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MS and PhD in Environmental Health Sciences Admissions Criteria

Quick Overview

  • Bachelor's degree required for MS applicants
  • Master's degree in Environmental Health Science or similar field required for PhD applicants
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • At least one course in college biology
  • At least one course in calculus
  • Inorganic/general chemistry
  • Organic chemistry is recommended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • Writing sample
  • Mission and values statement
  • Official GRE or MCAT scores
  • Research statement (PhD applicants only)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants

More Information

Academic Background

MS applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

PhD applicants must have a Masters degree in Environmental Health Science (or a related field) or have a health-related professional doctorate.

A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required for a competitive applicant. GPA is calculated based on the last 60 undergraduate units, or if the applicant has 12 or more graduate units, the GPA will be based on graduate units.

A competitive applicant to the MS/PhD Environmental Health Sciences will generally have a strong background in chemistry, biology, and math, including:

  • At least one course in college biology
  • At least one course in calculus
  • Inorganic/general chemistry
  • Organic chemistry is recommended

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

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must provide a minimum of three letters of recommendation from academic advisors, professors, supervisors, mentors or anyone who knows the student in a professional context and is familiar with his or her academic and/or professional ability. Letters are 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

The statement of purpose and objectives (maximum of 1500 words) should include:

  • Clear presentation of personal goals and a clearly expressed understanding of and commitment to the field of environmental health or industrial hygiene.
  • Describe your specific research and/or occupational interests, the background that will help you address these interests, weaknesses in your application, hurdles you have overcome and the future you envision as an industrial hygienist or environmental health scientist.

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.

GRE Scores

Applicants must submit official scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). GRE scores should be reported to the University of Arizona College of Public Health/SOPHAS code #4253, which routes scores directly to SOPHAS. For more information about the GRE, visit the GRE website.

GRE Exceptions

GRE test scores are not required for applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a prior doctoral degree from a US institution
  • Foreign medical graduates who have ECFMG certification
  • MPH or MS graduates from the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health

Research Statement

PhD applicants must provide a statement of research/practice interest (max of 500 words / 2500 characters). Please describe the specific content area in which you propose to focus your doctoral work; why this area is of interest to you; and identify faculty members at the College of Public Health whose research interests align with yours and with whom you would like to work.  You do not need to include hypotheses, measures, or data analysis methods, etc.

Faculty Advisor

One of the most important pieces of an application to a doctoral program at the College of Public Health is finding a faculty advisor whose research interests and areas of expertise align with your interests.  Through the admissions process, the College of Public Health seeks to ensure that we have sufficient faculty with relevant research experience to effectively mentor you through your doctoral program and your dissertation.

Please research the faculty in this program and outline which faculty members you hope to work with in your Research Statement (see above).  Given that faculty commitments change from year to year, we strongly recommend that you list at least two faculty with whom you would like to work.  Although you are welcome to contact specific faculty to discuss our program and your goals, it is not necessary for you to communicate with faculty before or during the application process.

Writing Sample

The writing sample may be a paper, article, or report written for work or school that demonstrates the applicant's writing and research abilities.

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.

Other Factors

Experience in a health, safety or environmental related field, voluntary or paid, strengthens all applications.

Further Information

For more information about the MS/PhD in Environmental Health Sciences, please visit the MS/PhD Environmental Health Science page. If you have additional questions, please contact Amy Glicken, Director of Admissions, at or (520) 626-3201.

The University of Arizona