Skip Navigation


Admissions Blog

Keyword: application requirements

Keep CalmI remember applying to grad school and struggling with the personal statement. With the resume and transcript providing my educational and experiential history, I struggled with how to write about myself without repeating information that was already present in the application. Here are some framing tips that will hopefully help those of you experiencing the same thing.

The field of Public Health is aspirational. It’s not just about helping individuals, it’s about changing society to help millions. The Bloomberg School’s vision of “Protecting Health, Saving Lives—Millions at a Time” is exactly what the field asks of you. With that in mind, try answering these questions:

  • Where do you see yourself falling into that vision?
  • In a single, and very specific statement, can you express why you desire to work in public health?
  • What sparked your interest?
  • What continues to motivate you?
  • What excites you about the field?
  • Why did you chose the specific program you are applying to?
  • What will you do after coming to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health?
  • What will be your contribution to the field of Public Health?

Some other helpful tips:

  • Keep your personal statement 2-3 pages, double spaced (SOPHAS allows 18,000 characters for the Schoolwide MPH Application, however we ask you to be more concise.)
  • We encourage using legible size font such as 11-12pt
  • Most departments don’t conduct interviews, so share with the faculty what you’d want them to know after an interview.
  • Proof read! Proof read! Proof read!

Happy writing, and don’t forget to ask us if you have further questions!

LetterThe last few weeks there have been a lot of questions on the road and in the office about recommendation letters. I thought it was time to hand out some recommendations about, well, recommendations.

  1. All programs require three letters of recommendation, with the exception of the Graduate Training Programs in Clinical Investigation, which only require two.
  2. Admissions Services recommends (I just can’t help myself) that you provide both professional and academic letters.
    1. For our Schoolwide MPH program, the recommenders will submit the letters through the SOPHAS application. Please carefully follow the instructions listed in SOPHAS.
    2. For all other programs, it is preferred that recommenders submit through the Bloomberg Application. Please follow the directions given in the application. However, if your recommender submits via paper, they should sign along the seal of the envelope and send it to Admissions Services.
  3. When filling out your application, you will need to enter the recommenders’ name, contact information, and whether you will be waiving the right to view the letter.
  4. Request recommendations early so that they arrive before the deadline.

If you have more specific questions regarding the recommendations letters, we recommend contacting the department to which you are applying as different degrees and departments vary.

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, or call between 8am and 12pm at 410-955-3543 and we’ll answer your questions.

taking a standardized testOne of the most common questions we receive is:

What is the average GRE score of your applicants?

This is followed closely by questions surrounding grade point averages, acceptance rates, etc.

Like the question about our average student, these are surprisingly difficult questions to answer. Admissions statistics vary greatly by department, program and sometimes even concentration or track. Public health draws individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and levels of experience. The number of applicants and number of available slots varies year to year. Test structures and evaluation procedures also change.

For all the reasons above, our office does not collect statistics for individual programs or for the School as a whole.

From our perspective, all components of the application (resume, personal statement, letters of recommendation, transcripts, test scores, etc.) are equally considered in the admission review. There are no minimums or cut-offs.

That’s not to say you should submit less than your best. Our programs are competitive (though how competitive also varies greatly!).

Each of our academic departments and the MBE and MPH program offices have their own admissions review committee(s).  You may wish to contact the appropriate academic coordinator for a better idea of what makes a competitive application to your specific program. Contact information for coordinators is typically listed on the program’s website or you may contact us for additional help.

Viewing the ComputerAre you anxious to apply to a program beginning summer or fall of 2016?

Get ready! The 2016-2017 application opens next week!

We posted updated charts of program-specific application requirements and deadlines. There were some changes from previous years, so pay close attention.

Know Your Program!

We can’t say it enough.

Application requirements and deadlines – even the application itself (!) – vary by department, degree and sometimes degree track. Make sure to do your research, know the program you’re applying to, its application, requirements and deadlines.

Best wishes to you and your application!