What happens between the time you click “submit” and when a final decision is received?
First, take a moment to celebrate a huge step towards your academic and professional goals! Each of us on the admissions committee appreciates how much time candidates put into an application, and we are thrilled you see how Dartmouth can equip you for this journey. The application is a moment to reflect on all you have accomplished and how you hope to grow, two themes often highlighted in your essays and the comments that recommenders make on your behalf.
Your future in health and healthcare is important to us, and we use the application review process to prepare you for the next step of your career. Here's an inside look at how we build a diverse class of early- and mid-career healthcare professionals and clinicians who are dedicated to improving health outcomes around the world.
Our admissions committees are made up of a combination of faculty, staff and alumni. Two committee members are paired up to read each application for a thorough initial review. We look at everything you have submitted and take a holistic view of your entire application.
In our review, we pay attention to each element and take notes on:
- Your essay and short answer question responses. We’re looking for you to draw a path from where you are now to where you want to be in your career. How will our MPH help you?
- How you build relationships with others – this comes through via your recommenders' comments.
- Your academic performance, including trends over time. Do your grades improve from year to year? Are you able to sustain strong academic achievement? Are your standardized test scores (if applicable) consistent with your undergraduate experience?
- Your activities and volunteer work, particularly related to public health. This usually comes through in your essay, resume, and the activities you participate in outside of school and work.
After their initial independent review, the two admissions committee partners meet to discuss the application and make a recommendation, write summary comments, and identify any questions they have.
Our admissions directors reviews every recommendation with one to three other admissions committee members in a Decision Committee meeting. Together, we decide on the next step, which could be:
- A second blind review
- An interview
- A final decision
If the next step is another blind review, the application is assigned to a different admissions committee pair. To remove any bias, this review is blind, and the new reviewers do not see the comments of the first committee nor are aware that they are conducting a second review.
After the admissions committee review is complete, we frequently invite candidates to a phone interview. If you are invited to a phone interview, you’ll be sent a link to a portal on our admissions site where you can choose a convenient time slot. It is important that you pick an open timeslot within two weeks of your invitation and provide appropriate contact information. International applicants will complete their interviews by Zoom.
After conducting an interview, the alumni interviewer enters summary notes into our application system, and the application comes back to the Decision Committee.
Before any decision is final, it is reviewed again by the Decision Committee. As a group, we weigh the benefits of each application, what the candidate may bring to the class, and the current class composition. We strive to assemble a group of students with different backgrounds who all want to make a positive impact in health and healthcare. We value students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. During your time in our program, we expect that you will inhabit both learner and teacher roles. As a learner, you will be exposed to novel content in health and healthcare. As a teacher, you will coach and support your peers in areas where you may have deep expertise. Together, you and your peers will experience an intense relationship-based learning opportunity.
We strive for a review process that is rigorous and fair. In highly competitive cycles, we are forced to make difficult decisions as we cannot accept all well-qualified candidates. By having every application go through multiple rounds of review, we ensure our evaluation is thoughtful and thorough before any decision is rendered.
We are committed to helping you achieve your career goals. Throughout the program, and as an alumnus/a, you'll have access to our career and professional development services at every stage of your career.
Accelerate Your Career
Whether serving as a consultant to a Fortune 500 company, policy analyst in state government, program administrator or provider on the frontlines of care, our alumni are are using what they’ve learned here to make a positive impact on our health and healthcare systems.
Read Alumni Career Stories
Start your healthcare journey with us today!
TALK TO OUR ADMISSIONS TEAM
DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS AND OPERATIONS
Amanda WilliamsASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, ADMISSIONS AND RECRUITMENT
Mia PennekampADMISSIONS MANAGER