This section includes the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs); however, comprehensive instructions about the application process can be found within the application portal. For tips and additional information on submitting a competitive application, visit www.my.sophas.org.
Note: You should still be in touch with individual institutions to learn more about their specific programs. Questions regarding other institution specific information should be directed to the individual institution.
1. How much will it cost to apply through SOPHAS?
The cost for a SOPHAS application is $135 for the first school or program to which you apply. Any additional schools or programs to which you choose to apply will cost $50 per designation, even if you submit those schools or programs later in the application cycle.
2. What should I do before I start my application?
- Research public health schools and programs, prerequisite requirements, program information, and document requirements. Begin narrowing down and selecting programs to which you may be interested in applying. Focus on finishing outstanding courses or other prerequisite needs, and begin reaching out to potential letter of recommendation references. Begin gathering your demographic and academic information, which will help speed up the process of completing your application.
- Determine what types of references your SOPHAS programs require (ie. academic, employer, clinical, etc.) and contact your potential references to ensure they are willing to complete a recommendation on your behalf.
- Research the deadline requirements for each SOPHAS program to which you are interested in applying and note what is required for each deadline as this can greatly affect your timeline for submitting documents and completing your SOPHAS application.
3. What is the timeline for submitting a successful application?
Below we have outlined a suggested timeline you should keep in mind when completing your application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible; this suggested timeline represents the latest we recommend completing each step. Please note processing times vary throughout the cycle and each SOPHAS programs’ deadline requirements differ, therefore this timeline may not apply to every applicant’s situation.
- At Least 3 Months Prior to Deadline: Begin the SOPHAS application; inform references of the process and ensure they have agreed to participate. Complete the Colleges Attended and Recommendations sections immediately so that recommendations and transcripts can be received by SOPHAS.
- At Least 8 Weeks Prior to Deadline: Request that official transcripts be sent to SOPHAS directly from your schools and confirm with your references that they have received the online reference request via e-mail. Request that additional copies of transcripts be sent to you directly so that you may begin entering your coursework into your SOPHAS application. Begin drafting your statement of purpose and objectives (personal statement) for each program to which you plan on applying.
- At Least 4 Weeks Prior to Deadline: Monitor application for receipt of transcripts and letters of recommendation and follow up with SOPHAS on any missing items.
- At Least 2 Weeks Prior to Deadline: Complete and submit your application. Make sure your official transcripts and letters of recommendation have posted to your application. Check your email and application status regularly and follow up on any incomplete or undelivered statuses until you receive the notification that your application has been “Verified”.
4. Can I submit my application before my letters of recommendation, transcripts and/or test scores arrive?
Yes, you should submit as soon as you have completed your application. You do not need to wait for letters of recommendation, official test scores or transcripts to arrive. Submitting as early as you are able will expedite the processing of your application. However, once submitted no additional changes can be made (although you may add additional school or program designations).
5. What should I do after I submit my application?
Once you submit, you should monitor your status in the “Check Status” section often to ensure all required documents are received and your application is being processed. SOPHAS will e-mail you if there is an issue with documents or coursework verification but not about missing documents. Check your email and status often until you application is complete and has been marked “Verified”.
6. Are there specific requirements for international students?
SOPHAS will only accept evaluations obtained from World Education Services (WES ICAP). SOPHAS cannot accept any documents other than the WES ICAP evaluation. For more information on applying as an international applicant, visit www.my.sophas.org
7. When will I receive a response from the institutions to which I am applying?
While all schools and programs strive to review applications as quickly as possible, the timing varies depending on their deadlines and internal processes. Many SOPHAS schools and programs have signed onto the ASPPH Resolution on Acceptance of an Offer of Financial Support. The resolution states that participating members will not require a response deadline to an offer of admission and/or funding support for a Fall Term earlier than April 15 and that they will not pressure applicants to make a decision earlier than that date. ASPPH Resolution on Acceptance of an Offer of Financial Support for more information.