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New to MPH/International Health - SOP Swap?


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Hello all,

I've decided to bit the bullet and make my first post here. I'm interested in pursing a MPH in international health, but I'm rather new to this academically and professionally.

I won't bore you with the details of my background, but I am coming from the international development field more broadly. In my current job I mostly work on issues related to economic development. I studied international relations, development (one course directly focused on health/health economics), and economics during undergrad. I have also interned with the Health Department of a multilateral organization overseas. I want to pursue work related to refugee health, disaster response and assessments, health systems strengthening, performance monitoring, etc. In terms of international health jobs, they are looking for people who have more experience in the health sector than I currently do. I thought about applying for a certificate program to start, but others have told me I shouldn't sell myself short and convinced me I should apply to a full degree program.

For a variety of reasons, I am stuck on Johns Hopkins, so I am applying this round for a dual degree - a Master of Science in Public Health degree from JHSPH and a Master's from the School of Advanced International Studies. My stats are pretty good. I had a 3.89 GPA from a top 25 school. GRE scores are 165 (Verbal), 158 (Quant), and 5.0 (AW). I should have good recommendation letters (one from my health/economics professor), and I am working to craft a strong SOP.

My question is, first and foremost, do you think I have a shot at the MSPH?

Would I be better off volunteering to gain more exposure to public health issues?

What certificate programs would you recommend (either online or in DC area) to begin health coursework if I am not admitted this time around?

Does anyone know any other strong programs to study refugee health issues?

Finally, I'd like to beg a favor. Would anyone be willing to look over my personal statement and critique it? I am on the 3rd draft or so, but could really use more pairs of eyes, particularly from people with experience in public health. Please feel free to message me privately. Of course I would be happy to review your statements as well!

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