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help with admissions to columbia mph, any current student?

Discussion in 'Public Health Degrees (Masters and Doctoral)' started by kronk23, May 11, 2008.

  1. kronk23


    May 11, 2008
    I am currently an undergrad junior psych major at Boston University and will be applying to an mph program with 3.2 gpa. My dream school is Columbia and I wanted to know what applicants who go there have experienced in applying--what is your profile, extras, gpa, experiences, etc. Do I have a good chance, what should i do to improve my chances? Also, I don't know if this matters, but I want to follow the Health Policy and Management track.
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  3. Cster0905

    Cster0905 7+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    Decided to not attend but was admitted for Fall 2008, MPH in SMS.

    -Double major in Public Health (GPA 3.7) and Spanish (GPA 3.5) at UNC (major in UNC SPH, Dept. of Health Policy and Administration)
    -7+ years of research; both in labs and in care settings
    -Published manuscripts (national, peer-reviewed journals)
    -Lots of extracurriculars and leadership on campus (club skier, fraternity member and many positions within house, exec board of several organizations, volunteering, etc)
    -Clearly-defined academic and professional goals derived from school and research (and well-articulated in personal statement)
    -VERY strong LORs (one from mentor, professor, PI, MD/MPH, and UNC med school admissions committee member from UNC; one from my boss from my public health internship in DC MBA; one from my current director in medical research ethics)
    - >1300 GRE

    **Columbia is big on prior, full-time work experience depending on department and specific tract. Make sure you meet these.
    **Your personal statement is probably the biggest factor. Be sure you spend A LOT of time putting this together.
    **LORs from people with some idea of PH work is always good.

    Though Columbia's Mailman isn't "the best" school of public it is still in the top 10 and, being an Ivy and in NYC, they receive applications from many great applicants so make sure you stand out, in a good way. Make sure you highlight your strengths, experiences, and achievements. Be able to articulate WHY Columbia is your best fit, how it'll help you, and what you'll bring to the table. DO NOT talk about "how good of a school it is" but rather provide clear reasons for how what CU offers will help you achieve your goals.

    Good luck!
  4. purplerocks

    purplerocks 2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2008
    I agree with Cster here. What I will emphasize is work experience. I cannot speak for Columbia specifically, but I heard from a public health advisor at the University of Michigan that many applicants do not have much, if any, work experience. Applying to schools of public health is basically a game of compensation that takes into account a variety of elements. I would recommend that, as Cster suggests, you make a very specific personal statement (i.e. mention by name the Columbia profs you'd like to work with and why). I got into the Sociomedical Sciences program, I've come to believe, based on a solid academic record, competitive GRE scores, recommendations from people in the public health field and a possible *outlier* of being an undergrad with both field and lab research experience working with disease. I would recommend you getting a part-time job/internship this summer, and next fall and winter, at least somewhat relating to Health Policy. Study a few months in advance for the GRE. I just bought a book and found that was fine. For Health Policy, I'd imagine that you'd want to try and take courses in environmental development, sustainability, health disparities, medical anthropology etc. if you can before you graduate. That's a good way to show them you're really focused. I decided only after my junior year that I was going to do public health, so I took a whole bunch of classes intimately related to what I wanted to study during my senior year. It may've looked like I was absolutely fixated with public health by the time I began applying to schools. Ultimately, don't under or over estimate the importance of any particular item. Find a niche and sound like you know what you're talking about. That's my life strategy :)

    Hope that helps!
  5. house vs god

    house vs god 7+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2008
    See the "admitted applicant's" thread-- I was also admitted to Columbia and my stats/experiences are in this thread.

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