masters of public health online

Online Master of Public Health Degree

Gwynedd Mercy University’s Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is an online program that will prepare you to become a public health leader in a critical, growing, and rapidly evolving field.

Register now for our Master of Public Health Virtual Info Session on Wednesday, December 7 at 6:00pm EST. 

Complete your degree online in as little as 20 months as a full-time or part-time student. This program is ideal for:

  • Public health professionals or students who want to work in a non-clinical healthcare setting or to advance to public health management
  • Healthcare educators, professionals, or students interested in working in a public health setting
  • Business professionals or students who want to work in health administration

With an MPH degree, you’ll join a community of well-paid public health leaders. Salaries for MPH graduates in the Philadelphia area average about $78,000 – more than twice the average wage for the region, according to a survey conducted by Burning Glass Technologies.

Program Details

Why Choose GMercyU

The only program of its kind in our area to offer a Health Equity Concentration, GMercyU’s online MPH degree will prepare you to identify underlying causes of health disparities in disadvantaged communities in the U.S. and abroad, and develop effective strategies to address them.

The program includes a focus on developing public health skills relevant to the breadth of public health practice. Courses address epidemiology, program planning and evaluation, environmental health, policy,  advocacy, and public health leadership.

Other benefits include:

  • Courses taught by public health experts
  • A flexible full-time or part-time program, offered online
  • Research and internship opportunities in the field

And, you will learn at an institution whose history and mission is rooted in service – at GMercyU, we have been developing change-makers and social justice advocates for decades.


Master of Public Health students must complete 42 credits in public health courses. Courses are designed to help students become competent and confident in the application of skills used in the field of public health. 

The first year courses focus on an integrated core curriculum that addresses these foundational public health competencies:

PUB 600 Foundations of Public Health and Health Equity
PUB 610 & 630  Public Health Analytic Methods 1 & 2
PUB 620 Health Equity: Policy & Advocacy
PUB 640 Planning and Managing Public Health Interventions
PUB 650 Environmental Health Equity

After completing these foundational courses, students will have the opportunity to apply these public health skills during the summer in an Applied Practical Experience with a public health organization in their community.

The second academic year will allow students to further develop public health skills in courses that address specific strategies for addressing health disparities and achieving health equity in domestic and international populations.

PUB 710 Communication Strategies for Health Promotion
PUB 720 Structural Barriers to Health Equity
PUB 730 Collaborative Design of Health Education Programs
PUB 740 Applied Epidemiology
PUB 750 Global Health Equity
PUB 760 Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health

Producing a final, high-quality, written product developed during the Integrative Learning Experience in your last semester will allow you to synthesize the skills you have learned throughout the program.

For all Master of Public Health course descriptions, please refer to the graduate catalog.

Program News

In GMercyU's "Gun Violence and Public Health: The Deleterious Effects on our Population" discussion, Assistant Professor Nasza Baker, PhD, MA joined two other expert panelists to share why gun violence should be seen as a public health issue, not just a public safety issue.

Sharla Willis, DrPH, MPH, MA, Founding Program Director and Assistant Professor of GMercyU’s Public Health Programs, took part in each of the following panel discussions: 

Dr. Willis also wrote Public Health Encompasses More than Pandemics to share careers in public health you might not have considered.

Meet the Faculty

Sharla Willis, DrPH, MPH, MA, CHES

Position: Founding Program Director and Assistant Professor

Did You Know? Dr. Willis completed a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Health Scholars postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan focused on community-based participatory research. 

Learn More

Nazsa Baker, PhD, MA

Position: Assistant Professor

Did You Know? Dr. Baker’s current research involves Black male firearm violence survivors, hospital-based violence intervention programs, and trauma. 

Learn More

Advance Your Career

Career Outcomes

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, public health was a growing field. According to a 2017 survey of state and local public health workers, 22% planned to retire in the next five years (de Beaumont Foundation, 2019).

Nationally, job opportunities in this field are expected to increase by 10% through 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Opportunities

Public health is a broad and diverse field. Experts are needed all over the world to work for government health departments and agencies, private corporations, non-profit organizations, community clinics, schools, and more.

With an MPH degree, public health professionals can advance into management positions and enjoy a career in which they can make a difference and a living, while benefiting from increases in job opportunities.

Here are just a few examples:

Position Median Salary 2018 Expected Growth 2018-2028
Medical and Health Service Managers $99,730 18%
Social and Community Service Managers $65,320 13%
Health Educators $54,220 10%
Environmental Specialists $71,130 8%
Occupational Health & Safety Specialists $73,020 6%
Epidemiologists $69,660 5%

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020)

Next Steps

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

No GRE is required. Admission requirements for the online MPH degree program will include:

  • Transcripts from all undergraduate institutions you attended; please submit any post graduate work as well.
  • A 250-500 word essay identifying a public health issue in your community and how an MPH would help you address this issue
  • Two letters of reference from people who can speak to your ability to succeed in and benefit from the MPH program, ideally academic or professional references from instructors or supervisors
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Access to a computer and internet connection in order to successfully complete online coursework

Applications are reviewed holistically to make a determination of applicants’ ability to thrive in our graduate program. We look for:

  • Demonstrated academic ability in your undergraduate transcript, generally defined as:
    • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale or the equivalent, and
    • Consistent academic performance in math, science, and writing intensive courses.
    • Note: While a GRE is not required, those with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 or lacking in the above courses may submit GRE scores for consideration.
  • Strong written communication skills, assessed through:
    • Your essay
    • Transcripts
    • References
  • A strong interest in the field of public health and addressing the health needs of communities. Keep in mind that:
    • Our program welcomes those who are currently working in the field of public health, career changers and recent graduates. Your personal experience is valued.
    • Public health is an interdisciplinary field, so all academic backgrounds are relevant.
    • Your essay will help us understand why you are interested in public health. It is okay if you do not yet have a specific career goal or public health area identified, as you will have the opportunity to explore the field during the MPH program. If you have public health experience or detailed public health career goals, please share those in your essay and resume.

*Since this is a fully online program, GMercyU cannot sponsor any student VISAs for the MPH degree. For international students interested in the MPH Program, we recommend that you first check with your government's policies to determine if they accept online U.S. degrees as a valid degree before considering this program.

Apply Now

Get the education you need to advance your career — and expand your career possibilities — in public health! Earn your Master of Public Health at GMercyU!

Apply today!