Accredited Online Schools with Public Health Degrees: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online accredited public health school. Read on to get an overview of the program options, internship factors, and common topics offered for the field of study.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in public health are available online, but students should carefully research the different program levels and technology requirements before making a decision on a school to attend. We discuss some of the different levels and various requirements for a few schools that offer these programs.

How to Select an Online Accredited Public Health School

Public health relates to a number of professions dealing with the health and well-being of a community and its citizens. There are many online schools offering degree programs and specifications in public health and related fields. Online public health programs are available through 4-year colleges and universities. Students must weigh the program levels with the technology requirements.

Program Levels

Online public health programs are offered as bachelor's and master's degree programs. Earning a bachelor's degree in this field is generally acceptable for an entry-level position. At the master's degree level, a program may be taken completely online by professionals already working in public health management. Graduates of public health degree programs often work in government, with nonprofit organizations or in the private sector dealing with government regulators.

Technology Requirements

Students interested in an online public health degree program should have Internet access as well as a computer with sufficient space for the required programs and software. Many schools stress that the student will need speakers, a CD or DVD player and Microsoft Office. Students should also have an e-mail account and instant messaging service to keep in touch with his or her professors.

List of Online Public Health Programs

Bachelor's Degree in Occupational Safety and Health

This degree program is meant for students looking to pursue a career in safety management within a business or nonprofit entity. This program, offered fully online, assumes students have a background in math and science and have good computer skills. Opportunities to participate in internships and research may be available. Courses might include:

  • Construction safety
  • Toxicology
  • Interactions of hazardous materials
  • OSHA standards

Online Certificate in Epidemiology & Biostatistics

An online certificate in epidemiology and biostatistics may be offered through a school's public health curriculum and is meant for working public health professionals. Students commonly include public health administrators, educators, research professionals and nurses. Students will learn how to:

  • Analytic epidemiology and biostatistics
  • Interpret research results
  • Develop and test hypotheses

Online Master of Public Health

Most schools offer a general master's degree in public health. This degree program can open the door to a variety of public health careers and is often completed by those already working in public health but who want to expand their knowledge to increase their career opportunities. Students may be required to complete an in-person internship. Courses may include:

  • Community assessments and partnerships
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Leading healthcare organizations
  • Social issues in public health

Schools With Online Programs in Public Health

Walden University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Public Health program that offers a variety of concentrations, including health communication, child development, health management and more. Students do have to pay a technology fee per quarter in addition to tuition. They will study various public health issues and policies at local, national and global levels.

George Washington University has an online master's program in public health that can be completed in one year. Students can choose from focus areas in global health, health policy, health communication, environmental and occupational health and program planning and evaluation. Students can enroll part-time or full-time and take courses in areas such as biostatistics, public health biology, leadership and more.

The University of South Florida offers several online graduate certificates and an online master's program in public health that has several specialization options, including infection control, public health practice and public health administration. Some of the certificates available include humanitarian assistance, concepts and tools of epidemiology, toxicology and risk assessment and more. Students in the master's program can enroll part- or full-time and must meet specific technology requirements, including a computer less than five years old, high speed internet and Microsoft Office.

Students interested in studying public health online should consider the technology requirements of a program and the program level that is offered. Most online degrees in the field are available at the bachelor's and master's levels.

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