Steps to Apply for an MPH or MHSA

All MPH and MHSA applications must be submitted to the online centralized application service SOPHAS (Schools of Public Health Application Services). SOPHAS allows students to apply to multiple accredited institutions using one application.

Please note that during peak times, SOPHAS applications can take 4-6 weeks after submission to reach verified status. We do not receive applications until they are verified. We highly recommend ensuring you leave time for the verification process and monitor your application’s status after submitting.

MPH and MHSA applications must include all of the following in order to be considered:

  • Online SOPHAS application
  • Official Transcripts
  • SOPHAS Statement of Purpose and Objectives (if applying for more that one program, prepare a separate statement for each)
  • Reflective Essay
  • Quantitative Experiences Statement
  • Resume or CV
  • Letters of Recommendations
  • Language Proficiency Requirements (only for applicants whose native language is not English)

More information on each component can be found below.

*Michigan Public Health does not require and does not review GRE or other standardized test scores for admission to any master’s or doctoral programs. 

Your Application Checklist

This step only applies to students interested in the Online MPH in Population and Health Sciences or the hybrid Executive Master’s Program in Health Management and Policy.

At this time the Online MPH is only open to admitted United States citizens and residents. 

Due to the hybrid format of the Executive MHSA program, non-US applicants are strongly encouraged to consider their ability to meet in-person requirements before applying. Executive Master's students must be able to attend 3 required weekend-long in-person sessions throughout the two-year degree program. If you believe your circumstances would not prevent you from fully participating in the in-person program requirements and you are interested in pursuing the hybrid program, we encourage you to reach out to an advisor at to discuss further and explore your options.

Deadlines for MPH and MHSA Residential Programs

  • Residential Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) degrees
    • December 1, 2023: Priority deadline
    • January 15, 2024: Final deadline for international applicants
    • May 15, 2024: Final deadline for domestic applicants

Deadlines for MPH and MHSA Online and Hybrid Programs

We encourage applicants from all programs to submit their application prior to the priority deadline to ensure scholarship consideration. Those who submit afterward are not guaranteed scholarship consideration. An additional application is not required for scholarship consideration.

Time management is a crucial skill for graduate schooling. It will be important to consider the deadline you are applying for and plan your personal timeline for ordering transcripts, preparing your materials, reaching out to individuals for your letters of recommendation, and finalizing your application - ideally allowing extra time for your application to reach verified status and any unforeseen slowdowns. Remember that during peak times, SOPHAS applications can take 4-6 weeks after submission to reach verified status. We do not receive your application until it is verified. 

The University of Michigan School of Public Health requires official transcripts for SOPHAS applications. This means that transcripts must be original documents sent to SOPHAS directly from the institution, and cannot be photocopied, faxed, or forwarded through email if they were originally sent to anyone except SOPHAS.

Transcripts from US and English-Canadian institutions may be sent by U.S. Postal Service or electronically. Electronic transcripts are only accepted from Parchment and the National Student Clearinghouse. For many institutions, you may request electronic transcripts directly through your SOPHAS application portal.

If your school doesn’t participate in these services your transcript must be sent by the U.S. Postal Service. The address to where your transcript should be mailed can be found on the Transcript Request Form in your SOPHAS portal.

Transcripts from foreign institutions such as non-US, non-English Canadian, and Caribbean should be sent electronically to

Transcripts must be provided for all of the colleges listed in your application, including any study abroad institutions. Your application cannot be processed without receiving all of your transcripts.

Read more about sending Official Transcripts to SOPHAS.

It is highly recommended that applicants upload a resume or CV directly to SOPHAS via their online application. This helps to provide reviewers a snap-shot into your educational background, professional experiences, certifications, and achievements. When creating the resume or CV you will use in your application, give special attention to include details about any experiences that are especially relevant to the program and degree you are applying for. Please upload your resume or CV in the ‘Supporting Information’ section of your application in the ‘Documents’ tab.

SOPHAS Statement of Purpose and Objectives
The SOPHAS Statement of Purpose and Objectives should be a concise, well-written essay about your educational background and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in public health, specifically the area of study you wish to follow. Your should provide information about:

  • Your background as it pertains to your academic and professional goals.
  • What motivated you to choose this career path.
  • Your future career goals and objectives.
  • How an advanced degree will help to achieve your educational and career goals.

The length of this essay should be about 1,500 words, or about 6 pages double-spaced. If you are applying to multiple programs, please be sure to prepare a customized Statement of Purpose and Objectives essay for each.

Reflective Essay
This essay should provide a brief description of how your personal and academic background and experiences will bring a unique perspective to the program and contribute to a diverse and inclusive Michigan Public Health community. If you have any unusual patterns or anomalies in your academic or professional record (for example, gaps in work or education, or a poor semester performance) you may include an explanation within this essay.

The length of this essay should be about 500 words (3,000 character limit) and should be pasted into the ‘Additional Questions' section of our programs.

Quantitative Experiences Statement
This short essay asks you to summarize the strength of your analytical and quantitative skills by addressing the following:

  • Discuss specific details and examples of relevant research, work, volunteer, or professional experiences that involved analytical and/or quantitative skills and tasks.
  • If you have experience with quantitative or qualitative data, describe how you used it to solve a complex problem and how you communicated your findings.

If you have limited background with analytics or quantitative work, we encourage you to reach out to our Recruitment and Admissions team at or the Program Coordinator in the department to which you’re applying. Our staff are happy to help you brainstorm applicable quantitative experiences or provide recommendations regarding next steps. 

The length of this essay should be 500 words or less. 

Specifically for Health Behavior and Health Education MPH Applicants:
Your quantitative experiences statement should summarize the strength of your quantitative and analytical skills by a.) referencing your grades in key math and science-related coursework and b.) discussing specific details of any research or work experiences that involved quantitative or analytical tasks. If your quantitative preparation is weak, missing, or out-of-date, we strongly encourage applicants to take a college algebra class as soon as possible. Admissions may be contingent on successful completion of such class. 

Three letters of recommendation are required as part of the application process. You should select recommenders who can discuss your ability to academically succeed and contribute to the public health profession. Depending on your background and specific situation, consider the following references:

  • Faculty from your undergraduate institution in your major of study
  • An employer or supervisor
  • Academic advisor
  • Professional mentor from a relevant volunteer or professional experience
  • A friend or relative is not an appropriate selection for a graduate school recommendation.

Tips for high impact letters of recommendation:

  • You may have interacted with many people in academic or professional settings who could speak to your abilities. Carefully consider who can best communicate why you are a strong candidate. Together, these letters should paint a clear picture of your abilities from a variety of perspectives. Be sure to have a back up plan if one of your recommenders is not able to contribute.
  • Make the process easy for your recommenders by providing ample time to write and submit (3-4 weeks), clear instructions, a deadline, and even a list of suggested items you would like referenced in your letter.
  • Schedule 20-30 minutes to meet with your recommender and/or provide drafts of your resume and Statement of Purpose so that they can more clearly understand your specific goals and motivations for attending Michigan Public Health.
  • Ask recommenders to use official letterhead along with a full signature including the writer’s company or professional affiliation, job title, and contact information.

Be sure to make your recommenders aware that they will be required to submit evaluations directly into SOPHAS. You will be responsible for inputting your recommender's contact information into your SOPHAS application. SOPHAS then initiates contacting your recommender with instructions to provide their letter of recommendation.

More information about recommendations can be found here.

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in English language as measured by the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For more detailed information, please review our International Applicants page.

There is a cost associated with your SOPHAS application. The $145 ‘vendor fee’ for the first program you apply to and $55 ‘designation fee’ for each additional program.

Fee Waivers
Each cycle, SOPHAS awards a limited number of waivers to qualified applicants for the $145 vendor fee. If you are eligible, it is recommended that you apply in the Fall, as waivers are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. You may request a fee waiver as soon as you create an application. Once approved, you are required to submit your application within 14 days. Learn more about the SOPHAS fee assistance program and eligibility here.

In addition, the University of Michigan School of Public Health Office for Student Engagement and Practice offers a waiver for the $55 designation fee required by SOPHAS if students are applying to more than one program. This opportunity is only for MPH and MHSA applicants applying through SOPHAS.

Before submitting, please double check each part of your application. After submitting, you can only make limited changes to your application and materials, so it’s important that your application is accurate and complete before pressing submit.

Upon submission, you’ll receive a confirmation email.

During peak times, SOPHAS applications can take 4-6 weeks after submission to reach verified status. Please monitor your application’s status and reach out to our Recruitment and Admissions team at if you have any questions or concerns.

We look forward to reviewing your application and understanding your unique interests and goals at Michigan Public Health!