Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

Applications are now being accepted for our next cohort which begins in fall 2019. Applications for admission into the EMPH program are completed online via SOPHAS (School of Public Health Application System). Once you have submitted a completed application in SOPHAS, your application is forwarded us for review. Please allow 6-8 weeks for an admission decision after you have submitted your application. It is important to note that the EMPH priority deadline to be considered for scholarship aid is March 15. You can read more about our admission criteria here.

Last year, the EMPH program received about 120 applications for our cohort that began in fall 2018. We offered admission to about 70% of applicants.  One area that sets the EMPH program apart from other graduate programs is that we work closely with those who have an interest in the program to ensure it is the right fit for them.  We encourage those who meet our admission criteria and have a passion for public health to apply, yet also be aware that admission is competitive.

Aside from the standard EMPH admission criteria (e.g., working professional with pre-requisite experience of 3 years), we look for someone who is passionate about public health issues, has a track record of public health (or relevant) experience, and someone who is able to articulate how an MPH degree from Rollins School of Public Health will impact their career trajectory.

The average age of an EMPH student is 36 years old and they hold, on average, 8 years of full-time professional work experience.  Our students are mid-career professionals who have a good amount of perspective in the field of public health. This breadth of knowledge allows you to learn from each other.

Standardized test scores are only required for the Applied Epidemiology track.  We will accept the GRE, MCAT, or ECFMG. Because the Executive program has been developed with the professional in mind, we look at the total package: test scores, undergraduate grade point average, graduate grade point average (if applicable), professional experience, recommendations, and statement of purpose when assessing our candidates.

Scores are not required for the Prevention Science or Applied Public Health Informatics tracks.

 

For those required to submit GRE scores, we look for minimum scores at the 60th percentile. We look for a minimum GPA of 3.0 (undergrad or grad). Applicants for the Applied Epidemiology track must demonstrate strong quantitative skills. 

The program reviews each applicant on a case-by-case basis. It is possible for other areas to compensate for a weaker area – so you should still apply even if you have a low GPA from 10 years ago. We will review your entire application.

If you have an area of concern, use the personal statement or the “relevant information” section of the application to provide additional explanation.

Yes, if you have completed a graduate level degree that degree experience may count toward the professional experience requirement. However, that experience should be relevant to public health.

Yes, we would be happy to work with you one-on-one. Please contact the EMPH ADAP, Allyson Bianchi, at allyson.bianchi@emory.edu to schedule an appointment.

Up to 6 semester hours of transfer credit may be allowed for relevant graduate-level courses taken at other academic institutions within  three years, provided that these credits were not used toward another degree.  Your transcript must reflect a grade of an A or B for transfer credit to be granted.  The request for transfer credit must be approved by the department or program where the course is taught.

If you have experience in certain areas – either through previous coursework or job experience, you may request to waive a course. You must be able to demonstrate your expertise. The request to waive a course must be approved by the department or program where the course is taught.


Tuition and Financing

There are a variety of ways that students fund their MPH degree including federal financial aid, scholarships, employee education benefits, and Emory payment planning.

Students are automatically considered for scholarship awards with the submission of a completed SOPHAS application by the priority deadline of March 15 of each year. No additional paperwork is required.

Federal Financial Aid is also available to Executive MPH students, usually in the form of low-interest loans. Please contact the Emory University Office of Financial Aid for additional details on the financial aid application process.

Some students in the EMPH program receive financial support through their employers. We encourage you to have a conversation with your Human Resources representative to discuss any education benefits that your employer may provide.

The Emory University Office of Student Financial Services offers semester payment plans (offered fall, spring, and summer). Please note: Credit cards are not accepted for payment of tuition/fees.

Eligible Emory University employees may use the Courtesy Scholarship. Emory University Hospital employees may use their tuition reimbursement benefit.

Veterans may use their education benefit and/or Emory University’s Yellow Ribbon Program to help pay for tuition and fees.

Students are automatically considered for scholarship awards with the submission of a completed SOPHAS application by the priority deadline of March 15 of each year. No additional paperwork is required. Scholarships for EMPH students include:

  • David J. Sencer, MD, MPH Scholarship: Awarded to an Executive MPH candidate who has demonstrated leadership qualities while employed in a state or local public health department.

 

  • Seretean Scholarship: Awarded to an Executive MPH candidate who is a Georgia public health professional working outside of the metro-Atlanta area with demonstrated leadership qualities.

 

  • William Randolph Heart Scholarship: Awarded to an Executive MPH candidate whose profession focuses on providing public health services in communities throughout the Southeast.


  • Merit Scholarship: Awarded to an Executive MPH candidate who has a strong record of academic achievement, leadership potential, and committment to public health.

Tuition varies based on the schedule students choose. There is a flat-rate tuition for the three-course sequence (2-year degree plan). Students pay per credit hour for the two-course sequence (3-year degree plan). Please refer to the Admission section of our website for current tuition and fees information.

Students enrolled in the three-course sequence (2-year degree plan) are usually eligible to defer their student loans. Students enrolled in the two-course sequence (3-year degree plan) are unlikely to be able to defer their student loans. Please check with your lender about minimum enrollment requirements needed in order to be eligible for student loan deferral.


The EMPH Experience

The Executive MPH program has been particularly crafted for the working professional. Students in our program must have a minimum of three years of full-time professional experience, yet on average have eight years work experience.

The blended format of online coursework and two in-person sessions per semester provides flexibility of online instruction and engagement of face-to-face instruction. Our faculty are a mix of individuals from academic public health and public health practice and bring a wealth of knowledge to the classroom. Students are able to bring their experiences to the learning environment and able to apply their new skills and content to their jobs. There is an immediate applicability to what is learned.

Please keep in mind, Executive MPH is the name of the program and not the degree. Students will receive a Master of Public Health degree upon completion of the program.

The EMPH program is the distance-based MPH for working professionals. EMPH students have a minimum of three years' work experience. On average, EMPH students have eight years of professional history.

The program uses a blended course delivery format. Each semester, there are required long weekends (Fri-Sat-Sun) at the beginning and end of the semester. Coursework in between the on-campus weekends are delivered via the Internet.  Students start the program in the fall semester and enroll in courses during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

The program has three tracks– Applied Epidemiology, Applied Public Health Informatics, and Prevention Science.

  • Epidemiology is the science of public health and the Applied Epidemiology track entails tracking diseases and disease indicators in populations.
  • Applied Public Health Informatics is the systematic application of information and computer science to public health practice and research.
  • Prevention Science is about promoting health and preventing disease. Courses in this track relate to community interventions, health education, research design, and health communications. 

 

 

Course materials are presented using asynchronous methods in our online learning environment, Canvas. This means that it is not done in real time. What is nice about this approach is that students can interact with the course material when it is convenient for them whether that is 7:00am, noon, or 11:00 pm.

Course information is presented in a variety of ways, depending on the faculty member and the course. These ways include may include: PPT, narrated PPT, mini-lecture, readings from text or journal articles, and/or instructor notes.

Learning is assessed in a variety of ways including: discussion board interactions, presentations (group or individual), papers, projects, homework sets, and/or exams.

On-campus weekend dates are provided to students well in advance. Students are expected to make arrangements to attend these sessions.  In rare situations (e.g., family death, public health deployment) students may ask for an exemption and it may be granted. In some situations, students may not enroll in courses if they cannot attend the on-campus session.

A total of 12 trips to the Rollins School of Public Health campus are required over the course of the program (based on a 2-year program).

The on-campus sessions begin and end each semester. Each on-campus session runs Friday through Sunday. The on-campus sessions for the 2019-2020 academic year are listed below:

  • Fall 2019: Orientation- August 22, August 23-25, November 15-17
  • Spring 2020: January 3-5, April 3-5
  • Summer 2020: May 15-17, July 31-August 2


EMPH Classes/Curriculum

The program has three tracks: Applied Epidemiology, Applied Public Health Informatics, and Prevention Science.

Epidemiology is the science of public health and the Applied Epidemiology track entails tracking diseases and disease indicators in populations.

Applied Public Health Informatics is the systematic application of information and computer science to public health practice and research.

Prevention Science is about promoting health and preventing disease. Courses in this track relate to community interventions, health education, research design, and health communications. 

In order to equip you with the tools to be successful in online learning, you will complete an online orientation course prior to your first semester of enrollment.  This is a 2 weeks course via Canvas that familiarizes you with the Canvas learning portal, allows you to get to know your peers, and interact with faculty and administrators.

This online course was created to help familiarize you with the online learning environment. We understand that not all of our students have taken an online course before. The online orientation is a great tool to kick off your EMPH program –students have found that the orientation has given them the confidence to proceed with distance-based learning in the EMPH program.

Students take core MPH courses, required EMPH courses, and track specific courses. You can view our courses and the corresponding course descriptions here. Core courses are taken in biostatistics, epidemiology, behavioral science, U.S. health care policy, environmental health, and global health.  EMPH courses include public health surveillance and public health informatics. Track specific courses are taken in Applied Epidemiology, Applied Public Health Informatics, or Prevention Science.

The EMPH program is lock-step, meaning classes are organized for you in a particular sequence which you cannot stray from. There is a plan for completing the program in two years (where you take three classes at a time) and a separate plan to complete it in three years (where you take two classes at a time).

Students enrolling in the three-course sequence will graduate in 2 years (6 semesters).

Students enrolling in the two-course sequence will graduate in 3 years (9 semesters).

EMPH classes occur during the fall, spring, and summer semesters, therefore be prepared to attend class year-round for the duration of your program.

The Executive MPH program currently has three tracks: Applied Epidemiology, Applied Public Health Informatics, and Prevention Science

You must select your top-choice track during the application process.  If you wish to be considered for more than one track, you can add on up to two more once your application is received by Rollins School of Public Health. You may have the option to switch tracks once admitted, but your application must first be reviewed toward the new track and meet all track-specific admission criteria. For example, if you did not submit GRE scores for the Prevention Science track, prior to being admitted to the Applied Epidemiology track, you would need to take and submit GRE scores.

All students must complete an Applied Practical Experience (APE). This is an opportunity to practice the skills learned in the classroom in an applied setting other than your current full-time job.  The APE requires a minimum of 200 hours and for EMPH students, is often completed over several semesters.

All students must complete a culminating experience, which depending on your track is either a capstone or thesis. 

A capstone is a set of two integrative courses that you enroll in to demonstrate expertise in a particular area. Applied Public Health Informatics students are required to complete a capstone.

A thesis is an independent research project that you complete with guidance from a thesis advisor, chair, and field advisor. Applied Epidemiology students are required to complete a thesis.

Students enrolled in the Prevention Science track can choose to complete either a capstone or thesis.

Course materials are presented using asynchronous methods in our online learning environment, Canvas. This means that it is not done in real time. What is nice about this approach is that students can interact with the course material when it is convenient for them whether that is 7:00am, noon, or 11:00 pm.

Course information is presented in a variety of ways, depending on the faculty member and the course. These ways include may include: PPT, narrated PPT, mini-lecture, readings from text or journal articles, and/or instructor notes.

Learning is assessed in a variety of ways including: discussion board interactions, presentations (group or individual), papers, projects, homework sets, and/or exams.

Time spent preparing for each course (including reading, assignments, group projects, etc.) will vary per person and course, but we estimate that you will spend about 6-8 hours per week on each course (for a 2 credit hour course). Upon your enrollment, you can meet with your assigned ADAP to discuss your personal and professional commitments to ensure that you have a balanced work-personal-school lifestyle. We have been graduating successful public health professionals for 20 years, so pursing an MPH while working full-time is possible!


Careers in Public Health

Graduates agree that the EMPH program has prepared them to make significant impacts in the public health arena.

Examples of positions for Applied Epidemiology graduates include: Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at a medical device company; researcher at a university; Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer at CDC.

Examples of positions for Applied Public Health Informatics graduates include: Self-employed Teleradiologist; Health IT Transformation and Analytics Consultant at Kaiser; Principle at a management consulting company.

Examples of positions for Prevention Science graduates include: Program Associate for Curriculum Development at a university; Health Communication Specialist at CDC; District Health Director at a local public health district; Director of North America Professional Education and Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute.


ADAP: Allyson Bianchi

Your associate director of academic programs (ADAP), Allyson Bianchi, can assist with application and admissions-related questions for prospective EMPH students. 

If you are an EMPH prospective student and would like to learn more, please contact Allyson directly with any inquiries.

Allyson Bianchi- Phone: 404-727-3358, Email: allyson.bianchi@emory.edu


ADAP: Allyson Bianchi