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FAQs

No, all students begin the Vanderbilt MPH Program in the fall term, which usually begins in the third week of August.

No. While we offer a small number of online elective courses, students live in the Nashville area and take classes on Vanderbilt’s campus.

Yes, MPH students can choose from courses offered at any of the ten colleges and schools, drawing on the depth and diversity of resources and expertise throughout Vanderbilt University. There is no additional tuition fee for these courses.

Students should discuss course options with their academic adviser to confirm that course credits from other graduate programs can be applied to their MPH degree.

For examples of courses MPH students have taken in other Vanderbilt colleges, schools, or programs, click here.

Yes, students may receive advanced standing for approved courses taken outside the Vanderbilt MPH Program (up to 15 academic credit hours).

In general, we find that applicants who have a clear sense of their professional goals tend to thrive in our small, student-centered program. Relevant work experience can be helpful in guiding a student in their choice of courses, mentors, research opportunities, and the kind of skills they seek to build during their time in the Vanderbilt MPH Program.

The admissions committee reviews each application individually and recognizes that prior academic courses, research and service experiences, internships and part-time positions, as well as personal experiences can also be valuable in shaping a student’s career goals. In the evaluation process, it is the quality, not the quantity, of an applicant’s experience that is the most relevant.

There are no minimum GRE, MCAT, or TOEFL score or GPA requirements. Reviewers look at each candidate’s application and qualifications as a whole.

Applicants to the Vanderbilt MPH Program come from a broad range of educational and professional backgrounds. Many qualify for standardized test score waivers. Average standardized test scores or GPAs do not necessarily provide accurate or useful information on the student body.

Current TOEFL scores are required for non-native English-speaking international students. TOEFL scores are valid for two (2) years after the test date.

Scores should be submitted directly from ETS to SOPHAS using the code 5688 (SOPHAS in Massachusetts). There is no required minimum TOEFL score.

This requirement is waived for U.S. permanent residents and those who have completed an academic degree at an institution where English is the language of instruction. Applicants who qualify for a waiver, may leave this section of the application in SOPHAS blank. No formal waiver documentation is required.

We do not accept IELTS test scores in lieu of TOEFL scores.

Official score reports require time to process, deliver, and match to an application in SOPHAS. Test dates should be scheduled and score reports should be requested well before the application deadline.

In general, GRE official score reports take 12 to 18 business days from the test date (or request date) until they are posted to an application in SOPHAS. Official MCAT score reports take approximately 35 business days, and official TOEFL score reports take about 16 business days.

Official test score reports must be sent directly from the testing organization (ETS or AAMC), to SOPHAS and matched to your application by the application deadline.

Institution codes:

  • ETS – GRE: 0111
  • MCAT institution code: SOPHAS
  • ETS – TOEFL: 5688

There are multiple GRE institution codes for Vanderbilt University. Be sure to request official GRE score reports using institution code 0111. Score reports requested using a code other than 0111 will not be available to the Vanderbilt MPH Program and your application will be considered incomplete. Contact mph@vanderbilt.edu if you requested a GRE score report using the incorrect institution code.

Review the SOPHAS information on submitting standardized test scores and troubleshooting.

Note: if your name or date of birth appears differently on your GRE than it does on your SOPHAS application, your scores will not automatically post to your account. This often happens with applicants with hyphens, apostrophes, etc., in their names. Wait until ETS processes the scores, then contact SOPHAS customer service so they can manually connect the scores to your application.

No, the Vanderbilt MPH Program does not have a supplemental or secondary application. A completed application to the Vanderbilt MPH Program consists of:

  • A submitted SOPHAS application including:
    • Current curriculum vitae or resume
    • Official transcripts (or a WES credential evaluation for international applicants)
    • Official standardized GRE or MCAT scores (and TOEFL score report fro international applicants)
    • Statement of purpose and objectives
    • At least three letters of recommendation

All eligible applicants admitted to the Vanderbilt MPH Program are considered for the David Satcher Public Health Scholars Program and our other merit-based scholarships. No additional applications or forms are needed. Awardees are informed of the funding at the time they receive their admissions notification in the spring.

Applicants to the Global Health and Health Policy tracks who wish to be considered for scholarships should submit their materials by December 15. All Epidemiology track applicants who submit their materials by January 15 will be considered for scholarships.

The Community Scholars Program, VA Quality Scholars Program, and various external funding sources have different selection processes and require applications. Please see our Funding Resources page for more information.

Students enrolled in other graduate or professional degree programs at Vanderbilt may request to take course in the MPH Program for academic credit. Students should contact the MPH Program to inquire about this option.

Vanderbilt faculty or staff members who meet the MPH Program’s admissions eligibility criteria may submit a short application to take a course MPH Program for academic credit. Contact the MPH Program at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to begin this process.

Students may not audit MPH courses.

The Vanderbilt MPH Program administers the Master of Public Health degree program. Vanderbilt offers a number of related academic programs. Please contact each program for additional information.

Click here for a full list of Vanderbilt University degree offerings