Public Health

Prerequisites

Application Process Timeline

Admission Exam- GRE

Additional Requirements

Overview of MPH Programs

Important Websites

Prerequisites

Prerequisites vary significantly for MPH programs.  If the concentration you want is largely science based, then the program will most likely require biological science courses.  If the concentration you want isn't science-based. then the program will most likely require social science and humanities courses.  It is crucial that you check the prerequisites for each program concentration, at each school.  For a list of accredited programs click here.

Back to Top

Application Process Timeline:

  1. SOPHAS 
    • The Schools of Public Health Application Service is the centralized application service utilized by many public health programs. 
    • As admission requirements and specialty areas differ from school to program, it is important to thoroughly research the options available. While each school determines its own admissions criteria, requirements usually include submission of academic transcripts, letters of reference, GRE general test scores, and a personal statement addressing the candidate’s reasons for seeking entrance to a program of study in public health. 
    • Since interviews are not usually part of the admissions process, it is important that an applicant’s personal statement, recommendation letters, and experiences reflect the skills that are important in the practice of public health. 
  2. The application cycle for public health programs varies significantly for each school. Check each schools websites or contact their admissions department to learn more about their application timeline. 
  3. Research each program you wish to apply to before submitting your application. 
    • Admission requirements 
    • Prerequisite coursework 
    • Deadlines 
    • Amount and preferences for letters of recommendations 
  4. Consider these factors when deciding upon where to apply: 
    • Degree options 
    • Concentrations available 
    • Location 
    • Cost 
    • Size 
    • Licensure exam passage rates 
    • Faculty interests and reputation 
    • Job placement history of program graduates. 
    • Talk with recent public health graduates, as well as ask public health employers about various programs’ strengths and weaknesses.

Back to Top

Admission Exam:

  1. Overview of Graduate Record Exam (GRE):
    • Most U.S. Master in Public Health schools and programs require applicants to submit GRE (general) exam scores. 
    • Approximately a 4 hour standardized multiple-choice computerized-based exam. 
    • Scores are usually available 10-15 days after completion of the exam. 
    • No GRE scores older than five years will be accepted. 
    • Sections
      • Verbal Reasoning - Measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words and concepts. 
      • Quantitative Reasoning - Measures problem-solving ability, focusing on basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis. 
      • Analytical Writing - Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively. 
    • Score:
      • The Verbal and Quantitative reasoning sections are out of 800 points, for a maximum score of 1600. 
      • The Analytical writing section is out of 6.0 
      • The maximum score is a 1600 with a 6.0 AWA. 
  2. When should students take the GRE?:
    • You should take the GRE well in advance of applying to MPH school/programs but definitely at least one year prior to your intended start date. 
    • Students should take the GRE when they can do their best. 
      • If they can be preparing for the GRE and be taking courses, and do well in both, then they should do that. 
      • If the student will compromise their grades and/or score by doing both at the same time, the student should prepare for the GRE during the summer or after they have graduated. 
  3. Dates for exam:
    • Offered daily

Back to Top

Additional Requirements:

  • None 

Back to Top

Overview of Public Health Programs:

  1. Overview: 
    • Schools of public health offer a variety of degrees, which generally fall into two categories: professional or academic. The two major postgraduate professional degrees are the Master of Public Health (MPH) or the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH). Doctoral studies in this field include Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in a sub-specialty of greater Public Health disciplines. DrPH is regarded as a professional leadership degree and PhD is more an academic degree. 
      • MPH degree focuses on public health practice, as opposed to research or teaching. 
    • Public Health programs last 2 academic years. 
    • There are 40 accredited Public Health Schools in the United States, and 4 in California 
      • UC Berkeley, SDSU, Loma Linda, and UCLA. 
    • There are many more public health programs at universities around the country, including California programs at UC Davis, USC, San Jose State, and Cal State Fresno. 
  2. Education:
    • The typical MPH degree is designed to expose candidates to 10 core areas of public health: 
      • Biostatistics
      • Epidemiology
      • Health Services Administration
      • Health Education 
      • Behavioral Science 
      • Environmental Health 
      • Maternal and child health 
      • Public health nutrition 
      • Public health practice 
      • Public health administration and policy 
      • In addition to these core areas, MPH degrees may also intersect with fields such as urban planning, policy, advocacy, community organizing, communications, integrated health, social work and social sustainability. 

Back to Top

Important Websites:

Back to Top