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Master of Public Health (MPH) Program Admissions Criteria

Overview

  • Bachelor's degree with 3.0 GPA
  • One course in college-level introductory, human, or general biology
  • One course in college algebra, precalculus, or calculus
  • Two letters of recommendation (up to five letters can be submitted)
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • GRE or MCAT scores required for all applicants
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants
  • Concentration-Specific Admissions Criteria

More Information

Bachelor's Degree with 3.0 GPA

Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university and show evidence of strong academic achievement and scholarship (a GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 undergraduate units, or if the applicant has 12 or more graduate units, the GPA will be based on graduate units), as well as high motivation. Individuals with graduate education and/or work experience in a field relevant to public health are especially encouraged to apply.

Applicants should send official transcripts from any college or university attended to SOPHAS at PO Box 9111; Watertown, MA 02471.

Academic Background

Applicants are expected to have an educational background sufficient to succeed in graduate public health courses, and must submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, including community colleges.

Applicants must have completed the following courses with a grade of C or higher:

  • One course in college algebra, precalculus, or calculus
  • One course in college-level introductory, human, or general biology (other courses accepted include physiology and anatomy and biological anthropology)

AP credit, IB credit, or CLEP credit that appears on an applicant's college/university transcript for these courses are also accepted.

If an applicant has not completed these requirements prior to applying, s/he may take the course either prior to starting in the MPH program or within the first year in the program. The math prerequisite must be fulfilled prior to taking BIOS 576A Biostatistics in Public Health and EPID 573A Basic Principles of Epidemiology.  Many of the recommended course sequencings for full-time students recommend that students take these two courses in their first semester. In these cases, it will be advantageous to take the math prerequisite either before applying to the program or in the spring/summer prior to starting in the program.

Students planning to concentrate in a specific area of public health will be expected to have adequate preparation in that area, as determined by the admissions committee. Please see concentration-specific admissions criteria below for possible additional prerequisites. Under special circumstances, applicants lacking adequate preparation may be admitted to the program and will be advised at the time of admission on how to remedy any deficiencies.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must provide a minimum of two letters of recommendation (maximum of five letters) from academic advisors, professors, supervisors, mentors or anyone else familiar with his or her academic and/or professional ability. We strongly recommend that applicants provide at least one letter from a faculty member who can speak to the applicant's academic abilities.  Letters will be submitted electronically to SOPHAS.

Resume or CV

Applicants are asked to submit a resume or CV outlining his or her academic and professional experience and achievements.

Statement of Purpose and Objectives

Applicants must write a statement of purpose and objectives (also called a personal statement, maximum of 1000 words). Your statement is intended to give you the opportunity to submit a tailored narrative which will describe your education, experience and professional career objectives. Your personal statement should describe your:

  • Reasons for interest in public health
  • Reasons for interest in the MPH program and specific concentration
  • Reasons for interest in the University of Arizona
  • Career goals

Please note that some schools of public health use software to detect plagiarism in statements of purpose. It is important to ensure that an applicant’s statement is written in his/her own words and, when appropriate, that quotations and citations/references are used for a direct quote.

Mission and Values Statement

In 500 words or less (2500 characters), applicants will submit a statement regarding how s/he would embrace and support the Mission and the Values of the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

  • Our Mission:  The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is dedicated to promoting the health of individuals and communities in the southwest and globally with an emphasis on achieving health equity through excellence in education, research, and service.
  • Our Values:  The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health acts with respect and integrity to continuously advance health and well-being for all through knowledge, collaboration, empowerment, advocacy and sustainability. Our core values are: Fairness, Trust, Equity, Social Justice, Excellence, Innovation, Commitment, Collegiality, Diversity, Open Communication, Participation, Consensus, and Enhancement.
GRE or MCAT Scores

All applicants must submit official GRE or MCAT scores.

Combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 300 or above are considered competitive. The analytical writing portion of the GRE is required. Official GRE scores should be sent to the University of Arizona College of Public Health/SOPHAS, which is code #4253. This routes scores directly to SOPHAS. For more information about the GRE, please visit the GRE website.

MCAT scores of 25 (old test) or 500 (new test) or higher are considered competitive . MCAT scores should be submitted to the code "SOPHAS," which routes scores directly to SOPHAS.

GRE/MCAT Exceptions

GRE or MCAT test scores are not required for applicants with a doctoral degree from a U.S. institution or for foreign medical graduates who are ECFMG certified.

For applicants to a dual degree program, the following tests are accepted for the MPH application:

  • JD/MPH - LSAT
  • MPH/MBA - GMAT
  • PharmD/MPH - PCAT
TOEFL/IELTS Scores for International Applicants

All international applicants are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. A TOEFL iBT score of 90 or above is required. Please see more information, including when the TOEFL/IELTS requirement is waived, for international applicants.

Other Factors

Other factors considered in the determination of a candidate's potential for success in the MPH Program are:

  • Long range goals and commitment to public health
  • Successful leadership experience or potential
  • Work and volunteer experience related to the concentration's public health focus
  • Demonstrated community service
  • Public health experience or interest
  • Documented experience and/or commitment to under-served areas and populations

Concentration-Specific Admissions Criteria

Biostatistics

Students accepted into this discipline should have a good background in the biological sciences and mathematics. While courses in statistics are not required as prerequisites, students should have had college level calculus and/or linear algebra, in addition to the general admission requirements for the MPH program. Applicants should possess personal qualities that suggest the ability to commit and succeed in the course of graduate studies.

Environmental & Occupational Health

The EOH concentration has two tracks: Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene (IH).

The Environmental Health track has the same requirements as the MPH program and further requires:

  • At least two semesters of general/inorganic chemistry are required 
  • Strongly recommended:  two semesters of calculus, one semester of organic chemistry, and one semester of physics

The Industrial Hygiene track has the same requirements as the MPH program and further requires:

  • Two semester of calculus (Calculus I and II)
  • Two semesters of general/inorganic chemistry (Chem I and II)
  • One semester of organic chemistry
  • One semester of physics

As a reference, courses listed in the University of Arizona catalog that fulfill these requirements include: MATH 125 Calculus I, MATH 129 Calculus II, CHEM 151 General Chemistry I, CHEM 152 General Chemistry II, CHEM 241 Organic Chemistry, and PHYS 141 Introductory Mechanics. Students can make up deficient coursework during their first year in the program.

Epidemiology

Students applying to this discipline should have a good background in the biological sciences and mathematics. In addition to the general admission requirements for the MPH program, other factors considered in the determination of a candidate's potential for success in the epidemiology concentration area are long range goals and commitment to both public health and epidemiology, experience/interest in applying epidemiological principles to public health, and work and volunteer experience in epidemiology.

Family & Child Health

In addition to the general admission requirements for the MPH Program, factors considered in the determination of a candidate's potential for success in the FCH concentration include work or volunteer experience in the area of maternal and child health. The FCH concentration encourages a variety of health care professionals to apply to this program, including nurses, nutritionists, social workers, and physicians. Students with backgrounds in a variety of social sciences who have public health experience outside of FCH are also encouraged to apply.

Health Behavior Health Promotion

The Health Behavior Health Promotion concentration places a strong emphasis on the following factors in its determination of a candidate's potential for success in the concentration:  long range goals and commitment to public health; successful leadership experience or potential; work and volunteer experience related to health behavior and health promotion; demonstrated community service; public health experience or interest; and documented experience and/or commitment to underserved areas and populations. The personal statements of students applying for admission to the Health Behavior and Health Promotion concentration should include information regarding these factors.

One Health

Students applying to this discipline should have a good background in the biological sciences and mathematics. In addition to the general admission requirements for the MPH program, other factors considered in the determination of a candidate's potential for success in the One Health concentration area are long range goals and commitment to both public health and one health, experience/interest in applying one health principles to public health, and work and volunteer experience in public health or the health-related fields.

Public Health Policy & Management

The Public Health Policy and Management concentration places a strong emphasis on the following factors in its determination of a candidate’'s potential for success in the concentration: public health experience or interest; documented experience and/or commitment to underserved areas and populations (an interest in rural and border health issues is also encouraged); passion for social justice; and successful leadership experience or potential and demonstrated community service.

Public Health Practice

Students selecting the public health practice program should possess an academic background in a public health related field and/or experience working or volunteering within at least one public health program.

Further Information

For more information regarding the MPH Program, please visit the MPH Program page. If you have additional questions, please contact Amy Glicken, Director of Admissions, at coph-admit@email.arizona.edu or (520) 626-3201.

The University of Arizona