I was accepted into the Columbia program and though I didn't apply to the Dartmouth program, I would choose a school that is accredited over a school that is not accredited by asph. Which would be Columbia, since accredited schools gaurantee that you will complete the MPH if anything happens to their MPH program, as opposed to an unaccredited school like Dartmouth.
But Dartmouth's MPH program is accredited as of last fall so don't rule it out. Both Columbia ahd Dartmouth are great programs, different but great. Columbia's is a school of public health while Dartmouth's is a program. I have a couple of friends who did the Dartmouth program last year and loved it because it is a one year program (September to June, I think) which works nicely for the "tween" year. Both are now in their first year of med school.
One of the benefits is being able to take classes outside your concentration. I think that is really important for gaining a broad based understanding of public health. I defintely appreciated that going to Berkeley. I'd pick Columbia easily.
I have a question regarding your friends who did the dartmouth program before entering medical school. Did they already already have a "strong medical school" application before doing this program? Or did they use a program like this to enhance their application? Where did they end up going to medical school? I am asking this because I am debating between a couple of MPH programs myself. PLease let me know. Thanks
Sorry for not responding to you earlier - studying too hard, I guess! One friend was a strong med school applicant before she went to the Dartmouth program - she wanted to gain clinical research skills in public health prior to going to med school so she did her MPH at Dartmouth. My other friend had not yet applied to medical school before doing the MPH, so I don't know if he would have been considered a "strong" med school applicant or not - I think his GPA was around 3.7 and his MCATs were 28 total. Not really strong but not poor either. He did take the MCATs again last spring and got a 29. From my conversations with him, the MPH program really solidified his choice to go to medical school - even with the exposure to all the problems in healthcare.
Hope that helps - sorry I can't be more specific!