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A guide to successfully completing Nevada’s online MPH application

You’ve decided you would like to get your Master in Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Nevada, Reno; now what? The application is important, of course; however, an admissions board is going to look at the whole picture you present of yourself through the admissions package.

The application requirements are straightforward. You need a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.00 undergraduate GPA (or a 3.00 GPA in the last 60 hours). You must have completed a statistics course, have an updated resume or CV and pay the standard application fee of $60. For international applicants – for whom English is not a first language – you must also have a TOEFL score of at least 80 to apply.

The second part of the application package is the personal statement. This could arguably be the most important part of the admissions package. It should truly give a sense of who you are to the admissions board and could be the deciding factor for admission. In this essay, you’ll want to describe your achievements, qualifications and experiences in a compelling way. Also, you need to explain why you are interested in pursuing an MPH and specifically why you are interested in this program.

“This is an applicant’s opportunity to be thoughtful about how they represent themselves. The personal statement has to be professional, as an MPH is a professional degree.” Says Trudy Larson, the Dean of the School of Community Health Sciences at University of Nevada, Reno. With so much out of your control, like GPA and letters of recommendation, this personal statement is your chance to tell your story. But don’t forget to use appropriate grammar and sophisticated verbiage just as you would in any professional communication.

Lastly, you’ll be asked to provide three letters of recommendation. You’ll want to choose people who know you and can write about your drive, work ethic and passion for public health. Academic references are encouraged, especially if your professor can speak to your potential success in a graduate program. If you have been out of the academic setting for a while, an employer or supervisor is a good choice for a recommender. Since the purpose of the recommendation is for another individual to give an independent evaluation of your ability to succeed in graduate school, you will want to choose recommenders who know you well enough to speak to your maturity, professionalism, collaboration, and other qualities that suggest you are a good applicant.

Applying to a graduate program may seem daunting but it’s the exciting first step to the next chapter of your career. Keep in mind that it’s your story and no one knows it better than you. You have to narrate your story in the best way possible. If you’re ready, start your application today for the online Master of Public Health degree at the University of Nevada, Reno.