Prospective Students

Main Content

Admission Requirements

Prospective students in the Bower School of Population Health 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).

In addition, applicants must submit three letters of recommendation for PhD programs, and a personal statement.  

Certain programs require prerequisites, 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. 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
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
    • Should include previous professional or research experience, current professional interests, long-term career goals, interest in the degree program. The personal statement should not exceed two pages.
  • A GRE score >300 on the combined verbal and quantitative sections is preferred
    • Students whose combined verbal and quantitative scores meet the above standards will be granted full admission to the SoPH. Students whose combined verbal and quantitative scores are < 300 (new GRE) will be considered for conditional admission based on the recommendation of the program director. To obtain full admission the student must, within three academic semesters of admission, attain a GPA of >0, or retake the GRE and score >300. Conditional students who fail to meet the criteria listed above will be dismissed from the program

MS applicants will be evaluated based on the following:

  • BS or BA from an accredited institution
    • GPA ≥3.0
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
    • Should include previous professional or research experience, current professional interests, long-term career goals, interest in the degree program. The personal statement should not exceed two pages.

Individual programs may set higher minimum standards than those required by the SoPH. In view of that, students are encouraged to consult the director of their intended program of study and ascertain program-specific requirements. 

Click program name for additional admissions requirements:

As stated in the Grade Forgiveness Policy, applicants who have earned a grade of D or F in a course and who have successfully repeated the course at the same institution will have the higher grade used in calculating the overall GPA for admission.

English language proficiency 

Applicants whose native language is not English and/or who have completed their tertiary education primarily outside of the United States must submit official scores from one of the following testing services Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Pearson Test of English-Academic (PTE-A) and meet the minimum standards set below

  • TOEFL-Internet Based Test (IBT): 79 or higher
  • TOEFL-Paper Based Test (PBT): 550 or higher
  • IELTS: 5 overall band score or higher
  • PTE-A: 53 or higher

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 and by request of the Office of the Dean.  Admission of a student to a graduate program must be approved by the dean or dean’s designee. No individual may enroll in graduate level courses without proper approval and notification from the SoPH.

Conditional Acceptance

Acceptance to the SoPH is conditional; the admission committee may rescind an offer of acceptance at any time before matriculations 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 preadmissions 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 should schedule an appointment with UMMC Human Resources prior to enrollment so that a set of digital fingerprints and photograph can be required.

Technical standards

Technical standards are non-academic requirements essential for meeting the academic requirements of the programs in the SoPH. 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 MS degree programs at the SoPH 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 possesses the ability to independently apply that knowledge to form hypotheses, design and conduct research projects, interpret 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 student:

  • Observation: The candidate must be able to acquire knowledge by direct observation of demonstrations 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 experimentation and experiences within the chosen discipline. 
  • Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate and discuss 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.