How to Apply for a Master’s Degree Program

Each degree program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health has different application requirements and deadlines, determined by our departments. This page summarizes common application requirements for residential master’s degree programs only. For a listing of applications and requirements for other programs, please visit Applications and Requirements.

Important Dates


Priority Application Deadline

Final Application Deadline
Residential MPH Dec 1 June 15*
Residential MS Dec 1 Varies by Department
Residential MHSA Dec 1 Jan 15

*Applications for the Health Management and Policy MPH program have a hard deadline of January 15, 2021

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


All MPH and MHSA applications, including those for residential and online programs, must be submitted via SOPHAS (Schools of Public Health Application Services).


Please note that SOPHAS can take up to four weeks after submission to verify grades and process documents. Applicants will know that their application has been sent to Michigan Public Health when the application status is verified in your SOPHAS portal. Shortly thereafter, you will receive an email confirming receipt of application and encouraging you to create a friend account with Wolverine Access.


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

  • SOPHAS application form (you may select more than one designation)
  • Official Transcripts
  • SOPHAS Statement of Purpose and Objectives*
  • Reflective essay
  • Letters of recommendation

*If you are applying to two or more programs, you are required to submit two or more SOPHAS personal statements.

Official Transcripts 

Applicants must submit official transcripts from any institutions at which they have completed post-secondary coursework directly to SOPHAS. You do not need to submit a second copy of your official transcript to Michigan Public Health Admissions unless it is requested.

International Transcripts

Individuals submitting transcripts from an international academic institution must first submit their transcripts to World Education Services (WES) for a ICAP credential evaluation. Because this process can take time, applicants should submit their transcripts to WES at least 1 month prior to the application deadline. WES evaluations should be sent directly to SOPHAS.

Applicants who are residing in the US at the time of application but completed their academic training in a non-US institution must also adhere to this requirement. If the coursework completed abroad was one year or less and is listed on your domestic undergraduate transcript, a WES evaluation is not required.


SOPHAS Statement of Purpose and Objectives:

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. This essay should be approximately 1,500 words in length. You should give information about:

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

Reflective Essay:

This essay should be approximately 500 words in length (3,000 character limit). It 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 your application.

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

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.

These letters should be submitted electronically via SOPHAS by your recommenders. Once you input your recommender's contact information, SOPHAS will contact them directly with instructions.

Standardized Tests

Standardized test scores are not required for applicants applying to any master’s- or doctoral-level program for the academic year starting fall 2021. If you have taken a standardized test such as the GRE or MCAT and want to submit your scores, please note that they will not be used as an official metric during application review. Scores may be used by some programs after the admissions decision is made to inform future use of standardized test scores in the admissions process. Reach out to admissions staff at if you have questions.

To submit standardized test scores, follow the instructions below.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE): All programs accept general official GRE scores taken within the last five years. Test scores should be submitted electronically to institution code 1954 and/or 1839; there is no need to enter a department code. 

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT): MCAT scores may be submitted electronically from AAMC to SOPHAS. No code is used.

Quantitative Experiences Statement

Applicants will describe quantitative and analytical skills or experiences (list all previous math and science-related coursework and letter grade achieved according to your transcript, research, work experience, etc.). The information provided will contribute to our holistic review process.


The SOPHAS application fee for an applicant’s first program designation is $140 for the 2020-2021 cycle. Additional program designations are $50. In addition to this SOPHAS application fee, there is a non-refundable Michigan Public Health school processing fee of $75 for all applicants. Payment information is found in the school instructions on SOPHAS. If you have trouble paying the fee, make sure that your pop-up blocker is turned off, copy and paste the link into your browser, and clear all cookies.

Specialized Fee Waiver Groups

Prospective students who verify their participation with one of the following groups are eligible for a fee waiver of the additional Michigan Public Health fee of $75. Each fee waiver is subject to approval. Please submit documentation verifying participation when contacting *Applicants interested in being considered a SOPHAS fee waiver for the entire application should connect with them directly.

  • Active duty or veteran service member
  • McNair Scholars
  • Project 1000
  • Leadership Alliance
  • SOPHAS need-based fee waiver recipient
  • AmeriCorps
  • Peace Corps
  • Gates Millennium Scholars
  • Drew Scholars
  • Bonner Scholars
  • University of Michigan Blavin Scholars
  • Michigan Public Health Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) alumni
  • Michigan Public Health Future Public Health Leaders Program (FPHLP) alumni
  • University of Michigan Certificate in the Foundations of Public Health (CFPH) alumni or on track to complete certificate before admitting term begins
  • University of Michigan MHIRT program alumni

In addition to participation in the above organizations, Michigan Public Health may also grant a waiver for students who are experiencing financial distress. Waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Student Affairs. Please contact with information that supports your request.

Master of Science

Deadlines by Degree


MS and PhD applications should be submitted through the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School CollegeNet application.

MS and PhD admissions are administered in partnership by the Rackham Graduate School and the School of Public Health department you are applying to. Please do not send any MS or PhD admissions materials to the Michigan Public Health Admissions Office. Refer to the Rackham Admissions website or the department websites for more specific admissions information and instructions.

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 with any questions.

How We Make Our Admission Decisions

Michigan Public Health practices a holistic review process when making graduate student admission decisions. Reviewers give careful consideration to all materials submitted by a student. We look at grades and key coursework, essays, experience, and letters of recommendation. 

Holistic review ensures that no single factor leads to either accepting the student or excluding the student from admission.

The following items are considered during holistic review:

  • Essays 
  • Grades and Key Coursework
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Experiences (Examples- Research, Volunteering, Professional Work etc.)
  • Evidence of academic training for rigorous graduate public health curriculum