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How To Make Your MPH-DM Application Stand Out

February 6, 2024

From January to early October 2023, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recorded 24 U.S. climate catastrophes and weather events — 18 severe storms, two floods, one tropical cyclone, one wildfire, one winter storm, and one drought — each of which incurred damages exceeding $1 billion. As of this writing, these events cost more than $57.6 billion and resulted in 373 deaths.

According to a 2022 NOAA report, the number and cost of weather and climate disasters have steadily increased — from an average of 4.5 per year in 1980-2000 to 11.5 per year from 2001-2022 — due to increased exposure (there are a greater number of assets at risk), vulnerability (there are more locations susceptible to damage), and climate change. Without question, disasters pose a real, severe, and growing challenge. As a public health specialist in the disaster management industry, you can help address that challenge and mitigate the destruction.

The online Master of Public Health in Disaster Management (MPH-DM) at Tulane University prepares public health professionals to deploy unique strategies, technologies, and resources for effective disaster management from a public health perspective. Students participate in online lectures, research assignments, and real-world practical experiences to build the expertise required to lead in this critical field.

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Submitting Your Best MPH-DM Application

The Online MPH in Disaster Management prepares you for a leadership career in operations management, emergency management, social and community services, fundraising, and other fields. Public health disaster management offers many opportunities to suit various career goals and areas of interest. 

If you aspire to a leadership role in this field, consider earning an MPH-DM. The degree provides the education, experience, and credentials many employers seek. The first step, of course, is applying for admission. This article walks you through the process, with guidance on how to optimize your application.

Master of Public Health – Disaster Management Prerequisites

Tulane University requires applicants to the Online MPH in Disaster Management to have: 

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Academic achievement — typically a GPA above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Three years of professional experience in a related field is recommended. 

Review Tulane University’s admissions requirements here.

Soliciting Strong Letters of Recommendation

Tulane requires MPH-DM applicants to submit two letters of recommendation. The letters should address your skills and qualifications for graduate-level public health disaster management study. 

Not sure who to ask? A previous mentor or educator from an academic institution can attest to your academic capabilities, commitment, and character. A professional or volunteer manager in public health or health services can speak to your qualifications and potential to succeed in the program and advance in the field. Be sure to ask your recommenders to include specific details and examples of your work and/or performance. 

Composing an Effective Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose should address:

  • Why you are applying to the Online MPH in Disaster Management program at this point in your life and career.
  • How earning this degree from Tulane’s program will help you achieve your professional goals.
  • What you’ve learned from your past educational, professional, or personal challenges or successes.

Keep your statement simple and focused, including specific examples and experiences to illustrate your aptitude and commitment. Ask a friend or colleague to copy edit and proofread your statement before submitting it.

Writing Compelling Short Essays

Tulane requires three short essays:

  • Essay 1 (500 words): Describe a challenge you’ve encountered in your academic or research endeavors and how you navigated these challenges. Your essay should speak to your tenacity to persevere through your studies.
  • Essay 2 (250 words): Tulane University believes that excellence in education, service, and research are enhanced when diversity, equity, and inclusion are practiced by its students, faculty, and staff. Describe your commitment to these areas as an incoming public health student.
  • Essay 3 (optional; 150 words): If you’d like to provide additional context regarding your application, use this space to do so. 

As with the personal statement, keep your essays focused and thoughtful. Remember to ask a friend or colleague to copy-edit and proofread your essays before submitting them.

Organizing Your Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

You can strengthen your application by organizing your resume to highlight your most relevant experiences and accomplishments. Your career summary should reflect at least three years of experience in a field related to disaster management, occupational health, industrial hygiene, or environmental health. Highlight the skills and accomplishments you will contribute to the program while recounting your work experience and academic background chronologically.  

Remember, the Tulane MPH-DM admissions committee values good academic performance, leadership experience, and professional growth and recognition. Focus on these aspects in your resume, including relevant examples whenever possible. As with your statement of purpose and essay, be sure to have a trusted friend or colleague proofread and copy-edit your resume or CV before you submit it.

Consulting a Tulane Enrollment Advisor

You do not have to navigate the admissions process alone.  Enrollment advisors (EAs) are available to provide guidance from application through enrollment. They can offer crucial advice on what the admissions team seeks in MPH-DM candidates and help you craft your application to reflect your strengths (and address any potential weaknesses). EAs can also answer any questions you have regarding the curriculum, the online learning platform, or tuition and financial aid. 

Meeting Application Deadlines

Tulane reviews applications on a rolling basis. So, the sooner you submit your completed online application, the sooner you can plan for your MPH-DM studies at Tulane. View key dates and deadlines on the admissions page.

Why Earn Your Online MPH-DM from Tulane University?

As the number and intensity of climate-related disasters increase, demand for highly trained disaster and emergency management professionals is likely to grow. Disaster professionals with public health training will be ideally positioned to set policy on prevention and preparedness, vulnerability reduction, community education, and long-term planning. 

Tulane University’s online MPH in Disaster Management program prepares frontline leaders in public health, homeland security, and disaster management. The degree follows a scientific approach that joins public health principles to disaster preparation, enabling graduates to formulate and successfully manage protocols in response to natural, man-made, and epidemiological disasters. Students participate in essential research alongside diverse peers and faculty members with extensive field experience. A supervised practice experience provides real-world engagement that students can apply immediately in their careers.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your disaster management career, you can start the application process through SOPHAS, the centralized application service for schools of public health. If you have questions or need help with your application, reach out to an enrollment advisor today.

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