. Elisea Avalos-Reyes, epidemiologist and adjunct faculty at Southern New Hampshire University. “A well-designed research study should consist of a team of epidemiologists and biostatisticians to ensure the study is methodologically and statistically sound.”

Dr. Phyllis Suris Swartz with the text Dr. Phyllis Suris SwartzAnother industry expert, Dr. Phyllis J. Suris-Swartz, epidemiologist, research consultant, liaison, and adjunct faculty at Southern New Hampshire University adds, “There’s a freedom to be creative, innovative and explorative; to adopt a holistic approach (while simultaneously providing) an accountability to be data-driven, and to vet that information via rigorous, critical, scientific evaluation.”

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Public Health Degree

Courses & Curriculum

As is the case with many of our programs, practical experiences are a valuable part of the public health curriculum.

Dr. Gail Tudor with the text Dr. Gail Tudor“Each course is set up with a project, based on what a real-world person does. We’re training them to have the skills to do this out there,” said Dr. Gail Tudor, associate dean of health professions at SNHU. “It used to be, the degree focused on five core areas of public health and everyone wrapped their programs around them: statistics, health policy, environmental science, epidemiology and health behavior/health education. But in 2016, the Council on Education for Public Health introduced 22 competencies students should have as graduates."

“They’re very different; they’re grouped into eight categories that, instead of focusing solely on course content, focus on specific skills and best practices,” Tudor said. “For example, learning evidence-based approaches and how public health organizations run. The pillars of public health and what people in that field actually do. It’s a different time in academia nowadays; we’re teaching people broader skills for a changing world.”

Dr. Kelley Sams with the text Dr. Kelley SamsEach course is taught by instructors with real-world expertise, such as Dr. Kelley Sams, an adjunct instructor for anthropology and public health programs.

"For me, the most impactful moments occur when my students realize that the information we are covering is not just about someone else, but it’s about them," she said. "Public health and the cultural aspects of health and illness are about the human experience, which means they are about us all."


Applied Practice Experience

As part of the MPH program, you must also complete a practical experience over 2 terms, where you'll gain real-world, onsite fieldwork skills. Similar to an internship, this experience offered in both PHE 680 and PHE 685 courses allows you to apply your knowledge in a public health setting and learn from working professionals in the field while networking and adding valuable experience to your resume. You will locate, select and confirm a site along with guidance and support from program staff, faculty and administration prior to enrolling in PHE 680.

You'll focus on preventative measures that can help you make a real impact – even before you graduate.

Heather Carbone and the text Heather CarboneTake, for example, Heather Carbone '19G, an alum of our MS in Public Health program. Through her internship with Greater Nashua Food Council, she was able to make a direct impact in her community, and learn just how complex systemic change can be.

At first, the challenge she faced seemed simple enough: Low-income residents of the city who don’t own a car found it difficult to go grocery shopping because the city bus service allows just two bags per passenger.

“You would think saying, ‘Can people have more than two bags?’ would be a relatively simple process," Carbone said. "It’s not.”

What she quickly realized is that city officials were resistant to changing the rule, which meant the solution would have to be more creative. “That was a big thing that this internship taught me," Carbone said. "How many systematic barriers there are in place, and policy barriers."

Eventually, the council partnered with a local hospital and United Way chapter to purchase 2,500 reusable bags that each hold about $80 in groceries. The bags were then distributed to stores along the bus routes, and vouchers were made available for residents to receive two bags.

Beyond that project, Carbone had the chance to contribute research and assist in writing a portion of a $20,000 grant the food council received from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. She also had several opportunities to network with professionals in public health when she attended hearings at the Statehouse in Concord and Nashua Public Health Advisory Committee meetings.

In addition to required fieldwork, this public health degree program culminates with a capstone project that synthesizes coursework with real-world experiences.

Note: All practical experience must be completed in the U.S. If you'd like to learn more, please ask your admission counselor or advisor for more information.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,881 $627 $9,405 
Degree/Certificates
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.

Additional Costs:
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

Licensure and Certification Disclosures

SNHU has provided additional information for programs that educationally prepare students for professional licensure or certification. Learn more about what that means for your program on our licensure and certification disclosure page.

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

References