Master of Science Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the Population and Health Sciences Master of Science (MS) program complete 42 credit hours. The MS program consists of core classes, a course in the concentration of Population and Health Sciences, electives, and a cumulative research project. Students can complete the program in five semesters. Learn more about the core curriculum and elective options.

Master of Science (MS) Degree

Students in this program will complete core courses comprising a total of 20 credit hours (16 didactic credits and 4 research credits) and choose from 8 elective series options. The MS program emphasizes quantitative skills by offering advanced courses in biostatistics and epidemiology, as well as an elective series with a focus on precision health.

MS Core Courses (16 credits)

MS Research Project (4 credits)

To provide students with first-hand research experience, the MS program requires students to enroll in two research courses (PUBHLTH 682/683, 2 credit Fall Semester + 2 credit Winter Semester) during their second year of study. These courses will run the entire length of the Fall and Winter semesters (~8 months) to afford students the necessary time to build their research, scientific writing, and presentation skills, and receive constructive instructor feedback.

Students will conduct research and communicate the results in written and oral formats that reflect the public health field’s research publication and presentation formats. Throughout the yearlong process, faculty will lead students through the different phases:

  • Literature review
  • Creation of a research analysis plan
  • A description of research methodologies employed
  • Analysis, presentation and interpretation of data
  • Comparison of findings to existing literature 
  • Discussion of the implications of the research findings

MS Elective Series (22 credits)

Over 30 elective courses are available for MS students to choose from, all of which can be taken in conjunction with related courses within the elective series offered to provide expertise in specific areas of interest. Students will typically choose 2 elective series paths during their degree program. Each elective series will consist of 4-5 courses representing beginner, intermediate, and advanced course sequences. See full list of currently offered elective courses for the Master of Science degree.

Applying for the Master of Science in Population and Health Sciences

The application for the Master of Science program in Population and Health Sciences is administered by the Rackham Graduate School


  • The priority application deadline for fall 2021 admission is February 15.
  • The final application deadline is June 15.

Application Requirements

Applicants applying to the online Master of Science program will be asked to submit the following:

Official Transcripts 
  • From a U.S. 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-U.S. 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

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. The length of the should be 1-3 pages.

Personal Statement

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 has a 500 word limit and should be different from your Academic Statement of Purpose.

Quantitative Experiences Statement

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.

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

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.

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.

    • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (required)
    • College-level courses in biology, chemistry, algebra, and statistics
    • Volunteer, internship, or professional work in public health or a related field
      [Master of Science Application]
MS Application Fee Waiver

In certain circumstances, applicants may be eligible for an application fee waiver administered by Rackham.

Eligibility Considerations for International Prospective Students

Academic units cannot provide services, including online education, to individuals located in comprehensively sanctioned countries or regions as administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Additionally, the university or its partners may block access to additional countries and regions where there are near-comprehensive sanctions and a perception of increased risk for export control violations. The list of countries and regions where the university does not currently offer services, which may be subject to change, is as follows: Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela.

All conditionally admitted online students, regardless of their location, will need to complete a certification form as a condition of enrollment. In this form, conditionally admitted students will certify that they will not access course content or any U-M services from a country or region on the “blocked” list described above.

Contact Information

Prospective students are encouraged to send general questions or application inquiries to for assistance.

Phone: 734-763-3860

School of Public Health

University of Michigan

1415 Washington Heights

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029

Fax: 734-763-2215