About Online Learning
Our online degree and certificate programs offer flexibility, convenience and the same high quality as our on-site programs. Online courses provide the flexibility to work around your busy schedule and at your own pace — participating from anywhere that offers access to the Internet.
Online does not mean “on your own.” In addition to the independence of online learning, our students enjoy participating in Jefferson School of Population Health’s thriving learning communities. You will be introduced to your community and to online study at JSPH through a comprehensive online orientation to help provide a smooth transition into each program’s coursework, resources and student colleagues.
You will also benefit from our application of best practices in online education that enhance learning and expand critical thinking skills. Equally important, you will be paired with a personal faculty mentor — a nationally recognized expert in the field — who will provide guidance with the capstone project.
Jefferson School of Population Health offers the following programs online:
- Master of Science in Health Policy
- Certificate in Health Policy
- Master of Science in Applied Health Economics and Outcomes Research
- Certificate in Applied Health Economics and Outcomes Research
- Master of Science in Healthcare Quality and Safety
- Certificate in Population Health
- Certificate in Healthcare Quality & Safety
- Certificate in Operational Excellence
If you have questions about the admissions process, please contact April Smith at
If you have questions specific to online learning please contact Lisa Chosed at
FAQs About Our Online Programs
Along with these benefits, online learning will bring special demands. Because of its intensity and rigor, online learning may not be for everyone. We've answered some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about our online learning programs.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for online learning? I've heard that some people don’t do well in online courses.
You are correct – online learning is not for everyone. Success with online courses requires good organizational and time management skills. It is ideal for self-motivated and self-directed learners – those who like to work at their own, steady pace and on their own time. It also favors learners who are comfortable with lots of reading and writing and who don’t need face-to-face interaction with the instructor or other students to engage in meaningful discussions.
I’ve heard that online courses involve more time and work than on-site courses. Is this true?
For the most part, yes. More of the learning is self-directed and, contrary to what you may think, there is more opportunity for discussion and presentation of your work. When you sit in a classroom and the instructor asks a question, one or two students generally respond. When the instructor asks a question online, everyone has to respond. Also, in an online course you are able to share your work with other students, not just the instructor. Expect to devote 10-12 hours a week to your online course work.
I’ve never taken an online course before. How will I know what to do?
We provide an easy, fun, online orientation module that will introduce you to all aspects of the online learning experience. It will introduce you to Thomas Jefferson University’s online Course Management System, Blackboard Learn, and give you the opportunity to practice using this system.
Are online courses the same quality as on-site courses?
Absolutely, because of our course design and the application of the latest learning practices, at the graduate level learning outcomes are actually higher in an online course. Only the delivery format is different. The Jefferson School of Population Health subscribes to the award-winning Quality Matters (QM) Program which is dedicated to "inter-institutional quality assurance in online learning.” QM uses a rubric of eight general standards and 40 specific standards to evaluate the design and delivery of online courses. You can learn more about QM and these standards at www.QualityMatters.org.
Are JSPH’s programs accredited?
Yes. Jefferson and all JSPH programs are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the regional accrediting body for postsecondary institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region.
How long does it take to complete a JSPH online degree program?
Depending on your pace, you can complete a degree program in 24-48 months. If you take two courses per term (six courses per year — the maximum that we recommend), you can finish in 24-27 months. If you take one course per term, you can finish in 48 months. Certificates can be completed in 12-24 months.
Does the JSPH degree program have a residency requirement? Will I ever have to come to campus?
Yes, you will have to come on campus once for one week to present your Capstone project after you have completed all coursework for the degree.
Do I have to be available at precise times during the day or week?
No. JSPH’s courses are asynchronous. This means that you do the work on your own schedule.
How many students are in a typical JSPH online course?
We try to limit each class to 15 students. This way, there is plenty of opportunity for interaction and discussion between instructor and students and among the students themselves.
How many hours per week will I need to devote to an online course?
On average, 10-12 hours depending on the course and your learning style. This includes reading and writing assignments, online discussions and activities, tests, exams, papers and projects.
Will there be a real person I can talk to if I have a problem?
Yes, you will be assigned a Program Liaison who will be able to answer all your questions or put you in contact with the people that can.
Do I need a special kind of computer or special software to take a JSPH online course?
Probably not. The technology requirements for online students are no different than those for campus-based students. All you need is a computer with access to the Internet. For more information, check Information Services & Technology’s supported software standards.
Is federally supported financial aid available for online degree programs?
Yes. Federally supported loans are available.
Will I have access to technical support?
Yes. You will have access to technical support through Jefferson Information Services & Technology as well as the library’s online services.