Top Public Health Universities in 2022-2023

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Best Public Health Colleges and Universities in the World

About Public Health

Public health is an art and science concerned with protecting and promoting the health of people and communities at large. While a physician treats sick patients, a public health official encourages healthy habits and lifestyles to keep people from becoming ill. It is a challenging field that necessitates the coordination of many different organizations. On the one hand, it entails medical care and public awareness campaigns, while on the other, it has global health implications and necessitates measures to prevent epidemics/pandemics and enhance the health of entire nations. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has very well highlighted the critical importance of a competent public health system for managing, preventing, and promoting public health, as well as responding to emergency situations.

The vision of Public Health Services

The ultimate goal of public health services is to improve long-term health and well-being in a sustainable way while enhancing integrated public health services and eliminating inequities. They do so by implementing policies, educational programs, conducting research, collaborating with other health sectors to address and remove structural barriers to health. These barriers include race, gender inequality, intersectionality, and other types of injustice. In a nutshell, public health services ensure that everyone has an equal and fair chance at keeping good health and well-being.

10 Essential Public Health Services/Duties of Public Health Services

The overall responsibility of the public health system is to ensure the effective delivery of the ten services listed below: 

  1. Monitor and assess public health 
  2. Investigate and address the root causes of public health hazards 
  3. Effectively communicate with the public to educate and create awareness about health and diseases
  4. Strengthen, support, and mobilize communities and partnerships to enhance health
  5. Create, promote, and put policies, strategies, and legislation in place
  6. Make use of legislative and regulatory initiatives aimed at improving and protecting public health
  7. Develop and support a trained and diversified public health staff
  8. Create and maintain a solid public health organizational infrastructure
  9. Enhance and innovate public health functions through continuous review, research, and quality improvement
  10. Assist in the development of a system that allows for fair access to the individual services and care that people require in order to stay healthy

They also undertake public health surveillance, which is the continuous gathering, analysis, and interpretation of health-related data that is necessary for public health planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Perks of Public Health jobs

Public health is a diverse area that offers a plethora of benefits to job seekers. Let’s take a look at a few of these advantages.

Job security: Because of the increased need for public health services due to the rising number of chronic diseases and infectious disease outbreaks, the employment rate for the public health sector stays high when compared to other sectors. 

Job opportunities: Because public health is an interdisciplinary field, graduates from a variety of medical and lifestyle fields can occupy the same job. 

Professional variety: The range of professions available in public health occupations is a desirable aspect. Additionally, employees have the option of working for the government, the business sector, academia, or a non-profit organization.

Global impact: Public health professionals can apply for jobs in other countries, where they will have the opportunity to interact with individuals from different cultures and broaden their knowledge and relationships. 

Popular degrees for pursuing a career in Public Health

Bachelor’s Programs

  • Bachelor’s in Public Health (BPH)
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BS)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Public Health (BA)
  • Bachelor of Health Science (BHS)
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health (BSEH)
  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW)
  • Bachelor’s to Master’s Dual Degree

Master’s Programs

  • Masters in Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Public Health/Registered Dietitian (MPH/RD)
  • Masters in Health Administration (MHA)
  • Masters in Health Informatics (MHI)
  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)
  • Masters in Communication Disorders (MCD)
  • Health Information Management (MHIHIM)
  • Masters in Public Policy (MPP)
  • Masters in Health Science (MHS)
  • Masters in Occupational Health (MOH)
  • Masters in Health Services Administration (MHSA)
  • Master of Science in Environmental Health (MSEH)
  • Public Health & Tropical Medicine (MPH&TM)
  • Dual Masters Degrees in Public Health
  • Research-Focused Masters Degree Programs in Public Health

Associate Degrees

It is a two-year degree program that teaches the fundamentals of public health. Candidates with an associate’s degree in public health may be eligible for entry-level or administrative positions. If a student wants to pursue a bachelor’s degree, they can transfer their associate degree credits.

Doctoral Degrees (Ph.D.)

This is the highest level of public health education, and it is usually required to work as a researcher or a university professor. Candidates with a terminal degree are preferred for higher management or administrative positions. 

Duration of Public Health Service Degrees

Country Bachelor’s in Public Health  Master’s in Public Health Ph.D. in Public Health 
USA and Canada 4 years 1-2 years 3-6 years
UK and Australia 4 years 1-2 years 3-6 years
Others 4 years 1-2 years 3-6 years

Career opportunities for Public Health Servants

It is good to know that there is no shortage of demand for well-trained public health experts now that we have had a direct experience with a public health disaster like COVID19. The public health service field is a broad field that offers a number of career opportunities as

  • First responders
  • Health educators
  • Scientists and researchers
  • Epidemiologists
  • Public health physicians
  • Public health nurses
  • Occupational health and safety professionals
  • Public policymakers
  • Nutritionists
  • Biostatisticians
  • Community planners
  • Social workers
  • Sanitarians
  • Restaurant inspectors
  • Public health analyst

The public health graduates get the opportunity to work in a number of settings such as

  1. Public: Government jobs in disaster management units, public nursing, public health physicians, health department administrators, etc.
  2. Private: Public health jobs such as in insurance companies, health care facilities, pharmaceutical settings, etc., fall under the private category. 
  3. Academic: These include research-based or teaching jobs such as for students enrolled in public health service programs.
  4. Non-profit: These organizations are involved in generating revenues  from donations, grants, and memberships for the purpose of serving public health.  

Average salaries of Public Health Servants

Public health sector is booming worldwide, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic Therefore public health workers are in high demand. But before you plan on making a career in this field, take a look at the average salaries of a public health worker. 

Type of job Annual salary in USD (Source: US Bureau of labor statistics)
Medical scientist/researcher 91,510 
Epidemiologists 74,560 
Nutritionists and Dieticians  63,090
Social workers 51,760

The annual average salary for public healthcare workers in Canada is 62,075 USD/year and ranges from 48,037- 73,706 USD/year. (Source: Talent, Canada)

The average salary for a public healthcare worker in the UK is 25,577 USD/year, for entry-level jobs the salary starts at 22,758 USD/year whereas experienced workers get paid up to 32,480 USD/year. (Source: Talent, UK)

The average salary for a public healthcare worker in Australia is 83,900 USD/year. For entry-level jobs, the salary starts at 67,926 USD/year and for experienced workers at 140,752 USD/year.  (Source: Talent, Australia)

Top 50 Universities in the world for Public Health Services based on ranking (US World News/Shanghai/QS)

US World News Ranking Shanghai Ranking QS Ranking  University Country BachelorsPrograms Masters Programs
1 1 1 Harvard University USA  Click Here  Click Here
2 30 3 Stanford University USA  Click Here  Click Here
3 10 2 University of Oxford UK  Click Here Click Here 
4 2 5 Johns Hopkins University USA Click Here  Click Here
5 5 NA University College London UK   Click Here  Click Here
6 17 26 University of Michigan–Ann Arbor USA  Click Here  Click Here
7 4 15 University of Washington USA Click Here  Click Here
8 12 16 Columbia University USA Click Here  Click Here
9 8 32 University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill USA Click Here  Click Here
10 11 13 University of Toronto Canada Click Here  Click Here
11 20 4 University of Cambridge UK Click Here  Click Here
12 17 40 Utrecht University Netherlands Click Here  Click Here
13 25 11 Yale University USA Click Here  Click Here
14 3 44 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine UK Click Here  Click Here
15 36 29 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here  Click Here
16 27 8 University of California–Los Angeles USA Click Here  Click Here
17 26 20 University of California–Berkeley USA Click Here  Click Here
18 39 16 Duke University USA Click Here  Click Here
19 16 25 University of Melbourne Australia Click Here  Click Here
20 47 14 University of Pennsylvania USA Click Here  Click Here
21 201-300 6 Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA Click Here  Click Here
22 34 22 University of Sydney Australia Click Here  Click Here
23 14 7 University of California–San Francisco USA Click Here  Click Here
24 24 38 University of Queensland Australia Australia Click Here  Click Here
25 76-100 36 University of Amsterdam Netherlands Click Here  Click Here
26 6 12 Imperial College London UK Click Here  Click Here
27 19 49 Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands Click Here  Click Here
28 51-75 36 New York University USA Click Here  Click Here
29 201-300 NA London School of Economics and Political Science UK Click Here  Click Here
30 301-400 286 Arizona State University–Tempe USA Click Here  Click Here
31 51-75 16 University of California–San Diego USA Click Here  Click Here
32 28 23 King’s College London UK Click Here  Click Here
33 301-400 374 Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong Click Here  Click Here
34 13 19 University of Copenhagen Denmark Click Here  Click Here
35 51-75 87 University of Minnesota–Twin Cities USA Click Here  Click Here
36 101-150 152 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands Click Here  Click Here
37 301-400 157 Pennsylvania State University–University Park USA Click Here  Click Here
38 51-75 55 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong Click Here  Click Here
39 37 35 Monash University Australia Click Here  Click Here
40 101-150 59 Wageningen University and Research Center Netherlands Click Here  Click Here
41 151-200 62 Peking University China Click Here  Click Here
42 50 110 University of Southern California USA Click Here  Click Here
43 151-200 20 Cornell University USA Click Here  Click Here
44 21 31 McGill University Canada Click Here  Click Here
45 151-200 71 University of Wisconsin–Madison USA Click Here  Click Here
46 401-500 149 University of Texas–Austin USA Click Here  Click Here
47 23 45 Boston University USA Click Here  Click Here
48 151-200 42 University of Manchester UK Click Here  Click Here
49 201-300 133 Michigan State University USA Click Here  Click Here
50 51-75 27 National University of Singapore Singapore Click Here  Click Here

Top Universities in USA for Public Health Services

University US World News Ranking Shanghai Ranking Bachelors programs Masters Programs
Harvard University 1 1 Click Here Click Here
Stanford University 2 30 Click Here Click Here
Johns Hopkins University 4 2 Click Here Click Here
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor 6 17 Click Here Click Here
University of Washington 7 4 Click Here Click Here

Top Universities in UK or Public Health Services

University US World News Ranking Shanghai Ranking Bachelors programs Masters Programs
University of Oxford 3 10 Click Here Click Here
University College London 5 5 Click Here Click Here
University of Cambridge 11 20 Click Here Click Here
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 14 3 Click Here Click Here
Imperial College London 26 6 Click Here Click Here

Top Universities in Canada for Public Health Services

University US World News Ranking Shanghai Ranking Bachelors programs Masters Programs
University of Toronto 10 11 Click Here Click Here
University of British Columbia 15 36 Click Here Click Here
McGill University 44 21 Click Here Click Here

Top Universities in Australia for Public Health Services

University US World News Ranking Shanghai Ranking Bachelors programs Masters Programs
University of Melbourne 19 16 Click Here Click Here
University of Sydney 22 34 Click Here Click Here
University of Queensland Australia 24 24 Click Here Click Here
Monash University 39 37 Click Here Click Here

Academic Requirements for studying Public Health Services in top-ranked universitites

Bachelor’s level

Bachelor’s degree requirements in public health may differ from country to country and university to university. The following are the minimum criteria for studying bachelor’s degrees at all top-ranked universities:

  • A high school transcript with a GPA of 3.0
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Proof of English proficiency through recognized tests such as TOEFL or IELTS
  • An SAT or ACT score
  • A personal statement of purpose

Master’s level

The requirements for a Master’s degree vary depending on the eligibility criteria established by universities. However, the following are the minimum criteria for obtaining a master’s degree in public health at top universities:

  • A graduate degree in health sciences and life sciences fields such as MBBS, Nursing, BPT, BDS, etc., from an accredited college or university.
  • A minimum cumulative college GPA of 3.0
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A resume
  • Proof of English proficiency through recognized tests such as TOEFL or IELTS

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to public health education, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Australia are at the top of the list and are therefore preferred by international students.

Since public health is a broad field, the average salary varies from country to country as well as region to region. It also varies by specialization; for example, in comparison to other public health sectors, the United States pays the highest salaries to medical scientists and researchers (91,510 USD/year) and epidemiologists (74,560 USD/year).

The duration of public health courses varies per country, but it generally goes like this:

  • Bachelor’s level: 4 years
  • Master’s level: 1-2 years
  • Doctoral level: 3-6 years

Students can pursue a variety of careers in the public health sector, including scientists and researchers, epidemiologists, public health physicians, public health nurses, dieticians, nutritionists, biostatisticians, public health analysts, and so on.

Yes, students and alumni can apply for “The Certified in Public Health (CPH) credential’ administered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE). Candidates can take the CPH exam year-round at computer-based testing facilities or through live online-proctored examinations. The certification not only displays a candidate’s understanding of essential public health disciplines but also their dedication to the profession through ongoing education on emerging and current public health challenges.