Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Graduate Applicants  |  Undergraduate Applicants

Graduate Applicant FAQs

Application Questions
Admission Decisions
Becoming an Ohio State College of Public Health Student
Entrance Exams
English Proficiency Exams

Application Questions

Can I apply to start in any term I want?
The College of Public Health only admits students for one term each year. All students apply to begin study the following fall semester, with the exception of the MPH-PEP program which begins classes during summer.

When is your application deadline?
On August 18 the SOPHAS (September 10 HAMPCAS) application opened to applicants.  Applicants are encouraged to submit their application 3-4 weeks prior to the posted deadline to allow for processing time. Applications received after the deadlines will be considered only if space remains available.

International applicants applying to meet the College of Public Health Graduate School Fellowship deadline MUST have ALL materials submitted to SOPHAS or HAMPCAS by November 1st. 

Domestic applicants applying to meet the College of Public Health Graduate School Fellowship deadline MUST have ALL materials submitted to SOPHAS or HAMPCAS by December 1st. 

  • August 18 – SOPHAS application open to applicants
  • September 10 - HAMPCAS application open to applicants
  • December 1 – Domestic student applicants applying for Graduate School Fellowship and international student general application deadline (Fellowship qualifications)
  • February 15 - Domestic applicants to the MPH, MHA, MS and PhD programs deadline with the following exceptions:
    • March 1 - Applicants to the MPH-Program for Experiences Professionals (PEP) deadline
    • May 15 - Domestic applicants to the MPH-Veterinary Public Health program, the MPH-Clinical Translational Science program and the MPH-Biomedical Informatics program deadline

 This information can also be found on the “How to Apply” page.

How do I submit my application?
All applicants are required to apply through the centralized application service SOPHAS, except:

All application materials MUST be sent directly to the centralized application service. To learn what application materials are required by program, please visit the “How to Apply” page.

Can I apply to more than one program or specialization?
SOPHAS will only allow applicants to apply for one program/specialization. Students should make a decision on their primary choice prior to formally applying. 

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Admissions Decisions

What qualities beyond academic performance and standardized tests, do admissions committees look for in a qualified applicant?
Grades from previous college/universities attended, strong letters of recommendation, a quality statement of intent and a lot of volunteer/work experience

When can I expect to receive a decision about my application?
Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year. Decisions usually take up to 4-6 weeks once all your application materials are received.

How will I be notified of my admission decision?
You will receive notification that you were recommended for admission by the College of Public Health via email. The Ohio State Graduate School will send your official admission letter once the decision is finalized. 

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Becoming a College of Public Health Student

By what date must I make a decision to accept my admission to the College of Public Health?
April 15 is the priority date to accept your admission for a guaranteed position in the class. After that date, enrollment is on a space-available basis.

How do I accept my admission?
You accept your admission by logging into your Buckeye Link account and officially making your enrollment decision. Once you have accepted, you will receive further information about your next steps as a student.

Is there a deposit to hold my spot in the class?
MHA students are required to pay a $350 deposit to accept and hold their spot. At this time, no other program in the College of Public Health requires a deposit.

Are there any prerequisites required for your programs?
Generally, there are not, however MHA students are required to have an introductory accounting course prior to beginning the MHA program.

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Entrance Exams

Are there required entrance exams?
All applicants must have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the GMAT within five years of application to the program.

The GRE and GMAT are more than a formality. Each test is a computer-based standardized test that is an indicator of your verbal, quantitative, and analytical abilities. Along with your academic record, purpose and goals statement, and other application materials, the exam provides faculty with a measure of your aptitude for graduate work. Therefore, it is important to prepare for the GRE or GMAT.

The GRE is mandatory when applying for the MPH, MS or PhD programs; however, if you have already taken the GMAT, please contact the Office of Academic Programs and Student Services at to inquire if the GMAT is acceptable. The MHA program accepts the GRE or GMAT scores.

What is a competitive GRE scores for my application?
Competitive GRE scores should be in the 50th percentile in both verbal and quantitative areas and a 4.0 in the writing section.

How do I submit my GRE/GMAT scores?
To submit your scores input the following code, which corresponds to the appropriate application system:

  • GRE – 4233 (Designation code for the GRE for SOPHAS applicants)
  • GRE – 0705 (Designation code for the GRE for MHA students using the HAMPCAS application system)
  • GMAT – ZLJDL91 for HSMP and Institution Code is: 1592 (we prefer GRE)

Are there any resources available to help me prepare for the GRE or GMAT?
Many resources are available to help you prepare for the GRE or GMAT. Check with your local library or bookstore for preparation manuals. There are also fee-based courses that combine classroom, computer, and at-home preparation. Review the following websites that offer free practice exams, sample questions, and information about signing up for a course:

When will I know the results of my entrance exam?
You will be able to see the results of the computer-based verbal and quantitative reasoning sections immediately after completing the test. The analytical writing portion scores will be available in 2-3 weeks at which time your GRE scores or GMAT scores will be sent to your designated schools.

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English Proficiency Exams

I am an international student, is the TOEFL (English proficiency) exam required?
Proof of English proficiency is required. Ohio State accepts the TOEFL, MELAB and IELTS exams. The TOEFL is accepted if taken within the last 2 years. Additional FAQ's about the TOEFL can be found here.

I am an international student whose entire education was in English. Am I required to take the TOEFL exam?
You are exempt from taking the TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • You have established citizenship in one of the following countries: Australia, Belize, British Carribean, British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, or the United States.
  • You are eligible to receive a Bachelor's Degree or higher from one of the countries listed above. It is not required that your degree must be completed at the time you are applying for admission, however the degree must be completed prior to enrolling at Ohio State.
  • You have, or will have, held a US Green Card for at least one year before the semester of enrollment.

 If your country is not listed as any of the exempt countries, you must take an English proficiency test.

What are the minimum scores required for admission?
The College of Public Health follows The Ohio State University Graduate and Professional Admissions minimum requirements for English proficiency.

How do I submit my TOEFL scores?
To submit your scores input the following code, which corresponds to the appropriate application system:

  • TOEFL – 5688 (Code for scores to be sent directly to SOPHAS)

What is a WES Evaluation?
World Education Services (WES) is an international credential evaluation service. This is the method by which you can submit your official non-US/Canadian transcripts to Ohio State through SOPHAS. 

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Is financial support available for international students?
The Ohio State Office of International Affairs provides some scholarships and grants for graduate students. Additional grant and scholarship opportunities are available from the East Asian Studies Center. Students are also encouraged to check with their country of citzenship to see if any funding is available.

What funding opportunities does the College offer?There are a number of different types of funding opportunities available to College of Public Health students. Potential students should apply by the posted fellowship deadlines to be considered for the most aid:

  • Graduate Fellowships: There are competitive university fellowships that students may receive if they meet certain criteria. University Fellowship information can be found here. Please note: Students do not apply for fellowship support, they are nominated for consideration during the application process if they complete applications prior to the posted deadlines.
  • CPH Graduate Assistantships: The College of Public Health offers a limited number of graduate student positions, most of which go to PhD students.
  • MHA Specific Scholarships and Jobs: Opportunities that are available only to OSU MHA students. More information can be found here.

There are also funding opportunities offered by Ohio State University that are available to College of Public Health students:

  • Other OSU Graduate Assistantships: Students also secure funding outside the College in other departments or programs at Ohio State. Some of our students have held Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA's) in Chemistry, or Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA's) in the Student Wellness Center.
  • General Funding Opportunities: Applicants are encouraged to visit the Graduate School's funding website for information about general funding opportunities available at Ohio State. 

For more information, please review the information sheet that the College has put together with information regarding ways to seek funding for admitted graduate students.

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Undergraduate Applicant FAQs

Can I substitute a course for Sociology 1101?
Yes Rural Sociology 1500 can be substituted for Sociology 1101.

When must all prerequiste courses be completed?
Students admitted for Autumn Semester 2016 admission had to complete all required major prerequisites by the beginning of the Autumn 2016 semester.

I plan on applying to the Sociology specialization, where can I find the approved Natural Science GE list?
The approved GE Science courses can be found here

I plan on applying to the Sociology specialization and have completed more than one of the courses included in the Approved Natural Science GE list.
Which of these courses should I include in the BSPH Major application?

Use the approved Natural Science GE course in which you earned the highest grade.

I am currently not attending the Ohio State University but want to apply to the Bachelors of Science in Public Health major. What do I need to do?
First, you need to apply and be accepted to the Ohio State University through Undergraduate Admissions.Once accepted to the Ohio State University you may submit an application to the Bachelor of Science in Public Health major.

If I miss the application deadline can I still apply?
We will accept and review applications after the application deadline, pending available seats and the quality of applicants.

How many students will you be accepting into the major?
We anticipate accepting up to 80 qualified applicants.

If I have questions about completing the application who should I contact?
If you have questions about the BSPH application or about the BSPH major, call the Office of Academic Programs and Student Services and request to speak to an Undergraduate Advisor at 614-292-8350.

What is the TOEFL test? Do I have to take it?

The TOEFL is an English language proficiency exam that Ohio State requires for students whose native language is not English. To learn more about exemptions, minimum scores, and alternative options, please refer to the Graduate and Professional Admissions English Proficiency Requirements page.

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