Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question 1
    <MPH Program>What are the specifics of the entrance exam?

    Answer 1
    The entrance examination consists of two parts.

    1. The critical reading comprehension and writing examination (60 minutes)
    600-800 words from journals that deal with public health issues and current affairs.
    Will be asked to provide a summary and your thoughts on the topic in the article.

    2. Oral Interview (Approximately 30 minutes)
    The oral interview will be conducted in English.
    Will be expected to talk with interviewers about the topic related to the article and their professional experiences, interests and motivation for applying to the SLGSPH.
  • Question 2
    <MPH Program>What kind of preparation should I do for the entrance exam?

    Answer 2
    1. The critical reading comprehension and writing examination (60 minutes)
    We highly recommend applicants familiarize themselves with current public health issues and practices, and practice expressing their thoughts in short reports.

    2. Oral Interview (Approximately 30 minutes)
    The applicants have as many opportunities as possible to practice English beforehand so that they can present their opinions with confidence. We will be sure to ask the applicant’s interest, their career plan, and how we can help them.
  • Question 3
    <MPH Program>Please describe the content of the curriculum, lecture syllabus and the time schedule.

    Answer 3
    1. Courses and Credits
    You will need to complete 42 credits over the period of the course
    Classes are usually 2 or 3 credits
    There are 6 required courses
    Capstone is 6 credits
    One course: usually 15 classes of 135 minutes per class

    2. Time schedule
    Required classes mostly on weekdays 15:05 – 17:20 with guaranteed class recordings
    Elective courses also available 18:00 – 20:15
  • Question 4
    <MPH Program>What is the difference between the two-year and three-year courses?

    Answer 4
    The two year course is more intensive than the three year

    Two-year course:
    Average 2-3 days attendance per week
    First semester of first year is particularly tough
    Three-year course:
    1-2 days attendance per week
    Easier to balance course load over the full three years (less front loading)
  • Question 5
    <MPH Program>How do you decide on your major and research topic?

    Answer 5
    You determine the research topic in consultation with a supervisor. You do not need to have a supervisor or a topic prepared before you enter the school. Supervisors are assigned at the beginning of second year based on students’ research fields (in the case of the two-year course). You can use the first year of your study to decide on your research topic.
    However, if you choose the one-year course, we recommend that you decide on a research theme beforehand, as you will need to begin working on the Capstone Project immediately after entering the program.
  • Question 6
    <PhD Program>What are the specifics of the entrance exam? What kind of preparation should I do?

    Answer 6
    The written entrance examination for the doctoral program consists of 2 components: (1) general public health section which includes a short excerpt from the published literature and a series of related questions, and (2) an area-specific section in which examinees select one area from among epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral health sciences, and environmental health, and answer a series of questions within the selected area.
    The total duration of the examination is 90 minutes, with an estimated time of 30 minutes for the general questions and 60 minutes for the area-specific questions.
    The general questions will assess basic knowledge of public health research methods and the ability to interpret and consider the implications of research results.
    For the area-specific questions, the style of questioning and content varies by area and a description can be provided to applicants on request after the application period starts. Please contact the administrative office if you would like to request it.
  • Question 7
    <PhD Program>What is the difference between a PhD and a DrPH? Is there any difference in the career path after graduation due to the change in the degree that can be earned?

    Answer 7
    Both the PhD in Public Health and DrPH are both doctoral degrees that indicate you have advance-level training in the field of public health. The PhD is an academic degree that prepares you with the knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to pursue a career path in teaching and research. Students are able to tailor curricular goals based on public health sub-specialty of interest. The DrPH is an advance-level professional degree in public health that focuses, like the MPH degree, on the professional and practical elements of the field, rather than a heavy emphasis on research. A DrPH curriculum usually entails coverage of the broad range of public health sub-disciplines with an emphasis on practical application to address a public health problem. In general, the degree type does not usually dictate a specific career path as there are PhD holders and DrPH holders in both highly academic settings as well as professional practice settings.
  • Question 8
    What level of English ability and knowledge are required to pass the entrance exam?

    Answer 8
    You will need to have good quality English comprehension skills in general, and if possible knowledge of some of the domain-specific knowledge for public health and epidemiology. To pass the entrance exam you will need to be able to read a short article on a public health topic, understand it, write your own opinions on the topic in question, and answer questions verbally in an interview format from native and non-native speakers of English. It is therefore good for you to be able to confidently write short passages in English, to have experience listening to and answering questions, and to be able to construct a logical argument in English. Your English will improve a lot over the course of the program, so you don't need to be perfect at the entrance exam, but you need to be able to express yourself and explain your thoughts in English when talking about public health.

    The following scores are suggested as standard for taking courses in English:
    TOEFL (iBT) score of 80 or higher, TOEFL (PBT) score of 550 or higher, TOEIC score of 800 or higher, IELTS 6.0 or higher.
    In the actual classes, you need to be able to understand lectures, read papers, and participate in discussions.
  • Question 9
    Is it possible to take the course while working full time?

    Answer 9
    We have designed the course for working adults.
    Classes are from 3:00-8:30 pm.
    Almost daytime classes are recorded for on-demand viewing.
    Supervision and consulting can be online (zoom etc).
    We value work/life balance, and understand the needs of working professionals
  • Question 10
    Are there any students who are studying while having children or family obligations?

    Answer 10
    We have had students with newborn infants, with caring responsibilities, with chronic illness.
    We have designed our course and teaching strategies to support work / life / family balance.
  • Question 11
    Is it possible to take almost all classes online?

    Answer 11
    Yes. Since the 2020 pandemic, almost all classes have been conducted online classes (Zoom). If you are unable to attend a live class, you can also watch video recording class on demand. So it is possible to take almost classes online. Students can also consult with their supervisors online. However since the our school is essentially an in-class basis program designed to make it easier for working professionals to study while working, students may be asked to come to the school in-person for classes and/or presentations occasionally.
    We also encourage students to meet and interact with faculty members and classmates as much as possible in order to experience the diversity of our school. We have faculty members and students with diverse backgrounds and experiences from Japan and abroad. We hope new ideas and innovations will emerge through in-person communication among them.