Admissions Requirements for Advanced Certificate Programs

The School of Public Health (SPH) currently offers five Advanced Certificate programs:

  • Advanced Certificate in Public Health
  • Advanced Certificate in Climate Change and Planetary Health
  • Advanced Certificate in Public Health Geriatrics
  • Advanced Certificate in Global Health
  • Advanced Certificate in Clinical Epidemiology

NOTE: Students enrolled in the Advanced Certificate program do not qualify for financial aid and/or federal student loans.

Application Deadlines

Accepting Applications:

Summer Semester - June 1st
Fall Semester - August 1st
Spring Semester - January 1st

Apply to all Certificate Programs

Admission Requirements

A number of factors – undergraduate and graduate Grade Point Average (GPA), letters of recommendation, and personal experiences – are considered in the decision to accept an applicant into the Advanced Certificate in Public Health Program. Each factor is weighed separately yet considered in relation to the others in the decision to admit or reject an applicant.

  • Appropriate completion of the Advanced Certificate in Public Health Program admission application.
  • A baccalaureate degree in any discipline from a college or university institutionally accredited and recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) such as: the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Higher Learning Commission, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. If you have any questions about whether a transfer course will be accepted, you should check with the Office of Admissions prior to enrolling in the course.
  • Official transcripts from all previous postsecondary CHEA regionally accredited colleges or universities. If the student is applying for concurrent degrees in the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, or School of Health Professions, then transcripts need only be sent to those primary programs.
  • An undergraduate record with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better (on a 4.0 scale) is preferred. Applicants who have completed all or part of their education abroad, are required to have a course-by-course educational credential evaluation completed by an approved agency accredited by the National Association Of Credential Evaluation Services (
  • Personal Statement. The essay is a personal statement in which the applicant explains his or her reasons for pursuing the advanced certificate in public health and hopes for what he or she will achieve with that degree. The essay should be on separate, numbered sheets of paper for and include the applicant’s name at the top of each sheet. The essay should be no more than 500 words.
  • Letters of recommendation
    • One (1) letter of recommendation must be submitted addressing the applicant's academic ability and professional experience or interest as it applies to public health issues. A Letter from a professor or work-related supervisor is preferred. Note that letters from friends and family members are not acceptable.
  • A CV/Resume or a brief biographical sketch.
  • Proof of current licensure must be submitted for all licensed health professionals
  • TOEFL. The (TOEFL) is required for ALL applicants for whom English is a Second Language and who have not completed at least one year of full-time study in a regionally accredited college or university in the United States (at least 24 semester credits, including two courses in English composition). A minimum score for the paper exam of 536 (undergraduate programs) and 564 (graduate programs); a minimum score for the computer exam of 208 (undergraduate programs) and 223 (graduate programs; and a minimum score for the Internet-based exam of 65-78 (undergraduate programs) and 79-95 (graduate programs) is required on the TOEFL.
    • TOEFL Box 6151,
      Princeton, New Jersey 08541
      phone: (609) 771-7100
      » Use the SUNY Downstate Institutional Code of 2534
  • A $75 non-refundable application fee for AMP applicants or $50 non-refundable application fee for SOPHAS Express applicants

At the time of application, unofficial documents maybe submitted via the AMP application system. Upon acceptance, however, all students will be required to submit all final and official documents before matriculating.

Application Deadlines

Applicants can apply for either summer or fall semester. Applicants intending to enter in the summer semester must have their applications completed and submitted by June 1st. Applicants intending to enter in the Fall semester must have their applications completed and submitted by August 1st of the academic year beginning in September. Applicants intending to enter in the Spring semester must have their applications completed and submitted by January 1st. Note that applicants may be admitted after these dates, but only on space-available basis.

Notification Of Status

Notification of action on the application is emailed after the complete admission materials are received and reviewed by the SPH Committee on Admission. Completed applications are reviewed on demand. A student accepted for admission into one of the graduate programs is required to secure his or her place in the class by submitting a deposit that will be applied to the first semester's tuition.

Matriculation Policy

Accepted students are required to submit all required documents, including final transcripts for all college and universities attended, to the Office of Admissions prior to the start of classes. Note that required health documents must be submitted directly to the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Student Health Office.

Advanced Certificate in Public Health Course Requirements: Accepted students must complete five (5) MPH core courses (listed below).

MPH Core Courses

  • Principles of Biostatistics
  • Principles of Epidemiology
  • Program Design and Evaluation
  • Issues in Environmental Health
  • Introduction to Health Policy and Management

Transfer Credits

Students enrolled in the Advanced Certificate program must complete all degree requirements at the SUNY Downstate School of Public Health and may not transfer credits from outside institutions.

International Student Applications And International Medical Graduates

Applicants who have completed all or part of their education abroad, are required to have a course-by-course educational credential evaluation completed by an approved agency accredited by The National Association Of Credential Evaluation Services ( This evaluation must include a breakdown of each course by name, US equivalent semester hours, and the corresponding letter grade. These requests should be done and completed well in advance of the application deadline.

Our entering classes are small and admission preference is given to New York State residents and to individuals who have completed their prerequisite courses in the United States.

International students should not consider assistance from the college or school in their financial planning. Many international students have visa restrictions on working. All international applicants must document their ability to finance their education as part of the admissions process.

International Medical Graduates who wish to be considered health care professionals are required to either have a valid and current state license in the United States or have passed Steps I and II of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) before they can be considered for entry into the program.


If accepted, individuals may request a deferral for up to one year for personal or professional reasons. Requests must be made in writing and submitted to the Office of Admissions and to the Chair of the specific department. No extensions beyond the one-year are permitted.


Some "reapplicants" are admitted each year with improved credentials. Reapplicants should contact the Program Office to schedule a pre-application advisement appointment to discuss how to improve their credentials in a reapplication. Reapplicants must submit a new application form, application fee, transcripts, and at least one new letter of recommendation.

Application Processing

All applicants are instructed to submit the application for admission and all official supporting credentials via the AMP application system for internal applicants or SOPHAS for external applicants. When an application is complete that application is forwarded to the School of Public Health for review by the Committee on Admissions.

Procedures Of Committee On Admissions

The committee receives the original application, when completed, from the SUNY DMC Admissions Office.

The committee appoints one primary and one secondary reviewer for each application. Each reviewer is responsible for assessing each candidate's application based on standard criteria.

At a regularly scheduled meeting of the Admissions Committee the primary and secondary reviewers' present their reports. The Admissions Committee discusses each candidate and then votes upon his/her qualifications for admission: accept, reject, hold for additional information. The report is then sent to the Dean. The application, with the Committee's decision is copied and the original returned to the Office of Student Admissions.

The Committee notes the decision in the file and it is also documented in a memo that accompanies the returned files.

The SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University Director of Admissions issues a letter to the applicant noting the decision regarding acceptance, rejection or hold for additional information.

Copies of all correspondence are maintained in each applicant's file in the SPH Office of Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.