The MHS in Social Factors in Health is an advanced research degree for students with undergraduate exposure to social and behavioral sciences and/or public health who are interested in further training in the theory and methods in this area.
The program is intended to prepare students either for further doctoral training in public health or to work in a public health research or policy position. The focus of the MHS in Social Factors program in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society is on integrating and applying a broad range of knowledge and analytical skills in social aspects of public health, with an emphasis on contemporary health problems.
The program consists of one and one-half to two years of full-time study, combining classroom-based coursework, seminars and independent study, development of a research plan and completion of a mentored research project, and a master’s research paper presenting original research.
The final program requirement is the presentation of the research by the student in a department seminar. The research project, planned with the guidance of the student’s academic advisor, may begin after successful completion of 64 credits, typically at the end of the first year, and must include the equivalent of 600 hours of activity, in a paid or unpaid position.
Course of Study
Students will complete a minimum of 96 total units of credit hours, in six or seven full-time terms over a year and a half of study, graduating at the end of the second year.
In the first year, the four full-time terms of study will consist of academic coursework in classroom and seminar settings. A total of 64 academic units must be completed prior to beginning the research practicum, typically within the first four terms of study. Students must register for 16 or more credits each term, to hold full-time status in the School. All required courses must be taken for a letter grade. It is anticipated that students will complete a significant portion of their research practicum activities during the summer between the first and second year.
In the second year, students will register full-time (16+ credits per term) for a course of study that will include remaining courses, as well as an independent study with their advisor as they develop their research plan, complete their research practicum, and write their research paper. They will also attend at least two terms of the MHS in Social Factors seminar in their second program year. Students may be eligible to complete all requirements for graduation by the end of the second term of their second year, depending on the timing of their research practicum and final approval of their paper.
All applicants are expected to submit a completed application to Whiting School of Engineering and supporting documentation as required by the School’s Office of Admissions. Applicants to all master’s programs must have at least a baccalaureate degree in a relevant field.
The Department’s admission requirements include:
GRE scores (MCAT acceptable, but not preferred). A waiver may be requested if the applicant has:
A graduate degree (master’s or doctoral degree), OR
Successfully completed the Certificate in Environmental and Occupational Health and earned at least a "B" in all courses taken for the Certificate.
Minimum undergraduate Grade Point Average of 3.0 recommended. Background coursework must include:
Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus
Three letters of recommendation
Transcripts from each academic institution beyond high school
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for applicants from countries where the English language is not the primary language. Minimum acceptable score is 600 on the paper-based version, or 100 on the Internet version.
International academic transcripts must be evaluated by WES or equivalent service. Please go to https://engineering.jhu.edu/graduate-admissions/international-students/ for more information.
In general, degree applicants will need to submit the following:
Official transcripts from EVERY college-level institution you attended (academic records from institutions outside the U.S. must undergo a credentials evaluation).
Standardized test score (Please review for Covid-19 Pandemic related policies)
English proficiency test score (TOEFL or IELTS), if applicable
Three letters of recommendation
Resume or curriculum vitae
Statement of Purpose and Objectives
International Applicants are welcome and should review additional instructions for applying from outside the U.S.
An update on GRE requirements and COVID-19
The Department of Health, Behavior & Society recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic may significantly impede prospective students’ ability to complete standardized testing requirements. To help address the unique challenges the pandemic has presented, the Department of Health, Behavior & Society has opted to alter our policy requiring GRE scores for applicants to the 2021-2022 academic year.
For prospective students applying to all HBS academic programs for the 2021-2022 academic year, GRE scores will be optional but highly recommended. We encourage applicants with existing GRE scores to include them as part of their applications. However, applications will still be reviewed without GRE scores.
Applicants may submit GRE scores to JHSPH using the SOPHAS code 3738.
For additional questions related to admissions requirements and applications, please contact L. Robin Newcomb (email@example.com).