How to Apply

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

Apply Here

Please note: Applicants to the Online MPH program cannot apply through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS).


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 your resume. Prior work experience, preferably in health sector related activities, is desirable, but not required. If applicable, upload documentation that demonstrates 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.

Resumes should include

• Educational degrees
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

The GRE is optional at this time. 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.

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 applicantsBe 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.