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Online Degree Overview

Master of Public Health Online

Dr. Claire Stigler - Program Director, Public Health
Dr. Claire Stigler, Program Director for Public Health.

Earn your public health degree online as part of South University’s online Master of Public Health program. This online public health degree focuses on teaching you public health science, and how it relates on a local, national, and international scale. There are many topics that public health covers, and during class discussions, research, assignments, and one-on-one interactions with the public health faculty, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to handle health-related issues like controlling infectious diseases, improving access to healthcare, and reducing environmental hazards. The online Master’s Degree in Public Health program culminates in a practicum experience in which you apply your new knowledge, skills, and abilities to a real-world public health setting, such as a government or social service agency, community or public health organization, or other approved business*.

*South University does not promise or guarantee employment.

Admission Requirements

Procedure for Admission to the Master of Public Health

The criteria used in determining admissions to the Master of Public Health degree program include:

  • Completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 2.7 (on a scale of 4.0) OR
  • An earned graduate degree from an accredited institution with a CGPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Completion of an undergraduate statistics course or equivalent (approved by COPH department chair) with a grade of “C” or better is required for Master of Public Health. Students accepted into the program without having completed the required Statistics course must complete the course within two sessions after their acceptance date or will be dismissed. Students cannot appeal the dismissal from the university as a result of failure to meet the conditions of provisional admission.
  • Submission of official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended within 5 weeks of the class start date (refer to Conditional Acceptance).
  • Provisional Admissions: A cumulative GPA of 2.5 -2.69. Students must receive a final course grade of B or better in all public health courses for the first two quarters to be fully admitted into the MPH program.
    • Provisionally admitted students are permitted one attempt per course for the first two quarters. Students who do not receive a final course grade of B or better in all public health courses will have the provisional admission rescinded. There is no appeal for rescinding provisional status. Once all required admissions documents and information are submitted, the application will be reviewed and evaluated by the MPH Program Director for final admission decision.

For additional admissions information please see the admissions section here.

Course Requirements

Master of Public Health Degree Program: 56 Credits
Practicum Experience: 4 Credits


Offered at South University, Atlanta, Online Programs, Savannah and Virginia Beach but all classes will be offered only in an online format. Fully online programs can have a ground clinical or practicum experience.

Note: Not all Online Program offerings are available to residents of all U.S. states. Please contact an admissions representative for further information.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program at South University is a 56-credit program designed to educate students and working professionals about areas of critical importance to local, national, and international public health challenges. The MPH program is organized around a curriculum which consists of core competencies, principal courses, and a practicum experience. The core courses cover the five main areas of public health competencies. The principal courses are designed to cover a broad range of topics to help develop each student's knowledge, skills, and abilities in public health practice and to further develop the skillsets of working professionals in the public health field. Lastly the students take part in a practicum experience that synthesizes information learned throughout the program and as such should be taken as the last course in the program.

Mission Statement
Our public health program is dedicated to preparing an inclusive community of practitioners, educators, and scholars who are committed to working in their communities to promote health equity for all.
Vision Statement
A future where everyone regardless of their background, location, or income, has the potential to lead the healthiest life possible
Core Values

Health Equity: The program is committed to creating an environment where all individuals can reach their full health potential. Students are empowered to address health challenges across various populations, equipping them with the skills to improve the quality of life and access to healthcare. This includes understanding the difference between health equality and equity, recognizing and addressing the lack of resources such as funding, transportation, and social conditions that impact health outcomes.

Community-Based: The program emphasizes a community-based approach to public health. It focuses on local communities, particularly those with limited resources and in need of greater capacity. Students are trained to work closely with community members, informing policy makers, and engaging distance-based stakeholders with limited accessibility. The program aims to address health disparities and support populations that have historically been underserved or marginalized.

Practice Approach: The program prioritizes training students to work in professional practice. It prepares students to tackle real-world situations and meet the needs of communities through assessment and partnership with community members. Students are encouraged to become change agents and actively engage in community-based participatory practices. They are equipped to explain public health concepts effectively within the community setting and contribute to practical solutions.

Inclusion: The program is committed to fostering an inclusive environment that supports students from non-traditional backgrounds and those with limited access to opportunities. It seeks to ensure that participatory engagement within the program reflects the communities students relate to. The program actively seeks to include students who may be overlooked or lack access to other public health programs, providing them with the necessary means to pursue education and contribute to the field.

Program Goals:

Teaching: Provide a competency-based curriculum that equips students to practice in communities, to promote public health, and to address health equity issues.

Service: Empower students to work with communities and implement public health practices with cultural humility and respect

Scholarship: Promote health equity in communities by engaging in scholarly activities and preparing students to apply scholarship in public health practice.

Program Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the program Students will:
  1. Explain the history and philosophy, and core functions of Public Health public health professional.
  2. Apply evidence-based approaches that utilize quantitative and qualitative methods to inform program planning, implementation, evaluation
  3. Evaluate the organization, structure and function of Public Health and healthcare systems both nationally and globally.
  4. Design culturally sensitive community-based health programs that address racism, structural bias, and social determinants of health to achieve health equity.
  5. Develop written and oral public health content that is culturally competent and audience appropriate.
  6. Apply leadership skills to build partnerships or coalitions that advocate for policies and programs to address community health challenges.

Career Outlook

As a graduate of the MPH online degree program, you’ll be ready to pursue a variety of public health positions, including:

  • Medical and Health Services Managers
  • Health Educators
  • Community Health Workers

Online Classroom

Haven’t experienced online learning before or wondering what it’s like to earn your degree online at South University? While the mode of learning is different from the traditional classroom experience with added convenience and flexibility, we hold the same high standards of academic excellence in the online classroom. 

South University’s online programs combine a curriculum designed for student outcomes and a classroom designed for flexibility and engagement. Our online classroom learning platform, Brightspace, provides you with a host of features to enhance your learning experience, including:

  • Advanced media content
  • Personalized navigation
  • Simplified online learning atmosphere
  • Access to digital books
  • Emailing and instant messaging options

We provide more than just an online classroom, bringing a range of campus experiences and services online. In addition, the online classroom is accessible on the go via mobile devices and with tools like the Pulse App. Pulse helps you stay connected and on track with your course by providing a number of features such as course calendars, readings and assignments, feedback and grades, and announcements.

Read more about online requirements here. 

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Campuses offer flexible learning formats* including: on-campus, virtual instructions, and online courses.

*Clinical, practicum, and externship requirements exist in certain programs and require field experiences. Learning formats may not be flexible.

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success stories

Outstanding Education for Remarkable Careers

We're committed to helping our graduates make impact in their professional and personal lives. We applaud our nursing alumni and the difference they make. Check out what some of our graduates have to say.

South University Public Health Alumni, David Robertson
David Robertson Grad Alumni
Class of '18
Bachelor of Science in Public Health-South University, Columbia

“Having a college degree has opened doors for me to not only have a stable job but to also obtain a career that I enjoy. I am proud to be able to work for communities in need and address health disparities. Read more ”

SU Class of '20 ASAHS, BSPH and MPH Alumni Dedra Simmons
Dedra Simmons  Grad Alumni
Class of '20
Associate of Science in Allied Health Science, Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Master of Public Health-South University, Online Programs

“Being at South University has helped me establish professional connections and achieve my goals as a public health professional. I love public health because it allows me to help strengthen health facilities and organizations by promoting and protecting health equity for all. ”

SU Master of Public Health Class of '20 Alumni Justin Jones
Justin Jones Grad Alumni
Class of '20
Master of Public Health-South University, Online Programs

“If you are looking for a program that allows you to balance a professional and family life while preparing you to be a leader in the Public Health field, then this is the program for you! ”

SU Class of '21 Master of Public Health Alumni Takishia Harper
Takishia Harper Grad Alumni
Class of '21
Master of Public Health-South University, Online Programs

“My experience was personalized and detailed to accommodate my lifestyle and needs. I am proud that I chose an educational facility that cared about me growing as a person and not only finishing my education but excelling. ”