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20 Best No-GRE MPH Programs
By Sam MacArthur

The role of a Master’s degree in Public Health is to fill in the gaps of the services and research healthcare industry and the social theory and implementation of the social sciences. An online MPH degree program can get you in the field faster.

As the global population continues to grow, the public health job market is expanding too, and qualified, well-prepared public health professionals are needed more than ever.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for professionals engaged in fields like Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Science, and Health Policy and Management, and Health Education will continue to rise. It is estimated that core public health occupations will add 109,000 new jobs between 2012 and 2022. As such, there is no shortage of jobs for MPH degree holders.

Application Time – Entrance Test Requirements?

Many graduate programs with a social science focus began requiring the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in the 1970s and 80s. The assessment was developed in 1949 to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of learning. While it can be a good indicator of skills that MPH graduate students need to be successful, it is Public Health scholars have found that standardized testing like this can also be a barrier for access to many, otherwise promising, graduate school candidates.

Really? No GRE Required?

As a result, many great MPH programs, and other grad programs, have devalued if not abandoned altogether this requirement for entrance. To gain a sense of a candidate’s aptitude, programs may require more intensive writing requirements, or a more extensive interview for entrance. This way institutions can still ensure that students will have the desired attributes to succeed in the program. There is no indication that your graduate degree in Public Health began without the GRE, it is simply one less hoop to get through before learning all you need to to become an outstanding Public Health worker.  

MPH Online has put together a ranking of the 20 Best Online MPH Programs that do not require applicants to complete the GRE to be accepted in the program. Most of the colleges and universities ranked are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the standard for public health program accreditation.

These colleges and universities are ranked by three metrics, each evenly weighted one-third:

  • outcomes (Department of Education’s scorecard data)
  • affordability (graduate tuition reported from IPEDS)
  • student success (institution grad rates)

The Success criteria was further assessed by the individual MPH program. Many program websites provided a clear, easy-to-access reporting of their employment placement rate for graduates.

All images were sourced from the school’s website.

1. Creighton University

Creighton University was first established in 1878, and was built on the traditions of service and value systems of the Catholic Jesuit denomination. Their campus is located in Omaha, Nebraska, and they are one of 28 Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the nation. Their mission and vision center the ideas of leadership and service on a large scale, nationally, globally and within communities. They maintain their membership to the Society of Jesus, and continue to build within the Ignatian tradition of education. Creighton is the home to nine distinct cross disciplinary schools and colleges, as well as an extensive online course catalog with several degree granting programs.

Creighton University offers a well-rounded Master’s in Public Health (MPH) Degree program that can be achieved entirely online. This course of study is built on the Jesuit Catholic values that define Creighton, and their institutional commitment to service and social change within communities. This course of study offers unique skills and experiences that support students ability to work within at-risk urban and rural communities, in preparation for a career that highlights leadership in a variety of public health settings. Students will walk away from the program with the ability to assess the needs of a defined population, evaluate how best to provide specific care, and put in place foundations of long term wellness based on research and practical engagement. No GRE is required for this program.

Cost: $$$$$

2. MCPHS University

Generally known as MCPHS, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has been called the number one university in the U.S. for earning power by the Wall Street Journal. They are a comprehensive university focused on the full spectrum of healthcare. They are also known for being a highly regarded teaching institution, which plays a role in the quality and personal attention from faculty members. The student to faculty ratio is 15:1, and 91 percent of the faculty are full time and carry terminal degrees. They have three campuses, all of which are in Massachusetts, including the Manchester Campus, the Worcester Campus, and the Boston Campus, and they also offer extensive online programming.

MCPHS University offers a fully online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program that features three start dates, in the Fall, Spring, and Summer, making it easy to get started. No GRE is required for this program. The program is oriented around building public health specialists that have a global responsibility towards wellness from the community to the international level. One of the benefits of this program is the flexibility, as students are invited to participate with full-time or part-time status, depending on what works best for their lifestyle. Students can finish in as little as two years, and emerge with the ability to think through and tackle large public health issues. Online students are required to attend one on campus orientation in Boston.

Cost: $$$$$

3. George Washington University

George Washington University is a private research institution in Washington DC. They were founded based on a request from the first President George Washington to a national university to exist in the capital city, and thus it was chartered in 1821. GW University is divided into 14 distinct schools and colleges, one of which includes to Milken Institute School of Public Health, which was founded in 1997, and acted to synthesize three programs that had already been in existence: the Schools of Medicine, Business, and Education. Their public health programming are said to be the most ethnically diverse in terms of student body then any of its kind in the nation. Their online programming is also notable and well-recognized.

George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health offers a fully online Master’s of Public Health (MPH) degree program. GRE waivers are available for this program. This course of study was designed to create leaders in the fields of public health on the local, national and global sphere. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The program is designed to meet the needs of the individual student, and therefore, there are several options one could take. A one-year online accelerated program is an option for students who want to complete the program quickly on a full-time basis. There is also an online intensive program that can be completed in 18 months.

Cost: $$$$$

4. University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions in grounded in the founding principles of the University which include such Jesuit traditions of diversity, global discourse, and justice. They pride themselves in being situated in San Francisco’s progressive epicenter, as they build leadership in the fields of healthcare. Their values of equity, service advocacy and policy are paramount to the praxis offered by this comprehensive institution. Empathetic care is a concept that runs through all of their programming, and is stressed throughout the curriculum. The University of San Francisco is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

The University of San Francisco offers an interprofessional Master’s of Public Health (MPH) Degree program that is offered online and in a blended learning format. The program centers around the idea of building leaders that can solve complex public health problems at the local, national and global level. They prioritize moving beyond the classroom and into communities, therefore, each student is required to work within a public health organization for at least 300 hours of hands on practical experience. No GRE is required for entrance to the program, in fact a variety of criteria are taken into account in the selection process, including an overall appraisal of the applicant’s readiness to perform graduate level work.

Cost: $$$$$

5. National University

National University is a non-profit institution that was founded by veterans with the vision of providing high quality education to non-traditional adult learners. Established in 1971, they have been offering distance learning since their inception, and online specific education for the past 20 years. They are located in San Diego, California, though their online students live all over the country and the world. They have over 100 online and on-campus program offerings that are organized in a four- week class format. They specialize in serving veterans and those who are still serving, and offer several scholarship opportunities that are distinctly geared towards that population. National University is the flagship of the National University System.

National University offers a fully online Master’s in Public Health (MPH) degree program that extends to train students to be at the forefront of local, national, and global disease prevention, community mental health, as well as public healthcare administration. This program engages many tenets of social justice, as it develops deep inquiry around serving the public and developing programs that bear in mind the most vulnerable populations. Students will learn how to effectively interpret and analyze health data, evaluate the circumstances and environments that impact a communities wellness, as well as describe and understand the underpinnings of disease, disabilities, and death in a variety of populations. This program does not require a GRE for acceptance.

Cost: $$$$$

6. Walden University

Walden University was founded in 1970 by two married New York teachers, Rita and Bernie Turner, who were committed to create relevant high education for adults who are both non-traditional and professional students seeking to pursue a doctoral education. Today Walden is a private university situated in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is part of a global network of 80 colleges and universities worldwide. They offer a myriad of programming, much of which has a social justice component, with coursework that is primarily online. They are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and are a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Walden University offers an exciting online Master’s of Public Health (MPH) that is affordable and designed to address the most cutting-edge health issues that impact our communities on small and large scales. This program imparts core competencies in many public health topics such as biostatistics, epidemiology, public health administration, environmental health, and social and behavioral sciences. They offer simulated experiences that prepare students to approach real public health issues from around the world. Their vision centers developing healthy communities and engaging positive social change. Students will learn culturally appropriate communication skills that will greatly support their work and culturally sensitive approach. Applicants are not expected to take the GRE to apply.

Cost: $$$$$

7. Benedictine University

Benedictine University was established in 1887 and is located in a rural 108 campus 30 minutes from Chicago, in a town called Lisle, Illinois. They are known for being one of the first centers of higher education to offer fully online degree programs, and one of the first to administer coursework by way of learning management technology. One of the benefits of taking online programming at Benedictine is the flexibility, but also the fact that you are receiving the same degree and education as students who are studying in the classroom. Not only is the diploma the same, but so is the faculty, and the coursework.

Benedictine University offers a compelling Online Master’s of Public Health (MPH) degree program that is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). This program’s focal point is building public health leadership that can be at the frontlines of tackling infectious diseases while providing access to healthcare for all. The application process features a GRE waiver for qualifying students. The program brings together scientific and core public health principles which include biostatistics, epidemiology, health services management, behavioral and social aspects of public health, and health policy. Students may also take classes in intersecting fields such as urban planning. Each student will engage in an hands-on internship opportunity that is overseen by a faculty member.

Cost: $$$$$

8. Tulane University

Tulane University is rich with history and tradition, and was established in 1834 in what was then one of the most active international port cities in the nation, New Orleans, Louisiana. Originally the school was called The Medical College of Louisiana, and was developed to treat the infectious diseases of the era, like yellow fever. Their primary campus in Uptown sits on 110 acres of land, and is home to most of the academic buildings. All of these years later Tulane has remained an influential and elite institution. In fact, they are a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, which is a distinguished selection of 62 of the leading research institutions in the country.

Tulane University is the home to the unique Center for Applied Environmental Public Health, which offers extensive programming for mid-career professionals looking to deepen their skills and public health reach. There are several Master’s in Public Health (MPH) programs to choose from which include: the MPH in Disaster Management, the MPH in Occupational and Environmental Health, the MPH in Occupational Health and Safety Management, and the MPH in Industrial Hygiene. All of these distinctly focused offerings are geared towards people who are already working in disaster management, occupational and environmental health, occupational safety and management, and engineers. No GRE is required for acceptance into any of these programs.

Cost: $$$$$

9. University of New England

The UNE Online part of the University of New England College of Graduate and Professional Studies, offering professional and degree granting programs that are 100% online and entirely asynchronous, requiring students to never step foot on campus. The University of New England is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Learning (NEASC CIHE). Their programming is designed with flexibility at their core, enabling professional students to achieve their degree without altering their busy lifestyles. Their programming reaches topics such as Education, Health Informatics, Public Health, Social Work and Applied Nutrition.

The University of New England division UNE Online offers a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) Degree program that is conducted online. Graduates will leave the program with a competitive edge for job placement in the public or private spheres, within nonprofits, or at the Federal or local levels. Students will engage in coursework that will bring them to the front lines of discourse on the complexity of public health issues that are current and impact local and global communities. Students will learn to conduct research effectively, analyze statistics and numbers, while growing one-one-one communication skills that can break down cultural and political barriers. No GRE is required for admission into this program.

Cost: $$$$$

10. Simmons College

Simmons College is located in the center of Boston, Massachusetts in an urban campus with five buildings, and was founded in 1899. It is a private women centered institution with a co-educational graduate school. It was established by a clothing manufacturer who believed that women needed a Liberal Arts foundation to have independence and success personally and professionally. Institutionally, they have evolved quite a bit and have expanded to offer an online school called @Simmons. The program @simmons, offers graduate degree programs that include Behavioral Analysis, Master’s in Public Health, Healthcare, and a Master’s of Business Administration, all of which can be achieved entirely online.

Simmons College offers a Master’s in Public Health Degree Program, called [email protected], that is entirely online. Students who enter the program will gain the skills and competencies to grasp health inequity and gain tools to contribute to positively shifting public health on a local, national, and global level. The program offers a mixed format, some of which is self-paced, some that requires an in person immersion component, and engagement with the practice-based curriculum. The program can be completed in 21 months, which includes 45 credit hours. The student to faculty ratio is close to 15:1, enabling students to have access to faculty members throughout their experience in the program. No GRE is required for admission.

Cost: $$$$$

11. University of Massachusetts Amherst

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, often referred to as UMASS Amherst is located in the college town Amherst on 1,450 acres of land in what is known as the Pioneer Valley. Though it is in a fairly rural setting, it is packed with cultural opportunities and within reasonable driving distance of many urban centers including New York City and Boston. They are considered the largest public research institution in all of New England. They offer extensive online degree programing, including within the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. They even offer a unique online Master’s of Public Health Program in Nutrition.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences offers a fully online Master’s of Public Health (MPH) -Public Health Practice degree program. This specialized program is geared towards health and public health professionals who are already working in the field, and therefore, are able to tailor the degree to meet their career goals. There are no residency requirements, meaning students never have to step foot on campus. The classes are all asynchronous, enabling a necessary flexibility for professionals with busy lives, and students can choose to take one to three classes per term. The program is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), as well as by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). No GRE is required to enter the program.

Cost: $$$$$

12. Liberty University

Liberty University is a private research nonprofit school of higher learning with an Evangelical Christian foundation. Their campus is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, though they offer extensive online programming that caters to many students local and from afar who are interested in their flexible course offerings. In fact LU Online has six times the number of students enrolled than in their residential programming. Their online program began as a distance learning correspondence program and has evolved with the times to offer successful learning opportunities for non traditional students. It is estimated that over 90,000 students are enrolled in online coursework at Liberty.

Liberty University offers a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) degree program that is offered entirely online. This program is designed to work around the students career goals and interests, as it can be used as a platform to grow in an already existing career, or to be the catalyst for a career change for the student. Students can complete the program in less than two years. There are no specific log in times, meaning students can work the program at the times that are the most convenient for them. At most, 50% of the program hours may be transferred upon approval.

Cost: $$$$$

13. West Coast University

West Coast University was established in 1909, and ever since has been career focused as it prepares students for the professional world. They take an educational approach that is experiential and built on principles of critical thinking, allowing for students to develop their whole selves in the process of working towards their future. They have facilities in Southern California, Texas and Florida, as well as extensive online programming that are designed for students to engage with their education in a style, format and location that works for them. Their online programming includes undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral opportunities. Many of their degree programs center around healthcare, including Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy and Physical Therapy.

West Coast University offers an online Master’s in Public Health (MPH) degree program that is affordable and can be completed in 12 months. West Coast University believes in training leaders to make a difference in global health, and imparting skills around wellness and advocacy as well as policy and action in this current fast paced global sphere. The program is 100% online with an internship opportunity and access to career services. There are several start dates per year, enabling student to begin the program in a timely manner. Weekly live office hours are embedded into the program for extra support. There is no GRE requirement for entrance.

Cost: $$$$$

14. University of Nevada, Reno

The University of Nevada, Reno was established in 1874, and is located in Reno, Nevada. It is actually the only land grant institution in the state. One of the exciting features of this institution is their range of graduate degree programs that are offered entirely online, and feature affordability as well as flexibility. Their curricula is professionally informed and designed in collaboration with academics and professionals who continually research best practices as they develop coursework that is effectively geared to successful professional pathways. The online faculty is the same as the resident faculty, ensuring that all students have the same access to quality and support.

The University of Nevada, Reno offers an entirely online Master’s of Public Health (MPH) in Public Health Practice that engages the whole learner with a holistic approach to the field. Students are given the opportunity to look deeper at the environmental, social and economic factors that contribute to overall health and wellness of individuals and communities. The program has no residency requirements and no GRE requirement. Students can graduate in as little as 24 months time, with multiple start dates per year that make it easy to move quickly on completion goals. This program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Cost: $$$$$

15. American Public University

The American Public University offers programming geared towards adult and non-traditional learners, and the average student age is 33. All of their programs are 100% online with asynchronous classes that students can attend to at their own schedule. Each class runs 8-16 weeks and have monthly start dates, making it easy for students to plan around their work schedules and other life commitments. Students have access to discussion boards, and other forms of social media that keep them connected to their peers for collaboration. American has over 200 course offerings many of which are degree or certificate granting. They are known for their affordability, and specifically providing value for education. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

American Public University offers an online Master’s in Public Health (MPH) Degree Program that gives students the skills to support complex healthcare needs in communities throughout the world. The program engages the tenets of advocacy, service and research, and applies them to real world scenarios. Students will engage with five core principles of public health, which include biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health policy and management, epidemiology, and social and behavioral sciences. The program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) for a five year term. There is no GRE requirement to enter the program, though a bachelor’s degree is required to apply.

Cost: $$$$$

16. Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University was founded as part of the expansion of the normal school program established in 1857 in Normal, Illinois. NIU is a public research university, located in DeKalb, Illinois. They have seven degree-granting college and serve over 25,000 students each year. NIU’s has many programs are nationally accredited for meeting high standards of academic quality, including business, engineering, nursing, visual and performing arts, and all teacher certification programs. The stated mission of the university is to promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service. NIU also offers 11 seperate online graduate programs.

Northern Illinois University’s School of Health Studies offers a Master’s in Public Health Certificate Program (MPH) that can be earned entirely online. Students in the program focus on areas such as health concerns in cities versus rural areas, childhood obesity or the health effects from climate change. Graduates of the program are prepared to create programs and lead organizations to improve the health of a whole population. NIU offers 2 specializations within the graduate degree, The Specialization in Health Services Management, and The Specialization in Health Promotion. The main difference between these two are that often, people who pursue the Management specialization are interested in behind the scenes aspects of Public Health like ensuring a clinic has all the supplies it needs and is financially sound. The latter specialization is for those who are interested in more of a hands on, role, assisting people and communities.

Cost: $$$$$

17. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona, or The UA, is a public research university in Tucson, Arizona. They were the first university founded in what was then the Arizona Territory, in 1885. The main campus is located on 380 acres of land in central Tucson, near the downtown area. The UA serves over 43,500 students each year. The university is classified as being a very high research activity school by the Carnegie Foundation. They are responsible for an approximately $606 million annual research budget. Nearly 70% of students who attend The UA are from Arizona, although many students are international, and with the online programing more students are enrolled from around the country and internationally.

The University of Arizona online Master of Public Health from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman School of Public Health gives students the opportunity to use their scholarly skill and talent to contribute to a social well-being. Graduates of this program prevent chronic disease, educate underserved communities on healthy behavior, and work to improve health policy. In the program, students choose between concentration areas of Applied Epidemiology, Health Services, Administration, and Health Promotion. The coursework consists of 50% coursework within their chosen concentration. In as few as 2 years students can obtain a graduate degree in Public Health from this CEPH accredited school. No GRE is required to be accepted in the MPH program at The UA.

Cost: $$$$$

18. University of Alaska Anchorage

The University of Alaska Anchorage is the largest university in the state of Alaska, and one of three universities in the University of Alaska statewide system. UAA’s Main Campus is located in Anchorage, with four community campuses and extension sites throughout Southcentral Alaska. In the late 1960s, a four-year university was needed in Anchorage brought about the birth of the University of Alaska, Anchorage Senior College (ASC). While the local Anchorage Community College administered the lower division college, students now has access to upper division coursework and degrees. With a student population of still more than 90% Alaskan residents, this shift was a much needed opportunity for the state itself, and its population.

The Master of Public Health Practice Program within the Department of Health Services at UAA embraces an ecological approach that recognizes the interactions and relationships among multiple determinants of health. Their goal is to produce graduates who enhance health in diverse communities across Alaska, the circumpolar north, the nation, and the world. They accomplish this goal by educating students to be leaders in scientific investigation of public health issues. They also engage communities in an organized effort to identify, assess, prevent, and mitigate community health challenges. The program can last between one to three years, depending on the part-time or full-time status of the student. UAA does not require any entrance exams such as the GRE for admission.

Cost: $$$$$

19. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a graduate university specializing in psychology and other health and mental health related fields. The Chicago School, as it is called, serves over 4,300 students and offers more than 20 degree programs in these fields. They have extensive online course offerings and offer campuses in Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Chicago, Irvine, California, and Los Angeles. The faculty at the Chicago School are experts in their respective fields, and integrate classroom learning with relevant, applicable examples from their own professional experiences, providing students with valuable skills that they carry with them throughout their careers. The school is a member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, which has recognized the school for its distinguished service and outstanding contributions to cultural diversity.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Master of Public Health Online Program addresses the needs of the evolving landscape of healthcare. By focusing on evidence-based, quality of life, and building public and private partnerships, the program helps students develop a global mindset to respond to the challenges of a highly interconnected world. This fully online program takes 27 months to complete, students completing 1 course per term. They offer concentrations in Mental & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health and Public Policy Development & Advocacy. The MPH program is an applicant for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), but not yet accredited. There is no required GRE for this program.

Cost: $$$$$

20. New York Medical College

The New York Medical College was founded in 1860, and is a member of the Touro College and University System. It is a private biomedical health sciences university based in Valhalla, New York, in the lower Hudson Valley region of Westchester County, 13 miles north of New York City. It is the only biomedical health sciences and research university in upstate, between New York City and the state capital of Albany. The College was founded 1860 to a group of civic leaders who believed that medical studies should be practiced with a better understanding of what the patient needs, noting a lack of this kind of care in NYC hospitals and health centers. It was originally the Homeopathic Medical College of the State of New York, and still maintains the focus on overall wellness.

The School of Health Sciences and Practice at NYMC, offers an online M.P.H. with concentrations in four areas, Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Science, and Health Policy and Management. Each student in the program must complete several required core public health courses. These include Health Care in the United States, Introduction to Biostatistics, Introduction to Epidemiology, Environmental Influences on Human Health, Behavioral and Social Factors in Public Health, and a Practicum course. Students must complete all required coursework within four years of beginning the program. They also offer two, accelerated MPH programs in Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion, and in Health Policy and Management.

Cost: $$$$$