Student in classFrequently at graduate fairs and information sessions, someone asks:

“What is the profile of your average student?”

We have trouble with this question for many reasons.

As hokey as it might sound coming from us, public health students are anything but average. They’re amazing people from a wide range of backgrounds. They’re epidemiologists, statisticians, physicians, microbiologists, lawyers, journalists, toxicologists, social workers, policymakers and so much more. Their interests and public health passions are as diverse as their backgrounds. So, it should come as no surprise that admissions statistics, like average GPA and test scores, vary widely between departments, degrees and from year to year.

Our department and program offices may be able to provide a clearer picture of what makes a competitive application to their particular program. I can only talk in general terms.

And what—in general terms—do our students have in common?

A strong desire to protect health, save lives—millions at a time.