Prospective Students

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Admission Requirements, Deadlines, and Procedures

Admission to the John D. Bower School of Population Health

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’s status.  A student with a baccalaureate degree from an 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 Enrollment Management. This application will include an official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) institutions attended, letters of recommendation from faculty members at accredited institutions or employment supervisors, and a personal statement. All non-United States transcripts must be evaluated on a course-by-course report from World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). 

The application may include an official statement of scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) received on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE examinations must be taken within five years of application and must be sent directly by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Information regarding the GRE may be obtained from the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540.

Certain programs require prerequisites, and these may be determined by contacting the specific program to which the applicant desires admission or reviewing the criteria outlined in the program-specific section of the Bulletin. Initial evaluation of applicants for admission to graduate programs is based on undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) scholastic performance, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and examination scores. 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.

Conditional Acceptance. Acceptance to the SOPH is conditional; the school 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.

Students who meet or exceed the minimum scores may be granted full admission to the SOPH. Students whose scores are below the minimum requirements may be considered for conditional admission based on the recommendation of the program director. To be removed from conditional status, the student must, within three academic semesters of admission, meet or exceed the requirements on which the conditional admission is based. Conditional students who fail to meet the criteria listed above will be dismissed from the program. Notwithstanding the above, individual programs may set higher minimum standards than those required by the SOPH.

English language proficiency. 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 SOPH. No individual may enroll in graduate-level courses without proper approval and notification from the SOPH.

Criminal Background Checks (CBCs). Any preadmission 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. All accepted applicants must schedule an appointment with UMMC Human Resources prior to enrollment so that a set of digital fingerprints and photographs can be obtained.

Deadlines for applications 

The SOPH accepts applications throughout the calendar year. However, applications for specific academic semesters must be received by the Office of Enrollment Management by the deadlines below.

  • MS in Biostatistics and Data Science
    • Fall admission: April 15
  • PhD in Biostatistics and Data Science
    • Fall admission: April 15
  • Executive MS in Population Health Management
    • Summer admission: April 15
  • MS in Population Health Science
    • Summer admission: April 15
  • PhD in Population Health Science
    • Fall admission: April 15

PhD students wishing to be considered for a stipend for the upcoming Fall semester should apply for admission as early as possible,but no later than December 31. Stipends for PhD students are evaluated on a competitive basis. An applicant is considered for the enrollment period designated on the application. If the applicant is accepted and fails to enroll, or is not accepted, a new application must be submitted if consideration for a subsequent enrollment date is desired.

Application fee 

A nonrefundable fee of $25 must accompany the initial application.

Non-degree seeking students 

Individuals who wish to take graduate courses but are not members of a UMMC degree program may apply as non-degree seeking students. Applicants must first complete a Non-Degree Seeking Enrollment Request Form. The form is located on the SOPH website. A maximum of nine (9) credit hours may be taken as a non-degree student. Furthermore, successful completion of courses taken does not in itself qualify the individual for subsequent admission to a graduate program.

Technical standards for admission

Technical Standards are non-academic requirements essential for meeting the academic requirements of the programs in the Bower 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.

Degree programs may require a dissertation, thesis, projects, or a practice transformation practicum, based on independent research. Granting of these 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 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 student in the SOPH:

Observation skills. 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.

Motor skills. The candidate must possess motor skills necessary to perform procedures required for the experimentation and experiences within the chosen discipline.

Communication skills. The candidate must be able to discuss and communicate his or her experimental 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.

Tuition and required fees

Tuition and fees for the academic year can be found on the institutional website.  Students in PhD programs who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 may receive a waiver of non-resident fees.  Tuition is subject to change pending information from the Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Student Complaints

Students have the right to complain without fear of retribution or retaliation.  More information on how students may file an official complaint can be found in the SOPH Student Complaints policy.

Technology Requirements

Required Technology and Software. Every student is required to have a laptop computer that meets the minimum requirements for both PC and Mac computers. Students should purchase a laptop meeting or exceeding these requirements from regular retail channels. Students are personally responsible for maintenance/repair of their laptop. All students are required to maintain up-to-date virus and spyware detection software on their laptops. Students should acquire their laptops prior to orientation. Specific departments or academic degree programs may have additional requirements for computers and/or software.

At a minimum, a student’s computer configuration should include:

  • Speakers and a microphone/headphones with built-in microphone
  • Webcam
  • Wi-Fi and/or Ethernet connection (Broadband connection to the internet and related
    equipment)
  • Windows 10 operating system
  • Microsoft Office Suite installed
  • Antivirus and spyware software
  • Updated Adobe Flash Player and Oracle Java
  • Firefox, Google Chrome, and/or Internet Explorer browser

A student may also need access to:

  • USB ports
  • Printer

Visit the UMMC Software Portal (The Hub) to see a complete list of available software. Students have the option to download the Microsoft Office suite for free while enrolled. Visit https://portal.office.com/account for more information.

Required Laptops. Entering students are required to have a laptop computer that meets the UMMC Minimal Laptop Specifications and must have video and audio communication capabilities (i.e. camera and microphone). Students should purchase a laptop meeting or exceeding these requirements from regular retail channels.  Students are personally responsible for maintenance/repair of their laptop.  All students are required to maintain up-to-date virus and spyware detection software to allow access to the UMMC public wireless network. Students should acquire their laptops prior to orientation. Specific departments or academic degree programs may have additional requirements for computers and/or software.

Graduate Program Admission Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biostatistics and Data Sciences applicants will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Baccalaureate degree in a relevant scientific discipline
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (preferred)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • GRE score >300 on the combined verbal and quantitative scores is preferred.

In addition, applicants must have documented training in calculus (including multiple variable integration and differentiation) and linear algebra. Additional training in statistical or computer programming languages is preferred. Applicants may submit code exhibiting their knowledge in a statistical or computer programming language and/or slides presenting a completed data analysis project.  These materials are optional but may strengthen the overall application.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Population Health Science and MD/PhD applicants will be evaluated on the following:

  • Master’s degree in a relevant scientific discipline (e.g. health sciences, social sciences, etc) or a professional degree in a health-related field
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (preferred)
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • One letter from an academic referee
  • A personal statement describing the applicant’s professional background and aspirations pertinent to the degree program.
  • GRE score >300 on the combined verbal and quantitative scores is preferred.

In addition, applicants show previous coursework at the undergraduate or graduate level showing at least one course in statistics, research methods, and biology respectively, with a grade of B or better in each course.

Master of Science (MS) in Biostatistics and Data Science applicants will be evaluated on the following:

  • Baccalaureate degree in a relevant discipline
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (preferred)
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty members at accredited institutions or employment supervisors
  • A personal statement
  • A GRE score >295 on the combined verbal and quantitative scores is preferred

In addition, students must have documented training in calculus (including multiple variable integration and differentiation) and linear algebra.  Additional training in statistical or computer programming languages is preferred.

Master of Science (MS) in Population Health Science applicants will be evaluated on the following:

  • Baccalaureate or professional degree in a relevant discipline
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (preferred)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement describing professional background and aspirations pertinent to the degree program

All applicants to the general track must meet the minimum admission requirements set forth by the SOPH.   In addition to the general requirements, applicants to the Preventive Medicine track must be physicians undergoing preventive medicine residency training at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Executive MS of Science (eMS) in Population Health Management applicants will be evaluated on the following:

  • Baccalaureate or professional degree
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (preferred)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement which includes information regarding relevant experiences or work history pertinent to the degree program
  • Curriculum Vitae (Applicants must have >5 years work experience)

Application procedure

The application may be obtained online from the Bower School of Population Health website. All applications are handled through the Office of Enrollment Management. All transcripts and documents submitted to the Office of Enrollment Management in support of an application become the property of The UMMC and will not be returned to an applicant or forwarded to another school or individual.

Contact information:

Office of Enrollment Management
University of Mississippi Medical Center
2500 N. State St.
Jackson, MS 39216
(601) 984-1080
(601) 984-1079 (fax)