John D. Bower School of Population Health

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Admission Requirements

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS – The selection of applicants is made on a competitive basis, without regard to race, creed, sex, color, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. A student with a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution may apply for study in areas in which competence has been demonstrated by scholastic performance.

Prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the Office of Enrollment Management, which must include all material outlined in the program admission description. This application will include an official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) institutions attended, letters of recommendation from faculty members at accredited institutions or employment supervisors, and a personal statement. All non-United States transcripts must be evaluated on a course-by-course report from World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).

Certain programs require prerequisites, and these may be determined by contacting the specific program to which the applicant desires admission or reviewing the criteria outlined in the program-specific section of the Bulletin. The initial evaluation of applicants for admission to graduate programs is based on undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) scholastic performance, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and examination scores. Those applicants for whom the initial evaluation indicates the scholastic competence necessary to successfully pursue a graduate degree may be further evaluated by personal interview.

Conditional Acceptance. Acceptance to the SOPH is conditional; the school may rescind an offer of acceptance at any time before matriculation if an applicant fails to maintain the expectations upon which the acceptance was based. Examples include, but are not limited to, a significant decline in academic performance, failure to complete prerequisites or other coursework and degrees in progress, patterns of unprofessional behavior, and incidents discovered in a criminal background check.

Students who meet or exceed the minimum requirements may be granted full admission to the SOPH. Students who are ranked below the minimum requirements may be considered for conditional admission based on the recommendation of the program director. To be removed from conditional status, the student must, within three academic semesters of admission, meet or exceed the requirements on which the conditional admission is based. Conditional students who fail to meet the criteria listed above will be dismissed from the program. Notwithstanding the above, individual programs may set higher minimum standards than those required by the SOPH.

English Language Proficiency. Applicants whose native language is not English and/or who have completed their tertiary education primarily outside of the USA must submit official scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English-Academic (PTE-A) as evidence of English language proficiency.

  • TOEFL - Internet Based Test (IBT): 79 or higher

  • TOEFL - Paper Based Test (PBT): 550 or higher

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall band score or higher

  • PTE-A: 53 or higher

However, this requirement may be waived for students who are currently enrolled at a college or university in the United States and/or who demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English following a personal interview. Admission of a student to a graduate program must be approved by the program director and by the dean of the SOPH. No individual may enroll in graduate level courses without proper approval and notification from the Bower School of Population Health.

Criminal Background Checks. Students are required to complete fingerprinting and criminal background checks in accordance with UMMC policy and procedure. Students are also required to notify the dean’s office of any arrests or convictions that occur after the criminal background check clearance and while a SOPH student. The dean’s office will review all background checks and notifications to determine if there have been lapses in professionalism.

DEADLINES FOR APPLICATIONS – The SOPH accepts applications throughout the calendar year. However, applications for specific academic semesters must be received by the Office of Enrollment Management by the deadlines below.

Post-baccalaureate Certificate Program in Analytics

  • Fall admission: June 1

Post-baccalaureate Certificate Program in Population Health Science

  • Summer admission: May 1

  • Fall admission: June 1

  • Spring admission: December 1

Master of Science (MS) in Biostatistics and Data Science

  • Fall admission: June 1

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biostatistics and Data Science

  • Fall admission: June 1

Executive Master of Science (MS) in Population Health Management

  • Fall admission: July 1

Master of Science (MS) in Population Health Science

  • Fall admission: June 1

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Population Health Science

  • Fall admission: June 1

PhD students wishing to be considered for a graduate student stipend and Dean’s Scholarship for the upcoming Fall semester should apply for admission as early as possible, but ideally no later than December 31. Graduate student stipends and Dean’s Scholarships for PhD students are evaluated on a competitive basis. An applicant is considered for the enrollment period designated on the application. If the applicant is accepted and fails to enroll, or is not accepted, a new application must be submitted if consideration for a subsequent enrollment is desired.

APPLICATION FEE - A non-refundable fee of $25 must accompany the initial application.

NON-DEGREE SEEKING STUDENTS – An individual who wishes to take graduate coursework but is not a student in a Bower School of Population Health degree program may apply as a Bower School of Population Health non-degree seeking student (NDSS) per the SOPH Non-Degree Seeking Student policy. See the SOPH Non-Degree Seeking Students webpage for details.

Technical Standards for Admission

Technical Standards are non-academic requirements essential for meeting the academic requirements of the programs in the SOPH. Within any area of specialization, students must demonstrate competence in those intellectual and physical tasks that together represent the fundamentals of research in their chosen discipline.

Degree programs may require a dissertation, thesis, project, or practice transformation practicum, based on independent research. Granting these degrees implies the recipient has demonstrated a base of knowledge in their chosen field of study and the ability to independently apply that knowledge to form hypotheses, design and conduct experiments, interpret experimental results, and communicate these findings to the scientific community. Thus, a candidate for the PhD or MS degree must possess abilities and skills that allow for observation, intellectual and conceptual reasoning, motor coordination, and communication. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable.

The following technical skills are required of a successful student in the SOPH:

Observation Skills. The candidate must be able to acquire knowledge by direct observation of demonstrations, experiments, and experiences within the research and instructional setting.

Intellectual/Conceptual Abilities. The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, analyze, reason, integrate and synthesize information to solve problems.

Motor Skills. The candidate must possess the motor skills necessary to perform procedures required for the experimentation and experiences within the chosen discipline.

Communication Skills. The candidate must be able to communicate and discuss his or her experimental hypotheses and results with the scientific community.

Behavioral and Social Attributes. The candidate must possess the emotional and mental health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of responsibilities inherent in managing a scientific setting, the ability to function under the stress inherent in research, and the ability to understand and comply with ethical standards for the conduct of research.

Tuition and Required Fees

Tuition and fees for the academic year can be found on the institutional website. Students in PhD programs who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 may receive a waiver of non-resident fees. Tuition is subject to change pending information from the Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Student Complaints

Students have the right to complain without fear of retribution or retaliation from UMMC or its employees. Students should review the UMMC Student Complaint policy and may submit formal written complaints to the Office for Student Success within the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs using the institutional UMMC Student Complaint Form.

Technology Requirements

Required Technology and Software. Every student is required to have a laptop computer that meets the minimum requirements for both PC and Mac computers. Students should purchase a laptop meeting or exceeding these requirements from regular retail channels. Students are personally responsible for the maintenance/repair of their laptops. All students are required to maintain up-to-date virus and spyware detection software on their laptops. Students should acquire their laptops prior to orientation. Specific departments or academic degree programs may have additional requirements for computers and/or software.

At a minimum, a student’s computer configuration should include:

  • Speakers and a microphone/headphones with a built-in microphone

  • Webcam

  • Wi-Fi and/or Ethernet connection (Broadband connection to the internet and related equipment)

  • Windows 10 operating system

  • Microsoft Office Suite installed

  • Antivirus and spyware software

  • Updated Adobe Flash Player and Oracle Java

  • Firefox, Google Chrome, and/or Internet Explorer browser

A student may also need access to:

  • USB ports

  • Printer

Visit the UMMC Software Portal (The Hub) to see a complete list of available software. Students have the option to download the Microsoft Office suite for free while enrolled. Visit for more information.

COURSE LOAD – A full-time course load in the SOPH is nine (9) credit hours per semester except for the summer semester when one (1) credit hour minimum is sufficient. A student who is admitted to candidacy and is working on a thesis or dissertation may be classified as full-time while registering for one (1) credit hour. See the SOPH Course Load policy for more information.

ENROLLMENT POLICY – Once students are accepted into the SOPH, they must remain continuously enrolled in courses until the degree is complete unless they are approved for a leave of absence. Failure to adhere to this requirement will result in administrative withdrawal from the SOPH. See the SOPH Enrollment policy for more information.

TRANSFER OF GRADUATE CREDIT – A limited amount of graduate credits earned at another recognized institution may be accepted toward degree requirements at UMMC. All transfer coursework is evaluated and accepted work is recorded, without changes in grades, as part of the student’s permanent academic record. See the SOPH Transfer of Credit policy for more information.