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Certificate of Public Health Program

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Who Should Apply?

The Program expects that the certificate students will be drawn from regional public and non-governmental agencies providing public health services. These students are typically working professionals with relevant experience in a health/public health-related field, will be able to pursue the certificate while continuing their employment. The program recognizes the need to recruit and train a diverse public health workforce in order to better serve the many communities in Central New York and throughout the state.

International Students: The Certificate of Advanced Study in Public Health is not an option for international study. International students should apply to the Master of Public Health Degree.

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum GPAs preferred at or above a 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Successful completion of both the SOPHAS application and the SUNY Upstate Supplemental Application
  • Within the SOPHAS Application, two essays are required:
    • A personal statement of career goals and any experience as it applies to public health
    • One public health essay; described in the application
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who know you in an academic or professional capacity
    • This does not include personal friends and family
  • Official transcripts from all previous postsecondary courses

Highly Recommended:

  • College level biology course
  • College level statistics course

How to Apply

Upstate Public Health Master of Public Health applicants must submit both the Central Application Service for Public Health (SOPHAS) application and an Upstate application:

1. Complete Central Application Service for Public Health (SOPHAS) application

Application found at www.sophas.org, search for Upstate Medical University Public Health Program

Required for SOPHAS Application:
  • Letter of recommendation from your current residency program director that includes:
    1. their acknowledgment of your interest/application to the certificate program and their commitment to your success in the program and
    2. your suitability for a graduate program in public health.
  • All unofficial transcripts (note: if accepted, official copies will be required)
  • Updated CV or resume
  • Essay Question: We want to hear more about your story to this point, and why you are interested in pursuing further education in public health. We would like you to write an essay in two parts. 

    • First, please describe a pressing issue in public health, citing appropriate peer-reviewed literature. This part of the essay should be written in the language of an academic paper. It can be short (no more than 500 words) but written professionally.
    • Second, we ask that you should your career goals and any health-related experience as it applies to public health you may have had (note:  you do not have to have public health experience to be considered for this program). You may link back to the issue raised in the first part of the essay, but you do not have to do so. We are primarily interested in learning about your “story,” about how you see public health, and how you see yourself contributing to public health in the future.

2. Upstate Supplemental Application

Once your application is received from the Central Application Service for Public Health (SOPHAS), we will email you a Login ID and PIN that will allow you to access our Secondary Application. Please do not create an account on your own from our Admissions Login page, as that will not allow you to access the Secondary Application. The Secondary Application must be submitted to Upstate Medical University no later than July 1. This application is free to complete!

  • The program reserves the right to request interviews.
  • Additional information may be requested based on individual situations.
  • It is the responsibility of each student to confirm that a completed application is on file in the office of Student Admissions.

Current Upstate Medical Residents applying to the Public Health Certificate Program

Complete the FREE SUNY Upstate Internal Application

SUNY Upstate Internal Application

  • Once logged in, click on NEW - Create a new Application
  • Under the "For Current Upstate Students Only" dropdown, you will find "Certificate of Advanced Study in Public Health for Residents-Internal"

To process your application, we will need:

  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended. As Residents of Upstate Medical University, your official transcripts can be requested from the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Office free of charge to be sent directly to Student Admissions electronically to [email protected]. Please contact the GME office directly to make this request.
  • One letter of Recommendation from your current residency program director to be sent directly to [email protected] or mailed to the admissions office at: SUNY Upstate, 766 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210, Attn: Student Admissions.
    The letter should:
    • Acknowledge that the residency director knows you are applying for this certificate program,
    • Describe the commitment of the director to your success in the certificate program, and
    • Endorse your suitability for graduate study in public health.
  • A CV (Curriculum Vitae) or Resume

Deadline: Resident Applicants should submit applications no later than June 15th to ensure enough time to process the application.