How to Apply for a Master's Degree Program

Master of Public Health (MPH)/Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA)

Master of Science (MS)

Master of Health Informatics (MHI)

How We Make Our Admission Decisions

Departmental Program Coordinators


Each degree program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health has different application requirements and deadlines. This page summarizes the application requirements for our master’s degree programs. To learn more about our other degree programs, including details about applications and requirements, please visit our Applications and Requirements.

Standardized test scores are not required for applicants applying to any master’s- or doctoral-level program for the academic year beginning in Fall 2022. 

Important Deadlines for Fall 2023 Admission

Degree

Priority Application Deadline

Final Application Deadline
Residential MPH/MHSA December 1, 2022 May 15, 20231
Residential MS December 1, 2022 Varies by Department  (Learn more)
Online MPH February 1, 2023 May 15, 2023

Notes:

  1. The final application deadline for international applicants applying to residential MPH/MHSA programs is January 15, 2023
  2. To meet a stated deadline using the online centralized application services SOPHAS, applicants must submit their application with supporting documents and pay the application fee no later than 11:59 p.m. ET.
  3. Online MPH Applicants who submit after May 15 can be considered for the late application deadline on June 30, 2023. Learn more in Important Dates for Online Degrees.
  4. We encourage applicants to submit prior to the priority deadline to ensure they are considered for scholarships. Those who submit after the priority deadline are not guaranteed consideration. Funds are available on a first come first served basis.

Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA)

Submissions

All MPH and MHSA applications, including those for residential and online programs, 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.

We encourage all residential MPH/MHSA and online MPH/MS applicants to submit prior to the priority deadlines to ensure they are considered for scholarships. Those who submit afterward are not guaranteed consideration. An additional application is not required for scholarship consideration. 

Visit SOPHAS

Important SOPHAS Information

SOPHAS is responsible for verifying all academic transcripts and degrees, reviewing recommendations for completeness and authenticity, and disseminating completed application files to all programs designated by applicants.

Please note that during peak times, it can take 4-6 weeks after submission for your application to reach verified status. We will only receive applications that have been completed and verified by SOPHAS. It is your responsibility to monitor your application's status after it is submitted.

Applicants will know that their application has been sent to Michigan Public Health when the application status is verified in their SOPHAS portal. Shortly thereafter, applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of application. At that time, you can create a friend account in Wolverine Access. Within this system, you can monitor your application status. Once your application is complete, most applicants will receive an admission decision via email within approximately 8 weeks.

Application Requirements

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

  1. Online SOPHAS Application 
  2. Official Transcripts
  3. SOPHAS Statement of Purpose and Objectives*
  4. Reflective Essay
  5. Quantitative Experiences Statement
  6. Resume or CV (Recommended)
  7. Letters of Recommendation
  8. If you're not an English speaker, you should review our Language Proficiency Requirements for more information about our application requirements. If you have questions, please email our Recruitment and Admissions Team at  sph-inquiries@umich.edu.

    *You should submit a SOPHAS Statement of Purpose and Objectives for each program you are applying to.

English Proficiency Requirement

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). Please review our  International Applicants page for detailed information.

Study Abroad Credit

If the coursework completed abroad was one year or less and is listed (with or without a letter grade) on your domestic undergraduate transcript, a course-by-course foreign transcript  evaluation is not required. 

Required Essays

SOPHAS Statement of Purpose and Objectives

Length: About 1,500 words

This statement 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. You should provide information about:

  1. Your background as it pertains to your academic and professional goals.
  2. The motivating influences that stimulated interest in your specific discipline.
  3. Your future career goals and objectives.
  4. How an advanced degree will help to achieve your educational and career objectives.

Reflective Essay

Length: About 500 words (3,000 character limit)

This essay should provide a brief description of how your personal or academic background and experiences will bring a unique perspective to the program and contribute to a diverse and inclusive Michigan Public Health community. Please also discuss and explain any unusual patterns or anomalies in your academic or professional record (for example, gaps in work or education, or a poor semester performance).  

This essay will be pasted into the Additional Questions section of our programs.

Quantitative Experiences Statement

Standard Quantitative Experiences Statement 

In an effort to get a better understanding of your abilities, we require a statement for all graduate-level applicants as part of the application process. 

Note: The Standard Quantitative Experiences Statement is required for all graduate programs except Health Behavior and Health Education and Biostatistics. At this time, the Department of Biostatistics does not have a Quantitative Experiences Statement. 

Length: 500 words

This short essay asks you to summarize the strength of your analytical and quantitative skills by addressing the following (if applicable):

  1. Discuss specific details and examples of relevant research, work, volunteer, or professional experiences that involved analytical and/or quantitative skills and tasks. You may also incorporate instances where you worked with data.
  2. If you have experience with quantitative or qualitative data, describe how you used it to solve a complex problem and include how you communicated your findings. 

The information provided will contribute to our holistic review process. If you have a limited background with analytics or quantitative work, we encourage you to reach out to our Recruitment and Admissions Team at sph-inquiries@umich.edu or the Program Coordinator in the department to which you're applying. Our staff are happy to help you determine a way to demonstrate your quantitative history and provide recommendations regarding appropriate next steps.

Quantitative Experiences Statement for Health Behavior Health Education

Please 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 and analytical tasks. The information provided will contribute to our holistic review process. 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. Admission may be contingent on successful completion of such a class.

Resume or CV (Recommended):

Applicants may upload a resume or CV directly to SOPHAS via their online application. No cover letter is required.

Letters of Recommendation

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 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. Faculty reviewers like to see letters on official letterhead along with a full signature including the writer’s company or professional affiliation, job title, and contact information. 

Processing Reminders

Be sure to make your recommenders aware that they will be required to submit evaluations directly to SOPHAS. You will be responsible for inputting their contact information and SOPHAS will initiate contact to obtain their recommendations. More information about recommendations can be found in the SOPHAS Applicant Help Center

Standardized Tests

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. Applications will be reviewed holistically based on required application components. Please contact our admissions staff at sph-inquiries@umich.edu if you have questions.

SOPHAS Fees

There is a cost associated with applying via our Common Application System, SOPHAS. The vendor charges $145 for the first program you apply to, and $55 for each additional designation (program). Each cycle, SOPHAS awards a limited number of waivers through their fee waiver assistance program. To apply for a SOPHAS fee waiver, visit their webpage here

Michigan Public Health is excited to provide applicants with a fee waiver for an additional designation (program). See eligibility criteria below. 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MICHIGAN PUBLIC HEALTH DESIGNATION FEE WAIVER

The priority deadline for scholarship consideration is December 1 (residential programs) and February 1 (online program). Review key deadline information on our website

If you have questions regarding this process, email the Office for Student Engagement and Practice Recruitment and Admissions Team at sph-inquiries@umich.edu

Eligibility Criteria 

This opportunity is for domestic and international MPH and MHSA SOPHAS applicants. This is a waiver for the $55 designation fee required by SOPHAS, not a SOPHAS fee waiver

Domestic Applicants

There are three ways in which domestic students may qualify for an application fee waiver:

  1. You demonstrate financial need
  2. You have participated in certain programs (listed below) that qualify for a fee waiver
  3. Received a SOPHAS Fee Waiver
Financial Need

To qualify for an income-based fee waiver, you must have either:

  • Filed a 2021 Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ with an adjusted gross income that falls below the Low Income Level listed below, or
  • Been listed as a dependent on a filed 2021 Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ with an adjusted gross income that falls below the Low Income Level listed below. If you were claimed as a dependent by a parent or guardian on their 2020 Federal Income Tax Return, SOPHAS requires you to use that individual's Federal Income Tax Return instead of your own. 

Low Income Levels for 2022-2023 Cycle Awards*

If applicable, use the following chart to help you determine if you come from an economically disadvantaged background. 

Size of Family* Income Level**
1 $27,180
2 $36,620
3 $46,060
4 $55,500
5 $64,940
6 $74,380
7 $83,820
8 $93,260
For each additional person add: $9,440

The low income level is based on 200 percent of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines. It is used to determine what constitutes a low-income family for the purposes of the SDS and LDS programs.

* Size of family means the number of exemptions listed on the qualified income tax return forms. For example, a family size of 4 may include two parents and two dependents.

** Income Level refers to the adjusted gross income stated on the federal income tax return 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.

Program Participation

Applicants who verify their participation with one of the following groups are eligible for a fee waiver. Each fee waiver is subject to approval.

Participants in the following programs must submit a verification of program participation, such as a letter bearing the program director's or adviser's original signature or a copy of the current contract.

  • University of Michigan and School of Public Health Alumni and Current Students
  • University of Michigan Dearborn and Flint Alumni and Current Students
  • SOPHAS need based fee waiver recipient
  • U-M MHRT program alumni
  • U-M Blavin Scholars
  • U-M Certificate in the Foundations of Public Health (CFPH) alumni or on track to complete certificate before admitting term begins
  • U-M Exchange Program -- University of Freiburg in Germany and University of Seville in Spain
  • U-M Future Public Health Leaders Program (FPHLP) alumni
  • Michigan Humanities Emerging Research Scholars
  • U-M SPH Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) alumni
  • University of Michigan or Michigan Medicine staff member
  • Michigan Public Health Readmit
  • Michigan Integrative Well-Being and Inequality Training Program
  • U-M MHIRT
  • Active members and veterans of the U.S. Military
  • Alumni or Current Full-time Volunteer (Vista/PeaceCorps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America)
  • Completion of Eligible Coursera Specialization, MOOCs, or Courses from our Online Learning Hub.
  • Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Institute (PPIA)
  • Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) Professional and Academic Affiliations
  • i3 Scholars
  • GEM Fellow
  • Undocumented or DACAmented students
  • Post-baccalaureate Research and Education Committee on Institutional Cooperation Summer Research
  • Opportunity Programs (CIC)
  • Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE)
  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
  • Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair)
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMS)
  • Graduate or current student of a Minority Serving Institution (such as an HBCU, Hispanic Serving Institution,
  • Tribal College or University or Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution)
  • Latin American Scholarship Programs of American Universities (LASPAU)
  • Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
  • Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC)
  • Project 1000
  • Big Ten Academic Alliance
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD)
  • Drew Scholar
  • Bonner Scholars
  • Leadership Alliance
  • Add Student Opportunities for AIDS/HIV Research (SOAR)
  • SOPHAS international fee waiver recipient
Received a SOPHAS Fee Waiver 

If you have been awarded a SOPHAS fee waiver, you are eligible for a Michigan Public Health designation waiver. Official documentation is required upon form completion. 

International Applicants

International students can qualify for Michigan Public Health Designation Fee Waiver if they meet the eligibility criteria for a SOPHAS international-based fee waiver

  • You must be a citizen and currently reside in one of the countries on the United Nations Least Developed Countries List below. Official citizenship documentation is required upon form submission.

United Nations Least Developed Countries List
Review the following link to determine if your country is included in the United Nations Least Developed Countries list. 

Follow the steps below to submit a fee waiver request. If you have questions regarding this process, email the Recruitment and Admissions Team at sph-inquiries@umich.edu. 

  1. Start a SOPHAS application.
  2. Complete the Fee Waiver Request Form to be considered for a SOPHAS designation application fee waiver for one additional Michigan Public Health program. Each $55 fee waiver is subject to approval and verification of documentation is required.
  3. Submit the Fee Waiver Request Form well in advance of the fee waiver deadline of November 17. We encourage applicants to request a fee waiver as soon as possible after starting the SOPHAS application to ensure you receive your fee waiver code in a timely manner; we are unable to refund an application fee if you submit before receiving confirmation of your waiver.
  4. Once you have submitted your fee waiver request, you will receive an email within 3-5 business days indicating if you have been granted a waiver. If you are not granted a fee waiver, you will need to pay the application fee when you submit your application.
  5. If you are approved for a fee waiver, you are required to submit your application within 14 days (including holidays and weekends). Extensions will not be granted; failure to submit your application on time will void your fee waiver and you will not be allowed to reapply for a waiver.

Additional Notes:

  • You can only apply for one designation fee waiver from UM. Additionally, you must request a fee waiver before you submit your application. Requests received after an application has been submitted will not be honored.
  • Falsification of information to obtain a fee waiver may result in the withdrawal of the application or in the revocation of admission, financial award, or registration.

Master of Science

The applications for all Master of Science (MS) programs at the School of Public Health are administered by the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School.

Deadlines

Degree Program Priority Application Deadline Final Application Deadline
Biostatistics MS Degree December 1, 2022 Applications accepted on a rolling basis after December 1, but priority for funding decisions is given to those submitted by December 1
Environmental Health Sciences MS Degrees December 1, 2022 Applications accepted on a rolling basis after December 1, but priority for funding decisions is given to those submitted by December 1
Nutritional Sciences MS December 1, 2022 May 15, 2023
Epidemiology MS in Clinical Research December 1, 2022 December 1, 2022
Epidemiology MS in Computational Epidemiology and Systems Modeling December 1, 2022 Applications accepted on a rolling basis after December 1, but priority for funding decisions is given to those submitted by December 1

Application Requirements

Applicants applying to MS programs will be asked to submit the following:

Official Transcripts 

  • From a US Institution:
    • Upload an electronic version of your official transcript(s) for each Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral degree earned or in progress through your ApplyWeb application account. ​​​​​​​​​​
    • If you are recommended for admission, the Rackham Graduate School will require an official transcript(s). Recommended applicants will receive an email notification when the official transcript(s) are required for submission. All students are asked to include an electronic transcript during the online application.
  • From a Non-US Institution:
    • Review Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions for transcript/academic record requirements by country or region. Submitting transcript/academic records is a two-step process:
      1. ​​​​​Upload an electronic version of your official transcript/academic record for each institution attended through your ApplyWeb application account.
      2. At the time of application, you must also submit an official transcript/academic record for each institution attended. See Rackham’s detailed instructions on how to submit transcripts/academic records to the Rackham Graduate School.

Letters of Recommendation

We require three letters of recommendation from either academic (e.g., a professor) or professional (e.g., a supervisor) sources. We do not accept personal references. All letters must be signed and on letterhead.

Academic Statement of Purpose

Length: 1-3 pages

This essay should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background as well as your career goals. In addition, the content should communicate how this graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.

Personal Statement

Length: 500 words

How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? The personal statement should be different from your Academic Statement of Purpose.

STANDARD QUANTITATIVE EXPERIENCES STATEMENT

Note: At this time, the Department of Biostatistics does not have a Quantitative Experiences Statement. 

In an effort to get a better understanding of your abilities, we require a statement for all graduate-level applicants as part of the application process. 

This short essay (limited to 500 words) asks you to summarize the strength of your analytical and quantitative skills by addressing the following (if applicable):

  1. Discuss specific details and examples of relevant research, work, volunteer, or professional experiences that involved analytical and/or quantitative skills and tasks. You may also incorporate instances where you worked with data.
  2. If you have experience with quantitative or qualitative data, describe how you used it to solve a complex problem and include how you communicated your findings. 

Curriculum Vitae or Resume  (Recommended)

A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume describes your education, work experience, research publications, teaching experience, professional activities, volunteer activity, community engagement, as well as honors and awards.

Standardized Test Scores

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. Applications will be reviewed holistically based on required application components. Please contact our admissions staff at sph-inquiries@umich.edu if you have questions.

Application requirements for Master of Science degree programs at the School of Public Health differ by department and program:

The Rackham Graduate School provides a concise overview of the general application process and required steps for application preparation and submission.


Applications for the Master of Health Informatics

Applications for admission to the Master of Health Informatics (MHI) program are submitted through CollegeNet, not through SOPHAS. Please see the MHI website for more information on the application process.

Please contact hi.inquiries@umich.edu with any questions.