Seeking a Master’s Degree in Public Health?
When applying to a program to get a masters degree, you need to follow the application process perfectly. If you miss a step or skip over something, your application is probably going to be thrown out. You have to realize that masters in public health programs get thousands of applicants every year, and they can only pick so many people. Getting rid of people who did not follow the directions is an easy way to reduce the pile in a hurry. One thing that you will need to turn in is a packet of letters of recommendation saying that you would be right for the program.
In many ways, this is a very frustrating part of the application process. What if you were not very close to your professors in undergrad? The fact that you do not know who to ask for a letter does not determine how smart you are or how easily you would pass your classes if you got in. What if you have been out of school for a decade. Are you really going to call up professors that you had ten years ago to see if they will help you when you decide to get an advanced degree?
However, despite that fact, you do need these letters. They are important because they help to separate applicants who are otherwise very similar. Many of the students who apply are students who have done very well in undergrad. They have passed their classes, done work on their own, gathered experience, and scored well on their exams. All of the applications will look quite similar, especially as the admissions office gets to the bottom of the pile, when they really have to figure out who will make the final cut.
The letters can be the leverage that you need. If it comes down to you and another student with identical grades and your letters are worded more strongly, you are probably going to get in instead of him. You need to find people who will write glowing reviews. You do not want to have a letter that is monotonous and unconvincing, that sounds like it was written by someone who does not know you very well. Instead, you want it to be written by a professor who thought you were one of his or her favorite students, who will really talk you up and highlight your very best attributes.