Across the globe, from the Third World to developed nations, access to maternal and child health is one of the leading public health concerns. Complications in childbirth, infant mortality, and lack of vaccines and treatment for common diseases causes unnecessary suffering and death for millions of women and children worldwide. That’s why programs in maternal and child health are one of the most crucial elements of higher education in public health; training expert professionals in the specialized needs of these demographics is at the forefront of improving life and health for the world.
Choosing a Master’s Degree in Maternal-Child Health
Maternal and child health factors in across the public health field, from global public health to population health and community health; at every level of public health, and in every place, maternal and child health are crucial. What happens at the beginning and early stages of life continues to impact people throughout their lives, making maternal and child health programs essential for maintaining a healthy populace.
For professionals working in the public health field, an MPH degree is the most direct way to advance, take on new roles, and earn a higher salary. For those working with expectant mothers, newborns, or young children (such as public health nurses in maternity or pediatrics), or who wish to make a change to that area, a master’s degree in maternal-child health is well in reach. A growing number of public health schools are developing fully online master’s programs in maternal and child health, while still more offer hybrid programs (with a mix of online and on-campus courses) or low-residency options (with short, on-campus intensive courses).
Ranking the Best MPH Maternal and Child Health Programs
To rank the Top 10 MPH Maternal and Child Health Programs, MPHOnline did the research to find fully online and hybrid graduate programs specializing in maternal and child health. It’s a tight competition, as this ranking represents many of the top public health schools not only in the US, but in the world. Programs are ranked according to three factors:
- Cost (from current IPEDs numbers)
- Reputation (from Niche scores)
- Salary Potential (from College Scorecard data)
All of the programs featured on the MPHOnline Maternal and Child Health Programs ranking are regionally accredited and known worldwide for their excellence.
1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the original Public Ivies, and the first public university in the US to admit students. Known not only for the excellence of its education, but for its world-changing research, UNC is particularly known for healthcare; the UNC Medical Center is widely recognized as one of the top academic health complexes in the world, and the home of UNC’s top-ranked medical and health sciences programs. Moreover, UNC is home to the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the highest-ranked and most respected state-supported public health school in the nation.
The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health was an early adopter of online graduate education, and the UNC online MPH in Maternal and Child Health is a prime example. UNC comes highly recommended for students looking not only to become qualified professionals in the field child and maternal care, but leaders. The Gillings School is at the forefront of research in public health, so students can be assured that they are not only receiving the best education, but are actively engaged in creating new knowledge in the field. With courses that will equip students with public health training and education to carve new paths in the field, UNC’s maternal and child health programs are changing the world.
2. University of California Berkeley
Frequently ranked the top public university in the US, and named a Public Ivy, the University of California Berkeley stands as an institution of progressive student activism, engineering, law and health. Berkeley is also ranked in the top 10 for public health by US & World News, with a tradition of public health education spanning seven decades. As California’s flagship research institution, UC Berkeley is especially committed to the health of California’s large and diverse population, from San Francisco and Silicon Valley to the farthest reaches of the state.
The UC Berkeley online MPH in Maternal and Child Health is designed to be flexible, adapting to your own needs as a medical professional. The maternal and child health programs at University of California Berkeley cover biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health services management, and behavioral science: not merely “training,” but legitimate, in-depth education. Berkeley graduates are intended to be leaders and innovators in their field, making them a top choice for the most ambitious practitioners within the maternal and child health field.
3. Johns Hopkins University
One of the most iconic names in medicine, Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876 by the philanthropist of the same name to bring the European model of a research university to America. By that measure, JHU is not only one of the most prestigious research institutions, but the first university of its kind in the US. That pioneering spirit never left Johns Hopkins, and the university is still recognized as representing the cutting edge of research, especially in medicine and the health sciences.
The Johns Hopkins online MPH in Maternal and Child Health is designed for part-time students. MPH programs are specifically attuned to practicing medical professionals looking to advance their knowledge and their careers, and they know that adult learners need flexibility (The average age of their MPH students is thirty six). Students need only spend one to two weeks onsite per year, depending on course options, and MPH students have up to three years to complete with a mix of online, part-time and onsite credit hours.
4. University of Nebraska Medical Center
The University of Nebraska Medical Center was officially opened in 1968, when the University of Nebraska decided to house all of its medical and healthcare programs in one location, but UN’s medical school goes back to 1880. As the heart of Nebraska’s healthcare system, U.S. News & World Report ranks UNMC one of the nation’s top institutions for primary care and one of the best research hospitals in the world. That makes the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s maternal and child health graduate programs a respectable qualification on any resume.
An emphasis on social justice and human rights forms the foundation of the UNMC MPH Maternal and Child Health degree program. There is quite a bit of study on practice, but built around a solid core of public health philosophy and theory. Full time enrollment comes with a 1.7 to 1 faculty to student ratio, giving students an exceptional level of personal mentorship and support on a nearly one on one basis. UNMC’s well-rounded program is designed to produce graduates who are capable of providing excellent care, but also capable of pushing the field forward into the new era.
5. University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota is widely considered one of, if not the best, public research institution in the Midwest, dating back to 1851, when the territory was not yet a state and Minneapolis was nothing like a metropolis. Today, UMN is known as a Public Ivy and has established itself as a research leader in many areas, especially public health. The University of Minnesota School of Public Health is ranked among the best in the world, and offers maternal and child health programs that can be completed entirely on the internet. The University of Minnesota takes great pride in their strong community, drawing on nearly half a million alumni who serve as teachers and employers for current students.
The University of Minnesota’s online MPH in Maternal and Child Health degree program is one of the first and still one of the best specializations in the field. Not only is it one of the few dedicated Maternal and Child Health MPH degrees; it’s also one of the only fully-online programs available. The big draw to the University of Minnesota’s Maternal and Child Health MPH is, of course, the flexibility. By allowing public health professionals to study at their own pace, the University of Minnesota allows them to attain a masters degree in maternal child health without having to rearrange their entire life.
6. Colorado School of Public Health
The Colorado School of Public Health is a unique institution – a fully accredited public health school operated collaboratively by three universities: the University of Colorado, the University of Northern Colorado, and Colorado State University. While the CSPH operates on all three campuses, the Maternal and Child Health program is based at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, in Aurora, CO.
The Colorado School of Public Health online MPH in Maternal and Child Health program is one of the most comprehensive available, covering everything from biostatistics and maternal and child health policy to geographic and global-oriented perspectives. Combining a conventional maternal and child health focus with a global health focus, CSPH’s MPH focuses on the worldwide consequences of reproductive health, women’s health, and health for children and adolescents. Colorado School of Public Health graduates are a prestigious club, but you need to be ready to devote yourself to a demanding academic career.
7. University of Alabama Birmingham
The University of Alabama Birmingham dates back to a UA extension campus that began offering classes in 1936 for the people of Alabama’s largest city. UAB became an independent campus in 1969, and has risen to be Alabama’s largest college, and the only Carnegie Classification top-tier university in the state. UAB is especially known for health care, with the UAB Health System ranking as one of the largest academic health complexes in the nation, and the center of Alabama’s healthcare. US & World News ranks UAB’s School of Public Health as one of the top 20 in the nation. Simply put: If you’re a healthcare professional, the UAB name goes a long way on your resume.
UAB offers maternal and child health programs covering the whole range of an advanced education in public health, including UAB’s online MPH in Maternal & Child Health Policy & Leadership program. The program is partially funded by the federal MCH Policy & Leadership Program grant. For students who already have their bachelor’s, have been working in public health for a while, and are ready to take their career farther, University of Alabama Birmingham’s maternal and child health programs has what it takes to make graduates an irreplaceable asset to any public health organization.
8. University of South Florida
The University of South Florida began in 1956 to bring a public higher education opportunity to Florida’s southern region, which had no access to affordable, public college programs at the time (as UF and FSU were located far to the north). However, USF has long since outgrown its original regional status to become a major metropolitan research university of its own. USF has particularly well known for its health sciences programs at USF Health, including its own school of medicine, school of nursing, and a U.S. News & World Report top 20 School of Public Health.
Combining practice and theory in a tight-but-comprehensive 12-credit program, USF’s online Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology graduate certificate helps current public health researchers develop their credentials conveniently. Fully online study allows busy professionals to fit their courses into their current schedules, while still receiving a comprehensive study of the theory, methodology, and practice of epidemiology with a maternal and child health focus.
9. George Washington University
George Washington University was founded in 1821 and named for the first president, who advocated for a national university during and after his term as a way of demonstrating to the world that the United States was a world player. While he never lived to see it, GWU was dedicated to carrying on his legacy, and the university stands today as one of the most prestigious in the nation. While GWU is understandably known for its political programs, it is also a key institution for healthcare; founded in 1824, GWU’s School of Medicine and Health Science is one of the oldest in the nation, offering one of the best MPH Maternal and Child Health programs.
George Washington University’s Maternal and Child Health MPH program allows for up to fifteen credit hours to be taken online, of 45 total. Though GWU’s MPH does not offer a fully online program, their courses are designed with the understanding that nurses are busy people, and the flexibility is appreciated. The only requirement for this program is a bachelor’s degree or higher. Because of the depth and the comprehensive nature of George Washington University’s maternal and child health programs, they are often recommended to people in all medical fields. No matter one’s specialty or career path, there is a lot to be learned at GWU about the theory and practice of public health.
10. Drexel University
From its very beginning in 1891, Drexel University’s mission was to provide education opportunity in valuable, in-demand, and practical fields, from technology to healthcare. The university is particularly known for its cooperative education, with all students receiving hands-on, experiential education. Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health ranks in the top 25 onUS & World News’ list of best public health schools. Drexel offers fully online programs that can help busy professionals to advance their careers without having to set weeks or months aside in order to find time to study and attend classes in person.
Drexel’s Maternal and Child Health graduate certificate program offers one hundred percent online courses and a streamlined track through scientific basis, methodological and analytical skills, management and communication, policy and advocacy The program is designed around federal MCH Public Health Practice guidelines to ensure that students are fully prepared for service. Real-world experience comes from a combination of local opportunities and technology-assisted projects, tying the public health certificate to the experiential learning Drexel is famous for.