Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

Should I even bother applying for PhD in Public Health without a master's?


Phdhopeful2019
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all!

My anxiety about applying to PhD programs next year is creeping in as my friends are now receiving decisions from this cycle. I want to research the the effects of racism and other forms of discrimination on health and evaluate policies to eliminate systemic discrimination as a means to better health.

My biggest worry for admissions is that I don't have a Master's. I don't want to pay for an MPH when I already have pretty substantial research experience and did a public health undergrad major. I'm wondering if you could take a look at my credentials and let me know your thoughts on whether not having the Master's degree will hurt me in admissions?

Undergrad: top 30 US News private university, GPA was 3.8-something, magna cum laude, did double major + minor all directly related to my intended PhD studies 

Research experience: 4+ years editing/drafting papers for a professor and doing some analyses, 2 years in a psychology lab, did an honors thesis (collected my own data, passed IRB etc.), 2 years working for top public health researcher post-undergrad. My LORs will all be from profs I have done research with and will be stellar.

GRE: On ETS practice exam I got 170V, 154Q (I'm working to break 160 on quant in the real test)

Additional: I'm expecting to have 2 empirical papers under review by the time I submit my applications, and I will have a couple of non-peer reviewed public health publications. I received a couple of rewards and research grants in undergrad, but nothing too impressive (no Fulbright or anything like that)

So... what do you think? It is a waste of time to apply to PhDs without the master's or do I have a shot?

THANK YOU!!! :D 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Phdhopeful2019 said:

Hi all!

My anxiety about applying to PhD programs next year is creeping in as my friends are now receiving decisions from this cycle. I want to research the the effects of racism and other forms of discrimination on health and evaluate policies to eliminate systemic discrimination as a means to better health.

My biggest worry for admissions is that I don't have a Master's. I don't want to pay for an MPH when I already have pretty substantial research experience and did a public health undergrad major. I'm wondering if you could take a look at my credentials and let me know your thoughts on whether not having the Master's degree will hurt me in admissions?

Undergrad: top 30 US News private university, GPA was 3.8-something, magna cum laude, did double major + minor all directly related to my intended PhD studies 

Research experience: 4+ years editing/drafting papers for a professor and doing some analyses, 2 years in a psychology lab, did an honors thesis (collected my own data, passed IRB etc.), 2 years working for top public health researcher post-undergrad. My LORs will all be from profs I have done research with and will be stellar.

GRE: On ETS practice exam I got 170V, 154Q (I'm working to break 160 on quant in the real test)

Additional: I'm expecting to have 2 empirical papers under review by the time I submit my applications, and I will have a couple of non-peer reviewed public health publications. I received a couple of rewards and research grants in undergrad, but nothing too impressive (no Fulbright or anything like that)

So... what do you think? It is a waste of time to apply to PhDs without the master's or do I have a shot?

THANK YOU!!! :D 

It's possible to get admitted without a master's degree, but it likely will limit your options to a small group of schools. There is not set standard and even as someone who was applying to DrPH/PhD programs with a non-MPH, but still relevant master's degree I was getting mixed feedback on my chances. Your best bet is to try to identify your top program choices and then contact the program directly to discuss admissions criteria.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's true that it's much harder to get into a PhD program without a master's degree - but if you have a good story and research plan it's definitely possible. As @boisdejasmin pointed out - you'll have to apply to a specific set of schools. Smaller schools or schools that have a program that combines a masters and PhD (like UNC) are probably your best bet.

There are people that get into programs like Hopkins with no Masters - but they typically are coming in from years of work from a cross-cutting field (or have another doctorate). With your experience you might also consider a DrPH (but only if you want to go into practice).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.