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?

Students need a GPA of 3.0 or above. Students’ GRE scores need to be 300 or above (combined verbal and quantitative). In addition, SOPHAS applications must include the following items to be eligible for consideration. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Completed online application
  • Statement of purpose - Your Statement of Purpose should be 500 words or less and indicate your reason(s) for pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. It should include:

    • Your background: How have your personal and/or professional experiences shaped your interest in earning an MPH degree?
    • Your goals: What are your career goals? How do you intend to use the MPH degree to contribute to the field of public health?
  • 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. Reference letters can be addressed To Whom it May Concern.
  • GRE or MCAT scores - Taken within the past five years; please note, scores can take 10 to 12 business days to post to SOPHAS. For those submitting GRE scores, institution code is 7516 for "Pennsylvania State U MPH Program SOPHAS." For MCAT scores, choose "SOPHAS."
  • Score waivers - Standardized testing is not required for applicants who have an advanced degree beyond the baccalaureate. 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.
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores - International applicants only; please note, scores can take 10 to 12 business days to post to SOPHAS. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 80 total on the iBT (internet-based test) with a score of 19 on the speaking section.Send TOEFL scores by selecting code 5688 for "SOPHAS in Massachusetts."

    The minimum acceptable IELTS score is 6.5 composite. 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

Key Dates

  • Apply by Jan. 15 for admission into the fall semester.
  • Applicants will be notified of acceptance by April 15.

Admission is granted for the fall semester only. 

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.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the MPH Program or would like to schedule a tour, please contact us at 717-531-1502 or PennStatePublicHealth@phs.psu.edu.