Tuesday, April 22, 2014

5 Motivators for Graduates Applying to Public Health Programs

Admit Data: Make Informed Admissions Decisions
By Janay A. Phillips

Are you considering studying abroad for a graduate public health degree? The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) projects that the U.S. will face a shortfall of 250,000 health workers by 2020. So, now is the time to apply to a reputable university in the U.S. which can provide international students the opportunity to study in the U.S.
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As seen below, over 4,500 international students were enrolled in public health programs-a whopping 52% were enrolled in only 10 U.S. universities in 2012. In this blog, we explore your chances of receiving an admittance letter based on a strong application and how you can prepare to meet the need of so many jobs in 2020. We present five motivators that can influence your decision to study abroad and improve your graduate application package.

#1. Quality Accreditation

Currently, there are 51 SPH (Schools of Public Health) and over 100 programs of public health accredited by CEPH. The schools referenced in the chart are accredited, but what does that mean for you?

Accreditation is a process of validation in which colleges, universities and other institutions are required to hold a consistent standard of quality. Graduate applications to accredited schools in public health require a set of standards that are recognized globally. Nearly half of all students consider the reputation and program content as the leading factors to making application factors.

#2. Global Access

International students studying at U.S. universities will have access to the latest research, industry specific leaders and professors in the field of public health. An advanced degree from a country like the U.S., with access to stellar educational resources and emerging trends in public health can improve your career prospects. 

#3. Personal and Professional Growth

Studying abroad can be a culture shock for some. Don’t discount the value of school-based organizations! Studies show that 13% of the international student population gives less consideration to student services when making university decisions.

University based organizations and student-support services are created specifically to complement your intellectual goals and make the transition to campus-life a more enjoyable experience. Membership in associations like this can be stepping stones to building a strong global network.

#4. Academic and Scholarship Opportunities

World Education Services (WES) categorizes the informational needs and behavioral differences of international students into four segments:

  • Explorers,
  • Strivers,
  • Highfliers,
  • and Strugglers. 

For instance, an Explorer represents 30% of international students applying to public health graduate programs. An Explorer has high financial resources but low academic preparedness. Low academic preparedness means that the admissions officer weighs the value of your credentials against others applying to master programs in public health. Also, search online for funding sources offering academic, skill-based, or cultural specific requirements.

#5. Online Application Process

Organizations like Sophas.org provide online centralized application services for applying to Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited schools and programs of public health. The graduate application process is dependent on country specific regulations and laws. Additionally, requirements posted by the learning institution further define the university application process. Check the university website for the most up-to-date information on the application process.

Creating a timeline or using a student checklist helps guide the application process. According to University Admissions Expert, Ms. Marjorie Smith, who wrote the article, “Start Early and Do-It-Yourself,” starting early is sound advice to follow when applying for your master’s degree. Time each step and leave room for unexpected events that may delay the process.
  1. Gather your academic transcripts.
  2. Request letters of recommendation.
  3. Take appropriate entrance exams.
  4. Complete application requirements by deadlines.

Take control of your graduate application process. Your decision to pursue a graduate degree is a good decision when you take the time to consider ALL of the possibilities available to you. The decision to study abroad is not an easy one but these 5 motivators will help drive graduate applicants to put their best foot forward when applying to graduate school for public health programs. We’d like to know what you feel are the most important elements to you as an international student applying to a Master’s of Public Health program overseas.


Janay Phillips is the Marketing Manager for WES Student Advisor at World Education Services, New York. Over the past 15 years, Janay developed and implemented global marketing initiatives to English as a second language learners and educators studying in K-12 and higher education learning institutions.

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