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Keyword: application requirements

example of officially sealed transcriptsWe’re fairly deep into the application season, but we’re still receiving questions regarding what we mean by “officialsupporting application materials.

We covered this in a post some time ago, but I think it’s worth discussing again.

The Bloomberg School requires all application materials to be official. A few of our programs will review applications with unofficial supporting materials. Most will not. Even if you’re able to submit unofficial documents for the admissions review, if you’re admitted, you will need to submit final official documents before you begin classes (there are detailed instructions on the Admitted Student Website – login and password required). Not submitting these final documents can affect your financial aid.

So, what do we mean by official?

Official means the document arrived, sealed by the issuing institution or person.

If a paper document, it should arrive in an envelope with the issuing institution/individual’s stamp or signature across the seal (see photo).

Some universities use secure electronic delivery systems (National Student Clearinghouse, E-Script, etc.) to submit transcripts. We consider these materials electronically sealed and they are official. If your institution uses a secure electronic delivery system, you may provide them with the following email:

We receive most test scores and credentials evaluations using a similar secure process initiated by the testing or evaluation agency.

Personal copies, even if they are your original documentation, are considered unofficial. An official copy you received and opened is considered unofficial. As are computer print-outs and documents sent as emailed attachments.

It can take extra time to order official documents and for them to arrive in our office or SOPHAS (make sure you know where to send!). It’s one of the many reasons we beg you to apply early!

Best wishes to you and your application!

QuestionIt’s the first “What You’re Asking” of 2015!

In this (mostly) monthly series, I scope out emails sent to and tally the most frequently asked questions. I then answer the most popular questions here on the blog.

Here are this month’s questions.

Have you received my test scores/transcripts/credentials evaluation?

In most cases, you can see whether we received your materials by logging back into your online application. I blogged about this last month in a post titled “Material Status.”

When will I learn if I’m granted admission?

The length of an admissions review varies based on your department, your program, the number of applications received, the time of year submitted, etc. Each of our academic departments and the MPH program office have their own admissions review committees. These committees meet at different times and with varying levels of frequency. 

It typically takes eight to ten weeks for a committee to reach an admissions decision, but in a few cases, it can take longer. 

Prospectus surveyHow can I let you know what I thought of the Academic Prospectus?

Funny you should ask!

In case you didn’t see my post last week, here is another plea.

Please help us better inform future prospective students. Let us know your thoughts on the Academic Prospectus.

We appreciate your feedback!

As always, best wishes to you and your application!

QuestionsIt’s the final “What You’re Asking” of 2014!

In this (mostly) monthly series, I scope out emails sent to and tally the most frequently asked questions. I then answer the most popular questions here on the blog.

This month’s questions are:

I completed my undergraduate degree in [choose a country outside the U.S.]. Do I need to submit those transcripts and if so, do they need to be evaluated?

Yes and yes.

The Bloomberg School requires official academic records, transcripts, or mark sheets from all colleges, universities, graduate, or professional schools attended. That includes the records from your undergraduate institution, even if you didn’t finish your degree.

In addition, regardless of your citizenship, language or home country, if you attended a college or university outside of the United States, you must have your academic records evaluated by an external U.S.-based credentials evaluation agency.

There are some exceptions for study abroad and English-speaking Canada, but you should carefully review our international applicant page for details in fulfilling this requirement.

I submitted my application, but my test scores may be late. Is that going to be a problem?

Your online application and supporting materials (official transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc.) must be submitted by the application deadline.  

Some of our programs (NOT ALL) are willing to review applications completed soon after the deadline.  However, once the deadline has passed, Admissions Services can no longer guarantee an admissions review.  Submitting materials after the deadline may also hurt your chances of funding through your program. 

You should contact your department of interest to discuss how any late materials might affect your application.

Lastly, remember: application deadlines vary. Know your program, its application, requirements and deadline.

Best wishes to you and your application!

piles of filesWith one application deadline behind us and many more in front, the most common question we’re receiving is:

Have you received my supporting materials?

Whether you applied to one of our departmental degree programs through the Bloomberg School Application or to the Schoolwide MPH through SOPHAS, the easiest way to answer this question is to log back into your online application.

Both application systems allow users to view whether transcripts, credentials evaluations, test scores, etc. have been received.

SOPHAS users can see the status of materials before they submit. Some materials, like alternate test scores (LSAT, GMAT, etc.) and other special documents, must be sent directly to our office. These materials will not appear in the SOPHAS. Please see our instructions for MPH applicants for more information on where to send supporting materials.

Bloomberg School Application users must submit their application and pay the application fee before their materials will be processed.

The matching of supporting materials to the Bloomberg School Application is a manual process conducted by our office.  It can take up to ten business days - especially if you submitted on or near a major application deadline – for your supporting materials to appear as received in your online file.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about the status of your materials, please feel free to contact us!

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).

Schoolwide MPH Applicants
If you’re applying to the Schoolwide MPH 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.