Admissions FAQs

Transcripts | GPA | Application Deadline | Letter of Intent | References | CV | Quantitative Requirement

Transcripts

Yes. At the time of the application, please upload scans of your official transcripts (in PDF format) from all colleges and universities attended, including all front and back pages, in the online application system. Please do not mail official transcripts to our office. Applicants who are offered admission to the program will be instructed to mail official transcripts to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

This is a common occurrence and applicants may apply to the MPH Program by the application deadline. The Admissions Committee will evaluate the applicant based on the most recent official transcript (scanned and uploaded to the application) and may offer admission to the program based on these transcripts. This offer will be conditional and subject to the applicant meeting our admission requirements based on the official, final transcript that also indicates the student has successfully completed the degree requirements.

We do not accept transcript information that has been collected and summarized by an agency. All transcripts uploaded must be original, in duplicate, and if not in English, accompanied by a translated copy. This is Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies policy.

Generally, MPH students can transfer up to 9 non-SPPH credits towards the MPH degree. Please note that this is considered on a case-by-case basis and will only be considered once a student is in the program. All students must receive approval from the MPH Program Director to transfer previous graduate-level courses to the MPH degree. In addition, please keep in mind the following criteria that must be met:

  • The courses were not used to satisfy the requirements of another degree
  • The courses were not used as a basis of admission to the graduate degree program
  • At least a B standing (UBC 74%) was obtained in the courses

If your undergraduate transcript does not include the course number, title and final grade achieved from the institution attended abroad, official scans of transcripts from all institutions attended must be uploaded by the application deadline.

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GPA

Credentials from Canada & USA: All 300 & 400 level courses, irrespective of what year they were completed.

Credentials from outside of Canada & USA: All undergraduate courses are used to calculate the GPA. As an international student, there are specific requirements for each country, which can be found online at the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Web site. Please follow this link, scroll to the bottom of the page, and select the country. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements set out for their particular country/university.

No. The MPH Admissions Committee agreed in March 2010 that this option is no longer acceptable for admission to the program. All applicants will be compared against the same standards of GPA calculation.

We will use all eligible degrees to calculate GPA for admission. For example, if an applicant has two Degrees (at any level), and only one degree meets the minimum academic requirement set out by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the applicant is eligible for admission. If both (or all) degrees meet the minimum requirement, then the applicant is eligible for admission. If neither/none of the Degrees meet the minimum academic requirement, the applicant is not eligible for admission.

The mathematics or statistics course you use to meet our quantitative admission requirements will only count towards your GPA if it is a 3rd or 4th year-level course.

Generally speaking, if applicants don’t meet the minimum academic requirements, they are not eligible for admission to any UBC graduate program. However, if an applicant has taken a couple of additional undergraduate or graduate courses and achieved a B+ or higher to demonstrate academic ability, AND the applicant has an extensive track record of working in public health, excellent reference letters and a focused letter of intent, the MPH Admissions Committee will review the application and if successful, write a letter requesting consideration of the applicant by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies may or may not respond affirmatively to the letter.

Many applicants are working professionals in the field of public health who wish to extend their knowledge in public health, planning, research, evaluation, and leadership. Others have recently completed a Baccalaureate degree in areas which are relevant to the field of public health. Some of these areas are (but not limited to): medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, nutrition, pharmacy, midwifery, kinesiology, environmental sciences, microbiology, biology, statistics, sociology, psychology, anthropology and engineering or business.

Our successful applicants usually have some experience in the field of public health, including participation in research activities (research assistantships, published papers, conference abstracts, invited presentations) or teaching (teaching assistantships, teaching courses, developing teaching materials or curriculum, informal peer-based teaching, participation in or development of community-based teaching). We are also looking for evidence of leadership and initiative in working with people, whether or not this is directly focused on public health.

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Application Deadline

The deadline is firm for the completion of the online application as well as the receipt of all application documents. This is due to the high volume of applications we need to process and our responsibility to meet deadlines set by UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Please take into account the timescale if applicants are applying from overseas or the originating country’s mail system is unreliable, and allow ample time for transit time.

No. The application deadline cannot be extended for anyone due to time constraints on the MPH Admissions Committee. Applicants must choose a referee who can get the reference letter to the program office (online or by mail, see “References” section) on time. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure their referees have sent references in on time.

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Letter of Intent

The LOI should be no longer than 700 words.

Applicants should use the letter of intent to articulate their reasons for pursuing the MPH at UBC. It should identify specific and focused goals in the field of public health and how the applicant will use the skills and knowledge gained in the MPH program to achieve these goals. It’s important not to duplicate information in the curriculum vitae. The LOI should demonstrate understanding of the field of public health.

Hard copies are not required to be mailed to the MPH office. We accept the LOI via upload in the  Program-Specific Questions section of the application.

Applicants can address their LOI to the MPH Admissions Committee.

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References

We ask that referees provide comments that offer a picture of the applicant's abilities and potential to succeed as a graduate student, public health professional and/or researcher. Specifically, we seek input on the applicant’s:

  • Academic ability and initiative
  • Quantitative, analytical and reasoning skills
  • Critical thinking and complex problem solving skills
  • Ability to interpret and communicate data clearly and effectively
  • Demonstrated compassion, professionalism, integrity, and sense of social justice

If possible, please provide examples for your assessment of the applicant on these criteria. It is also useful to provide information on the context in which you have gotten to know the applicant (e.g., work environment, applicant’s role and responsibilities or the educational/course setting). The admissions committee finds it helpful if the referee can compare the applicant to other students or staff in a quantitative way, i.e. this student is in the top 10% of students I have previously taught or supervised in the past number of years.

Yes. Referees have the option to complete an electronic reference in the online application system, or write and upload a letter. If a referee would like to send us a letter, they can attach and upload a PDF letter online. Instructions to referees can be found on the MPH website. If applicants list the referee’s email address on their application, an email will be sent to the referee after the applicant has submitted the application. Emails must come from a business email account (eg. @ubc.ca). The reference will come to us instantaneously, avoiding the hassle and delay of mailing.  Referees with web-based email addresses (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail) can not complete the electronic reference in the online application; they must send a paper copy  of the reference to UBC. Please note that  applicants must submit their application online well in advance of the deadline so their referees have enough time to complete the reference.

If a referee is going to send a letter or the reference form by mail, here are some rules and guidelines: First, it should be typed on official letterhead. Secondly, the document should arrive in an envelope with the reference’s signature over the seal. If an applicant collects the letters from their referees, please ensure that the signature is unbroken. We cannot accept references that don’t have a signature over the seal. This is Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies policy.

We prefer academic references, but would also accept a reference that speaks to your academic potential.

Referees can write and upload a letter in lieu of the electronic reference.

Referees now receive automatic reminders 10 days prior to the earliest referee deadline. Applicants also receive automatically generated emails  about the status of their references anytime through the online  system, e.g. when the reference is submitted, a referee declines, or the referee address has failed.

You have the option to change a referee in your online application yourself. Alternatively, you can submit a request to change the referee in your application by contacting mph@spph.ubc.ca, clearly indicating who will no longer be sending through a reference letter and details on the replacement referee.

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CV

An excellent online guide to developing and organizing the CV is provided by the UBC's Centre for Student Involvement & Careers.

No. Due to the high volume of emails that come through during admissions, the MPH program does not have enough email capacity to accept hundreds of applicants’ attachments. We accept CVs via upload in the Standard Questions Section in online application.

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Quantitative Requirement

The quantitative requirement is an undergraduate math or statistics course taken within the last 10 years wherein a grade of B+ (76% at UBC) was achieved. Applicants may also provide a GRE test score that is less than 5 years old with a result of no less than 153/170 for the Verbal component (previous exam score minimum of 500), and 153/170 for the Quantitative (previous exam score of 600) to fulfill the requirement. We ask MPH applicants to provide information about math and statistics preparation so that the MPH Admissions Committee can be sure that all of our students can successfully complete the required coursework of the program. More information can be found here.

MPH applicants will need to take the GRE if they have not completed an undergraduate math or statistics course OR if the final grade for the math/stats course was below a B+ (76% at UBC) or more than 10 years old. In some cases, it may not be possible for the MPH program to assess an applicant's math or statistics preparation from their coursework. Therefore, a recommendation to take the GRE test in preparation for application to the MPH program may be suggested to demonstrate an applicant's quantitative skills. More information can be found here.

We do receive GRE scores electronically: Institution Code 0965, Department Code 0616.

Applicants can review the list of approved and not approved courses on our site to find if your course is on the list. If  the course in on not on the list, please email the course outline to mph@spph.ubc.ca and we will confirm eligibility.  Please note that providing the name or a brief description of the course taken is not sufficient for an assessment to be made.

It is recommended that the quantitative requirement is met by the application deadline. Applicants may apply to the MPH program if they are currently taking a math or statistics course, although this course MUST appear on your official transcript that you send in to the program office. Any applicant who does not meet the quantitative requirement by the deadline will be pre-screened. If the Admissions Committee agrees to offer a place in the program, the offer will be conditional to completion of the course and achieving the minimum of a B+ (76% at UBC). Please note this is done by a case-by-case basis.

Applicants can apply to the MPH program if they are registered to take the GRE but the program cannot guarantee that the application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. It is essential that applicants write the GRE exam at least one month in advance of the deadline, so that there is enough time to get the results sent to us on time.

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Please note that applicants can only check their document status by logging into their  online application. All applicants will be notified formally via email by the end of April/early May as to their official application status. An email will be sent to each applicant in due course indicating the final status of your application. This is not available on the online checklist (which is just to see document status). Letters start to go out in March and can still be going out until May. It is a lengthy process and we do our best to keep applicants updated as soon as possible.

We do compile a small wait list, as inevitably some applicants offered a spot in the program will decline. Applicants are notified right away if they are on the wait list and we will notify them should a spot be available.

Unless it can be shown that the application information was erroneous through no fault of the applicant, admissions decisions are final.

A number of our students work full-time while completing the MPH program in the Distributed Learning format. Please see the Distributed Learning section of the FAQ’s for more information.

MPH Program | Admission Process | Tuition & Fees

MPH Program

The program starts in September. We do not have a January intake.

Students normally take 2 years to complete the MPH. It can be completed in 1.5 years if the practicum is completed in the first summer of the program. All UBC graduate programs must be completed within 5 years.

The MPH program is a practicum-based degree. No thesis is required.

No. As the program is practicum-based and not thesis-based, no Supervisor is required. Incoming students are matched with Faculty Advisors who can assist with choosing electives and a practicum placement. Students meet their Advisor in the first month of the program.

Applicants who are offered a place in the program can apply to study part-time before the start of their program. Be advised: there are very strict rules in place about studying part-time at UBC. It can often be more expensive than full-time studies and part-time students are not eligible for funding, scholarships, teaching & research assistantships, etc. Please read the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies policy very closely if you are considering this option.

All students must complete 1 full term in the program they were admitted to before requesting a transfer. All transfers need to be approved by the relevant program Admissions Committee, as well as the SPPH Student Admissions & Progression Committee. Please contact your Program Manager or Director for further information.

Yes, and should an applicant be successful in applying to both programs, we ask that they inform both programs as to their decision.

At present there is no accreditation body for MPH programs in Canada. Our program is fully compliant with guidelines established by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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Admission Process

No, the program has one intake per year, in September.  An opening and closing date for the admissions period will be posted on the website well in advance.  The Admissions Committee meets after the deadline to review all complete and eligible applications.

The MPH program is very competitive. We aim for a cohort for 36 students and expect between 250 to 350 applications each year.

The School of Population and Public Health does not have a limit to out-of-province or international students. We rank all completed applications and applicants are admitted based on merit.

There is no interview component to the MPH application.

Previous applicants may indicate on the appropriate place on the application form which specific files they would like pulled from our archive.  We can pull transcripts that have not changed.  We can also pull references from the previous year if necessary, although current, updated reference letters are recommended.  All other documents should be updated and mailed to the MPH office. An updated Letter of Intent is required in the online application.

The online application includes a "Citizenship Information" section to note if an applicant is of Canadian Aboriginal Ancestry if they so choose. Please note that the MPH program reserves 2 seats in the program for Aboriginal applicants.

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Tuition and Fees

UBC application fees are non-refundable.  Please see the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies application fee policy for further information, as individual programs do not manage fees.

This information can be found on the MPH website or the UBC Calendar. Tuition fees are subject to change.

Students are automatically considered for GSI funding upon admission into the program, though unfortunately there is limited funding available. Students are encouraged to investigate and apply for other external sources of funding. Please see the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website for a list of awards and financial aid: http://www.grad.ubc.ca/awards

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