Prospective Students

Main Content

Admission Requirements

Selection of applicants is made on a competitive basis without regard to race, creed, sex, color, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. A student with a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution may apply for study in areas in which competence has been demonstrated by scholastic performance.

Prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the Office of Student Records and Registrar, an official transcript of undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) grades, and an official statement of scores (verbal, quantitative and analytical) received on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE examination must be taken within five years of application. The applicant is allowed to petition the School of Population Health to submit GRE scores from more than 5 years ago if they have completed a master's degree in an appropriate field of study. Information regarding the GRE may be obtained from the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540. International applicants must have transcripts evaluated in a course-by-course report from World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). Prerequisites are required by certain programs, and these may be determined by contacting the specific program to which the applicant desires admission.

Initial evaluation of applicants for admission to graduate programs is made on the basis of undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) scholastic performance, letters of recommendation and scores received on the GRE. Those applicants for whom the initial evaluation indicates the scholastic competence necessary to successfully pursue a graduate degree may be further evaluated by personal interview.

PhD applicants will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Baccalaureate degree in a relevant scientific discipline
  • GPA (3.0 or better for PhD programs, 3.0 preferred for MS programs)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statement: Your statement should include previous professional or research experience, current professional interests, and long term career goals. Please also explain how you became interested in the degree program and how it will help you to achieve your goals. The Personal Statement should adequately explain these areas, but should not exceed 2 pages.
  • GRE scores

Applicants whose native language is not English and/or who have completed their tertiary education primarily outside of the USA must submit official scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English-Academic (PTE-A) as evidence of English language proficiency.

  • TOEFL - Internet-based test (IBT) - 79 or higher
  • TOEFL - Paper-based test (PBT): - 550 or higher
  • IELTS - 6.5 overall band score or higher
  • PTE-A - 53 or higher

However, this requirement may be waived for students who are currently enrolled at a college or university in the United States and/or who demonstrate a proficiency in written and spoken English following a personal interview. Admission of a student to a graduate program must be approved by the program director and by the dean of the School of Population Health. No individual may enroll in graduate level courses without proper approval and notification from the School of Population Health.

The following information will be considered when reviewing applications: proficiency in statistical packages or programming languages, background in the natural\biomedical sciences and completion of fundamental mathematical courses, such as linear algebra, Introduction to Statistics and calculus-based probability.

Admission of an applicant to a graduate program must be approved by the program director and by the Dean of the Graduate School. No individual may enroll in graduate level courses without proper approval and notification from the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences.

Conditional acceptance - Acceptance to the School of Graduate Studies is conditional; the Admission Committee may rescind an offer of acceptance at any time before matriculation if an applicant fails to maintain expectations upon which the acceptance was based. Examples include, but are not limited to, a significant decline in academic performance, failure to complete prerequisites or other course work and degrees in progress, patterns of unprofessional behavior and incidents discovered in a criminal background check.

Criminal background checks (CBCs) - Any pre-admission agreement executed by the health care program with a student shall be void if there is a disqualifying incident or pattern of unprofessional behavior in the CBC prior to enrollment.

Fingerprint-based CBC - Effective July 1, 2004, Section 37-29-232 of the Mississippi Code requires that students enrolled in a health care professional academic program undergo fingerprinting and CBC. All accepted applicants must call the School of Graduate Studies to schedule an appointment with UMMC Human Resources prior to enrollment so that a set of digital fingerprints and photograph can be required. Fingerprints will be submitted to the Mississippi Public Safety Commission and Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation for a criminal background check. If any potentially disqualifying event is reported, Human Resources will mail to the Graduate School applicant a letter (such as Determination of Non-suitability for Employment in a Healthcare Facility) indicating that a potentially disqualifying event(s) has been reported and a copy of the criminal history report record. Copies will be sent to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Currently, there is no charge to the applicant for this service.

Technical standards for admission

Technical standards are non-academic requirements essential for meeting the academic requirements of the programs in the School of Population Health. Within any area of specialization, students must demonstrate competence in those intellectual and physical tasks that together represent the fundamentals of research in their chosen discipline.

The PhD degree programs and some of the MS degree programs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Population Health require a dissertation or thesis based on independent research. Granting of those degrees implies the recipient has demonstrated a base of knowledge in their chosen field of study and the ability to independently apply that knowledge to form hypotheses, design and conduct experiments, interpret experimental results, and communicate these findings to the scientific community. Thus, a candidate for the PhD or MS degree in the health sciences must possess abilities and skills that allow for observation, intellectual and conceptual reasoning, motor coordination, and communication. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable.

The following technical skills are required of a successful PhD student:

  • Observation
    The candidate must be able to acquire knowledge by direct observation of demonstrations, experiments, and experiences within the research and instructional setting.
  • Intellectual/conceptual abilities
    The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, analyze, reason, integrate and synthesize information to solve problems.
  • Communication
    The candidate must be able to communicate and discuss his or her hypotheses and results to the scientific community.
  • Behavioral and social attributes
    The candidate must possess the emotional and mental health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of responsibilities inherent in managing a scientific setting, the ability to function under the stress inherent in research, and the ability to understand and comply with ethical standards for the conduct of research.