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FAQs for Accepted Students

What sets the Dornsife School of Public Health apart from other schools?

The Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University offers rigorous public health training in one of the most historically and culturally rich cities in the United States. With an emphasis on community-based practice, Drexel MPH students accrue nearly 600 hours of real-time public health experience by graduation. All full-time MPH students begin practicum work during their first year. In the spring quarter of the first year, students are required to complete a 120-hour practicum as part of a course on Community Assessment that provides them with hands-on experience in community-based settings. In the second year, students are required to work 1.5 - 2 days per week across the academic year at a community site where they are developing their required Community-based Master's Project linked to their area of concentration. Some of the community-based sites where Drexel University students have completed their first-year practicum and CBMP projects include:

  • The Health Federation of Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia Department of Public Health
  • Glaxo SmithKline Pharmaceuticals
  • The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia Food Trust

Many of our students have obtained full-time positions with their CBMP organization following graduation. The school also boasts a dedicated faculty who are truly committed to educating the next public health leaders.

By what date do I need to make my decision to attend Drexel University?

The recommended date to secure your seat in the incoming class is listed on your acceptance letter. We understand that this decision is an important one, and if you require additional time to weigh your options, please email sphadmissions@drexel.edu.

How do I confirm my seat in the incoming class?

You will confirm your seat online at http://discover.drexel.edu. You will enter your student ID and PIN which are both listed at the bottom of your acceptance letter. The non-refundable matriculation fee is $300.

How do I apply for need-based financial aid?

Drexel Central has information to help you walk through the financial aid process, starting with your completion of the FAFSA form at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Please visit the Drexel Central website for more information.

Are there visit opportunities for accepted students?

Yes, we offer a series of Accepted Students Days, Class Visits and Virtual Information Sessions which will allow you to interact with our faculty, staff, current students and alumni. Please visit the Accepted Students Day page to view a list of upcoming dates and events.

When do classes begin for the Fall term?

For the 2016-17 academic year, classes will begin on Monday, September 19th. All incoming students will be required to attend orientation for the Dornsife School of Public Health tentatively scheduled for the week of September 12th. View the university's full academic calendar here.

Where are classes held?

Classes are held throughout the University City campus. The Dornsife School of Public Health’s building, Nesbitt Hall, is conveniently located in the geographic heart of the University City Campus with close proximity to most academic buildings, the library, technology center and recreational facilities.

How large is the incoming class?

We expect to have a first year MPH class of approximately 100 students. You will have the opportunity to get to know your fellow classmates and faculty through small group activities, networking receptions and town hall meetings.

What classes will I take the first year?

The first year of the MPH program is sequential with all students completing the following core:

Fall

  • PBHL 516– Introduction to Public Health
  • PBHL 520– Principles of Biostatistics
  • PBHL 540– Prevention Principles and Practices

Winter

  • PBHL 530 – Epidemiology
  • PBHL 640 – Environmental and Occupational Health
  • PBHL 650 – Public Policy and Advocacy

Spring

  • PBHL 600 – Management, Leadership, Assurance and Health Services
  • PBHL Elective Course – Typically taken in your planned concentration
  • PBHL Elective Course – Typically taken in your planned concentration

What does the first year schedule look like?

The schedule for the 2016-17 academic year is as follows:

Fall 2016

Course Number

Course Name

Day(s)

Time

PBHL 516

Introduction to Public Health

 

Tuesday, Thursday

11:00 am – 12:20 pm

PBHL 520

Principles of Biostatistics

 

Tuesday, Thursday

2:00 pm – 3:50 pm

PBHL 540

Prevention Principles and Practices

 

Monday, Wednesday

10:00 am – 11:50 am

Winter 2017

Course Number

Course Name

Day(s)

Time

PBHL 530

 

Principles of Epidemiology

 

Tuesday, Thursday

10:00 am – 11:50 am

PBHL 640

 

Environmental Health

Monday, Wednesday

2:00 pm – 3:50 pm

 

PBHL 650

 

Public Policy and Advocacy

 

Tuesday, Thursday

12:30 pm – 1:50 pm

Spring 2017

Course Number

Course Name

Day(s)

Time

PBHL 600

 

Mgmt/Lead/Assurance Hlth Serv

Tuesday, Thursday

9:30 am – 10:50 am

 

PBHL Elective

 

Varies

 

Varies

Varies

PBHL Elective

 

Varies

 

Varies

 

Varies

 

Keep in mind that there will also be mandatory class meetings and review sessions held during certain days when you may not have class.

Are classes lecture-based?

Some courses, such as Biostatistics and Epidemiology, are taught in lecture format. Other courses, such as Prevention, Principles and Practices, will meet in lecture one day per week and then small group break-outs the second day. Most courses in the second year are seminar-style with an average of 10-15 students in a class.

How do I register for courses?

You will be sent an electronic welcome packet with instructions on how to register for classes.

Will I have an academic advisor?

Yes, you will receive your faculty advisor assignment at new student orientation. Faculty advisors are assigned based upon your research interests and planned area of concentration (if you know at this time).

During the second year, you will also have a preceptor, an advisor in conjunction with your Community-based Master’s Project.

Do you offer graduate assistantships or research assistantships?

Assistantships are reserved for doctoral students at the university, however full-time MPH students often work part-time as research assistants for faculty members and for the different SPH research centers. As a second-year student, you will be eligible to become a teaching assistant for first-year courses. These TA appointments are made based upon academics. Approximately 15-20% of students each year are hired as research or teaching assistants.

Do students work while enrolled in the MPH program?

Some students do have part-time jobs while enrolled. We do not recommend working any more than 20 hours per week. Students work as research assistants here at the Dornsife School of Public Health, in other University departments or outside of the School. Second year MPH students are also eligible to be teaching assistants for first year courses. Available positions are listed online. Although these positions are listed as work-study, get in touch with the position contact to determine if the department can hire regardless of work-study eligibility.

Does the university provide health insurance?

Yes, a variety of options are available through Aetna. Please visit the Student Affairs website for Drexel University’s health insurance and immunization policies.

How do I get in touch with my future classmates?

The best way to network with your fellow classmates is to attend one of our Accepted Students Days, or to join your class's Facebook group. You can also become a fan of the Dornsife School of Public Health on Facebook.

What type of computer should I have?

Most Dornsife SPH students have laptops, and all of our campuses provide free wireless access throughout. Students will have access to technology available through the Dornsife School of Public Health as well as computer space in the Korman Center and Hagerty Library. As a Drexel graduate student you will also have access to free software downloads and installations. Please note that if you plan on concentrating in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, certain software programs have compatibility issues with Apple computers.

Where do most students live?

Numerous housing options are available in University City. Off-campus housing options are available online. Philadelphia offers affordable living in a wealth of neighborhoods should you choose to live off-campus. If you would like to live in university housing, Stiles Hall, located 1.5 blocks from the Center City campus, offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments for graduate and professional school students. Drexel University also provides a free shuttle from Main Campus to Center City and from Queen Lane to Center City. We highly recommend living within close proximity to public transportation as parking in the area can be challenging.

More questions? Contact Colleen Baillie at cpb32@drexel.edu.