One of the most diverse areas of healthcare practice is public health, and the sector is growing and changing quickly. Strong credentials, such as a Master of Public Health (MPH), are necessary to break into this competitive field, and a strong public health personal statement is an essential part of a successful MPH application. But creating one as a recent graduate or first-time job seeker is very different from writing one for graduate school in public health.
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What’s the purpose of an MPH personal statement?
The goal of an MHP personal statement is to give the admissions committee of a graduate program an overview of who you are as a candidate, why you are interested in a career in public health, and how their program can support you in achieving your professional goals. All of this information can be cohesively incorporated into a narrative in a strong personal statement that explains to the admissions committee members why you are a qualified candidate and how the program they work for could support your professional development.
What is an MPH personal statement?
A candidate’s interest in pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is expressed in a written statement called a personal statement. A graduate school applicant’s MPH personal statement gives them the chance to talk about their research interests and prior public health work. A personal statement may be crucial to an application, in addition to a student’s test results and undergraduate GPA. It assists people in emphasizing personal, professional, and academic details that the university might not grasp from just looking at their test results or transcripts.
How to write an MPH personal statement
You can use the following steps to write an MPH personal statement:
1. Describe your initial interest in public health and what attracted you to this field
Describe your initial interest in public health and what motivated you to apply to graduate programs and pursue a career in this field in the opening paragraph of your MPH personal statement. Include anecdotes about the most memorable encounters or significant conversations that led you to pursue this career path.
Since the field of public health is fairly broad, think about describing the specific area you intend to study and work in and highlighting why this particular area of the field interests you. This section can help the admissions committee learn more about your interests and the motivations behind your decision to apply for a graduate degree in public health.
2. Highlight formative academic and professional experiences
After briefly describing your interest in public health, you can go into more detail about your educational and professional background. List the experiences that helped shape your path toward becoming a public health professional, and explain how they contributed to the growth of your career.
Include any research projects you were a part of or led, and talk about your volunteer experiences that motivated you to look for work in this field. You can talk about the key insights or knowledge that these experiences or encounters gave you as well as the overall impact they had.
3. List your professional ambitions and goals
Consider discussing your future aspirations and outlining your professional objectives after going over your prior experiences. Highlighting your objectives can help you demonstrate that you’re interested in a long-term career in public health. Admissions departments may look for prospective students who are eager to learn and committed to their academic and professional development.
Describe your goals for your degree and career, including any research projects or professional milestones you hope to accomplish. A list of well-known professionals who inspire you can also be included. You can look over their accomplishments and list your admiration for them.
4. Discuss why an MPH may benefit your career more than another type of degree
There are alternatives to earning an MPH if you’re interested in pursuing a graduate degree in public health. As an illustration, some people might decide to apply for a Doctor of Medicine degree. In your personal statement, discuss how an MPH might be more advantageous to your career than a different degree. You can also go over your reasons for choosing the particular program you are applying for and talk about the professors, research opportunities, and other aspects that appeal to you.
5. Review the unique talents and value that you can bring to the program
You can go over your unique contributions to the program and why the admissions committee should choose you as a graduate student after describing how the degree may benefit you. Discuss any unique abilities or professional experience you may have to offer the department while emphasizing what makes you a standout and qualified applicant. Including this information in your MPH personal statement may help readers remember who you are and your application since it is your last chance within the essay to discuss your interests, passions, and talents.
6. Proofread and submit
Consider proofreading the document once you’ve finished a draft to catch any spelling or grammar errors. It’s crucial to submit a document free of errors when applying for graduate programs. To ensure that your tone is professional and clear, consider reading your personal statement aloud or printing a physical copy to manually review each paragraph.
To get their feedback, you can also read the document aloud to a close friend, workmate, or professor. You can improve your writing and make sure the document is interesting and simple to understand by seeking outside feedback on it.
MPH personal statement example
To assist you in writing your own MHP personal statement, here is an example:
At a young age, I became interested in public health after seeing my father, a Romanian immigrant and epidemiologist, help a range of people in our neighborhood while working for a modest urban public health department. He promoted open communication between patients and their medical professionals, and many of my neighbors, friends, and acquaintances came to rely on him as a trustworthy local resource.
I recall him putting in long hours on the weekends to make sure that everyone had access to the resources they needed for information about communicable diseases, STIs, and other health issues.
All of my father’s children inherited his love of helping others, a trait I thought of recently as I assisted a friend in getting help for a range of mental health issues, including an eating disorder. After having learned about the value of nutritional education and the significance of having access to wholesome foods and nutritional information, this experience motivated me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. I became more aware of the link between stable mental health and proper nutrition, and I now work for a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about food and nutrition.
In order to broaden my knowledge and the range of my impact within my community, I intend to pursue a Master of Public Health degree at Washington Mills University. Through graduate work that focuses on the dietary mechanisms that contribute to mental and neurological conditions, I hope to further my understanding of the connection between diet and mental health. I can prepare for a career in community outreach and education with an MPH specialization in health education.
My professional objective is to create teaching materials for nutrition and health education for students in Chicago, Illinois, where I currently reside and work. After receiving my MPH, I intend to collaborate with other medical specialists who are knowledgeable about nutritional psychiatry and mental health advocacy, possibly creating a program to teach young students the importance of nutrition and food. I intend to contribute my love of helping people, as well as my education in nutrition and dietetics, to the MPH program at Washington Mills University.
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Tips for writing an MPH personal statement
Here are some pointers that could assist you in creating a compelling MPH personal statement:
How do you write an MPH personal statement?
- Describe your first exposure to public health and what drew you to this profession.
- Highlight formative academic and professional experiences. …
- List your professional ambitions and goals. …
- Discuss why a MPH might be more advantageous to your career than other types of degrees.
How long should a personal statement to an MPH program be?
We advise starting with a 500-word basic statement with the understanding that, for some programs, you will have the opportunity to go more in-depth, as most programs require personal statements to be between 500 and 1,000 words in length—a 500 word maximum is also fairly common.
How do I make my MPH application stand out?
- Tell a story with your Statement of Purpose. …
- Pursue the right concentration. …
- Strategize who to ask for a letter of recommendation. …
- Speak with current or former participants in the program(s) you are applying to
- Keep an organized and up-to-date timeline.
What makes a good MPH candidate?
You should be genuinely interested in working in the field of public health and have a solid grasp of public health-related issues. Consider your reasons for being interested in this field, your areas of focus, and how to explain your reasons for choosing public health before applying to MPH programs.