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Best Online MPH Epidemiology Programs For 2021


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Whether you are new to public health or are among the growing number of people who wish to advance their careers, this article is for you. If you like the idea of being involved in the study of social and cultural factors that influence the health and behavioral health of people, epidemiology MPH online programs are an excellent way to begin. Master of Public Health in Epidemiology programs focus on the philosophy that communication, education, and implementation of sound health initiatives and policies can improve the quality of life of the public. As you explore the best online MPH epidemiology programs for 2021 in this article, you will find ways to become involved in promoting health and wellness among diverse populations with results that can reach people worldwide.


What Exactly Is the Goal of an MPH Epidemiology Program?


The goal of MPH Epidemiology programs, like the online MPH epidemiology programs featured in this article, is to provide students with academic theory and real-world experiences that prepare them for careers in public health. These programs give students the knowledge they need to research, treat, and find solutions that help prevent the spread of human disease and promote public health and wellness.


7 Reasons Why Online MPH in Epidemiology Programs Are Currently in High Demand


MPH Epidemiology programs, like the MPH in epidemiology online programs mentioned in this article, have seen an increased interest from prospective students, especially during the last year. There are several possible reasons the industry is seeing an increase in interest in the programs.

1. COVID-19: The critical role of disease prevention associated with response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the number of public health workers needed, increasing the demand for accredited MPH in epidemiology programs.
2. Increased acute and chronic health conditions: According to the World Health Organization, by 2050, the world’s population of people aged 60 years or older is expected to total more than two billion people. With increased age comes increased acute and chronic health conditions. Epidemiologists, often referred to as “disease detectives,” are instrumental in identifying people who are at risk for developing disease, searching for the cause of disease, and helping prevent or stop the spread of disease. Because epidemiologists play such an integral role in population health and there is an anticipated increase in acute and chronic health conditions, the demand for quality on-campus, hybrid, and online MPH epidemiology programs has increased.
3. MPH in Epidemiology programs create leaders needed to fill crucial roles in healthcare. Graduates of these programs are critical to identifying risk factors and analyzing relationships between hazardous or disease-causing agents and the health of the population.
4. These programs impact humanitarian interventions and provide critical skills needed for relief operations. Policymakers on all levels, use the education earned in MPH Epidemiology programs to evaluate decisions made in macro and micro levels, such as public health interventions in communities, or in the United Nations consolidated Appeals Process, the effects of which ripple through diverse populations.
5. Potential long-term job security: If there is one thing that is sure, it is the fact that there will always be some type of sickness or disease. Graduates of online MPH in Epidemiology programs position themselves for long-term employment opportunities researching and providing solutions to public health issues.
6. Motivated individuals can learn a broad range of skills they can use in various work environments. After earning an MPH in Epidemiology, graduates can work in private and public health settings, for government institutions, or research foundations (among many others). The diversity of job choices that comes after graduating from one of these programs makes them a great choice for people from many walks of life.
7. Dependable income: The average salary of people with an MPH in Epidemiology is over $65,000 yearly. Even without the perks of benefits packages or raises, this is a good income and the constant need for people with public health specialty qualifications makes the possibility of a steady, dependable income favorable.


How Long Are Online MPH Epidemiology Programs?


While epidemiology MPH online programs vary in length, most are designed to be completed in two to three years. The decision to enroll on a part-time or full-time basis, attending school with or without semester breaks, and the need to repeat a course all impact how long each student will take to graduate from a program.

Some online MPH epidemiology programs offer more than one plan of study to accommodate the needs of students. For example, prospective students who wish to attend Drexel University can choose from 12-month, 18-month, 21-month, and Flexible study plans. Students who choose the flexible study plan work with their assigned program manager to create a customized study plan that works for them.
Students who enroll full-time at Texas A&M and follow the coursework path as suggested by their academic/department advisor can complete the online MPH Epidemiology program in as little as two years. The two years of study includes two fall, spring and summer semesters. Many courses offered at Texas A&M are only offered once yearly and may have prerequisites. Anyone who choose to enroll in additional courses, deviates from their academic plan, or is unsuccessful on a first attempt in a class should plan for extended enrollment time.
At Harvard University, students enrolled in the online MPH in Epidemiology program learn from some of the most accomplished epidemiology faculties in the world, making this program one of the best online MPH epidemiology programs available. The program is designed in a part-time format that takes two years to complete.
Offered by the Department of Epidemiology, the Master of Public Health with Epidemiology concentration at the University of Alabama at Birmingham can be completed in five semesters or twenty months of full-time enrollment. Prospective students have the option of part-time study for the program, making it necessary to go to school for an additional one to three semesters.


How Much Do Online MPH Epidemiology Programs Cost?


Like many graduate degree programs, MPH in epidemiology online programs can be expensive. Program costs range from $30,000 to over $100,000. When researching different programs, be sure to talk with financial advisors and ask if there are scholarship opportunities offered by the school or organizations. Additionally, many students qualify for federal grants and/or loans to help offset the cost of obtaining this degree. If you believe you may need assistance to pay for your degree, apply early to make sure your application is processed in time to enroll in your chosen program.

The online Master of Public Health with Epidemiology concentration at Kent State University consists of seven-week courses, with students taking one course per term. Students typically graduate in as few as twenty-seven months. However, those who take two courses currently in the final two terms can complete the program in twenty-four months. The 46-credit program includes fourteen courses and a clinical practicum experience. In-state students pay $695 per credit hour and non-resident students pay $705, making the cost of the program $31,970 for residents and $32,430 for out-of-state students.
Drexel University has established its online MPH in Epidemiology preparing students to “tackle some of our world’s most pressing urban health, global health, and public health issues.” The program combines a public health foundation and biostatistics with practical experiences to help students impact communities by becoming expert researchers and public health experts. The university is offering a 25% tuition savings off its regular tuition rate of $1,246 per credit. Students who enroll in the 2020-2021 academic year will pay $935 per credit. Tuition is $52,360 for the fifty-six-credit hour program.
Tufts School of Medicine, Tufts University, is committed to offering personalized learning experiences for students enrolled in its Master of Public Health with concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics to share their ideas and develop critical thinking skills related to public health issues. The program involves forty-two credit hours and costs approximately $76,902.
Texas A&M offers an award-winning Master of Public Health curriculum, making it one of the best MPH in epidemiology online programs out there. The program offers students the opportunity to cultivate relevant practical skills while participating in a collaborative learning structure which focuses on diverse health issues faced by populations. Cost of the program which includes thirty-six to fifty-four credit hours, depending on the student’s previous coursework, is $31,605 for Texas residents and $40,195 for non-residents.


What Is the Curriculum Like?


Epidemiology is a vital science related to public health and it is essential in the prevention of disability, chronic or rare diseases and disability. The coursework in online MPH epidemiology programs includes a focus on training in measure and studying the distribution, causes, and characteristics of diseases across various demographics. Students enrolled in the program take courses as Biostatistics for Research, Epidemiologic Methods, and Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology.

At the University of California at Berkeley students enrolled in the Master of Public Health program are required to complete six core courses, regardless of their chosen concentration. Core courses are Health & Social Behavior, Introduction to Environmental Health Science, Health Policy & Management, Introduction to Probability and Statistics, Epidemiologic Methods and Interdisciplinary Seminar.

In addition to the required core coursework, Epidemiology and Biostatistics students complete the following classes.

◦ Statistical Analysis of Categorical Data
◦ Epidemiologic Methods II
◦ Epidemiologic Analysis
◦ Applied Spatial Data Analysis for Public Health

The MPH in Epidemiology at the University of Florida is a 48 credit program. Coursework for the program is offered on a semester schedule with weekly due dates for assignments. In addition to earning the required credits, students must maintain a “C” average or higher in all courses, have a minimum 3.0 GPA for the program, pass the Applied Practice Experience and complete the Integrative Learning Experience and associated project. Students enrolled in this program complete coursework in the following classes.

◦ Public Health Concepts in Infectious Disease
◦ Introduction to Pharmacoepidemiology
◦ Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health
◦ Psychological, Behavioral, and Social Issues in Public Health
◦ Introduction to Applied Survival Analysis

At the University of Nebraska, the MPH program requires 42 credit hours for completion. The program emphasizes scientific knowledge base, interdependency of knowledge and practice areas, and social justice. The following list is an example of required classes necessary to complete the program.

◦ Foundations of Public Health
◦ Biostatistics
◦ Emergency Preparedness
◦ Environmental and Occupational Health
◦ Public Health Administration and Policy


Admission Requirements


MPH in epidemiology online programs require hard work to be successful. It takes firm dedication from students to accomplish the in-depth curriculum and other course requirements. Admission to the programs is often competitive. Although each school sets its own criteria for admission, most Master of Public Health with epidemiology concentration programs require a minimum bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and relevant work history in a health-related field.

The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona is Arizona’s first accredited college of public health. According to data from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, the college consistently ranks in the top five American Indian and Hispanic graduates and students enrolled in accredited schools of public health, making this program one of the best online MPH epidemiology programs. Prospective students must meet the following admission criteria to be accepted into the MPH with epidemiology concentration.

◦ Possess a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA
◦ Complete one course in college-level introductory, human, or general biology
◦ Complete one course in calculus or college algebra
◦ Submit transcripts from all colleges or universities attended

Temple University’s MPH in Epidemiology offers students access to expert faculty who have practical experience including a broad variety of settings, including federal, state and local government agencies, community-based health entities, and international nongovernmental organizations. The program offers flexible curriculum options including a part-time online option, which can be completed in three years. Applicants should submit the following with their completed application to be considered for admission to the program.

◦ Three letters of recommendation: Letters should come from college or university professors who can speak of the applicant’s academic abilities. Prospective students who have not attended school for more than five years should submit letters from professional colleagues that offer support of the applicant's academic skills including research, critical thinking, and writing skills.
◦ Statement of Goals: A written 500-to-1,000-word statement of purpose that describes the applicant’s interest in public health and Temple University’s program
◦ Resume or curriculum vitae
◦ Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended

The University of Memphis offers rolling admission but gives priority consideration for applications received by the admissions department by February 1 of the academic year. Admission criteria for the MPH in Epidemiology includes the following.

◦ Undergraduate grade point average from an accredited college or university of 3.0 cumulative or 3.5 in a major subject area
◦ Recent standardized test scores no older than five years
◦ Statement of Purpose: U.S. applicants must submit a 400–500-word essay. International applicants should submit a 750-1,000-word statement
◦ Resume or CV

Loyola University at Chicago has established its Master of Public Health program inspired by the university’s Jesuit tradition of freedom of inquiry and social justice. Program faculty provide the educational tools necessary to prepare public health leaders. The MPH program admits students twice yearly for the Fall and Spring semesters. Candidates for admission must meet the admission requirements below for consideration.

◦ Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
◦ Standardized test scores from at least one of the following: GRE, MCAT, GMAT, or LSAT
◦ Two letters of recommendation
◦ Essay of Intent 500 to 1,000 words

The admission faculty at Eastern Virginia Medical School evaluate applicants using what they refer to as a holistic review process, reviewing all components of an application before making an offer of admission. Consideration is given to applicants for any appropriate work experience in a health-related field. Prospective students should submit the following with their completed application for admission.

◦ Completion of all undergraduate degree requirements with a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale before matriculation in the Master of Public Health Program
◦ Prepare a Personal Statement that includes the applicant’s reason for interest in Eastern Virginia Medical School’s MPH in Epidemiology program
◦ Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
◦ Two letters of reference


7 Tips to Successfully Make It Through MPH in Epidemiology Programs


Now that you have decided to pursue your MPH in Epidemiology, you are probably wondering what you can do to improve your chances of success. Here are a few times to help you make it through online MPH epidemiology programs successfully.

1. Communication is key!! The option of enrolling in online courses makes it possible for many people who either cannot, or prefer not to, attend school on campus an option. Although there are some great benefits to distance learning, some prospective students feel they may be at a disadvantage because they are unable to talk to instructors or get answers to questions right away. Faculty who teach online classes, like those in the best online MPH epidemiology programs, understand there may be times when you need extra help. They expect you to reach out when you need help or clarification. Make a habit of keeping open communication with your instructors. Also, take advantage of message boards, group chats, or other ways to communicate with classmates and program faculty. Communication is one of the most important tools to help you be successful in any college program.
2. Plan ahead as much as possible. This program can be quite rigorous. There may be days when you feel like you have much more work to accomplish than you have time to do it in. Simple steps can help you manage your time and give you more time to devote to your studies. Instead of making several trips for one or two items plan weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly shopping trips for household essentials and groceries. Meal prepping can be a lifesaver! You may be surprised how much time you can save by doing these two easy things.
3. Do not procrastinate. According to Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago, 20% of the adult population in the United States are chronic procrastinators. While it may not be feasible to think that you will complete every assignment on the day it is given to you, it is not unreasonable to believe that you can complete them before the designated deadline. Instructors of graduate programs like MPH in epidemiology online programs, expect students at this level to be prepared and to get assignments completed on time. As soon as you are given an assignment or task, begin working on it. If you do this, you won’t have to worry about missing work or having incomplete or failing grades.
4. Remember, you don’t have to know everything. Seriously, you are a student in this program, not an instructor. Don’t be hard on yourself. If you make a mistake or don’t ace an exam, the world of MPH school is not going to come to a screeching halt. Embrace the moment as a learning opportunity and move forward.
5. Never forget: Your advisor is a great resource for help, information, or advice while you are enrolled in the program. Colleges and universities offering MPH epidemiology degree programs assign advisors for students because.... wait for it.... They WANT you to succeed! Your advisor is a great resource for information about the program, academic plans or questions, and will be there to help you, but they won’t know you need help if you don’t ask.
6. Take time for yourself. One of the most important things you can do during this program is care for yourself. Sometimes that means taking a little time just for you. Granted, in graduate school, you may feel like you literally have only a “little” time. Take it! Unplug from your phone or tablet. Go for a bike ride or walk. Soak in a bubble bath. Whatever you can do to relax, take a deep breath, and unwind will be worth the time you take. You will likely find that you have more energy and can stay focused better when you spend some time taking care of yourself.
7. Never give up! Dreams worth pursuing rarely come easily. Earning your degree from one of the best MPH in epidemiology online programs will take dedication and hard work. Whatever you do, stay focused. If you have a bad day, let it go and start fresh the next day. No matter what, never give up!


5 Important Factors to Consider While Selecting the Right MPH in Epidemiology Program


It’s important to choose the MPH in Epidemiology program that is right for you. Here are a few factors to consider while selecting a program.

1. Is the program accredited? For an MPH in epidemiology program to be accredited, it must meet or exceed minimum standards of quality. If a program is accredited, students can feel assured they are receiving a quality education from faculty who are experienced in their field. Employers prefer to hire job applicants who have graduated from accredited epidemiology MPH programs because they can have confidence that the applicant is qualified. Additionally, to qualify for state or federal financial assistance, students must attend an accredited school/program.
2. Which type of learning is best for you? Some people learn better in settings where they have direct interaction with faculty and peers, which makes them a better candidate for on-campus or hybrid learning. Other people find it easier to learn independently, making the option of online MPH epidemiology programs a good choice. To increase your chances of success, it is important to identify the type of learning that works for you and choose a program that offers that option.
3. Do you need to work while in school? It is not uncommon for graduate students to have a stable job or career before enrolling in another program, which means having to decide if continuing to work is an option or necessity. It is quite possible to juggle school and work responsibilities and succeed in a Master of Public Health epidemiology program while working. However, it may be necessary to change work schedules or enroll part-time instead of full-time if taking a leave of absence while in school is not an option. Weighing the pros and cons of continuing to work before enrolling in a program and making any necessary changes to work or school schedules ahead of time will help decrease the chance of becoming overwhelmed later.
4. How will you pay for school? As previously mentioned, epidemiology MPH online programs can be expensive. Take care to review your current financial obligations; then create a budget that includes anticipated school expenses. Many financial assistance programs issue awards based on when applications are received. Therefore, if you need to apply for financial assistance, do it as soon as possible.
5. Can you commit to in-person internships or clinical components of a program? MPH in epidemiology degree programs often require students to participate in clinical practicum or internships. Online students may be allowed to fulfill these requirements somewhere close to where they live. If you are unable to commit to any in-person components of a program, it is best to look for online programs that do not require an internship or in-person clinical practicum.



FOLLOWING ARE THE 20 BEST ONLINE MPH EPIDEMIOLOGY PROGRAMS FOR 2021


1. University of California - Berkeley, CA


2. Texas A&M University - College Station, TX


3. University of South Florida - Tampa, FL


4. University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL


5. Harvard University - Boston, MA


6. University of Florida - Gainesville, FL


7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI


8. University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ


9. University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA


10. University of Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha, NE


11. Kent State University - Kent, OH


12. Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA


13. Tufts University - Medford, MA


14. Temple University - Philadelphia, PA


15. East Tennessee State University - Johnson City, TN


16. University of Memphis - Memphis, TN


17. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN


18. Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL


19. Regis College - Weston, MA


20. Eastern Virginia Medical School - Norfolk, VA


View Ranking Methodology



Career Opportunities for Graduates of This Program


Graduates of accredited epidemiology MPH online programs can enjoy rewarding careers in local and national disease-prevention organizations, academia, global public health, and government, to name a few. Some common job opportunities after completion of the program include the following.

◦ Data Scientist
◦ Clinical Data Analyst
◦ Director of Health Outcomes
◦ Epidemiologist and Surveillance Coordinator
◦ Infection Control Specialist
◦ Public Health Analyst


Average Salary for Graduates of This Program


The average annual salary for graduates of online MPH in epidemiology programs is just over $65,000. Health educators with this specialty may make closer to $50,000 while top-tier money earners with the degree make $80,000 or more. Salary is often commensurate with previous relevant work experience and previous health-related experience is a plus when negotiating salary. Additional factors that may impact earning potential include geographical location, type of employment setting, and the required schedule.

Per Hour $31.38
Per Month $5,440
Per Year $65,272
(Source: payscale.com)


Job Outlook for Graduates of This Program


The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a five percent growth rate in jobs for graduates of campus, hybrid, and online MPH in epidemiology programs by 2028. The Bureau reports that the projected increase in employment opportunities is as fast as the national average for all careers, which is indicative of a promising job outlook for individuals who complete this program.


Bottomline


As a Master of Public Health Epidemiology student, you will learn to apply, develop, and teach skills necessary to understand the cause of disease and improve the health of populations. By enrolling in one of the best online MPH epidemiology programs for 2021, you will be taught the principles and methods of epidemiology that constitute a foundation for developing policies and preventing the spread of disease, helping to promote health and wellness on local levels, which in turn, can have a global impact. If this sounds like what you have been waiting for, reach out to the schools that offer these programs and get started today. There is no time like the present to have a positive influence on the health and well-being of individuals and communities.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED


Do online MPH in Epidemiology programs require GRE scores?

Although some schools do not require GRE or other standardized test scores for admission, others do. Each school sets its own admission criteria that candidates are expected to meet. It’s important to check with each school you are interested in and verify its admission requirements prior to applying.

Is it necessary to have a bachelor’s degree to be accepted into an MPH in Epidemiology online program?

Master of Public Health in Epidemiology programs require a bachelor’s degree for admission. However, there is no universal requirement regarding coursework to enter these programs. Therefore, students from various backgrounds with diverse bachelor’s degrees such as medicine, law, or humanities can all apply for admission.

Is it better to work or take time off work while in an online MPH in Epidemiology program?

It really depends on each person’s specific needs whether working while in an MPH Epidemiology program is a good idea or not. If you feel like you need to work while in school, be sure to create a schedule that includes dedicated time for assignments and study as well as personal obligations and work. If you do that, it will be easier to stay on track with both work and school obligations.


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.