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Top 25 Online MPH in Epidemiology for 2020
By Staff Writer

Epidemiology is one of those fields that many people don’t realize they want to do until they’ve been in some corner of public health for a while and see what a difference they can make. The skills in research, analysis, and big-picture thinking that epidemiology requires are usually developed through time and experience. An online master’s in epidemiology is the perfect way for a public health professional to hone and perfect those skills, and to earn the credentials to move into a higher-level role.

Just like with most fields, earning a master’s degree – such as an online MPH in Epidemiology – will make you more competitive in the job market. Your epidemiologist education will give you the specific skills that you’ll need in the field. With an online master’s in epidemiology, you can qualify for positions offering higher pay, more authority, and more opportunities for promotions and other benefits. Not all epidemiology jobs require a Master’s degree, but many of them do. With a Master’s degree, you’ll have a wider pool to choose from, so you’ll have an easier time finding epidemiology jobs that closely align with your goals and passions.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Master’s in Epidemiology

To build our ranking of the best online master’s in epidemiology, MPHOnline editors began by researching trusted, accredited institutions offering a fully online or hybrid MPH or MS in Epidemiology. From our initial pool, we ranked programs according to three criteria: Cost, Salary Potential, and Student Satisfaction, using data from Niche, College Scorecard, and IPEDS. These three factors tell students they can expect a solid return on their investment and get a master’s degree that makes a real difference.

1. Texas A&M University

The online MPH in Epidemiology from Texas A&M University is designed to give working students and those who are geographically challenged the opportunity to pursue their dreams and career goals. This program is designed to identify determinants and patters in place by diseases and encourage the appropriate response to such an outbreak within the community. For rural areas, these patterns can diminish overall health in an area and solutions to these patterns can be the difference in their livelihood. Rural students are able to gain an education and give back to their communities with this online program that gives them the education they desire in a flexible format.

This online MPH in Epidemiology program is identified as one of the leading programs for students across Texas. Students take advantage of this curriculum that is awarded based upon grant-funded research and include a faculty that has experience and research in their particular discipline.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

2. University of California, Berkeley

The online MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of California, Berkeley, offers students on the West Coast the ability to take their career in public health to the next level. With public health being a central topic across the state of California, many students are finding a career in demand for public health professionals with a formal background in epidemiology and biostatistics. This online MPH in Epidemiology offers students a positive return on investment, with many graduates seeking employment within a year following graduation.

At the University of California, Berkeley, students are guaranteed the ability to learn from true professionals in their disciplines and receive the same instruction online as they would in the classroom. The University is equipped with a capable career services department that will work with graduates to help them seek the employment they desire in a field where they can utilize the skills gained through the program.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics

3. Harvard University

One of the leading online Masters in Epidemiology resides at an Ivy League institution. The online MPH in Epidemiology at Harvard University has graduated numerous professionals in the Public Health sector that have taken their career to the next level following graduation. This program is available to students both on-campus and online, giving them access to the same curriculum and faculty members. The mission of this program is to isolate and encourage clinical and population research, which allows it to attract and graduate leaders in epidemiology research for the future. This program’s reputation allows students to find gainful employment in their field following graduation.

At Harvard University, students in the public health discipline are given access to the latest in epidemiology research. The mission of this program like all others offered at Harvard University is to provide excellence for enrolled students and ensure that they have mastered the skills necessary to continue a career in public health.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

4. University of Michigan

At the University of Michigan, the online Masters in Public Health program does not have an epidemiology concentration, but does have focused electives in the field. These elective courses equate to an online epidemiology certificate for those seeking to shift their public health career in this area. The curriculum is designed to allow the student to set the precedent for their career and education, giving them the reigns to obtain their desired skill set. Because public health consists of so many skills and methods, this program offers students a flexibility to customize their focus unlike any other online MPH program.

Ranked one of the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the University Of Michigan School Of Public Health strives to give their students the skills they need since their founding in 1941. Over 96% of graduating students from this program find employment in their career field.

Program: MPH

5. University of South Florida

One of the leading online Masters in Epidemiology is found at the University of South Florida. This program not only includes a competitive curriculum designed to give their students the necessary skills to succeed in their career field, but also give them an affordable option. When students pursue the MPH in Epidemiology from the University of South Florida, they are receiving one of the more affordable options available to them.

The University of South Florida has strived over the last century to ensure that its Floridian students receive education that is competitive with other institutions and provide an education at a fraction of the cost. The mission of the University of South Florida has always been to maximize the potential of their programs, and this is no different for the online MPH in Epidemiology. This program includes nearly twenty faculty members that are experts in their field and receive the same instruction as those who attend traditional classes.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

6. Columbia University

The Executive MS in Epidemiology at Columbia University is one of the most sought after online Masters in Epidemiology programs by students across the nation. This program is designed specifically for students who are currently working professionals in their discipline and in desire of promoting their career to a more administrative position. This program is flexible for students who work throughout the standard work week, with many assignments completed online, and one weekend a month for classes. This hybrid format allows students the ability to maintain their current positions while gaining in-person interaction with their peers and professors regularly.

The mission behind the Executive MS in Epidemiology at Columbia University is to grasp a class of students in and outside of New York City who are looking to take on the growing demand in this career field of epidemiology. Students are provided with a rigorous curriculum that will keep them challenged and perfect the skills required for this career.

Program: Executive MS in Epidemiology

7. University of Alabama at Birmingham

The MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham is available to students either in the traditional format or as an online MPH in Epidemiology. With many Alabama students having geographical difficulties to regularly reach the Birmingham campus, this online flexibility gives them the ability to gain the required education they need and not disrupt their daily lives and responsibilities. The curriculum associated with this program prepares these students for doctoral-level education and pursue research following graduation.

At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the mission is to provide students with the leading research in their discipline, keeping them competitive with other professionals, while preparing them for the next stages of their career. Those admitted to the program will have to prove their aptitude for the sciences and math through previous transcripts and GRE performance. This program also requires an internship for students to ensure that they have mastered the skills necessary to move forward in the field of epidemiology after graduation.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

8. University of Southern California

At the University of Southern California, the Keck School of Medicine offers an online MPH in Epidemiology that focuses around the statistics and methodologies to identify and determine potential health trends in a particular area. As one of the leading online MPH in Epidemiology programs, its online format allows students in California and other states to take advantage of pursuing this degree and advancing their career. Because of its ability to specialize in a particular concentration, many students find a positive return on investment after graduation, as they gain substantial employment.

At the University of Southern California, the University is committed to providing a curriculum that is designed to fit the needs and skills required in the profession today. Students can graduate with their MPH in Epidemiology knowing that they are equipped to move forward with research and the ability to determine potential health trends that will better the lives of the citizens across the nation.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

9. University of Tennessee Health Science Center

The MS in Epidemiology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is one of the leading online Masters in Epidemiology programs available to students seeking this degree. This program is flexible for students, with the core courses for the program available online or in traditional format to fit the needs of the student. Once the core courses have concluded, students will have the option to pursue particular electives for concentrations in clinical investigation, biostatistics, or data science. Some of these courses are offered online while others require classroom attendance.

At the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the faculty in the program are leaders in their discipline, as they give students firsthand experience into the profession. Students also have the ability to craft their program to fit their personal interests and career goals. Skills that students were taught in their undergraduate courses will be elevated in this program and mastered by graduation.

Program: MS in Epidemiology

10. University of Arizona

The MPH in Epidemiology at the University of Arizona is one of the fasting growing online Master’s in Epidemiology programs across the nation. This program is available online for students that are often working professionals. Because of the demand of the program, students have the ability to hone their skills with this curriculum, and even grasp a specialization. With completion expected in approximately two years, working professionals have the ability and flexibility to obtain their education while gaining experience in the field.

At the University of Arizona, the online MPH in Epidemiology program is housed in the only College of Public Health in the state of Arizona. This college takes in to account the diverse cultures found across Arizona and other Southwest states, offering public health programs to students that are geographically challenged due to extensive rural communities throughout the area. This institution is also a member of the Association of American Universities.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

11. University of Nevada, Reno

The MPH in Public Health Practice at the University of Nevada, Reno, allows students the ability to take elective courses that have a direct focus on epidemiology in electives. These courses combined can equate to an online epidemiology certificate that has allowed the student to centralize their skill set and have a direct focus on epidemiology. Students are not required to have a residency requirement to pursue this online program, making it one of the most desirable among students who reside in the Southwest states.

The University of Nevada, Reno, strives to provide opportunities to their students that will give them the accredited education they need to pursue their career goals, while being as flexible as possible. The MPH at the University of Nevada, Reno, is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and received an award for being a National Tier 1 University through the U.S. News and World Report.

Program: MPH in Public Health Practice

12. Loyola University Chicago

The online MPH in Epidemiology from Loyola University Chicago offers students the option to take advantage of an online curriculum with established faculty members and gain the necessary professional values. A quantitative and qualitative skill set is a part of this competitive curriculum found with this program. Students are also able to master additional skills such as leadership, policy, and communication. The flexibility of this program and its high graduation rate are two of the reasons why it is growing exponentially among other online MPH in Epidemiology programs.

The MPH in Epidemiology program at Loyola University Chicago is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). This program and Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health college was listed as one of the Best Grad Schools for Public Health in 2929 by U.S. News due to its curriculum and graduation rate that has made the program a success.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

13. George Washington University

At George Washington University, students pursuing a career in Epidemiology can make their career goals a success with GWU’s MPH in Epidemiology and Public Health Research Methods. This program is designed to be completed within two years by enrolled students. The skills that this program enforces exceed the methodologies and statistics required for epidemiology. They also require proficiency in leadership and management as these students will take the lead on the research and projects they secure in their future. This program is completely online, making it an option for students who are working within their career field and unable to attend regular classes during the day or evenings.

This MPH in Epidemiology and Public Health Research Methods is accredited through the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The mission of the Benedictine’s school for Public Health ensures that students receive the skills and curriculum required to keep them competitive in their field.

Program: MPH – Epidemiology and Public Health Research Methods

14. Johns Hopkins University

The Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University is designed to offer students of this program the ability to craft and diversify their studies to fit their personal needs. Under appropriate advisement, students have the ability to take select elective courses that provide a specialization in epidemiology. Students can receive this specialization as an online epidemiology certificate, and they will have a transcript record of gaining the necessary skills for this area of public health. This program is available online for students who are working full-time, and it is flexible enough to allow students to be either full-time or part-time students.

The experience allows students to remain engaged through the online platform, as Johns Hopkins University strives to provide equal and engaging education through all formats of education. For students who may require tuition assistance, there is a scholarship opportunity for students, whether they are full-time or part-time enrolled.

Program: MPH

15. South Dakota State University

The online MPH in Epidemiology from South Dakota State University is one of the leading online MPH in epidemiology programs available for students. Unlike most programs in its class, this MPH in Epidemiology is a collaboration between two institutions (South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota) that provide students in South Dakota with only the best in the state. Students can expect to receive only the leading in education from this program.

The curriculum of this collaborative MPH in Epidemiology from South Dakota State University includes advanced health care management, public health practice, and epidemiology courses such as advanced epidemiology that provide students with the necessary skills needed to move forward with research in infectious diseases. It does include the CEPH accreditation, (Council on Education for Public Health) which means the curriculum is completive and above standard for those pursuing this degree.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

16. University of Nebraska Medical Center

At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, students seeking to advance their public heath career into a more specialized area such as epidemiology, have the option to pursue UNMC’s online MPH in Epidemiology. This curriculum is complete with 42 credit hours that focuses on the foundational requirements for this specialization, as well as the different methodologies required for professionals. This program is also one of the more affordable options available to students, as they are able to obtain their advanced education both online and with the assistance of financial aid should they require it.

One of the leading online Masters in Epidemiology, this program allows students to spend the duration of their career-enhancing current skills and mastering them to fit the needs of their career following graduation. Like all programs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, students have the ability to customize and develop their program to fit a variety of careers.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

17. University of South Dakota

The Masters of Public Health at the University of South Dakota includes elective courses that give students the skills needed to pursue a career in epidemiology. While there is not a specified concentration or online epidemiology certificate, students have the ability to take specific elective courses that will equate to a specialized skill set in epidemiology. This is because epidemiology is considered a core area of public health, so all students have a foundation in the area, and then the option to advance those skills through the electives available to them. This flexibility is one of the reasons why students pursue this particular program over others.

At the University of South Dakota, the focus of this Masters in Public Health program is to give all graduates a well-rounded skill set that will have them credentialed in their careers. The flexibility of this program online allowing these students to continue gaining experience while pursuing their education.

Program: MPH

18. Boston University

Boston University’s MS in Population Health Research: Epidemiology focuses solely on this specialization, this is one of the leading online Masters in Epidemiology. With epidemiology finding itself at the very center of public health in recent years, graduated qualified and skilled professionals are essential and one of the goals of Boston University. Students who have graduated from this program have found themselves employed both nationally and internationally, as their skills are so unique that employers want on the best in the program.

Maintaining excellence and giving students only the leading skills is a mission of Boston University. Because a program that is as specialized and central as the MS in Population Health Research: Epidemiology is, they have decided to offer this program at both full-time and part-time status, and flexible formats to fit the needs of their students.

Program: MS in Population Health Research: Epidemiology

19. University of Memphis

The University of Memphis offers an online MPH in Epidemiology, which is growing in demand due to its nature of being one of the leading online MPH in Epidemiology programs available for those looking to advance their career and their affordable tuition rates. Obtaining a degree in a specialized area is not an easy task for students, especially those seeking to advance their career in epidemiology. Finding a program that fits their curriculum needs, as well as their tuition needs is the reason for the demand at the University of Memphis.

As one of the initial leaders into distance learning in the Southeast, the University of Memphis has strived to ensure that students pursuing an online degree receive the same education that their peers are getting in the classroom. Despite being spread across several states, students and faculty at the University of Memphis are able to maintain classroom engagement and interaction regularly.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

20. Ferris State University

At Ferris State University, the online MPH in Epidemiology is earning a great reputation and increasing its number of students due to several benefits. Not only is this program 100% available online for students, but there is an option available for those who are pursuing their BS in Public Health to gain accelerated program option. Many students are choosing Ferris State University due to the student-to-faculty ratio that allows students to interact more thoroughly with their instructors. All of their faculty instructors are qualified in their discipline, giving students firsthand insight into Public Health and Epidemiology.

These benefits are just a few of the standards that Ferris State University strives to provide for its students. They can expect to receive a competitive curriculum that compares to what is offered in other institutions across the state and gains a specialization that makes them more marketable following graduation when looking to gain a promotion or seek a specific job.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

21. Benedictine University

At Benedictine University, the online MPH with Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology program allows students to receive an online epidemiology certificate through their program while completing a curriculum that is accredited through the Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH). Pursuing a degree that is accredited is essential to many students in this profession, and that accreditation forged with an online format makes the choice for Benedictine University a no-brainer.

The mission at Benedictine University is to provide students with leading education and the opportunity to enhance their education. Students who have one or more graduate degrees in a similar field have the option to ask for specialized admissions into this program to take advantage of an opportunity that will craft their skills and prepare them for research and field work beyond the classroom.

Program: MPH with Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology

22. East Tennessee State University

At East Tennessee State University, the online MPH in Epidemiology is one of the most sought after programs at the institution. With the growing need for professionals in epidemiology, this program is as flexible and diverse as the student body, offering classes on campus or online to fit their personal needs. Because of this flexibility and a team of faculty members that have years of experience in the discipline, this program is leading in as one of the online MPH in Epidemiology, especially in the Southeast.

This program’s curriculum is designed to provide students a solid foundation into public health, giving them an understanding of the various types of society they will encounter in their research, and how particular methodologies are utilized to gain solutions. East Tennessee State University is one of the leading medical universities in the state of Tennessee and is a Coverdell Fellows Partner University.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

23. Kent State University

The MS in Clinical Epidemiology at Kent State University is a popular online Masters in Epidemiology program that students across the nation pursue due to its curriculum and affordability. This program is designed for students who are looking at careers such as research scientists, data scientists, clinical research coordinators and managers, clinical trial managers, epidemiologists, and research associates throughout the Public Health field. Students know that a degree from Kent State University comes with a high reputation across the public health industry.

The mission at Kent State University is to ensure that students receive the appropriate education and skills that are necessary for them to be successful in their career paths. For those seeking to enter epidemiology, this is no different, as the MS in Clinical Epidemiology is designed for students to pursue a variety of career options following graduation and become successful with the knowledge and skills gained through the program.

Program: MS in Clinical Epidemiology

24. Southern New Hampshire University

At Southern New Hampshire University, the online Masters in Public Health is one of the most popular programs. While this program does not have a specialization or online epidemiology certificate, students gain the skills necessary for epidemiology in their core classes. These courses are later supplemented with specific elective courses designed to build upon these skills and give them additional knowledge in this area of specialization. The main reason that students pursue their education at Southern New Hampshire University is for the affordable tuition rate.

Southern New Hampshire University has been listed as one of the most affordable universities online over the last decade by U.S. News. Their graduate tuition rates compared to others in their class give them an advantage that attracts students across the nation. Also, their programs are available completely online and students are not required to live within the New Hampshire state to enroll.

Program: MPH

25. Eastern Virginia Medical School

At the Eastern Virginia Medical School, the online MPH in Epidemiology program is designed to be as flexible as possible for students, with the option of online courses and evening courses available. Students also have the ability to pursue several different tracks with this program, providing them with an online epidemiology certificate at the graduate level. Because of this flexibility, more and more students are choosing Eastern Virginia Medical School.

The Eastern Virginia Medical School strives for students to take their public health degree to the next level. These students are encouraged to pursue volunteer experiences in their communities to gain a firsthand perspective. They are also encouraged to study abroad on an international level so that they get an experience of how epidemiology affects other countries and their populations. For Eastern Virginia Medical School, it is essential that students who graduate from their programs are well-rounded and build their skills based upon firsthand experience.

Program: MPH in Epidemiology

Do I Need a Full Master’s Degree to Work as an Epidemiologist?

Will you need a full Master’s degree to be employed as an epidemiologist? It depends on your situation, the job you’re seeking, and your experience level. As stated above, most, but not all, epidemiology jobs require a Master’s degree. If you’ve never worked in healthcare before, then you may need a Master’s degree to gain a competitive edge for job possibilities.

However, some jobs only require an epidemiologist certification instead of a full degree. If you already have experience working as a nurse, health researcher, or other relevant job, then an epidemiologist certification is a cost-effective way to gain the added skills that you’ll need to get started. These certifications usually take about two years to complete, and they usually provide enough flexibility for working adults to complete their studies. An epidemiologist certificate will cost less than a Master’s degree. As a result, some people choose to pursue a certificate first and then seek a Master’s degree when they’ve saved some money.

What Will I Learn in an Epidemiologist Master’s Program?

What does an epidemiologist study? What is epidemiology in public health? Epidemiologists study diseases, injuries, natural disasters, contaminations, and other things that impact the health of various populations. Those populations can include neighborhoods, states, countries, and even the global population. Current epidemiological studies prepare students for that research in the field.

Epidemiology degree programs focus on the sciences. Classes can include courses on research and how to conduct the most thorough and ethical studies. Students also learn about epidemiology in general, in courses that answer basic questions like “What does an epidemiologist study?” and “What is epidemiology in public health?” Other classes show students the most common kinds of epidemics that they’ll meet in the field. They reveal examples of epidemiology diseases like ebola, cholera, cancer, and other epidemics. Some examples of epidemiology “diseases” covered in these classes aren’t really diseases at all. These topics include things like poverty, violence, natural disasters, and risks for terrorism. Epidemiology students also take classes in statistics and data reporting.

Of course, those are the general courses that are included in most epidemiology degree programs. Some current epidemiological studies programs offer different tracks. For example, some people choose a teaching track. On top of the general epidemiology courses, this track includes courses on teaching in higher education. The teaching track is usually a pathway into a Doctorate degree. Other tracks and concentrations can help students focus on the specific branch of epidemiology that they want to study. For example, those who want to study infectious diseases can pursue that track. Those who want to study how epidemics impact different cultures can take courses on anthropology.

Keep in mind that epidemiology degrees can be tough to find. Not every school has one. That said, you don’t need a specific epidemiology degree to become an epidemiologist. You have plenty of other options. For example, there’s the certificate options mentioned above. Many epidemiologists have Master’s degrees in public health. Some public health degrees offer concentrations in epidemiology. Overall, the point is for you to take advanced classes in biology, public health, and statistics.

Do I Have to Take the GRE to Get Into an MPH Program?

While most graduate schools require that students take the GRE before admission, you don’t necessarily have to take the GRE to get into an MPH program. Those who already work in public health have the best chance of getting into one of these programs. The program directors often count the student’s professional experience as a substitute for the GRE. Those who don’t already have professional experience may have a harder time getting into one of these schools without taking the GRE first. That said, it’s not impossible. Start by searching “online mph epidemiology no gre” or different variations of that phrase. It can get you started in the right direction. Make sure, however, that you look for legitimate, accredited programs. There are a lot of scams online, but if you look for accreditation, you can avoid them.

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