Why earn an online MPH from SNHU?
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Solve health challenges and transform lives with an online master's in public health.
With the Master of Public Health program online, you'll learn how to act swiftly to help control disease outbreaks, develop and enact wellness programs for communities, recommend and affect policy change with global implications and track progress toward your goal of improving the health of populations. You'll be ready to implement programs, shape policy, analyze evidence-based research and monitor epidemiological findings – all while earning the widely recognized credential essential 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."
We 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 organizations to national research institutes.
Learn how to:
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.
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. 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.
Courses may include:
Learn more about earning a master's in global health concentration.
As the health, 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.
"We attempt to decipher what's going on within communities and determine how we can best support their efforts," said Dede Teteh, an SNHU adjunct instructor. She notes that these relationships are "partnerships" where all parties work together to identify solutions to public health problems.
"I believe that more and more communities are seeing benefits from wellness-related initiatives and receiving positive marks about them," adds SNHU adjunct instructor Michelle Gifford. "Hence community leaders are seeing this as not just a business-driven necessity, but also something that impacts the well being and quality of life of their citizens."
Part of the reason community leaders take notice is the projected economic gains in doing so. Take, for example, the annual costs for treating diabetes or smoking-related illness. 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.3
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 11% through 2028, 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.
Some public health jobs you may want explore include:
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 graduate 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, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
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 the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
See why 96% of students would recommend SNHU.*
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.
Master's degree candidates must also submit a personal statement. Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance.
To apply, use the online application.
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions, and walk you through the application process, which includes:
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 came up with 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."
As part of the MPH program, you must also complete a practical experience over 2 terms, where you'll gain real-world, onsite field-work skills. Similar to an internship, this experience offered in both PHE 680 and PHE 685 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.
Total Credits: 42
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.
*Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed Annually.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Our students have earned their online degree from all around the world, for all different reasons. Some have escaped war-torn countries and sought an undergraduate public health degree or master's 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, as professor and lead faculty of SNHU's public health program, Dr. Matthew Caines, points out, that's not always the case.
"Employers in nearly every industry have something within the organization that public health professionals [can help] develop, launch and manage," he said. Caines said this may include:
Caines also notes that many public health professionals will often identify a specific niche in their field. For example, someone with a background in IT might earn their MPH to build a career in public health informatics. Someone with a military background, on the other hand, may want to make the leap to emergency preparedness and disaster response.
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 nongovernment 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.”
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 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 field work 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.
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 credits you receive for prior learning.
We accept up to 12 previously earned credits toward our master's degree program. 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.
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 think in the last couple of decades people have realized how powerful public health is and how necessary it is in terms of overall healthcare," said Dr. Denise Bisaillon, associate dean of public health at SNHU. "It's the wave of the future.”
Employment of health educators and community health workers is projected to grow 11% by 2028, 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 public health master’s 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 master’s degree holders were 20% higher than earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, and 66% higher than earnings for associate degree holders.
According to the BLS, in 2018, epidemiologists earned a median salary of $69,660, biostatisticians earned an average salary of $79,370 and government health educators earned a median salary of $56,130.2
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 degree in healthcare administration prepares you to lead a team of medical professionals in a hospital, doctor’s office or other 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 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.
"Public health looks at populations. It doesn't look at individuals," said Bisaillon. "It's not a clinical program. It's not a clinical field. Public health looks at whole populations and what diseases are out there and where they came from. They look at all the ways that disease and conditions take place and how to prevent them."
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.
*According to a survey of over 12,000 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2018.
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
3Centers 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 online March 20, 2020).
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 online March 20, 2020).