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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you must submit the GRE. Exceptions to this requirement include applicant’s who have already earned a master’s degree or higher, or applicants who instead supply results from another graduate admission test including GMAT, MCAT, DAT or LSAT.  There is no minimum score required for application.  The Des Moines University GRE code is: 2256. See the How to Apply section for details regarding application requirements.

Students may apply to transfer in up to 12 semester hours of coursework. Transfer coursework is subject to approval of the Dean and/or Program Director, and will only be reviewed if it was completed within the past 4 years at a grade of B or better. Students must apply for transfer credit within one term of enrolling in a master’s degree at DMU. Requests for transfer credit will only be processed once an applicant is admitted to the degree program.

The 45 semester hours can be completed in as quickly as 2 years. Some students choose to enroll part-time or even take just one course at a time, which can take 3 to 4 years to complete at that pace.

We suggest a minimum GPA of at least 3.0 for best consideration. Our average GPA of recently admitted students was approximately 3.40, while the range was 2.75 – 4.00.

Yes, the entire M.P.H. degree can be completed online. All M.P.H. courses are offered online, many are offered multiple terms each year. The internship and capstone experiences can be completed within or near your own community. While you don’t have to come to DMU, you are welcome to visit for a tour, to meet your advisor or to participate in graduation! Learn more about taking classes online.

Individuals interested in enrolling in select professional development courses are encouraged to apply throughout the year. Applications are “approved” on a rolling basis for the applicant to begin taking courses right away in the next term. Registration and/or completion of a professional development course does not guarantee admission to a degree program at DMU. We encourage you to contact Admissions for more information.

Visit the Dual Degree page for information.

You will need to choose a primary program to begin your coursework at DMU. After successfully completing a minimum of 9 credit hours in your primary program (M.H.A. or M.P.H.) with a GPA of 3.0 or above, you may apply for the second program. You should plan to be in close contact with your faculty advisor if applying for the dual degree option.

Students are required to complete an internship experience and capstone project, and will work closely with their advisor to identify an opportunity and develop goals and objectives. The internship schedule is developed by the student, approved by the preceptor and coordinator, and can be completed within one year from the date the student is registered for the course. The course flexibility was designed to allow students to complete a field experience while accommodating their work schedule and family obligations.

The time you spend on a class can vary. No two instructors will format their classes exactly the same. Plan to spend 6-12 hours a week on one class. The number of credits per class varies by course.


FAQs for Online Classes

Yes, the entire M.P.H. degree can be completed online. All M.P.H. courses are offered online, many are offered multiple terms each year. The internship and capstone experiences can be completed within or near your own community. While you don’t have to come to DMU, you are welcome to visit for a tour, to meet your advisor or to participate in graduation! Learn more about taking classes online.

All courses in the M.P.H. program are offered online; select courses are offered on campus. This format is a direct result of student demand and preference of online availability. Students value the online format for a variety of reasons; schedule, flexibility and convenience. Online courses have specific start dates and end dates with specific assignment due dates, but you set your own schedule for when you complete the coursework.

There are differences between course formats and students often say that online coursework tends to involve more reading and writing than on campus courses as the way to communicate with students and faculty online is through the written word. The on campus courses are very discussion driven with spontaneous conversation between students, faculty and guest lectures. The benefits and drawbacks to each format are different for each individual. The flexibility of earning your M.P.H. within your schedule while maintaining your professional and personal life balances any drawbacks for the majority of students.

Online classes at Des Moines University have a specific start and stop date along with due dates for assignments. The programs are not self-paced or independent study.

All coursework required to complete the M.P.H. program is offered online. Students are not required to take any courses on campus.

Online courses require weekly logins and weekly assignment submissions. Students must ensure they are able to meet the course requirements throughout the duration of the semester.

Most online classes allow for asynchronous participation (not specific times). However, in order to facilitate student learning, online classes may include conference calls, online chat rooms or Skype options which do require a specific time commitment. This information will be identified in the course syllabus. Students should expect weekly due dates for assignments (maybe more than one due each week) that require them to participate in the online course throughout the week.

Students interact with their professor in a number of different ways. First, the online class is created and explained through the instructor’s lecture information. Then, students discuss topics in the discussion board, where their professor and peers provides insight, guidance and feedback. Students and the instructor also communicate through private assignment correspondence within the course site, or via e-mail. Sometimes instructors arrange for a class chat, either using Adobe Connect, a conference call or an instant message system. In addition, instructors are available for students to make appointments to meet or to call.

There is quite a bit of interaction between other students during the online coursework, including group assignments, online discussion forums, online posting boards, reading reflections and class discussions.

Yes, group projects are often a part of online courses. Students are grouped together and given a topic to investigate. The intent is for the students to work together electronically to accomplish their goals. Often, groups prepare and give PowerPoint presentations electronically by emailing each other draft versions, and then posting the final product to the student discussion board. Students are often divided into groups or learning communities to discuss questions or cases developed by the faculty. By dividing students into small groups (versus entire class) the faculty can facilitate students getting to know each other better and achieve a higher level of inter-connectivity.

Assignments are critical in nature. Online assignments are similar to on-campus assignments and require reading the book, completing questions, writing papers, posting to discussion boards, reviewing other materials and research.

Three semester hour courses typically last 12 weeks. The syllabus outlines the requirements for the course. Students typically have several due dates a week where they post a response to a question or assignment and then later respond to other students posts. Quizzes and tests are also completed on line.

Typically exams are given through the Desire2Learn System and don’t require a proctor.  However, exams may need to be proctored as determined by your instructor.

Online classes require students to engage in a course in a different way than on-campus courses. In an on-campus course, students know they will read, write papers, take tests and meet once a week in a classroom for four hours. In an online class, students will read, write papers, take tests and engage using a written medium. Students in an online class need to budget the same amount of time as students in a classroom, or 4 hours per week of learning/classroom time plus 4-8 hours per week of outside classroom time. Sometimes students find it difficult to self-manage this amount of time without a weekly classroom discussion.

The Help Desk (515-271-1522, Help.Desk@dmu.edu) is available most days from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST to address technical problems students may encounter with online classes.

As a medical school and graduate health sciences university, DMU has an extensive system of online library resources available to its students including multiple databases and full text articles. The inter-library loan service allows you to reserve books, order journal articles and receive materials from other libraries.