Jan 24, 2010
26
0
0
Status
Could anyone give me more information on the application process for getting a PhD in public health? I will be a graduate student at Columbia's health policy and management program (with a track in management) this fall. How does one apply? Is it possible for a person to get a Ph'd at the same school one gets his/her master's degree? How long does a Ph'd program typically take (three years?)?
 

Stories

Life Afficianado
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2009
1,700
109
281
Los Angeles, CA
1.) You apply to each individual school. Many PhD programs don't have you apply through SOPHAS, and those that use SOPHAS, require you to use additional school-specific forms. It's generally fairly involved (especially compared to a MPH)

2.) Yes, you can get your PhD at the same place as your masters

3.) PhD usually take 5+. Some schools (like Yale), it can be done in under 5 (~4.5 average) Maybe a year less if you do your masters at the same place and they place you out of a lot of coursework.
 

timaq

5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2009
66
0
91
Louisiana
Status
3.) PhD usually take 5+. Some schools (like Yale), it can be done in under 5 (~4.5 average) Maybe a year less if you do your masters at the same place and they place you out of a lot of coursework.
Does it usually happen that way? I mean if you do your masters at one school and your doctorate at the same, does it generally mean you'll have less doctorate coursework to do? It makes sense, since lots of the classes would transfer
 
Nov 26, 2009
24
0
0
Status
Non-Student
Does it usually happen that way? I mean if you do your masters at one school and your doctorate at the same, does it generally mean you'll have less doctorate coursework to do? It makes sense, since lots of the classes would transfer

I think PhD program at Columbia is called Sociomedical Sciences. Basically, you have to compete with at least 300 other applicants to get into the program. Attending Columbia and finding profs whom you can work with might increase your chance of getting admitted, but it would not be a guaranteed transfer.

Btw, I was rejected by Columbia and was accepted to one of the top public health schools. You never knew what the admission committee want. Pray for the best and prepare for the worst.
 

Stories

Life Afficianado
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2009
1,700
109
281
Los Angeles, CA
Does it usually happen that way? I mean if you do your masters at one school and your doctorate at the same, does it generally mean you'll have less doctorate coursework to do? It makes sense, since lots of the classes would transfer
Almost always. I never saw a single school where they wouldn't honor their own classes as "transfer" credit. At the very least, you'll be exempted from taking those same requirements and you can take something else to replace it. But you still have to get accepted into the doctoral program separate from your MPH/MS coursework.

I think PhD program at Columbia is called Sociomedical Sciences. Basically, you have to compete with at least 300 other applicants to get into the program. Attending Columbia and finding profs whom you can work with might increase your chance of getting admitted, but it would not be a guaranteed transfer.

Btw, I was rejected by Columbia and was accepted to one of the top public health schools. You never knew what the admission committee want. Pray for the best and prepare for the worst.
Sociomedical Sciences probably refers to a specific program at Columbia. Probably the Social Behavioral division's program.

Just about every "big name" school will have 300 applicants you compete with. PhDs at every level at every discipline is incredibly competitive. Doing your masters at the same school does help with knowing who to work with, but again, as you said, it doesn't guarantee admission to the doctoral program.

For a doctoral program, the committee looks for one thing in particular: research fit. If there's a faculty member (or more) that see their research going in a certain direction and there's an applicant whose research interests fit that, that student will be a target for acceptance (of course the other items like GPA, GRE, LoR have to be suitable as well). Even if all those other items are 99th percentile, you won't get accepted if the research doesn't fit.