Choosing the Best MPH Programs Online

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If you are interested in a future career in the public health field, your first step will likely be to begin researching academic programs to choose where you will obtain your master of public health (MPH) or doctor of education degree. Because there are many different accredited schools to pick from, not to mention that you will need to select between online and “brick and mortar” colleges, the search process can become time consuming. It is important to allot sufficient time to making the right choice for you, as well as to know what questions to ask in doing a well-rounded investigation of each possible degree plan. Here, learn how to choose the top course and avoid those universities that will do little but take your money and run.

public health service

Is the MPH Program Accredited

Your screening question will always revolve around accreditation. If the university (often these terms are used interchangeably although both are regulated by the same governing body when it comes to issues of accreditation) you are considering is not accredited, take your pen or pencil (or mouse button) and erase that choice off your list. You simply cannot afford to attend an non-accredited college. Your credits would not transfer if you were to change schools, and you have no recourse if you are unsatisfied with the quality of instruction you receive. So before all else, make a list of regionally verified colleges only.

How Do You Learn Best

Because of the sheer number of educational alternatives available and competing for your business today, you will need to be selective in the options you entertain. One of the biggest choices you will face beyond the obvious issue of accreditation is whether you prefer to attend an online or in-person institution (traditional). If you have never taken e-classes before, you may be understandably nervous at the thought of conducting an entire master’s level studies online. But web-based classrooms today are more the norm than the exception, and with the wealth of easy to understand and use technology tools that are offered as a complement to an distance education, such as chat rooms, discussion forums, video and audio accessories and more, you will not lack for socialization or connection with instructors and peers in a virtual setting. So the question then becomes: how do you learn best? Are you self-motivated and able to complete coursework independently? Do you perform better when you have to show up at a certain place for a certain number of hours each week? Depending on how you answer will determine the structure of the curriculum you choose.

What is the Institutional Culture

An important aspect of choosing a school that is often overlooked is the academic culture. This may be slightly more critical in an on-campus setting versus distance learning, but some colleges are very formal and protocol-driven in every aspect, while others are increasingly informal, friendly, and flexible. The ideal way to determine this is to talk with the staff and students who are enrolled at that university, doing your best to match your personality with theirs and “try it on for size”. If you can attend an in-person class or e-class, or preview samples, this can help too.

How Much Does it Cost

An equally critical component of choosing e learning is cost. Because distance learning often carry lower overhead costs than brick and mortar campus, their tuition and fees can be cheaper than if you attended a traditional campus. Be sure you are able to afford what the institution will charge you before you enroll. You may need to also assess the relative merits of prestige versus affordability here.

How Well Does the Curriculum Prepare You

Another important question to ask is how well the curriculum at each of your prospective institute will prepare you for your chosen area of specialization within the massive field of public health. Some MPH programs have practicum (hands-on or internship-type) requirements while others do not.  Additionally some might have more or fewer elective options. You will need to carefully study the course offerings and talk with an admissions advisor to be sure the curriculum is suitable to your needs.

Argosy University-Phoenix Online Division2233 West Dunlap Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 850214-year, Private for-profit
Eastern Virginia Medical School700w. Olney, Norfolk, Virginia 235074-year, Public
Medical College of Wisconsin8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226-05094-year, Private not-for-profit
New York Medical CollegeAdministration Building, Valhalla, New York 105954-year, Private not-for-profit
University of the Sciences600 S 43rd Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-44954-year, Private not-for-profit

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Anonymous said...
October 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM  

I took an online class last year and I ended up getting so much more out of it than I ever expected. The discussions were lively and my instructor so much more available than an in-person one, to be honest.

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