During the academic year, the opportunities to apply include:
- December 17–31 (Fall)
- May 17-31 (Spring)
Before submitting your application, please review the Undergraduate Admissions Requirements and follow the instructions below to apply to the major. The application process outlined below only applies to select students.
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.
Public Health Major Application Components
Below is a listing of all the required components of the Public Health major application. Please read through each section below and be sure to submit all components with your application.
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.
- 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)
- 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)
- Describe an experience where you demonstrate leadership qualities. (100 words)
If you are a double major or simultaneous degree applicant, you are required to answer the following question in your Statement of Purpose. Please keep in mind when planning courses, you may need to consider time conflict issues and/or policies around overlapping courses between two majors or simultaneous degrees.
- Why are you 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
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 email@example.com.
Resume or CV
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.
Prerequisite Information and GPA Calculation Form
The purpose of submitting your prerequisite coursework and prerequisite GPA calculation is to demonstrate that you have met the application requirements for the major. Please report your grades honestly when calculating your prerequisite GPA.
Use the form below and review some of the examples as you complete this part of the application.
- Prerequisite Information and GPA Calculation Form
- [Example] Prerequisite Information and GPA Calculation Form
- Prerequisite GPA Calculator
You will be required to include copies of your unofficial transcripts to show confirmation that you have actually met or completed the prerequisite coursework. We also accept Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores and International Baccalaureate (IB) exam scores for some of the math and social science prerequisites. See the Undergraduate Admissions Requirements page for specific score requirements.
Accepted types of 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)
Please highlight the course and grade for the applicable prerequisite coursework, if possible.
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.
- Combine the Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement Essays
- View example of the Statement of Purpose/Personal History Statement format
- Save your PDF file as “LastName_FirstName_essays.pdf”
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae
- Save your PDF file as “LastName_FirstName_resume.cv.pdf”
- Prerequisite Information and GPA Calculation Form
- Save your PDF file as “LastName_FirstName_GPA.pdf”
- Academic Records:
- Save your PDF file as “LastName_FirstName_transcripts.AP.pdf”
- Other Required Uploads
- Extra application materials that have not been requested of you will not be considered in the reviewers admissions decisions.
- Save your PDF file as “LastName_FirstName_other.pdf”
- Combined Application Materials PDF
- You will be requested to upload your application materials as a pdf in the order of the checklist above.
- Save your PDF file as “lastname_firstname_PHApplication.pdf”
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 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:
Frequently Asked Questions
You will not have to pay for an official transcript, an unofficial transcript will suffice. Go to your CalCentral and then to the My Academics tab. Click on My Academic Summary. There, you should be able to print your unofficial transcript. When you click print, there should be an option to save the file as a PDF. This will be different depending if you are using Windows or Mac.
Yes, you may use the Transfer Credit Report from CalCentral if the unofficial transcript from the other institution is not available to you.
Yes, you may still apply if you are worried about not receiving your grades in time for the deadline. You may include your unofficial transcript with the missing grades but you must email firstname.lastname@example.org with your updated unofficial transcript, prerequisite GPA, and Berkeley GPA. However, please try your best to have grades available BEFORE submitting your unofficial transcript and GPA.
If you are in a situation where CalCentral is not reflecting the accurate grade, you should email the Professor confirming the correct grade and include that email as part of your application. You can calculate your GPAs using the accurate grade for the class.
You would calculate your prerequisite GPA by including only the classes you are using to fulfill the prerequisites. You would not include any other Public Health classes or electives in the prerequisite GPA. Please make sure to convert any quarter units to semester units when calculating this. Find a GPA calculator on the UCB PH Application page.
If you are fulfilling prerequisites using course units from a CC or any other institution, use the original units of the course. If it is a quarter school, units need to be converted to semester units.
For calculating the 7 units of Biosciences, we use the Berkeley equivalent units. (For example a Bio course at a CC may be 5 units but equivalent to our 3 unit course. In this scenario, you would use the 5 units & grade to calculate the prerequisite GPA but the course would count as 3 units towards the 7 unit prerequisite requirement.)
AP scores or a Pass are not calculated into your prerequisite GPA, only classes taken for a letter grade.
Data 8 is not a prerequisite but is a major requirement once admitted into the major. We strongly recommend taking it in your first year as it can be difficult to get seats in this course later on. There is limited reserved seating for new incoming first year undergraduate students and new transfer students.
If you have PNP for a prerequisite course during the following terms, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, due to COVID-19, you may still use that prerequisite to apply. If it is PNP, it will have no impact on your prerequisite GPA. During these four terms, you had the option to receive a PNP or a letter grade for your courses. You may request grades from your professor for prerequisite calculation purposes if you chose PNP (screenshot of email with application). Requesting grades is not required and we will still accept a P. You would only need to request a letter grade if you would like for it to count towards your prerequisite GPA. The review committee will take into account that these four terms were impacted by COVID-19. A PNP does not impact your GPA.
Only use classes taken at Berkeley to calculate this; do not use AP credits or Community College (CC) classes. If you are a transfer student and have yet to take any classes at Berkeley, put in your overall GPA from your transfer school.
You will be waitlisted for PH core classes but may enroll in PH elective courses. PH core classes are reserved for PH majors only and there will be some reserved seats for PH 142, PH 150A, PH 150B, PH 150D. PH 150E can be a bit more limited in seating and Data 8 does not have reserved seating for PH majors so please plan accordingly. If you are admitted into the major, please make sure to complete any paperwork with us if switching colleges/majors so we can begin the declaration process. We also recommend planning your schedule with your backup major in mind. Having a backup major does not mean you are any less interested in the PH major but rather shows that you are taking time to make sure you are prepared.
Declaration Policy of Public Health Major
Should you receive admission to the Public Health major you must be declared in the major on CalCentral no later than 3 months (12 weeks) after your admission email receipt. If you fail to declare the PH major by this deadline, you will automatically be dropped from the major. No exceptions. There is no appeal process. If Public Health is the first major you are declaring, you will be automatically declared and no further action is required. If additional paperwork is required, please read the following for further details.
Students applying in the Fall cycle (December 17–31) should expect to be declared by mid April.
Students applying in the Spring cycle (May 17–31) should expect to be declared by mid October.
Dates will vary based on each years’ calendar.
Students that apply who are already in the College of Letters and Science (L&S) and have marked on the application they are planning to solely major in PH will be declared immediately by the PH academic advisors in CalCentral.
If you are planning to double major and are already declared in a major besides PH within the College of L&S, you will be required to fill out the appropriate forms sent to you by the academic advisors in order to declare PH.
Students who apply while not in the College of L&S will need to fill out the appropriate forms sent to you by the academic advisors in order to declare PH. You will be in one of two situations and the appropriate forms shall be sent to you based on what you have marked on your application.
- Change of College – you are planning to leave your current College and enter the College of L&S.
- Simultaneous degree – you are planning to keep your current major/degree and also complete a second degree in the College of L&S majoring in PH.
Any questions can be directed to email@example.com.