The Students Before Profits Award was created to promote nonprofit colleges and universities offering degrees that put the students and education first and before the bottom line. For our ranking of the Online Doctorates in Public Health award winners, we chose online programs from nonprofit colleges and universities, accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), with lower than average tuition cost and have ranked them by affordability.
To best accommodate the needs of the modern student, one who is most likely juggling a career or internship in their field of study while continuing their education, an online degree program is often times the best option. It’s in this new landscape of continued education while living as a working professional that an online degree can prove to be invaluable. The field of public health is one that requires large amounts of workplace experience which makes an Online Doctorate of Public Health the perfect solution for those hoping to continue their education without interrupting their current work.
A Doctorate of Public Health degree will allow current Master of Public Health degree holders to move into mid to senior-levels of leadership within large health organizations. By building on the principles of public health knowledge gained through a Master’s degree, students will learn how to implement their knowledge into comprehensive public health programs, as well as how to properly manage current health organizations. Doctorates of Public Health focus heavily on teaching students the necessary leadership skills and communication skills needed to succeed within leadership roles. Upon completion of a Doctorate in Public Health, students can expect to find themselves as directors of hospitals or in top-level management roles in major government agencies. This degree also prepares students for university level teaching of public health topics.
Note that tuition rates listed below are based on cost per credit and individual programs may have additional fees.
#1. Johns Hopkins University
Established in 1876 when noted philanthropist and entrepreneur John Hopkins donated $7 million to establish a private university, as well as hospital, John Hopkins University made history as being, up until that point, the largest philanthropic gift in American history. Since then, John Hopkins University has been at the forefront of medical research activity. Its main campus in Baltimore, Maryland, the site of John Hopkins University’s initial founding, the school has expanded greatly over the years now occupying campuses in locations across Washington, D.C. as well as international campuses in Italy, China, and Singapore. Currently, the school enrolls nearly 21,000 students and offers more than 240 different programs. John Hopkins University is a private institution.
Offered through Johns Hopkins University’s prestigious Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Doctorate of Public Health program is intended to teach current Master of Public Health degree-holders the qualities and skills needed to for leadership positions within the field of public health. Focusing on teaching communication skills, program management, policy implementation, and analytical skills, this program will fast-track students into a career at the top of major health care organizations. Students hoping to reach senior-level employment within a large healthcare organization, this program will teach them the invaluable skills necessary to achieve such goals. This program requires minimal visits to the John Hopkins University campus. A minimum of 64 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Johns Hopkins University’s Doctorate of Public Health program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
#2. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
The flagship school in the University of North Carolina system of higher education, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one three schools to be able to claim the title of oldest public university in the United States. Established in 1789 and opened to students in 1795, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a long history of providing higher education to students. Having been part of the beautiful town of Chapel Hill for over two-hundred years, the two have become intertwined as the University informs much of the identity of the town of Chapel Hill. Across its fourteen different schools, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers over 250 different bachelors, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs. With just over 29,000 students the school is the second-largest public university in North Carolina. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public institution.
Leveraging technology to eliminate the need for campus residency, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Doctorate of Public Health in Health Administration prepares students for mid to senior-level roles within major health organizations. Understanding the demands placed upon the current working professional, this program can be done mostly online, allowing students to pursue their continued education in the field of public health while maintaining their current occupation and accruing further work experience. Students will learn the leadership skills and knowledge needed to become leaders in the field of public health, assuming roles at the heads of major government agencies, hospitals, and medical companies. This program does require students to visit the campus three times throughout the calendar year. A minimum of 45 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Doctorate of Public Health in Health Administration program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
#3. University of South Florida
A top-tier Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching research university, University of South Florida is in the upper-echelon of quality and quality of university-level research activity. Because of the large amount of research activity, the University of South Florida is one of the United States’ top patent holders. Now the fourth-largest public university in Florida, the school was once operating out of Henderson Air Field, a defunct World War II airstrip, shortly after its founding in 1956. The student body is made up of over 48,000+ students. In order to accommodate this number of students, the University of South Florida is spread across multiple campuses. Its main campus is located in Tampa Bay, with two additional campuses located in St. Petersburg and Sarasota. Across these three campuses, over 200 different degree programs are offered. University of South Florida is a public institution.
Preparing students to step into leadership roles within non-profit organizations, health service, international agencies, health departments and commmnity-based organizations, the University of South Florida has designed their Doctor of Public Health program to properly train individuals with the skills and expertise needed to become strong leaders. Forgoing an emphasis on research, this degree focuses on the practical application and use of concepts to actual real-world applications. Offered through their distance-education program, the University of South Florida does requires students to attend a 1-week summer intensive training session on their campus. A minimum of 90 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: University of South Florida’s Doctorate of Public Health program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
#4. University of Illinois at Chicago
With a Carnegie “Research I” status rating, the University of Illinois at Chicago sits among some of the highest ranked research universities in the country. Formed in the 1982, when the two disparate University of Illinois campuses, one at the Chicago Circle and the other at the Medical Center, merged to form one college, the University of Illinois at Chicago has grown to be the largest in the city of Chicago and greater Chicago-area. Offer its 29,000 + students over 300 bachelors, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs to choose from, the university strives to offer a vast selection of educational opportunities. Despite its size, the school is able to maintain a 1:17 student-to-teacher ratio in order to ensure quality of education. The University of Illinois at Chicago is a public institution.
To help current working professionals advance their education beyond a Master in Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago has redesigned their Doctor of Public Health in Leadership degree to be made available through their distance-education program. Leveraging the understanding of distance-education gained through the implementation of their Master of Public Health degree, the University was able to lend their online expertise to their doctorate program. Students in this course will broaden their understanding of public health management, all while minimally interrupting their day-to-day careers. This program does require students to take up residency annually at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus once a year. A minimum of 96 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: University of Illinois at Chicago’s Doctorate of Public Health in Leadership program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
#5. Loma Linda University
Home to over 3,000 students, Loma Linda University offers its students over 100 different degree programs offered through its eight different schools. Established by Seventh-Day Adventists John Burden and Ellen G. White in the year 1905 when they purchased the Loma Linda Sanitarium, the school was initially named The Loma Linda College of Evangelists. It wasn’t until 1961 that the school received university status and the name was changed. Built upon and still following Seventh-Day Adventist teachings, the school is welcoming of all religions and creeds. To this day, Loma Linda University continues to focus on the health-sciences while still remaining at its initial southern California location in the city Loma Linda, for which the college is named. Loma Linda University is a private institution.
At Loma Linda University, the School of Public Health offers a Doctorate of Public Health in Health Education online through their distance-education program. The class is available entirely through distance-education, but students are welcome to (and encouraged) to take a class on campus if they are able to manage it within their schedule. Geared towards students who wish to teach community health education, this program will prepare students with the information and leadership skills needed to properly teach health. This program is designed for Master of Public Health students to continue their education and prepare them for university level teaching of public health, or the management of and evaluation of health education programs worldwide. A minimum of 95 credits are required to complete this program.
Accreditation: Loma Linda University’s Doctorate of Public Health program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).