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
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.
Champion public health and health equity globally through education empowerment, inclusivity, and capacity-building.
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.
Public Health (MPH) - Global Health
Apply global health concepts, theories and principles to effectively address global health issues with a Master of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health.
With billions of global citizens in an increasingly connected world, there's a heightened need for public health professionals who can develop innovative solutions that promote equitable access to care. From analyzing health trends in a public health office to implementing educational programs in the field, the global health degree concentration can help you focus on the issues in your community or take you to a country in dire need of assistance.
You'll learn how to raise awareness of health as a basic human right, whether it's through research, financial assistance or policy change. In addition, you'll learn how to navigate the complexities of working in a global health environment, critically examine pressing global health issues and create solutions that are meaningful, effective and ethically sound.
Your master’s in global health positions you for success in a number of different professional environments, including:
- Disaster relief organizations
- Multilateral agencies
- Research institutions
- Governmental and non-governmental agencies
From designing educational platforms to analyzing today’s health issues, you’ll open yourself up to a variety of roles in the field that allow to you to serve on a global level.
The global health concentration has been developed by industry experts with relevant experience, including Dr. Sarah McCool, whose work in global health issues has taken her to Haiti and Bangladesh. The program pairs a solid foundation of public health issues with 3 courses that allow you to specialize in the principles and policies of the global health environment.
Courses may include:
- Principles of Global Health
- Global Health Policy, Practice and Partnerships
- Case Studies in Global Health
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.
There 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).”
“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.”
Another 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
Why SNHU for Your Master's in Public Health
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 12 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, Southern New Hampshire University has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate your industry. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.3 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials — with no GRE or GMAT required.
To apply, use the online application.
How to Apply
Courses & Curriculum
As is the case with many of our programs, practical experiences are a valuable part of the public health curriculum.
“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.”
Each 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.
Take, 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.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|Master of Public Health|
|Courses May Include|
|MPH Master of Public Health Online|
|HIM 500||Healthcare Informatics||Students will learn the history and current state of healthcare and how the industry uses information systems. Throughout the course students will discuss types of information systems, such as the electronic medical record (EMR), laboratory and radiology systems and more. Students will also study trends in new practices, such as telemedicine and home healthcare, and how they function in various healthcare settings. Finally, students will explore how these and other industry trends, with the use of technology, can improve patient care.|
|IHP 515||Population-Based Epidemiology||This course focuses on research designs and methods to describe measures of disease occurrence and risk factor associations utilizing quantitative information to ascertain whether relationships exist between risk or protective factors and diseases in population. When looking at potential causal associations, it explores the role of chance, bias, and confounding and effect modification and how this may influence the design and interpretation of epidemiologic studies.|
|IHP 525||Biostatistics||This course provides students with a basic foundation of biostatistics and its role in public health and health sciences. The course covers the statistical principles that govern the analysis of data in public health and health sciences. Included in this course are exploratory data analysis, probability theory, confidence interval testing, hypotheses testing, power and sample size determination, and multivariable methods.|
|IHP 620||Economic Principles of Healthcare||This course provides the student with a rigorous introduction to the micro- and macroeconomic theory to understand the healthcare landscape both from a financing and policy perspective. Topics explored include market behavior; demand theory; production and cost theory; decision-making in competitive and non-competitive markets, Gross Domestic Product determination; unemployment and inflation; and fiscal and monetary policy.|
|PHE 500||Principles of Public Health||This course is a required, foundational course. It acquaints the student with the history of public health, the structure of the public health system, the ten essentials services, and the core knowledge areas in order to gain an understanding of the complex factors impacting health behaviors in the community. This course is designed to introduce the students to the range of public health professions and to motivate their interests in public health courses. The course also will introduce the development of a professional portfolio.|
|PHE 505||Research Methods in Public Health||The course introduces students to the basics of research design and methodology in public health. It provides coverage of quantitative and qualitative methods. Topics include: development of a hypothesis, sampling, data collection and structure, survey design and administration, and analytic interpretation. In public health, carefully designed research studies and their results are critical in the development of evidence-based policies, programs, and interventions. Students apply their knowledge acquired in the course by developing a research proposal. Research skills are in high demand by public health employers.|
|PHE 510||Public Health Biology||This course explores the biological basis of disease. It focuses on the impact of diseases on public health decision-making. The pathogenesis of various disease conditions are covered and how such pathogenesis could either be prevented or interrupted.|
|PHE 525||Social and Behavioral Sciences||The course provides a foundation in the application of social and behavioral sciences to public health. Social and behavior theories are examined in terms of understanding health-related behavior and applying these theories to health promotion. The course covers existing social inequalities in health status related to race, social class and gender and the critical intersection between social risk factors, behavioral risk factors and the development and implementation of public health interventions.|
|PHE 540||Principles of Environmental Health||This course offers students an overview of basic concepts in environmental sciences, an understanding of the health impact of various environmental exposures, and the public health approach to controlling and eliminating environmental health risks. The effects of agents on disease, water quality, air quality, food safety, and land resources are explored.|
|PHE 610||Health Policy and Management||Students in this course examine the health services system in the U. S., the role of healthcare policy and management, and the health delivery system. The recent healthcare reform legislation and its implications are explored. Topics include: the origins of the US healthcare system, health behaviors and disease, the management of health service personnel and organizations.|
|PHE 630||Program Planning and Evaluation in Public Health||This course explores the key approaches used to conduct and evaluate effective public health programs. Topics include: collection of primary data, analysis of data, presentation of findings for the target audience, and information systems and technology in the planning and evaluation processes.|
|PHE 680||Practical Experience in Public Health Part I||Succeed working on a real-world public health project under the supervision of the public health instructor, an approved preceptor, and a SNHU Career advisor. Refine developed competencies and skills sets that were introduced in the MPH courses. This course requires a minimum of 60 practical experience hours.|
|PHE 685||Practical Experience in Public Health Part II||Successfully complete a real-world project initiated in PHE-680 Part I under the supervision of the public health instructor, an approved preceptor, and a career advisor. Refine developed competencies and skills sets that were introduced in the MPH courses. This course requires a minimum of 60 practical experience hours.|
|PHE 690||Public Health Capstone||This is the synthesis course of the Master of Public Health program, which allows students the opportunity to apply the theory, principles and science of public health in a capstone project. This culminating experience requires students to synthesize and integrate knowledge and skills acquired throughout coursework in an original comprehensive project, and to assess their level of mastery of the stated outcomes of their degree program in public health. In addition, the students reflect on the experience to their instructor and peers.|
|Total Credits: 42|
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|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with a master's degree in public health?
Our students have earned their online degrees from all around the world, for all different reasons. Some have escaped war-torn countries and sought an undergraduate public health degree online or master's degree to establish clinics in their communities. Others took the leap from rehabilitative service jobs in hopes of changing systemic issues within healthcare.
“You can go a lot of different ways with an MPH degree,” said Dr. Gail Tudor, an associate dean at SNHU. “Policy or legislation development, or education of people and businesses. You could track diseases and do research, identifying how things spread. There are many different angles, but you'll be able to help a lot of people, and it feels good.”
When most people think about public health, they might think of healthcare facilities or government agencies with wellness programs. But that's not always the case.
There are many opportunities for professionals with an MPH degree, both in the clinical and non-clinical space. Non-clinical can include working for government or non-government organizations, nonprofits, healthcare systems and private organizations. Many clinicians such as physicians, dentists, nurses and pharmacists will also seek this degree after practicing for some time as they see the value and find passion in needing to prevent illness or injury.
“One of the benefits of having the MPH is how it fosters the potential and diversity of your career,” said faculty lead of nursing and public health Lyndsay Goss. “You could end up working at a federal health center, or more national, like the CDC or NIH. You could work in environmental health, food safety and so much more. It’s such a wide variety of directions you can go into, it makes it exciting. You could always go forward and educate others with that degree, as well.”
Is a master of public health a good degree?
That all depends on what you hope to do. If you want to address the root causes of health challenges in your local community and around the world, a master’s in public health could be a great first step in that direction.
“Oftentimes, public health is a very hidden profession, because its main goal is preventing something and providing resources for communities to keep healthy,” said Dr. Gail Tudor, an associate dean at SNHU. “So a lot of it is accomplished in the background. We’re trying to keep something from happening, so it’s harder to quantify ‘success’ by visible indicators.
“[We know] we’re succeeding when there’s less need in a community or population for assistance, when there are healthier kids or less obesity," she said. "Without public health, it’d be a disaster. No clean water, no vaccinations. Many people don’t realize how much the field of public health has pushed these things forward."
Your master’s in public health will give you hands-on learning experience doing onsite fieldwork in a public health setting. You’ll learn from professionals in the field and add valuable experience to your resume, setting you up for success in a public health career.
“One of the great things is you’ll be [positioned for real success in your field] right after graduation,” said faculty lead of nursing and public health Lyndsay Goss. “It’s also fulfilling [to impact larger populations] beyond an individual level that you may get as a nurse or doctor. You can really make a difference in your community at a local, national or policy level.”
Plus, with an optional concentration in global health, you can prepare to promote health as a basic human right around the world through research, financial assistance programs and policy analysis.
How much does an online MPH degree cost?
While MPH degrees can vary in costs, SNHU believes that education should be accessible to all. That's why we've frozen online tuition rates every year since 2012 – so our already low costs can stay that way.
Currently, the MPH program requires 42 credits at $627 per credit hour, totaling $26,334 from start to finish.
That said, the actual cost of your degree will vary based on the courses you take, the materials they require and the credits you receive for prior learning.
We accept up to 12 previously earned credits toward our master's degree programs. That means, if you’ve completed some graduate courses already, you could save up to $7,524 on tuition.
It's also worth noting that, while some courses will require textbooks, our online college degree programs aim to make use of free resources whenever possible - including ebooks, websites, training videos and other interactive content.
"I think money is a worry for all students, but SNHU has very reasonable costs," said Erica Darling '21 of the MPH program. "Education is an investment in yourself, your future and your career. The cost of an education at SNHU is very easily returned."
Is public health a good career?
Public health professionals are in high demand, as communities seek to reduce healthcare costs and improve health outcomes. With a career in public health, you can make a powerful impact on the lives of others.
"I have so many new career opportunities in front of me," said Erica Darling '21, as she wraps up her Master of Public Health. "I have such an excitement and motivation to be able to make a difference in the world and I wouldn't have this drive and knowledge without SNHU."
Employment of health educators and community health workers is projected to grow 13% by 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).2
A 2017 survey from the American Journal of Public Health found that approximately 22% of public health respondents were planning to retire by 2023, driving a need for more master of public health degree holders to fill key positions.4
A public health master's degree can also help boost your earning potential, according to BLS.2 In 2018, median weekly earnings for employees with a master's degree were 20% higher than earnings for employees with a bachelor's and 66% higher than employees with an associate degree.
According to the BLS, in 2020 epidemiologists earned a median salary of $74,560, biostatisticians earned an average salary of $91,160 and government health educators earned a median salary of $59,070.2
Which is better, MHA or MPH?
It depends on the job you want. Both a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) and a Master of Public Health (MPH) can prepare you for a rewarding career in healthcare, but jobs for these degree holders are very different.
A master’s in healthcare administration prepares you to lead a team of medical professionals in a hospital, doctor’s office or another medical facility to treat and respond to the health needs of a community. In most undergraduate healthcare administration degree programs, and especially master's coursework, you’ll explore finance, insurance reimbursement, business and management strategy, human resources and marketing.
A public health master’s degree program explores the science and data behind national and global health initiatives and focuses on the prevention of illness and injury instead of treatment. You’ll prepare to address the root cause of health challenges and lead communities toward mitigating health risks, reducing healthcare costs and improving overall wellness.
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.
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.
Sources & Citations (1, 2, 3, 4)
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2019, on the internet, at:
- https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm (viewed April 21, 2021).
- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/mitigating-staff-shortages.html (viewed May 4, 2021)
² Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm#tab-5 (viewed April 21, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2019/data-on-display/education_pays.htm (viewed April 21, 2021)
- https://www.bls.gov/OOH/math/mathematicians-and-statisticians.htm#tab-5 (viewed April 21, 2021)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
3 According to survey responses from over 9,200 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2019.
4American Journal of Public Health, The State of the US Governmental Public Health Workforce, 2014-2017, on the internet, at https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2019.305011 (viewed April 21, 2021).