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25 Most Affordable Online MPH Programs for 2021
By Sam MacArthur

Public health is a noble calling, largely unappreciated until recent events (namely, a global pandemic) shone new light on its importance. We need public health workers and leaders now more than ever. But public health professionals who are earning a Master’s in Public Health are usually paying their own way, which can make the cost of schooling intimidating. Obviously, when a person earns any degree, he or she wants to reduce the cost as much as possible, especially when he or she is earning a master’s degree like a master’s in public health (MPH). 

Therefore, a person should look for the cheapest MPH programs. Generally, the cheapest MPH degrees are online degrees. The price between a brick-and-mortar program versus an online program usually differs slightly since students don’t use the facility to attend school. Additionally, a person is looking into the cheapest MPH online, he or she should look into regional public universities. Typically, public universities tend to be a cheaper, and the regional campuses aren’t as expensive as the main campuses. 

Ranking the Most Affordable Online MPH Programs 

MPHOnline editors want to point prospective MPH students to programs that will work for their needs and make a positive impact on their careers. That’s why we feature only accredited, reputable institutions. But for the most affordable ranking, programs are presented in one simple order: by tuition cost, according to current IPEDS data, from lowest to highest. 

1. New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University offers an online MPH degree – a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in either Health Behavior & Health Promotion (HBHP), or Health Management, Administration & Policy (HMAP), each of which is recognized among the nation’s best affordable online MPH programs. Each of NM State’s most affordable online MPH programs is designed to facilitate the degree program for working professionals. NM State’s online MPH programs are accredited by CEPH.

New Mexico State University (New Mexico State) was established in 1888 under the Land Grand Act. The school operates multiple campuses in Grants, Carlsbad, Alamogordo, and Dona Ana County, with a student enrollment than exceeds 23,900 students. New Mexico State University holds the distinction of being the oldest of all higher learning institutions in the state of New Mexico.

Degree: MPH – Health Behavior and Health Promotion or Health Management, Administration and Policy

2. University of Montana

The University of Montana’s School of Public & Community Health Sciences offers (UM) offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that is among the country’s most affordable online MPH programs. UM’s best affordable online MPH programs include classes in health policy, rural health issues, environmental & rural health, research methods, and ethical issues in public health, plus a six-credit integrative or practicum capstone project. Students enrolled in UM’s MPH degree are required to complete a total of 42 semester credits to meet program requirements.

The University of Montana is a public, state university that was chartered in 1893 and is a member school of the state’s university system. This public higher learning institution serves more than 10,500 students on its college-town campus. The University of Montana holds the distinction of being the 2nd largest of the state’s university campuses.

Degree: MPH

3. University of Nevada, Reno

The University of Nevada, Reno offers one of the most affordable online MPH programs with its Master of Public Health degree. Students enrolled in UN Reno’s best affordable online MPH programs are offered multiple start dates throughout the year and can finish the program in about two years. The CEPH accredits the University of Nevada, Reno’s MPH degree program. Coursework for this graduate public health degree includes public health finance, epidemiologic surveillance, public health law, spatial analysis in public health and project management principles, plus a capstone or field experience.

The University of Nevada, Reno, was established under the Morrill Land College Grant Act in 1874 in Elko. The University of Nevada is the flagship school for the state, which serves more than 21,100 students. The first building on UN Reno’s campus is named for the senator who crafted the Land Grant Act – Justin Morrill. The University of Nevada, Reno, holds the distinction of being home to Nevada’s first academic medical institution. 

Degree: MPH

4. University of North Texas Health Science Center

The University of North Texas’s School of Public Health (UNT Health Science Center) offers one of Texas’s Reno’s best affordable online MPH programs with its Master of Public Health degree with an academic emphasis on health leadership. UNT Health Science Center’s most affordable online MPH programs are offered two ways as a 48-credit program for those changing careers or a 42 credit program for degree candidates with a minimum of three years of experience. Classes include public health law, health politics, and policy, environmental determinants of health and health communication strategies, plus a practical experience related to the degree. 

The University of North Texas (UNT Health Science Center) was established as a public medical higher learning institution in 1970. More than 2,100 students attend classes offered by UNT. UNT Health Science Center holds the distinction of having the largest research growth of all Texas institutions of higher education.

Degree: MPH Professional Option

5. North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University offers an online MPH degree that is recognized among North Dakota’s best affordable online MPH programs. ND State’s most affordable online MPH programs offer degree candidates five concentrations from which to choose – Food Safety, Infectious Disease Management, Community health /sciences, Epidemiology, and American Indian Public Health. North Dakota State University is a member of the Association of Schools and Programs for Public Health.

North Dakota State University (ND State) began under the Morrill Land Grant College Act in 1890. Additionally, ND State is the flagship campus for the state system, with more than 12,900 students attending classes on-campus and online. North Dakota State University is among the state’s largest higher learning institutions and contributes over $1 billion to the state and region’s economy. 

Degree: MPH – 3 concentrations

6. Texas A&M Health Science Center

Texas A&M Health Science Center offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Epidemiology that is regarded as one of the most affordable online MPH programs available. Students enrolled in A&M Health’s best affordable online MPH programs can finish this program in two years if studying as a full-time student. Coursework for A&M Health’s graduate degree in public health includes biostatistics, data management, epidemiological methods, public health in the public sphere, and categorical analysis, plus a practicum or capstone experience.

Texas A&M Health Science Center was established as a public institution of higher learning in 1999. A&M Health serves more than 500 students on its Bryan campus. The School of Public Health offers more than ten academic degree programs. Texas A&M Health Science Center became a member school of the state’s A&M university system.

Degree: MPH in Epidemiology

7. Colorado School of Public Health

The Colorado School of Public Health offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Leadership and Public Health Practice that can be completed entirely online. Colorado Health’s best affordable online MPH programs require the completion of 42 semester units, which can be completed in about 24 months. Classes for these most affordable online MPH programs include leadership in public health practice, health systems management, social & behavioral factors of health, public health management and budgeting, and methods in research and evaluation, plus a practicum and capstone project, among others.

The Colorado School of Public Health was established in 2008 and is associated with three Colorado universities. Colorado Health maintains three campuses in Aurora, Fort Collins, and Greeley. The Colorado School of Public Health is organized into five academic medical divisions offering nearly 20 concentrations.  

Degree: MPH – Leadership and Public Health Practice

8. University of West Florida

The University of West Florida offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree considered to be one of Florida’s best affordable online MPH programs. West Florida’s most affordable online MPH programs require degree candidates to complete 42 semester units and allow for the transfer of up to nine credits to meet program requirements. Students can opt for an academic emphasis in global health, health promotion, education & behavior, or as a generalist public health professional.

The University of West Florida is a space-grant higher learning institution that was established in 1963. The school’s campus in Pensacola is home to more than 3,100 students vying for degrees offered by the university. Highlight – The campus of the University of West Florida, a space-grant school, is the 3rd largest in the Sunshine state.

Degree: MPH – 3 concentrations

9. California State University, San Marcos

California State University offers two of the most affordable online MPH programs with its Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Health Promotion & Education or its Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Global Health. CSUSM’s best affordable online MPH programs can be completed in only sixteen months (including summers) to complete this 42-semester credit course.  Classes for CSUSM’s graduate degree in public health include foundations of public health, biostatistics for public health, epidemiology, health communication, and health disparities, plus a thesis or capstone, among others.

California State University, San Marcos (Cal State San Marcos) was established in 1989 and is a member school of the state’s university system. More than 14,300 students attend classes online and the school’s suburban campus in San Marcos. California State University, San Marcos, is recognized as one of the state’s newest higher learning institutions. 

Degree: MPH 

10. San Jose State University

San Jose State University offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that is recognized among California’s best affordable online MPH programs. San Jose State’s most affordable online MPH programs require students to complete 42 semester credits in a two-year timeframe. San Jose State’s program includes coursework in health education and public health, plus a five-credit culminating practicum experience. San Jose State University’s graduate degree in public health has received accreditation from CEPH and has done so for nearly 50 years.

San Jose State University (San Jose State) was established in 1857. This space-grant higher learning institution serves more than 33,100 students. San Jose State University holds the distinction of being the oldest of all public institutions of higher learning located on the west coast of the United States.

Degree: MPH

11. University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health (UA Birmingham Public Health) offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that ranked among Alabama’s best affordable online MPH programs. These most affordable online MPH programs offer students six academic tracks – Environmental & Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Health Behavior, Health Care Organization, Population  Health, and Maternal/Child Health Policy& Leadership. In addition, students can decide to enroll in a dual degree as MPH with an MBA, Optometry, Juris Doctorate, Pharmacy, Physician Assistants, Veterinary Medicine, Social Work, and Public Administration, among others. 

The University of Alabama at Birmingham was established in 1969. More than  22,300 students attend classes offered by UA Birmingham. UA Birmingham holds the distinctions of being one of the largest medical-academic centers in the country and the state’s largest employer.

Degree: MPH – 6 concentrations

12. Florida A&M University

Florida A&M University’s Institute of Public Health (Florida A&M) offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that is recognized among the Sunshine state’s best affordable online MPH programs. Florida A&M University’s most affordable online MPH programs require students to complete 50 semester credits to meet program requirements. This program from Florida A&M University is designed for those who currently hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited higher learning institution and possess at least three years of relevant work experience.

Florida A&M University (Florida A&M) was established under the Morrill land Grant College Act in 1887 as a teacher’s college. Additionally, Florida A&M is a recognized HBCU school with a student population that exceeds 9,900 students. Florida A&M University is a proud member of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and a top producer of African American public health officials and professionals.

Degree: MPH

13. Liberty University

Liberty University offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that is one of the best affordable online MPH programs in Virginia and beyond. Liberty’s graduate degree in public health has received accreditation from CEPH. Students enrolled in Liberty’s most affordable online MPH programs can transfer up to 50% of the required credits from an accredited higher learning institution. Liberty’s MPH degree can be completed, on average, in only eighteen months. Students can opt for a concentration in health promotion, global health, or nutrition in the MPH degree program.

Liberty University (Liberty) is a private higher learning institution established by Elmer Towns and Jerry Falwell in the early 1970s. The school’s student enrollment exceeds 100,000 students that study on-campus and online. Liberty University is recognized as one of the largest of Christian higher learning institutions across the globe.

Degree: MPH

14. East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University’s College of Public Health (ETSU Health) offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is among the most affordable online MPH programs in Tennessee. East Tennessee State’s best affordable online MPH programs have received accreditation from the CEPH. Students enrolled in  East Tennessee State University’s MPH degree can choose from five academic concentrations – Public health Administration, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Community Health, or Environmental Health. Students apply to ETSU Health’s MPH degree are not required to submit a GRE score when applying.

East Tennessee State University (East Tennessee State) was established as a public higher learning institution in 1911 to train teachers for the rural area. ETSU operates multiple campuses in Kingsport and Elizabethtown, plus the main campus in Johnson City.  More than 13,900 students attend classes offered by ETSU. East Tennessee State University holds the distinction of being the 4th largest of all higher learning institutions in the state.

Degree: MPH – 5 concentrations

15. University of South Florida

The University of South Florida’s College of Public Health (USF Public Health) offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that is considered as one of the best affordable online MPH programs in South Florida and beyond. USF’s most affordable online MPH programs offer degree candidates six academic tracks from which to choose – infection control, epidemiology, global disaster management, public health practice, health, safety & environment, social marketing, and nutrition/dietetics. USF offers student tuition discounts for those students attending classes online who hail from states other than Florida.

The University of South Florida (South Florida) was established in 1956. USF is a member school of the state’s university system, and, with a student enrollment that exceeds 51,200 students, it is the 4th largest of higher learning institutions in Florida. The Inventor’s Hall of Fame is located on USF’s Tampa campus on Florida’s west coast.

Degree: MPH – 6 concentrations

16. University of Alaska Anchorage

The University of Alaska Anchorage offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that is ranked as one of the state’s most affordable online MPH programs. Students enrolled in UA Anchorage’s best affordable online MPH programs are required to complete 42 semester units in coursework that includes biostatistics, epidemiology, public health & society, research tools and methods, public health administration services, and public health emergencies, plus a public health thesis or approved practicum, among others.

The University of Alaska (UA Anchorage) was established in 1954 as a community college. The University of Alaska operates multiple campuses in the state with a student enrollment that exceeds 20,000 students studying online and on-campus. UA Anchorage holds the distinction of being the largest of all campuses within the state’s university system.

Degree: MPH

17. University of Nebraska Medical Center

The University of Nebraska’s Medical Center College of Public Health (UN Med) offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree recognized among the state’s most affordable online MPH programs. UN Med’s graduate degree in public health requires students to complete 42 semester credits. Degree candidates for UN Med’s best affordable online MPH programs can opt from six academic tracks – public health administration/policy, biostatistics, maternal & child health, emergency preparedness, health promotion, environmental/occupational health, and epidemiology. Additionally, students must complete an applied capstone experience and a capstone project to meet program requirements. 

The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UN Medical Center) was established initially as a private medical school in 1869. The university’s campus in Omaha serves more than 4,150 students. It is estimated that the University of Nebraska Medical Center impacts the state economy by nearly $5 billion.

Degree: MPH – 6 concentrations

18. University of Missouri – Columbia

The University of Missouri offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that is ranked as one of the most affordable online MPH programs. UM Columbia’s graduate degree in public health is offered with two academic emphases – health promotion and policy or veterinary public health. UM Columbia’s best affordable online MPH programs require students to complete 45 semester credits to meet program requirements. The University of Missouri’s graduate MPH degree has received accreditation from the CEPH.

The University of Missouri (UM Columbia) was established under the Morrill Land Grant College Act in 1839. Additionally, the University of Missouri is the flagship campus for the state and a space-grant institution of higher learning that has a student enrollment that exceeds 29.800 students. The University of Missouri’s campus near the downtown vicinity of Columbia is cared for as a botanica garden.

Degree: MPH

19. Eastern Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University

Eastern Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University (ODU) offers two of Virginia’s best affordable online MPH programs with its Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Epidemiology or Health Management/Policy. The Council of Education of Public Health accredits these most affordable online MPH programs. EVMS & ODU’s graduate public health degree includes coursework in statistical reasoning, epidemiology, health law, leadership theories, financing healthcare, environmental health science, and a community practicum plus a three-credit capstone completion project.

Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) was established in 1973, and Old Dominion University (ODU) was established as an academic extension unit in 1930 of the College of William and Mary. EVMS serves more than 1,100 students, while Old Dominion University serves more than 24,600 students. Both schools are located in Norfolk, Virginia.

Degree: MPH

20. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health (UNC Chapel Hill) offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree considered to be among the country’s best affordable online MPH programs. Students enrolled in UNC’s most affordable online MPH programs can complete the degree in only twenty months. Degree candidates studying online can opt for one of three academic tracks – nutrition, leadership in practice, and an MPH with a registered dietician’s credential.

UNC – The University of North Carolina, located in Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill), is the flagship campus for North Carolina that was established in 1789. The university’s 700+ acre campus serves more than 29,800 students. The University of North Carolina, located in Chapel Hill, holds the distinction of being considered a Public Ivy League higher learning institution.

Degree: MPH – 5 concentrations

21. University of Florida

The University of Florida’s College of Public Health & Health Professions (Florida) offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that requires students to complete 48 semester credits, or 42 semester credits for those who possess relevant terminal degrees. Students enrolled in Florida’s two best affordable online MPH programs can opt from two concentrations – Public health Practice or Behavioral Sciences. Florida’s most affordable online MPH programs have received accreditation from CEPH.

The University of Florida (Florida) was established as a public higher learning institution in 1853. The University of Florida (UF) is a space-grant, sea-grant, and land-grant institution of higher education. As a senior member school of the state’s university system, Florida serves more than 55,800 students taking classes on the university’s campus in Gainesville and online. The University of Florida’s student enrollment is among the nation’s ten largest with a single campus.

Degree: MPH – Public Health Practice or Social and Behavioral Sciences

22. University at Albany (SUNY)

The University at Albany offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree considered to be among the Empire State’s best affordable online MPH programs.  Classes included in SUNY Albany’s most affordable online MPH programs include public health leadership, health promotion program development, statistical inference basics, methods of epidemiology, and introduction to environmental health, plus a professional internship in a related position. Students graduate from SUNY Albany’s graduate degree in public health and enter the workforce as program coordinators, physician advisors, health promoters, consumer safety officers, or policy advocates, to name a few.

The University at Albany (SUNY Albany) is a member school of the State University of New York that was established as a teacher’s school in 1890. The school maintains three local campuses in New York’s capital region, one in Albany, Guilderland, and Rensselaer. The University at Albany (SUNY) contributes more than $1 billion towards the capital region in New York state.

Degree: MPH

23. Kent State University

Kent State University offers one of the best affordable online MPH programs in the nation with its Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. Students enrolled in Kent State University’s most affordable online MPH programs can opt for one of three academic concentrations – epidemiology, social/behavioral sciences, and health policy & management. The CEPH accredits all levels of public health degrees offered by Kent State University. Additionally, Kent State is a recognized military-friendly institution of higher learning.

Kent State University (Kent State) was established in 1910 that operates multiple campuses domestically and internationally.  The university’s campuses serve more than 35,300 students, with more than 26,100 students attending classes on the main campus in Kent, Ohio. The namesake of the school (and the town, Marvin Kent, donated the land upon which Kent State University began.

Degree: MPH – 2 concentrations

24. University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health (UKY Health) offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Health Systems & Policy Analytics that is listed as one of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s best affordable online MPH programs. UKY’s most affordable online MPH programs require the completion of 42 semester credits, which can be finished in only two years. Students graduating from the University of Kentucky’s graduate degree in public health enter the workforce working for health insurance companies, nonprofits, community clinics, hospitals, or government agencies, among others.

The University of Kentucky (UKY) was established under the Morrill Land Grant College Act in 1865. This flagship higher learning institution serves more than 30,100 students on its 700+ acre campus in Lexington. The University of Kentucky holds the distinction of having the largest student body of all schools in the Blue Grass state of Kentucky. 

Degree: MPH – Health Systems & Policy Analytics

25. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona’s Zuckerman College of Public Health offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that that requires the completion of 42 semester credits. Students enrolled in Arizona’s best affordable online MPH programs have the option of following one of three academic tracks – health services administration, applied epidemiology, and health behavior health promotion. Students interested in applying for admission to Arizona’s most affordable online MPH programs can choose from two start dates, either fall or spring. To complete this two-year graduate degree in public health degree program, students must complete both an internship and a capstone project.

The University of Arizona is a space-grant and land-grant higher learning institution that was established in 1885. The university’s campus in Tucson serves more than 45,600 students. The University of Arizona holds the distinction of being the first higher learning institution established in what was the Arizona Territory at that time.

Degree: MPH – 3 concentrations

How Can I Save Money on an MPH Degree?

An individual may also want to consider seeking out scholarships or grants to have helped make a degree program the cheapest MPH online. Scholarships are available for both online and in-person instruction and are available through schools or private organizations. Scholarships are free money, meaning a person doesn’t have to pay them back unless he or she doesn’t complete his or her cheapest MPH online program. In addition, a person can also find the cheapest MPH online with grants. Grants are also free money, and a person can get them through the state and federal government or through private organizations. MPH in USA full scholarships means a person received a scholarship that covers the entire cost of tuition. Just like scholarships, a person doesn’t have to pay grants back for their cheap MPH online program unless he or she doesn’t complete the MPH online cheap program. Sometimes, a person may find MPH in USA full scholarships. 

There’s one more way a person can find a cheap online MPH program. After a person finds an MPH online cheap, he or she can look into tuition reimbursement from an employer. This option for a cheap online MPH consists an employer making an agreement with a person. The person has to complete a degree program approved by the employer. He or she usually has to work at the facility for a designated amount of time after he or she completes the degree program. Then, the employer pays part of the tuition for the cheap online MPH program, possibly making it the cheaper MPH programs in terms of how much a person has to pay at the end.

How Much Can I Make with an MPH?

A person who is considering a master’s in public health may wonder what the average master’s in public health salary is. This number varies based on where a person lives and the career path he or she chooses. The public health salary, on average, also varies from employer to employer. 

To give a person a general idea of the average master’s in public health salary, a person could become an epidemiologist with the degree, which earns a person an average public health salary of $70,990 per year or $34.13 per hour.

A person can choose to become a healthcare administrator. The average public health salary for this the particular career is $68,954 per year. This public health salary is the same as $5,747 per month. It’s also the equivalent of $1,326 per week or $33.15 per hour. 

Other public health careers salaries may be higher, especially if a person lives in certain areas. Therefore, it’s important for a person to compare his or her options to see which public health careers salaries are highest. Even the ones mentioned above can earn a person a lucrative salary. 

Do I Need the GRE to Get an Online MPH?

When a person decides he or she wants to earn a master’s in public health, he or she may wonder what it takes to enter into graduate school for a master’s degree problem. Part of the requirement often includes taking and passing the graduate record examination, also known as GRE. The test results required by a school vary from school to school just like the grade point average (GPA) does and other requirements. 

It’s also possible to find online MPH programs no GRE. For these programs, a person doesn’t have to take the GRE. This can save the person money since it costs to take the examination, no matter if a person passes or fails. Additionally, the test takes time for a person to complete and study for. And it can make a person highly nervous if he or she has to pass the test to enter school. 

Therefore, it’s relieving for many to know that it’s possible to find online MPH programs no GRE. There is a stipulation for these programs, though. A person has to have an ample amount of work experience to enter the program in the field the person is going into. The amount of experience will vary from school to school, so a person will need to keep that in mind when looking for schools that offer online MPH programs no GRE. A person will also need to read the requirements of each school to ensure that his or her work experience counts toward the requirement. 

Related Rankings:

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25 Best No-GRE MPH Programs

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