MPH degrees - no GRE required

Here is a bit of information some might find useful. I began looking through the following sites uire… ub…

but the information is outdated and some of the schools listed now require the GRE. So I set off on the CEPH website and looked at every individual MPH program, searching the sites to find GRE requirements. I did not include non-CEPH programs because I am considering applying for a commission to the Navy or PHS as a public health officer before committing to medical school.

Here is - in no particular order - a list of CEPH approved MPH programs in the US which do not require the GRE. Included are admission requirements or facts about the programs which I found relevant.

The list is incomplete, as I am waiting on emails…I will amend this when completed.

CSU Fullerton

  • Submission of GRE scores recommended if you have them, not required

  • Evening classes

  • Pre-reqs include 6 units of stats and “Paid or volunteer experience in public health, health education or related health area”

  • States that “minimal deficiencies” in application requirements may be waived

    Indiana U

  • No GRE if GPA>2.8 - applies to most MPH tracks, check the site

  • Requires 3 rec letters

    Northwest Ohio Consortium for Public Health

  • GRE not required if GPA>3.0

  • GRE is required for all int’l applicants

  • Matriculation in fall, summer or spring

  • Requires 3 rec letters

  • Has evening classes

    St Louis U

  • Requires GRE?

  • Offers interesting dual-emphasis tracks such as epidemiology/biosecurity and disaster preparedness

  • Requires 3 rec letters

    San Francisco State U

  • Pre-reqs included stats or calc

  • States that the GRE is used only for determining academic support needed, but does not indicate that it is required for admission.

  • Only has one area of emphasis - health education

    Southern CT State U

  • Does not explicitly say that the GRE is not required, and does not list it on admissions requirements. Sometimes admission to the graduate school in general requires the GRE.

  • Requires 2 rec letters

    Southern Illinois U

  • GRE not required for MPH admission, but may be required for fellowships

  • Only offers an emphasis in community health education

  • Requires 3 references, but does not say anything about rec letters

    Thomas Jefferson U

  • No GRE if GPA>3.3

  • “Competency in basic statistics” is recommended

  • Requires 2 rec letters

    Tuoro U, Vallejo CA

  • Requires 3 rec letters, but only one from an academic source

  • Only offers emphasis in either community health or global health

    U of New England

  • Only requires the GRE if you have not taken “college level science and math courses

  • Can start in the spring

    U of Oklahoma

  • GRE ?


I wanted to make sure that this gets mentioned

an MPH is a very poor substitute for a post-bacc or SMP. It in fact will have no impact to improve a GPA or in most ways help improve your chances to be accepted to medical school. For the majority of OldPreMeds it simply wastes time, money and resources. This has been reiterated to me time and time again by current and former adcoms members

I mention this as I this question comes up regularly to me.


I am actually considering beginning work towards an MPH in the spring semester after completing my BS in Biochemistry (and BA in Math). I am applying this cycle, but in the event that it does not work out well, I’d like to use the time in the next year to work towards completing an MPH, as I would like to do work in community health as well as clinical medicine. Additionally, if the second application does not put me in an MD or DO program, I will at least be able to work towards a DrPH, and still work in community health.

Of course in the year between applications, I would be working on weaker areas of my application, such as clinical exposure and extracurriculars.

Does the advice you receive mainly refer to an MPH in substitute for rigorous scientific coursework? I can’t imagine pursuing a degree that I plan on pursuing even in conjunction with an MD would work against me, right?

Update on OK U (last on the list) - Does not require the GRE.

Gonnif: This can certainly be true if the MPH is used as graduate-level coursework in place of a more rigorous program in the hard sciences. I am inclined to believe that this pretty well and commonly known. However, if the intention here is to pursue work in the public health field before committing to earning a medical degree, then we are talking another ballgame altogether. I am sure there are endless arguments to made about why it is better just to get into medical school if that is what you truly want to do. My intention with the thread was only to share information - that took many hours to compile - with others that may be looking into going the MPH route for whatever reason.

Hubley: Sounds like you have a solid plan which will put you where you want to be. The answer to your first question is yes. To your second question, I cannot think of why pursuing an MPH would work against you in an application to medical school, unless, as noted above, you are trying to use the MPH as a substitute for a hard science graduate-level degree.

Personally, I am interested in both public health and clinical medicine, and far be it from me to deny that I have considered working the public health field for a while before committing to medical school (I alluded to this above). Perhaps you are thinking of a similar path?

I’m traveling and writing from my phone so apologies in advance for the typos.

Many people on this and other pre-med forums view the MPH as a ‘worthless degree’ so you shouldn’t expect much encouragement or support for your interest in public health. of course an MPH is not a substitute for good mcat/gpa but I don’t think that it will hurt your application in most cases. Also, I personally wouldn’t want to go to a medical school where my public health education and prior experience is not appreciated.

If you have an mcat score my advice would be to look into higher ranked mph program many of which would accept mcat instead of gre. Also, it’s very important to take advantage of research opportunities during your MPH -such experience can definitely enhance your medical school application.

The issue with an MPH being used as a substitute is the fact that there are no higher level science course that are involved.

There is no reason not to get an MPH but you may need to supplement your resume with graduate level science courses to show that you can handle that type of work. On the other hand, many medical schools offer the option to take 1 year off and get an MPH right before your 3rd year of medical school.

I think I probably knew the answer to my question before I even asked it before, but I just wanted to get some feedback. In my particular case, the MPH degree is something I would be pursuing anyway, and not a substitute for harder sciences. Since returning to complete a BA in Math and add a BS in Biochemistry, I have a pretty good collection of those, with over a 3.9 gpa, and a 32 MCAT. I wouldn’t dream of entering into a master’s program aside from one involving public health, because I have no interest in one, and I need to be able to potentially ‘parlay’ the program into a career in the event that things don’t work out for an MD or DO program.

Otherwise, I would certainly agree, as the coursework does not include much rigorous science.

Thanks again for more information and thoughts on these topics. (even if they weren’t necessarily meant for me, it always helps to see more)

clarification: the posted gpa is since returning, not overall (which is substantially lower at 2.84).