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Walden MPH & Capella MPH: Side-by-Side Comparison

Featured Programs:

Walden and Capella offer a couple of the most popular online MPH programs available, so it was just a matter of time before we gave a little space on our website to a side-by-side comparison.

We don’t rank these MPH programs or make the claim that one is better than the other. In fact, as we found out, the Capella and Walden programs have more similarities than differences. With virtually identical tuition costs and comparable graduation rates, public health grad students won’t find it easy to pick one or the other on the basis of cost or student outcomes alone.

Both schools are well respected in the online education space, and both offer solid MPH options that cater to the needs of working grad students looking for the flexibility of an online program. Based on our side-by-side comparison, you can’t go wrong earning your MPH through either Walden or Capella.

Overview

Walden University

The Walden University MPH program consists of 64 total quarter hours, which includes a public health foundational course, core courses, practicum and capstone and ePortfolio. There is no GRE required to enter the program, and it can be completed full time in two years.

Some of the required courses in this MPH program are:

  • Perspectives on Health and the Developing Professional
  • Socio-Ecological Perspectives of Health
  • Public Health Policy, Politics and Progress
  • Biological Foundations of Public Health
  • Global Perspectives on Health
  • Public Health Administration and Leadership

All students are required to complete both a practicum in their local community and a capstone project.

Capella University

The interprofessional approach of Capella University‘s online MPH will help you collaborate across disciplines to develop solutions to public health issues, create healthy communities and environments, and establish strategies for health access for diverse populations. You’ll expand your knowledge of public health concerns, grow your leadership skills, and learn to use your strengths to lead at the top of your field.

Favorite Features

Our favorite features for both MPH programs have been outlined below.

Walden University

Low tuition cost

We like the fact that an in-demand technical degree such as the MPH can be earned at an affordable price. Walden University charges $470 per credit hour. This means that the total tuition cost for the entire program – assuming you have no transfer credits – is an affordable $30,100.

This relatively inexpensive tuition means that many students will not have to take on a high level of college debt to graduate.

GRE scores are not needed to apply

It is common for many universities to mandate standardized test scores today for students to be considered for admission. However, modern research often suggests that high scores on the GRE or GMAT examination do not necessarily show that the student will have success in graduate school.

Walden University does not consider GRE scores for students to be accepted at the university. Instead, it focuses its admissions decision process on your bachelor’s degree transcripts, work history and writing samples. Recommendations also play a critical role.

Capella University

School features helpful GuidedPath system

Capella University knows that today’s grad students need an online program that’s going to fit in their busy schedule, without having to give up the benefit of instructor interaction and guidance. That’s why Capella created GuidedPath, a unique system that gives you both the structure and flexibility you need to earn your MPH, and finish the program on time.

With GuidedPath, you get the flexibility of being able to log-in and access lectures and course content any time day or night. But this unique program also follows a set time-line for completing coursework, and sticks to a schedule that has definite start and end dates for each quarter.

This unique delivery method allows you to attend classes on your own time, while still being calendar driven so that you never fall behind. Regular guidance and feedback from instructors, along with weekly message board discussions with faculty and classmates, helps keep you on schedule and ensures you always have the support you need to understand the material and complete your assignments on time.

Reasonable tuition

Capella also features affordable tuition at only $492 per credit hour, with the total price coming in at just under $30,000.

Students may take one to three courses per each quarter, and up to 16 credits can be transferred from another university, if they are approved.

Least Favorite Features

Least favorite features for each program are below. Note that neither program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Walden has applied for CEPH accreditation but it is still pending. This means that all MPH graduates from these programs must have at least five years of post-undergraduate public health work experience if you want to sit for the voluntary Certified in Public Health (CPH) credential.

It also means that some employers may question the quality of these degrees because they lack CEPH accreditation.

Walden University

Average graduation rate

The overall graduation rate of Walden University is 33%, which is fairly average. This suggests that a high number of students either do not complete their degree program or they transfer to another university.

Capella University

Capella allows fewer transfer credits than Walden

Capella currently only allows students to transfer up to 16 credit hours from other schools. Walden allows students to transfer up to 32 credit hours. Why is this important?

Many working professionals may have started their MPH program at another university, but decided to complete it online at a later time. A situation could arise where a student attending Capella would not be able to transfer all of her credits.

Schools that allow more transferred credits are generally regarded as preferable for working students.

Walden University

General Information

  • Founded in 1970
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • Application fee: $50
  • School type: For profit
  • Term Schedule: Semester
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN; online

Tuition Rates

  • MPH: $480 per credit hour

Degrees Offered

  • MPH

Class Profile

  • More than 57,000 students are taking online degree programs at Walden
  • Top ranked by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as a top producer of minority master’s and doctoral graduates
  • 84% of current Walden students stated recently that they are satisfied or very satisfied with the university

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 33% overall graduation rate, which is below average nationally

Capella University

General Information

  • Founded in 1993
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • Application fee: $50
  • School type: Private, for profit
  • Term Schedule: Semester
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN; online

Tuition Rates

  • MPH: $492 per credit hour

Degrees Offered

  • MPH

Class Profile

  • Among all online programs, 77% of students are female and 23% male
  • The average age of students in all programs is 39
  • 11% attend full time and 89% part time
  • 51% of all students are of color
  • 82% receive financial aid
  • 18% are in the military

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 42% of students complete their degree within six years, which is slightly below average
  • The retention rate for the university is 58%

Final Verdict

Both of these online MPH programs are quite similar and are major competitors for one another. Because neither program is currently accredited by CEPH, they are very similar in terms of content and cost. It should be noted that Capella’s tuition is slightly more expensive than Walden’s. Also, you may transfer fewer classes into the Capella program than Walden.

Additional Resources

Sady Brown
Written by Sady Brown
Sady Brown is Editorial Strategist for Nogre.com