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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)

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How Do I Apply to the MPH Program?

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Penn State College of Medicine’s MPH Program uses SOPHAS – The Centralized Application Service for Public Health 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. Separate instructions will be provided with the letter offering admission to the program.

Special application instructions for joint degree students

For current Penn State students pursuing an MD/MPH or JD/MPH, as well as Penn State students applying to the integrated undergraduate-graduate accelerated MPH program, do not apply to these programs via SOPHAS. Instead, Penn State joint degree students must submit an application through The Graduate School.

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What are the Application Requirements?

Students need a GPA of 3.0 or above. Penn State Biobehavioral Health, Health Policy and Administration and Nutritional Sciences students interested in the integrated undergraduate-graduate accelerated MPH program must have a GPA of 3.25 or above. Penn State Kinesiology students interested in the integrated undergraduate-graduate accelerated MPH program must have a GPA of 3.3 or above.

Students’ GRE scores are not required for the MPH Program, but applicants may submit these scores if they wish (see below for details). In addition, SOPHAS applications must include the following items to be eligible for consideration. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Completed online SOPHAS 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 also be requested by The Graduate School at Penn State.
  • 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 – Not required
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores – International applicants only (one of the following):
    • TOEFL - Have TOEFL scores sent by selecting code 5688 for "SOPHAS in Massachusetts."
    • IELTS - Add IELTS information in the Standardized Tests section of your SOPHAS application an include a TRF number. Please have IELTS scores sent to SOPHAS. NOTE: If offered admission to the MPH program, official IELTS scores will be requested by the Penn State Graduate School via your supplemental application process.

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

Key Dates

  • Fall Semester Admission
    • ALL applicants must apply by February 15
  • Spring Semester Admission (online World Campus Global Health applicants ONLY)
    • All online World Campus Global Health applicants must apply by October 15

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 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