Admissions

The Vanderbilt Master of Public Health Program is a full-time, two-year (5 semesters), CEPH-accredited program offered through the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. All students begin the program in the fall semester. We do not offer rolling admissions.

International applicants: please click here for additional instructions

SOPHAS

Applications are submitted online through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS), where they are processed and forwarded to the Vanderbilt MPH Program for review. Click here for an overview of the SOPHAS application process.

HOW TO APPLY

  1. Choose which track (concentration) to apply to: EpidemiologyGlobal Health, or Health Policy. Applicants may submit one application to the Vanderbilt MPH Program per admissions cycle. Read the track descriptions and contact us if we can help you identify which track is the best fit for you.
  2. Review the eligibility criteria, list of required materials, and application deadlines.
  3. Prepare your application materials.
  4. Submit an application through SOPHAS.
  5. Regularly monitor your application in SOPHAS to ensure that your application has a status of "verified" and your official test score reports have been received by the application deadline.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree
  • At least two years of relevant, post-undergraduate professional experience strongly preferred

DEADLINES

Each track has two admissions rounds:

Priority Round

  • ​​Applications with a status of "verified" and official test score reports in SOPHAS on or before the Priority Round deadline will receive priority consideration for scholarships awarded by the Vanderbilt MPH Program (Goldberger Scholarship and Satcher Scholarship).
  • Applicants who submit their application in SOPHAS using the Priority Round (scholarship) designation, but whose application is not verified and complete by the Priority Round deadline, will automatically be moved to the Regular Round.

Regular Round

  • All applications must have a status of "verified" with official test score reports in SOPHAS by the Regular Round deadline in order to be considered for admission. This is the final deadline.

Application deadlines for Fall 2018 matriculation

 

PRIORITY ROUND
Deadline

REGULAR ROUND
Deadline

Epidemiology Track

January 15, 2018

March 1, 2018

Global Health Track

December 15, 2017

January 15, 2018

Health Policy Track

December 15, 2017

January 15, 2018

 

It is the applicant's responsibility to follow the instructions provided by SOPHAS to ensure that all required materials are received by SOPHAS (including official test score reports), and that their application has a status of "verified" on or before the deadline.

►Click here for important information about application deadlines

ADMISSIONS DECISIONS

Applications with a status of "verified" and official test score reports in SOPHAS on or before the application deadline will receive an admissions decision from the Vanderbilt MPH Program by email, according to the schedule below. 

The admissions decision will be sent to the email address designated as the "Preferred Email Address" in the SOPHAS application. If your email address changes over the course of the admissions process, update your contact information in SOPHAS. This may be done even after your application has been submitted and verified.

Applicants can expect to receive an admissions decision by the following dates:

Track

Admission
Round

Application
Deadline

Admissions
Notification

Epidemiology

Priority Round

January 15

February 28

Regular Round

March 1

March 15

Global Health

Priority Round

December 15

February 1

Regular Round

January 15

March 15

Health Policy

Priority Round

December 15

February 1

Regular Round

January 15

March 15

 

All admitted applicants must confirm their decision to enroll in the Vanderbilt MPH Program by April 15, 2018 by sending an email to annie.smart@vanderbilt.edu.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS (all tracks)

Upload your current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume directly to the Documents section of your application in SOPHAS.

Enter your research and work experience, community and volunteer service, relevant honors and awards, and language proficiency into the appropriate fields of your SOPHAS application.

Publications and presentations at conferences or meetings may be included under "Relevant Honors and Awards" or "Other Relevant Information."

APPLICATION TIPS:

  • The Experiences and Achievements sections of the application in SOPHAS is optional. You are not required to complete these sections, but you should make sure that all employment, research, and volunteer experiences and professional or academic awards, honors, and scholarships relevant to your application are included in your CV or resume.
  • SOPHAS recommends not tailoring your CV/resume to a program as the same document will be sent to all schools and programs you apply to.
  • Once you submit your application in SOPHAS, your CV/resume cannot not be edited or changed.
  • If you have updates to your CV or resume after submitting your application in SOPHAS, you may email an updated document to annie.smart@vanderbilt.edu. The new version will be made available to Vanderbilt MPH Program reviewers in addition to the original CV or resume you previously uploaded to SOPHAS.
  • Click here for additional information about the CV/resume on the SOPHAS website.

SOPHAS and Vanderbilt University require official documentation of applicants' prior academic degrees.

U.S. Institutions

Official transcripts must be sent directly to SOPHAS from all U.S. and English-speaking Canadian institutions you have reported in the “Colleges Attended” section of your application. SOPHAS can not process your application without receiving all of your transcripts.

An additional set of final transcripts is required by the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Registrar prior to matriculation. For this reason, when you request transcripts for SOPHAS, we suggest you ask for an extra set of sealed official transcripts for yourself. 

Transcripts should be ordered at least 2 weeks before deadlines to ensure that they arrive at SOPHAS in a timely manner.

International Institutions

Students who have received academic degrees from international colleges and universities (including Caribbean and French Canadian) must use World Education Services (WES) to submit their transcript information to SOPHAS. SOPHAS will not accept transcripts from international universities or other agency evaluations (i.e. ECE). See "International Applicants" for additional information about using WES.

Applicants whose degree is in process at the time the WES evaluation is completed will be required to submit a final WES evaluation documenting the receipt of the degree.

Applicants who attended English-speaking post-secondary institutions in Canada are not required to seek WES credential evaluation. They may enter their coursework to the SOPHAS application and submit official transcripts directly to SOPHAS.

Study Abroad

U.S. applicants who have studied abroad as part of their U.S. program/degree are not required to use WES for a credential evaluation as long as their international coursework is included on their U.S. institution transcript.

APPLICATION TIPS

  • You may e-submit your application in SOPHAS before your official transcripts have been received. As your transcripts are received by SOPHAS, they will be posted to your application.
  • An application submitted in SOPHAS cannot move forward in the verification process until all official transcripts have been received. 
  • Applicants who are currently enrolled in a degree program at the time they submit their application in SOPHAS should request an official transcript showing the completed course work for that degree in progress.
  • It is your responsibility as an applicant to monitor your application in SOPHAS for transcript receipt, even after you have submitted your application. Neither SOPHAS nor the Vanderbilt MPH Program is responsible for notifying applicants of missing transcripts.
  • Neither SOPHAS nor the Vanderbilt MPH Program will make exceptions for applicants missing official transcripts due to holds on their school account or university processing delays. The applicant is responsible for resolving any holds on their school account and for taking university and mail holidays and processing delays into account when requesting transcripts.
  • Because processing and delivery times vary, we recommend requesting your official transcripts as early as possible. 
  • Review the instructions provided by SOPHAS about transcripts from U.S. and English Canadian institutions.
  • To request official transcripts, contact your institution's Registrar's office.

  • You may view the status of your transcripts in SOPHAS at any time after submitting in the “Program Status” section of the “Manage my Programs” section . You also will receive email notifications from SOPHAS when each transcript posts to your application.
  • If it has been longer than 10 business days since you requested your transcript and it has not posted to your application in SOPHAS:
    • Contact your institution's Registrar's office to submit a second transcript request.
    • You may also need to contact SOPHAS for help tracking down your transcript if you are certain it was delivered to the correct address with the correct identifying information.
  • Because transcripts are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Vanderbilt MPH Program cannot request transcripts on an applicant's behalf, nor can we intervene if you have trouble requesting transcripts from your university of institution.

Applicants to the Vanderbilt MPH Program are required to submit the following official standardized test score reports to SOPHAS on or before the application deadline:

  • GRE or MCAT (all applicants)
  • TOEFL (international applicants only)

Applicants may choose to self-report or request official score reports for other standardized tests, but GRE or MCAT and TOEFL (international applicants) are required unless the applicant qualifies for a waiver. 

We do not accept IELTS test scores.

WAIVERS

  • GRE or MCAT: the GRE or MCAT standardized test score requirement is waived for applicants who have graduated from or are currently enrolled in a doctoral degree program (or equivalent). Examples of doctoral degrees and equivalents include: Ph.D., M.D., D.O., Pharm.D., D.V.M., M.B.Ch.B., M.B.B.S., etc.
  • TOEFL: the TOEFL score requirement is waived for U.S. permanent residents and those who have completed a degree at an institution where English was the language of instruction.

Applicants who qualify for a waiver may leave the "Standardized Tests” section of the application in SOPHAS blank. Please contact Annie Smart at annie.smart@vanderbilt.edu if you are unsure whether you qualify for a test score waiver.

OFFICIAL SCORE REPORTS

The applicant should contact the testing organization to request official test score reports. The score reports should be sent directly from the testing organization to SOPHAS using the standardized test codes below.

Official test score reports must be received by SOPHAS on or before the application deadline.

MCAT and GRE scores are valid five (5) years after the test date. TOEFL scores are valid two (2) years after the test date.

STANDARDIZED TEST CODES

Be sure to use the Vanderbilt and SOPHAS codes below when requesting standardized test score reports.

Vanderbilt University has several standardized test codes, but only score reports requested using the codes below will post to your Vanderbilt MPH Program application in SOPHAS. 

  • GRE: 0111, Vanderbilt U MS Pub Hlth SOPHAS
  • MCATSOPHAS, Schools of Public Health Application Service
  • TOEFL5688, SOPHAS in Massachusetts

If official score reports are requested using any other Vanderbilt test codes, your score report will not be available to the Vanderbilt MPH Program and your application will be considered incomplete.

To add official MCAT scores to your SOPHAS application, make sure that your date of birth and AAMC ID# are filled out properly on your application. You can find your AAMC ID# under “My Profile” on the left hand side of your application. You must then request to have your MCAT scores released to SOPHAS by contacting AAMC.

Click here for additional information about standardized test scores and SOPHAS.

SCORE REPORT AVAILABILITY

Official test score reports require time to mail and process. For this reason, test dates should be scheduled and score reports should be requested well before the application deadline.

Standardized
Test
Approximate time from test date (or request date) when official score reports are released to designated recipients Approximate time required for SOPHAS to process score report and match to application once it has been received
GRE 10-15 business days 2-3 business days
MCAT 32 business days 2-3 business days
TOEFL 13 business days 2-3 business days

As part of the SOPHAS application, candidates are required to submit a written narrative describing past education, experience, professional career objectives, and how the Vanderbilt MPH Program will help you achieve your professional goals.The statement of purpose (or personal statement) is limited to 1,000 words. It should be uploaded to the "Documents" section of the SOPHAS application under "Statement of Purpose and Objectives."

Epidemiology Track

Epidemiology track applicants should include in their statement of purpose any relevant experience. While prior professional experience is not required, relevant work, service, research, or internship experience is valued in the review process.

Global Health Track

Applicants to the Global Health track should address any previous international experience or work with international or underserved populations as well as a statement on how the Vanderbilt MPH will fit into your long term career goals. While prior global health experience is not required, relevant work, service, research, or internship experience is valued in the review process.

Health Policy Track

Health Policy track applicants should include in their statement of purpose any relevant experience in the areas of health care, health services research, economics, public policy, or government. While prior professional experience is not required, relevant work, service, research, or internship experience is valued in the review process.

minimum of THREE (3) letters of recommendation is required for an application to be considered complete. These should be from persons qualified to evaluate your academic and professional abilities. Letter writers (or evaluators) could include an undergraduate or graduate advisor, faculty in the field of study, and/or a recent supervisor. Reference letters from a peer or colleague, friend, or relative are not suitable.

Once you have chosen your references, be certain to inform them of the process and that they will be filling out the reference electronically. Obtain their preferred e-mail address and make sure they are monitoring their e-mail inbox for your reference request e-mail.

You may e-submit your application in SOPHAS before your references have submitted their evaluations. As your evaluations are completed and received by SOPHAS, they will be matched with your application. You can log in to SOPHAS at any time to check if your evaluations have been completed.

VUMC Support

Applicants to the Vanderbilt MPH Program who are pursuing the MPH degree as part of a VUMC-affiliated training grant, residency program, or fellowship program should ensure that their letters of recommendation include:

  1. Letter from a VUMC faculty mentor committed to the candidate's career development 
  2. Letter from a VUMC division director or department chair assuring approximately 80% protected time for research and that the applicant will be free from clinical duties during MPH classes

Please follow the instructions found in the "Recommendations" section of the SOPHAS application, and click here for additional information.

The Vanderbilt MPH Program does not require that applicants submit a writing sample.

If there is any additional information you would like to admissions committee to know, please upload it to the "Documents" section of the SOPHAS application under "Writing Sample." This is not an application requirement; it is optional.