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Admissions Blog

Date: Oct 2018

The most common source of problems in an applicant’s application process involves the Academic History section of the SOPHAS application. Once the entry process is completed, applicants view this portion of the application as complete. However, how the information is entered has a large impact on processing the application.

Any college courses taken in the United States or English-Speaking Canada must be entered in SOPHAS’s Academic History and match the corresponding official transcripts. If there are discrepancies, SOPHAS will not be able to verify the application. Here are some tips to avoid any problems when entering your transcript information:

  1. Even if a transfer credit appears on another transcript, it is important to list it separately in the academic history and send a transcript from the school that issued the credit.
  2. Dual enrollment classes in high school are often forgotten in the academic history. These must also be listed and require an official transcript from the issuing credit institution.
  3. When entering the course information, be sure to pay careful attention to course codes, titles and credits, as well as transcript documentation of credits issued for AP and IB test scores . It is helpful to have a copy of your transcript in front of you while completing this section.
  4. Give yourself plenty of time to enter your transcript information to prevent mistakes.

SOPHAS offers Professional Transcript Entry to assist students in this process. However, if you wish to use this service, make sure you have enough time prior to the deadline for the service to complete. Professional Transcript Entry cannot begin until all transcripts have been received by SOPHAS, and once they do, the service can take at least 10 business days. Applicants must then verify and approve the entered courses. Only after this approval will the application enter the queue for verification, which can take six weeks.

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Admissions Services via e-mail or phone at 410-955-3543.

Sea TurtleAs a child I visited the National Aquarium and the Inner Harbor multiple times and always felt I’d entered a magical world. I could really imagine the world of Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. However, since moving to Baltimore three years ago, I had not returned because in my mind there were still Baltimore attractions I hadn’t yet seen. How wrong I was!

When my brother came to visit me this summer, we spent a Saturday morning exploring the aquarium and discovered many exhibits had changed in the last 20 years. A favorite of ours, and all the children there that day, was a massive tank near the aquarium entrance that features a large, rescued sea turtle with three fins named Calypso as well as many sharks and tropical fish. Instead of watching them at eye level, you lean on the railing of an open pool and watch them swim below. With so many sea animals, feeding time is often and exciting to watch as they devour heads of lettuce and other delectable sea creature delights.Clownfish

As visitors explore the exhibits winding up the four-story aquarium, many interactive exhibits created for children still enticed me as an adult, although children were not looking for the guppy Flounder (Ariel’s best friend from the Little Mermaid), but Nemo and Dory from Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo. Once visitors reach the fourth floor, they begin the decent along a winding ramp that lets them explore the sea life at different elevations of the ocean. The ramp ends with shark alley, where visitors can come face to face with several shark species.

JellyfishPart of the National Aquarium’s work is spent conducting conservation efforts and educating their visitors on threats to marine life. The current conservation exhibit is on the role of jelly fish due to their multiplying numbers and the history of the different types of jelly fish’s movements in the ocean.

All in all, as an adult or child, the National Aquarium is a wonderful place to spend a morning or afternoon.

Last week, Good Morning America, a national morning show, highlighted the 10 finalists for Reader’s Digest’s annual Nicest Places in America contest. Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library was on the list. Like many modern libraries, the Enoch Pratt Free Library provides more than books and story time. With twenty-seven branches throughout Baltimore’s many neighborhoods, the library serves as a community center offering tutoring and family programs. However, the Enoch Pratt Free Library reaches further by serving the needs that are being missed in the community. A full-time social worker is at the library to help or assist anyone, and more recently a lawyer has been added to the staff.

Despite the large number of branches, the Enoch Pratt Free Library wants to reach those who cannot make it to the library. The Mobile Job Center brings a mobile librarian to neighborhoods with over 50% unemployment rate to help anyone create a resume, write a cover letter, apply to jobs and more. In addition, the bookmobile travels to schools and community centers to provide closer access to books.

The GMA feature below highlights the stories of how the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s services are creating change in Baltimore, one person and community at a time.


Most prospective graduate students in public health begin their program search with the Master of Public Health (MPH) in mind. As a professional degree, it is common to find that schools, including the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, require post baccalaureate experience for the MPH. At the Bloomberg School, some additional masters’ degrees are intended for students with a previous master’s or doctoral degrees. However, this does not mean a new or soon-to-be college graduate cannot apply for a graduate public health degree at JHSPH.

The majority of JHSPH’s degrees don’t have any restrictions that would prevent a new or soon-to-be college graduate from being considered for one of the graduate public health degree programs. To help show the options, below are lists of degrees that accept and recruit students straight from their undergraduate degree.

Schoolwide or Interdepartmental Degrees

Master of Arts in Public Health Biology
Master of Bioethics

Departmental Degrees

Master's Degree


Master of Health Administration (MHA)

Health Policy and Management

Master of Health Science (MHS)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Environmental Health and Engineering
Health, Behavior and Society (degree in Social Factors in Health)
Health Policy and Management (degree in Health Economics and Outcomes Research)
International Health (degree in Global Health Economics)
Mental Health
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Population, Family and Reproductive Health (degree in Demography)

Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)

Environmental Health and Engineering
Health, Behavior and Society
(degree in Health Education and Health Communication)
Health Policy and Management
International Health
Population, Family and Reproductive Health

Master of Science (ScM)


Health, Behavior and Society (degree in Genetic Counseling)
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

For doctoral degrees, some departments look for master’s degrees and/or work experience, while others do not. If you are an applicant hoping to go directly from an undergraduate degree to a PhD program, Admissions Services encourages you to contact your department of interest.

Two weeks ago, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth published a study that looked at violent crimes in relation to alcohol outlets in Baltimore. While previous research studies have looked at the correlation between crime and alcohol access, there is disagreement on whether or not on-premise (such as a bar or restraint) and off-premise (stores that sell alcohol but do not allow for consumption on the property) outlets have a stronger association with violent crime. This study used advanced methods and considered the number of alcohol outlets and the location of the outlets to better understand the association with violent crime.

The study, led by former post-doctoral fellow Pamela Tragnestein, PhD, found that a 10 percent increase in access to liquor stores and beer and wine stores had a 37 percent greater association with violent crime than on-premise outlets. They also found the type of violent crime was different for on-premise outlets than the off-premise outlets. The third important finding was that disadvantaged neighborhoods have a higher access to off-premise outlets.

The study, Outlet Type, Access to Alcohol, and Violent Crime, was published on September 26 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.