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During the academic year, the opportunities to apply include:

  • December 17–31 (Fall)
  • May 17-31 (Spring)

Before submitting your application, please read all the instructions carefully.

Our admissions process consists of a holistic review by multiple committee members. Although academic performance is important, your ability to articulate your passion for public health is equally as important.

In our application process if a student has a prerequisite GPA of 2.75 or lower we ask that they explain why they have been experiencing academic difficulties in their personal history statement. These instructions are laid out on our website here in the “Personal History Statement” section. These students will be pre-screened to ensure minimum requirements to succeed in our courses. Upon approval of the initial screening, these students will be considered along with the remaining applicants.

The number of students accepted into the major is dependent upon the number of seats available. The major is allocated 440 seats. If the total number of applicants (including those who passed the initial screening because of low GPA) would keep the total class size below 440, all students will be admitted without further review. If not, there will be a holistic review of ALL students. A holistic review will include looking at academics (grades and course load), leadership, work/volunteer experience, and essays.

Thus, the committee evaluates applications based on the following three criteria:

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

Are you interested in making public health your major or minor? Subscribe to the Prospective student listserv to receive weekly Public Health Newsletters and one off announcements!

Please note the following to subscribe or unsubscribe yourself. You are responsible for unsubscribing yourself.

How to Subscribe to a GoogleGroup (use the listserv name you are trying to subscribe to as the subject):

Still having trouble? Please use this “How to Join a SPHUG Listserv” guide create by our 2020-2021 Peer Advisor Jessica Thai for assistance.

How to unsubscribe from a GoogleGroup (use the listserv name you are trying to unsubscribe from as the subject):

Are you a UC Berkeley School of Public Health undergraduate major or minor alumni? Subscribe to the listserv to receive one off emails with opportunities for alumni!
Please see subscribe and unsubscribing directions above.

Statement of Purpose

Please answer each of the following and note the following word limits. The actual questions do NOT count in the word limit.

Please see here for an example of what the Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement format should look like.

  1. What have you done to learn about Public Health in your time at UC Berkeley? What are your previous experiences in Public Health? If you do not have any experiences in public health, why? (200 words)
  2. What do you plan to do in Public Health after graduation? How do you see the Public Health major helping you achieve your goals? (200 words)
  3. Describe an experience where you demonstrate leadership qualities. (100 words)

Our fourth question is optional, unless you are a double major applicant. If you are a double major applicant, you are required to answer this question in your Statement of Purpose.

  1. Why you are choosing to pursue two majors, and how will they prepare you for a career related to public health? (100 words)

For an example of guidelines, please see the Writing the Statement of Purpose on the UC Berkeley Graduate Division website.

We also recommend looking at our application essays guidelines.

Personal History Statement
(400-word limit)

Your Personal History Statement gives you the chance to add individuality and depth to the information provided in your Statement of Purpose. Your essay can include information about who you are as a person, your family background, cultural background, socioeconomic status, educational disadvantages and experiences growing up. This is an opportunity to provide a narrative about your diverse life experiences. For guidelines, please see the Personal History Statement Guide on the UC Berkeley Graduate Division website.

Note:  If you have a prerequisite GPA of a 2.75 or below, you must explain by stating the following “I have a prerequisite GPA below a 2.75 because…”  within your personal history statement’s 400 words.  This is not a separate statement.  If you have questions please contact the undergraduate advisors at


The purpose of submitting your CV or resume 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 Checklist

Please have the following materials ready as uploadable PDFs.  Note two of the sections might require combining more than one PDF into a single PDF.  See this guide above on how to download your unofficial transcript and merge multiple PDF documents into a single document (Created by Shakira Cordova October 2020). Also note the naming of each PDF.  

While submitting the application you will be required to upload each of these documents individually.  

  1. Essays:
  2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Save your PDF file as “”
  3. Prerequisite Information and GPA Calculation Form (see following 4 lines for information and guidance)
  4. Academic Records: 
    • Unofficial copy of your UC Berkeley transcript (an unofficial transcript [Academic Summary] from CalCentral OR screenshots of your CalCentral would be sufficient)
    • Unofficial transcripts from other institutions (if using towards prerequisites)
    • Unofficial copy of your AP Exams score report (if using AP scores towards prerequisites)
    • Save your PDF file as “LastName_FirstName_transcripts.AP.pdf”
  5. Other Required Uploads 
    • Extra application materials that have not been requested of you will not be considered in the reviewers admissions decisions.  Examples of required extra application materials include:  screenshots of emails from the advisors or professors approving a class, grade (look at PNP policy in the COVID-19 Resources  ( Section 8. SPHUG Specific), or specific circumstance, etc. 
    • Save your PDF file as “LastName_FirstName_other.pdf”
  6. Combined Application Materials PDF
    • You will be requested to upload your application materials as a pdf in the following order: Statement of Purpose (400 words or less), Personal History Statement (400 words or less), Resume or CV, Prerequisite Information and GPA Calculation Form, Unofficial copy of your UC Berkeley transcript (an unofficial transcript from CalCentral is sufficient), Unofficial transcripts from other institutions, and an Unofficial copy of your AP Exams score report (if using AP scores towards prerequisites), other uploads. 
    • Save your PDF file as “lastname_firstname_PHApplication.pdf”

Application Verification

By submitting an application for admission to the public health major, you certify that the information provided is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge.

Misreporting of grades, whether mistakenly or intentionally, will result in an automatic denial to the major. We suggest using this online GPA calculator to calculate your GPA.

Any student found to have provided false documentation will receive an automatic denial to the major and may be referred to the Center for Student Conduct and Community Standards for further investigation.

Admissions Notification

Admissions results are sent via email once all the applications are reviewed. This process may take up to six weeks. Please do not email Berkeley Public Health’s undergraduate admissions 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.

If you have read all of the application instructions in full and you are ready to apply, click the button below:


Application Form