Online Public Health Degrees 2022

Our ranking of the top online bachelor's degrees in public health for 2021 is focused on flexibility, academic quality, and affordability.

Updated September 7, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Public Health Degrees 2022

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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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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.

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.

1. Keep Knowledge Current
A well-developed curriculum in public health includes coursework in the field's latest research developments and findings.
2. 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.
3. Improve Professional Options
Public health leadership positions and many well-funded research projects often go to practitioners with at least a bachelor's degree.
4. 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.
5. 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.

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.

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.

Scholarships for Public Health
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

ACMPE Scholarships

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

James M. & Erma T. Freemont Foundation Scholarship Program

Varies 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.

Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship

$2,500 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.

Best Online Public Health Degrees 2022

#1

The University of Arizona

School Information
Location Tucson, Arizona
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Arizona delivers respected, accessible online undergraduate programs for distance degree-seekers. The public institution is based in Tucson, where it delivers on-campus programs. The flexible public health program delivers scheduling options for online enrollees.

The bachelor of science in public health program features a virtual classroom environment, providing flexibility for distance learners. Online students can participate in virtual class discussions and attend remote office hours. In addition to fulfilling core requirements, individuals studying public health gain specialized knowledge during advanced classes. After graduation, bachelor's degree-holders can apply for entry-level careers in public health.

For details about application deadlines and requirements, prospective students can review the school's website.

The University of Arizona at a Glance:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 147

Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Average Cost Per Credit: $1,050

Learners Awarded Financial Aid: 91%

Percentage of Learners Awarded Student Loans: 36%

Permits Transfer Credits: Yes

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#2

The University of Missouri-Columbia

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students can enroll in the top-ranked online bachelor of health science in public health at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition to on-campus programs, the public institution offers a variety of online bachelor's programs. The flexible learning format helps degree-seekers balance college with work and other responsibilities.

The online public health bachelor's program incorporates foundational and advanced coursework in public health. Enrollees work with faculty mentors and academic advisors to create a custom degree plan that matches their career goals. The program supports distance learners through tutoring, a writing center, and career advising.

As an accredited institution, online students can submit the FAFSA and use federal financial aid to cover their expenses. In addition to federal aid, degree-seekers may qualify for institutional scholarships and state grants.

The University of Missouri-Columbia at a Glance:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 82

Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Number of Online Students: 9,722

Undergraduate Admission Rate: 81%

Percent of Students who Graduate: 71%

Applies Transfer Credits: No

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#3

The University of Southern Mississippi

School Information
Location Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Admission Rate 97%
Graduation Rate 49%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Graduates of The University of Southern Mississippi's online bachelor of science in public health can pursue a variety of positions in public health. The school educates degree-seekers at its Hattiesburg campus. Students enrolled at the school can pursue 60 online programs, 22 of which confer bachelor's degrees.

The online public health program is ideal for individuals who need flexible scheduling options. The remote program features customizable scheduling options, which can make earning a degree easier for busy learners balancing academics with personal obligations. Virtual classes allow learners to connect with classmates and professors through forums and email. While most bachelor's degree-seekers graduate in four years, part-time enrollment may extend degree completion time.

Learners at the school access affordable tuition rates and institutional funding, which can reduce out-of-pocket expenses. The institution holds accreditation, which means degree-seekers can submit the FAFSA to receive federal loans and grants, such as the Pell Grant. Students can discuss funding options with financial aid counselors.

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#4

Delaware State University

School Information
Location Dover, Delaware
Admission Rate 53%
Graduation Rate 42%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Distance learners can pursue an online bachelor of science in public health from Delaware State University to prepare for public health careers. The public institution delivers 115 programs, including nine virtual programs for online students. The school offers five online bachelor's programs that are ideal for busy degree-seekers.

The institution delivers coursework for the public health program in a virtual classroom environment. In addition to core coursework, students in the public health program complete advanced classes in the field. While completing general education requirements, degree-seekers gain critical thinking skills they can apply to careers and advanced studies. Gaining professional experience during internships can benefit graduates applying for positions in their field.

Student support services, such as tutoring and career counseling, prepare distance learners to succeed academically and professionally. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs. Financial aid counselors help enrollees understand funding options and reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

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#5

California Baptist University

School Information
Location Riverside, California
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of science in public health program at California Baptist University ranks among the best online degrees in public health. The private institution offers traditional programs at its Riverside campus and a variety of online bachelor's programs. The school's virtual programs use a flexible learning format that helps learners balance school with other responsibilities.

The online bachelor's program incorporates foundational and advanced coursework in public health. The program offers many opportunities to customize the degree, including through electives and minors. The school's online services, including tutoring, financial aid advising, and career counseling, help distance learners complete the program.

The school's accreditation means that remote degree-seekers can submit the FAFSA and use federal financial aid programs to pay for their degree. Students work with the school's financial aid office to identify scholarships and grants to pay for their degree.

California Baptist University Facts:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 89

Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Number of Online Students: 6,112

Student Acceptance Rate: 78%

Rate of Graduation: 63%

Per-Credit Cost: $613

Transfer Credits Permitted: No

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