Believe it or not, applying to graduate school may be fairly similar to applying to undergraduate. If you are interested in applying for a Master of Public Health (MPH) or a Master of Health Administration (MHA), you might have seen the abbreviations SOPHAS and HAMPCAS on different schools' websites. In this article, I will explain these applications in order to provide clarity for prospective MPH and MHA applicants.
The Schools of Public Health Application Service, or SOPHAS, is a web-based system that provides a single application used by many graduate public health programs. Currently 110 schools or programs are listed on SOPHAS. It is managed by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health or ASPPH.
The Health Administration, Management & Policy Centralized Application Service, or HAMPCAS, is a web-based system that provides a single application used by many graduate health administration programs. Currently 40 schools or programs are listed on HAMPCAS. It is managed by the Association of University Programs in Public Health or AUPHA.
Remember the Common App when applying for undergraduate? These services are essentially identical––they allow you to apply to many schools by filling out one application. Convenient, right?
You might notice that there are many more schools or programs to apply to on SOPHAS. In fact, many schools that appear on HAMPCAS are also on SOPHAS. This is because HAMPCAS is exclusive to health administration programs whereas SOPHAS is not restrictive and will have both public health programs and health administration programs. My advice to you is to pick one application site based on the cost alone. The breakdown of the pricing is as follows:
As such, it makes the most sense to stick to one site and only pay the $135 once. If you are only applying for MHA or related programs, there's a good chance you can fill out only HAMPCAS. If you are only applying to MPH programs, you can probably use only SOPHAS. If you are applying to a mix of both MPH and MHA programs, SOPHAS will likely be the service for you.
Both HAMPCAS and SOPHAS are structured exactly the same way.
This is the meat and bones of your application. It is comprised of 4 subsections: Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information, and Program Materials. You can view the completion status of each section.
Personal Information contains demographic information such as name, contact information, citizenship information and birth place, family information, and race and ethnicity.
Academic History is where you will enter your college coursework and standardized tests. You are given the option to manually enter your transcripts or pay a fee to have the site fill it out for you. Note that entering standardized test scores in this section is only an unofficial report. You will need to send your official scores from the test provider.
Supporting Information is where you will submit requests for recommendations and add experiences. The experiences section is where you can add job, internship, and volunteer experiences that might be on your resume. When submitting requests for recommendations, you will enter the name and email of the recommender. They will be sent a link to fill out the recommendation.
Program Materials is where you will have subsections for each school on your list. In these subsections, you will submit your personal statement. Additionally, there might be supplemental questions written by the school or program.
Here you can add different schools or programs to your application. This tab is also a great place to find new schools and expand your list.
Once you have completed all of the sections in the My Application tab, your schools will be ready for submission and you will see a green check mark. Here you can submit your and applications and make payments.
In this section, you can check the status of your transcripts, recommendations, and your application as a whole.
Not every school is on SOPHAS or HAMPCAS. There will be an application on each school or program's website that is separate from SOPHAS or HAMPCAS .
So that's just about everything you need to know about SOPHAS and HAMPCAS. Good luck!
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