I am applying in fall 2017 for a PhD program in Epidemiology to a couple of institutions. I am aware that PH schools in the US use (prefer) the centralized application portal, SOPHAS. I am an international applicant attending graduate school in Europe, and applying as an international student requires more time and financial resources, with additional tests such as TOEFL and transcript evaluations via WES (requiring approximately $200).
I know some schools have their own internal applications systems for SPH applicants (e.g Berkeley), while others (e,g Rutgers) only accept applications through SOPHAS. And there comes the fees for SOPHAS ($135 for the first school and $50 for every additional applications). :-(
So, come September, which one would be the best option to pursue? A SOPHAS application or a direct application to the schools? Is SOPHAS really worth it, considering I am applying to a PhD? Would applying to individual schools be a better option?
Any advice immensely appreciated :-)