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Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students with a bachelor's degree who do not plan to seek a degree, or who are not yet admitted to a College of Public Health graduate program, may enroll in courses at the College of Public Health. Should a student later be admitted to a degree program, up to 12 units of graduate credit earned as a non-degree seeking student may apply toward a graduate degree. Per college policy, up to 3 credits may apply toward a certificate program. Although curriculum requirements vary by program and concentration area, all University of Arizona graduate degree programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Enrollment in public health courses as a non-degree seeking student does not guarantee admission to a degree program. Degree programs require a separate application.

Application Process

Apply online to be a non-degree seeking student

More detailed information about Graduate College application requirements

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Course Registration

Graduate non-degree seeking students are welcome to take College of Public Health courses if space is available on the course roster (College of Public Health graduate degree-seeking and certificate students have priority). Please note that some courses have prerequisites and/or require instructor approval. For a full list of courses, please visit the MEZCOPH Course Schedule.

Because they are required for every student in the MPH program, non-degree seeking students often take one or more of the core MPH courses. Registration for the core courses typically opens to Main Campus non-degree seeking students two weeks before the start of the term. UA Online Campus students may register upon admission to the university. Non-degree seeking students enrolled in the UA Online Campus register in section 202 (and only section 202) of available Public Health courses. (Please see FAQs below for more information on the two campuses.)

Beginning Spring 2020, courses offered to Online MPH students in 7.5 week terms, as well as the regular 16 week term, are available to non-degree seeking students and certificate students. 

Core Courses Offered in 16 Week Term Term Offered
Term Offered
EPID 573A Basic Principles of Epidemiology Fall & Spring Fall
PHPM 574 Public Health Policy & Management Spring Fall & Spring
EHS 575 Environmental & Occupational Health Fall Spring
BIOS 576A Biostatistics for Public Health Spring Fall
HPS 577 Sociocultural & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health Fall Fall & Spring

ATTENTION Online MPH Applicants: For Online NDS students planning to apply for the Online MPH program, it is recommended to follow the course sequencing of admitted Online MPH students as out lined below. These offerings are also available to certificate and other NDS students.

Core Courses Offered in 7.5 Week Term* Term 
EPID 573A Basic Principles of Epidemiology Fall, 1st 7.5 Weeks
PHPM 574 Public Health Policy & Management Fall, 2nd 7.5 Weeks
PHPM 569 Fundamentals of Health Budgeting & Financial Management  Spring, 1st 7.5 Weeks
BIOS 576A Biostatistics for Public Health Spring, 2nd 7.5 Weeks
HPS 577 Sociocultural & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health Summer, 1st 7.5 Weeks
EHS 575 Environmental & Occupational Health Summer, 2nd 7.5 Weeks

*Only offered once a year.

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Important Academic Dates

UA Academic Calendar

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Tuition & Fees

The graduate tuition rates are outlined by the UA Bursar's Office.

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Financial Aid for Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students in Non-Degree status are not eligible for scholarships or assistantships offered by The University of Arizona or the College of Public Health. However, students who are eligible for Qualified Tuition Reduction as a university employee, spouse or eligible dependent of a university employee may use this benefit to offset a majority of the cost.

Non-Degree Seeking students are generally not eligible for federal loans. However, if you are working on prerequisite course work required for admission you may file a Graduate Non-Degree Seeking Federal Financial Aid Petition (under "Special Circumstance Forms") to apply for loans.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Graduate Non-Degree Seeking student?

Graduate Non-Degree Seeking students (or NDS students) are graduate students who have applied to either the University of Arizona’s Main Campus or Online Campus to take graduate-level coursework without applying to a specific program or college. NDS students are not considered Public Health students although they may take graduate level courses through the College of Public Health and most other colleges at the University of Arizona. Enrollment in courses is dependent on the specific campus a student applies to. Students may only enroll in courses offered by their respective campus.

I'm interested in taking public health courses as an NDS student to improve my application to a degree program. How many units should I take?

Students who do not already have a graduate level GPA at the UA may take graduate level courses at the UA as an NDS student to improve the competitiveness of their admissions GPA. While application review is holistic, once such a student completes 6 units at the graduate level in the major at the University of Arizona, that GPA becomes the primary GPA for admission consideration. If a student has taken 12 credits or more at the graduate level from another college/university, that graduate level GPA becomes the primary GPA for admission consideration. This means you will need to do well in your graduate level classes (mostly, if not all, A grades). The number of units you take in any given semester should be determined by the amount of time you have to devote to school. Up to 12 units taken as a UA NDS student may later apply to a degree program, 3 units toward a graduate certificate.

What are the benefits and challenges of enrolling in Public Health courses as a NDS student?

Benefits of taking courses as an NDS student Possible challenges to taking courses as an NDS student
Taking a minimum of 6 units of graduate-level courses as a NDS student is a great way to raise your GPA and strengthen your application for a degree or certificate program.  Completing non-degree seeking courses does not guarantee acceptance into a specific degree or certificate program.
Up to twelve units of graduate level public health courses taken as a UA NDS student may be applied to the Online MPH and in-person graduate degree programs, if admitted. Up to three units may apply to a certificate program, if admitted. The Online MPH has a structured curriculum with specific courses prescribed for each term. Taking courses as an NDS student prior to admission to the Online MPH will create gaps in sequencing if students deviate from the prescribed sequencing as described above. Full-time enrollment and Financial Aid may be impacted. While the in-person programs are more flexible in course scheduling, this could potentially be an issue for in-person students as well.
All the core courses for the MPH program are offered both in online and in-person formats each academic year.  NDS students must choose between belonging to the Main Campus or the UA Online Campus. Please see FAQs below for more detail.
Employer-based benefits, including the University’s QTR, are often used by NDS students. If you have employee benefits that include tuition reimbursement, please check with your employer to understand the rules for eligibility. NDS students are not eligible for most forms of financial aid. Students interested in applying for federal loans have the option to initiate an appeal process with the UA Financial Aid Office to request eligibility if they are taking required prerequisite courses for admission.


What is the difference between the UA Main Campus and the UA Online Campus?

The Main Campus is the home for the university’s in-person programs but may offer some courses in an online format. The Online Campus is the home for the university’s fully online programs. At this time, students may not enroll in both campuses simultaneously and there are different fee structures for each campus. As part of the application process, NDS students must choose the campus they would like to join.

Which campus is the right one for me?

Here are some things to consider when you are making the decision of which campus to choose:

  UA Online Campus UA Main Campus
  • May take any of the MPH core courses and other public health courses if offered online.
  • Non-Arizona residents pay significantly less than they would in Main Campus; Arizona residents pay slightly less than in Main Campus. (For more detail, please visit the Bursar's website.)
  • May register for core courses upon admission to the university.
  • Online format offers greater flexibility.
  • May take a wide variety of public health courses both in-person and online.
  • Not all public health courses are offered online.
  • Online format does not work well for all learners.
  • Arizona residents pay slightly more for tuition and fees than they would in the Online Campus; non-residents pay significantly more. (For more detail, please visit the Bursar's website.)
  • Core courses are not available for registration until two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester.



If you have questions about being a non-degree seeking graduate student, please be in touch with:
Online Campus NDS students: Christina Cutshaw, or (520) 626-7020.
Main Campus NDS students: Michael Tearne, or (520) 626-2112.

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