If you’re a working adult considering going back to school for a public health degree, cost has to come into the equation. After all, you’re probably paying your own way, and going into debt might not be your best choice. A student who’s looking to save money on their public health degree has a few options that help them get their degree while spending less, including regional public institutions, accelerated programs, and affordable online universities.
When you search for an affordable public health degree program, make sure it is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). An affordable public health degree program that has accreditation from the CEPH demonstrates that the program is reputable and education is held to standards accepted by the government, employers, and the public at large. Low-cost education doesn’t have to be equated with poor quality as long as the public health degree program is accredited.
Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Public Health Degree Programs
Cost isn’t everything. That’s why the editors of Bachelor’s Degree Center feature only accredited, reputable colleges and universities in their Most Affordable Public Health Degree ranking. But because cost matters a lot, programs are presented here in order of tuition cost, according to current IPEDS data.
1. Brigham Young University Idaho
Brigham Young University Idaho offers an affordable public health degree for students who are interested in pursuing a career in the field. The public health field is extremely diverse. Students are able to identify a variety of situations that will affect public health and create solutions that will allow the public to maintain their good health and well-being. With a Bachelor of Public Health degree, a student can choose whatever career path that best suits their goals. The right degree is just the beginning and will help them begin to lay the foundation for a long and productive career.
Brigham Young University Idaho brings together the highest quality curriculum with the most professional faculty members available. Students are given every advantage possible when it comes to educational resources. Faculty members offer students the support they need to thrive in the fast-paced, competitive world of public health.
What We Like: After graduation, students are able to take on more responsibilities in their current position or apply for employment in a different public health field.
Degree: Bachelor of Public Health
2. Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University offers one of the most affordable public health degrees in the South. Public health degrees offer specific specializations that deal with education, public safety, nutrition, and environmental health. Students are able to pursue careers in almost any industry and, when taking online courses, continue to work while attending school. With a BS in Public Health, students can take advantage of numerous career opportunities that may have otherwise passed them by.
Appalachian State University provides students with many educational resources and quality curriculums that students can rely on to give them everything they need to succeed. Faculty members provide encouragement and support that helps students work through any obstacles they may face. Scholarships and grants are available that can help defray some of the costs of returning to school.
What We Like: Students who pursue their degree from the university have every advantage when it comes to finding a job they enjoy that will allow them to utilize all of their new skills.
Degree: BS in Public Health
3. University of North Texas
The University of North Texas offers affordable public health degrees that allow students to pursue a variety of career paths in a wide range of industries. From emergency management services to public health education, this type of degree gives students the skills they need to manage a variety of health and safety issues that may arise in local communities. Students who pursue a BS in Public Health have the opportunity to enjoy building a career on a solid educational foundation.
The University of North Texas provides both a quality curriculum and state-of-the-art technology to create a one-of-a-kind learning experience. Resources like the research innovation center are available to students who want to utilize every possible resource when pursuing their education. After graduation, they can begin to establish their future career path.
What We Like: Students are able to utilize multiple scholarships and grant options that will help make their education much more affordable.
Degree: BS in Public Health
4. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis gives students a chance to pursue one of the most affordable public health degree programs. Skills are provided that allow students to be able to identify potential threats to public health, find powerful solutions, and educate community members on how to prevent disease and illnesses. With a BSPH in Community Health, Global Health, or Epidemiology, students are fully prepared to take on any career in the public health field.
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis gives students every possible advantage. IUPUI is one of the most well-respected blended universities in the country. Both Indiana University and Purdue University are known to offer the best in educational resources. Combined, they become a powerhouse of knowledge and resources. Once they graduate, they are able to pursue their career goals.
What We Like: Faculty members are well-known for their personal achievements and professionalism.
Degree: BSPH – Community Health, Global Health, or Epidemiology
5. West Virginia University
West Virginia University offers some of the most affordable public health degree programs in the nation. Students are given the opportunity to learn the necessary skills they will need to succeed in a public health career. Students have several specializations to choose from and can follow a career path that they will enjoy and can continue to explore for many years to come. With a BS in Public Health, the student has access to a variety of resources they can use in almost any career field.
West Virginia University is one of the most well-respected schools in terms of quality curriculums and affordable degree programs. Faculty members are proven professionals who have earned the respect of their peers. Scholarships and grants are available from various organizations that will help the student succeed at reaching their educational goals.
What We Like: Many choose to return to school and enroll in online programs so they can continue working a full-time job. They get the experience they need, as well as a quality education.
Degree: BS in Public Health
6. University of Nebraska Omaha
The University of Nebraska Omaha provides students with the most affordable public health degree programs available. Public health degree programs give students everything they need to ensure they are able to identify potential threats to public safety. They are able to assist the public at large in finding ways to prevent exposure to illness and disease as well environmental hazards. Earning a BS in Public Health will open many doors of opportunity for students who want to work with the public and create a safer, healthier environment.
The University of Nebraska Omaha has a reputation for providing students with the knowledge they need to succeed. Along with faculty members who have many years of experience, the university offers degree programs that are second to none when it comes to teaching the best practices associated with public health careers.
What We Like: Students who enroll in public health degrees have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants that will make their education more affordable.
Degree: BS in Public Health
7. University of South Florida
The University of South Florida offers an affordable public health degree program that give students everything they need to be successful. The skills and information a student receives through this type of degree program gives them the ability to complete any task required of them once they enter their chosen career field. Completing a BS in Public Health degree is the key to a brighter, more lucrative career. Once completed, students can focus on their future.
The University of South Florida has a long-standing reputation for being one of the most advanced schools of higher learning in the state. Students have access to the highest quality curriculum and the most experienced staff and faculty possible. Grants and scholarships are available to assist students in completing their education without causing financial hardship.
What We Like: Pursuing a degree in public health will give the student the skills and tools they need to pursue one of the many specializations in the field.
Degree: BS in Public Health
8. University of Central Oklahoma
The University of Central Oklahoma gives students a chance to earn an affordable public health degree so that they can get a head start on their education. Students are able to take on new challenges within any of the public health specializations. They will have the knowledge and skills that are required to play an effective role in the development of public health programs that will benefit the community at large. By earning an online BS in Public Health, students are able to move forward with their education and still continue to maintain a full-time job.
The University of Central Oklahoma is one of the area’s most popular schools of higher learning. Students often choose the school for its commitment to academic excellence as well as its experienced faculty and staff. Valuable resources are readily available that will allow students to focus on creating a career path they will want to pursue for many years.
What We Like: An affordable public health degree allows students to start their career with confidence and enthusiasm.
Degree: BS in Public Health
9. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers an affordable public health degree program that will allow students to pursue their career goals. Students learn what they need to be able to complete all of the tasks and responsibilities that may be associated with their positions in the public health field. Enrolling in an affordable BS in Public Health r program allows the student to start their career journey and then focus on a specialization if they want to be more directly involved in a specific area.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is one of the area’s most well-respected universities. The school provides the most advanced curriculum so students know that they are going to be fully prepared to assume any role within the public health career field. Students can utilize a variety of the school’s resources to help them overcome any challenges they may face as they pursue their education.
What We Like: Students can also rely on the support of their instructors and faculty members to help them succeed.
Degree: BS in Public Health
10. Saint Cloud State University
Saint Cloud State University offers an affordable public health degree program. This type of degree program provides valuable information that will allow the student to earn the knowledge and skills they can utilize no matter what specialization they choose to pursue. When students enroll in an affordable BS in Community Health degree program, they can rest assured, they will be able to complete any task and work effectively in almost any situation in which public health is concerned.
Saint Cloud State University is one of the most well-known schools in the area that offers affordable education programs. Top-of-the-line curriculum and professional faculty members provide students with both the knowledge and insight they need to move forward with their careers.
What We Like: Faculty and staff have the experience they need to provide students with sound advice and insight on how to handle almost any obstacle or challenge they may face.
Degree: BS in Community Health
How Do I Save Money on a Public Health Bachelor’s?
One money-saving option is to attend a community college to take general electives that are eligible for transfer to a university that offers a public health bachelor’s. Attending a community college for the first 60 credit hours of the public health degree can save a student thousands of dollars and leave more money available for the final two years of education at a university for the essential classes that make up the public health degree bachelor’s.
In addition, an accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s of public health degree program can also help a student save money on their degree. A student that has the capacity to attend school continuously can save money by continuing school for a master’s after earning enough credits for a bachelor’s in public health. The accelerated degree program gives a student the opportunity to graduate with a bachelor’s and a master’s in public health in five years. Less money is spent on tuition for both degrees, and the student can start employment in the field of public health sooner than they would have in a traditional educational track.
How Much Can I Make with a Bachelor’s in Public Health?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average public health salary is $48,140 per year. The role is expected to grow by at least 13% between 2019 and 2029, but the forecast was made prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Growth in this area may be higher due to the need for public health officials to help track the coronavirus and other viruses that can impact large populations as a whole. The average public health salary has room for growth as this role becomes more in demand among employers in the public and private sectors.
The average public health salary may have a student wondering if getting a bachelor’s in public health is worth it. The fact is, the field of public health has many avenues for employment that aren’t restricted to working for universities and government agencies at all levels. Someone who has earned their bachelor’s in public health can find work in fields that include public safety, emergency preparedness, health education, a specialist in epidemiology in healthcare settings, disease prevention specialist, and more. The average public health salary shouldn’t deter someone from getting their public health bachelor’s as there are many areas of public health employment that pay well.
How Do I Get a Job in Public Health?
Getting a job in public health begins by taking advantage of public health internships and networking through the school or with people who already work in the desired area of public health. Public health internships are usually offered as a part of public health degree programs with students frequently getting hired by the employer they’re interning for. The importance of practicum to students cannot be overstated due to the fact that a majority of graduates find employment through their internships, body of work, and connections made while interning. Employers have seen a student’s work first-hand and are already familiar with the quality of their output. This gives a student an inside advantage for employment and has long-term impact on finding employment in different agencies, universities, and employers who are seeking employees with experience in the public health field.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) partners with universities across the country for the purpose of encouraging students to become public health workers. CDC internships are an excellent pathway toward getting a job with the federal government and growing one’s career as a government employee. A majority of CDC internships are paid and last anywhere from nine weeks to a year depending on location and the type of work involved. These internships are available to high school students all the way to students who are earning their doctorate degree. Graduates of all levels can also apply for fellowship opportunities that last one to two years, are paid, and add a desirable job experience to the resume.
Students start building their careers in public health long before they graduate from university by working in research labs on campus or for agencies such as the CDC. This experience helps students and graduates get a job in public health because they can demonstrate their ability to perform solid research, keep meticulous notes, prove their lab skills, and track data that is useful for research purposes as well as its impact on any given population.