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2021 Best Colleges for Public Health

Approximately 34,189 public health degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a daunting task finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Public Health ranking analyzed 105 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in public health. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of 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 13% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 10%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 161 to 32 )
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 $35,980.

Starting Salary  ( 32743 to 42456 )
$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 full 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 the United States

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities 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.

Top 15 Best Public Health Colleges

#1

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

It is difficult to beat Johns Hopkins University if you wish to study public health. Located in the city Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 20 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great college overall.

There are about 711 public health undergrads studying this degree at Johns Hopkins. Graduates from the public health major at Johns Hopkins University get $7,640 more than the typical graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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Any student who is interested in public health needs to check out University of California - Berkeley. Located in the medium-sized city Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 69 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Berkeley also offers 2 different higher degree levels in public health, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. After graduation, public health students typically make an average of $38,200 in the first five years of their career.

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University of Maryland - College Park is among your best bets if you're planning on studying public health. UMCP is a very large public school located in the suburb of College Park. This school ranks 117th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

With 487 undergraduates, University of Maryland - College Park is one of most popular colleges to study public health in United States. Soon after graduation, public health students usually earn an average of $38,200 at the beginning of their careers.

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Any student who is interested in public health has to look into Rutgers University - New Brunswick. Rutgers New Brunswick is a very large public school located in the city of New Brunswick. This school ranks 183rd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

For those interested in something more advanced, Rutgers New Brunswick 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 about $37,800 in the first couple years of their career.

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UW Seattle is a very large public school located in the city of Seattle. This school ranks 97th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There are about 466 public health undergraduates enrolled in this program at UW Seattle. Students who graduate from the public health program earn around $36,200 in the first couple years of their career.

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IU Bloomington is a very large public school located in the city of Bloomington. This school ranks 141st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

For those interested in something more advanced, IU Bloomington also offers 2 different higher degree levels in public health, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students from the public health major at Indiana University - Bloomington make $3,240 more than the standard college grad with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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#7

Tufts University

Medford, MA

Tufts is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Medford. A Best Colleges rank of 59 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Tufts is a great college overall.

With 130 undergrads, Tufts University is one of most popular schools to study public health in United States. Graduates from the public health program at Tufts University get $4,740 above the average college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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#8

New York University

New York, NY

Located in the large city New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 130th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There are approximately 292 public health undergraduates studying this degree at NYU. New York University public health graduates make $3,140 more than the typical public health graduate.

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Located in the suburb Amherst, UMass Amherst is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 118th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

A popular choice for public health undergraduates, there are roughly 392 students studying this degree at UMass Amherst. Students who graduate from the public health program earn an average of $37,600 in the first couple years of their career.

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USF Tampa is a very large public school located in the large city of Tampa. This school ranks 218th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Florida.

There are about 502 public health undergrads enrolled in this degree at USF Tampa. Students who graduate from this program state that they receive average early career earnings of $30,300.

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UIUC is a fairly large public school located in the city of Champaign. A Best Colleges rank of 92 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UIUC is a great college overall.

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign is a fairly popular school to study public health in United States with more than 236 graduations last year. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, public health students usually earn about $35,500 in the first five years of their career.

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#12

Brown University

Providence, RI

Located in the medium-sized city Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 13 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Brown is a great school overall.

There are roughly 175 public health undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Brown. After getting their bachelor's degree, public health students usually earn around $34,400 in their early careers.

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#13

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

U of F is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Gainesville. A Best Colleges rank of 85 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means U of F is a great school overall.

A preferred major for public health undergraduates, there are about 383 individuals studying this program at U of F. Soon after graduating, public health students generally earn an average of $29,700 at the beginning of their careers.

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Located in the large city Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 40 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means USC is a great college overall.

With 356 students enrolled, University of Southern California is one of most popular schools to study public health in United States. Students who graduate from the public health program earn an average of $27,800 in their early career salary.

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Located in the midsize city Columbia, Carolina is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 224th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of South Carolina.

There are approximately 391 public health undergrads enrolled in this program at Carolina. Students who graduate from this 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 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
17 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
18 University of Georgia Athens, GA
19 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
20 Montana Tech of the University of Montana Butte, MT
21 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
22 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
23 Illinois State University Normal, IL
24 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
25 George Mason University Fairfax, VA

Public Health by Region

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

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
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 305,309
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192
Allied Health Professions 86,697
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868

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. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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