2024 Best Online Associate Degrees in Public Health

By Leon Aristeguieta
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on May 5, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
Ready to start your journey?
Discover the benefits of an online associate degree in public health. Prepare for a rewarding career promoting wellness and positively impacting your community.

If you are looking to promote health and wellness in your community, then you may want to consider earning an associate degree in public health.

Best Online Associate Degrees in Public Health

This degree path is focused on preparing students for entry-level careers in the public health field. You could learn about various approaches to public health, how to record and analyze data, and how to design public health policies.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Completing a public health associate program could help you gain foundational knowledge in the field and enter positions in healthcare and community and social service.

Universities Offering Online Associates in Public Health Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

American Public University

American Public University offers an Associate of Science in Public Health program online. Potential courses include Introduction to Health Care Administration, Health Services Organization, Wellness, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and more. Courses tend to start every month and typically run for either 8 or 16 weeks. The program requires the completion of 60 credits of courses.

APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Anne Arundel Community College

Anne Arundel Community College offers an Associate of Science in Public Health Professions in a hybrid format. General education courses are generally taught on campus, but courses for the major may be taken online. The aim of the program is to help prepare for entry-level positions at both public and private organizations, or to transfer to 4 year institutions.

Anne Arundel Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Borough of Manhattan Community College

The Borough of Manhattan Community College offers an online program for an AS in Public Health. Potential courses include Comprehensive Health Education, History and Principles of Public Health, Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health, and more. The program requires the completion of 60 credits of coursework.

BMCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

College of Western Idaho

The College of Western Idaho offers an Associate of Science in Health Science and Public Health program. Courses are typically available in traditional, online, and hybrid options, and lab courses help with gaining hands-on skills. Applications are accepted to begin in the fall, spring, or summer terms.

CWI is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

County College of Morris

The County College of Morris offers an online or hybrid program for an Associate of Science in Public Health. The program aims to teach skills necessary to enter career fields such as health education, public health administration, and social and community service management. CCM has articulation agreements with 4 year universities to make it easy to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program.

County College of Morris is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College offers a Public Health Associate of Arts pathway intended for students who plan to go on to bachelor’s degree programs. The program requires 60 credit hours of courses such as Introduction to Public Health, Medical Terminology, and Environmental Concepts in Public Health.

Hillsborough Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Mid Michigan College

Mid Michigan College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Public Health pathway. This program consists of courses designed to transfer directly into Bachelor of Public Health programs at other schools in Michigan. The curriculum aims to help students develop analytical skills and cultural sensitivity for people from a variety of backgrounds.

Mid Michigan College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Montgomery County Community College

Montgomery County Community College offers an online program for an AS in Public Health that is designed for transfer into a 4 year program. Potential courses include Environmental Biology, Basic Nutrition, Personal Health and Wellness, Public Health Administration, the U.S. Healthcare System, and more. The completion of 61 credits of coursework is required.

Montgomery County Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Northampton Community College

Northampton Community College offers an AAS in Public Health program online. Courses at Northampton are designed to provide opportunities for discussion and interaction. The program typically takes 2 years to complete, and during the second year, a capstone course aims to provide firsthand experience working in the field.

Northampton Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Northern Essex Community College

Northern Essex Community College offers an Associate in Science in Public Health pathway. The program consists of 68 credits of courses such as Physiological Chemistry, Personal Health and Wellness, and Introduction to Public Health. Part-time and full-time enrollment is allowed. With full-time enrollment, the program can typically be finished in 2 years.

Northern Essex Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Quinsigamond Community College

Quinsigamond Community College offers an Associate in Science in Healthcare – Public Health. All courses are available at the main campus, and some are also available online or at other campus locations. The program offers the opportunity to participate in a public health cooperative experience. Completion of 61 credits is required to graduate.

Quinsigamond Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.

Saint Paul College

Saint Paul College offers an online program for an AS in Public Health. Applied learning opportunities in the community are typically provided as part of the program. Courses aim to help develop cultural competency as well as scientific knowledge. Transfer articulation agreements with 4 year institutions enable the continuation of university education at the bachelor’s level.

Saint Paul College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati offers an Associate of Science in Public Health program completely online. The program is commonly completed in 2 years of full-time study, but the program also has part-time scheduling options, and is designed to provide flexibility for working professionals. Classes usually last either 7 or 14 weeks each.

UC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of the Cumberlands

The University of the Cumberlands offers an Associate of Science in Public Health program online. Potential courses include Nutrition, Substance Abuse, Foundations of Health Science, and more. The program aims to provide a comprehensive education, so courses in humanities, writing, and mathematics are also typically taken as part of the degree requirements.

The University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Online Associate Degrees in Public Health

Woman taking Online Associate Degrees in Public Health

As a student in an online associate’s program in public health, your coursework will focus on learning the most current approaches to public health. The public health field is focused on preventing diseases among a population and promoting health throughout society.

To accomplish these goals, public health professionals often:

  • Collect and analyze data
  • Organize public health campaigns and initiatives for communities
  • Advocate for better health policies

In your program, you will likely take classes in:

  • Basic biology
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Statistics

These foundational topics can ground your knowledge for later classes in public health concepts. You may also have opportunities to take classes in other subjects that could help you in your public health career. For example, you may have the opportunity to take classes in:

  • Epidemiology
  • Psychology
  • Ethics
  • Computer science
  • Communication

After you graduate, you may be qualified for a number of jobs within the growing fields of healthcare and community service.

It’s common for graduates to pursue work as community health workers or health education specialists. In these positions, you could work to promote health and wellness within the community you work in.

Community health workers and health education specialists may research what health problems their community faces and develop plans to combat these health issues. You might also advocate for public health measures in your community in order to prevent diseases and advance people’s health.

These professionals can work in a variety of different settings. Some work within healthcare facilities, working with patients and undertaking public health initiatives. Others work within nonprofits, specializing in specific issues or working to obtain funds for public health.

Those working within government public health departments often create public health campaigns and help craft public health policies. Actual duties for community health workers depend on their specific workplace.

Public Health Careers & Salaries

Public Health Careers & Salaries

An online associate degree in public health could help you qualify for different types of jobs within the healthcare field. Depending on the employer, some of these positions may require specialized training or education.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations are predicted to grow by 13% over the next ten years, which is much faster than average.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Health Education Specialists $59,990
Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars $58,250
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians $48,380
Medical Records Specialists $47,180
Public Safety Telecommunicators $46,900
Community Health Workers $46,190
Social and Human Service Assistants $38,520
Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants $38,500
Medical Assistants $38,270
Home Health and Personal Care Aides $30,180

There are number of entry-level roles in healthcare, community service, social service, and environmental science that graduates may pursue with an associates in public health.

Some graduates work in roles that focus on the health and wellness of individuals, such as health coach or wellness promotions specialist. Others work in roles that are more community based, such as community outreach worker and community health educator.

Some entry-level roles in healthcare facilities can include patient service coordinator, health information technologist, and medical office coordinator.

Public Health Associate’s Curriculum & Courses

Students taking Public Health Associates Degree

Each public health program will set its own independent curriculum, but there’s generally significant overlap in terms of subject matter.

As a student in one of these programs, you may take some of the following classes:

  • Biology: This class introduces you to the basic biological concepts and lab work.
  • Anatomy and Physiology: Similar to biology, this class introduces you to the disciplines of anatomy and physiology.
  • Basic Statistics: This class deals with introductory statistical methods for taking and analyzing data needed in the public health field.
  • Public Health Introduction: This class serves as an overview for students of the public health field, introducing them to its history and fundamental underpinnings.
  • Epidemiology: This class looks at epidemiological methods and their applications, showing how to study diseases.
  • Social and Cultural Health: This class looks at the intersection of society and health and how a community’s health is shaped by various non-medical factors.
  • Introduction to Sociology: This course introduces you to basic sociological concepts and methods.
  • Information Technology: This class looks at the application of different technologies to help manage and analyze data.
  • Ethics: This philosophy class deals with various ethical and moral topics, teaching students different views on the subject.
  • Public Health Communication: This class investigates how public health professionals communicate with the public by utilizing different strategies and methods of outreach.

The classes listed here are just a small subset of what your school may offer.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing for Associate Degrees in Public Health requirements

Each program and school will set its own requirements for admission, but here are some general admission requirements for associate programs:

  • High school diploma or GED equivalent. Colleges want to see that you have completed a secondary level education.
  • Online application. Most schools want you to complete an online application in order to state your intentions. Some also require an application fee.
  • Standardized test scores. Though this has become less common, some colleges may want you to submit SAT or ACT scores.

You can visit your prospective school’s website to see their specific admissions criteria.

Accreditation

University offering Online Associate Degrees in Public Health

To ensure that your degree program is academically rigorous and that the college you attend follows the best educational practices, it’s strategic to only consider colleges that hold regional accreditation.

In the regional accreditation process, a regional accrediting agency reviews a school’s faculty, educational offerings, and student services to ensure that it is delivering a high-quality education. To see if the colleges you are applying to are accredited by recognized organizations, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.

Earning a degree from an accredited university is often necessary when it comes to qualifying for employment opportunities or pursuing further education.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Associate Degrees in Public Health Financial Aid

There are many sources of financial aid and scholarships that you can explore if you want help paying the upfront costs of your college education.

Federal aid—often in the form of student loans, grants, or work-study programs—is one of the most common sources of aid for college students. You can apply for federal aid by visiting the Federal Student Aid’s website and filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). States may have their own aid programs for students.

Scholarships are another potential source of financial aid. These monetary awards can be offered by academic institutions, nonprofits, businesses, and other organizations. You can research available scholarship opportunities and apply for the ones you qualify for.

What Can You Do with an Associates Degree in Public Health?

Medical Records Specialists guiding a customer fill out request form

There are many possibilities within healthcare for you to consider after you earn an associate’s degree in public health.

Many graduates go on to become community health workers. This occupation is projected to grow 16% over the next ten years (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Some graduates of a public health degree program may even qualify for entry-level roles as health education specialists. You might also consider seeking work as a health information technologist or medical registrar.

Other entry-level roles in this field include social and human service assistant, patient navigator, medical office coordinator, community outreach coordinator, health coach, and environmental science and protection technician.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate Degree in Public Health Online?

Woman getting her Associate Degree in Public Health Online

The time it takes to earn an associate degree depends on a number of factors, such as your school’s academic schedule and your enrollment status.

If your program follows a traditional, 16 week semester, then it will typically take you 2 years to earn an associate’s degree with full-time enrollment. If your online program follows an 8 week semester, then it may take you less time to finish your degree, especially if you stay enrolled year-round.

Other factors, such as your work schedule or life circumstances, may also affect how quickly you finish an associate’s in public health.

Is a Public Health Associate Degree Worth It?

Social & Human Service Assistant guiding an elderly man

Yes, a public health associate degree is worth it for many students. Healthcare is a fast-growing field, and there are a number of opportunities available for public health graduates. Overall employment for the healthcare field is expected to grow 13% over the next ten years (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Others may enter entry-level roles in community service, social service, and environmental science. Some graduates pursue positions as community health workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 16% job growth for these professionals over the next ten years. Other find work in other areas of healthcare, such as working as health information technologists, medical office coordinators, or patient navigators.

Getting Your Associates in Public Health Degree Online

student getting Associates in Public Health Degree Online

If you are passionate about aiding your community to improve its health, then you might consider earning an associates in public health online.

Completing an accredited public health associate’s program can help qualify you to work in entry-level roles in healthcare and community service. An associates could also act as a foundation for further education. Many organizations, including both governmental and private institutions, require competent public health professionals who are ready to tackle the health challenges of today.

If you’re interested in joining this growing career field, you can look into individual public health programs from accredited schools to see which ones are right for you.

Ready to start your journey?