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FAQ

Do I need to take the GRE?

No. The Distance Public Health Administration & Policy MPH (D-PHAP) admissions committee takes a holistic approach to admissions.

When can I start?

The DPHAP program has two starts per year, in January and September.

Is there money for scholarships?

The program has a small amount of money to support tuition for those with the most need. 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.  Students may not transfer in more than 40% of the curriculum.

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 and the world. 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.

You will not be alone.  The School of Public Health has many years catered to “non traditional students” who like you, have not been in school for some time. 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.

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 Distance Public Health Administration & Policy MPH program?

Students come from many different settings—from recently completed undergraduate programs, to mid career non traditional students in search of an MPH degree and a new direction.  All share a passion for improving the health of their communities, an interest in using their expertise, and a desire to learn new skills. Students in the D-PHAP program work 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 distance-style policy and management MPH programs?

Our program is substantially less expensive than top-ranked programs nationwide, as all students receive in-state tuition rates, the already low tuition, and low fees at the University of Minnesota.

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