4 Best MPH Programs in Chicago – 2024

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

As a graduate of one of the MPH programs in Chicago, you’ll have multiple employment opportunities in both the public and private sectors. An MPH program in the Windy City can prepare you to become a community health activist, a clinic administrator or an epidemiologist, and as a Chicago-based public health professional, you’ll earn a salary that averages $94,620 a year. Many Chicago-based Master’s Degrees in Public Health are offered through distance learning formats, which means you can prepare yourself for a new career while continuing to keep up with existing professional and family obligations. Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out about the 4 best MPH programs in Chicago for 2024.



(Based on our Ranking Methodology, we have ranked the 4 best campus-based and online MPH programs in Chicago.)

1) University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago

Programs Offered: MPH (On-Campus and Online)

On-Campus Specializations Offered: Biostatistics, Community Health Sciences, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Policy & Administration, Maternal & Child Health, Maternal & Child Health Epidemiology, Public Health Informatics, and Global Health

Online Specializations Offered: Community Health Sciences, Health Policy & Administration, and Public Health Informatics

The University of Illinois at Chicago’ Public Health School has been contributing to global health through innovative research, education, and community engagement. Ranked among the best MPH programs in Chicago, here through extensive fieldwork, and collaboration with healthcare leaders you will be well prepared for public health practice. Since its inception, 50 years ago, this public health school has been pioneering change in various pressing areas of relevance, including climate change, water quality & health, industrial hygiene, infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS prevention, and cancer epidemiology. Also, with an active engagement with renowned health organizations such as the CDC, NIH, and WHO, the school offers an environment where a commitment to positive global health is emphasized.

With nine MPH concentration options, the college prepares you to impact health in your field of interest. Depending on your preference, you can choose to pursue this degree either online or on-campus. In the on-campus format, you can opt for either full-time or part-time enrollment. If you prefer the face-to-face instructions then you can enroll in any of the concentrations that are offered on-campus, whereas for those who seek the convenience of distance learning you can opt for the online MPH which is offered in four concentration options of community health sciences, health policy & administration and public health informatics. The MPH track in public health informatics, in particular, is the only online MPH program in Chicago to offer a 100% online coursework.

To qualify for this program, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 from an accredited institution. Upon enrollment, you will first complete the core requirements of 18 to 20 credits which include determinants of population health, public health systems, policy & management, and analytic research methods in public health. Thereafter you proceed to complete the remaining 20-22 credits through concentration-specific and elective courses. The college stands out for the practical exposure it offers its students through extensive fieldwork in Chicago and across the world. This diverse real-world learning experience hones professional skills that are required to improve health outcomes for a global population.

2) Loyola University Chicago - Chicago

Programs Offered: MPH (On-Campus & Online) and Bachelor Degree from SES/MPH

On-Campus MPH Specializations Offered: Epidemiology, Public Health Policy & Management, and Global Health Equity

Online MPH Specializations Offered: Public Health Policy & Management

Are you keen on pursuing your MPH in Chicago from a top-ranking public health school? If so, you may want to consider Loyola University Chicago, listed among the U.S. News & World Report’s top public health schools in the nation. Rooted in Jesuit values of social justice and freedom of inquiry the college produces leaders who are promoting health and well-being across the world. With a competency-based curriculum, you master relevant skills and knowledge through rigorous didactic courses and community engagement. Here, along with the regular MPH degree, meant for those who have completed their undergraduate education, the college also offers a dual degree where you can pursue both, a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science Environmental Studies and a Master Of Public Health, all completed within five years.

To suit the needs of working students, the college offers its MPH curriculum with flexible schedules along with the option of on-campus and online formats. While the Epidemiology and Global Health Equity tracks are offered in the hybrid format, with face-to-face classes held in the evenings, the Public Health Policy & Management track can be taken either online or face-to-face, depending on your preference. Upon enrollment in any of the tracks, you must complete 42 credits in core, concentration-specific, electives, and applied practice experience. The 18 credits of core courses mainly educate you on determinants of population health, public health practice & management, epidemiology, biostatistics, and public health policy. Besides, you must complete concentration-specific courses that comprise 15 credits. Each concentration offers a choice of elective courses, out of which you must choose two, based on your interest.

This MPH program is open to either fresh graduates or working professionals keen on pursuing a fulfilling career in public health. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is recommended, although not required. With a GPA of 3.0 and above you can ask for a GRE waiver, however, if your GPA is lower than the recommended score, a GRE will be necessary.

As a Loyola program graduate, you will join the growing workforce of public health professionals who are ready to take on leadership roles in private, state, and federal healthcare agencies.

3) DePaul University - Chicago

Programs Offered: MPH

Specializations Offered: Community Health Practice and Social Epidemiology

To become a proficient public health leader, you must master real-world skills that help you face the complex challenges of public health at both, local and global levels. At DePaul University you get the knowledge of real-world health systems by completing a nine-month practicum in varied settings, including government agencies, community organizations, or health care organizations across Chicago. Also, the solid foundation that the college provides under the able mentorship of its expert faculty leads students to a path of excellence, no wonder almost all of its graduates find suitable placements within six months of leaving the college. Some of the prominent employers where you can find its alumni working include Howards Brown Health, Rush University Medical Center, and Blue Cross Blue Shield, to name a few.

De Paul’s MPH program in Chicago is designed for working professionals with face-to-face classes held only in the evenings. Being an on-campus program, if you would prefer a slower pace to match your busy life schedule, you can enroll for part-time classes that stretch the duration of the program to 3 to 4 years instead of the two years of full-time study.

To be considered for this program you must have completed your baccalaureate education with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Depending on your interest, you can enroll in either the community health practice or social epidemiology track. While the former prepares you in addressing community health problems to reduce health disparities, the social epidemiology track focuses on social determinants of health that cause health inequalities. The 22-credit core coursework takes you through the introduction of public health, epidemiology, environmental health, health & behavior, biostatistics, preparation for public health practice, and also includes a public health practicum. The next segment of the curriculum comprises 28 credits of concentration-specific courses, in addition to 8 credits of electives. Elective courses can be selected from a wide choice within MPH or even outside of it, provided you seek approval from the program director. The program ends with a practicum and a capstone thesis.

4) Chicago State University - Chicago

Programs Offered: MPH

Specializations Offered: Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

Chicago State University offers practice-centered public health education that is committed to health promotion and disease prevention. Out of all the other MPH programs in Chicago, Illinois, the college stands out for preparing MPH graduates to serve the underserved populations of the state. Having completed a curriculum that includes public health & community health competencies, program graduates are known to contribute to the needs of the ethnic minorities in the region. The program is mainly offered in the on-campus format with few online classes. Because classes here are offered in the evenings, you can easily juggle a job along with pursuing this academic schedule. The program starts in fall and upon enrolment, you attend an orientation, followed by taking courses in a sequential manner.

Whether you are a nurse, nutritionist, or engineer, the college accepts students from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. Although a health science background is not required, it will certainly enhance your chances of admission if you have one. For those students who are not from a health science field, completing a course in the Biological Basis of Public Health is required during the first semester. The minimum requirements for admission into this program include a baccalaureate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

This MPH program requires completing a total of 48 credits, which most students complete within two years. During the first year, you will be educated in the fundamentals of public health practice, biostatistics & compute applications, environmental health & safety, epidemiology, behavioral, social & cultural aspects of health disparities, and community health risk assessment. The second-year entails taking advanced courses, including health education & community advocacy, health issues in the minority communities, ethical & legal issues in public health, and two elective courses, out of which one can be a course that teaches you about HIV/AIDS in people of color. The electives include a range of choices from entrepreneurship in healthcare delivery, global health to healthcare informatics, and education & community advocacy.


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