25 Best Value Campus Public Health Bachelor’s Programs
By Sam MacArthur

best undergraduate public health programsA public health major is a choice with a wide range of options and enormous potential for any student with an interest in healthcare, health sciences, health administration, or global service. Public health is a rapidly growing sector, and expected to grow even more as the US population ages, Millennials have children, and the minority population becomes the majority. As we become more aware of the full picture of how interconnected life – from environmental hazards to education to the healthcare system itself – impacts the health of populations and community health, public health experts are becoming more and more critical.

A BS in Public Health, a BA in Public Health, or some other bachelor of public health degree is the first step in a long and rewarding career. While, in the past, many professionals came to public health later in their career, the public health sector has developed to such a degree that starting with a BPH or BS in Public Health, rather than catching up later, is increasingly important. A traditional, on-campus public health degree program can set new students up for success from the get-go.

Featured MPH Programs

Methodology: Ranking the Best On-Campus Public Health Degree Programs

To rank the 25 Best Campus Public Health Bachelor’s Programs, MPH Online focused on accredited colleges and universities with Bachelor of Public Health, BA/BS in Public Health, or related bachelor’s programs. These institutions are then ranked according to four equally-weighted criteria:

  • Reputation (Niche student reviews)
  • Cost (current IPEDS data)
  • Alumni Salary (College Scorecard data)
  • Graduation Rate (IPEDS data)

These four perspectives are chosen to give students a picture of their best value – that program provides a strong balance of affordability, return on investment, and student support designed to result in success.

1. University of Florida

The University of Florida’s Bachelor of Public Health degree (BPH) program comes from a trusted school of public health, the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, one of the top-ranked in the world. Specially designed as a pre-professional degree, the BPH is not intended to be an end-point – it’s a stepping stone to the MPH, providing all of the necessary foundations to move straight into a Master of Public Health or other health professions program. With a deep education in the US healthcare system, leadership, medicine, statistics, and the ins-and-outs of a public health profession,

The University of Florida is one of Florida’s three officially-designated “preeminent” universities, dating back to the earliest days of Florida’s statehood. UF has had more impact on the growth and development of Florida than any other institution, from medicine and health sciences to leadership. With its ample resources and connections to Florida’s healthcare system, any public health major at UF can trust that their BPH will take them far.

Degree: Bachelor of Public Health (BPH)

2. University of California, San Diego

The University of California, San Diego BS in Public Health degree program aims to teach students to address rising health concerns patients face today like rising costs. It is one of the first school of public health programs across the country that combines the needs of medicine and public health. It seeks to help prevent disease, protect the public from harm, and promote health throughout the Nation. UC San Diego is a diverse community on the coast and borders the busiest international land border crossing. Public health major students have the chance to get involved in unique experiences addressing today’s leading public health issues.

UC San Diego’s public health degree gives students an environment to combine research and practice to study public health. Their undergraduate degree in public health helps students develop and apply knowledge from many areas to promote health of the human population. The BSPH highlights training in biological sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and quantitative skills.

Degree: BS in Public Health

3. University of California, Irvine

University of California, Irvine’s BS in Public Health and BA in Public Health Policy majors have grown significantly over the past few years. UC Irvine’s College of Public Health aims to create and integrate knowledge into the community to promote health and reduce disease and disability. The faculty for the program in Public Health have real world experience in global environment assessments, occupational health, human behavior, international relations, and policy analysis. Students in the public health major learn how public health contributes to the community and the world.

UC Irvine’s school of public health teaches students approaches to public health practice and research across multiple disciplines. Students study quantitative and qualitative aspects of public health across all facets of society. The rapidly changing society and increasing prevalence of diseases, natural disasters, and conflicts have broadened the scope of public health. The BS and BA public health degree programs provide students many employment opportunities upon graduation.

Degree: BS in Public Health or BA in Public Health Policy

4. Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University’s BS in Public Health degree program (BSPH) is founded on the basis of health promotion and disease prevention with the hope of improving the quality of life across the community. Students who graduate from the public health degree program learn to assess what factors impact the health of a population. The goal of the program is to prevent disease, prolong life, and promote good health. Students learn that public health also means their health and the implications of the health care system on their own lives. Upon graduation, students in the public health major can enter into social work, research, or another public health field.

Texas A&M University, located in College Station, TX, is known for its world-class health sciences programs, including the Texas A&M School of Public Health. TAMU SPH is focused on changing health through innovation, leadership development and interdisciplinary interaction to serve diverse communities. Their goal is to impact the community with their research about proper health development. Every student in the program must participate in a practicum.

Degree: BS in Public Health

5. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin’s BS in Public Health degree program readies students for employment in a public health career upon graduation. Their mission is to improve the health of the community. The public health major fosters collaboration between professionals to promote education, research, and service. Students learn to challenge patient’s current access to health care, control disease, and reduce environmental hazards. The bachelor of public health degree prepares students for varied career options such as researchers, social workers, scientists, and environmentalists.

University of Texas is located in Austin, TX, and was founded in 1883. It is one of the top ranked research universities in the country. Their mission is to change the world through their research and innovative teaching. UT is deeply rooted in tradition and provides students a creative spirit. UT is dedicated to excellence in education, research, and public service. They believe in advancing society through creative activity, scholarly inquiry, and development of new knowledge.

Degree: BS in Public Health

6. University of Georgia

The University of Georgia’ a BS in Environmental Health and a BS in Health Promotion are two public health degree programs designed for today’s world. Students learn how to evaluate current health care programs and plan and implement new ones. Students understand the need for grants and how to write them. They learn the importance of health education and promoting good health. They develop an understanding of social media and how it can be used to promote health.

The UGA College of Public Health is located in Athens, GA, one of the nation’s most iconic college towns. UGA has the only undergraduate public health degree in Georgia. Their mission is encourage students to learn skills and knowledge beneficial to gaining careers in the public health field. The College offers multiple minors, certificates and even dual BS degrees. These degrees could launch students into a career in environmental health, industrial hygiene, ecology, or public health. The BS in public health may also be a first step to medical, dental, or pharmacological degrees.

Degree: BS in Environmental Health or Health Promotion

7. University of Southern California

University of Southern California’s two BS in public health degree programs are offered through the Keck School of Medicine of USC. The Bachelor of Science in Global Health coursework teaches students to study public health and policy globally. Students are given a strong foundation in global health and a true understanding of the issues. The Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention focuses on the behavioral, psychological, biological, and social impacts on wellness and disease.

USC is one of the world’s most prominent private research universities, and a major force in life, work, and culture in Los Angeles. The Keck School of Medicine – the second-oldest in California – is likewise a world leader in medicine and health sciences. Students in the public health major gain a deep understanding of cultural diversity and its importance in medicine, health promotion of minorities and the underserved, and substance abuse prevention programs. With these public health degree programs, students have gone on to careers in international relations, public health, health psychology, and health behavior research.

Degree: BS in Global Health, BS in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

8. Rutgers University

Rutgers University’s BS in Public Health degree program offers students the opportunity to learn the history and philosophy of public health while gaining an understanding of its impacts across the globe. Students in the public health major gain an understanding of public health data and learn methods of collection and analysis. Students take a hard look at the legal, ethical, and economic impacts on health care policy. Students identify the problems within health care policy and learn ways to approach change. They learn to plan and evaluate collected data and use evidence to make changes.

Rutgers University is one of the oldest universities in the US and one of the most prominent public research institutions in the world. It is also the home of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, one of the Northeast’s top public health schools. The Bloustein School’s mission is to examine current public policy and makes changes to create a healthier and fairer health care system. The school looks for solutions within the system that are equitable across all areas of the community. The school desires to be a leader in teaching, research, and service.

Degree: BS in Public Health

9. Ohio State University

The Ohio State University BS in Public Health degree program offers two different concentrations. One concentration specializes in Environmental Public Health. The coursework of this program blends health science with earth science. It gives students a base in applied science and math along with an understanding of contaminants in air, water, soil, and food and the impacts of those on humans. The second concentration specializes in Public Health Sociology. The coursework of this program blends sociology courses with public health courses to give students a foundation in the principles of both programs and teaches students the benefits of intervention.

The College of Public Health at The Ohio State University (OSU), located in Athens, Ohio, is frequently ranked in the top 20 schools for public health. The College started in the Department of Medicine, but became an independent division in 2007. The College of Public Health is a fully accredited program and has divisions within it to continually improve the program for students.

Degree: BS in Public Health – 2 concentrations

10. Arizona State University

Arizona State University’s BS in Public Health degree program focuses on five core areas, including behavior science and health education, biostatistics, community based education and intervention, environmental health, and epidemiology and geographic information systems. The program at ASU gives students knowledge to promote and protect the health of the community and the world. Students in the public health major are required to participate in an internship to benefit from practical experience. Upon graduation from the public health degree, students are able to evaluate, monitor, plan, and implement public health programs across diverse settings.

Arizona State University (ASU), located in Tempe, AZ, created a new model for research with the New American University, one that has become one of the most influential innovations in higher education for the 21st century. Their mission is to be measured by their diversity and the success of all students. The school believes they have a fundamental responsibility for the health of its community. Graduates are able to teach others, in a meaningful way, behaviors to promote their health and wellness. They are equipped to be the front line to the public and help children, veterans, and the homeless navigate the health care system.

Degree: BS in Public Health

11. University of South Florida

The University of South Florida BS in Public Health degree intends to teach students the many aspects of public health, such as public health policy, environmental health, global health, and biostatistics in society. The coursework builds a strong foundation in public health writing, including grants and programs. Students in the public health major also learn the valuable benefits to evaluation and research. This program prepares students for careers in government agencies, health corporations, community non profit organizations and health care facilities upon graduation.

University of South Florida (USF), located in Tampa, Florida, has dedicated themselves to research that will transform health care with the College of Public Health, one of the most renowned in the US. The school believes in approaching health care policy in such a way that will solve the current problems and create a better system. USF’s public health degree can also be obtained fully online. Students also have the ability to specialize with major electives in subjects such as global health, nutrition, and environmental health.

Degree: BS in Public Health

12. New York University

New York University’s BS in Global Public Health offers 11 different interdisciplinary concentrations through collaboration between the College of Global Public Health and several colleges within NYU. The intent is give students a strong foundation in international and global public health along with a related discipline in an effort to create innovative thinkers and prepare students for employment in varied fields upon graduation. The public health major concentrations are in nursing, social work, psychology, food studies, nutrition and dietetics, communication, anthropology, history, sociology, biology, and chemistry. All concentrations focus on key developmental history of public health and its literature across cultures.

NYU is one of the world’s foremost private research universities, playing a major role in developing the city of New York’s business and culture since its founding in 1831. Students in NYU’s public health degree program will understand techniques to analyze concepts for measuring disease and how that data is used to understand the health of a community. Students will learn how the underlying concepts of public health are relevant to current public health and social issues.

Degree: BS Global Public Health – 11 concentrations

13. Tulane University

Tulane University’s BS in Public Health degree offers one of the fastest growing undergraduate programs in Public Health Studies. The Tulane public health degree instructs students how to use instruction, service and research to address the health of the community. Public health seeks to understand how to promote a healthy lifestyle, develop policies, conducts campaigns, and conducts research to improve health. Students in the public health major are able to choose electives that fit in their personal goals, which includes maternal and child health, nutrition, and other public health services.

Tulane is, by many estimations, the premiere private research institution in the Deep South, founded in 1834 as the second medical school in the South. Today, Tulane is critical to healthcare in the South and nationwide, and a crucial part of public health study, research, and practice. Tulane ensures students have a background in humanities, social science, and liberal arts. Students are prepared for careers in medicine, allies health and even some pre law.

Degree: BS in Public Health

14. San Diego State University

San Diego State University’s BS in Public Health degree prepares students for practical careers. The program draws its curriculum from real world examples. When students graduate from the public health major, they have the qualifications that they need for all types of entry-level public health careers. Graduates from San Diego State work in different sectors from government to volunteer agencies. The school’s two public health student organizations provide even more opportunities for students to sharpen their knowledge. For students seeking a public health degree in California, San Diego State provides a great choice.

San Diego State is a research-focused university that provides students with all types of hands-on opportunities. Students who choose San Diego State usually want a practical and tangible education. This school also provides students with plenty of chances to round out their educations. They have a robust study abroad program, for example. For those who want deep preparation and a full college experience, San Diego State definitely provides.

Degree: BS in Public Health

15. Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University’s BS in Public Health degree prepares students to improve public health, both on individual levels and on population levels. A public health degree from ASU appeals to students who want to study broader health contexts. This program teaches students how to notice health patterns within a society. It also shows them how to help on a practical level. If you have an interest in societal health, you should think about becoming a public health major at ASU.

Appalachian State University helps students see themselves as citizens of the world, while keeping its roots firmly planted in the community. Faculty and staff show students how to sharpen their talents and then use those talents to make the world a better place. Small class sizes mean that professors are available when students have questions. With a deeply connected community, ASU provides education with a focus on inclusion.

Degree: BS in Public Health

16. Temple University

Temple University’s BS in Public Health degree program blends a theoretical and a practical approach so that students can learn how to help societies and individuals. Among other things, students learn about prevention and harm reduction, societal epidemics, and community program development. Graduates of Temple’s public health major often go on to work with high-risk populations, improving health outcomes as they work. If this kind of career appeals to you, then the school of public health at Temple University can help you get there.

Temple University’s location in Philadelphia, PA – one of the nation’s most prominent cities for three centuries and running – brings that big city energy into its campus. With a dedication to academics and research, Temple provides all sorts of opportunities to its students. Temple students learn how to turn raw talent and energy into pathways for success.

Degree: BS in Public Health

17. University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina’s public health degree program comes in two options: BA or BS. They have the same core requirements, but the difference depends on the type of job the student wants to enter after college. Public Health BA students learn more about social and behavioral health, while BS in Public Health students learn more about the natural sciences and medicine. Both degrees prepare students to improve public health in various ways, and both programs provide practical experience. In either case, USC’s Arnold School of Public Health prepares students for the ever-evolving healthcare world.

The University of South Carolina has a thriving culture of student activities. Students here have no problem balancing their educational lives with clubs, travels, and other experiences. Since public health students have a somewhat demanding major, it’s especially important for students to access this kind of balance. The USC culture helps. With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, new students can easily dive right in.

Degree: BA or BS in Public Health

18. University of Colorado Denver

The University of Colorado Denver public health degree programs go well beyond a conventional BS in Public Health (though they offer that, as well as a Public Health BA). Offered by the Health and Behavioral Science department of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Public Health bachelor’s is designed in partnership with the Colorado School of Public Health. The BA/BS program offers a flexible education for students who know what they want from a public health career. CU Denver also partners with the Colorado School of Public Health for a 4+1 BA/BS to MPH degree program.

The University of Colorado Denver is a partner institution in the Colorado School of Public Health, an innovative collaborative school working across three Colorado campuses. Undergraduate programs have an unusual arrangement, as core public health courses are team-taught by faculty from CU Denver and the ColoradoSPH. While CU Denver offers undergraduate programs in public health, ColoradoSPH offers graduate public health programs.

Degree: BA/BS in Public Health

19. West Virginia University

West Virginia University’s BS in Public Health degree program prepares students for a career right after graduation. Of course, students are also prepared for graduate school if they decide to take that route. This program shows students how to make a widespread difference with their health knowledge. Not only do they teach about illnesses and injuries, but they also provide a background in overall wellness so that communities can maintain good health. Students can choose from a few different emphases, so if you want some flexibility with your public health degree, look into the West Virginia University.

Rooted in tradition, diversity, and rigorous academics, WVU has something for everybody and takes community very seriously. The school provides excellent transportation for students to get from one class to the next. Housing is arranged based on majors and common interests, so students form common interests with one another right away. Faculty and staff members encourage students. As the website says, “The first thing you’ll learn here is that ‘impossible’ is just a challenge.”

Degree: BS in Public Health

20. University of Arizona

From environmental health to individual health, a University of Arizona BS in Public Health degree program provides students with a wide range of learning opportunities. UA’s public health major prepares students who want to get rid of health disparities between communities. Students who graduate from this program go on to teach, research, and become involved in community health. Whatever you want from a school of public health, the University of Arizona will help you make it your own.

As a research institution, the University of Arizona consistently looks for ways to improve health across the southwest and all over the world. Students who want a hands-on education benefit from these goals. With a deeply diverse culture and a lovely campus, the University of Arizona helps students thrive.

Degree: BS in Public Health

21. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

UNC Charlotte’s BS in Public Health degree program helps students become leaders. This program works best for students who want to study population and community health rather than heath on an individual level. Students learn how to organize data, create health initiative programs, and help communities improve their overall wellness. For students who want to prevent disease and promote wellness on a large scale, this school of public health provides the right tools.

UNC Charlotte has a collaborative and explorative environment. Faculty and staff encourage students to explore a wide range of options. Students at UNC Charlotte get in touch with all of their talents, sharpening skills to create their own unique career pathways. If you want a hands-on education with room to grow, UNC Charlotte can help you thrive as a student.

Degree: BS in Public Health

22. University of North Texas

While many other programs focus on broader applications, the University of North Texas BS in Public Health degree program focuses on individual needs. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they ignore broader cultural contexts, too. Students in the UNT public health major still study population health. However, they also learn how to identify and help with individual healthcare needs. With 5 different concentration options, a North Texas BS in public health lets students tailor their educations to meet their own career goals.

Located in a densely populated area, UNT helps students find plenty of job opportunities after graduation. UNT recognizes that in today’s world, a lot of fields are growing and changing. This school prepares students to meet those changes and adapt as needed. A top quality public research institution, UNT helps students innovate while they learn. Students here get a dynamic education from an institution striving to be the leading university in the North Texas region.

Degree: BS in Public Health

23. Brigham Young University Idaho

Brigham Young University Idaho’s Bachelor of Public Health degree program emphasizes the fact that public health is a very broad field. That’s why it prepares students to meet all types of public health needs. The school points out that the public health field needs more workers, and its programs help fill that need with confident graduates. They help students find the career path that works for them. Students in the public health major might move on to graduate school, for example, or get a job in environmental health. Whatever the path, BYUI takes a step by step approach to helping the school of public health students find their place in the world.

BYUI is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon Church. BYUI students get a deeply traditional, faith-based education. Keep in mind that BYUI is very strict about its faith-based policies. Students must attend church regularly, adhere to a strict sexual ethic, and avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee, and tea. For Mormon students, it’s one of the best possible choices – and a best value, since church members receive steep discounts paid for by tithes and offerings.

Degree: Bachelor of Public Health

24. Winona State University

Winona State University’s BS in Public Health degree program prepares students for a wide range of career possibilities. Whether you know exactly what you want to do with your public health major or you just have a general idea, Winona State University can help you find the right path. WSU offers 3 different public health concentrations, each of which start with a solid foundation of core classes. From there, students gain knowledge in all sorts of health topics, qualifying them for medical careers, grad school, or community work. For a wide-ranging public health degree that will prepare you for almost anything, look into Winona University.

WSU combines quality and value for a well-balanced education. With a culture of holistic education, this school helps students become leaders and thinkers in their fields. Students learn how to find innovative and creative solutions to worldwide problems. US News and World Report ranked WSU the second best public institution in Minnesota.

Degree: BS in Public Health – 3 concentrations

25. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

The IUPUI BS in Public Health degree program focuses specifically on epidemiology. This means that students who want to study public health at IUPUI should have a broad focus in their studies. The public health major at the Fairbanks School of Public Health teaches students how to become “disease detectives.” They study different societies and figure out why health problems hit some populations harder than others. If you want to work with lawmakers and healthcare professionals to save lives and improve societal health, then a BS in public health from IUPUI will serve you well.

IUPUI focuses on transforming lives and careers. One of the most innovative institutions in the nation, IUPUI came together when Indiana University and Purdue University combined their Indianapolis extension campuses, offering students the best of both institutions. It transforms student lives so that those students can transform lives all across the globe. Both challenging and deeply rewarding, the IUPUI experience prepares students for rigorous career experiences.

Degree: BS in Public Health

FAQ about the Best Undergraduate Public Health Programs (BPH)

Why Choose an On-Campus Public Health Degree Program?

Pursuing a public health degree comes with considerations for exactly how an applicant should go about obtaining the degree. These days, applicants can choose to obtain a public health degree online, on a campus, or even through a split program including both on and offline classes. The best undergraduate public health programs are all over the nation, in a wide variety of forms, but they all have quality and value at their center.

Still, for many people, an on-campus school of public health can offer great educational and career opportunities. However, the best undergraduate public health programs can exist both on and offline, so when choosing the right on-campus public health degree, it’s important to know why an on-campus degree will work best.

On-campus learning from the best undergraduate public health programs comes with:

  • More accessible academic resources and libraries
  • Easier access to labs
  • More opportunities for hands-on experience
  • Better access to professor(s)

An on-campus school of public health will also have access to other amenities not available to someone who only participates online. The campus will also allow greater access to things like career fairs, guest lecturers, and internships.

A public health degree program from an on-campus school of public health can often come with an internship built into the curriculum. Often, internships will come as a partnership between the school and the surrounding community.

Beyond all these reasons, one important reason to consider an on-campus curriculum is the networking. Creating and fostering connections with others is of the utmost value in nearly any career field. On-campus, an applicant will meet people and work with them as well. Sometimes, those connections can pay off in many ways down the line.

How Much Does a BS in Public Health Cost?

Choosing a public health major will come with costs. However, the cost of a Public Health BS can vary widely based on several factors. Tuition costs for a public health bachelor degree can range from $15,000 to $87,000 for a full degree program. When looking at annual tuitions, the costs can look more like $5,000 to $20,000.

The tuition costs alone are not the whole of the costs associated with pursuing a public health bachelor degree. Additionally, applicants shouldn’t assume an on-campus public health BS will cost more or less than an online public health BS. Serious, reputable, accredited programs exist in all forms and price ranges. Generally, the cost of the degree program will depend on:

  • Whether the applicant is in state or out of state
  • The specific degree program and credits taken
  • Whether the applicant will live on or off campus
  • Various fees for using school facilities and services

No matter the costs, there are also considerations for cost mitigation. Some programs, scholarships, financial aid, grants, and other financial help may only apply to certain schools and certain situations. Applicants must keep in mind that base tuition only represents one part of the cost when pursuing a public health BS.

What Will I Learn in a Public Health Major?

When looking through a list of undergraduate public health programs, applicants will likely see many of the things they will learn with a public health major. Public health has a focus on the health of the group rather than the individual.

So, applicants will focus on prevention, promotion, protection, and population-based fields of health. This concept also falls under the name, the 4Ps. The public health bachelor curriculum can vary slightly from between schools and concentrations, however, some things will show up in almost all cases.

The public health bachelor curriculum can include:

  • Math
  • Statistics
  • Biology
  • Public and global health studies
  • Communications classes
  • Some form of humanities or fine arts class

The list of undergraduate public health programs typically offer a well-rounded education; still, it’s possible to have a concentration, which can narrow down the types of classes offered. In all cases, a public health bachelor curriculum should lead applicants towards learning the skills needed to enter any of the many public health sectors.