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Keyword: personal statement

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!

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.

question markDo you have a question about our application process/requirements/
deadlines/etc?

Do you need an answer now?

Perhaps the following questions and answers using past posts will help.

How do I apply to the Bloomberg School?

Do I really need to submit a standardized test score?

Will you waive your TOEFL requirement for me?

Who should provide my letters of recommendation and how should they do it?

Can you provide any guidance regarding the personal statement?

I previously applied to the Bloomberg School. How do I apply again?

What is the status of my submitted materials?

Is it John or Johns Hopkins?

Student writingThe personal statement is one of the most important components of your application. Many of our departments do not incorporate any type of interview in their decision making process, so your personal statement is your chance to tell YOUR unique story. 

A few dos and don’ts

DO
Explain why you chose the program you’re applying to. The Bloomberg School offers nine degrees from ten academic departments, as well as fellowships, certificates and institute classes. You should explain why you think the specific program you selected is a good fit and how the Bloomberg School will advance and help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

DO
Discuss how your professional background/research/academic training relates to your public health goals. Address the evolution of your interest in public health and your hopes and aspirations within the field.     

DON’T
Simply list your experience. Keep in mind that your application is reviewed holistically, so the committee can see where you went to school and what jobs you’ve held by your transcripts and resume. Tell them how your experience has made you passionate about public health.

Practical matters

Keep your statement to less than three pages and make sure your name is at the top of each page.

Beyond that, we don’t have any formatting requirements. Use your best judgment. Maybe consider using an easy to read font sized between 10 and 12 pts. Also think about double-spacing your statement.

THINK CLEAR AND CONCISE.  Your reviewers will enjoy reading focused and legible statements.