Application Process

To be admitted into the Berkeley MPH Online Program, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Hold a bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution
  2. Demonstrate capability to study at the graduate level:
    Academic capability (via grades and course completion, GRE/test scores, etc.)
    Professional capability (through submission of required documents)
  3. Have a minimum of two years of post-baccalaureate work experience. (Work experience in the health or public health sectors is not required.) It is possible to petition for an exemption based on exemplary work experience completed prior to earning a bachelor’s degree. Schedule an appointment to learn more.
  4. Be able to attend mandatory campus visits (International students are subject to additional international student requirements, please see details on perquisites page.)


How to apply

Tuition & financial aid

*Maryland and Montana applicants: Due to higher education regulation, UC Berkeley is unable to accept applications for admission to the online MPH program from students residing in Maryland and Montana. For questions, please contact us at



Grades and Prerequisites

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. (International students are not required to submit a GPA if grades are not scored in this way). The admissions committee may occasionally consider applicants who do not meet this requirement if other measures of professional performance are particularly strong.

Math or statistics course completion
You 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, though candidates with undergraduate majors in the biological or social sciences are strongly encouraged to apply.

GRE/Test Scores

You must submit your valid, unexpired GRE scores through ETS using code code #4833 on or before the application deadline. Exemption may apply, please reach out to 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 an United States accredited institution by the time you apply. Equivalent doctoral-level degrees are defined as: chiropractic, dentistry, education (EdD), medicine, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, pharmacy, and veterinary. (Note: 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 a MBBS degree and have passed Steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE OR you have an ECFMG Certification. In order to be eligible for the GRE waiver, copies of both official USMLE scores or the ECFMG Certification must be uploaded with your application.

*All other professional school exams will not be eligible as alternatives to the GRE exam.

Note: GRE scores are valid for five years from the year in which you took the exam (July 1–July 31).

Evidence of English Language Proficiency — (TOEFL)​

Evidence of English language proficiency is required of applicants with basic degrees from countries in which the official language is not English. This includes U.S. citizens who have obtained their basic degrees from an institution outside the United States. If you have completed at least one year of full-time academic coursework with grades of B or better in residence at a recognized U.S. institution, you do not need to take a standardized test. Instead, you must upload an unofficial transcript from the recognized U.S. institution.

Additionally, all applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. 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 will accept scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in place of the TOEFL. As language proficiency can change considerably in a relatively short period of time, standardized tests must have been taken within the past two years, regardless of the test used.

To qualify for a TOEFL exemption you must:

  • 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 abroad, where the language of instruction is English and the institution is accredited by one of the United States’ regional accrediting* agencies. (United States universities only)

  • 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.

For purposes of admission, your most recent score must be at least 90 for the Internet-based test (IBT), and 570 for the paper-based format (PBT). Guidelines on demonstrating English language proficiency through the TOEFL or IELTS exams are outlined on the UC Berkeley Graduate Division’s policy on international applicants.

Be sure to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam early to be considered for admission!

Required Documents

  • Statement of purpose and personal history statement.
    Documentation of work experience, 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.)
    Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a former professor (or someone who can speak to your academic potential) and one from a current or former employer (or someone who is familiar with your professional potential).
    Transcripts, which may be unofficial electronic transcripts for all college-level coursework.
    If you are a U.S. citizen or current permanent resident, the application fee is $105; for all others, the fee is $125.

For more details and descriptions on required documents, see our How to Apply section.

Campus Visit

All Berkeley MPH Online students are required to attend a one-week on-campus session each year and are responsible for making necessary travel arrangements. International students should review links on U.S. visa regulations and consider your home country’s timeline for processing visas as you prepare your application. For more information on the on-campus portion of the program, see the Campus Visit page.

International Student Requirements

International students are an important part of the UC Berkeley community and contribute a unique global perspective. Over the past year, Berkeley boasted more than 5,000 international students and more than 2,000 international visiting scholars. Read more on international student requirements for this program.

How to Apply

Ready to apply? Be sure to review these guidelines for important information to prepare your online application and supplemental materials:

Please note: Applicants to the On-Campus/Online Master of Public Health program cannot apply through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS).

Application Timeline

Important Dates

Application Term Application Period Opens Application Deadline Instruction Begins
Fall 2018 September 5, 2017 May 1, 2018 August 2018
Spring 2019 September 5, 2017 October 1, 2018 January 2019
Summer 2019  September 5, 2018 February 1, 2019 May 2019


Fall 2018
Application Period Opens September 5, 2017
Application Period Opens May 1, 2018
Instruction Begins August 2018
Spring 2019
Application Period Opens September 5, 2017
Application Period Opens October 1, 2018
Instruction Begins January 2019
Summer 2019
Application Period Opens  September 5 ,2018
Application Period Opens  February 1, 2019
Instruction Begins  May 2019

Tips and Tricks


When you begin your online application, you will see the Instructions section—the first of many sections of the application. Read the instructions carefully and use the left column to navigate to subsequent sections, saving as you go along.


Upload unofficial electronic transcripts for all college-level coursework as a single PDF (less than 2.5 MB), including your bachelor’s degree, any advanced degrees and any courses taken at community colleges. If you have extenuating circumstances preventing you from obtaining transcripts, contact Transcripts must include the following:

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

International Transcripts

English translations are required for transcripts in all languages except Spanish. English versions must be issued by the degree-awarding institution or by a certified ATA translator. The ATA number must appear on the certification to be considered, and notary certification is not acceptable. Unfortunately, we do not accept third-party evaluations (i.e., WES).

In addition to the general requirements, you’ll need to upload the following documents as part of your application:

  • Transcripts in the original language and in English translation
  • Degree certificate(s) (with title awarded and conferral dates) in the original language and in English translation

Letters of Recommendation

One of the first things to do when you start your application is request a minimum of three letters of recommendation. 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

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

  1. In the application’s “Recommendations” section, enter the contact information of each recommender and then send the email requests. (If your recommender does not receive the request, contact
  2. Recommenders will upload letters directly to your application. Please notify your recommenders to look out for the email request with instructions.
  3. 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!

Resume and Employment Information

Please upload both your resume AND documentation that demonstrates at least two years’ post-baccalaureate work experience, including job titles and dates of employment. Documentation may include statements of confirmation or employment verifications from HR representatives, or reference letters from former or current employers. Work experience need not 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

Resumes should include

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


Please note that the essay guidelines for this program differ slightly from the guidelines provided in UC Berkeley’s general graduate application. Please take note of guidelines provided here and address the following topics when writing your essays.

Statement of Purpose

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. Have a look at additional suggestions on crafting a statement of purpose for more tips.

Personal History Statement

Your personal history statement (300–600 words) should describe who you are, your family, 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 ideas, check out tips on How to Write a Personal Essay.

GRE and Test Scores

Do you need the GRE? Interactive page.

Find out if you need the GRE.

Your application requires that you submit scores from the GRE revised General Test. For more details on this requirement and exceptions, check out our interactive infographic, left.

Be sure to note UC Berkeley’s On-Campus/Online Master of Public Health program code (4833) for the GRE and the TOEFL or IELTS.

Find out if you need the GRE.

TOEFL Requirements

International students are required to submit TOEFL scores. For purposes of admission, your most recent score must be at least 90 for the Internet-based test (IBT), and 570 for the paper-based format (PBT). Guidelines on demonstrating English language proficiency through the TOEFL or IELTS exams are outlined on the UC Berkeley Graduate Division’s policy on international applicants. Be sure to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam early to be considered for admission.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

It is required that you have a minimum 3.0 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 required minimum, you may still submit an application for admission. Remember that you should provide evidence of other academic and professional accomplishments showing you are capable of being successful in an academically rigorous environment. Alternative evidence may include courses you have successfully completed as work-related training.

International students: The GPA section of the application is optional if you do not have a grade point average. Put “N/A” in this section.

For more information please email us.