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Public Health

Through the online Master of Public Health program, you'll take courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, health services administration, social and behavioral sciences and environmental health – equipping you to be a well-rounded leader who can address public health needs of rural communities.

Shape the health of the community

The health and wellness of a population extends beyond direct patient care; professionals in public health promote health and wellness at the community level by performing a variety of duties, including researching disease or injury prevention, implementing educational programs and engaging in outreach initiatives. We can improve the health of individuals by protecting the health of our communities.

As a student pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH), you will learn to address the public health needs of rural and underserved communities. In partnership with South Dakota State University, our program prepares you to help hospitals thrive in the era of health care reform, improve the health of South Dakotans through partnerships with public health departments, and enhance wellness through disease prevention, policies and programs. You'll dive into the five core areas of public health – biostatistics, epidemiology, health services administration, social and behavioral sciences, and environmental health – as you develop into the leader your community needs. You'll graduate well-positioned for success in a range of public health positions and public health specialties, including those in health service administration, epidemiology, biostatistics, public health policy, research, environmental health, hospital safety and infectious disease control and more.

Quality Educational Experiences

USD's Master of Public Health program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Accreditation ensures that USD has been evaluated and has met standards established by the public health profession. It promotes professional mobility and enhances employment opportunities.

Degrees & Offerings

Public Health (MPH)


The MPH is the most widely recognized professional credential for practice and leadership in public health. USD's 100% online program – the only one of its kind offered in the state – will prepare you to protect and improve the health of your community. Your education will emphasize serving rural and underserved communities.

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Program Details





Graduate Admissions

Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.


As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.

An Affordable Education

Gain valuable real-world, professional experience while enjoying paid employment and discounted tuition rates as a graduate student at USD. The affordability you gain through graduate assistantships and fellowships will equip you with valuable, professional-level skills that will set you apart after graduation. 

Teaching and research assistantships are awarded by individual departments. If you do not receive an assistantship within your department, you are eligible for an assistantship outside of your academic program or within support offices (non-academic units) at USD. Further inquiries should be directed to the graduate director of the department.

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Experience Through Research

As a student at USD, you'll be able to connect with expert faculty who can provide mentorship and direct you to opportunities that spark your curiosity. 

At USD, you can actively pursue unique research, present at local and national conferences and explore innovative areas that interest you. Our public health faculty produce cutting-edge research and scholarship; you'll be able to reach out to them with your own research interests and questions. Learn more about resources and research opportunities for USD graduate students.

Graduate Student Resources

USD is home to more than 170 student organizations, including several that are housed in the School of Education. You may be interested in joining a student organization to make friends, develop new skills and explore your interests.

Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA)

Join your fellow graduate and professional students at USD. We aim to build a sense of community between graduate and professional students. Build your resume, network with others and gain experience and the unique opportunity to represent the interests of graduate students to the greater campus and community.

Join Now

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in public health & health sciences.
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Public Health & Health Sciences

The Department of Public Health and Health Sciences emphasizes collaborative learning, equipping students with a rich understanding of the health care field and preparing them to excel in careers such as advocating for health policy, promoting health through education, managing health data analytics and leading collaborative health care teams. The department offers degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Department of Public Health and Health Sciences. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in productive aging and gerontology, management of chronic disease, health and culture, attachment, Native American health and more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member DenYelle Baete Kenyon

DenYelle Baete Kenyon

Associate Dean-SSOM Div & Inc
Bio Image for Faculty Member Susan Puumala

Susan Puumala

Professor of Practice
Bio Image for Faculty Member Minga Vargas

Minga Vargas

Bio Image for Faculty Member Shelby Jepperson

Shelby Jepperson

Assistant Professor
Faculty Default

Viviana Deleon

Post MPH Fellow
Bio Image for Faculty Member Johanna Gregoire

Johanna Gregoire

Program Assistant I
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Serving Rural Communities

USD's master's in public health program emphasizes rural and Native American communities, uniquely preparing you to serve individuals and families in these areas. You'll graduate equipped with the skills you need to improve the health of South Dakotans – including rural and underserved populations – through health promotion, health analysis and disease prevention programs with public health departments.

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Take Your Classes Online

We're committed to bringing our knowledge to you. USD serves the largest number of online students in the state of South Dakota. With competitive online tuition rates, we offer the same price whether you’re out-of-state or an in-state resident.


USD maintains a challenging and rigorous curriculum focused on preparing you to move forward in your career.


Enroll in an online class today! 


View all online programs
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Follow Your Passion for Helping Others

In this program, you'll find a community of students and faculty who share a passion for improving health outcomes. Join the team of public health practitioners and leaders who lead fulfilling careers serving their communities in a variety of ways; from research to public health policy and mental health care to nutrition, there are countless paths you can take to follow your passion and help others.

Surprisingly Affordable

Whether you’ve recently completed your undergraduate degree, or you want to kick your career up a notch, graduate school is the next logical step. The good news is there is funding for both online and on-campus students to get you through your program.

Cost Per Credit - PUBH Online/Off-Campus
Tuition - State Support $470.45
Delivery Fee $145.40
Total PUBH Credit Hours
Cost PUBH Courses
Non-PUBH Elective COURSE
Cost Per Credit - non-PUBH Online/Off-Campus
Tuition - Self Support
Delivery Fee
Total non-PUBH Credit Hours
Cost non-PUBH Courses


*Based on traditional period of enrollment and no repeat courses taken

More About Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates are subject to change and may vary depending on the program or department. Visit the Graduate Tuition & Costs page for more information.

* Graduate Assistant (GA) rates are available for resident, non-resident and online students.

** Resident rates may be available to you through the SD Advantage, Child of Alumni or Western Regional Graduate Program. To see if you quality, visit


hear from a usd alum

USD Alumna Marie Gross
I love the MPH program, it has me thinking about health issues more comprehensively. Plus, what I’m learning is directly applicable to the work I am already doing and to the goals I have set for myself. I will be one of the few people living on the Cheyenne River reservation with an MPH degree. I will be proud of that, of course, but more importantly, what I learn will enhance my abilities to help others, and that’s why I do this work.

Marie Gross, MPH

MPH, Public Health '19
Timber Lake, South Dakota

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