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2020 Best Colleges for Public Health

Approximately 34,089 public health degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a daunting task finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Public Health ranking analyzed 101 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in public health. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15 colleges for Public Health students.

Choosing a Great Public Health School

Best Colleges for Public Health The public health program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 12% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 9%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 163 to 42 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

Public Health graduates from colleges on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average public health bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $32,049, graduates of colleges on this list average $34,367.

Starting Salary  ( 30061 to 40538 )
$0
$44,200

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Public Health students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other public health students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized public health related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Public Health students.

Best Schools to Study Public Health in United States

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities in the U.S. for a Public Health degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 101 schools analyzed, only 15 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 15 Best Public Health Colleges

Every student pursuing a degree in public health has to take a look at University of California - Berkeley. Located in the midsize city Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 65 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great school overall.

A popular choice for public health undergraduates, there are roughly 460 students studying this program at UC Berkeley. Public Health majors from University of California - Berkeley get a earnings boost of approximately $4,186 above the typical earnings of public health majors.

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It's hard to beat University of Southern California if you wish to pursue public health as a major. Located in the large city Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 40 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means USC is a great college overall.

A popular major for public health undergraduates, there are approximately 360 individuals studying this degree at USC. Students who graduate from the public health program earn about $27,800 for their early career.

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#3

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

It is hard to beat Johns Hopkins University if you wish to study public health. Located in the large city Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 16 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Johns Hopkins also offers 3 different higher degree levels in public health, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Public Health majors from Johns Hopkins University get a earnings boost of around $10,186 above the typical income of public health majors.

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University of Washington - Seattle Campus is a wonderful option for students pursuing a Public Health major. UW Seattle is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Seattle. A Best Colleges rank of 84 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UW Seattle is a great school overall.

There are roughly 440 public health undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UW Seattle. University of Washington - Seattle Campus public health graduates earn $2,186 more than the standard public health grad.

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Located in the large city Washington, GWU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 105th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There are roughly 504 public health undergrads studying this degree at GWU.

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Rutgers New Brunswick is a very large public school located in the small city of New Brunswick. This college ranks 151st out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

For those interested in something more advanced, Rutgers New Brunswick also offers 3 different higher degree levels in public health, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students from the public health degree program at Rutgers University - New Brunswick make $3,786 above the average graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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#7

Brown University

Providence, RI

Located in the medium-sized city Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 11 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Brown is a great school overall.

There are about 125 public health undergraduates studying this program at Brown. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, public health students usually earn an average of $34,400 in the first five years of their career.

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#8

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Georgetown is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington. A Best Colleges rank of 42 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Georgetown is a great school overall.

With 38 undergraduates, Georgetown University is one of most popular schools to study public health in United States.

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Located in the suburb Amherst, UMass Amherst is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 167th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

UMass Amherst offers public health degrees as low as a First Year Certificates and all the way up to a Research / Scholarship Based Doctorate's. Public Health students from University of Massachusetts Amherst get a earnings boost of about $3,586 above the typical income of public health majors.

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#10

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

U of F is a very large public school located in the city of Gainesville. A Best Colleges rank of 73 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means U of F is a great college overall.

There are about 284 public health undergraduates enrolled in this degree at U of F. After getting their bachelor's degree, public health students usually make about $29,700 in their early careers.

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UMCP is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of College Park. This school ranks 103rd out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

For those interested in something more advanced, UMCP also offers 3 different higher degree levels in public health, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Public Health majors from University of Maryland - College Park earn a boost of about $4,186 above the average income of public health graduates.

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#12

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

UGA is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Athens. This school ranks 137th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

UGA offers public health degrees as low as a First Year Certificates and all the way up to a Research / Scholarship Based Doctorate's. Grads of the public health program state that they receive average early career earnings of $32,100.

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#13

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

USFCA is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of San Francisco. This school ranks 191st out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

A popular major for public health undergraduates, there are about 77 students studying this degree at USFCA.

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#14

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, MO

Located in the city Saint Louis, SLU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 109th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Missouri.

For those interested in something more advanced, SLU also offers 2 different higher degree levels in public health, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the public health program earn around $27,200 for their early career.

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Located in the city Columbia, Carolina is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 204th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of South Carolina.

For those interested in something more advanced, Carolina also offers 3 different higher degree levels in public health, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Grads of the public health program report average early career income of $29,000.

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Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Public Health students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Public Health award.

Rank College Location
16 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
17 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
18 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
19 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
20 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
21 University of South Florida - Main Campus Tampa, FL
22 University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign, IL
23 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
24 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
25 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR

Public Health by Region

View the Best Colleges for Public Health for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 34 majors within the Health Professions area of study, Public Health has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Nursing 293,633
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 104,465
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 90,916
Health & Medical Administrative Services 87,058
Allied Health Professions 86,125

View All Public Health Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Article 25 Flickr.

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