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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Department named International Health, not Global Health?

The Department of International Health could change its name to Global Health. But it’s important not to. While nationalism can be a barrier to health equity, nations play a critical role in public health – many solutions are more local than global. Read more.

What are the application deadlines?

Doctoral program: December 1
MSPH in Human Nutrition – Dietitian: December 1
MSPH programs, except for the Human Nutrition – Dietitian program: January 15 
MHS: June 1.
BA/MSPH program with Public Health Studies at JHU: July 1

For more updated information, please check the School’s How to Apply page

What are the Department's admissions requirements?
  • Baccalaureate-level degree in a related field
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for MSPH and PhD programs (optional, but highly recommended for the 2023/2024 academic year)
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) for the MHS in Global Health Economics program (optional, but highly recommended for the 2020/2021 academic year)
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Resume or curriculum vitae 
  • English proficiency scores for non-native English speakers. Minimum scores:
    • TOEFL – minimum iBT score: 100
    • IELTS Academic – minimum score: 7
    • Duolingo English Test – minimum composite score: 130
    • Pearson Test for English (PTE Academic) – minimum score: 68
  • Three letters of recommendation
Is the GRE required?

For all full-time master’s and doctoral programs administered by the Department of International Health, GRE scores will be optional, but highly recommended for applicants to the 2023/2024 academic year. The Department has elected to change our policy on standardized test scores in an effort to assist potential applicants who may have difficulty taking standardized tests because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you already have valid GRE scores we encourage you to include them as part of your application; however, your application will still be reviewed without them. If you do not have GRE scores but instead have MCAT scores available, we encourage you to include them in your application. If you have any questions about your application please contact us at or

The GRE is now offering a test-at-home option in nearly all locations where the traditional internet-based test is offered. Results are available in 10 to 14 days.

I am worried that my GRE score will not reflect my full abilities as I do not have adequate time to study. Will this affect my ability to be admitted?

The admissions committee looks at every application holistically. We take into account previous grades, types of courses taken, GRE scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation, match to program area and faculty interests, and experience. Because public health is an applied discipline, experience in low- and middle-income country settings—such as that obtained through the Peace Corps or Fulbright—is viewed favorably by the admissions committee. We also recognize that the situation of global uncertainty and disruption in response to COVID–19 may affect test-taking ability, and we will take that into consideration in admissions decisions. We encourage you to do your best on the GRE and focus on other aspects of your application which are equally important to the admissions process.

What is the difference between the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) and Master of Public Health (MPH) programs?

The MSPH is a department-based degree program designed for students who are looking to begin a career in global public health. It provides a foundation in core public health disciplines while allowing students to develop more specialized skills in a particular area of interest by choosing from one of our four program areas. The MSPH includes a practicum requirement of a minimum of four months full time.

The MPH is a schoolwide degree program designed to provide students with broad-based education in the areas of population health and disease, as well as training to work with a variety of public health issues. Applicants must have a minimum two years of experience in a health field or public health prior to applying.

The two degrees are equivalent in terms of their level of recognition and respect in the field of public health.


What is the difference between a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) And Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)?

The PhD prepares students to become independent investigators in academic and non-academic research institutions, and emphasizes contributions to theory and basic science. Applicants must apply to one of the Department's four program areas.

The DrPH degree is no longer being offered through the Department of International Health. It is being redesigned and will be offered as a schoolwide degree for a start date of June 2017. For more information, please read about  the DrPH program here. The DrPH is designed for students with experience in the practice of public health who have already earned their MPH or an equivalent degree and want to further prepare themselves for leadership positions at federal agencies, state and local health departments, nongovernmental organizations, universities, and health care institutions. 

How do I apply?

The School's Application Instructions are available here.

What if I have a hard time getting other application materials, such as transcripts or letters of recommendation, due to COVID-19 closures?

We hope that this extension will give you enough time to get your transcripts and letters of recommendation to us by the deadline. If you think it will take longer, please contact us with your concerns. The Bloomberg School Office of Admissions allows 14 days for applicants to gather any missing documentation. 

How quickly will I learn whether I have been admitted?

For our master's degree progams that have reopened admissions and extended deadlines this year, we are committed to a rapid turn-around, providing an admissions decision within 7-10 days of receiving a complete application.

What kind of recommendations should I use when applying?
  • Master's applicants should have at least two academic recommendations out of three. The third can be professional.
  • Doctoral students can have a mix of academic and professional recommendations, and with permission from the academic manager, can submit a fourth letter of recommendation if appropriate.
What is the funding for master's students?

The Department awards a limited number of full-tuition scholarships to incoming master's students each year in a competitive process. During the second year, after completing a minimum of 64 course credits and during the internship stage of the program, the Department automatically provides a 75% scholarship to all master's students; students are responsible for the remaining 25% of the tuition. Research and teaching assistantships may be available that can support students in selected areas. Financial support for internships varies depending on the sponsoring organization

What is the funding for doctoral students?

All full-time PhD students will receive the following support for the first four years of the program: full tuition, individual health insurance, University Health Services clinic fee, vision insurance and dental insurance. By year 2 of their PhD, students must have identified and be assigned to a research or training grant.

What are the typical GRE, GPA and TOEFL/IELTS scores for students admitted into the Department?

In general, GRE scores for most students admitted average the 70 percentile in all three areas, with the average somewhat lower for MSPH students and higher for PhD and DrPH students. Undergraduate GPAs average 3.25 for MSPH students, and graduate GPAs average 3.50 for PhD and DrPH students.

It should be noted that no one factor dominates the admissions decision. The admissions committee looks at applications holistically. Factors examined include previous grades, types of courses taken, GRE scores, personal statement, letters of recommendation, match to track and faculty interests, and experience. Experience in one developing country is viewed favorably, especially for admission to the PhD program.

TOEFL scores have to be a minimum of 100 in internet-based tests.

IELTS scores must be a minimum of 7.

What are the application requirements for international students?

Visit the International Applicant Information website for details. Application requirements for the Department are also posted. Experience in international developing countries is viewed favorably, especially for admission to the PhD program.

Can I visit the campus?

We are currently not open to visitors due to COVID-19

Do any International degree programs require a specific background?

The MSPH in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control: a degree in hard sciences highly preferred

The MSPH in Health Systems: a degree in biological or health sciences or alternatively in management or social sciences

The MSPH in Social and Behavioral Interventions: a degree in the health or social sciences

The MSPH in Human Nutrition – Dietitian track requires all students to have an undergraduate major in a hard science, health, or psychology. It also requires students to take 7 additional courses prior to applying (up to 2 of the courses can be done after submitting the application). For more information, please see the Registered Dietitian page.

The PhD in GDEC, Health Systems, and SBI require a prior master’s degree.

The PhD in Human Nutrition requires a minimum of 1 year of post-baccalaureate such as a master's degree, a dietetic internship, medical training, or other relevant work experience.

If I am a foreign, non-native English speaking student who graduated from a college in the united states, do I still need to submit a TOEFL score?

If you received a degree from an English-speaking university, you can request a TOEFL score waiver from the Academic Program Manager by email. We will review your degree and university to determine whether you will need to submit a TOEFL score or you qualify for a waiver.

Can I complete the MSPH, MHS, or PHD programs online or on a part-time basis?

The Department does not offer these options for any degree programs. While some courses are available through the Web, the programs require that students be enrolled full-time and be in residence. However, the MPH and DrPH programs offer part-time/Internet-based options.

Can I enroll in the winter or summer institutes as a full-time student?

You can enroll in these Institutes but you will have to pay additional tuition for each course. Your regular year tuition does not cover the cost of courses in these Institutes.