MPH Program

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Items to consider:  Is online learning right for me?

Technical Proficiency and Access

Online learning requires regular access to a computer with Internet as well as basic competence in word processing, email, and Internet. The MPH Program utilizes the learning management system, ANGEL (A New Global Environment for Learning), which runs well on the most common operating systems. ANGEL is compatible with a PC utilizing MS Windows OS: Internet Explorer or Firefox or with a Mac utilizing OS X: Firefox.

Communication Skills

Students need a good command of the English language. The ability to read and write well is important because much of online learning is print based, and student assessments are often based on written assignments.

Self Motivation

Most students have many other responsibilities, such as family and work, so a strong motivation to complete each course is essential.

Self Discipline

Online learning is very independent and flexible, which makes it easy to put off class work until the last minute. Procrastination can be a significant problem. Self-discipline is required to stay current on assignments and complete class work in a timely manner.


While there are opportunities to work with other students, the majority of class work will be completed independently. There usually is no face-to-face contact with faculty or other students, and when students have questions, they must take the initiative to communicate with their instructor.


Feedback may – or may not – be immediate in online learning. It takes time for instructors to respond to questions and grade assignments, so patience is required. On the other hand, online quizzes may grade automatically, notifying students of their scores and explaining the correct answers immediately after submitting.


Online courses require as much time as – and often more than – classroom courses. On average, an online course requires 6 to 10 hours per week. However, shorter (more intense) summer courses may require more.


Online learning provides students with the flexibility to create their own schedules. Course materials are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This allows students to tailor their schedules to their responsibilities and personality (i.e. late night vs. early morning person).


The MPH program works hard to support our public health students. Instructors want students to succeed and will work with them to ensure they do. Additionally, program staff are available to assist and offer advice, as needed.
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 02/27/2014