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Financial Aid

The goal for The Office of Financial Aid at CUNY SPH is to provide students with the financial resources and information they need to successfully complete their study. Students receiving Financial Aid will be able to view all of their information in their CUNYfirst account. CUNYfirst announcements are sent via @SPH email addresses. The Financial Aid office can be contacted at:

Student Eligibility

To be eligible for federal and state aid, a student must be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen who is making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. Students who have defaulted on a loan or owe a repayment of a federal grant at any post-secondary school must make satisfactory repayment arrangements with that institution before they will be eligible to receive Financial Aid.

Application Procedure

The best way to apply for financial aid is by completing the application online. FAFSA on the Web is available at When the FAFSA is processed, CUNY will receive an electronic record of the student’s application information. The student may be required to provide additional documentation to the Office of Financial Aid to verify the application information or to clarify any discrepancies in the application. For more details on the application process, visit the CUNY SPH website.

Student Loans

Graduate and professional degree students may be eligible to receive Federal Direct loans. Federal Direct Loan program allows students to borrow funds from the federal government to help cover the cost of attendance. Like all other loans, these loans must be repaid with interest. For more details about student loans, visit the CUNY SPH website. Students can view loan information online by visiting and

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a standard used to measure a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a degree. CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Policy is required via Financial Aid federal regulation to establish a satisfactory academic progress policy to determine whether an eligible student is making SAP in his or her educational program. Students who are found to be in violation of the parameters set forth by the SAP policy are ineligible to receive most forms of federal financial aid.

All students (whether aid recipients or not) will be measured against the Title IV Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards at the end of each academic year (spring semester), in order to determine eligibility for the upcoming year.

Those who fail to meet the academic standards will have their federal aid automatically suspended until they meet the minimum standards that are listed below.

NOTE: Private scholarships, tuition waivers, and departmental scholarships are not subject to SAP standards. Merit scholarships have their own set of academic standards.

Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard

Your total academic record will be measured against each of the three progress components at the end of every spring term to determine whether or not you meet the standard of progress. All courses that appear on your permanent academic record count towards the pace of progression and maximum time-frame requirement even if you received no federal financial aid for those courses.

A) Minimum GPA: Students who fail to earn the minimum requirements will be considered as not making satisfactory academic progress and all financial assistance will be terminated or suspended until the student regains minimum satisfactory academic progress standards.

You must successfully meet the minimum cumulative GPA as shown below:

Minimum Cumulative GPA

Masters                 3.0

DPH                       3.0

PHD                       3.0

B) Maximum Time-Frame: All students are expected to complete their respective educational programs within a specified timeframe. Once this timeframe has elapsed, students are no longer eligible to receive most forms of financial aid.

Master’s Degree: All requirements for the degree must be completed within 5 matriculated years

DPH Degree: All requirements for the degree must be completed within 8 matriculated years

PHD Degree:  All requirements for the degree must be completed within 7 matriculated years

C) Pace of Progression – Student must meet pace and progress toward graduation by successfully completing 2/3 of the cumulative units attempted.

Pace = Cumulative number of hours (credit hours) that you have successfully completed

                        Cumulative number of hours (credit hours) that you have attempted

This means that courses the student drops after the drop/add period has ended will be considered as attempted credit hours. For all students, attempted hours is defined as all courses in which they are enrolled after the drop/add period has ended for the term and for which academic credit will be earned. This means that courses from which students withdraw after the drop/add period has ended will be considered attempted hours. All attempted hours will be counted regardless of whether financial aid was received.

Credit-hours that are transferred into SPH and successfully articulated towards the completion of their degree will be counted as both earned and attempted hours for the purpose of this standard. Courses that are listed as Incomplete (I) or Withdrawal (W) will be counted as attempted but not earned. Repeated courses will always be treated as attempted hours.

Academic Programs, Total Credits Required to Graduate

MS in Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences  


MS in Population Health Informatics


MS in Health Communication for Social Change


MS in Global & Migrant Health Policy


MPH in Community Health                                                  


MPH in Environmental & Occupational Health Science  


MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics        


MPH in Health Policy & Management                                  


MPH in Public Health Nutrition    


PhD in Community Health and Health Policy                


PhD in Environmental and Planetary Health Sciences


PhD in Epidemiology                


DPH in Community, Society, and Health        


DPH in Environmental and Occupational Health      


DPH in Epidemiology                    


DPH in Health Policy and Management  


Readmitted Students

Upon readmission after any period of non-enrollment, your satisfactory progress standing remains as it was at the end of your last semester of attendance. If you were making satisfactory academic progress in your last semester of attendance, your eligibility to receive federal financial aid will not be affected when you return. If you return after an academic probation or dismissal, your financial aid will be in suspended status and you will have to file an appeal to have your eligibility for federal aid restored. Any action you took during your period of absence that would have brought you back into compliance with the progress standard (such as successfully completing transferable courses at another institution) is factored into the evaluation.

Frequency of SAP Evaluation

SPH will evaluate SAP on an annual basis following the completion of the spring semester. In general, students who are in violation of the parameters set forth by the SAP policy upon an evaluation are not eligible to receive most forms of financial aid during subsequent payment periods. Students who are deemed ineligible upon an evaluation are designated with a status of “Not Meet” and are notified immediately by email upon the status being assigned.

Delay of Disbursements Due to Satisfactory Academic Progress

Financial aid may not be disbursed to a student's account until SAP has been evaluated. The Financial Aid Office cannot complete the SAP evaluation until prior semester grades have been officially posted by the Office of the Registrar. An otherwise eligible student may experience a delayed financial aid disbursement if grades are not made official before the beginning of the subsequent semester.

Notification of Satisfactory Academic Progress Status

Students who have met Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements will not receive a SAP communication. The Financial Aid Office will notify any student who does not meet SAP requirements via email at the SPH student's email address. Students who are notified that they are SAP ineligible for financial aid should consult their academic advisers and the financial aid office.

There are no Financial Aid SAP Warning Periods for graduate/professional students who are evaluated annually.

SAP Appeal

If you have been placed on financial aid suspension, you may appeal to the Committee on Academic Standing to be allowed to receive federal student aid for future semesters.

Your appeal must be based on excusable circumstances resulting from events in your life such as personal illness or injury, illness or death of a family member, loss of employment, or changes in your academic program. Your appeal must include an explanation of how these circumstances caused you to fail to make satisfactory progress and what changes have you made that would allow you to meet the appropriate progress standard in a future evaluation.

If your appeal is denied, the SAP Appeal Committee may permit you to re-submit the appeal with additional documentation. You may continue to submit appeals each time you are found not to be making satisfactory progress, but approval of your appeal is at the discretion of the SAP Appeal Committee.