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Arnold School of Public Health


SOPHAS: Schools of Public Health Application Service

Applications for a number of our graduate programs must be submitted through SOPHAS, the online centralized application service for schools of public health. In addition to the application, there are common admission requirements and certain degrees have additional requirements that must be met.

Application Requirements

  • A completed application to SOPHAS
  • A four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent (for a doctoral degree - an earned master's degree is typically required)
  • Official transcripts from all schools or colleges previously attended. This includes but is not limited to: schools which granted you credit while you were a high school student, schools whose credits transferred to your main university, doctorate classes, summer classes, community college classes, technical/vocational classes, massage and/or alternative medicine classes, etc. If you attended multiple campuses within the same college or college system, you must report each campus where you received credit, even if you did not physically attend that campus. If you attended schools within a college consortium, you must report each of these schools separately. You are required to provide transcripts for EACH of these institutions.
  • Grade point average of 3.00/4.00 or higher
  • Satisfactory GRE scores (50th percentile or above). The General Public Health MPH will also accept MCAT scores. Health Services Policy and Management will also accept GMAT scores. For detailed instructions on how to submit your scores, read our admissions tests & transcripts information. 
  • At least three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources (Health Services Policy and Management MPH and MHA programs only require two letters)
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of purpose and objectives describing your academic and research interests, relevant work experiences, academic/professional goals and objectives
  • For international applicants, a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - minimum score of 80 internet-based, 230 computer-based, or 570 paper-based - or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Course Type 2 exam - minimum overall band score of 6.5. Non-US institution transcripts must be verified by World Education Services (WES) or equivalent evaluation service. WES is an organization that provides international credential evaluation and checks documents for validity and accuracy. WES also offers analysis of an individual's degrees and transcripts and will provide equivalents for each credential. Please submit a comprehensive course-by-course evaluation (WES ICAP). For more information contact WES at their site or 212-219-7330.

 

Additional Requirements by Degree

Biostatistics

Biostatistics MPH: Preference for admission is given to applicants with breadth and depth of academic preparation in the biological and health sciences. Applicants must have at least one year of full-time post-baccalaureate work experience in the field of public health or another health-related field. The following two groups of applicants will be considered for this program: graduates of approved schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, veterinary medicine or pharmacy; and individuals who have at least a baccalaureate degree in such fields as medical technology, engineering or one of the sciences, and have appropriate experience or previous training in the field of public health.

Biostatistics MSPH: Applicants to the program must have a baccalaureate degree in arts, sciences or medicine. Prior professional work experience is considered an asset but is not a requirement.

Biostatistics DrPH: Applicants to the program must have a master's degree in the appropriate major area (Epidemiology) or (Biostatistics or Statistics) from an approved school of public health. Applicants with a master's degree in another area may be admitted with additional coursework, as determined by the department faculty. Prior professional work experience is considered an asset but is not a requirement. This degree is not intended for those who plan to have an academic career in Biostatistics, for which the Ph.D. would be the more appropriate degree but rather for the student who intends to continue research and/or administration in the application area.

Biostatistics Ph.D.: Applicants must have a master’s degree in public health from an approved school of public health or an equivalent advanced professional degree. Applicants must have at least three years of post-baccalaureate work experience in the field of public health or another health‑related field is highly recommended, but not required.

Environmental Health Sciences

Environmental Health Sciences Ph.D.: Applicants must have a master's degree in appropriate field or equivalent advanced professional degree and/or experience if applying to the Ph.D. program. A faculty member from ENHS must agree to serve as your advisor before you can be accepted into the doctoral (Ph.D.) program. It is up to you to identify a faculty member who will be willing to serve as your advisor. You can view faculty member profiles using the faculty and staff directory. IT IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED THAT YOU communicate with the faculty in your area(s) of interest before you apply, so that you can focus your statement of purpose.

Epidemiology

Epidemiology MPH: Preference for admission is given to applicants with breadth and depth of academic preparation in the biological and health sciences. Applicants who will be considered for this program are graduates of approved schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, veterinary medicine or pharmacy. MCAT scores are not accepted in lieu of GRE scores.

Epidemiology MSPH: Applicants to the program must have a baccalaureate degree in arts, science, or medicine. Prior professional work experience is considered an asset, but is not a requirement. MCAT scores are not accepted in lieu of GRE scores.

Epidemiology Ph.D.: Applicants must have a master’s degree in public health, preferably in epidemiology, from an approved school of public health or an equivalent advanced professional degree. Three years of post-baccalaureate work experience in the field of public health or another health‑related field is highly recommended but not required. You must communicate with the faculty in your area(s) of interest BEFORE you apply, so you can focus your statement of purpose. You can obtain a list of our faculty from the faculty and staff directory. In your statement of purpose, please indicate to which faculty member you have spoken. If you are applying for the Behavioral-Biomedical Interface Program (BBIP), please apply using the Priority deadline. A supplemental application [pdf] is required. More information about the BBIP traineeship can be found on their site. All applicants who meet the Priority deadline will be considered for the USC Presidential Fellowship.

Epidemiology/Environmental Health Sciences Dual Ph.D.:  Applicants must have a master's degree in appropriate field or equivalent advanced professional degree and/or experience. Masters degree in epidemiology and/or environmental health sciences preferred. A faculty member from EPID and ENHS must agree to serve as your co-advisor before you can be accepted into the dual doctoral (Ph.D.) degree program in EPID/ENHS. It is up to you to identify faculty members who will be willing to serve as your advisors. You can obtain a list of our faculty from the faculty and staff directory. It is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED that you communicate with the faculty in your area(s) of interest BEFORE YOU APPLY, so that you can focus your statement of purpose.             

General Public Health

General MPH: The Master of Public Health (MPH) in General Public Health is designed for students who have an advanced degree in a health profession (e.g., Doctor of Medicine, PharmD, or M.B.B.S.) and substantive post-baccalaureate experience in clinical or public health settings.

Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior

Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior MSPH: Potential applicants are required to contact faculty members in their area of interest prior to applying. MSPH applicants should be supported by at least two HPEB faculty members willing to serve as mentors in order to be admitted into the program. You can obtain a list of our faculty from the faculty and staff directory.

Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior DrPH and Ph.D.: We require that potential applicants contact faculty members in their area of interest prior to applying. Doctoral applicants should be supported by at least two HPEB faculty members willing to serve as mentors in order to be admitted into the program. You can obtain a list of our faculty from the faculty and staff directory.

Health Services Policy and Management

 Requirements for Ph.D.:

  • Students should have a master’s degree in health administration, business administration, public health, public administration or a health-sciences related degree. Exceptions to this list will be considered by petition to the faculty. Previous graduate-level course work should include health finance, statistics, organizational behavior, health economics and epidemiology, or the student will have to make up deficiencies. Applicants with three or more deficiency areas may be given a conditional admission, contingent upon making up the deficiencies. Courses taken to make up deficiencies do not count toward the degree program. A strong student may be admitted with only a bachelor’s degree but will be required to complete all requirements for the MPH degree before beginning the doctoral program.

  • An applicant must have earned a 3.00 grade point average (based on a 4.00 scale) in previous graduate course work.

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores must be submitted (GMAT may be substituted).

  • For all international applicants, satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Course Type 2 Exam and non-US institution transcripts verified by World Education Services (WES) or equivalent evaluation service.

  • Three letters of recommendation must be submitted from persons who can reflect upon the applicant’s prior academic and professional performance.

  • The applicant must provide a career goal statement and a current curriculum vita with the application.

  • Applicants for the DrPH degree must have worked as a mid-level manager in a health services organization or agency for at least four years. 

  • An interview with the departmental faculty is highly recommended.

Requirements for Master's Degrees:

  • A report of scores achieved on the verbal and quantitative sections for the Graduate Record Exam (GMAT may be substituted for the GRE in both MHA and MPH Programs).

  • Official transcripts from each school or college previously attended (All prior academic study must be covered).

  • Resume.

  • Two letters of recommendation.

  • A statement of professional goals and prior work experience, if any, not exceeding three pages.

  • For all international applicants: satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Course Type 2 Exam and non-US institution transcripts verified by World Education Services (WES) or equivalent evaluation service.