Change in Degree or Department

Matriculated masters students are able to apply to change to a different masters program via the process outlined below. Please note it is not possible to change from a masters program to a DrPH; all prospective DrPH students must apply through the Admissions Office.

Regardless of the changes you wish to make, you must have a conversation with your current advisor prior to requesting a change. In addition, you must also have conversations with both your current and prospective departments’ academic administrators. 

For any changes, all decisions must be reviewed and approved by the Committee on Admissions and Degrees. You will then be notified of the decision by the Registrar’s Office.

For questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office at or by phone at 617-432-1032.


We strongly encourage you to speak with your program advisors if you are considering making a change to your program, and to submit the paperwork as soon as you decide to move forward. The process for granting registration privileges for your new program cannot begin until your application is approved, which can take time. The following deadlines have been put in place to help ensure that degree changes can be completed in time for registration. However, we strongly encourage you to submit your paperwork well before the deadline.

 Term for change to be effective: Deadline to submit required materials:
Summer May 1
Fall Summer 1 add/drop deadline (see Academic Calendar)
Spring December 1

*For students switching between biostatistics, health data science, and CBQG, applications will be reviewed in early January for students applying for transfer to start in the Spring semester, and in late May for students applying to transfer after the Spring semester. More information can be found in their respective program handbooks.

Current Students Requesting to Change their Degree or Department

Information regarding each academic department can be found on the HSPH Academic Departments, Divisions, and Centers website. Please compile the following four items, and submit to your program/department for review and signatures. Then submit the items to the Registrar’s Office for final review, approval and processing by upload via my.harvard.

  1. Application Short Form (three pages)
  2. Reason for Change: Typed and double spaced, approximately 500 words in length and should describe the following:
    1. Your academic and/or professional preparation for a career in public health.
    2. Your reasons for wanting to enroll in the degree program or department to which you are applying.
    3. Your career plans upon completion of the program.
  3. Academic plan for completion of new degree program, approved by new academic advisor, academic administrator, and/or program director.
  4. Grade Report/Unofficial Transcript with list of prior courses approved to be transferred to new degree program/department.

Note: To change only your field of study within the MPH program: No form is required; please email

Master Along the Way to PhD – for PHD-PHS ONLY

For a master’s along the way to a PhD in Epidemiology, please contact Eric DiGiovanni in the Epidemiology department.

For a master’s along the way to a PhD in Biostatistics, please contact Jelena Tillotson-Follweiler in the Biostatistics department.


Last updated 3/8/2022