Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an application deadline?

The application deadline is March 1, 2018, for the Fall 2018 entering class.

Are there any upcoming open houses or other events that I can attend to learn more about the MPH program?

We will hold open houses on the following dates:

  • Sunday, October 22, 2017
  • Thursday, February 1, 2018

Contact The Graduate School at (971) 655-5147 for further details.

I would like to schedule time to talk with someone over the phone or face-to-face about the program.  Who can I talk to?

Please understand that we receive hundreds of inquiries about the MPH program.  Our faculty and staff must devote most of their time to teaching and advising current students and can’t spend a great deal of time with students who are considering submitting an application.  While we are happy to speak with you, please first demonstrate your readiness for graduate-level education by doing your research and finding answers to as FAQ 1many of your questions as you can on your own, by exploring our website, as well as The Graduate School website.

If you still have questions, once you have carefully reviewed all of the information provided on the web, then you are welcome to email or call.  Keep in mind that the kinds of questions you ask when you call will give us our first impression of you -- so it is impotant that you have already reviewed the material available online. At the same time, keep in mind that making personal contact with a member of our faculty or staff will not influence our admissions decisions one way or another, so don’t feel that you have to make personal contact in order to get in.  Indeed, the person you speak with about the program may or may not be on the admissions committee.

Can I apply to start the program in the Spring semester?

The MPH program only accepts incoming students for the Fall semester. As described below, however, the Graduate School offers a special "pre-decision" status for students who qualify.

What are your admissions standards?

Our admissions committee reviews each application individually. There are no GPA or GRE cut-off scores.  However, when considering an applicant for admission, strong candidates for admission generally meet the following criteria:

  • can articulate an understanding of what public health is and clear reasons for wanting to earn a degree in this area of study
  • have developed, through their family, school, community, voluntary, or professional experiences, a commitment to social justice, cultural competency, and/or community engagement
  • can show a record of academic success or potential for academic success

Can I submit MCAT or LSATscores instead of GRE scores?

The MPH program requires candidates to submit GRE scores.  Substitutions can be made only in exceptional circumstances.

I am currently an MSU alum.  Do I have to submit GRE scores?

Yes.

Are there any circumstances that would exempt me from having to take the GRE?

‌If you have already earned a Master’s degree from an accredited institution, you do not have to submit GRE scores as part of your application, but you must still apply for a GRE waiver, as per instructions under the “Admissions Information” section of the website.

FAQ 2 ‌I graduated from college a number of years ago and don’t expect to do that well on the GRE test.  Will low GRE scores prevent me from being accepted into the program?

Our admissions committee reviews an applicant’s entire application package and takes into account life circumstances when evaluating a candidate for the program.  As important as GRE scores or undergraduate GPA, are a student’s personal statement, professional/voluntary/school experiences, and letters of recommendation.  Many of our students have returned to school after having pursued careers in a variety of fields.

Is your program accredited?

Yes! Our Master of Public Health program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Please read our Self-Study.

Can I get my MPH in Epidemiology or Maternal/Child Health at Montclair State?

Currently, the MPH program at Montclair State has two concentrations:  Community Health Education and Health Systems Administration and Policy.  Our faculty members also have expertise in epidemiology, maternal child health, nutrition, cancer, human sexuality, and a variety of other areas of public health.  Our students have been successfully employed as health administrators, researchers, and educators.

While I am waiting to find out whether or not I am accepted, can I take a few courses, just to get started?

Students who have submitted an application for admission to the MPH program, and who achieved an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, may take up to two courses prior to their admission to the program (one course per semester). Registration for specific pre-decision housework is by permission of the Graduate Program Coordinator only. These courses will apply to the degree program, if the student is ultimately admitted to the program. Successful completion of courses, however, does not guarantee acceptance to the program. Students who are interested in taking courses with pre-decision status, should contact The Graduate School, at 973-655-5147, AFTER they have submitted the online application and paid the application fee.

FAQ 3‌Can coursework I completed elsewhere be substituted for courses I  must take as part of the MPH program at Montclair State?

Students can transfer in up to 6 credits of Master’s-level coursework from another institution, only if that coursework has not already counted toward another completed Master’s Degree. If a student has taken more than 6 credits worth of equivalent courses, course substitutions can be made so that students don’t have to repeat coursework; however, the student will still have to complete at least 36 credits of coursework at MSU.

Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in health or biology in order to apply to the MPH program?

Public health is an interdisciplinary field.  The MPH program accepts students with a variety of undergraduate degrees and professional backgrounds.  Our current students and alumni have had undergraduate degrees in biology, chemistry, sociology, anthropology, psychology, public health, history, justice studies, the arts, and a range of other majors.

Are there any prerequisite courses I must have completed prior to applying, especially since my Bachelor’s degree was in an unrelated field?

No. 

Can I earn the MPH online?

No.  Although certain courses within the program may be offered fully or partly online, the MPH program at Montclair is not an online degree and cannot be completed in a fully online format.

Can I complete the MPH part-time?

Absolutely!  Our program is designed with the working adult in mind.  Courses are offered in the evenings, most running from 5:30 to 8:00 PM, and occasionally on Saturdays.  Currently, about half of our students are completing the program part-time.  In addition, many of our full-time students also hold full-time jobs.

What is the estimated time-frame for completion if a student attends full-time or part-time?

The MPH is a 42-credit program.  Full-time graduate students generally complete 9 credits per semester and most courses are 3 credits each; therefore, a full-time student could complete the program in 5 semesters (or two years if he/she completes some coursework in the summer).  A part-time student who took at least 6 credits per semester would take 7 semesters (approximately 3 years) to complete the program (or 2.5 years if he/she completes some coursework in the summer).

I have a full-time job.  How will I be able to complete a 6-credit internship?

The fieldwork component of the program is individually designed. Our faculty and staff work very hard to identify internships that can work with a full-time job.  Approximately half of our students have completed the program while working full-time!

Can I take classes in the summer?

The majority of our students take up to 6 credits of course and/or fieldwork during the summer months, mid-May through August. Generally, students take elective courses in the summer; many also complete their internships. Occasionally, certain required courses are also offered in the summer months, but not usually. 

How many hours are required for the internship?

The internship is a 6-credit experience, requiring 60 hours of work per credit hour.  These hours include both on- and off-site work, as agreed to by the student and preceptor, as well as attendance at a required seminar with other students enrolled in the internship at the same time.

Are there any instances where one can receive a waiver for the internship?

Rarely, if ever.  The internship is one of the most important parts of the MPH program.  Even if a student has already begun pursuing a career in public health, an internship, supervised by a faculty member, can provide a student with experiences that will expand his or her skills, knowledge, and comfort level in new areas as well as provide him or her with insights that will serve him or her along the way to furthering his or her career in the field.

I currently work in a health-related job.  Can my job serve as my internship?

Usually not. The aim of the internship is to broaden a student’s experience and knowledge.  Occasionally, there may be ways to create an internship experience at one’s current place of employment, depending upon the circumstances, but the situation would have to be carefully constructed to assure that the internship is not a part of a student’s existing job and is not overseen by his or her existing supervisors or co-workers.

What kind of job can I get with an MPH in Community Health Education or Health Systems Administration and Policy?

Please review the information available at this link: What Can I Do with a Degree in Public Health?