Erick Ojeda, MPH’23 in Environmental Health
Applying to graduate school can be challenging, but there are ways to ensure you can complete a great application that will stand out.
A majority of schools use Schools of Public Health Application Services (SOPHAS) to help track your application materials and apply to schools. Here are some helpful tips for each part of the application to help you stand out as an applicant.
Be sure to reach out to your university’s career center or writing services to help check over your application materials for additional support on how to boost your application.
*Please note. These are just suggestions. Following these tips will not guarantee admissions into the Rollins School of Public Health
Crafting your Personal Statement
The personal statement is one of the only chances that the admissions committee will have to learn about who you are as a student and your interests. Here are some tips about how to stand out as an application.
- Explain why you are interested in doing public health and why did you choose the field of your choice
- Provides some strengths and weaknesses and how a graduate degree would help strengthening your skills
- Explain your research interests if an applicant wants to pursue research
- Do a little background research on the program of choice and explain why this program stand out compared to other programs you may be applying to
- How does this program help you with your future career goals?
- An explanation of how your past experiences and academic training has prepared you in the graduate area of interest
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of Recommendation are a key part of your application and should come from faculty/professionals that you have worked closely with that can best vouch for you and your skills to join a program. The recommended number of letters is between 3-5 (but check the institutions you are applying to for specific numbers). Here are some tips for finding recommenders and how to best approach asking.
- Communicate with your recommenders EARLY to let them know your interest in applying and the hopes that you will write them a letter
- Set-up a meeting to discuss the possibility of the recommender writing you a letter. Do not assume that everyone will say yes
- Send information to your recommenders about you are interested in that program, the statement of purpose, and your curriculum vitae/resume regarding past experiences, skills, and achievements to help them tailor the letter for you
- Specify the information that you want the recommender to talk about in their letter (i.e., lab skills, leadership, etc.)
- Pick a recommender that you have a working relationship with that you know could speak about you, it should not be someone you just had for a class, but someone whom you have been a teaching assistant for, a co-worker, or a past research assistant.
A resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is a chance for you to describe your personal accomplishments and experiences. Some sections to include may be:
– Honors and Awards
– Publications and Presentations
– Volunteer Experience
– Work Experience
– Extra Curricular Involvement
– Academic Interests
– Technical Skills