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You can only apply to one program per admissions cycle. All programs except for those listed in red below require two separate applications to SOPHAS and UC Berkeley. Both applications must be completed and submitted before your file is considered complete and ready for review. Incomplete application files or late applications (submitted after the December 1 deadline) will not be reviewed.

Click here to go to the dates and deadlines page for more information.

*Note: If you are applying for the Online MPH Program, Joint Medical Program, MBA/MPH, MSW/MPH, Health Policy PhD, and Infectious Diseases and Immunity PhD programs, you do not need to submit a SOPHAS application. Please visit the following links for complete instructions:

Applicants to all other programs must submit the materials described below.

Application Checklists

See detailed information below on each of these items:

  • SOPHAS Application + fee or fee waiver
  • UC Berkeley Graduate Application + fee or fee waiver
  • CV or Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal History Statement
  • Three Letters of Recommendation from a combination of professional and academic recommenders
  • Transcripts from each institution you have attended
  • Official GRE test score, if applicable
  • Submit by December 1 at 8:59pm PST
  • SOPHAS Application + fee
  • UC Berkeley Graduate Application + fee
  • CV or Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal History Statement
  • Three Letters of Recommendation from a combination of professional and academic recommenders
  • WES Evaluation of international transcripts sent to SOPHAS
  • Transcripts and/or degree certificates from each institution you have attended uploaded to Berkeley Graduate Application
  • Official GRE test score, if applicable
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS test score, if applicable
  • Submit by December 1 at 8:59pm PST

Application Portals

Submit an online application to SOPHAS with the following items:

  • CV or Resume,
  • Statement of Purpose,
  • Personal History Statement,
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically),
  • One set of official transcripts from each institution you have attended,
  • Official GRE test score sent to SOPHAS only, if applicable (code 4227),
  • Official TOEFL test score sent to SOPHAS, if applicable (code 5688),
  • Include your Berkeley Graduate Application ID number in the SOPHAS application,
  • SOPHAS application fee or fee waiver.

If you are applying to more than one school in SOPHAS and they have different deadlines, enter only the school(s) with the earliest deadline, and then complete and submit the application. To apply to additional schools, you may add another school designation to your existing application and fill out the program materials section for that specific program. If you have questions, please contact the SOPHAS customer support department directly.

If you have completed the application but are waiting on any supplemental materials, (e.g. letters of recommendation, GRE scores, transcripts, etc.), you can still submit your application and should do so by the application deadline. It is acceptable for supplemental materials to be submitted a few days after the deadline. While there is a small grace period for supplemental materials to be submitted, you need to submit your application by the application deadline—otherwise your application will be considered late and ineligible for review.

Access the SOPHAS Application at sophas.org

NOTE: This information is only for students applying to programs that require a SOPHAS application. If you are applying to one of the programs listed in in the highlighted text at the top of this page, they require only a Berkeley Graduate Application and have their own instructions which are linked above. Please view the specific application instructions provided in those links.

Complete a supplemental online application to the UC Berkeley Graduate Division with the following items:

  • Unofficial transcripts – Be sure your transcripts include:
    • your name,
    • university name,
    • dates of attendance,
    • course units,
    • grades,
    • and conferral date (if applicable)
  • If you are submitting international records, upload a copy of the degree(s) with corresponding English translations (if applicable)
    • See more information about international student transcripts in the “Additional Application Instructions for International Students” section below
  • Official TOEFL score sent to UC Berkeley, if applicable (code 4833),
  • Include your SOPHAS Application ID number in the UC Berkeley application,
  • UC Berkeley application fee or fee waiver.
  • The supplemental materials uploaded to SOPHAS (CV/Resume, essays, letters of recommendation, and test scores) do not need to be submitted to the Berkeley Graduate Application.

Access the UC Berkeley Graduate Application Here.

The cost for a SOPHAS application is $140 for the first school or program to which you apply. Any additional schools or programs to which you choose to apply will cost $50 per designation, even if you submit those schools or programs later in the application cycle.

The cost for the UC Berkeley Graduate Application for U.S. Citizens and current Permanent Residents is $120. The application fee for all other applicants is $140. Payments should be submitted by credit card only.

If you would like to request a fee waiver, you must reach out to SOPHAS and the UC Berkeley Graduate Division. Please see the following links for more information.

Both the SOPHAS and UC Berkeley Graduate application must be submitted by the deadline to be considered for admission and awards (no separate application process is necessary for award consideration). Late applications will not be accepted. More information on dates and deadlines is available here

To avoid delays in processing, use the same email address for your SOPHAS and UC Berkeley applications if possible and make sure you apply to the same program in both systems.

Supplemental Materials

You must submit electronic transcripts to both SOPHAS and to UC Berkeley.

International Students: Please see more information about international student transcripts in the “Additional Application Instructions for International Students” section below.

Submit OFFICIAL transcripts to SOPHAS
  • Official U.S. transcripts of all the schools you attended for post-secondary education must be sent to SOPHAS.
  • SOPHAS only accepts electronic transcripts from Credentials Solutions, Parchment, and National Student Clearinghouse.
  • If your school does not offer any of these services, your transcript must be sent by mail. The mailing address can be found on the SOPHAS website; please see the SOPHAS website for a detailed set of instructions.
Submit UNOFFICIAL transcripts to UC Berkeley

For application review purposes only, include copies of transcripts for all of the post-secondary institutions you attended, including study abroad institutions in the Berkeley Graduate Application. During the online application process, you will be prompted to upload scanned documents. Uploaded transcripts should be recent and include the following:

  • your name
  • the institution name
  • dates of attendance
  • conferral date if applicable
  • grades/marks received and credits
  • If you studied abroad, your study abroad grades must also be listed in the transcript, otherwise you will need to submit a transcript directly from the study abroad institution
  • Note: Official transcripts will be requested if you are admitted and then decide to attend UC Berkeley

Please do not send any paper transcripts to Berkeley Public Health—any unsolicited materials will be destroyed.

Please read the directions below carefully. 

Know your program’s requirements!

Submission of GRE test scores will be optional for the upcoming application cycle (for Summer and Fall 2021 admit terms) for the Infectious Diseases and Immunity PhD program, Environmental Health Sciences MS and PhD programs, and all professional degree programs (MPH and DrPH) except the MBA/MPH concurrent degree programs.

See our GRE Requirement Chart.to see which programs require it and which are making it optional for this year.

The Health Policy, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics divisions will maintain that applicants to their academic degree programs (MS, MA, and PhD) must submit GRE scores for the upcoming cycle as shown in the GRE Requirement Chart. The current GRE Exemption Policy (see section below) for these applicants will still hold.

Applications to these programs will not be considered complete and will not be reviewed by Berkeley Public Health’s Admissions Committee without the required test scores.

GRE Exemption Policy:
  • 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 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.
Minimum GRE Scores:
  • We do not have a minimum GRE score as we review applications holistically; however, competitive applicants tend to score in the 50th percentile and above. Many program pages include the average GRE scores of admitted students for that specific program.
How to submit scores:
  • While you can take your exam as late as the date of the deadline, we recommend that you plan to take your exam no later than October to allow time for scores to arrive in time for consideration for fall admission.
  • At-home test scores are acceptable.
  • All applicants who submit GRE test scores must send official scores through ETS directly to SOPHAS only. To send an official GRE score report to SOPHAS, please use code 4227. 
  • Scores must be from within 5 years of the test date for them to be considered valid. In order to apply, you must retake the test if your scores are more than five years old.
  • Note: An official GRE score report should only be submitted to SOPHAS and will not show as received on your UC Berkeley application. You only need to confirm receipt of your GRE scores on your SOPHAS application.

If you choose not to submit scores, we recommend that you highlight your verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing skills that prepare you for the specific program to which you are applying in your application and statement of purpose.

  • This can be completed coursework, such as undergraduate or post-baccalaureate math/stats or epi/biostats courses, quantitative research, data analysis, or evaluation experience, verbal/writing strengths such as professional publications and/or presentations, etc.).
  • You may also submit a writing sample or other supporting documents in the “Documents” section of the SOPHAS application.

Berkeley Public Health’s Admissions Committee requires a minimum of three letters of recommendation be submitted electronically to SOPHAS with your SOPHAS application.

Typically, we recommend you have at least one letter of recommendation from an academic and two from individuals who can evaluate your professional experience. However, please thoroughly look at the requirements and qualifications of the program you are applying to for more guidance. Overall, it will be in your best interest to have three individuals who can attest to your academic and/or professional ability to succeed in a public health career.

For academic references, we recommend you ask professors who you think will write the strongest recommendations. A strong quality letter attesting to your ability to succeed in the program will weigh more than a generic letter from a high-ranking professor.

Berkeley Public Health does not accept hard-copy letters sent to our offices.

Applications should include a resume or CV. Prior work experience, preferably in health sector related activities, is required for some programs. If applicable, include work documentation, such as a letter from an employer stating period of employment and respective job titles. Documentation may include statements of confirmation, employment verifications from HR representatives, or reference letters from former or current employers.

Resumes should include:

  • Educational degrees,
  • Employment,
  • Experiences (especially those that are public-health related),
  • Professional skills and accomplishments,
  • Volunteer activities (specify any leadership roles).
Statement of Purpose
Word limit: 1,500 words

Your Statement of Purpose should explain why you are pursuing graduate training in public health. Your essay should also explain your eventual career goals and why you need a degree in your specific program. You can choose to explain why you are pursuing this degree now and why at Berkeley Public Health. If you are applying to a doctoral program, include your proposed research topics. Please be sure to check your program’s page, as some programs have specific questions to answer. If there are no specific program guidelines, please follow the above-mentioned general guidelines.

Here are some best practices from the DREAM Office and the UC Berkeley Graduate Division on how to write the statement of purpose.

Personal History Statement

Word limit: 1,000 words

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 advantages and/or experiences growing up. It is intended to give you the opportunity to provide a narrative about your diverse personal experiences. It is important to be concise and impactful by focusing on a specific part of your life experience.

Note: Not all schools require a Personal History Statement but we do.

Here are some best practices from the DREAM Office and the UC Berkeley Graduate Division on how to write the personal history statement.

Additional Application Instructions for International Students

International applicants should apply early in order to allow sufficient time for financial and visa document preparation. In addition to the above materials, please submit the following:

All applicants from countries/regions in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency via a TOEFL or IELTS score. This requirement applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, Israel, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and non-English-speaking countries in Africa.

We recommend that you plan to take any required exams no later than October to allow time for scores to arrive in time for consideration for fall admission.

For Fall 2021, tests taken before June 1, 2019 will not be accepted even if your score was reported to UC Berkeley.

The USMLE and other similar exams are not approved substitutes for the TOEFL.

You may be exempt from this requirement if you:
  • Have a basic degree from a recognized institution in a country where the official language is English,
  • Have completed a basic or advanced degree at an institution, in the United States or a United States institution abroad, where the language of instruction is English and the institution is accredited by one of the United States’ regional accrediting agencies,
  • have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with a grade B or better at a regionally accredited* institution within the United States.

If you qualify for an exemption, you must upload an unofficial transcript from the recognized U.S. institution to your Berkeley Graduate Application. If you are unsure if your country of education qualifies you for a TOEFL exemption, please contact us at sphadmit@berkeley.edu.

Minimum Scores:
  • TOEFL: Paper: 570, Internet (iBT): 90
  • IELTS: 7
  • Scores below the minimum will require an exception request
How to submit TOEFL:

Official TOEFL test scores administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) must be submitted to both SOPHAS (code 5688) and UC Berkeley (code 4833). We do not accept MyBest Scores.

How to submit IELTS:

Beginning for the Fall 2021 application cycle, we will no longer be accepting paper Test Report Forms. All IELTS scores must be sent electronically from the testing center, no institution code is required, to both SOPHAS and UC Berkeley.

Our address for identification purposes is: University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall Rm 318, MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Please do not mail any score reports to us.

Graduates of recognized academic institutions outside the United States should hold a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. Equivalency is determined by International Evaluators in the Graduate Admissions Office. If you are unsure if your degree is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree, you can email us at sphadmit@berkeley.edu.

Submitting Transcripts to SOPHAS

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.

We require a course-by-course evaluation and it should be sent directly to your SOPHAS application, not to Berkeley Public Health.

Please do not send any materials to Berkeley Public Health—any unsolicited materials will be destroyed.

Submitting Transcripts to Berkeley Graduate Application

Please upload copies of unofficial or official foreign transcripts and degrees to the UC Berkeley Graduate application. Academic records should:

  • Be issued in the original language and accompanied by English translations if required (usually prepared by your university or Ministry of Education, unless the institution issues original documents in English)
    • English translations are required for all languages except Spanish; degree names and grades should be transliterated, not converted into English words or the U.S. grades of A-F.
    • If your home institution does not issue documents in English, you may submit translations prepared by certified translators for the American Translators Association.
  • In general, be issued by the school and include the school’s stamp or embossed seal and the signature of the authorizing official. For more detailed information on acceptable documents, please contact us at sphadmit@berkeley.edu.
  • If your academic records do not include official evidence of the award of your degree, you must also submit additional documents that verify the degree conferral, such as a degree certificate.

Official transcripts or academic records for all university-level studies you have completed, at U.S. institutions and abroad will be required if admitted. Although SOPHAS accepts WES evaluations, UC Berkeley does not accept WES evaluations for matriculation purposes.

We are unable to provide international applicant fee waivers for the UC Berkeley Graduate Application at this time. AB540 students may apply for the fee waiver if they meet the eligibility criteria. Please contact the Graduate Admissions Office for instructions.

SOPHAS offers fee waivers for international applicants from select countries. Please read more about which countries are eligible and access the International-based fee waiver form on this page. You can also request a 50% off WES evaluation coupon in the wavier form.