FAQ

Do I need to take the GRE?

No. The Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH (Executive PHAP) admissions committee considers undergraduate GPA (and other postgraduate study GPAs) and accomplishment since graduation from college.

When can I start?

A new cohort starts each January. If you are eager to start classes before then, you can take one or more public health core courses as a “non-degree seeking student.” These courses can be applied to your Executive PHAP degree. Check with the program coordinator before enrolling in courses outside of the Executive PHAP program, to confirm that the courses can be transferred to our degree.

Is there money for scholarships?

The program has a small amount of money to support tuition for those who apply by the priority deadline (June 1st). These scholarships are prioritized for employees of government agencies and small community-based organizations which may not be able to provide tuition support.

Can I transfer credits from other postgraduate work to this degree?

If you have taken courses at the UMN or another accredited School of Public Health within the last 7 years, some or all of these credits may be transferable. Other post-graduate work (in programs other than public health) may be transferable and will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

I already know that I can’t make one of the on-campus sessions. What can I do?

The on-campus sessions are a really important part of the educational and cohort-building process. We would urge you to try to change your plans, or apply to the next cohort.

I’ve never taken a course online. I’m not sure I’ll like it.

Most people really like the flexibility of online courses and the opportunity to learn with colleagues from all over the country. All course material is offered “asynchronously,” meaning that the student doesn’t have to be available at a certain time to listen to a lecture. The UMN SPH is a leader in online public health education and strives to create quality online learning experiences. Courses are supported by the School’s Office of eLearning Services.

I haven’t been in school for a while. I’m not sure I’ll do well.

The average student in the Executive PHAP program is in his/her mid to late 30s. Thus, you won’t be the only student who hasn’t been in school for a while. During the first on-campus session, before other classes start, we will review how to succeed at online learning. Most courses have teaching assistants, in addition to the instructors, and many have access to tutors. Program staff is here to help you do well.

I’m not very good at math, and I’m worried about the biostatistics class.

Almost everyone worries about the biostatistics class! UMN SPH has an innovative approach to teaching statistics, called Biostatistical Literacy. Access to a brief math refresher course is provided before the course starts. The goal of the class is to understand how to apply statistical concepts to analyzing public and population health problems. During the class, students design and conduct research projects using a virtual population called “The Island.”

I’m not very good at writing.

Writing is the basis of all communication (including tweets, TED talks, and LinkedIn profiles!). Learning to write well is an important part of graduate school, and there are many opportunities in class and during professional development activities to improve writing. UMN has an outstanding Center for Writing, which will assist students, through online consultations, to polish their writing, whether it is a discussion thread post or a Master’s project paper.

What kinds of people enroll in the Executive Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program?

One of the best parts about the Executive PHAP program is the cohort. Students come from many different settings—local, city, and state public health departments, health care systems, community-based organizations, insurers, device manufacturers, advocacy organizations, consulting companies. They share a passion for improving the health of their communities, an interest in using their expertise, and a desire to learn new skills. The group works together to develop multidisciplinary solutions to complex problems.

How much does SOPHAS cost?

It costs $135 to apply to one program, and $50 more for each additional school or program. Fee waivers are available through SOPHAS; they are issued on a first come, first served basis, and the applicant must demonstrate financial need. Detailed instructions on applying for a fee waiver can be found in the FAQ found within the SOPHAS application.

How does this program compare with other executive-style policy and management MPH programs?

Our program is substantially less expensive than most similar programs nationwide, as all students receive in-state tuition rates and low fees at the University of Minnesota. Our program also blends in-person and online learning to maximize the student experience with comparably fewer on-campus days, allowing students to maintain their professional careers. Our program has 17 days of on-campus instruction, while most other programs have upwards of 25 on-campus days.

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