Graduate Admissions FAQ
Areas of Concentration
We offer a range of degrees in various areas of concentration. Please visit the Explore Programs page to find more information about the different academic programs we offer.
Yes, you are required to choose an area of concentration to apply to when submitting an application.
General Admissions Questions
You can only apply to one program per admissions cycle. This includes the Online MPH program.
- Dates and Deadlines for can be found here for the on-campus program and here for the online MPH program.
- For the on-campus program, the priority deadline to submit an application is December 1st at 8:59pm (PST). Since it does take some time for SOPHAS applications to process, we recommend submitting it in early November. That will also be helpful to avoid any technical difficulties and to allow time for SOPHAS processing.
- A select number of programs will accept applications until the secondary deadline of March 1st at 8:59pm (PST). After the priority deadline review period, in the event that these programs are not full, applicants will be accepted until March 1st for only select programs (see the “secondary deadline” tab for a list of programs here). Applying for the second deadline does not guarantee that your application will be reviewed.
- Incomplete application files or late applications will not be reviewed – no exceptions.
No, you will not be penalized for submitting your application on December 1st. However, we highly recommend you to submit it earlier than the deadline to avoid any technical difficulties and to allow you to correct any errors found by SOPHAS (e.g. transcript discrepancies) before our first batch of applications are released for review.
Applications submitted by the December 1 priority deadline will have the best chance of admission, and only applications submitted by December 1 will be considered for funding opportunities. Submitting your application before December 1 will not increase your chances of admission as we do not begin reviewing applications until after December 1.
Start your application very early and make a checklist of all of the general admissions requirements as well as the requirements indicated by your area of concentration, if any. Here is the link to the different areas of concentration, a comprehensive list of our admissions requirements, and our application instructions.
- Some of our programs do not require a SOPHAS application. You can see which programs at the top of this page.
- For the SOPHAS application, you will have to fully complete all sections in the application, which include all of your letters of recommendation, official GRE scores, official transcripts, statement of purpose, personalhistory statement, and “additional questions” at the end of the application. You will have to pay the SOPHASapplication fee. Please see the application instructions on our website for the correct GRE delivery codes.
- For the UC Berkeley Graduate Division application, you only need to upload unofficial transcripts and submit an official TOEFL score (if needed), submit the completed application and application fee. The Graduate Admissions application fee is required before your application can be reviewed. Please note you do NOT need to submit letters of recommendation, essays or GRE scores in the UC Berkeley application. More info here.
You must submit electronic transcripts to both SOPHAS and to UC Berkeley. Please do not send any paper transcripts to Berkeley Public Health—any unsolicited materials will be destroyed. Read more about how to submit transcripts in the “Supplemental Materials” section on our application instructions page.
It depends on which program you are applying to. Read more about our GRE requirement and exemptions under the “GRE Scores” tab on our application instructions page.
If you are applying to a program that requires the GRE, you will have to retake the GREs. We accept GREs within 5 years of the time you wish to apply. See our application instructions for more details.
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. You can view Admissions Statistics for each program listed by selecting the specific programs you are interested in viewing at this link.
One Year / 11-Month Programs
- We offer 4+1 MPH programs for current Berkeley undergraduate students enrolled in the public health major. More information about the 4+1 can be found at this link.
- All 11-month programs require an advanced degree at the time of applying. If you want to know more information about the different areas that offer a 1-year program and what are their specific requirements, please refer to the program specific pages at this link (under “Typical Duration” filter, select “1-year”).
If you graduated with a bachelor degree from a university in the US, you do not need to have your transcript evaluated by WES.
Yes, we do consider international applicants for admission into our programs.
As per our website, TOEFL scores are required from all applicants from countries in which the official language is not English. If you have completed at least one year of full-time (12 units) academic coursework with grades of B or higher in residence at a U.S. university, you do not need to take the TOEFL. For more information about the TOEFL requirements, please visit our application instructions page and the Graduate Division page with more information.
- TOEFL: Paper: 570, Internet (iBT): 90
- IELTS: 7
Yes, international students are eligible for funding during the admissions process by their respective programs. There is no separate application required. They may also refer to the International Student Office for additional funding opportunities.
The MPH degree program is not considered an academic STEM degree since it is a professional public health degree program. Our MS, MA and PhD programs in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health Sciences/Global Health and Environment are STEM eligible. Feel free to follow up with the Berkeley International Office. They will be better able to assist with which degrees/programs qualify for a STEM OPT extension.
Letters of Recommendation
The application deadline is December 1 and we strongly recommend encouraging your letter writers to submit them by this date. If they are unable to submit it by December 1, we will still review your application as long as they are received by December 18.
Typically, we recommend you have at least one from an academic and two from your professional experience.
However, please thoroughly look at the requirements and qualifications of the area of concentration you plan to apply to for more guidance. Overall, it will be in your best interest to have 3 letter writers who will best be able to attest to your academic and professional ability in a public health career.
You are welcome to submit more than three letters of recommendation, but we recommend submitting only three if you are able to.
We recommend you ask letter writers who you think will be able to write you the strongest letter. 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.
Required Work Experience
The amount of work experience required for admissions varies by area of concentration. With the exception of the Health Policy and Management program that requires at least 2 years of work experience, other programs vary in length and type of employment required. You can view Qualifications for each program on our admissions requirements page.
Statement of Purpose
Your Statement of Purpose should explain what has brought you to pursue graduate training in Public Health. It should also explain your eventual career goals and why you need a degree in your specific program. It may also explain why you are pursuing this degree now, and why at Berkeley. Please be sure to check your program’s page, as some programs have specific prompts they like you to follow.
Read more about the difference between these two essays in the “Supplemental Materials” section on our application instructions page.
Fees and Financial Aid
Students are selected for fellowship opportunities during the admissions process by their respective programs. There is no separate application required; just be sure to indicate in your application that you want to be considered for funding support. Students that are interested in Federal Student Loans must submit a FAFSA application and follow up with the Financial Aid Office directly.