Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between the PCE and the Summer Session in Public Health Studies?
The PCE is designed for physician-clinicians, fellows and faculty, who are seeking quantitative and analytic skills needed for clinical research or interested in health care administration. Students must take 15 credits in the first summer, which includes the core daily morning epidemiology and biostatistics courses and afternoon electives.
The Summer Session in Public Health Studies contains a series of courses that are open to all qualified students, physicians and non-physicians. Students can enroll in one or more of these courses up to a maximum of 10 credits. For more information please go to Summer Session in Public Health Studies.
2. Are there different applications for the PCE and the Summer Session in Public Health Studies?
Yes. Both Summer Session and PCE applicants must apply online through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS). The online applications and application materials for the two programs differ.
Applicants to the PCE must submit a CV, a personal statement, a PCE supplement application form and three letters of recommendation online. The letters of recommendation should be from individuals familiar with the applicant’s research potential and one should be from a division/department head verifying the applicant’s affiliation during the Summer Program. For more information see PCE Application Process and Summer Session in Public Health Studies.
3. When are the application deadlines?
The degree application deadline is December 15, 2013. The non-degree application deadline is February 1, 2014. Applications will not be reviewed by the PCE Admissions Committee until all components are received. Late applications or applications that have late components will be reviewed only if space is still available. Please note, the PCE often fills to capacity by February 1. Late applications will incur a late application fee.
4. Can I choose which courses I take?
Yes and No. The two introductory courses in Clinical Biostatistics and Epidemiology are required courses. Students must choose their Summer II Biostatistics section and two afternoon elective courses (one for Summer I and one for Summer II). For more information see Summer Course Schedule.
5. Can I take less than 15 credits in the first year?
No. All students in the PCE must take the full course requirement of 15 credits, which includes the core Epidemiology and Biostatistics courses. If you do not wish to do this, you should explore other programs, such as the Summer Session in Public Health Studies.
6. Can I take more than 15 credits in the first year?
No. The PCE workload is rigorous and students are not permitted to take more than 15 credits. Due to the heavy workload, participants must be free of all clinical responsibilities throughout the Program. In addition to three classes daily, participants may have computer labs on some afternoons, and have considerable homework; 30% of last summer’s participants spent, on average, over 20 hours each week on homework assignments.
7. Do I have to submit separate applications if I want to apply to a Master’s degree program at HSPH at the same time as to the PCE?
No. Degree applicants do not need to submit a second application or duplicate supporting documentation for the PCE, provided that a PCE application supplement form is submitted to ProgClinEffect@partners.org. For full application details please go to PCE Application Process. If you have questions regarding your application to a degree program please contact the HSPH Admissions Office at 617-432-1030.
8. If I am accepted into the PCE, will I be automatically accepted into the HSPH Master’s degree programs to which I apply?
No. Acceptance to the summer PCE is no guarantee of acceptance into the HSPH degree programs. The application requirements and application review processes are different for the two programs.
9. Can I be accepted into the MPH in Clinical Effectiveness concentration without acceptance by the PCE?
No. Applicants to the MPH in Clinical Effectiveness concentration must also be accepted by the PCE Admissions Committee to gain entry to that degree program.
10. How long can I wait to apply to HSPH after completing the PCE and have the credits (and tuition) from that program apply to a Degree?
Before or after completion of the summer program, qualified students may apply to a degree-granting program at HSPH. Students, who apply to and are accepted into an HSPH degree program within five years of completion of the PCE, may have a maximum of 20 academic and financial credits counted toward the degree program.