Frequently Asked Questions

For questions not answered on this FAQ page, please contact

Can the MS-HOPE degree or certificate be completed online?

About a third of the MS program (40 credits) can be taken remotely with the rest of the courses primarily located in Piscataway, NJ. The HOPE certificate (18 credits) is mostly remote with the exception of one course, HBSP 0621 Health Care Economics.

Does the MS-HOPE program have minimum scores for standardized tests such as the GRE or the TOEFL?

Although we don’t have specific minimums for standardized tests, these scores are considered together with the overall GPA in prior degree programs; letters of recommendation; a personal statement of professional goals; and the applicant’s curriculum vitae or resume.

Are applicants with prior doctoral degrees, such as a PharmD, MD, or PhD, required to take the GRE?

No, applicants who graduated with a doctoral degree from an accredited North American institution have the GRE requirements waived.

Are international students eligible to apply to the MS-HOPE program?

As long as the applicant has an undergraduate degree and completes the other requirements for admission as well as the TOEFL, they would be eligible to apply to the MS-HOPE program. If accepted, applicants who are not US citizens or US registered permanent residents must obtain and maintain an appropriate visa status for their stay in the US prior to admission. Please visit Rutgers Global for further information.

Can the SOPHAS application fee be waived?

Unfortunately, we cannot waive the application fees as it goes through SOPHAS so we have no control over that. But, applicants can reach out to SOPHAS to request a fee waiver.

What would make an applicant competitive for admission into the program?

Competitive applicants generally will have demonstrated strong quantitative skills or aptitude through a combination of their standardized test scores; prior coursework in advanced math (e.g. calculus), statistics, biostatistics, economics, research design or similar areas; and other sources indicated in their resume, CV and letters of recommendation, such as research publications, posters or presentations at scientific conferences, or through work or internship experiences.

Since the MS-HOPE program is a joint degree program between the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and the School of Public Health, do I need to submit two applications?

No. There is one application that is centralized through the Rutgers School of Public Health application portal on SOPHAS.

Can you provide more information on job placement rates?

As of May 2022, 41 students have graduated from this program. 26 of these are working in the industry, 3 are working in academia, 2 work with health providers, and 10 others have gone on to other endeavors like pursuing a PhD, consulting, etc. 

Does the program provide internship opportunities for its students?

We refer our students to internship programs offered through the public and private sectors.

What are the differences between MS-HOPE and an MPH?

There is some overlap between our core, required courses and those required for the MPH in Health Systems and Policy, Epidemiology. This is by design since graduates from our program will need the same core skills, especially in quantitative disciplines such as biostatistics, epidemiology, and economics, as first-year graduate students in those concentrations. The distinction in this program will be primarily in the second year, both in the electives that will be available, as well as in the type of project students will be conducting as part of their 2nd year “Capstone Research” project, which will be similar to a master’s thesis research project. Those projects will be somewhat more quantitative and empirically-focused than most of the MPH 2nd year practicum projects.

Is it possible to enroll in the program as a part-time student?

Yes, students are able to complete the program as part-time students. However all requirements, including completion of the Capstone research project, must be completed within 5 years of matriculation.

How much does the program cost?

Please visit the Rutgers School of Public Health for information about tuition and school fees.

Is there a minimum requirement for industry experience in order to apply to the program?

Industry experience is not required for the program. Having prior research experience allows an applicant to be more competitive and work experience is seen as a positive and is looked at in conjunction with the rest of the application.

Are there areas that a student can specialize in during their course of study?

There aren’t specialized tracks for the program as this is a general Master of Science program. However, once students complete the core courses, they may take approved electives that focus in on their areas of interest.

Is it feasible to transfer into the MS-HOPE program from an MPH program at another school?

 In order to transfer, you would have to apply to the program through the normal application process.

Is it possible to take classes prior to being admitted into the program?

Yes, it is possible to do this. Non-Degree Seeking Students, such as Visiting Students, interested in applying to take one or two course at the Rutgers School of Public Health and/or enrolling for a single semester at the Rutgers School of Public Health should complete the Non-Degree Seeking Student Registration Form at the following link:

How often to you recruit fellows into the HOPE program?

Our fellowship recruitment cycle occurs from October-December of every year. For more information about our current fellowship slots, please see Fellowships.