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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!

Question markWelcome to the fourth installment of our monthly series: “What You’re Asking.”

Here’s how it works.  I scope out emails sent to admiss@jhsph.edu and tally the most frequently asked questions. I then choose three of the most common questions to answer in a blog post.

This month, the questions came from every direction. Some of you are submitting applications. Some are waiting for an admissions decision. Some have received a decision and are trying to decide what to do next.  And then there are some who have brought us full-circle and are investigating schools for the 2014-2015 Academic Year.

Here are your top three questions with my answers.

1. How do I apply to a degree program at the Bloomberg School?

One of our very first posts, describes this process in detail. You should also see “How to Apply” on the Admissions website. Our FAQs covers a lot of the nitty gritty and there’s a special page for international students outlining requirements specific to them.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us.

2. Can I apply for a program beginning fall 2013?

The majority of our application deadlines for fall 2013 have come and gone.  Most programs whose deadlines have past are no longer accepting applications.

There are a handful of programs with deadlines still to come and an even smaller handful of programs with extended deadlines.

Otherwise, the application for the 2014-2015 Academic Year will open September 1, 2013.

3. I majored in [English/rocket science/whatever-you’re-major-was], but am now passionate about public health. Will the Bloomberg School accept me?

We accept applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds: journalists, physicians, lawyers, mathematicians, social workers. It really depends on your program of interest, your experience and what you wish to accomplish.  

Generally, our departments like to see coursework in the sciences. Some have specific coursework requirements (we’re looking at you, MPH and MSPH/RD). Others not so much. Once you’ve narrowed your interests, you should contact the academic coordinator for your prospective department directly.

Best wishes and have a great weekend!

question markAs part of a monthly series, I once again kept a tally of questions directed to admiss@jhsph.edu. In this post, I’ll address the three most asked questions.

1.  I’m interested in a public health graduate degree. How do I learn more?

You’ve come to the right place!

The Bloomberg School offers nine public health graduate degrees from ten academic departments. These degrees include our Schoolwide Master of Public Health (MPH) as well as a plethora of degrees in everything from reproductive cancer biology to social factors in health to genetic epidemiology and human nutrition. There are over fifty degree tracks!   

We in admissions are happy to help you with general questions and the application process, but we encourage you to thoroughly review our website, narrow your interests and then contact the academic coordinator for the program that truly calls to you.  If you have trouble locating a contact, just let us know and we’ll help you out.

2.  What is the status of my application? Has a decision been made?

The quickest way to learn the status of your application is to log back in to your online account. Some of our programs will post their decisions within the application for you to see. Others will let you know a decision has been made and contact you by mail.

It typically takes eight to ten weeks from the time your application was completed (not submitted) for the admissions review committee to reach an admissions decision. 

If you have any questions about your decision or need a specific timeframe, you should contact your program directly.

For more information, see “Waiting” and “Our Process-Part 3: Under Review.”

3.  My application says I need to submit final transcripts. I thought I sent everything?

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

While your “in progress” transcript is usually 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 grades you earned. Admitted students who do not provide final documentation may not be able to register for classes or receive federal funding.

See the Admitted Student website or contact admissions if you have any questions.

Best wishes to you!

piles of filesLast month, I kept a tally of questions directed to admiss@jhsph.edu and wrote a post addressing the top five. It was a popular post and I hope that means it was helpful, especially because I plan to make it a monthly thing.

Five was a few too many, so I will address the three most asked questions of the past week.

1.  Have you received my materials?

Just as it was last month, this was by far the most asked question.

If your application is submitted, the easiest way for you to check your materials is to log back into your online application

If you JUST submitted, it may take up to ten days for us to match your materials to the online record.  We appreciate your patience.

If you have not yet submitted your application, your materials will be placed in a holding file. Remember, we don’t process supporting documents until your application is submitted and the application fee paid. This is yet another reason to submit early. If you wait until the last minute, there may not be time to resolve any potential issues.

For more information, see “Welcoming the Flood” and “Our Process – Part 2: What Happens When I Click Submit?”

2.  When will a decision be made on my application?

It typically takes eight to ten weeks for the admissions review committees  to reach an admissions decision. 

If you have any questions or need a more specific timeframe, you should contact your program directly.

For more information, see “Waiting” and “Our Process-Part 3: Under Review.”

3.  My application says I need to submit final transcripts. What does that mean?

Generally, this notation appears in the applications of those currently completing coursework or a degree. Your school likely sent us an “in progress” transcript, showing your coursework to date.

While your “in progress” transcript is usually 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 grades you earned. Admitted students who do not provide final documentation may not be able to register for classes or receive federal funding.

See the Admitted Student website or contact admissions if you have any questions.

Best wishes to you!
 

Woman with computerYou've had a lot of questions! We spent quite a bit of last week answering email inquiries and I kept a tally of the questions asked.

Below are the top five questions from the first week of the new year.  I’ll answer them briefly now, provide links to additional information, and address each one in detail later this month.

  1. Have you received my transcripts/test scores/letter of recommendations?

We’re happy to check, but if your application is submitted, you can monitor its status by logging into your online application.

Also see “Welcoming the Flood” and “Our Process – Part 2: What Happens When I Click Submit?”

  1. Will you waive my TOEFL/IELTS scores?

Admissions will waive the English language proficiency test score required of international applicants if:

1) you completed a four-year degree from an accredited U.S. institution

2) you’re from a country listed on the quick reference list.

  1. Attached (to my email) are my transcripts/test scores/letter of recommendations.  Please add them to them my application.

Emailed attachments are considered unofficial. Many of our programs will not review an application unless the supporting materials are official.

  1. Can I add a fourth recommendation provider?

Absolutely! Admissions staff can add them on the administrative end.

After entering your first three providers, email admissions your fourth provider’s name, contact information, whether you will be waiving the right to view the letter, and whether the provider will be submitting on or offline.

  1. I attended a school outside the U.S.  Do I really need to submit a credentials evaluation? Can’t you just review my official transcript?

Regardless of your citizenship, language or home country, if you attended a post-secondary institution physically located outside the United States, you must have your academic records evaluated by an NACES-approved credential evaluation agency.

An official transcript from an international institution will not suffice.

I hope this helps!