Question markWelcome to another edition of our monthly series, “What You’re Asking.”

Just to recap, here’s how it works: I scope out emails sent to admiss@jhsph.edu and tally the most frequently asked questions. I choose the most common questions to answer in a blog post.

This month, there was a stand-out question I’ve decided to address in detail.

Are GRE scores required when applying to the Master of Public Health (MPH) program?

Before I answer that, it's important to talk about:

What’s in a degree name? Would an MPH by any other name smell as sweet?

Many times, in the midst of answering an inquiry, we realize the prospective student is confused about the name of the degree they're inquiring about.

The Bloomberg School offers a Schoolwide MPH, plus eight degrees from ten academic departments. The alphabet soup of master’s degrees (MPH, MHA, MHS, MSPH, MPP, ScM) can be confusing and different degrees mean different things at different schools. So, we have a few recommendations. Do your research. Compare curriculum. Look at faculty research. Talk to the program coordinator. Make sure you have a program that fits your interests and career goals.

Now we can talk GRE.

ALL our degree programs require applicants to submit standardized test scores as part of the application process. The GRE is the most universally accepted, but some of our programs are willing to accept a few other common standardized test scores (GMAT or MCAT for example). Application requirements vary by department, degree and even degree track. So first, know your program. Second, know your program’s requirements!

The MPH program will accept the GRE, GMAT, MCAT or LSAT to fulfill the standardized test score requirement. The MPH program is the only one of our programs willing to review applications without standardized test scores IF you have an advanced degree (master’s or doctoral) beyond the baccalaureate.

It’s important to note, if you submit an MPH application without test scores, you may put yourself at a significant disadvantage if the rest of your admission materials don’t clearly demonstrate significant quantitative and analytical skills. This is particularly true if your advanced degree is a medical degree earned outside of the U.S. You should also know, applicants who request to have their materials reviewed without standardized test scores will likely not be awarded a scholarship.

I hope this answers your GRE questions, but if it hasn't, please email us and we'll be happy to talk more!