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Master of Health Science (MHS) in Social Factors in Health

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Criteria for Admissions?

Prospective applicants can find more information about how to apply here.

What is the Admissions Review Process?

Once your application packet is deemed complete by the Bloomberg School’s Office of Admissions, your application is sent to the MHS program faculty who review your application. Faculty look for solid academic performance and letters of recommendation, a strong link between the applicant’s stated career goals and mission of the MHS program, and previous relevant experiences.

Are the GREs Required?

The Department of Health, Behavior & Society recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic may significantly impede prospective students’ ability to complete standardized testing requirements. To help address the unique challenges the pandemic has presented, the Department of Health, Behavior & Society has opted to alter our policy requiring GRE scores for applicants to the 2021-2022 academic year.

For prospective students applying to all HBS academic programs for the 2021-2022 academic year, GRE scores will be optional, but highly recommended. We encourage applicants with existing GRE scores to include them as part of their applications. However, applications will still be reviewed without GRE scores.

Applicants may submit GRE scores to JHSPH using the SOPHAS code 3738.

My GRE Scores are More Than Five Years Old. Will You Accept Them?

The policy of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) is to maintain GRE scores for a five-year period only. After the five years, the scores are purged from the ETS computer system. If you have a copy of your original test scores, the Department may consider that in lieu of the report from ETS. However, more recent GRE scores are preferred.

Is There a Minimum GRE Score to Qualify for Admission?

There is no minimum score. We look very closely at test scores because we have found that to some degree, successful completion of the doctoral coursework and thesis research is highly predicted by strong scores on these tests. However, this is only one of several criteria that determine acceptance into the master's program. We also look closely at transcripts to ensure that applicants’ skills meet the demands of the program.

What Types of Certificate Programs are Available to Students?

HBS masters students may pursue any of the certificate programs offered in the Bloomberg School. For more information about certificate programs, please visit certificates.

What Will I Need to Do for My Master's Research Paper?

The student will work in a mentored research activity for a minimum of 600 hours, most typically beginning in the summer after completing the first year of coursework, and concluding during the first and second terms of the second year.

The specific content of the paper is to be developed by the student in close consultation with the faculty advisor (and research project mentor, where these are not the same person). The research paper must 1) be based on original research, 2) address a public health problem with a social and behavioral focus, 3) represent original work conducted by the student in conjunction with the research advisor 4) include a rigorous and scientifically defensible analytic component, 5) be based on a conceptual model that relates the work to existing knowledge and 6) be acceptable to the Department of Health, Behavior and Society. It is possible, but not required, that the research be worthy of peer review publication.