Jump to content

Masters courses counting for PhD


epi_fall17

Recommended Posts

This fall I will be applying to MPH and MS programs in epidemiology and I'm interested in eventually getting my PhD in epi.  I have heard that there are some schools that will let you count your masters courses towards your PhD, but I haven't been able to find schools that say they for sure do this.

Can someone let me know of any schools that do this and/or how this works generally?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, it's hard to say for sure and my feeling is that it really varies from school to school. If you stay at the same school for your PhD, I bet a lot of the courses will count. If you switch schools it will probably be a lot more variable - it doesn't seem like any of the schools that I was accepted to would waive me out of a lot of core nutrition classes (despite my having a BS and a masters), but because my masters is in public health, they were much more flexible about waiving requirements like Biostats and Epi. The number of courses schools are willing to waive is pretty variable too. From poking around on admissions websites, some have a hard cap on the number of credits that they'll accept from previous coursework.

Generally, the way that it works is that you may have an informal discussion about it at some point during the admissions process (I always asked - some places told me it was no problem, some said it would depend on the syllabus, etc) and once you were formally enrolled, you'd submit an official waiver petition that typically requires the syllabus of the course you took and the evidence of your grade in the course and then your department would rule from there. I'd imagine it's likely that your advisor would have to sign off on it too. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a little bit of a nebulous topic that can be hard to figure out. Some schools require you to have a Master's in advance in order for your application to even be considered but you still have to take the same courses. The PhD programs in Epi that I applied to were ones that want students to take their version of intro epi and in some cases intro biostats regardless of what students came in with. The exception to that as the poster above pointed out is if the person did their master's at the same institution. Here is a thread I found useful from student doctor network

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/list-of-epidemiology-phd-programs-that-admit-students-without-masters.822860/

(I know you didn't ask about schools that admit without master's but the thread contains a lot of generally helpful links for the topic you are asking about)

 

At the school where I will be attending, UNC, students who have a prior MPH or MS skip out of introductory classes on some of the core areas in public health (Environmental Health, Behavioral and Social Science, and Health Policy and management). People like me who are coming in without a master's degree are required to take extra courses and do a practicum to get one on the way.

All in all it is pretty program specific. If you can locate the department student handbook, that's a good way to figure out the program policy on it. They will usually have it stated in there what their transfer credit or credit waiver policy is for students with Master's degrees. These handbooks can sometimes be buried on the program websites but they are usually there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in the same boat, but on a different cruise....

I am currently finishing a master's in Info & Library Science, and I am planning on applying to a PhD program in Communication, Information and Library Studies which requires a MLIS or MCIS in order to be eligible to apply. The PhD guidebook for the program states that up to x credits can be transferred from the Master's to the PhD coursework (actual value of x depends on which PhD track you are applying to... it is either 12 or 18 credits). This works out to be between 1/2 and 1/3 of the required coursework.

The guidebook also states that you need to apply for the transfer credits after the first year in the program, and make an argument as to why the courses should be transferred.

My assumption is that courses from the same institution would be easier to argue as being equivalent or near equivalent.
In my case, it will be the same institution for the Master’s and PhD programs, as I will only be applying to a single school (I am a full time employee, going to school part time – taking advantage of employee tuition benefits).

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

You should check the student handbooks of the schools you're interested in applying to. There are at least two separate issues to consider when transferring coursework: waiving the requirement to take that specific course, and getting credit for the hours.

Some programs might have their intro epi course in the PhD curriculum because of course, no one should ever finish a PhD epi without learning basic epi... But it is mostly there for people straight out of undergrad. Most people with an MPH would be able to waive out of it rather than sit through an intro course all over again. Some schools will also give you the credit hours as though you'd taken their Intro Epi, and some won't-- then you'd just need to earn those hours from an elective. This could be good or bad depending if you have some other skills you want to develop through coursework.

The final decision about which of your courses will transfer, and what you'll get for them, will most likely be made by your advisor and your division when you get approval for the plan of your program. In general you'll probably get the most courses to transfer by staying at the same school, staying in the same system, or going to a school that frequently admits students from your MPH institution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll speak from personal experience.

I'm a 2nd year at a top 10 epi PhD program. There are a few core epi classes that the department won't let anyone, regardless of training, waive. It's basically one class per term for the first year. Aside from that core series, you can waive or test out of most any other requirement. Basic level biostats was a waiver exam. Infectious & chronic disease subject matter courses were waived after presenting my MPH transcript. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use