According to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), there are 60,000 students attending the nation’s MPH degree programs. Most online institutions use the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS). It allows prospective students to apply to multiple universities at the same time. Approximately 13,000 students were accepted into programs via SOPHAS in 2017.
The first step is to register for a SOPHAS account. The initial university application by SOPHAS costs $135 and $50 per additional school. Here is the SOPHAS suggested schedule for applying to schools offering an epidemiology degree online:
- Begin the SOPHAS application at least three months prior to the school’s deadline
- Request for official college transcripts be sent to SOPHAS at least eight weeks prior to the school’s deadline
- Submit transcripts, graduate test scores, entry essays, and letters of recommendation to SOPHAS at least four weeks prior to school deadlines
- Complete and submit your online SOPHAS application at least three weeks prior to deadlines.
The fees paid for the SOPHAS application are for the submission of your
application materials. Students should
contact each prospective program to find out if there are additional fees. Some offer tuition waivers based on need.
Individual universities establish their own requirements for
accepting students into the program.
These may include two or three letters of recommendation, the submission
of an essay on your education and career goals.
They usually favor an undergraduate degree in the fields of mathematics,
health, or sciences, with a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Prerequisites may include college undergraduate credits in anatomy,
algebra, physiology, microbiology, and biology. Students who do not meet the prerequisites can
complete them in summer session preceding or during their first graduate semester. Check with your prospective programs. Some master’s in epidemiology online schools require
no prerequisites beyond completion of a baccalaureate degree and submission of
transcripts and test scores.