Top 26 Free Online Public Health Courses for 2023| How to Apply

If you have a flair for public health education, then here are a variety of free online public health courses that will benefit you.

With the increase in MOOCs and the ease of online learning, because there are free online courses for practically every subject, whether you have a busy schedule or not, you do not need anyone to convince you about taking one.

Such courses are not just free but fit into the schedule of almost anyone.

If you are unsure whether public health is the right career path for you, taking a free public health course from home is a good way to find out.

These free online public health courses are not just for those new to the field but also for public health professionals.

Public health professionals can take online public health courses to increase their knowledge of the field.

These free courses give certification to those who complete them.

Such certification can increase your chances of getting a public health job when featured in your resume.

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Sometimes, an employer may want a public health candidate to take a free course before starting work or as a prerequisite. Since there are many free online public health courses, someone can review them and find the ones that can help them advance their knowledge, career, understanding, or employment prospects in the public health field. Lifelong learners who wish to understand the subject better or find learning fun can also benefit from free public health courses.

Free Online Public Health Courses

Why Take Public Health Courses Online for Free

Any search for free online health courses with certificates will typically return quite a few results featuring free public health courses. A free public health course may seem like a good idea, but there are some caveats to consider before choosing free public health courses.

There are benefits to free public health courses. However, people who want to take such courses online must make sure they’re choosing the type of course that can give them the most value.

That’s why AcademicRelated has scoured the internet for free online health courses with a certificate to feature courses from the most trusted and reputable sources. NOTE: All courses were available for free at the time of publication.

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Top 26 Free Online Public Health Courses for 2023

The following are the top 26 Free Online Public Health Courses with certificates for 2023

#1. Center for Disease Control (CDC)

The decision to study public health does not mean you must go through traditional courses at a university. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, offers free online public health courses in environmental public health.

The 15 courses provided by the CDC allow students to learn various topics ranging from environmental factors that may impact public health to food safety at the professional and personal levels.

CoursesEnvironmental Public Health Online Courses – 15 related courses

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Doane University offers a free online public health course on health informatics technology. It strives to provide intermediate knowledge that helps students who plan to work in informatics or the healthcare industry.

It focuses on population data or large groups rather than individual care as it applies to informatics and healthcare technology.

The online public health course from Doane University allows students to obtain a certificate for a small fee.

CoursesHealth Informatics Technology in Population Healthcare Analytics


Duke University offers a free online public health course focusing on global health. The Challenges of Global Health course focuses on identifying the problems that impact populations on a global scale.

It also strives to identify the cause of health concerns and focuses on solutions that may assist in preventing problems in the future. The course focuses on the global perspective and populations as a whole rather than small groups within a population for a wide view of public health.

The beginner-level course from Duke University only requires 10 to 11 hours to complete the lectures and assessments.

CoursesThe Challenges of Global Health

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The Global Health Learning Center offers free online public health courses to help students reach their goals for their studies. The public health courses range from cancer prevention to antimicrobial resistance and family planning.

Students have many courses to choose from without paying a high cost for their education. The opportunity to study various topics ensures that students have access to studies that may assist with their specific goals for a career or continuing education.

The Global Health Learning Center offers USAID continuous learning credits for some of the online courses.

CoursesGlobal Health Learning Center


Harvard University offers two free online public health courses for students who want to build on their knowledge or start understanding a specific topic. The intermediate course focuses on global health and quality and safety.

The beginner course focuses on the effects of climate change on human health and populations. Students can take the courses for free and focus on accomplishing their goals for a career.

Students can obtain a certificate after finishing the online courses from Harvard University by paying a small fee.

CoursesImproving Global HealthFocusing on Quality and SafetyThe Health Effects of Climate Change

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The Institute for Healthcare Improvement offers an online course in quality and safety related to populations. The courses focus on introductory topics that help students learn the basics they need to understand before moving into more advanced studies.

The intermediate courses focus on specialized topics of discussion related to healthcare and populations.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement breaks down lessons into 15- to 40-minute sessions to make it easy for students to keep up with the course material.

CoursesTriple Aim for Populations


Johns Hopkins University offers a free public health course focusing on the history of the field of study. The free course focuses on the historical context of public health as an industry and how it has changed over time to reflect improvements in knowledge, medical science, and new theories. It also discusses historical ailments and sicknesses and how the concerns were resolved.

The Johns Hopkins University online course on public health history is free through the Apple iTunes store for students to download onto a smartphone or tablet.

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Johns Hopkins University offers two free courses in public health through Coursera’s online system. The course on biostatistics in public health is a beginner-level course that explores statistical data and analytical methods used in public health for improved skills in reading biomedical research statistics and related data points.

The Foundations of Global Health course is also a beginner-level course that offers a strong foundation in public health as it applies to a global environment.

The course is fully online, and students do not need to attend any classes at the college to complete it. The courses from Johns Hopkins University require 10 weeks or less to complete, based on student preferences and personal scheduling.

Courses: Biostatistics in Public HealthFoundations of Global Health


Students who want to study various topics related to public health at Johns Hopkins University can focus on the free courses available at JHSPH Open. Students have access to many courses that range from animals in research and foodborne bioterrorism to global tobacco control and child development.

You have access to many free online courses that allow you to focus on an area of study that fits your long-term goals for your career and interests.

Students can separate courses at Johns Hopkins University by topic or collection to make it easier to follow through with a topic as it applies to public health.

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The Karolinska Institutet offers a free online course in introduction to global health that allows students to learn the foundation they need to build on their skills and knowledge.

The course focuses on variations in health outcomes in different countries and localities. It also explores differences based on gender and uses a perspective of equality to help shed light on important topics in public health.

The course from the Karolinska Institutet does not require any prerequisite courses and is designed for beginners in the study of public health.

CoursesAn Introduction to Global Health


Liberty University offers a free community health nursing course through the Apple iTunes store. The free course focuses on the role of nurses in community health as well as the impact of environmental factors on a local community.

It strives to ensure that nurses understand how to adapt to different situations when working with a community.

The course from Liberty University takes a Biblical approach to the public health and nursing topics discussed in the course.

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#12. MIT/EDX

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, offers a free online public health course on global health informatics with a focus on improving the quality of care in a medical setting. The coursework is advanced, so it is ideal for students to have previous knowledge of informatics and medical technology.

It is not designed for students starting their degree who do not have the fundamental knowledge about public health and informatics to help with their understanding of the course material.

MIT’s online course allows students to obtain a certificate for a small fee that may help with employment opportunities or proving knowledge of informatics.

Courses: Global Health Informatics to Improve Quality of Care


The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University offers an online course in public health that helps students with their long-term goals. The surveillance and forecasting of emerging diseases course teach students how to resolve problems in emergencies that may arise when an infectious disease develops. It strives to prepare students for different scenarios so that they can react quickly.

Students take a pre-test and a post-test for the course before receiving a certificate.

Courses: Surveillance and Forecasting of Emerging Infectious Diseases

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When looking for free online public health courses to improve your understanding of a topic or personal interests, NextGenU offers several options. NextGenU has long been recognized for its free online public health courses, but they have recently made an even bigger step – offering the first entirely FREE online MPH degree. Developed in partnership with the WHO, the CDC, and many other organizations, NextGenU has upped the ante for free public health education.

NextGenU is the first organization to offer a free online degree for students who plan to study public health.


OpenSUNY offers free online public health courses with certificates that help you focus on valuable skills for your career. The free course available through the school is Global Health Diplomacy. The course focuses on teaching students about the different ways politics, finances, and diplomacy interact to make decisions on a global scale in relation to health and public safety.

The degree goes beyond the medical topics and terminology to help students recognize other factors that may impact public health on a global scale.

OpenSUNY offers accelerated online courses, and the free course in public health is a seven-week class that students can complete when they have time.

Courses: Global Health Diplomacy

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Penn State offers a free online course in Epidemics with a focus on the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases. The online course recognizes that infectious diseases are a complex problem that impacts public health and safety.

It offers insights into the history of disease control and methods of preventing sicknesses, as well as the complications associated with infectious diseases that may cause harm to human health or death in a modern medical environment. It helps students understand the potential concerns that may arise as bacteria and viruses evolve and complicate medical treatments.

The program takes around 16 hours to complete and offers flexible deadlines to allow students to work on their studies when they have the time.

Courses: Epidemics – the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases


SDG Academy offers a free online public health course with a certificate in Global Public Health that allows students to understand the role of institutions and infrastructure within local communities and areas on global public health.

It explores the impact of healthy individuals on their surroundings and interactions and strives to identify the connections between economics, social interaction, and environment on health. The online course from SDG Academy allows students to obtain a verified certificate to show they completed the course, which may help with job opportunities or gaining credits for a degree.

 It also touches on the impact of health on the food systems of a local environment and how changes to a food system may impact the health of local communities.

Courses: Global Public Health

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Stanford University offers a free online course in International Women’s Health and Human Rights that allows students to gain a strong foundation in topics related to women’s rights worldwide.

The course focuses on women’s lives from infancy until they reach old age and how rights impact the health and well-being of women in different regions of the world.

Students can purchase a certificate for the International Women’s Health and Human Rights course from Stanford University if they want to gain credit or use the certificate for continued education in their job.

Courses: International Women’s Health and Human Rights


The University of California at Berkeley, or UC Berkeley, offers three online courses in public health for free. Students can study the control of infectious diseases and ethics as they apply to public health intervention or preparedness for public health emergencies.

The classes offer students an opportunity to learn about useful topics in the public health field and develop skills that apply to their career goals.

The simple video format lets students start the lectures without wasting time on applications.

CoursesEthical Challenges in Public Health InterventionPublic Health Preparedness and Emergency ResponseEpidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases

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When you want free online public health courses, you can take the Foundations of Public Health from the UC Irvine course. The free course is a fundamental course designed around the needs of students who want a firm grasp of public health topics.

It is designed for graduate-level students who have some understanding of basic topics but want to delve deeper into the fundamentals of public health research. Students can work on the course materials at their own pace.

UC Irvine requires students to get consent from an instructor or to have a graduate degree to take the free course.


The University at Albany Center for Disaster Preparedness offers free courses in public health that help students with their fundamental knowledge of important topics. The school offers 21 online courses in public health-related topics, so students can focus on topics that address their specific goals and concerns. Whether you want to study emergency preparedness or potential risks associated with terrorism, the school offers courses to address your interests and goals.

The University at Albany Center of Disaster Preparedness allows students to access and use course materials for reference and review after they have completed the course.

Courses: University at Albany Center for Disaster Preparedness

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The University of Minnesota offers free public health practice and skills courses. The online courses allow students to focus on specific population groups or specific topics of concern that may arise. Students can take courses on diversity planning, food safety, women in trade, or various topics influencing or impacting public health and safety.

The free courses in public health from the University of Minnesota are available directly at the school’s website for ease and simplicity.

CoursesPublic Health Practice and Skills 


The University of Pittsburg offers a free online course in public health with a certificate that allows students to learn about pandemics of disease. By understanding the way diseases break out within a population, students can evaluate potential solutions to help resolve concerns about pandemics and epidemics that may cause harm to large populations and groups. It also helps students clarify the methods of isolating potential risks to limit the spread of disease.

The free online course from the University of Pittsburgh takes only seven hours, and students can finish the course within a few weeks.

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The University System of Maryland offers a free online global health course focusing on ebola and moving past the ebola virus. The class is an introductory course designed to teach students about the risks associated with travel when it comes to epidemics and diseases.

It also explores the outbreak of Ebola as a recent health risk and the complications of new diseases in modern medicine.

The free course in public health from the University System of Maryland is an accelerated six-week class that allows students to obtain a certification for a small fee when they finish the classes.

CoursesGlobal Health: Beyond Ebola


The World Health Organization offers a free course on patient safety research that focuses on addressing medical research concerns regarding patient safety and well-being. It strives to identify the challenges that may arise when it comes to patient safety and the methods used to determine if a research program is a good option for the needs of patients.

The World Health Organization’s online course offers the course in four languages: English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

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Yale University offers a free public health course focusing on the history of diseases. The Epidemic in Western Society Since 1600 focuses on epidemics that have caused widespread devastation and the impact of those diseases on society.

It investigates how public health measures have evolved to address disease and epidemics and how ethical standards have changed over time.

Yale University uses a simple video format for lectures that allow students to learn from the top professors in public health education.

Courses: Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which free online public health courses should I apply for?

The free online public health course to apply for depends on your specific need.
Here are certain factors you should consider before settling for anyone in particular. Your choice of the part

The level of knowledge you already have in public health
Your long-term career goals
Your area of specialization in public health
Do you need a certificate after the course and are you ready to pay for it?

After considering all the necessary factors, I am sure you will certainly settle with one of these free online public health courses.

Is it possible to get a legitimate online public health certificate for free?

It is possible to get a free and legitimate online public health certificate.
But, although most of the lectures are free, obtaining the certificate usually requires you to pay a little token.
If you need a free online public health course that offers a certificate at the end of the training, make use you find out the terms for obtaining the certificate before starting the course.

Is an online certificate in public health capable of improving my career?

Of course, an online certificate in public health can improve your career in public health.
Aside from the fact that when added to your resume, it puts you at an edge,  the knowledge you will gain from taking the course will also enable you to perform excellently at the job.
It is important to note that your value for a particular online course will greatly depend on your specific need.

Conclusion: Free Online Public Health Courses

Now that you know that taking public health courses from home is possible, I urge you to make Maximum use of this information.

If you have more questions concerning free online public health courses and how to apply, kindly leave them in the comment section.

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