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Health, Behavior & Society

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the criteria for admissions?

Prospective applicants can find more information about how to apply here.

What is the admissions review process?

Once your application packet is deemed complete by the Bloomberg School’s Office of Admissions, your application is sent to the MSPH program faculty who review your application. Faculty look for solid academic performance and letters of recommendation, a strong link between the applicant’s stated career goals and mission of the MSPH program, and previous work or volunteer experience. Applicants are highly encouraged to participate in one of the visitor days organized by the Bloomberg School. In-person interviews are welcome but not necessary for admission to the program.

Are the GREs required?

HBS requires that all applicants to the MSPH program, regardless of their academic or professional background, submit the scores from the GRE exam. We do not require scores from any of the specialized exams.

Are there any substitutions for the GRE scores?

All applicants must submit GRE scores. The program will not accept the MCAT or the LSAT as substitutes for the GRE.

My GRE scores are more than five years old. Will you accept them?

The policy of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) is to maintain GRE scores for a five-year period only. After the five years, the scores are purged from the ETS computer system. If you have a copy of your original test scores, the Department may consider that in lieu of the report from ETS. However, more recent GRE scores are preferred.

Is there a minimum GRE or GMAT score to qualify for admission?

There is no minimum score. We look very closely at test scores because we have found that to some degree, successful completion of the coursework is highly predicted by strong scores on these tests. However, this is only one of several criteria that determine acceptance into the master's program. We also look closely at transcripts to ensure that applicants’ skills meet the demands of the program.

What is available by way of financial aid or departmental scholarship?

The Department is committed to seeking opportunities that will allow it to provide financial support to its students. All master's students in good academic standing receive a 75 percent departmental scholarship during their field placement year. This scholarship is available for up to 4 terms as long as the student is completing his or her field placement and/or final report. Students interested in financial aid should contact the Bloomberg School's Office of Student Financial Services at 410-955-3004.

What types of certificate programs are available to students?

HBS master's students may pursue any of the certificate programs offered in the Bloomberg School. For more information about certificate programs, please visit certificates.

Can I complete the master's program on a part-time basis or via the Web?

The MSPH program is available for part-time study. Candidates for the part-time program complete the Bloomberg School's application and indicate part-time status. These applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Part time students have three years to complete the required curriculum AND complete the necessary electives to reach 64 credits. Field placement requirements are the same as for full time students. Part-time students should plan their coursework carefully to avoid scheduling issues that may delay their completion. While students are allowed to take courses via the Web, not all program requirements can be completed via the Web.

What courses am I required to take?

MSPH curriculum.

How many electives can I take and how should I use them?

The MSPH program allows students considerable flexibility to create a program of study that meets their unique career goals. Students are encouraged to plan their electives with their faculty advisors. Electives can be used to grow areas of strength or to address deficiencies in a student’s portfolio of experiences and competencies. Electives may be selected from graduate-level courses throughout the School or University.

Where do students find field placements?

Field placement settings mirror those settings where our graduates find exciting and rewarding positions upon completion of the program and include: social marketing and health communication firms; voluntary health associations; private, for-profit, and non-profit settings such as hospitals, businesses, and agencies; and federal, state, and local government agencies.

State-specific Information for Online and Externship Programs:
Students in the MSPH program currently cannot conduct field placements in Kentucky. For more information, please contact an admissions representative. Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.

Can I become a Certified Health Education Specialist while completing this degree?

The MSPH coursework meets the eligibility criteria that allow our students to sit for the national exam coordinated by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. For more details about the CHES exam, please visit the NCHEC.

Who can I contact for more information? 

Program Director
Eileen McDonald
emcdona1@jhu.edu

Academic Program Administrator 
Barbara Diehl
bdiehl1@jhu.edu