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Keyword: application requirements

It’s the time of year that applications and materials are arriving consistently. Here in Admission Services we take pride in working with you individually. We’re happy to answer your questions and there is one question that has been coming up a lot in the last few days.

We require all college transcripts when applying to our programs. If you are currently taking classes, we do need to see a current transcript from that institution even if you don’t have grades for the current semester. When you request your transcript be sent to us, the classes you’re currently taking will be notated as “In Progress.” That is perfectly fine and what we need to see.

As always, we’re here to help. Simply comment on a post, e-mail us at jhsph.admiss@jhu.edu, or call between 8am and 12pm at 410-955-3543 and we’ll answer your questions.

young man writing his personal statementI’ve mentioned before, public health admissions is based on fit. Test scores and grades are important, but so are effective writing skills, research interests, and future goals.

Where can you show off the last three?

Your Personal Statement

All Bloomberg School degree applicants are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application.

Departmental Master’s and Doctoral Applicants
If you’re applying to a departmental master’s or doctoral degree, upload your statement to the Bloomberg Application. The application will accept a number of file formats including .doc, .wpd, .pdf, and .txt.

There are no formal word-count or formatting requirements, but we encourage you to use a legible font (Arial, Helvetica, Times Roman, etc. at 11-12 pts) and double-space. Be concise – two to three pages (no more than three).


If you’re through SOPHAS, compose your statement in a text only processor (e.g. Notepad). When you have a final version, cut and paste your statement to SOPHAS. Additional instructions may be found within the application.

SOPHAS limits statements to 18,000 characters. We ask you to be more concise - two to three pages (no more than three).

What Should You Address?

Most of our departments do not conduct interviews, so your personal statement is your chance to tell your story.

Explain why the program you selected is a good fit and how the Bloomberg School will help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Don’t just list your experience and education – that’s what your resume and transcripts are for - but highlight those experiences (in the classroom and out) that made you passionate about public health.

Maybe most important: share your hopes and aspirations within the field. What are your goals? Where do you see this degree taking you?

Take your time, proof read and provide your reviewers an accurate picture of yourself and how you plan to Protect Health, Save Lives--Millions at a Time.

SleuthI love a good mystery. Sherlock Holmes, Maisie Dobbs, Hercule Poirot are all dear friends of mine.  They’re also my competitors, because my favorite thing about mysteries is trying to solve the puzzle before the hero (or heroine).

So imagine the pleasure I get by solving this mystery for you. . .

I submitted all the required materials. I see them applied to my online application. My application is under review, so why is it still “incomplete?”

This seemingly contradictory notation generally appears in applications of those currently completing coursework or a degree. Your school likely sent us an “in progress” transcript showing your coursework to date.

While this “in progress” transcript is typically sufficient for our admissions review, it will not fulfill the University’s final transcript requirement.  If you are admitted and before you begin classes at the School of Public Health, you will need to provide an official final transcript showing your newly completed courses and the grades you earned.

As long as the (letters of recommendation, test scores, transcripts, etc.) have been fulfilled and your application is under review, there is nothing more to do until you receive your decision.

One final, important note in the solving of this mystery: admitted students who do not provide final documentation may not be able to register for classes or receive federal funding.  

That sounds scary, but if you pay attention to communication from us, monitor your online application and follow this blog, it’s elementary!

answer sheetAs a follow-up to last week’s post on standardized test scores, we’d like to address another common question:

What is the average test score submitted by your applicants?

Admissions doesn’t have that figure.  Nor do we have a minimum score requirement. Let me explain why.

Test scores and other admissions statistics vary greatly by department, program, degree track and even admissions cycle.  With ten departments and nine degrees – all with widely varying numbers of applicants and available spots – it’s extremely difficult to provide a Schoolwide average.  Even if we performed arithmetic gymnastics to provide such a number, it may not accurately represent a competitive score for your specific program of interest.

The academic departments and Schoolwide MPH program have their own admissions review committees who consider (statement of purpose, resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation, test scores, etc.) during their review. They will be looking for candidates with strong quantitative abilities and a focused goal in public health.

For the best idea of what makes a competitive application to your particular program, we encourage you to contact that program directly. Email us for help locating an appropriate contact.

Best wishes to you and your application!

standardized testWe’ve addressed this topic before, but since it happens to be our most popular post, it’s worth repeating.

All our degree programs require the submission of a standardized test score as part of the application process.

The GRE general test is the most universally accepted, but some of our degree programs will accept scores of other tests.  For example, our Master of Health Administration (MHA) program will accept either GRE or GMAT scores.  Our Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) through the Department of International Health will accept either GRE or MCAT scores. Other programs may accept only the GRE.

It’s very important that you know your program and its .

There is one very specific exception to this rule. Our Master of Public Health (MPH) program – and only our Master of Public Health program – will review applications without standardized test scores for those applicants with a graduate degree beyond the baccalaureate.

HOWEVER, these applicants put themselves at a significant disadvantage if their admission materials don’t clearly demonstrate significant quantitative and analytical skills. This is particularly true for applicants with medical degrees earned outside of the U.S. Additionally, applicants who request to have their materials reviewed without standardized test scores will likely not be awarded a scholarship.

Questions?  Review our FAQ or email us at admiss@jhsph.edu!