You will need to complete two separate applications, one for the School of Public Health using the SOPHAS system and one for the Graduate School of Journalism. The applications are reviewed separately by the two schools, so it is possible that some applicants to the MPH/MJ will be accepted to one program but not to the other.
For public health, the Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement for the online SOPHAS application should be clear and concise, and neither should exceed 750 words. The statements should focus on why you are interested in the particular MPH program you have selected (Health and Social Behavior, Epidemiology / Biostatistics, Infectious Diseases and Environmental Health Sciences) as well as your desire to combine that program with journalism training. Your letters of recommendation for the public health application should address your public health skills, experience and goals as well as your interest in and aptitude for communicating and writing about public health issues.
For the journalism application, your Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement can overlap with the public health versions but should focus on your journalism and writing interests and skills as well as why the public health component is important to your professional goals. The letters of recommendation for the journalism application should come from journalists, editors or others familiar with your journalism skills as well as your interest in health reporting; it is fine to include a public health professional familiar with your work. You will also need to include three pieces of journalism with your application. Public health policy briefs, press releases, program brochures and similar products do not qualify as journalism for the purposes of the application.
Since the first phase of the decision process involves two separate applications being reviewed by two separate admissions committees, we strongly recommend that you consult with admissions officers from both the public health department of your choice and the journalism school. In particular, the admissions advisors at the journalism school can help you decide what kinds of writing samples will strengthen your application.
For more information, visit the UC Berkeley School of Journalism website.