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Study public health online

at the University at Albany


Choose your own path! We offer 4 ways to learn public health online:


1) Take a class (or two!)

  • Dip your toes into the field of public health or acquire new skills by enrolling in one or two graduate-level courses. We call this "non-degree" study, where you're taking courses but not working towards a degree.


2) Graduate Certificate


3) Master of Public Health (MPH)

  • Ideal for working public health professionals seeking to enhance their skills. Our MPH provides you with a strong foundation in primary public health fields and advanced knowledge in your area of interest through a variety of elective courses. Learn more about the program here


4) MPH + Graduate Certificate


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Distance Education FAQs
Am I ready for a distance learning program?

To see if online learning is right for you, take a "trial run" through Open SUNY. You can gauge your readiness for online learning and view tips and tricks for success. The portal is your first step in determining if online education is right for you!

What does “online” mean? Will I be expected to travel to the School of Public Health?

​​​​​​Online classes have no on-campus requirements. Students never have to set foot on campus if they opt not too! 

Do I need to log into my online classes at a certain time each week?

No, you can access your classes whenever it is convenient for you!

Our online coursework is offered in an asynchronous learning environment, using Blackboard, a learning management system. Asynchronous e-learning makes it possible for students to log on to an e-learning environment at a time convenient for them to download documents, send messages to instructors and fellow students, and complete assignments and other course activities.

Online courses follow a traditional semester structure. Fall and spring classes are 15 weeks long while summer classes are 12 weeks long. As in a traditional setting, your online courses will have deadlines for class activities and assignments.

Communication is facilitated through e-mail, discussion boards and various other technology tools. The technology supports engagement between students and instructors even when participants are not online at the same time, making it very flexible and accommodating for those juggling work, family, and other commitments.

When do online classes start?

Students can register for classes year-round. We have three semesters: fall, summer and spring. Our Academic Calendars provide additional information. 

  • Spring 2022 semester begins January 19, 2022.
  • Summer 2022 semester is planned to begin late-May 2022.  Check Academic Calendars above for updates. 
  • Fall 2022 semester is planned to begin August 22, 2022. 
What is the cost of attendance?

Tuition information can be found on the School of Public Health Website here.

For more information, visit the Student Financial Center website, call (518) 442-3202, or email [email protected]

Online MPH FAQs
What concentrations do you offer?

Our online concentration is "Public Health Practice". Our program emphasizes the practical application of public health concepts, providing students with epidemiological, health behavior, and policy tools needed to protect and promote the health of populations across a broad range of topics and settings, such as developing and enforcing policies to improve access to health care, and conducting research to control infectious disease and reduce environmental hazards. 

For more information on program of study, visit the Graduate Bulletin.

How many credits is your program?

Our Online MPH comprises of 51 credits:

  • 7 core MPH courses
  • 3 concentration courses
  • 4 elective courses
  • 9 internship credits
I work full-time. Can I take just one or two classes per semester?

Yes! Students in our program typically take 1-2 courses per semester, year-round (fall, summer, spring). Additional classes per semester may be available on a space-available basis. 

As a part-time program, we attract working professionals from a wide range of fields who bring their own experiences to the online course discussions, enriching the learning environment for all and providing tremendous networking opportunities. Many of our instructors are public health practitioners who tap into their research and practice expertise, providing high-quality, timely and relevant coursework. 



Do you accept transfer credits?

We have a generous transfer credit policy of up to 24 credits of relevant, graduate-level public health courses. Students must have attained a grade of "B" or higher in the course(s) to qualify. 


Do online students complete an internship?

 All online MPH students complete 3-9* internship credits. These experiences allow students to apply skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to the practice of public health. 

*If you enter the program with significant experience in public health fields, you may apply to waive up to 6 credits of this 9-credit requirement.  A relevant public health experience includes one of the following areas:  

  • Assessing, monitoring, or conducting surveillance of health problems/services in a population;
  • Establishing health objectives and priorities;
  • Conducting research on population-based health problems including biological, environmental, and behavioral issues:
  • Developing and/or implementing policies and intervention strategies to meet public health needs; or
  • Studying the natural history of disease or health-related effects in a population. 

Students locate internships in many different public health organizations including hospitals, non-profits, health departments, health insurance companies, nursing homes and community-based organizations. You could even complete your internship at your current place of work, provided it is applicable! 


Certificate and Non-Degree FAQs
What is Non-Degree Study?

Non-degree study allows you to explore graduate study before applying to a program, enhance your current profession, and develop a deeper understanding of a specific topic. Apply your coursework (up to 12 credits) to a certificate or Online MPH. 

We offer a wide array of non-degree courses, available online including:

  • Introduction to Environmental Health
  • Health Communication and Health Disparities
  • Introduction to Health Data Analytics
  • Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health
  • Topics in Public Health Preparedness
  • Public Health Leadership

For questions regarding non-degree study and/or application, contact [email protected]

I'm not ready for a master's program. Can I start with a certificate?

Yes, you can! Approximately 30% of our online MPH students begin their studies with our 18 credit, certificate in Public Health Fundamentals and Principles program. You can complete this part-time program from anywhere at any time, in as little as 1 year with classes offered year-round. All coursework transfers directly into our Online (or on-campus) MPH.  


Meet our Students & Alums!

"When I first embarked on this journey, it was with the intention of becoming a more effective public health professional. I have learned so much from all of the coursework, my internship, interactions with fellow students, the knowledgeable professors, and just being able to put all I learned into practice--in real time".

- Online MPH graduate

Online Education at the School of Public Health
George Education Center

1 University Place
Rensselaer, NY 12144
United States