May 4, 2009
Hey everyone,
I was hoping people could give some advice.
So I am interested in apply to public health. Unfortunately my application is not as strong compare to others.

So my questions are:

Is taking a year off a good idea? If so, what could I do? Americorp is an option.
If I do apply and don't get into, does it affect me when I reapply next year?
Some schools have priority deadlines of December 1. Have other people applied after these deadlines? Is it still worth missing the priority deadline but making the final deadline?
Thanks in advance
Last edited:
May 21, 2010
New Brunswick, NJ
First off, I would definitely not say to take a year off. You NEVER know. There are some applicants on here that have gotten into ivy league schools with less than mediocre grades and GRE scores. If you do, I would suggest maybe doing some research or get a job in the public health field to boost your application. What are your stats? They may not be as bad as you think. Don't get discouraged -- a lot of the people on this site are just overly qualified. Don't sell yourself short!! And honestly, if you apply this year and don't get in, apply again next year to the same schools. They'll probably look favorably upon that seeing as you really want to get in. But lets first start with your stats- how "not strong" is your application?


10+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2008
New Haven CT
It's up to you whether or not you want to take a year off. I chose to take a year off after my undergrad -- worked full time and took my GRE's (twice) and did not do well on either test. I ended up getting into the JHSPH Mental Health MHS program, which was a HUGE reach for me and I finished it successfully in you never know!


Bubbly Celt
Mar 5, 2010
New Jersey
Other Health Professions Student
As the previous poster said, it is up to you. I personally feel that if you want to get into a great school, and you feel as if you don't have enough credentials for it, then maybe taking a year off to build your background would be good for you.

I unintentionally took a year off (missed a bunch of deadlines like a dummy) and because I wanted to apply when I had more options than just two colleges with late deadlines, I decided to wait a year. In this year, I ended up doing two really insightful internships and a bunch of volunteering. And I loved all it! Granted, not all of what i did is relevant to public health and a lot of the volunteering was for my own benefit, I can always spin it to make it relevant. I felt like this year was particularly helpful because my original goal was NOT public health so I had no proper experience with it. I had this year to help develop a platform I could sell to potential grad schools.

If you feel like you need to use a year the way I have, I'd highly encourage it. However, it is heard of undergrads getting into good grad schools without a lot of experience, as well.

As for December 1st deadlines, there is still time to apply for those! You just need to submit everything by then, not have SOPHAS process everything by then. I'm applying to a bunch of those so I'm probably in the same boat as you! Good luck!