Public health has never been more important. As more people are born and the Earth’s space becomes more crowded, ensuring that the public is educated about their health is paramount. The best online Bachelor’s in Public Health Degrees can prepare you to lead the charge in guaranteeing the health of current and future generations.
What Is an Online Public Health Degree?
A Bachelor’s in Public Health degree prepares students for working in healthcare with a community focus. The responsibilities of professionals in the public health field vary, but they frequently work in hospitals, at schools to teach about public health, or with wellness organizations across the world.
Public Health majors are usually more focused on disease prevention, education, and policy-making than specialized doctors or nurses. However, those with Public Health degrees can go on to become either. Individuals with Public Health degrees frequently make policy decisions for other health care providers or enact widespread change and humanitarian efforts to prevent entire populations from suffering from disease or poor health.
Many Public Health degree holders will go on to become educators first and foremost. They may or may not become full teachers. Educating others about public health typically requires an extra certificate. Many Public Health programs have pathways to help you attain this certificate at the same time as your main degree.
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How Much Can You Earn With an Online Degree in Public Health?
The salaries of individuals with Public Health degrees vary since it can lead to many different career paths. The average salary is around $51k per year, but this can go even higher, up to $60k in a managerial position. Nonprofit organizers typically make much less, around $30k per year. The actual earnings of each person depend on their position in health services.
Here are some potential careers for public health professionals and their average salaries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Epidemiologist – $69,660
- Health Education Professional – $46,080
- Health Services Administration – $99,730
Epidemiologists deal primarily with infectious diseases and their impact on global health. They typically have an Online Bachelor of Science in Public Health, often a master’s degree as well, and a focus on epidemiology. They study and respond to global health threats like epidemics, focusing on best practices for healthcare delivery and eradication of the disease.
Health Educators are community health workers with a wide variety or specialties. They focus on health issues as varied as disease prevention, drug abuse, and sex education. Health Education specialists are dedicated to providing the best quality of life for their community.
Health Services Administration professionals focus on the public policy side of the field of public health. They may have focused their public health degree on healthcare administration or healthcare management. If you envision yourself serving the community best through promoting general Health and Wellness, consider a more specialized degree.
What is Required for a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health Online?
Those seeking a Bachelor’s in Public Health degree will have to take many biological and psychological-focused courses as they both relate to community health. Specific coursework may focus on:
- Health Communication
- Community Health Practices
- Health Promotion
- Environmental Health
- Public Health Policy
- Health Systems
- Health Sciences
- Behavioral Sciences
All of these courses will form a broad backbone of knowledge. In many ways, those in a Public Health degree program have a greater total spread of information than other more specialized degrees.
For a related degree, check out the Best Online Human Services programs.
What Are the Best Bachelor’s Programs in Public Health?
To determine the best bachelor’s degree programs, we’ve used a state-of-the-art data-collection system to determine key information for school ranking. We’ve gathered this into:
- A short description of each program
- Quick facts of each program
- Tuition rates and credit hours
- A data-fed OSR score
A good thing to look for when considering undergraduate program is whether it is accredited by an industry-specific health agency, for instance the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
OSR uses six data points to rank online programs: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.
The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page. Online learning is a rapidly growing field, and OSR aims to keep online colleges accountable to online students.
- 147 credits
- Healthcare licenses count toward credits
- Courses offered every 8 weeks
School WideStudent Satisfaction67%Programs offered online51
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department8Popularity at School27.68%100%OSR Score
This is a dual degree program which combines both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees into one online curriculum. This process saves a student 9 credits due to the bridging of the degrees. Public Health is a specialty taken during the Master’s part of the program. You can transfer in up to 18 credits for this program. As part of graduation, you will need to complete a capstone course. In this final course, you will learn how to write a formal testimony, how to create a lobbying and advocating plan for health associations, how to prepare an oral testimony, and also how to write health-related op-ed articles.
- Tuition: $16,884(in state) / $16,884(out of state)
- 124 credits
- Automatic eligibility for a 25% tuition scholarship
- Post-graduate certificate opportunity available
School WideStudent Satisfaction81%Programs offered online3
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department3Popularity at School100%96%OSR Score
This public health degree program focuses on health care policy, cultural competence, population health, and more abstract concepts. The class and course schedules are extremely flexible. The program can potentially be completed under two years if the student already has an associate degree. This program begins twice each year, once in the fall and once in the spring. If you’re planning to transfer into the program, then you must have earned 25 college credits from your former institution. You’ll also need a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 for transferring. This school also accepted high school students through its EAGER (Exceptional Applicant Guaranteed Early EnRollment) program.
Southern New Hampshire University20-Year ROI$882,666
- Tuition: $30,756(in state) / $30,756(out of state)
- 120-credit program
- No application fee
- Transfer up to 90 credits
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate78%Programs offered online43
Program LevelMedian Debt$20,578Programs in Department7Popularity at School11.22%85%OSR Score
This degree gives students a very strong foundation in both biological and social sciences. The program is comprised of six eight-week terms for maximum flexibility. There’s also a nationwide alumni network for plenty of networking opportunities. SNHU offers military benefits and discounts of up to 30% for National Guard, U.S Active Duty and Selected Reserve and the spouses of those on active duty. There are multiple start dates throughout the year that allow you to complete the degree at your own speed. This school bases their curriculum off of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH).
South University-Savannah Online20-Year ROI$655,870
- Tuition: $13,260(in state) / $13,260(out of state)
- Not available to residents of certain U.S. states
- Students supported by a dedicated “graduation team”
- 24/7 tech support
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedPrograms offered online15
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department4Popularity at School65.52%83%OSR Score
This program excels at providing scientific knowledge foundations combined with cultural history to prepare students to help entire communities. Students have access to digital books that are much cheaper than physical ones. The online interface is particularly smooth and innovative. Some major courses you will take in this program are Management and Administration of Public Health Systems, Health Disparities and Minority Health, and Medical and Public Health Informatics. You will be required to take a capstone course. Earning your degree at this university will prepare you for careers in communities, private sector health agencies, the government, or to pursue graduate studies in public health.
- Tuition: $12,060(in state) / $12,060(out of state)
- Transfer up to 135 credits
- Offers schedules with or without weekly deadlines
- Associate’s degree holders may qualify for a $6,000 grant
School WideStudent Satisfaction66%Programs offered online20
Program LevelMedian Debt$38,616Programs in Department4Popularity at School55.53%78%OSR Score
This program prepares students for careers in public health and offers three Public Health concentrations. A certificate for health education is available for those who specialize. You can also start earning credits toward a Master’s degree as an undergraduate. If you choose to take the Health Promotion and Wellness concentration, then your coursework will specifically help you prepare for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. You can choose to take its Accelerate Into Master’s (AIM) program which will allow you to earn up to 20 master’s-level credit hours as an undergraduate. This will make getting your MS in Health Education and Promotion or Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) faster and cheaper.
Rivier University20-Year ROI$900,851
- Tuition: $29,900(in state) / $29,900(out of state)
- 123 credits
- Courses are either 7 or 14 weeks long
- No application fee
School WideStudent Satisfaction78%Admission Rate68%Programs offered online5
Program LevelMedian Debt$29,687Programs in Department2Popularity at School62.98%75%OSR Score
This Bachelor of Science program helps students develop practical and abstract public health knowledge in preparation for a variety of fields. The program can potentially be completed in less than two years depending on transferred credits. Students must be currently enrolled to qualify for financial aid. Some major courses you will take in this program are Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Communicable Diseases and Non-Communicable Diseases, and Epidemiology in Public Health. You will need to take a capstone/internship course. This will allow you to explore your interests in public health practice at a local, state, national, or international level.
American Public University System20-Year ROI$1,257,003
- Tuition: $6,480(in state) / $6,480(out of state)
- 120 credits
- No application fee
- Transfer up to 90 credits
School WideStudent Satisfaction73%Programs offered online45
Program LevelMedian Debt$28,004Programs in Department3Popularity at School4.16%75%OSR Score
This Bachelor of Science degree is somewhat generalist but offers a specialization in Public Health. There are four different concentrations to choose from. These concentrations are Public Health Informatics, Emergency and Disaster Management, Nutrition and Wellness, or General. Books are provided at no cost as long as you are enrolled for credit. You will be required to pay technology fees of $65 per course unless you are an active-duty military servicemember or National Guard and Reserve personnel, then it is free. Courses at this school start monthly. 72% of Alumni at this university graduate with No APUS-incurred Student Loan Debt.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- Tuition: $280 per credit(in state) / $280 per credit(out of state)
- Requires internship class for graduation
- 120 credits
- No additional campus or college fees after admission fee
School WideStudent Satisfaction77%Admission Rate75%Programs offered online15
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department3Popularity at School24.86%73%OSR Score
This program can both provide you with a degree and prepare you for receiving a Nation Health Education Credential. This extra step requires an 18-hour minor program of study. Credit cost per hour is incredibly low at this school. Some courses you will take in the Health Education and Promotion program are History/Principles of Health & Physical Education, Methods & Techniques of Teaching Health Education, and Controversial Issues in Health Education. For your internship class, you will need to have 200 clock hours in a health education professional setting. If you are taking your classes online you are not required to submit immunization records or attend on-campus orientation.
Monroe College20-Year ROI$603,267
- Tuition: $13,896(in state) / $13,896(out of state)
- Not available in certain states
- Some credits may be granted for work experience
- No admission fee
School WideStudent Satisfaction81%Admission Rate52%Programs offered online9
Program LevelMedian Debt$26,260Programs in Department2Popularity at School27.62%72%OSR Score
This degree program combines practical medical knowledge with abstract data-based learning. This prepares students to handle communities as a whole when it comes to healthcare problems. Students can focus on Health Care Issues or Health Care Policy. Classes in the online programs at this school last 7 ½ weeks. It also offers 24/7 online tutoring. Graduates of this program have gone on to work at Domestic Abuse Shelters, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities, and Social Service Agencies. This school has a strong online student support network by matching you with a Personal Admissions Counselor.
Ohio University-Main Campus
- Tuition: $11,896(in state) / $21,360(out of state)
- 3 semester start dates
- $25 application fee
- Some work experience (i.e. military) counts toward credits
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate74%Programs offered online9
Program LevelMedian Debt$21,458Programs in Department2Popularity at School38.88%72%OSR Score
This is a Community and Public Health program and offers pathways to receive a Health Education Specialist Certificate as well. A quick jump to a Master’s program is also possible. There are courses specifically designed for students going into medical school. The main goal of this program is to develop professionals who can aid underserved communities across the country. You will not be required to submit GRE scores for this school. The curriculum for this program includes courses like Interprofessional Healthcare in Underserved Populations, Program Planning and Implementation in Public Health, and Chronic Disease Epidemiology.
New York University20-Year ROI$1,221,247
- Tuition: $47,942(in state) / $47,942(out of state)
- STEM international program available
- No application fee
- Certificate options available
School WideStudent Satisfaction72%Admission Rate28%Programs offered online10
Program LevelMedian Debt$21,309Programs in Department1Popularity at School9.4%70%OSR Score
This university offers a diverse program with a variety of specific majors. Each major emphasizes global public health with a slightly different focus, such as social work, applied psychology, or nursing. The program also offers a quick pathway into a Master’s degree in Public Health if you choose to pursue it. Some core courses you will take in this program are Global Issues in Social and Behavioral Health, Essentials of Public Health Biology, and Biostatistics for Public Health. You will be required to take 4 zero credit courses in this program. Two letters of recommendation are required for admission.
Northern Arizona University
- Tuition: $9,366(in state) / $16,006(out of state)
- 120 credits
- Some blended/in-person work may be required
- The courses can be offered with set schedules or flexible schedules
School WideStudent Satisfaction74%Admission Rate81%Programs offered online26
Program LevelMedian Debt$21,169Programs in Department3Popularity at School13.36%69%OSR Score
This bachelor degree program focuses on health between communities under the broader idea of “public health.” Specific courses train students to work with specific populations or problems. Students can also join an internship for course credit. This school has specific capstone, diversity, junior-level writing, and liberal studies requirements. You must take at least 30 units of coursework through the university, with 18 of those units being in upper-division courses. This program is designed for those who want to learn about health promotion/disease prevention, earn their degree while still working, and for those who want to advance in their careers.
California Baptist University20-Year ROI$839,708
- Tuition: $30,446(in state) / $30,446(out of state)
- No application fee
- 48 credit hours in major
- Opportunity for certification to become a Health Education Specialist
School WideStudent Satisfaction78%Admission Rate77%Programs offered online23
Program LevelMedian Debt$26,861Programs in Department2Popularity at School19.1%68%OSR Score
This bachelor’s degree teaches students how to handle shifting communal medical needs as long-term diseases become more prevalent. It has a Christian focus on many of its classes and ideas. It usually takes less than two years to complete online. Some courses you will take in this program are Curriculum Design in Health Education, Ethics in Health Care, and Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health. You will also need to complete a unit of Chemistry or Biology Lab work. This school also offers a website called Transferology which lets you enter your courses from your previous school and find the equivalent course with the awarded credit.
Youngstown State University
- Tuition: $7,847(in state) / $8,207(out of state)
- Offers a path to Health Education Specialist Certification
- Offers two tracks: Health Education or Environmental Health and Safety
- No application fee
School WideStudent Satisfaction76%Admission Rate64%Programs offered online6
Program LevelMedian Debt$32,537Programs in Department4Popularity at School13.87%67%OSR Score
This is a Bachelor of Science in Applied Health with a Public Health focus. Specialist courses in crisis management and bioterrorism, along with other contemporary issues, are required. The program also requires an internship tailored to each student’s personal interests. The whole program can be completed in eight semesters if students average 16 hours per semester. This program prepares public health professionals for fields in public, private, non-profit, and academic. In order to be admitted into the program, you must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 and it must be maintained.
University of Southern Mississippi
- Tuition: $8,108(in state) / $8,108(out of state)
- 120 credits
- $40 application fee
- Tuition is among the lowest in the Southeast
School WideStudent Satisfaction77%Admission Rate98%Programs offered online18
Program LevelMedian Debt$29,525Programs in Department4Popularity at School15.51%66%OSR Score
This degree focuses on disease prevention and intervention throughout large populations and communities. The program includes a huge network of internship opportunities, which will help make it easier to fulfill the internship requirement. The online option focuses on public health within allied health programs. Graduates of this program have landed jobs as Health Services Managers, Health Care Consultants, and Health Policy Analysts. You will be required to submit your GRE/GMAT scores. Some courses you will take in this program include Health Care Organizational Behavior and Human Resources, Health Law and Ethics, and Health Care Strategic Planning.