Sattha Riyapan and Austin Cohrs, both alumni of the Master of Public Health program in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, discuss a poster being presented. The two men are at left in the photo, pointing toward a large research poster.

Master of Public Health (MPH)

How Do I Apply to the MPH Program?

Penn State College of Medicine’s MPH Program uses Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) and is subject to the requirements of Penn State's Graduate School.

Before beginning your application, please review the Graduate School’s admissions requirements. If offered admission into the MPH program, you must submit a supplemental Penn State Graduate School application in order to become a Penn State student. The application fee for this process is waived, and separate instructions will be provided with the letter offering admission to the program.

What are the Application Requirements?

SOPHAS applications must include the following items to be eligible for consideration. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Completed online application
  • Statement of purpose - See details below
  • Resume or CV - Prior public health experience (work, volunteer, internship, service learning) recommended but not required
  • Copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended - See SOPHAS transcript details here; if offered admission, official transcripts will be requested
  • Two letters of recommendation - One letter must be from academic advisor or instructor; letters from family members or friends will not be accepted
  • GRE or MCAT scores - Taken within the past five years; see details below
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores - International applicants only; see details below

Key Dates

  • Applications in SOPHAS open in mid- to late August for the following fall semester.
  • SOPHAS application deadline is January 15 for domestic and international applicants.
  • Notifications for fall admission are generally done by email before or around April 15.

Admission is granted for the fall semester only. 

Standardized Testing

For those submitting GRE scores, institution code is 7516 for "Pennsylvania State U MPH Program SOPHAS."

For MCAT scores, choose "SOPHAS."

Waiver for advanced degrees: Standardized testing is not required for applicants who have an advanced degree beyond the baccalaureate.

Waiver for advanced coursework: The standardized testing requirement may be waived for applicants who, prior to submitting the application for admission, have successfully completed the following with a grade of B or better:

  • At least one 3-credit graduate-level course in biostatistics; AND
  • At least one 3-credit graduate-level course in epidemiology; AND
  • At least one 3-credit graduate-level course in the social and behavioral sciences or health services administration core areas of public health

The program will verify the grade of B or better by reviewing the applicant’s official transcript.


Send TOEFL scores by selecting code 5688 for “SOPHAS in Massachusetts.”

IELTS cannot send scores directly to SOPHAS. Instead, manually enter unofficial IELTS scores in your SOPHAS application and mail official IELTS score report to:

Penn State MPH Program
Department of Public Health Sciences, A210
90 Hope Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Minimum Penn State acceptable test scores and exemptions for TOEFL and IELTS are available through The Graduate School.

Statement of Purpose

One of the requirements of the SOPHAS application is a Statement of Purpose.

Your Statement of Purpose should indicates your reason(s) for pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and should include the following:

  • Background. How have your personal and/or professional experiences shaped your interest in earning an MPH degree?
  • Goals. What are your career goals? How do you intend to use the MPH degree to contribute to the field of public health?
  • Personal details. Provide any additional information about yourself, your transcript, your test scores, your career goals and so on that might help us better understand and evaluate your application for admission.

Responses must be limited to 500 words, or no more than two double-spaced, typed pages.

Transfer Credits

In selected cases, a transfer of a maximum of 10 credits of high-quality graduate work done at a regionally accredited institution may be applied toward the requirements for a master's or doctoral degree.

See Penn State University transfer credit policies.

Campus Tours

Tours of the Penn State College of Medicine are available. Please contact our program using the methods below to arrange a tour.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the MPH Program, please contact us at 717-531-1502 or