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Career Changer - Epidemiology MPH


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Hi all -

I have a background in business analytics and am trying to get a sense for how competitive my application is. I actually have NO IDEA since I don't have a science/social sciences degree (finance) and it is making me nervous. I'm trying to decide how "safe" I need to go with applications.


Has anyone with a "non-traditional" background applied and been accepted to MPH/MSPH programs? Which did you get into or rejected from? Or are there any other career changers out there that can weigh in?


Just a note that other than this my application appears competitive - 95% GRE on verbal, 71% on quantitative, 3.749 undergrad GPA, 3 years analysis experience.


Thank you!


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I definitely would think you can still apply but the first thing I thought of is "why?".  Do you have a relevant experience for why this interests you and do you have a reason for why you think you'll succeed?  I gather you have 3 years of analysis experience and my guess is it is in business not in sciences?  Do you have any formal education (post-bac classes), organization  involvement, or any public health or related field volunteer or work experience? 

I think those are the bigger things you need to address more than your formal education at this point.  Nothing of what you presented tells me you have any clue what you are getting into and no evidence to show its your passion or this is a field you can succeed in.

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Hi - Thanks for the response. I've addressed this all in detail in my SOP, it's kind of a long story to post. Basically, I started out in a direct entry pharmacy program and I did most of a pre-med curriculum (mostly As, some Bs) in addition to my business degree. I've worked as a grant writer in a cancer lab and volunteered at a hospital. I was going to finish up my pre-reqs and go to medical school, but my intention is to research the etiology of psychotic disorders, so since I have a quantitative/math background, epidemiology seemed like a much better fit. I've done a lot of reading on psychiatric research and subscribe to journals, etc., so I am able to speak to my interest pretty intelligently in my statements, I just don't have experience directly in public health. I plan on going for a PhD or going to medical school afterwards with the intention of eventually directing clinical research. I'm taking organic chemistry over the next two quarters to finish my pre-reqs before I start my master's degree.

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I don't think you'll have an issue, given what you articulated here.  Even though your degree is in finance, your background is very clearly in health and you have clear intentions and goals within public health.


Thank you for the reassurance; any I can get right now is helpful while I'm awaiting decisions!

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