7 Best Master’s in Public Health Programs in the United States

Studying in the United States of America (the US) is a fantastic opportunity due to the great state-of-the-art facilities, significant investment in the campus life of private institutions, and the multicultural nature of studies. You’ll very likely be surrounded by students and faculty from all over the world and have the opportunity to learn from different cultures as well as from the brightest and best in your field.

Public Health has been an important topic of study in the US for some time and there has been significant investment both in research facilities and interdisciplinary programs at the highest-ranked universities in the world.

Let’s have a look at the best universities for a Master of Public Health in the United States.

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Cost of Studying Master’s in Public Health in the United States

Education in the US is quite expensive by any standard, and a Master’s program is no different. As the best programs are offered at some of the world’s most expensive universities, expect to spend between $35,000 and $65,000 per year on tuition (with the higher cost being for resident programs, e.g. at Harvard University). You can definitely save money by finding accommodation off-campus, however, bear in mind that the big cities in the US, such as Boston and Baltimore where the top schools are located, will have higher living costs as well.

On the other hand, most large universities have scholarships and financial aid options available even at the postgraduate level, for international and domestic students alike.

Requirements to Study MPH in the United States

Most American universities use the SOPHAS – a common application for schools and programs of public health – to screen applicants for a Master of Public Health. This requires you to submit a personal statement, official test scores for the GRE, letters of reference, CVs, and your Bachelor’s degree transcripts.

Moreover, you’ll need to be able to prove your level of English if this is not your native language.

Universities in the United States with Master’s in Public Health

1. Harvard University – T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The best school for a Master of Public Health in the United States accord to the US News rankings, Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health is an extremely prestigious place to study this discipline. Their curriculum covers a wide breadth of knowledge combined with areas of specialty, to offer students the opportunity to put together a degree that will place them in the best possible position to further their chosen careers.

There are two options for your degree: first, the 45-credit MPH is designed for those who have already obtained a graduate degree, are currently in medical or dentistry school, or have at least five years of work experience in public health. This course is offered over 2 semesters only and it can be done as part of a dual or joint degree.

The second option is the full-time 65-credit MPH, which requires two years of work experience. This covers three semesters and a summer practicum experience between the second and third semesters.

Harvard has the option of specializing in a number of fields of study for your MPH: Clinical Effectiveness, Epidemiology, Global Health, Health & Social Behavior, Health Management, Health Policy, Occupational and Environmental Health, or Quantitative Methods.

2. Johns Hopkins University – Bloomberg School of Public Health

John Hopkins University is one of the best universities offering Master in Public Health. At the Bloomberg School of Public Health, you can study for your MPH full-time across 11 months, or take an online or part-time course over 2-3 years. They also offer a range of dual degree options.

This program is designed to help with global as well as local public health development and relies on research in 130+ countries and a strong international network of researchers and specialists. Students from 80 nations are welcome every year and the alumni network is equally as impressive.

In the full-time MPH format, you’ll be attending courses on campus during five 8-week terms, having access to elective courses for up to half of your curriculum (thus allowing you to truly tailor your educational experience). There are numerous concentrations you can choose from, from Aging and Public Health to Women’s and Reproductive Health. There are also a number of special programs available to students, such as mentoring and practical training opportunities.

3. Stanford University – School of Medicine

While Stanford University doesn’t offer a standalone MPH program themselves, their highly prestigious School of Medicine has allied with UC Berkeley to offer a joint MD/MPH program. Stanford sees a graduate degree in public health as complementary to medical education.

As such, while you are enrolled in the Medical School at Stanford, you can pursue the dual degree and graduate after completing all requirements for the MD at the Stanford School of Medicine and those for the MPH at UC Berkeley. In the end, you will have to complete a culminating research project with advising faculty from both schools.

4. University of Michigan School of Public Health

Located alongside the world-renown medical school at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, the School of Public Health is one of the oldest such institutions in the US and one of the top schools focusing on health as a whole in the country. This school has one of the most prestigious Master in Health programs in the US.

The MPH program here allows you to pick specializations in various departments from Biostatistics to Health Behavior & Health Education or Nutritional Sciences. There are also online programs. Additionally, Michigan offers a shared Master of Health Informatics degree with the School of Information and a dual degree with a range of schools within the University of Michigan.

5. University of Washington School of Public Health

The UW School of Public Health offers an MPH program with several options for concentration: Biostatistics, Environmental & Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Global Health, Health Services, or Nutritional Sciences.

The School of Public Health has a large number of students from all over the world. It invests in over 50 research centers and institutes, such as Clean Air Research, AIDS Research, etc.

6. Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Columbia University’s worldwide reputation precedes it. At the Mailman School of Public Health, the degree of MPH was revamped as of 2012, setting a new standard for public health education. As such, it provides a broad understanding of public health challenges in today’s world, coupled with practical training and appropriate concentrations.

7. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill – Gillings School of Global Public Health

The final university in the US offering MPH degrees is the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The Gillings MPH is offered both on-campus and online. You can choose from 13 concentration areas, studying a core curriculum along with electives and concentration-specific courses. The program includes a minimum of 200 hours of practicum and a culminating experience.

The UNC Gillings School is committed to diversity and inclusion and is proud to have 99% of alumni in jobs or continued education within six months of graduating. They also have a strong commitment to offering financial aid and making education affordable for North Carolina state residents primarily (UNC is a state university). However, international students need to obtain their own funding in order to attend.


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