How to Apply

Prerequisite Academic Coursework
Statement of Purpose

Personal History Statement
Application Information
Admissions Notification
Application Checklist 


During the 2019-2020 academic year, the opportunities to apply will be:

Please carefully read the following instructions before submitting your application.

Our admissions process consists of a holistic review by multiple committee members. Although academic performance is a factor of admissions, your ability to articulate your passion for public health is equally as important. Thus, the committee evaluates applications based on the following three primary criteria: 

  • A review of your academic preparation (prerequisite coursework and GPA) 
  • Personal, professional, and volunteer experiences, especially those regarding your decision to pursue public health 
  • Future leadership potential in public health

Prerequisite Academic Coursework

All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to applying to the major. For many students this is at the end of their fourth semester in attendance. For transfer students, this is usually the end of their second semester at UC Berkeley. All students must earn at least a C- in all of the prerequisite coursework. All prerequisites and courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade.

Please list the grades you earned in the prerequisite courses and your prerequisite GPA in the spaces provided on the application. Misreporting of grades, mistakenly or intentional, will result in an automatic denial to the major. We suggest using this online GPA calculator ( to calculate your GPA. In addition, please be sure to review our GPA calculation example document.

If you took a prerequisite course at another four-year institution or an out-of-state community college, please contact the appropriate UC Berkeley department to determine the course equivalency. Be prepared to submit your syllabus along with your request (for example, if you took Math 33 at Penn State, contact the UC Berkeley Math department to see if the course is equivalent to one of our prerequisite math courses). However, if your coursework was taken at a California Community College, and is listed on as an equivalent course, you do not need to submit additional forms.

Statement of Purpose (400-word limit)

This essay describes the pathway that led you to your interest in this field of study, your experience relevant to Public Health (including volunteering), and your long-term ambitions for what you are thinking about doing with a degree in Public Health.
*If you apply to the Public Health major as a double major, you are required to address the following: why you are double majoring, how your two majors, specifically, will prepare you for a career related to Public Health, and how you will manage the workload for multiple majors, i.e. time conflicts of required courses.

Personal History Statement (400-word limit)

This essay gives you the opportunity to add 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 guidelines, please see the Personal History Statement Guide on the UC Berkeley Graduate Division website.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

The purpose of the resume or CV is to demonstrate your future leadership potential in Public Health. The review committee would like to see what type of opportunities you have been involved in that are related to your specific Public Health interest. Opportunities can range from involvement in jobs, internships, research, volunteering, student organizations, etc.

Application Information

By submitting an application for admission into the Public Health major, you certify that the information provided is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge. Any student found to have provided false documentation may be referred to the Center for Student Conduct and Community Standards for further investigation, and will automatically be denied from the major.

If you have any questions about the application process, please email us at

Admissions Notification

Our admissions process consists of a holistic review by multiple committee members. Admissions results will be sent via email once all applications are reviewed. This process may take up to six weeks. Please do not email the department to inquire about your application decision status. Every applicant will receive a final application decision. All admissions decisions are FINAL and may not be appealed.

Application Checklist

  • UC Berkeley Student ID number
  • UC Berkeley email address
  • Prerequisite GPA
  • You must submit a single PDF file with your application that contains the following supporting materials:
    • Statement of Purpose (400 words or less)
    • Personal History Statement (400 words or less)
    • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Unofficial copy of your UC Berkeley transcript (an unofficial transcript from CalCentral is sufficient)
    • Unofficial transcripts from other institutions (if using towards prerequisites) 
    • Unofficial copy of your AP Exams score report (if using AP scores towards prerequisites)
    • Please save your file as “LastName.FirstName.MiddleInitial.PH.Application” (Example: Bear.Oski.T.PH.Application)