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International Health

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Department's Admissions Requirements?

How do I apply?

The School's Application Instructions are available here.

What are the deadlines to apply for an MSPH and PhD in the Department of International Health?

Doctoral program: December 15
MSPH programs, except for the Registered Dietician program: March 1, 2016
MSPH, Registered Dietician program: January 5
MHS: April 30, 2016

What kind of recommendations should I use when applying?

What is the funding for doctoral degree students?

Most doctoral students will receive a full tuition scholarship for their first year, followed by a scholarship of 50% of tuition for four years. Doctoral students must be registered full time and be in good academic standing every term to receive this funding.

What is the funding for master's degree students?

The Department awards a limited number of full-tuition scholarships to incoming master's students each year in a competitive process. During the second year, after completing a minimum of 64 course credits and during the internship stage of the program, the Department automatically provides a 75% scholarship to all master's students; students are responsible for the remaining 25% of the tuition. Research and teaching assistantships may be available that can support students in selected areas. Financial support for internships varies depending on the sponsoring organization. 

What is the difference between the Master of Health Science (MSPH) and Master of Public Health (MPH) programs?

The MSPH is a department-based degree program designed for students who are looking to begin a career in public health. It provides a foundation in core public health disciplines while allowing students to develop more specialized skills in a particular area of interest. The MSPH includes an internship requirement of a minimum of four months.

The MPH is a schoolwide degree program designed to provide students with broad-based education in the areas of population health and disease, as well as training to work with a variety of public health issues. Applicants must have a minimum two years of experience in the health field prior to applying.

The two degrees are equivalent in terms of their level of recognition and respect in the field of public health.

What is the difference between a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)?

The PhD prepares students to become independent investigators in academic and non-academic research institutions, and emphasizes contributions to theory and basic science. Applicants must apply to one of the Department's four program areas.

The DrPH degree is no longer being offered through the Department of International Health. It is being redesigned and will be offered as a schoolwide degree for a start date of June 2017. For more information, please read about changes to the DrPH program here. The DrPH is designed for students with experience in the practice of public health who have already earned their MPH or an equivalent degree and want to further prepare themselves for leadership positions at federal agencies, state and local health departments, nongovernmental organizations, universities, and health care institutions. 

What are the typical GRE and GPA scores for students admitted into the Department?

In general, GRE scores for most students admitted average the 75 percentile in all three areas, with the average somewhat lower for MSPH students and higher for PhD and DrPH students. Undergraduate GPAs average 3.25 for MSPH students, and graduate GPAs average 3.50 for PhD and DrPH students.

It should be noted that no one factor dominates the admissions decision. Factors examined include previous grades, types of courses taken, GRE scores, the personal statement, three letters of recommendation, the match to track and faculty interests, and experience. Experience in international developing countries is viewed favorably, especially for admission to the PhD program.

Do you accept MCAT scores in place of GRE scores?

No, all doctoral and master's applicants must submit GRE scores.

What are the application requirements for international students?

Visit the International Applicant Information website for details. Application requirements for the Department are also posted. Experience in international developing countries is viewed favorably, especially for admission to the PhD program.

If I am a foreign, non-native English speaking student who graduated from a college in the United States, do I still need to submit a TOEFL score?

If you received a degree from an English-speaking university, you can request a TOEFL score waiver from the Academic Administrator by email. We will review your degree and university to determine whether you will need to submit a TOEFL score.

Can I visit the campus?

Applicants are welcome to visit the campus to meet the faculty and attend classes. To learn more about school-organized Visitors' Days, the Fall Open House, and guided tours, visit the Admissions Office website. You may also schedule a visit with the Department by contacting the Academic Program Manager.

Can I complete the MSPH , PhD, or DrPH programs online or on a part-time basis?

The Department does not offer these options for any degree programs. While some courses are available through the Web, the programs require that students be enrolled full-time and be in residence. However, the MPH program offers part-time/Internet-based options.

Can I enroll in the Winter or Summer Institutes as a full-time student?

You can enroll in these Institutes but you will have to pay additional tuition for each course. Your regular year tuition does not cover the cost of courses in these Institutes.

Am I eligible for the training grant in International Maternal and Child Health? How do I apply for this?

Only PhD students who are U.S. citizens or green card holders are eligible for this training grant. Incoming PhD students, as well as students already enrolled, are eligible. There is no application process. All students expressing an interest in international maternal and child health in their goals essay in their admissions application, or current students whose thesis proposal addresses this topic, are eligible for consideration. A committee of faculty meet in the early spring to review applications to the PhD program and current students for consideration. Decisions are made on the basis of prior academic performance, interest in the topic, and likelihood of having a career in research upon graduation. Special consideration is given to minority students underrepresented in science/health research.