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Admissions Criteria

Prior Degree Requirement

A bachelor's degree from an approved regionally accredited institution (or equivalent from an approved international institution) earned prior to starting a graduate program at USF is required for admission to the College of Public Health.


Click each degree for more information


Applicants to the MPH program are required to submit the following documentation directly to SOPHAS (all items are required regardless of GPA or GRE scores).

  • Completed application
  • Transcripts
  • GRE taken within five years preceding application or equivalent scores
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation. Check concentration requirements as some concentrations require three.
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • USF application form and fee (applicants will receive a link to the form once the SOPHAS application enters the USF system).

Details of USF admission information may be found at:
http://www.grad.usf.edu/policies_Sect4_full.php#admreq

The admission committee reviews and considers all required application documentation (listed above). To be admitted to the MPH program, applicants must also meet the following criteria. Meeting of these criteria shall not be the only basis for admission:

Additional College of Public Health Master of Public Health Admission Criteria

  • MPH Concentrations may have additional prerequisites. Find your concentration of interest for more information.
  • Applicants to the Online MPH in Public Health Practice concentration should visit the Online MPH Public Health Practice web site at http://health.usf.edu/publichealth/apply/graduate-admissions/public-health-practice-online.
  • Applicants with insufficient background or training in public health or other health and biological sciences may be required to take prerequisite courses. Check specific department web sites for more information.
  • Basic computer competency is expected.

All applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or have taken an equivalent admissions examination within the five years preceding application and must meet the following criteria:

  • Equivalent exams include the GMAT, MCAT, DAT or PCAT.
  • LSAT is not accepted in lieu of the GRE.
  • Although there are no required minimum scores, the applicant’s GRE score will be compared to the applicant pool and the national GRE norms.
  • Applicants who have a terminal degrees such as the PhD, ScD or EdD, and those with advanced professional degrees (MD, DDS, DO, DVM, JD, PharmD, DPT) from accredited institutions and who are individually licensed in the United States in their profession may request to waive the GRE (https://usfhealth.box.com/s/ievl84vasytoc20u3s9xsw59r44fdiyk).  The GRE waiver is not automatic and must be approved by the College of Public Health. 
  • Earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution; Earned a “B” average (3.0 on a 4 point scale) or better in all work attempted while registered as an upper division student working toward a baccalaureate degree
  • Applicants admitted to the MHA or MPH who have a score on the GRE Verbal or Analytical Writing test which is below the 40th percentile may be required to take REA 2105–Critical Reading and Writing–or an equivalent English composition course, during the first semester of enrollment, with a grade of “B” or better in the course.    

Applicants to the MSPH program are required to submit the following documentation directly to SOPHAS (all items are required regardless of GPA or GRE scores):

  • Completed application
  • Transcripts
  • GRE taken within five years preceding application or equivalent scores
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation. Check concentration requirements as some concentrations require three.
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • USF application form and fee (applicants will receive a link to the form once the SOPHAS application enters the USF system).

Details of USF admission information may be found at: http://www.grad.usf.edu/policies_Sect4_full.php#admreq

The admission committee reviews and considers all required application documentation (listed above). To be admitted to the MPH program, applicants must also meet the following criteria. Meeting of these criteria shall not be the only basis for admission:

Additional College of Public Health Master of Public Health Admission Criteria

  • MSPH concentrations may have additional prerequisites. Find your concentration of interest for more information.
  • Basic computer competency is expected.

All applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or have taken an equivalent admissions examination within the five years preceding application and must meet the following criteria:

  • Equivalent exams include the GMAT, MCAT, DAT or PCAT.
  • LSAT is not accepted in lieu of the GRE.
  • Although there are no required minimum scores, the applicant’s GRE score will be compared to the applicant pool and the national GRE norms.
  • Applicants who have a terminal degrees such as the PhD, ScD or EdD, and those with advanced professional degrees (MD, DDS, DO, DVM, JD, PharmD, DPT) from accredited institutions and who are individually licensed in the United States in their profession may request to waive the GRE (https://usfhealth.box.com/s/ievl84vasytoc20u3s9xsw59r44fdiyk).  The GRE waiver is not automatic and must be approved by the College of Public Health.
  • Shall have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution; Shall have earned a "B" average (3.00 on a 4 point scale) or better in all work attempted while registered as an upper division student working toward a baccalaureate degree.

Applicants to the MHA program are required to submit the following documentation directly to SOPHAS (all items are required regardless of GPA or GRE scores):

  • Completed application
  • Transcripts
  • GRE taken within five years preceding application or equivalent scores
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • USF supplemental application form and fee (applicants will receive a link to the form once the SOPHAS application enters the USF system). 

Details of USF admission information may be found at: http://www.grad.usf.edu/policies_Sect4_full.php#admreq

In addition to USF admission criteria, applicants must also meet College of Public Health Criteria:

  • Suggested/preferred undergraduate majors: Life sciences, social sciences, business, or health professions.
  • Prerequisite undergraduate courses: Microeconomics or equivalent (prerequisite must be completed prior to enrolling in PHC 6430 Health Economics I) and Accounting (prerequisite must be completed prior to enrolling in PHC 6160 Health Care Financial Management).
  • Verbal GRE 50th percentile
  • Quantitative GRE 50th percentile
  • In lieu of the GRE, applicants may submit a minimum GMAT score of 500 for the MHA
  • Basic computer competency is expected.
  • Applicants admitted to the MHA who have a score on the GRE Analytical Writing test which is below the 40th percentile may be required to take REA 2105—Critical Reading and Writing—or an equivalent English composition course, during the first semester of enrollment, and pass with a grade of “B” or better in the class.

Applicants to the PhD program are required to submit the following documentation directly to SOPHAS (all items are required regardless of GPA or GRE scores):

  • Completed application
  • Transcripts
    • A grade point average of 3.0
  • All applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or have taken an equivalent admissions examination within the five years preceding application and must meet the following criteria.
    • Equivalent exams include the GMAT, MCAT, DAT or PCAT.
    • LSAT is not accepted in lieu of the GRE.
    • Although there are no required minimum scores, the applicant’s GRE score will be compared to the applicant pool and the national GRE norms.
Applicants who have terminal degrees such as the PhD, ScD or EdD, and those with advanced professional degrees (MD, DDS, DO, DVM, JD, PharmD, DPT) from accredited institutions and who are individually licensed in the United States in their profession may request to waive the GRE (https://usfhealth.app.box.com/s/ievl84vasytoc20u3s9xsw59r44fdiyk).  The GRE waiver is not automatic and must be approved by the College of Public Health. After you fill out the form, please upload to your SOPHAS application.
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation. Department of Community and Family Health requires three.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • A graduate level term paper, thesis, or research paper of which the student is the sole author, publication on which the student is the first author; and
    • A detailed personal statement of less than five pages that describes why the applicant wishes to obtain a PhD degree in Public Health.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States must also submit TOEFL scores earned within two (2) years of the desired term of entry. A minimum total score of 79 on the internet-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 550 on the paper-based test are required. Applications submitted with TOEFL scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied with no exceptions.
  • USF supplemental application form and fee (applicants will receive a link to the form once the SOPHAS application enters the USF system).

In addition to USF admission criteria, applicants must also meet College of Public Health Criteria:

  • The doctoral committee may require prerequisites. These courses are not included in the minimum number of hours a student needs to complete the PhD and are expected to be completed early in the course of study.
  • Basic computer competency is expected.
  • In order to be considered for admission to the PhD Program in Public Health, applicants must be fully prepared to register as full-time students for at least one full academic year (consecutive fall and spring semesters).

Applicants to the DrPH program are required to submit the following documentation directly to SOPHAS (all items are required regardless of GPA or GRE scores):

  • Completed application
  • Transcripts
  • GRE taken within five years preceding application or equivalent scores
      • NOTE: A waiver of the GRE scores may be requested if the following conditions are evidenced by the applicant: a) a terminal degree (e.g., MD, JD, etc.); OR, b) an average GPA of 3.5 or higher in the master’s degree.
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation
  • Detailed personal statement of less than five pages that descirbes why you wish to obtain a DrPH degree in Public Health
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • USF supplemental application form and fee (applicants will receive a link to the form once the SOPHAS application enters the USF system).
  • Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States must also submit TOEFL scores earned within two (2) years of the desired term of entry. A minimum total score of 79 on the internet-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 550 on the paper-based test are required. Applications submitted with TOEFL scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied with no exceptions.

In addition to USF admission criteria, applicants must also meet College of Public Health Criteria:

  • Applicants must have an MPH, MHA, MSPH, or other relevant Masters degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants must submit transcripts for all college-level coursework, with a transcript evaluation for coursework from foreign institutions.
  • Applicants must submit a GRE test score taken within five (5) years preceding application, or results from an equivalent exam (GMAT, MCAT, DAT, or PCAT, but not LSAT). The GRE score will be compared to the applicant pool and national GRE norms when admission is considered. This requirement can be waived if the student has at least a 3.5 GPA, or has a terminal degree (PhD, ScD, or EdD) from an accredited institution, or an advanced professional degree (MD, DDS, DVM, JD, PharmD, DPT) with licensure in the United States. Any student seeking a waiver must submit a GRE waiver request with supporting documentation.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States must also submit TOEFL scores earned within two (2) years of the desired term of entry. A minimum total of 79 on the internet-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 550 on the paper-based test is required. Applications submitted with TOEFL scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied with no exceptions.
  • Applicants must submit a resume or curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement of less than five pages that describes why the applicant wishes to obtain a DrPH degree in Public Health. This document should explain the applicant's public health background, current public health practice interests, and how the DrPH is expected to affect the applicant's current practice.
  • To be admitted, applicants must have a minimum of two years advanced work experience in public health, and must demonstrate public health leadership potential in their statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. Students seeking admission to the Public Health Laboratory Science and Practice concentration must work at a health laboratory. Admission also depends on the availability of a Faculty Advisor who can advise the student in their area of interest. The final decision on admission is made by the faculty of the College.
  • Applicants must also be fully prepared to attend three DrPH Institutes on-campus.

Pre-Requisites

Students are expected to come into the DrPH degree program with foundational public health knowledge. Students who have an MPH or MHA degree from a CEPH-accredited institution meet this requirement. Students with other degrees meet this requirement if they have taken the equivalent of the MPH core coursework at a CEPH-accredited institution, or if they take the courses at USF listed below.

Pre-Requisite Public Health Core Courses - 9 credit hours

  • PHC 6588 History and Systems of Public Health
  • PHC 6756 Population Assessment I
  • PHC 6757 Population Assessment II