Here are some suggestions from the Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Services (GRADS) team at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health on how to prepare your Statement of Purpose:

  • Remember, this is a statement of purpose, not a personal statement. Everything that you include in this essay should be directly relevant to becoming a successful student at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Each statement you make needs to

have a purpose. How does each sentence contribute to your candidacy for admission into the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and the area of concentration that you are applying to?

  • Keep your statement to one page. Reviewers have many applications to read within a short time frame. Thus, it is to your advantage to keep your statement clear, concise and relevant. Do not assume reviewers will make any connections for you in your statement.
  • Make sure you are explicit in addressing the following:


  • What in your background, history, training and/or experiences (personal, professional, academic) have led you to pursue graduate training and or/a career in public health?
  • What are your eventual career goals in the public health profession? (e.g. what health condition and/or population do you want to work with? At what level do you want to make a public health difference?)
  • Why do you need a graduate degree in public health? Why are you applying to the specific degree program and area of concentration?
  • Why do you need to do this now?
  • Why UC Berkeley?
  • Any experiences and/or circumstances that have an impact on your candidacy as an applicant, but not directly related to you pursuing graduate training in public health. The more directly related an experience is to your career goals in public health, the more appropriate it is to put it in the Statement of Purpose.
  • Include your resume/CV in your application, but do not excessively repeat anything from it in your Statement of Purpose. Your resume should support and complement the experiences in your Statement of Purpose.

Please note: addressing all of these suggestions does NOT guarantee admission to any of the degree programs and/or Areas of Concentration. It may not be applicable or relevant to other schools and programs of public health. These are merely suggestions from the GRADS team based on their extensive experience in reviewing Statements of Purpose and their ongoing communication with members of the Admissions Committees for various degree programs and areas of concentration at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.