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Frequently Asked Questions

What degrees do you offer?

The Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University offers certificates, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in all areas of public health.

Visit our Degrees Page for a complete list

What is the difference between the full-time and Executive MPH?

The Executive MPH is a generalist degree designed for working professionals. The Executive MPH program is a 21 month program with students meeting on-campus one weekend per month. The full-time MPH program is 5 quarters in length with no courses held during the summer between first and second year. Executive MPH students must also possess 3 years of professional work experience (typically post-undergraduate) prior to enrolling. There is no work experience requirement for the full-time MPH.

The full-time MPH Program offers majors in 4 areas: Community Health and Prevention, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology and Health Management and Policy.

How long will it take to complete a master's degree program?

The full-time MPH program and MS programs are completed in 5 quarters. Each academic quarter is 10 weeks in length, and MPH and MS students can expect to graduate in March of their second year. The Executive MPH program is completed in 21 months on a semester schedule.

What are your tuition costs?

Information on tuition and fees can be found on Drexel Central. Drexel Central is the university's one-stop for financial aid, billing and registration.

Drexel Central: Tuition and Fees

Do you offer scholarships and financial aid?

Yes, applicants to the full-time MPH and MS programs are eligible for scholarships at the time of application as well as other scholarships once enrolled. Historically, more than 60% of students in the full-time masters programs receive some type of scholarship funding.

Visit our Scholarships and Financial Aid page for more information

Full-time doctoral students typically receive some type of tuition funding or a stipend. Executive MPH students usually receive tuition assistance from their employer. In addition, need-based aid is available in the form of grants, loans and work-study. Please visit Drexel Central for more information on financial aid. 

Do you offer teaching or graduate assistantships?

Full-time doctoral students receive teaching/graduate assistantships as part of their tuition funding and stipend. Once enrolled in the program, many full-time MPH and MS students will work on a part-time basis as research assistants for faculty members or for research centers at Dornsife School of Public Health and throughout the University. Second-year MPH students are eligible to be teaching assistants for first-year MPH courses. These positions are paid on hourly basis, and given to students in good academic standing.

Can I receive a master's degree through distance education?

Presently, we do not have a distance education program for a master's degree, however students enrolled in the Executive MPH program travel from as far as New York, Washington, DC and Canada.

Do you offer evening classes?

Most courses are offered during the day. Full-time, working professionals are encouraged to consider the Executive MPH.

Do students have the opportunity to specialize in a particular public health field?

Yes, full-time MPH students major in one of the following areas of public health:

  • Community Health and Prevention
  • Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Management and Policy

Additionally, all full-time master’s students, including MS students, have the opportunity to pursue a minor which will complement their training by providing basic knowledge in topics outside their primary discipline. Elective courses in other graduate departments throughout the university are also available.

Visit our minors page for more information

Do students work closely with faculty?

Yes, all students are assigned a faculty mentor. Additionally, students are able to collaborate with faculty on a variety of research and community-based projects. Our faculty are highly accessible and committed to mentoring students.

What research opportunities are available for master's students?

The Dornsife School of Public Health offers a number of research opportunities for students. Our MPH students can complete research in a community-based setting in conjunction with their applied practical experience (known as the Depth Experience) and Integrated Learning Experience (ILE) or conduct research independently with an SPH faculty member. Students can also work as research assistants for SPH faculty or for the various research centers and projects affiliated with the Dornsife School of Public Health. MS students complete a data analysis project as part of their culminating experience, and many students also work on research projects beyond their required academic projects. Often, paid or unpaid opportunities available to students are posted on the public health career system, also known as Symplicity. Once you arrive on campus to begin your program, you can set up an account and search for positions. We recommend checking Symplicity frequently as opportunities are posted and updated often. You can also visit the Human Resources' Student Employment for other student employment opportunities available at Drexel.

Symplicity

Drexel University is in a big city. Is it safe?

Drexel University was recently ranked No. 3 in the nation for safety among colleges and universities by Security magazine.  Drexel University has a number of programs focused on the safety of its students, faculty and staff on campus, including a 24-hour escort service, alert system and campus-wide emergency phones.

What undergraduate degree do I need to apply to the Dornsife School of Public Health?

There is no specific undergraduate degree required for admission to Dornsife School of Public Health, although a course in statistics is highly recommended. Students in our programs have completed undergraduate degrees in the natural sciences, mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, economics, business and the humanities. Applicants to the MS programs should have a bachelor’s degree in a quantitative field such as mathematics, engineering, computer science, etc. Applicants to the doctoral programs must have an MPH or related degree.

When is the application deadline?

Applications for the full-time MPH program are reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in January for fall entry. Applications for the Executive MPH and MS programs are continually reviewed as they are received. Average decision turnaround time is 3-4 weeks. Doctoral applications are reviewed after the listed program deadlines. All programs begin in the fall of each year with deadlines as follows:  

Full-time MPH:

Endowed Scholarship Deadline: January 15th
Priority Deadline: March 15th
Regular Decision Deadline: August 1st

Executive MPH:

Priority Deadline: March 15th
Regular Decision Deadline: August 1st

Full-time MS Programs:

Priority Deadline: March 15th
Regular Decision Deadline: July 1sr

DrPH programs:

January 15th

PhD programs:

December 15th

What is the difference between the Endowed Scholarship, Priority and Regular Decision Deadline for the full-time MPH and MS programs?

Students who apply before the March 15th deadline will be given priority consideration for scholarships if they are eligible. Students who apply after the Priority Deadline will be considered for scholarships should funds still be available. Applicants to the full-time MPH program interested in being considered for one of the School's Endowed Scholarships should apply no later than January 15th.  

Do you require work experience prior to enrolling?

The full-time MPH program does not require work experience, however students in the Executive MPH program must have a minimum of 3 years of professional work experience (in any setting) prior to enrolling.

What GPA is required for admission?

There is no minimum GPA required for admission, however at least a 3.0 is considered competitive.

What standardized test do you require for admission?

The Dornsife School of Public Health will accept the GRE, MCAT, LSAT or the GMAT exam taken within the last 5 years. Most applicants submit GREs with scores of at least the 50th percentile in each section.

What is your GRE code?

All applicants should report their GRE scores to SOPHAS using the code 7890.

Are there circumstances in which an applicant can be waived of the GRE requirement?

Yes, applicants to the Executive MPH program are eligible for a GRE waiver under one of the following circumstances.

  1. Applicant possesses a master's, first professional or terminal degree from an accredited college or university
  2. Applicant has demonstrated quantitative aptitude having obtained a grade of B or better in undergraduate or graduate courses in one of the following: Pre-calculus, Calculus, Algebra, Statistics, or an equivalent such as completion of the School of Public Health’s Certificate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
  3. Professional and educational experiences demonstrating quantitative skills and aptitude.

Eligibility of the waiver under options 1 or 2 will be verified upon receipt of the applicant’s official transcripts.

Applicants interested in waving the GRE requirement under option 3 should submit a brief statement of request along with their resume/CV to sphadmissions@drexel.edu for consideration. Applicants will be notified within 2 weeks if the GRE waiver has been granted.

What should the application essay address? Is there a word limit?

Your essay should discuss how you became interested in the public health profession, your career or research goals if known at this time, and why you are interested in Drexel University. There is no length requirement, however 600-800 words is usually sufficient. Please visit the program pages for the MS and doctoral programs to view essay requirements.

What are your requirements for international students?

International students must have all foreign transcripts evaluated by the World Education Service (visit www.wes.org for more information). Non-native English speaking applicants are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Competitive applicants should have a TOEFL score of 100 or an IELTS score of 7.0. This requirement can be waived if the applicant completed their degree at an accredited college or university in the United States.

Applicants from certain countries are also waived of the TOEFL/IELTS.

View the list of waived countries

Can I transfer credits toward a master's degree program?

Transfer credit is considered on a case by case basis. Those who have completed graduate coursework in public health must be prepared to submit official transcripts and all course syllabi for review by the Director of Academic Affairs.

I am a foreign medical doctor, is my application process different?

No, the process for all international applicants is the same.  Please see above for minimum required TOEFL/IELTS scores and transcript evaluations.

Can I schedule an appointment to discuss admissions?

Yes, prospective students are encouraged to visit the School. Please consult our Visit page for a list of upcoming events. Individual appointments are also available by contacting sphadmissions@drexel.edu Interviews are not required for admission to the MPH or MS programs, however the DrPH programs and PhD program require an in-person or telephone interview.

Where do students live?

Many students live in the neighborhoods surrounding the Drexel campus such as University City, Fairmount and Center City. The Drexel University Office of Off-Campus Housing assists graduate students in finding accommodations in the area. A free shuttle service is provided between the Center City, Queen Lane and Main Campuses for students who wish to live in other sections of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, one of the most affordable East Coast cities, offers unique, student-friendly housing options in a variety of different neighborhoods. The off-campus housing web portal provides listings of rentals, sublets as well as properties for sale for graduate students who wish to live in different areas of the city.

The Office of University Housing coordinates on-campus housing for both undergraduate and graduate and professional students. Stiles Hall, located on the Drexel Center City campus, is predominantly occupied by graduate and professional students. With one, two and three bedroom apartments, Stiles Hall is within close proximity to numerous Philadelphia attractions.

Learn more about Stiles Hall

Drexel University is also affiliated with American Campus Communities properties in University City (which include Chestnut Square, The Summit, and University Crossings).

Comparison of University Housing and American Campus Communities

How many students are enrolled in Dornsife School of Public Health?

Our total student enrollment is approximately 450, including undergraduate, master, and doctoral students. The full-time MPH program typically enrolls 100 students each year, and the Executive MPH enrolls 20-30 students in each cohort. The full-time MS programs enroll about 15 students each year.

Is your student body diverse?

The Dornsife School of Public health views diversity in our students, faculty and staff as essential to all elements of our mission. We pride ourselves in having a School with a diverse faculty and student body and are committed to creating a supportive environment for students from all backgrounds. (2017-2018) the race and ethnic background of our students is 25% African-American, 27% Asian or Pacific Islander, 10% Hispanic, and 38% Caucasian. Typically we enroll about 80% females and 20% males. The average age of students enrolled at the School of Public Health is 29.

Additionally, our student population is geographically diverse. We have students from many states including, but not limited to, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, California, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington, Arizona, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Colorado and Illinois.

We also have an international presence, including students from China, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Korea, Argentina, Cameroon, Ghana, Saudi Arabia and other countries across the globe

Can Dornsife students get involved with campus activities?

Yes, our students are actively engaged in numerous organizations both at the Dornsife School of Public Health and throughout Drexel University. The School’s Student Government Organization (SGO) organizes numerous school-wide events such as the annual Multi-cultural dinner, social hours and community service activities. Students are also active in departmental clubs, journal clubs, the Maternal and Child Health Working Group and the Global Health Forum. Dornsife students can participate in university organizations and activities such as intramural sports, Drexel Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (DGWISE) and the Drexel Graduate Black Student Union.

Learn more about Student Life

What career services are available?

Through the University, we have a career service office that works closely with students in a number of ways. They offer workshops throughout the year in resume writing, interviewing and other related career services. In addition, the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center (SCDC) serves students, alumni, faculty, administrators, and the University's participating employer organizations. Services focus on integrating experiential education experiences and academic programs; and teaching and prioritizing effective career management that empower students with skills essential for their future careers and lives. Additionally, Dornsife School of Public Health regularly provides its students with career development information and job/internship/fellowship postings. Also, career development workshops for public health students are held throughout the academic year.

Learn more about career services

Our graduates have an excellent track record of securing employment or pursuing advanced graduate study upon graduation. According to the 2016 Drexel University Graduate Exit Survey, 85% of Dornsife graduates reported that they were employed or planning to continue their education at graduation. Our graduates work as health planners/educators, epidemiologists, and evaluators in hospitals, community-based organizations, and businesses. We have other students who have continued their education in doctoral programs, as well as medical school.  Other graduates have been awarded fellowships, particularly with federal government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Learn more about career services