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.
Special application instructions for joint degree students
For current Penn State students pursuing an MD/MPH or JD/MPH, as well as Penn State undergraduates 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.
What are the Application Requirements?
Students need a GPA of 3.0 or above. Penn State Biobehavioral Health and Health Policy and Administration undergraduate students interested in the integrated undergraduate-graduate accelerated MPH program must have a GPA of 3.25 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 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 - 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 - For international applicants only, 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 Dr.
Hershey, PA 17033
Minimum Penn State acceptable test scores and exemptions for TOEFL and IELTS are available through The Graduate School.
- 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.
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.