Online Master of Public Health: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a health-related undergraduate degree or a background in public health to be considered for admission?
No specific undergraduate degree or experience is required. Click here to learn more about application requirements.

Is this program accredited?
The online Master of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Is the program offered completely online?
All of your coursework will be completed online except for a required practicum, a 320-hour work experience in a real-world location consistent with your professional goals. The practicum will help you apply what you have learned in your classes to the real-world environment.

Is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required for this program?
Yes, the GRE is required to be considered for admission. Please speak with an admissions advisor regarding waiver options.

Is there a concentration available?
Yes, the curriculum includes a Family and Community Health concentration, which focuses on public health issues related to the family unit. Students explore social factors, nutrition, and communication related to family and community health as well as elements contributing to health disparities.

How do online classes work? Do I have to be online at certain times?
Most coursework is asynchronous, meaning that there are not specific times that you need to be online. You’ll log into a virtual online classroom interface that includes areas for assignments, discussion boards, e-mail, and more. Just like in a traditional classroom, you’ll complete coursework and exams and interact with your instructor and classmates, but it will all be online. You can access and work on your coursework at any time—you just need to complete your assignments by the deadlines communicated by your professor.

How many classes are there?
The online MPH consists of 14 classes for a total of 42 credit hours.

How much time should I plan to spend on my classes each week?
Each student is different; however, we recommend that you plan to spend 15 to 20 hours per week on each course.

How long does it take to complete the MPH program?
The online program can be completed in two years, not including the time required to complete the practicum and culminating project.

When can I begin this program?
Your start date depends on when you apply, but Purdue University offers three starts per year for this program: Spring (January), Summer (April/May), and Fall (August).

What kind of support is available?
As an online student, you will have access to several types of support resources when you need help or guidance, beginning with new student orientation. Other services include a help desk for technical issues, a student services coordinator, financial aid advisers and more.

Will my diploma look different from the on-campus programs?
No. Both on-campus and online programs earn the same diploma. Online students are also invited to participate in the graduation ceremony on campus upon program completion.

Can I visit campus?
Yes. Students are always encouraged to visit campus and experience all that Purdue has to offer. For visitor information, visit

What are the technical requirements for the program?
Using the online learning interface and system successfully requires you to have a computer with certain software and hardware. Be sure your equipment meets the minimum requirements, listed below.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

  • 700 MHZ Pentium III Processor computer, with sound card and speakers
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 20 GB free hard drive space
  • CD-ROM drive
  • 56k modem, or higher (such as cable modem or DSL), for broadband access

Recommended Software:

  • Windows XP or later / Mac OS X
  • MS Office 2000 or later (MS Office includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • Internet access
  • E-mail account
  • Internet Explorer 6.x(PC), Netscape 7.2 (PC), or later, or Mozilla Firefox (PC/Mac)
  • Safari 1.2 or higher (Mac)
  • High-speed, broadband connection


  • Acrobat Reader 7.0 or later (free download)
  • Virus Protection Software: McAfee/Norton Antivirus or similar software


  • Java, Shockwave, or Flash Plug-in (latest version)

Mac System Requirements:

  • 500 MHZ iMac or iBook 63 or faster (minimum)

Contact us at 877-497-5851 to get answers to any other questions you may have about the online MPH or studying online at Purdue University, or to request more information