Help Choosing a Program

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5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2017
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Hey guys, could use some advice!

I'm graduating with my BS this year and decided to apply to some MPH programs last minute (I'm talking submitted my apps ~2 weeks ago) on a whim. I ended up getting accepted to every school I applied to, which now makes for a stressful decision! Here is some background: I'm a pre-dental student who was also a Public Health-Global Health major. I fell in love with public health and decided I want to be a public health dentist so I can work in the PH field while also working directly with patients. I would complete most of my master's this coming academic year and hopefully, begin dental school next fall. If the program I choose is longer than a year, I'll finish it up after I graduate dental school. Most schools' scholarship deadlines were closed by the time I applied (as were outside scholarships), so money is definitely a consideration. I also want to be somewhere with a decent city and academic culture. I'd love to publish some research as well.

Here are the schools: Duke (+20k scholarship), Emory, Dartmouth, UTH, GWU (+10k), Baylor (Also, the somewhat random list is a result of application fee waivers from certain schools that made me think, 'why not.')

Right now, I'm leaning towards Duke for their incredible program support and $7k research grant as well as the diversity of the Durham/Raleigh area. But, because they offer a Master of Science in Global Health rather than an MPH, I'm debating whether I will get the community health aspect from the program. I'm not as interested in the global health aspect as I am in community health; however, I feel that learning global health can also expand the cultural competency I use when working with patients. The scholarship I received still leaves the total tuition at $60-70k total for all 3 semesters, depending on if it's renewed for the third term.

I like Dartmouth because it's the only one that's both on-campus and can be completed in a year. Not a fan of the area though, and tuition is steep.

Not really considering Baylor at this point because there's nothing amazing about it that I've found and it's also online. Turned off by GWU for the same reasons. I'm a fan of Atlanta and Houston, but haven't found anything especially significant about UTH's program (although I would love to go to dental school there) and it seems like Emory is best known for its connections like CDC which is great, but those are less important to me because I won't exactly be working in the field.

Sorry for the long post. Thought it would be best to be as detailed as possible. Thanks to anyone who reads and replies to this!

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If the application fee for a program would have prevented you from applying altogether, you should cross that school off your list. That might help shorten the list of choices a bit. But, regardless, it sounds like the choices are really down to just Duke and Dartmouth already.

I don't recommend choosing a program just because it's short. Though you'd get your degree more quickly, you also have less time to partake in everything the school has to offer - lectures, networking, clubs, research opportunities, etc. So, go to Duke.