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Health, Behavior and 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 MHS 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 MHS program, and previous relevant experiences.

Are the GREs required?

HBS requires that all applicants to the MHS program, regardless of their academic or professional background, submit the scores from the GRE exam.

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 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 doctoral coursework and thesis research 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 masters students in good academic standing receive a 75 percent departmental scholarship during their field placement year. This scholarship is available for up to four 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 masters 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 MHS in Social Factors in Health is only offered on a full-time basis. Some courses may be taken online, but most courses require attendance at the East Baltimore campus.

What courses am I required to take?

MHS curriculum.

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

The MHS 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.

What will I need to do for my master's research paper?

The student will work in a mentored research activity for a minimum of 600 hours, most typically beginning in the summer after completing the first year of coursework, and concluding during the first and second terms of the second year.

The specific content of the paper is to be developed by the student in close consultation with the faculty advisor (and research project mentor, where these are not the same person). The research paper must 1) be based on original research, 2) address a public health problem with a social and behavioral focus, 3) represent original work conducted by the student in conjunction with the research advisor 4) include a rigorous and scientifically defensible analytic component, 5) be based on a conceptual model that relates the work to existing knowledge and 6) be acceptable to the Department of Health, Behavior and Society. It is possible, but not required, that the research be worthy of peer review publication.

Who can I contact for more information?

Program Directors

Academic Program Administrator