Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the School of Public Health provide student mentors to first-year students?
A: Yes, there is a Buddy Program for graduate students who would like to know the ins and outs of the Health Sciences Center, School and student life on campus. Please contact the Ruth E. Kershner Office of Student Services for more information.

Q: Are the programs accredited?
A: All of the School of Public Health programs at West Virginia University are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

Q: How long will it take to complete the degree requirements?
A: Most students complete the program in two years.

Q: May I transfer courses from another Master of Public Health program?
A: Each course must be from a CEPH-accredited program or school of public health. With School approval, up to 12 credit hours may be transferred from another institution.

Q: May I transfer courses from another WVU graduate program?
A: With department chair approval, up to 12 credit hours may be transferred.

Q: What is the application deadline?
A: Admission decisions to the School of Public Health are conducted in two rounds. Fully completed applications received by April 15 will be considered first. Incomplete applications and new fully completed applications received by June 1 will be considered second for those degree programs/concentrations that have openings after the April 15 decisions. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their completed applications by the April 15 deadline in order to be considered during the first round.

Q: What is the institution code for GRE submission?
A: SOPHAS applicants, please use Institution Code: 0157
A: WVU applicants, (School Health, Certificate Programs, and MS in Biostatistics) please us Institution Code: 5904

Q: Who should write my letters of reference?
A: Academic reference letters should be written by people who know you well and can articulate your goals in public health. The more detailed the reference letter, the better.

Q: What information should my personal statement contain?
A: Your personal statement should inform the committee why you have decided to pursue public health. Write about something important to you in the field, or about the driving force behind your motivation toward this career path. Explain things about yourself that are not immediately apparent in your resume and transcripts.

Q: Are international students required to take the TOEFL exam?
A: Yes, applicants whose native language is not English are required to take and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Passing scores are 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test and 80 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with a minimum requirement of 20 in each subsection. The passing score for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is 6.5.

Q: How will I know whether I have been selected?
A: We notify all applicants of their application status once a decision has been reached.

Q: Is there a new student orientation?
A: All new Master of Public Health students must attend the mandatory new student orientation in Morgantown prior to the start of the fall semester.   Please contact Leah Adkins at or 304-293-1097 with any questions.