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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

School of Public Health

Master of Public Health – Admissions Requirements

***Due to the significant challenges posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the SUNY Downstate School of Public Health is waiving the GRE for applicants wishing to enroll in the MPH program beginning in the Spring 2021 term.***


Application Deadlines:

Summer Semester - February 15th 

Fall Semester - May 31st 

Spring Semester - November 30th 


Admission Policy

The time allotted for completion of the MPH degree, regardless of concurrent degree involvement is six (6) years unless there are compelling extenuating circumstances.

Admission Requirements


  • Baccalaureate degree from a Council for Higher Education (CHEA) regionally accredited college or university.
  • 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 3.0 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 (
  • For those interested in pursuing a concentration in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, or Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, a Bachelor of Science degree is preferred with at least one (1) undergraduate math and one (1) undergraduate biology course. For applicants to Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, an undergraduate chemistry course is preferred.
  • Appropriate completion of the MPH Program application, including the personal statement and essay on a selected public health topic. Please see information below in regard to the personal statement and essay (Written Essays Guidelines).
  • Letters of recommendation
    • For students pursuing only the MPH degree: Two (2) letters of recommendation must be submitted addressing the applicant’s academic ability and professional experience or interest as it applies to public health issues.
  • A graduate entrance examination is required**. The graduate entrance examination must have been taken within five (5) years of the application submission date. Graduate entrance examinations that will be accepted include the following:
    • Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).
    • Medical College Admissions test (MCAT).
    • Dental Admission Test (DAT).
    • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
    • Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
    • Optometry Admission Test (OAT).
    • United States Medical Licensure Exam (USMLE) Step 1 or 2.
    • National Board of Veterinary Medical Exam (NBVME).
  • **The graduate entrance examination is waived for those who have completed the Advanced Certificate in Public Health Program at SUNY Downstate with a GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • **If an applicant has earned a doctoral degree from CHEA regionally accredited college or university, the graduate entrance examination may be waived at the discretion of the departmental chair after review of official transcripts from said school.
  • Proof of current licensure must be submitted for all licensed health professionals
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language.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
      » Please note: Your application is not considered complete without the required standardized test score(s).
  • A $75 non-refundable application fee made payable to SUNY Downstate Medical Center

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.

Written Essay Guidelines

The application must include two written essays prepared by the applicant without outside assistance. These statements help the Admissions Committee evaluate the applicant's motivation for entering the program as well as skills in problem-solving, writing, and following guidelines. Each should be thoughtful, clear, concise, and well-organized. Any application that includes plagiarized material will be automatically rejected.


  • Personal Statement. The first essay is a personal statement in which the applicant explains his or her reasons for pursuing the degree in a particular area of interest 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.
  • Public Health Essay. Choose and describe a public health issue/problem in which you have an interest and present at least one possible approach to addressing that issue/problem. The essay should be no more than 750 words.

In your essay please carefully describe the issue or situation, using and citing current references, to substantiate your arguments. Then present your thoughts on how you might go about addressing some aspect of it. Please note that you can present a solution wherein you might work as an individual, or with other people or organizations. The essay should be clearly written and carefully checked for grammar and spelling. Please use separate sheets of paper for your essay, number the pages, and make certain that you include your name on each sheet.

Admission to the Concurrent Degree Program

Applicants for concurrent degrees with other programs in the medical center must apply to and be accepted by each program. Students applying for concurrent degrees should apply to both programs as early as possible so that they can obtain their admission status for each program in a timely fashion. The admission requirements for each degree apply. Students applying for concurrent degrees should indicate their intent on the application.


Admission to the Master of Public Health Program after successful completion of the SUNY Downstate Advanced Certificate Program

Students who have successfully completed the Advanced Certificate Program with GPA of 3.0 or higher in the five (5) courses may apply into the Master of Public Health Program by submitting the following form directly to the SPH Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs:

  • ACPH –> MPH Transition Form (pdf). This form must be submitted at least one (1) month prior to the start of the semester to which the applicant is applying.
  • Advanced Certificate graduates may apply for consideration to transition to the MPH program for either the Summer, Fall, or Spring term.
  • The Transition form is reserved only for those who seek admission to the MPH program in the semester immediately following the completion of the Advanced Certificate. Those who skip a semester or more, must submit a complete MPH application.
  • No other supporting documents are required.


Application Deadlines

MPH applicants can apply for either summer or fall semester except for MD/MPH applicants (see below). Applicants intending to enter in the Summer semester must have their applications completed and submitted by February 15th (Summer 2019 application deadline has been extended to April 15th). Applicants intending to enter in the Fall semester must have their applications completed and submitted by May 31st of the academic year beginning in September. Applicants intending to enter in the Spring semester must have their applications completed and submitted by November 30th. Note that applicants may be admitted after these dates, but only on space-available basis.

For MD/MPH Applicants: Matriculated MD/MPH applicants can enter only during the summer semester. The deadline for declaring an interest in the MD/MPH program is May 1st to the SUNY Downstate Office of Admissions.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of twelve (12) credits from another CEPH and CHEA regionally accredited college and/or university can be transferred into the MPH program.  Transfer of credits for courses used towards the completion of a granted degree will not be considered.

Courses taken outside of SUNY Downstate’s School of Public Health while actively matriculated in the program will not be considered.

For transfer of credits, the accepted student must provide: 1) a detailed course syllabus and 2) an official transcript verifying at least a B grade (3.0 on a 4.0 system) in that particular course(s).

If the student fails to provide appropriate proof of course content equivalency and an official transcript in a timely fashion, the option for credit transfer may be denied.

Notification of Status

Notification of action on the application is mailed after the complete admission materials are received and reviewed by the SPH Committee on Admission. The application review cycle begins in January of each year. 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.


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.

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 Student Health Office.

Mandatory Criminal Background Check

Please note that all students who attend SUNY Downstate Medical Center will be required to complete a background check prior to enrollment, at your expense. Background Checks will be conducted post-admission and are not used by the Admissions Committee to determine admissibility. Once you are accepted, you should complete the criminal background check by following the instructions here.


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

International Student Applications and Foreign Medical Graduates

International applicants are welcome to apply to any of our degree programs. 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 semester deadlines.

International students should not consider assistance from the college in their financial planning. On-campus employment is not recommended because of the demanding nature of the academic program. 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.

Application Processing

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

Important Information

Admission to SUNY Downstate Medical Center is based on the qualifications of the applicant. SUNY Downstate Medical Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, creed, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion, marital status or status as a disabled veteran in the Vietnam era. Responses on this application to questions of race, sex, and date of birth are voluntary and are used for statistical purposes only.

For more information about the School of Public Health, contact:

The SUNY Downstate Medical Center
School of Public Health
Box 43
450 Clarkson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11203
718-270-1065 (telephone)
718-270-2533 (fax)

All application materials for all programs must be submitted to:

SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Office of Admissions
Box 60
450 Clarkson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11203
Tel: 718-270-2446

Contact information for GRE, and TOEFL examinations is:

Graduate Record Examination Educational Testing Service
Box 955
Princeton, NJ 08540
GRE code: 2534

Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08451
TOEFL code: 2534


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