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MPH / MHA in the U.S.A.

Many dental graduates want to pursue a Master of Public Health or Master of Healthcare Administration after BDS. Some may like to study and work in India while some look forward to studying abroad. One of the most commonly chosen countries for studying MPH or MHA is the United States of America. Public Health is a yet developing, innovative field. In recent decades the US has seen quite an emphasis on healthcare growth.

Detailed insight into Public Health and Healthcare Administration is discussed in the previous blogs:

These programs are also pursued as an alternative road to DDS program by international dental graduates. The right amount of experience in research work or healthcare consulting or working at a non-profit organization enhances one's profile when applying to dental school.

All MPH and MHA courses take between 1-2 years to complete. This includes full-time and part-time programs, as well as online Masters in Public Health and Masters in Healthcare Administration.

A few essential things to keep in mind before applying to any of these programs to the school in the USA would be:

  • Whether the program is STEM or not?

So, what does STEM stand for? STEM is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It includes all the sub-disciplines within these fields and STEM graduates are in high demand across various industries. Another significant benefit would be visa related. For example, in the US, all international graduates have the right to stay there and work for 1 year. This period is called Optional Practical Training (OPT), and you have to get a job in the same field you graduated in. International STEM graduates are allowed to extend this OPT period by 2 years.

When applying to a Public Health program, applications are to be submitted through a portal named SOPHAS. For the Healthcare Administration program, a portal called HAMPCAS is used for the application process.

Information related to the application requirement or deadlines can be found on these portals.

  • US News Ranking.

This website can be used to find out which school provides the public health or healthcare administration program. Although this cannot be considered the most important thing when applying to a master's program, there is no harm in keeping a check on the school or program ranking.

  • Minimum qualifications.

Most universities need a bachelor's degree before you can apply. To make your application stand out, some public health work experience is appreciated but not always necessary.

  • Exam requirements.

You will need to give the GRE to apply to any university in the USA. If you have given the USMLE Step 1, you may get a GRE waiver in SOME colleges. Some schools also waive GRE for international medical and dental graduates. You will also need a minimum score of 100 in the TOEFL, or band 7 in the IELTS, to qualify for admission.

  • What is the application process like?

Most application deadlines fall between December and January. It is advisable to have all your documents prepared and ready at least 4 weeks before the deadline because processing times in the US can vary between 10 – 30 days. Protip: You can apply for MPH or MHA while doing your internship. Apply for the Fall term of the year you are expected to graduate. The main documents that you will need are:

  1. Application

  2. Transcripts / WES Evaluation

  3. Three letters of recommendation

  4. GRE scores

  5. TOEFL scores or IELTS scores

  6. Resume / CV

  7. Statement of Purpose


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