8 Best HBCU MPH Programs – 2024


Written By: Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA

Are you a bachelor's degree holder with a desire to earn a graduate degree? Do you have a genuine interest in health issues and a desire to make the public healthier and safer? Are you interested in earning a degree through a college that offers an inclusive, supportive environment? If so, an HBCU MPH program could be the answer to help you achieve your goals!

Historically Black Colleges and Universities offer outstanding educational programs, like the Master of Public Health. Perhaps you considered earning your degree through one of these schools but wonder, “What are the best HBCU MPH programs?” In this article, I will answer that question by sharing what we have found to be the 8 best HBCU MPH programs for 2024. You will learn some tips for getting into a top program, discover advantages and disadvantages, and find answers to frequently asked questions to help you decide if this is the path best suited for you.



RECOMMENDED ONLINE MPH PROGRAMS

What Exactly Is the Goal of An HBCU MPH Program?


Before the Civil Rights movement, one of the only routes for Black Americans to earn a college degree was through Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). HBCUs educate predominantly Black student bodies. However, today, up to 25% of the student bodies of Historically Black Colleges and Universities are non-Black. These schools offer opportunities to pursue professional careers, with many offering graduate degree programs, like MPH programs.

The goal of the best HBCU MPH programs is to provide graduate-level public health education to students and develop public health leaders prepared for practice and research in public health settings. These programs aim to create culturally competent public health professionals who lead the way in technical expertise and innovation to address public health concerns for poor, underserved, and vulnerable populations.



Is An HBCU MPH Program Hard to Complete?


HBCU MPH programs can be challenging, as most graduate degree programs are. However, if you are committed to earning the degree, you can succeed! Creating a schedule that allows for schoolwork, personal obligations, family, and self-care can help create a healthy school/work/life balance, which helps improve your chances of success. Also, keep in mind if you begin to struggle in your program, your academic advisors and faculty are there to help and can offer solutions to help you get back on track and complete your program successfully.



Who Accredits HBCU MPH Programs?


One of the most crucial things to look for when choosing a college program is whether it is accredited. Accreditation ensures schools meet acceptable standards of quality. As you research the best HBCU MPH programs, look for programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

S.NO.Accrediting Agency
1Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)



When Do HBCU MPH Programs Start?


The start dates for HBCU MPH programs are determined by each school. Some schools begin their programs once each year, usually in the spring or fall. Other schools offer multiple start dates. When you find programs that interest you and begin preparing to apply, verify the deadline for applying for each start date to ensure you get your application and supporting documents turned in on time.

Morehouse School of Medicine offers a campus-based HBCU MPH program that accepts applications for rolling admission from September to June each year for a start date in the fall semester. The school also offers an online Executive Master of Public Health program that begins in the fall semester each year.

Morgan State University offers an on-campus Generalist MPH program and an online Executive Health Management MPH program. Both pathways begin in the fall of each year.

The MPH program at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University begins each year in the fall.

At the Meharry Medical School, applications are due by April 1st each year for admission to the program’s yearly fall start date.

Tennessee State University offers spring and fall start dates for its MPH programs.



How Many Credits Are There in HBCU MPH Programs?


The curriculum for HBCU MPH programs often requires students to complete between 40 and 50 credits. When you apply to programs, admission faculty will review transcripts from your previous degrees to determine how many credits, if any, you can transfer to the MPH program. The more credits you can transfer, the fewer you may need to earn the MPH, which also reduces the time it takes you to complete the program.

The HBCU MPH program offered at Tuskegee University features a 33-credit curriculum.

At Morehouse School of Medicine, students in the Executive Master of Public Health program complete between 45 and 48 credits. The Generalist MPH program requires you to complete 48 credits. There is a total of 48 credits required for the Morehouse School of Medicine MPH program.

Morgan State University offers a Generalist Master of Public Health Program that features a 48-credit curriculum. The university also offers an Executive Health Management MPH degree that requires you to complete 42 credits.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University has a total of 50 credits required for its students to graduate from the program.

When you attend the Meharry Medical School, you will be required to take 45 credits before graduation.



How Long Are HBCU MPH Programs?


HBCU MPH programs typically take two to three years to complete, depending on your enrollment status. For example, full-time students usually complete the program in two years. Part-time students may take three years or longer. The following are examples of the time it takes to complete five of the nation’s top programs.

The Executive Master of Public Health program at Morehouse School of Medicine is a 24-month hybrid program. The school also offers a Generalist MPH program with part-time and full-time options. The part-time pathway can be completed in five semesters, and the full-time pathway takes four semesters to complete.

Tennessee State University offers some of the best HBCU MPH programs in the nation. The university offers two pathways, Behavioral Science/Public Health Science and Cultural Competency, and each program takes approximately two years to complete.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s HBCU MPH program is available on-campus and online. Both pathways take two years to complete.

The HBCU MPH program at Meharry Medical School takes two years.

At Morgan State University, the Executive Health Management Master of Public Health online program takes two years or four semesters. The campus-based MPH generalist specialization takes five semesters, including one summer.



How Much Do HBCU MPH Programs Cost?


HBCU MPH programs can vary significantly in price. Some programs cost as little as $22,000, while others cost up to $123,000 or more. The cost of tuition may be determined by where you live, in-state or out-of-state, and whether you enroll in an online or campus-based program. Some schools charge a per-credit rate for tuition, and others charge per semester or year.

As you search for programs, review program costs carefully, keeping in mind that some costs include fees and other expenses while others do not. Also, be sure to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early to see if you qualify for assistance.

At Morehouse School of Medicine, tuition for the HBCU Executive Health Management Master of Public Health program is $26,264 for the first year and $18,760 for the second year. With additional fees, the total comes to $77,686.

The cost for the Generalist Master of Public Health program varies, depending on whether you attend part-time or full-time. Part-time students pay $10,200 per year in tuition, and full-time students pay $15,000 per year. With fees, books and supplies, room and board, and estimated personal and transportation expenses, the total for part-time students averages $104,970. Full-time students pay approximately $114,570.

At Morgan State University, the cost of the program is calculated based on whether you live in the state or enroll as an out-of-state student. Resident students pay $545.50 per credit, and non-resident students pay $993.50. The online Executive Health Management MPH program is a 42-credit pathway, which means you will pay between $22,911 and $41,727. The Generalist MPH pathway requires 48 credits, making the program cost $26,184 to $47,688, depending on your state of residency.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University has different tuition rates based on whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student and whether you live on-campus or off-campus. In-state students pay between $23,691 and $34,263. Out-of-state students pay between $38,483 and $49,067.

At Meharry Medical School, tuition is calculated on a yearly basis. The first year of the program costs approximately $58,491, and the second year costs $64,233. Therefore, the total cost of the program averages $123,164.

Tennessee State University charges tuition based on state residency. In-state students pay $533 per credit, and out-of-state students pay $1,115. Both pathways for the university's HBCU MPH programs require 42, which means tuition costs between $22,386 and $46,830.



What Is the Minimum GPA Required to Get into HBCU MPH Programs?


The minimum GPA required to get into HBCU MPH programs averages 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. However, the criteria for some schools may vary. For example, at Morgan State University, applicants with a 2.5 to 2.99 college GPA may be considered for conditional admission. Some schools consider candidates with a lower GPA if there is supporting documentation for why the GPA was less than the minimum preferred and if the applicant can demonstrate strengths that indicate a likelihood of success. Therefore, if your grade point average is below 3.0, do not let this deter you from applying.



What Are the Admission Requirements for HBCU MPH Programs?


The admission requirements for HBCU MPH programs are established by each school and align with accreditation guidelines. Typical admission requirements include having a bachelor’s degree, meeting a minimum college GPA and having work or volunteer experience relevant to public health. The following are examples of the admission requirements for five of this article’s featured programs.

At Morehouse School of Medicine, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, with preference given to candidates with a 3.0 or higher college GPA. You must provide official transcripts, an admission essay, and three letters of professional recommendation.

Admission to the Bethune-Cookman University HBCU MPH program requires meeting the following criteria. You must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a cumulative college GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. You must fill out the BCU Graduate Application and submit official academic transcripts from all post-secondary schools you attended, GRE test scores, a professional resume or curriculum vitae, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation.

Morgan State University’s admission criteria require candidates to have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher from your bachelor’s program. You must provide official college/university transcripts, GRE test scores no older than five years, three letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and an admission essay. All candidates need at least one year of work-related experience in public health or allied health fields and must complete an interview with the admissions committee.

At Tennessee State University, applicants to the HBCU MPH programs must possess a baccalaureate or graduate degree from an accredited college or university. If you apply with a bachelor’s degree, you must have a minimum 3.0 college GPA. Applicants with a previous graduate degree must have a college GPA of at least 3.5. You must provide three letters of recommendation and a personal statement indicating why you want to complete an MPH degree.

At Meharry Medical School, you must have a bachelor's degree with a cumulative college GPA of 3.0. You must submit a professional resume, a personal statement about why you are interested in earning an MPH, official transcripts from all post-secondary schools you attended, and three academic or professional letters of recommendation.



What Are the Best HBCU MPH Programs in The Nation?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 8 Best Online and Campus-Based HBCU MPH Programs in the nation for the year 2024.)


1. Morehouse School of Medicine - Atlanta, GA


Programs Offered:

MPH (On-Campus) and Executive MPH (Online)


2. Morgan State University - Baltimore, MD


Programs Offered:

On-Campus MPH (On-Campus) and Online MPH (Online)

On-Campus MPH Concentrations Offered:

Generalist

Online MPH Concentrations Offered:

Executive Health Management


3. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University - Tallahassee


Programs Offered:

MPH (On-Campus and Online)

MPH Concentrations Offered:

Behavioral Science & Health Education, Environmental & Occupational Health, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and Health Policy & Management


4. Meharry Medical College - Nashville, TN


Programs Offered:

MPH (On-Campus)


5. Jackson State University - Jackson, MS


Programs Offered:

MPH (On-Campus)

MPH Concentrations Offered:

Behavioral Health Promotion & Education, Biostatistics, Environmental & Occupational Health, Epidemiology, and Health Policy & Management


6. Tennessee State University - Nashville, TN


Programs Offered:

MPH (On-Campus and Online)

MPH Concentrations Offered:

Behavioral Science/Public Health Science and Cultural Competency


7. Bethune-Cookman University - Daytona Beach, FL


Programs Offered:

MPH (On-Campus)

MPH Concentrations Offered:

Health Equity


8. Tuskegee University - Tuskegee, AL


Programs Offered:

MPH (On-Campus)


VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY



What Kind of Courses Will You Take in HBCU MPH Programs?


The curriculum for HBCU MPH programs is designed to educate and help you build skills in a wide range of areas. You will learn about epidemiology, health policy, environmental health, and biostatistics. Although the course listings for each program may vary, program content among accredited programs is quite similar. For example, the following list shows some of the classes you will take in five of the nation’s best programs.

Tuskegee University, home to one of the nation’s best HBCU MPH programs, offers classes including Psychosocial Determinants of Health, Public Health Leadership & Emergency Management, Health Disparities & Inequalities, Ethics & Interprofessional Healthcare, Risk Analysis & Modeling, and Principles of Epidemiology.

The curriculum for the program at Morehouse School of Medicine includes classes such as Social & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health, Health Program Planning & Evaluation, Epidemiology, Health Administration, Management & Policy, and Environmental Health.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University offers four pathways for its HBCU MPH programs. Some of the classes you will take include Community Organizing & Public Health, Principles of Health Policy & Management, Biostatistics for Public Health Practice, Environmental Risk Communication, Perspectives in Environmental/Occupational Health, and Principles of Behavioral Science & Health Education.

The HBCU MPH program at Meharry Medical School features a curriculum with classes such as Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Foundations in Public Health, Research Design, Data Management, Health Administration & Planning, and Health Behavior.

At Tennessee State University, you will study in classes, including Bioterrorism & Disaster Preparedness, Principles of Epidemiology, Race, Ethnicity, & Gender in Healthcare, Multicultural Perspectives in Healthcare, Health Communication, and Public Health Ethics.



What Kind of Practical Training Will You Undergo in HBCU MPH Programs?


HBCU MPH programs include practical training opportunities. Most programs feature what is referred to as an Applied Practice Experience. In practical training, you will work in public health settings under the supervision of program faculty or approved public health preceptors. The Applied Practice Experience or internship is designed to give you opportunities to learn and develop skills relevant to public health and your chosen concentration and to prepare you for independent practice as a public health professional.

At Morehouse School of Medicine, students in the HBCU MPH program complete 480 Applied Practice Experience hours. 360 hours are earned through direct contact hours. The remaining 120 hours are earned through the Applied Practice Experience Capstone Engagement.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University requires all students in the on-site and online HBCU MPH programs to complete practical training. You will complete 100 hours of community service, three Public Health Practice field rotations which include 120 hours of field training, and a 240-hour Public Health Internship (Applied Practice Experience). You will meet with the Practicum Coordinator and Internship Preceptor to determine the type and location of your internship.

At Tuskegee University, all students in the MPH program must complete an Applied Practice Experience and earn at least 280 hours of public health experience. Program faculty help arrange sites and preceptors for practical training to ensure adequate experiences and supervision.

Jackson State University offers five concentration options for its HBCU MPH programs. Each pathway includes a Public Health Residency. The Public Health Residency is a supervised internship consisting of 400 hours of placement in a field setting with an approved public health preceptor. You will also complete an Integrative Learning Experience, which involves completing a Master’s Research Project.

At Meharry Medical College, you will complete 400 hours of MPH Applied Practice Experience. Program coordinators help arrange field training sites and preceptors to ensure you have the best learning experience.



6 Most Important Skills and Abilities You Will Gain in An HBCU MPH Program


HBCU MPH programs offer you a lot in terms of professional and personal opportunities, including guidance in developing important skills and abilities to succeed in the field. From learning to understand research to how to work within a public health team and contribute to public health and wellness, you will develop several skills and abilities. The following are some of the most important skills and abilities you will gain in these programs.

1. You will learn to demonstrate cultural competence in providing public health services: How to work with a public health team:

Culturally competent care is vital to your success as a public health professional. When you demonstrate cultural competence, you show respect for the diversity and cultural factors among the people you serve. When you practice cultural competence, it creates an atmosphere conducive to building trust between yourself and the public you serve, which is vital if you want to have a positive impact.

2. You will develop and hone analytical thinking skills:

HBCU MPH programs will help you strengthen your ability to use analytical thinking to identify and understand data and assess the needs of the public. You will learn to assess community health and use evidence from your assessments to develop action plans to improve public health and wellness.

3. You will learn to apply a systems thinking approach to public health:

Systems thinking is a vital skill in public health as it helps public health professionals think systemically and effectively about public health issues. Systems thinking is vital to addressing public health issues based on related factors such as racial, economic, social, and racial factors. Systems thinking recognizes determinants of health and makes it possible to assess them more thoroughly to find solutions to public health issues.

4. You will learn to perform research relevant to public health:

Graduates of HBCU MPH programs often conduct surveys and analyze lab results and data to gain a deeper understanding of public health. You will learn to use research to identify risks and trends in health-related issues, including understanding how behavior, biology, environment, or society impact overall public health.

5. You will develop an in-depth understanding of community dimensions of practice skills:

The focus of community dimensions of practice skills is to evaluate and understand relationships within the community and develop, maintain, and advance partnerships and public involvement in measures to promote health and wellness. These skills also involve promoting the use of community resources and promoting public health programs, policies, and initiatives, which all impact the health outcomes of individuals, communities, and the public.

6. You will learn to navigate the legal aspects of public health issues:

The judicial system has a significant effect on public health issues. Courts interpret the law and set constitutional limits on regulatory and legislative policies. HBCU MPH programs will teach you about matters of the law as it pertains to public health issues. When you complete your program and earn your degree, you can leverage your knowledge, skills, and credentials to help educate legal professionals and lobby for legislation that benefits public health.



5 Main Advantages of HBCU MPH Programs


If you are considering earning a Master of Public Health, it is natural to wonder if there are advantages to this career and education path. The following are five main advantages of HBCU MPH programs and reasons why earning an MPH is worth it.

1. You can choose a specialty concentration based on your interests and goals:

When you pursue a degree as a Master of Public Health, you can choose to specialize in a specific public health field. For example, if you like crunching numbers and analyzing data, you may specialize in biostatistics. On the other hand, if you are interested in how the environment can affect physical and mental health, you could choose an MPH with an Environmental Health specialization.

2. Graduates of HBCU MPH programs earn great incomes!:

After earning your MPH and gaining some experience, you can expect an average annual salary of about $102,000. This salary is by no means a limit on your earning potential. Depending on where you work and how much experience you gain, you could earn a significantly higher income.

3. You can use your knowledge and skills to advance public health and wellness through research:

If you enjoy research, you can earn your degree through HBCU MPH programs and conduct research designed to advance public health and wellness. Your advanced knowledge of public health issues, epidemiology, and statistics will be helpful as you apply evidence-based practice to promote public health.

4. With an MPH, you can provide care for underserved populations:

As a public health professional, you will have the knowledge and skills necessary to reach and provide services to underserved populations. You could work through agencies, such as the Public Health Institute, to provide health intervention projects for vulnerable and underserved populations. Some of these projects may include providing education about public health resources, including substance abuse recovery assistance, mental health awareness programs, or programs for women, infants, and children.

5. There is a demand for public health professionals, which means you will enter a career with job security:

One of the greatest advantages of earning an MPH is that there is great potential for long-term job opportunities and security. Because public health services are essential, these jobs outlast times of economic crisis and other events that negatively impact other careers.



3 Main Disadvantages of HBCU MPH Programs


Although there are many advantages to HBCU MPH programs, it is also important to consider the disadvantages as well. As you research programs and education pathways, comparing the pros and cons will help you come to an educated decision. The following list includes three main disadvantages to consider.

1. Public health careers can be quite stressful:

No matter how well you do in school or how well-prepared you feel to begin your career in public health, the truth is your job can be incredibly stressful. As a public health professional, you will work with people from all walks of life. Depending on your specialty, you may work disaster preparedness, trying to anticipate possible risks of disastrous events, or you may work with underserved populations experiencing major health crises. You must be mentally strong and practice self-care to succeed in this role.

2. You risk exposure to hazards that could affect your own health:

One of the disadvantages of public health work is that while you are trying to promote public health and wellness, your job may put your health at risk. You could face hazards to your health while in the program or after graduating and working in the field, and despite your best efforts, there may be times when there is nothing you can do to reduce your own risk.

As a nurse, I understand the feeling of frustration knowing that the care we provide could expose us to potential hazards. When you pursue your MPH, learn from your instructors and preceptors and take to heart the methods of infection control and disease prevention they teach you, not only to promote public health, but to protect yourself, as well.

3. If your job depends on government funding, you could face uncertainty in job stability:

Public health is a growing field with a good job outlook overall. However, some public health jobs rely on government funding. For example, if you work in research, your project may be limited to a strict budget. When funds run out, you could be left waiting for additional funding sources to become available so you can continue your work.



3 Major Challenges HBCU MPH Students and Graduates Face and How to Overcome


As you prepare to earn your degree through one of the best HBCU MPH programs, it is good to consider potential challenges you may face. When you know what to expect from a program, you can prepare to face the challenges and overcome them, improving your likelihood of success. The following are three of the biggest challenges you will face in these programs and some tips for how to overcome them.

CHALLENGE #1: The curriculum can be intense.


About the Challenge:

Pursuing a master’s degree means taking upper-level courses, which can be challenging. The courseload in the curriculum for HBCU MPH programs can be rigorous. You need to prepare yourself for the challenges to avoid beginning to feel overwhelmed, which could negatively impact your success in the program.

How to Overcome:

The most effective way of overcoming the challenge of a difficult curriculum is to prepare ahead of time. Decide how much time you can commit to studying and school-related obligations. Create a schedule that outlines designated times for schoolwork, personal responsibilities, and family, and stick with it. If you must work while in school and feel you may be stretched thin for time, consider one of the part-time HBCU MPH programs.

As a former nursing and allied health instructor, it has been my experience that when students dedicate at least three hours each week for each credit hour of coursework, their chances of succeeding in classes improve. For example, if you are enrolled in 10 credit hours, you should set aside 30 hours each week dedicated solely to schoolwork and studying.


CHALLENGE #2: Admission to Top HBCU MPH Programs Is Competitive


About the Challenge:

As you research different programs to find the one best suited for you, you may find admission is quite competitive for admission to HBCU MPH programs. Any graduate program can be challenging to get into because of the nature of the program. However, some Historically Black Colleges and Universities may have higher admission standards than other schools. Schools look for well-rounded applicants with relevant work and volunteer experience and a good academic record from previous colleges.

How to Overcome:

The best way to overcome this challenge is to work and do your best to exceed minimum admission standards and create an admissions packet that stands out from those submitted by other applicants. You can do this by making sure you complete the necessary prerequisites and earning a good GPA. Also, write a compelling personal statement or admissions essay. If possible, visit the school and meet admissions and program faculty. Finally, follow up on any application you submit.


CHALLENGE #3: You could be exposed to dangerous work environments or communicable diseases.


About the Challenge:

Earning a Master of Public Health degree can be exciting and comes with many benefits. However, one of the challenges of the HBCU MPH programs is the risk of being exposed to dangerous environments or diseases. Your role as an MPH will (while in school and after graduation) involve working in a laboratory or infection control setting where the risk of exposure to contaminants or disease is higher. You may also work with specific populations when there is an outbreak of disease, such as what we saw with the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to Overcome:

Hazardous work environments and exposure to illness and disease are part of the territory when you work in public health. Although you may be unable to prevent the events that cause risk, you can reduce your susceptibility to them. One of the main things you can do to help reduce your risk and overcome this challenge is to learn about infection control and prevention measures. The curriculum in your program will cover ways to promote health and wellness and prevent illness, disease, and injury. Take the time to learn from faculty and preceptors. Ask questions when you do not understand something and apply what you learn in the classroom to your role in a clinical setting.



Where Do Graduates of HBCU MPH Programs Mostly Work?


Graduates of top HBCU MPH programs find there are many career opportunities. Where you work will be determined by the focus on your public health degree. The following are some of the main places where graduates of these programs work.

1. Local, State, or National Government:

All levels of government employ public health professionals. For example, you may work for a local government health clinic, in a state-run hospital or research lab, or for national agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2. Non-Profit Organizations:

Another popular place for MPH graduates to work is non-profit organizations. In this setting, you will likely work to provide disaster relief. You may work in the U.S. or travel to other countries offering support. A common non-profit where graduates work is the American Red Cross.

3. Education:

Many graduates of HBCU MPH programs choose to work in educational settings, promoting learning behaviors that promote health and wellness and disease prevention. Public health educators may work in colleges, public health departments, healthcare facilities, or for non-profit organizations.



6 Best Jobs for Graduates of HBCU MPH Programs


In addition to many work settings, graduates of HBCU MPH programs can choose from many diverse types of jobs. As with the setting you prefer, the job you take will be largely influenced by the concentration you choose to focus your public health degree on. The following are six of the best jobs for graduates of these programs.

1. Biosecurity Specialist:

This job revolves around protecting the public from foreign and domestic threats. In this role, you will assess the risks of danger from biological weapons and develop appropriate protocol should a biological risk or emergency occur. You may work with laboratory specialists and epidemiologists to assess the safety and biosecurity of their facilities and assess biological risks within public health facilities.

2. Public Health Educator:

If you like the idea of sharing your knowledge and skills with others, you could use your degree from one of the best HBCU MPH programs to become a public health educator. Public health educators teach individuals and populations about health-related information to improve public health outcomes. In this job, you may provide education about healthy lifestyles, such as how to choose and prepare healthy meals and the importance of preventive health measures. You will educate the public about healthcare resources, including providing information about local, state, and federal health services. You may also work in an administrative capacity, ensuring that a public health program is running well, and that the curriculum is updated for present-day struggles.

3. Communicable Disease Analyst:

As a communicable disease analyst, you will work with healthcare providers and professionals to determine how illness and disease spread within communities and populations. You will analyze data that demonstrates how diseases move within communities and work to determine the best allocation of resources. This role involves analyzing demographic data, collecting samples, plotting disease trends, and developing methods to slow or stop the spread of illnesses and diseases.

4. Disaster Preparedness Coordinator:

The role of a disaster preparedness coordinator involves strategizing and assessing risks for natural or manmade disasters and planning strategies based on those assessments. In this role, you will assess the potential risks to people, property, infrastructure, and the environment caused by disasters to help develop plans to limit property damage, loss of life, and environmental breakdown.

5. Infectious Disease Consultant:

Infectious disease consultants have a wide range of responsibilities. In this job, you will use your knowledge of diseases to educate the community on measures to prevent or reduce the risk of the spread of diseases and illnesses. You may also provide insight to healthcare providers and staff at healthcare facilities to help identify individuals at risk and contain a disease outbreak.

6. Public Health Researcher:

If you enjoy getting to the root of important issues, you may enjoy a job as a public health researcher. A public health researcher conducts surveys and analyzes data and lab results to determine the overall health of populations. In this role, you will review risks and trends in health to determine the impact of social, biological, behavioral, and environmental factors on public health.



What Starting Salary Can New Graduates of This Program Expect?


New graduates of HBCU MPH programs earn approximately $28.42 per hour, $1,137 per week, or $4,930 monthly. This wage is equal to an annual salary of $59,120.

Hourly$28.42
Weekly$1,137
Monthly$4,930
Annual$59,120
(Source: Ziprecruiter.com)



What Average Salary Can Graduates of HBCU MPH Programs Expect?


With a little experience, your income as a Master of Public Health can increase significantly. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary of graduates of HBCU MPH programs is $49.21 per hour, $1,968 per week, or $8,530 per month. This pay is equal to an annual salary of $102,359!

Hourly$49.21
Weekly$1,968
Monthly$8,530
Annual$102,359
(Source: Ziprecruiter.com)



10-Year Job Outlook for Graduates of HBCU MPH Programs



The ten-year outlook for graduates of HBCU MPH programs is excellent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this field will see a growth of at least 28.33% between 2021 and 2031. This rate of increase indicates that now is an excellent time to earn a master’s degree in public health.

2021-31
+28.33%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



3 Main Reasons Behind the Demand for Graduates of HBCU MPH Programs


As you search for the right career, one factor worth considering is whether there is a need for the services you wish to provide. Public health is one field that is in demand, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it will continue to be a good career option. The following are three main reasons behind the demand for graduates of HBCU MPH programs.

1. Increased Public Awareness of the Importance of Physical and Mental Health:

As society becomes more informed about the impact of physical and mental health, the more we rely upon educated professionals to keep us informed. Because graduates of HBCU MPH programs provide education to individuals and populations to promote health awareness and disease prevention, their services are in demand.

2. COVID-19 and its worldwide impact:

The coronavirus pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on public and population health worldwide. Although we have learned a lot about the virus, there is still much to learn. Because of the different variants, how quickly and easily the virus spreads, and the wide range of symptoms, the need for individuals to study COVID-19 and development prevention and treatment measures continues to rise.

3. An increase in the occurrence of chronic diseases:

According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of people 50 years old and older will increase by 99.5% between 2020 and 2050. The NIH also projects individuals with multimorbidity will increase by 91.16%, with nearly 15 million people in the United States experiencing multimorbidity by 2050. These numbers are startling and are another of the main reasons there is a need for public health professionals like graduates of HBCU MPH programs.



Is The Cost of An HBCU MPH Program Worth the Return on Investment (ROI)?


Before committing to a career, one of the most important things is to compare your earning potential to the cost of earning a degree. If you can recoup the cost of your education, that shows a good return on your investment.

For example, HBCU MPH programs can cost between $22,000 and $124,000. New program graduates earn approximately $59,000 per year. With experience, the average annual income increases to around $102,000. When you compare these numbers, even if you attend one of the more expensive programs and earn the beginning salary, you could still see a positive return on your investment within two to three years.

Keep in mind the average income is not a cap on your earning potential. Depending on where you work and your role, you could earn significantly higher. With all these factors in mind, it is easy to see that the cost of an HBCU MPH program is worth the return on your investment.



Bonus! 5 Expert Tips to Improve Your Chances of Getting Accepted into The Best HBCU MPH Programs


Once you decide you want to pursue your degree through HBCU MPH programs, the next step is to get accepted. There are a few things you can do to help make your application more attractive. The following are five tips to help improve your chances of getting into a top MPH program.

1. Develop a skillset relevant to public health and highlight it in your application.

This step involves self-reflection and honesty about what you offer as a prospective student. Consider skills you developed in school, your job, or in volunteer settings, and be ready to discuss them. HBCU MPH programs typically have several projects and research opportunities. Find out what students in the program are currently working on and think about your past experiences and skills and how you can apply them and become an asset to the program.

2. Apply early and follow up.

Admission to HBCU MPH programs can be competitive. One thing you can do to help improve your chances of admission is to apply early. Find out the priority deadline for each school where you plan to apply and submit your application before that deadline. After submitting your application, be sure to follow up with the school.

Most schools send an email confirmation within one to five days of receiving your application to confirm its receipt. If you are still waiting to receive an email within a week, call the school to confirm they have received your application. If you do receive an email confirmation, wait until the final application deadline, and follow up. Ask the admissions office when acceptance notifications will be available. When you take the initiative to follow up, it gets the attention of the admissions faculty. They are more likely to remember your name and pay attention when reviewing your application.

3. Make your personal statement truly personal.

One of the requirements for your HBCU MPH application will be to submit a personal statement, also known as a statement of intent. This statement is a type of essay that gives you an opportunity to share why you believe you are a viable candidate for the program. Your statement should include your motivation for pursuing a Master of Public Health degree. For example, what do you hope to accomplish with this degree? What are your short-term and long-term career goals, and why do you believe this school and program are the right choices to help you achieve those goals?

4. Prepare a well-rounded, complete, and error-free application.

I can tell you from personal experience that admissions and program faculty care about the presentation of your application. One of the fastest ways to have your application rejected is to turn in an incomplete application or one that has errors. The admission criteria for HBCU MPH programs will be listed on the school’s program page.

Be sure to verify any required supplemental documents and be prepared to submit them. Check all documents, essays, your resume, and curriculum vitae to ensure they are current and error-free. Consider having a friend or family member proofread your essay or personal statement. The time it takes to review your application thoroughly could make the difference between receiving an admission offer or having your application rejected.

5. Choose a specialty and be prepared to explain why it is important to you.

Some HBCU MPH programs offer specialty concentration options. Think about what interests you and choose a concentration. A few examples include community health, environmental & occupational health, biostatistics, epidemiology, disaster management, health policy, and health systems management. Part of the admission process will include participating in an admission interview. You can show genuine interest in the program and dedication to the profession by choosing a specialty and being able to explain why it is important to you and relevant to your long-term career goals. This is a crucial step as admission faculty value applicants with a solid plan for their future.



My Final Thoughts


Public health is an awesome career with diverse opportunities for growth and advancement, as well as multiple options for specialization. In this article, I answered the question, "What are the best HBCU MPH programs?” You learned about the 8 best HBCU MPH programs for 2024, including finding information about program costs, curriculum, job opportunities, and income potential. With the information from this article, you can decide if earning a Master of Public Health degree is the right path for you. If you feel this is the right career path, I encourage you to get started today!



Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Our Expert


1. What Is The Best HBCU MPH Program In The Nation?

The best HBCU MPH program in the nation is offered at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

Morehouse School of Medicine - Atlanta, GA


2. Is It Easy to Get Admission Into HBCU MPH Programs?

Admission to HBCU MPH programs can be competitive. However, the hard work and persistence it takes to get in is worth the effort!


3. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into HBCU MPH Programs?

Most HBCU MPH programs require candidates to have a college GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale to be admitted.


4. Can I Get Into HBCU MPH Programs With A Low GPA?

Although HBCU MPH programs often require a 3.0 or higher GPA for admission, some programs offer admission to students with lower grade point averages.


5. Do I Need Any Work Experience To Get Into HBCU MPH Programs?

Most HBCU MPH programs require applicants to have relevant work or volunteer experience to be eligible for admission.


6. What Is The Typical Cost-Per-Credit For HBCU MPH Programs?

The cost-per-credit for HBCU MPH programs can range from $400 to $1,200 per credit. A few factors that influence cost are whether you enroll in a campus-based or online program and whether you live in-state or out-of-state.


7. What Are The 3 Hardest Classes In HBCU MPH Programs?

Opinions vary regarding which classes in HBCU MPH programs are hardest. Many students report the most challenging classes are Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Psychosocial Determinants of Health.


8. How Much Do New Graduates Of This Program Make Per Year?

New graduates of HBCU MPH programs earn approximately $59,120 per year.

$59,120


9. On Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Make Per Hour With Experience?

The average hourly pay for graduates of HBCU MPH programs is $49.21.

$49.21


10. On Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Per Month With Experience?

On average, graduates of HBCU MPH programs earn $8,530 per month.

$8,530


11. On Average, How Much Can Graduates Of HBCU MPH Programs Make Per Year With Experience?

The average annual salary for graduates of HBCU MPH programs who have experience is $102,359.

$102,359


12. What Are The 3 Best Alternative Degree Options For HBCU MPH Programs?

If you are interested in a healthcare degree but are not sure if public health is the right fit, there are several options. Three of the best alternative degree options for HBCU MPH programs are nursing, healthcare administration, and health and hum services.


Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).