Online Program Admissions Requirements

Be sure that you review all the requirements before applying.

Students who are applying from outside of the United States need to review the Online Program Admissions Information for International Students page before applying.

Academic History

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution. You will need to upload unofficial electronic transcripts for all college-level coursework, including your bachelor’s degree, any advanced degree(s) you have earned and any courses you have taken at community colleges.

Any courses taken while studying abroad must be submitted from the participating institution. Abroad courses listed only on the transcript where you received your degree will not be sufficient.

Transcripts (may be unofficial electronic transcripts) need to include the following:

  • Your name
  • University or college name
  • Degrees conferred
  • Degree conferral date
  • Course names
  • Course grades

You will need a minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or equivalent in coursework completed after the first two years of undergraduate study and in all graduate coursework.

If your undergraduate GPA does not meet the minimum, you may still submit an application. Remember to provide evidence of other academic and professional accomplishments to demonstrate your capability to be successful in an academically rigorous environment. Alternative evidence may include courses you have successfully completed as work-related training.

Applicants need at least one college-level mathematics or statistics course completed with at least a grade of B+ or equivalent, reflected on an official transcript.

Familiarity and aptitude in biological or social sciences: There is no specific major required, however candidates with undergraduate majors in the biological or social sciences are strongly encouraged to apply.

Test Scores

GRE Exam

You must submit your valid, unexpired GRE scores through ETS using code #4833 on or before the application deadline.

An exemption may apply. Please contact our Admissions Coordinator if you feel that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You have completed an MD, PhD or equivalent doctoral-level degree from a United States accredited institution by the time you apply. Equivalent doctoral-level degrees are defined as: chiropractic, dentistry, education, medicine, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, pharmacy and veterinary.
    • If your degree is from a non-US institution, please email our Admissions Coordinator for additional information about your degree for review and approval of your exemption.
  • You are currently enrolled in, or have completed, a degree in medical, dental, optometry, business or law school. Please submit your MCAT, DAT, OAT, GMAT or LSAT scores, respectively, in lieu of the GRE exam.
    Note: If you are currently enrolled in a clinically based professional degree program (e.g., MD, DO, DMD, DVM, OD, PharmD), you must complete your degree requirements before the application deadline of the semester to which you are applying.
  • You have completed an MBBS degree and have passed Steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE.
    • In order to be eligible for the GRE waiver, copies of both official USMLE scores must be submitted with your application.

To see how long your GRE scores are valid for, refer to the ETS website.

No other professional school exams will be eligible as alternatives to the GRE exam.

Essays

Please note that the essay guidelines for our program differ slightly from the guidelines provided in UC Berkeley’s general graduate application.

Your statement of purpose (500–600 words) should describe your career goals and how this program will meet your professional aspirations. If you are entering the field, tell us about your public health interests and the skills you wish to acquire during your program of study. Please also describe how you hope or expect to contribute to improving public health in your future professional endeavors. For additional guidance, check out the UC Berkeley Graduate Division page on writing a statement of purpose.

Your personal history statement (300–600 words) should describe who you are, your family background, the experiences that make you a unique individual and your connection and motivation for working in public health. This essay supplements the statement of purpose and should leave the admissions committee with a better understanding of you as a person. For additional guidance, check out the UC Berkeley Graduate Division page on writing a personal history statement.

Letters of Recommendation

We require a minimum of three letters of recommendation to be submitted electronically.

At least one reference should focus on your academic potential, ideally from a former professor or someone who can speak to your intellectual or academic capacity.

At least one reference should focus on your professional potential, such as a current or former employer or supervisor.

Recommenders may include:

  • Personal impressions of your intellectual ability,
  • Promise of productive scholarship,
  • Capacity for analytical thinking and research,
  • Writing and reasoning skills,
  • Potential to succeed in the public health profession,
  • Quality of your previous work,
  • How you approach and complete projects,
  • Comments on your character,
  • Obstacles you may have had to overcome to attain your educational and professional goals (economic, social, cultural, educational, etc.).

Requesting Recommendations:

  • In the application’s Recommendations section, enter the contact information for each recommender and send the email requests. (If your recommender does not receive the request, contact our Admissions Coordinator.)
  • Recommenders will upload letters directly to your application. Please notify your recommenders to look out for the email request with instructions.
  • You can submit your application before your letters are uploaded. However, we encourage you to follow up with your recommenders to ensure that they submit their letters before the deadline.

Note: The Letterbanc service cannot be used for this program.

Resume and Employment Information

Applications should include a resume that demonstrates at least two years of post-baccalaureate work experience, including job titles and dates of employment. Resumes should include:

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

Applications should include work documentation, such as a letter from an employer stating period of employment and respective job titles. (Letters should document at least two cumulative years of work.)

  • Work documentation may include statements of confirmation, employment verifications from HR representatives, or reference letters from former or current employers. Your work experience does not need to be in the health or public health sectors.
    *If you would like to petition for an exception based on exemplary work experience completed prior to completing a bachelor’s degree, email your request to our Admissions Coordinator.

Availability to Attend Two Campus Visits

While earning your online degree, you will be required to travel to UC Berkeley to spend 15 days on the campus, with one visit in the summer of year 1 and a second visit in the summer of year 2. These visits usually occur in June.

Students will be responsible for making necessary travel arrangements for both campus visits.

For more information on the on-campus portion of the program, see the Campus Visit page.

International Applicants

There may be additional considerations for international students when applying to the Online Program. Please go to the Online Program Admissions Information for International Students page for details.