Application Requirements

Application deadlines for our on-campus graduate programs have passed. Applications for Fall 2018 will open in August 2017.  See below for details about all of the components of our admissions requirements.

GPA

At least a B (3.0) grade-point average or equivalent in work completed in the last two years of a bachelor’s degree program and in all post-baccalaureate course work.

GRE Exam

  • All applicants are required to submit valid GRE scores.  GRE scores are considered valid if they were taken between July 1, 2011 and December 1, 2016. (Please make sure to plan ahead; December 1 is the last exam date we will accept for admissions for fall 2017.)
  • GRE e-Delivery Codes
  • 4227: If you are applying to SOPHAS, use this code.
  • 4833: If you are applying to the online MPH program or are a previous UC Berkeley graduate student and/or a current UC Berkeley graduate student, use this code. (This does not apply to UC Berkeley undergraduate students or alumni; you will need to submit to code 4227 and follow directions as a "General Applicant.")
  • NOTE: For those applying through SOPHAS, the code 4227 is correct, but it will never show as received on the UC Berkeley-specific application. As long as it shows as received on your SOPHAS application, you needn't be concerned.
  • No minimum cut-off for GRE.  We recommend you review the admissions statistics of your program of interest to get a sense of the average GRE scores of admitted applicants.
  • GRE Exemptions:
  • Applicants who have completed a MD, PhD or equivalent doctoral-level degree at the time of application from an accredited institution are not required to submit GRE scores.
  • Students currently enrolled in or who have completed a degree in medical, dental, optometry, business, or law school can submit their MCAT, DAT, OAT, GMAT, or LSAT scores, respectively, in lieu of the GRE. Other professional school exams will not be eligible as alternatives to the GRE exam.
  • Applicants who have completed a MBBS degree and have passed the Step 1 and Step 2 of the USMLE are not required to submit GRE scores. In order to be eligible for the GRE waiver, copies of both official USMLE scores will be required to be uploaded with your application.

 TOEFL Examination

  • All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This requirement applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and most European countries.
    • However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a U.S. university may submit an official transcript from the U.S. university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement: 1) courses in English as a second language, 2) courses conducted in a language other than English, 3) courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and 4) courses of a non-academic nature.
    • Please note: If you are a citizen of the United States or Puerto Rico and have completed all your higher education outside the United States, you will also need to provide the TOEFL. (TOEFL requirement is based on country of study, not country of citizenship.)
  • TOEFL scores are valid two years from the test date.
  • TOEFL Codes (note you must submit to both SOPHAS and UC Berkeley if you are using the SOPHAS application)
    • SOPHAS: 5688
    • UC Berkeley: 4833
  • TOEFL scores are valid two years from the test date.
    • Minimum Scores Required
    • Paper: 570
    • Internet (iBT): 90
  • As an alternative to the TOEFL, you can submit IELTS scores. IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. Minimum score required is 7.

You will need to upload both your Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement to both the SOPHAS application and the UC Berkeley application. Both of the statements you submit to SOPHAS must be identical to what you submit to the UC Berkeley application. Both statements must adhere to the word/character limits of the SOPHAS application. Although the UC Berkeley application allows for a larger file upload, you must follow the SOPHAS limitations.

  • DO NOT upload your essays to only one application system and indicate that we need to see the other application to find your essay. This will be considered incomplete.
  • Word Limits
  • Statement of Purpose - 1500 words (approximately one to two pages)
  • Personal History Statement - 5000 characters (including letters, spaces, and punctuations)
  • General Guidelines
  • Statement of Purpose - Your Statement of Purpose should explain why your background has prepared you for graduate training in public health. It is intended to give you the opportunity to submit a tailored narrative which will describe your education, experience and professional career objectives. Your statement of purpose should describe your: reasons for interest in public health, reasons for interest in program of study and/or concentration, career goals, why you need a degree in your specific program, why you are pursuing this degree now, and why at UC Berkeley. If you are applying to a doctoral program, include your proposed research topics. Please be sure to check your program’s page for more information as some programs have specific prompts they like you to follow. If a prompt is not listed, please follow the guidelines described above. For more information, please see the Statement of Purpose Guide developed by our Graduate Recruitment and Diversity (GRADS) team.
  • Personal History Statement - Your Personal History Statement gives you an opportunity to add some individuality and depth to the information provided in your Statement of Purpose. Your Personal History Statement can include information about who you are as a person, your family background, cultural background, socioeconomic status, educational disadvantages, and experiences growing up. It is intended to give you the opportunity to provide a narrative about your diverse lived-experiences. For more information, please see the Personal History Statement Guide  on the UC Berkeley Graduate Division website.
  • Be sure to double-check if the degree program you are applying to has specific guidelines for either of these statements. If so, make sure you clearly address any of those program-specific guidelines.

We require three (3) letters of recommendation to be submitted electronically via the SOPHAS application. We do not accept hard-copy letters sent to our offices.

  • If you are a general applicant, you should have letters of recommendations sent only to SOPHAS.  Do not have the letters sent to the UC Berkeley Graduate Division Application; simply mark this section as "Not applicable."
  • If you are a concurrent degree applicant, you will be required to have letters of recommendations sent to both SOPHAS and the UC Berkeley Graduate Division application.
  • We recommend you have at least one letter of recommendation from an academic professor and the other two come from volunteer or work supervisors, or a combination of academic and work references.  Please select what is most beneficial for your application.
  • If you are applying to the Health Policy and Management program, please make sure that at least one letter is from someone familiar with your academic potential, and at least one is from someone familiar with your management, policy analysis, or planning potential.

You are required to upload an updated CV/resume to your SOPHAS application. Please be sure to include:

  • Educational degrees
  • Employment
  • Experiences (especially those that are public-health related)
  • Professional skills and accomplishments
  • Volunteer activities (specify any leadership roles)

U.S. Transcripts
Official U.S. transcripts of all schools attended post-secondary education must be sent to SOPHAS. Please do not send any materials to the School of Public Health; any unsolicited materials will be destroyed.

Mail to:
SOPHAS
PO BOX 9111
Watertown, MA 02471-9111

Unofficial transcripts of every school attended post-secondary education must be uploaded in PDF format to the UC Berkeley specific application. If you are admitted and choose to attend UC Berkeley be prepared to send an official set of transcripts to UC Berkeley. We do not see your SOPHAS transcripts and they cannot be forwarded.

International Transcripts
Official World Education Services (WES) Evaluations of international transcripts are required to be sent to SOPHAS. SOPHAS will not accept any foreign transcripts or translated foreign transcripts; only an evaluation for U.S. equivalency via WES will be accepted. Unsolicited materials sent to the School of Public Health will be destroyed.

Copies of your original transcripts and degrees must be uploaded in PDF format to the UC Berkeley specific application. We require you to upload transcripts that are both in the original language and a certified English translation. If you are admitted and choose to attend Berkeley, be prepared to send an official set of transcripts to UC Berkeley. Although SOPHAS accepts WES evaluations, UC Berkeley Graduate Division does not accept WES evaluations for matriculation purposes.

Each of the on-campus degree programs has distinct requirements for work and/or research experience. Refer to the chart below to see if you qualify for the degree program you are interested in. Please be sure to also thoroughly take a look at the qualifications tab of the area of concentration you are interested in to see if there are any additional program-specific prerequisites.

Area of Concentration Degree Program Work/Research Experience Requirement
Biostatistics MA Common work experience for admitted applicants: Typical successful applicants have work experience in Research Assistant positions at a health department.
Biostatistics PhD Common work experience for admitted applicants: Typical admitted applicants have work experience in quantitative analysis in a research setting. Many of them have co-authored articles published in medical or scientific journals. The following is a sample of the job-titles applicants held before being admitted to the PhD program: Research Analyst, Data Director, Biostatistician, Programmer Analyst, Statistical Consultant, and Research Assistant.
DrPH DrPH Applicants must hold an MPH from a CEPH-accredited school and have a minimum of two years or more of professional public health experience post-master's degree showing progressive responsibility and evidence of leadership potential.
Environmental Health Sciences MS Common work experience for admitted applicants: Applicants in past years have worked as lab technicians, student researchers, research scientists, post-graduate fellows, toxicologists, industrial hygiene engineers, and for the Peace Corps.
Environmental Health Sciences PhD Applicants must hold an MS or MPH in a related field and display a clear research orientation and firm knowledge of research techniques.
Environmental Health Sciences - 1 year MPH Applicants must hold a PhD or doctoral level clinical degree and should have completed undergraduate and graduate work in calculus, chemistry, and biology. Common undergraduate majors for admitted applicants include chemistry, biology, microbiology, molecular biology, nutrition, ecology, public health, and environmental science.
Environmental Health Sciences - 2 year MPH Common work experience for admitted applicants: Applicants in past years have worked as lab technicians, student researchers, research scientists, post-graduate fellows, toxicologists, industrial hygiene engineers, and for the Peace Corps.
Environmental Health Sciences - Global Health Environment MS Common work experience for admitted applicants: Applicants in past years have worked as lab technicians, student researchers, research scientists, post-graduate fellows, toxicologists, industrial hygiene engineers, and for the Peace Corps.
Epidemiology MS Applicants must have a strong background in biological, social, or mathematical science, which will provide a basis for the application of epidemiological methods and principles to the study of diseases. Common undergraduate majors for admitted applicants: Biological, social, or mathematical sciences. Common work experience for admitted applicants: Work experience in a public health setting.
Epidemiology PhD The amount of coursework necessary for each doctoral student in the PhD program varies greatly, depending on previous coursework, experience, and background. A master's degree in epidemiology or a related field is preferable. Successful applicants often have work experience in a public health setting or in epidemiologic research.
Epidemiology 1-Year MPH Applicants must be doctoral level health professionals (e.g. physicians, veterinarians, and dentists), have a prior doctoral degree in a related discipline (e.g. anthropology, sociology, psychology, demography, the biology sciences), or be concurrently enrolled in a doctoral level degree program in a health profession or related discipline. Common work experience for admitted applicants includes medical doctor, dentist, pharmacist, veterinarian, and/or research experience in a public health setting.
Epidemiology/Biostatistics MPH Applicants should have completed undergraduate course work in the biological, social, or math sciences. Common undergraduate majors for admitted applicants: Health, biological, natural, social, and cognitive sciences. Common work experience for admitted applicants: Volunteer work in public health, research assistant, lab technician.
Health and Social Behavior MPH Work experience in community, health promotion, or health-related practice or research. Most students admitted to the program have one to two years of paid work experience. We strongly urge you to apply to our program only after you have worked in a professional capacity in public health or related fields.
Health Policy & Management - 1 year MPH Common work experience for admitted applicants: Most applicants to the 11-month track are full time students or clinicians operating in an academic, research or practice environment.
Health Policy & Management - 2 year MPH The Health Policy and Management Program require that applicants have a minimum of 2 years of full-time work experience prior to starting the program. Competitive applicants typically have 3-5 years of professional (paid) health related experience and other voluntary health-related work experience.
Health Services & Policy Analysis PhD Our most competitive applicants have at least two years of work or research experience in an area related to health services or health policy. A master’s degree is highly desirable but is not a requirement for admission to this program.
Infectious Diseases & Immunology PhD Common work experience for admitted applicants: Work experience is not required for admission, but relevant work experience related to infectious diseases, e.g. laboratory or surveillance work, would be considered a plus. Most of the admitted applicants have some lab and research experience.
Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology MPH Common work experience for admitted applicants: Work experience is not required for admission, but relevant work experience related to infectious diseases and public health, e.g. laboratory or surveillance work, peace corps would be considered a plus. Most of the admitted applicants have some lab and research experience.
Interdisciplinary 1-Year MPH Successful applicants are professionals holding a master’s degree or its academic equivalent (or are currently enrolled in an MD or PhD program), with a demonstrated ability to work both independently and within a team-based structure. While many successful applicants are already health professionals, applicants from disciplines not traditionally associated with public health are also strongly encouraged to apply.
Maternal & Child Health - 1 year MPH Applicants to this program must have a prior master's or doctoral degree, or be a current medical student, and should have a background in working in the health-related field, particularly with women, children, and families. Common work experience for admitted applicants: Applicants to our 11-month program are typically health professionals, including pediatricians, obstetricians, qualified nurses and social workers, and other qualified master-level trained health professionals.
Maternal & Child Health - 2 year MPH Common work experience for admitted applicants: Applicants should have a strong quantitative and analytic background and paid or volunteer experience working in the field of MCH. Most of the admitted applicants have at least 1-2 years post-baccalaureate work experience.
Public Health Nutrition MPH Generally, some coursework in the sciences underlying human nutrition (including biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physiology), and in food and nutrition sciences, with good to excellent grades in these courses. At least 1-2 years of relevant post-baccalaureate work experience in public health nutrition or related fields is strongly recommended.