Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Health Degrees 2021

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Earn a Bachelor’s in Public Health

Public health professionals promote healthy lifestyles, help prevent injury and disease, and strive to prolong life among communities and societies. Students who pursue a public health degree learn about food security, vector- and water-borne diseases, and social disruption and displacement brought about by extreme weather conditions. Public health graduates can work in many roles, including community health educator, social program administrator, and environment researcher.

Schools may offer a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of science (BS) in public health. A BA program typically includes more social science coursework, while a BS focuses on natural or hard science. Some colleges offer a bachelor of applied science in public health composed mostly classes in the major.

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Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Programs in Public Health

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 Brigham Young University-Idaho $3920
2 Northern Arizona University $8698
3 Kent State University $10012
4 Missouri Southern State University $5311
5 Bellevue University $6840
6 Youngstown State University $7847
7 Mississippi University for Women $5965
8 National University $13016
9 University of North Carolina at Greensboro $4335
10 Delaware State University $6702


  • What can you do with a bachelor's in public health?

    Graduates of an accredited bachelor’s in public health program can work in many diverse roles, including as health educators, community service managers, and occupational health specialists.

  • Is a BA or BS in public health better?

    One degree type is not better than the other. A BA program generally focuses on social sciences, while a BS program includes more classes in natural sciences.

  • How long is a bachelor's in public health?

    Most on-campus bachelor’s in public health programs take four years to complete. Online programs often follow accelerated delivery schedules, so enrollees may finish sooner.

  • Is public health a hard major?

    As with other majors, the difficulty level of a public health program depends on enrollees’ willingness to invest the effort to fulfill program requirements.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Public Health Degrees 2021

  1. Brigham Young University-Idaho

    Rexburg, ID



    With over 15,000 online students, Brigham Young University-Idaho has one of the largest online student bodies in the nation. While a formal public health degree isn't offered, students interested in the field may want to consider the online bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies. Through this 4-year program, students can design their own program by choosing courses from 2 or more disciplines. They can also pursue a minor or a cluster in public health, while specializing in health promotion or healthcare administration. This highly-customizable program lets students study and prepare for their specific career goals and interests.

  2. Northern Arizona University

    Flagstaff, AZ



    At Northern Arizona University, the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences: Public Health degree can be earned entirely online and is tailored to working students. The degree requires 120 credit hours; transfer students may bring in up to 64, making this ideal for students who already possess an associate degree. Students gain an understanding of the U.S. health system, concepts in policy and law, and societal and behavioral influences on human health. They go on to work in environments such as clinics, colleges, or county health services departments.

  3. Kent State University

    Kent, OH



    Kent State University students can choose from several options to pursue an online bachelor's degree in public health. Four concentrations are available: allied health, clinical trials research, health promotion and education and health services administration. Undergrads can also add a certificate in public health. After completing the degree, graduates will be parepared to work in a variety of settings, including public health departments, clinics, community health organizations and insurance companies.

  4. Missouri Southern State University

    Joplin, MO



    Missouri Southern State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Health Science Business/Life-Health as a degree completion program. This distance learning option is aimed at transfer students who already hold an associate degree but who do not have a background in health. The curriculum teaches students about issues and principles related to public health, such as epidemiology and environmental problems, as well as arming them with practical business skills to use in administrative roles. The degree requires 124 credits to complete.

  5. Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE



    For those interested in pursuing a career in public health, Bellevue University offers an online health science degree. This multi-disciplinary program combines the studies of health, illness and disease prevention and offers 2 areas of emphases so students can develop specialized skills. One option is the science emphasis which focuses on the life sciences and the second option is the eldercare emphasis which focuses on the growing elderly population and prepares students for the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB).

  6. Youngstown State University

    Youngstown, OH



    Youngstown State University offers its online bachelor's in public health program in 2-, 3- or 4-year formats, depending on how many credits a student has previously earned; 120 credits total, including general education requirements, are necessary to graduate. Students can choose from one of two tracks: environmental health and safety or health education/promotion; throughout the program they must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. Many students choose to go on to graduate studies, as well as to careers in health education, community practices, and health policy and management.

  7. Mississippi University for Women

    Columbus, MS



    Originally a women's college, Mississippi University for Women has since expanded to include men, and has 2 online bachelor's degree options in public health. The Bachelor of Science in Public Health Education is designed both for freshmen and for transfer students who hold an associate degree; the latter may transfer up to 62 credits. The online Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Health Education is for students who hold an associate degree in allied health; they may transfer up to 43 technical credits toward the baccalaureate degree. Both 124-credit programs train students to work in a variety of jobs that promote and improve public health.

  8. National University

    La Jolla, CA



    Founded with non-traditional students in mind, National University has been offering online courses and programs for over 2 decades. Its bachelor's of science in public health is an online option for those looking to work in public health but need flexibility while pursuing their degree. Offered in either an entirely online or hybrid format, this program covers key topics such as personal health, human anatomy, human sexuality, health informatics and microbiology, to name a few course examples. 180 quarter units are required to earn this degree, the majority of which must be completed at National University.

  9. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Greensboro, NC



    While the majority of its students study on-campus, the University of North Carolina Greensboro's distance learning offerings has expanded in recent years. The online degrees are often more affordable than the on-campus counterparts, so students interested in degrees like a bachelor's in public health are starting to opt for online study. UNCG's online public health program gives students a strong foundation in the field, preparing them for health careers that focus on alleviating health disparities. Through elective courses, students can focus more on their desired niche, leaving some room for specialization.

  10. Delaware State University

    Dover, DE



    Delaware State University is a smaller school that caters to non-traditional students. Nearly half of the student body lives off campus and many of these students don't commute and opt for online learning formats. Those interested in the public health field can look into the online bachelor in public health degree. Structured the same as the on-campus version, the BS in public health is entirely online and prepares students for various entry-level positions such as STD prevention specialists, employee wellness coordinators or state immunization program coordinators. A senior capstone project is required, giving students valuable experience prior to beginning their public health career.


Why Get a Degree in Public Health?

Public health practitioners work with diverse client groups, often depending on their specialization and professional interests. Accredited public health programs prepare graduates for the demands of this multifaceted professional arena. See below for some reasons students choose to pursue a public health degree.

Keep Knowledge Current
A well-developed curriculum in public health includes coursework in the field’s latest research developments and findings.
Prepare for a Graduate Program
Although most master’s in public health programs accept applications from students with a degree in an unrelated field, schools typically prefer applicants with a health-related bachelor’s degree.
Improve Professional Options
Public health leadership positions and many well-funded research projects often go to practitioners with at least a bachelor’s degree.
Enhance Credibility
A bachelor’s degree, especially in a field like public health, presents the holder as a knowledgeable and ethical professional with skills honed through four years of study.
Job Security
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bachelor’s degree-holders enjoy a lower unemployment rate (2.2%) compared to associate-trained workers (2.7%), and employees with some college but no degree (3.3%).

How Much Does a Public Health Major Make?

Graduates of public health bachelor’s programs often qualify to work as community health workers or social and community service managers. Completing a master’s in the field can lead to more prominent and high-paying positions such as epidemiologist and survey researcher. Public health majors who cannot commit to pursuing a master’s degree can earn a graduate certificate in the field to update or expand their knowledge and improve their earning potential.

Bachelor's in Public Health Program Requirements

A BS in public health may require applicants to show completion of prerequisite science coursework such as chemistry and biology. Prerequisite courses for a BA program may include social sciences and humanities classes. Some programs also require applicants to meet a minimum GPA.

Public health bachelor’s programs often include an internship or practicum component to allow enrollees to apply classroom knowledge in real-world situations. Because public health is a broad field of study, graduates often pursue further study in specialized areas. Research directorship and other top leadership positions in public health require at least a master’s degree and often a doctorate.

Accreditation and Online Colleges


Courses in a Public Health Bachelor’s Program

A well-developed bachelor’s in public health program includes foundation courses such as public health data analysis, community health program planning, and environmental health. Students also enroll in classes in research methodology, grant writing, and communication.

Some of the best public health bachelor’s programs offer specializations in fields like healthcare administration, biostatistics, and disaster management. Most public health bachelor’s programs require enrollees to complete an internship experience prior to graduation.

This course covers topics such as healthcare regulations and financing, technological advances in modern healthcare delivery, and state and federal policy-setting procedures that impact healthcare access. Students also explore the use and management of electronic health records and learn how to identify aspects in healthcare delivery systems that may put patients at risk.

Students explore foundational topics such as toxicology, environmental risk assessment methods, epidemiology, and risk management and communication. Case studies and fieldwork enable enrollees to explore issues such as susceptibility and inequality factors in environmental health, emerging environmental hazards, and exposure assessment.

Enrollees examine the causes, effects, and patterns of diseases and health conditions in different populations and locations. Students learn how to use this information to address public health issues, develop and implement effective community healthcare programs, and craft policies and regulations that improve health conditions across specific population segments.

Scholarships for Public Health

Many colleges and universities offer need- and merit-based scholarships, which do not require repayment. Students can also research scholarships from professional associations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies with vested interests in public health education. See below for three scholarships available to students seeking a bachelor’s in public health.

  • ACMPE Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: The American College of Medical Practice Executives welcomes applications from undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a program related to medical practice management, including public health.

    Amount: Varies for each scholarship (up to $5,000)

    Explore Here

  • James M. & Erma T. Freemont Foundation Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: This program accepts applications from high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students planning to pursue or currently enrolled in a program in health and medical sciences with a history of volunteerism and community involvement.

    Amount: Varies

    Explore Here

  • Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Society for Public Health Education opens this scholarship to members enrolled full time in an undergraduate or graduate program in an eligible field, including public health. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.

    Amount: $2,500

    Explore Here

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