Responsibilities of Applicants
Applicants to the public health profession are expected and required to take full responsibility for their application throughout the admissions process. Please review these responsibilities outlined below.
SOPHAS applicants will:
- Be responsible for researching the application procedures, admission requirements and deadline requirements for each designated public health school and program and adhering to those requirements.
- Complete and submit their SOPHAS application and submit all supporting documentation to SOPHAS at least four weeks prior to the earliest deadline of the programs to which they are applying.
- Use the Transcript Request Form (available to applicants after they have listed their institutions attended in the Colleges Attended section) to submit transcripts to SOPHAS. To allow for timely processing, it is recommended that transcripts arrive at SOPHAS at least four weeks prior to the deadline of the earliest school or program to which the applicant is applying.
- Agree to submit the correct SOPHAS application fee.
- Provide honest, accurate and complete application information.
- Report to SOPHAS any changes in contact information (mailing address, email, phone number) throughout the admissions cycle. It is recommended applicants provide the same updates directly to the schools and programs to which they have applied.
- Monitor their application’s status and the submission and receipt of all application materials to SOPHAS, including all transcripts and letters of recommendation. The status of the application and supporting documents can be monitored throughout the application process within the Applicant Portal.
- Follow up on any incomplete or undelivered application statuses and/or missing materials, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, or payments, with SOPHAS staff and facilitate the submission or re-submission of those materials to SOPHAS. If letters of recommendation are missing, the applicant should contact the individual recommender to make sure the request was received and encourage timely submission. Please note that SOPHAS is not responsible for documents which are lost in the mail. These items must be re-submitted to SOPHAS in a timely manner.
- Respond immediately to all notices and questions received from SOPHAS staff and public health schools and programs. Applicants are responsible for checking their SOPHAS application inbox available on the Applicant Portal, as well as their personal email and voicemail for these important notices and questions.
- Print a hard copy of the completed SOPHAS application to save for their files.
- Communicate and initiate all contact in a professional manner when interacting with SOPHAS staff and admissions staff of designated schools and programs.
- Accept and/or decline all interview invitations and offers of admission in a timely and considerate manner.
- Log off the SOPHAS application after the completion of each entry or review session to protect against unauthorized access of application information.
Responsibilities of SOPHAS
SOPHAS will facilitate through each of its participating programs a professional and equitable application process. Established protocols will provide applicants with a fair and complete initial review process of all application materials and support each school and program’s autonomy in further evaluating, selecting, and matriculating qualified students.
- Collect and collate all application materials submitted by applicants. SOPHAS is further responsible for verifying all academic transcripts and degrees, reviewing recommendations for completeness and authenticity, and disseminating completed application files to all programs designated by applicants in a timely and efficient manner.
- Provide quality customer service. SOPHAS’s professional staff will maintain ongoing and responsive communications with schools and programs and applicants.
- Ensure customer confidentiality and data integrity by maintaining a reliable and secure internet service and program of quality assurance.
- Reporting year-end data to each member and providing an annual report of aggregate applicant data to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH).
Responsibilities of SOPHAS Schools and Programs
In educating caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable students, public health schools and programs should conduct themselves and their admissions processes in a professional manner that promotes the ideals of the profession and the mission of each school and program. Schools and programs will partner with SOPHAS in maintaining an admissions process that is fair, inclusive, and equitable.
SOPHAS schools and programs will:
- Establish and publish accurate admission requirements and deadlines. Each school and program will make such information easily accessible to potential applicants by maintaining an accurate website. Schools and programs will adhere to their own established and published policies and procedures of admissions.
- Optimize efficiencies and maintaining good communication. Each public health school and program should designate an individual to serve as the primary point of contact for SOPHAS and applicants.
- Maintain ongoing communications with applicants. Schools and programs should encourage applicants to monitor their application status and complete their applications promptly.
- Maintain the confidentiality of applicant information, including letters of recommendation, during all aspects of the application process, including the interview.
- Conduct a fair, reasonable, and timely admissions process. Procedures should be established to regularly update applicants as to their status.
- Make all admissions decisions based on complete and verified application information provided through SOPHAS.