Master of Public Health Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the Population and Health Sciences Master of Public Health (MPH) programs complete 42 credit hours. The MPH program consists of core classes, a course in the concentration of Population and Health Sciences, electives, as well as applied practice and integrative experiences. Students can complete the program in two years. Learn more below about the core curriculum and elective options.

Master of Public Health Degree

Students in the MPH degree program will complete 23 credit hours in core course material (19 didactic credits and 4 experiential learning credits) and choose from 6 elective series options. The MPH program emphasizes skills for public health practice and emphasizes courses in health education, health management and policy, and leadership and communication.

With the Population and Health Sciences degree, we wanted to make sure that there is a solid core foundation including study in epidemiology, biostatistics, program planning, understanding of the health system, understanding of the environment and of environmental risk and policy, and population health. From there, you basically get to choose your own adventure. In that way, students get both this depth and breadth of knowledge at their disposal.”

- Sharon Kardia, Associate Dean for Education

 MPH Core Courses (19 credits)

Applied Practice and Integrative Experience (4 credits)

A key element of the MPH will be an Applied Practice and Integrative Experience (PUBHLTH 680/681), which gives students exposure to the practical demands of working in the public health field and requires the integration of knowledge with skills and the application of competencies in practice. The applied practice and integrated learning experience projects are flexible in order to match students’ interests in public health.

MPH Elective Series (19 -22 credits)

MPH students can choose from over 40 elective courses, which are grouped in series of 4-5 coordinated courses totaling 11 credits per series. Students will typically choose 2 elective series during their degree program in order to focus on their specific areas of interest. See the full list of currently offered elective courses for the Master of Public Health degree.

Applying for the Master of Public Health in Population and Health Sciences

All MPH applications must be submitted to the online centralized application service SOPHAS (Schools of Public Health Application Services). Review important information about the SOPHAS application here.

DEADLINES

  • The priority application deadline for fall 2022 admission is February 1.
  • The final application deadline is May 15.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Applicants applying to the online Master of Science program will be asked to submit the following:

  • Online SOPHAS Application
  • Official Transcripts
  • SOPHAS Statement of Purpose and Objectives*
  • Reflective Essay
  • Quantitative Experiences Statement
  • Resume or CV (Recommended)
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • See Language Proficiency Requirements for international applicants: If you're not an English speaker, you should review our  Language Proficiency Requirements  for more information about our application requirements . If you have questions about your specific situation, please email our Recruitment and Admissions Team at sph-inquiries@umich.edu.

*You should submit a SOPHAS Statement of Purpose and Objectives for each program you are applying to.

English Proficiency Requirement

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in English language as measured by the Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL). Please see "Language Proficiency" under the "MPH and MHSA Applicants" section on the International Applicants page for detailed information.

Official Transcripts 

When You Apply: Upload a Scanned Copy of the Official Transcript to ApplyWeb:

  • All applicants must upload a scanned copy, front and back, of their official transcript/academic record issued by the Registrar or Records Office, to ApplyWeb for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned or in progress. The scanned copy of the official transcript is used for initial review by the graduate program faculty.
  • A downloaded transcript from your school portal or system is an unofficial transcript and not acceptable for review.
  • If you are attending or have graduated from a Non-U.S. institution, review the Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions for requirements by country.
  • If you have community or junior college, non-degree, or study abroad coursework, indicate this information on page nine of the application under the “Additional Education Information” section. Do not submit any transcripts from a community or junior college, non-degree, or study abroad coursework to Rackham unless you attended a Non-U.S. institution.
FROM A U.S. INSTITUTION
  • Upload an electronic version of your official transcript(s) for each Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral degree earned or in progress through your ApplyWeb application account. ​​​​​​​​​​A downloaded transcript from your school portal or system is an unofficial transcript and not acceptable for review.
  • If you are recommended for admission, the Rackham Graduate School will require an official transcript(s). Recommended applicants will receive an email notification when the official transcript(s) are required for submission. All students are asked to include an electronic transcript during the online application.
  • Submit only official transcripts/academic records. These bear the issuing institution’s seal and the official signature of the Registrar or Recorder of Records.
  • U-M Ann Arbor Applicants (Current or Previous Students): Do not submit your U-M Ann Arbor transcript. Rackham will obtain your U-M Ann Arbor transcript internally. Submit only degree transcripts from other institutions you attended including U-M Dearborn or U-M Flint.
FROM A NON-U.S. INSTITUTION

Review Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions for transcript/academic record requirements by country or region.

  • Upload a scanned copy of your official transcript/academic record, front and back, issued by the Registrar or Records Office for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree you earned or in progress through your ApplyWeb application account.
  • If you are recommended for admission, the Rackham Graduate School will require an official transcript(s). Recommended applicants will receive an email notification when the official transcript(s) are required for submission. All students are asked to include a scanned copy of the transcript during the online application.
  • Submit only official transcripts/academic records. These bear the issuing institution’s seal and the official signature of the Registrar or Recorder of Records.

Study Abroad Credit

If the coursework completed abroad was one year or less and is listed (with or without a letter grade) on your domestic undergraduate transcript, a course-by-course foreign transcript  evaluation is not required. 

Required Essays

SOPHAS STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES:

This statement should be a concise, well-written essay about your educational background and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in public health, specifically the area of study you wish to follow. This essay should be approximately 1,500 words in length. You should give information about:

  1. Your background as it pertains to your academic and professional goals.
  2. The motivating influences that stimulated interest in your specific discipline.
  3. Your future career goals and objectives.
  4. Indicate how an advanced degree will help to achieve your educational and career objectives.
REFLECTIVE ESSAY

This essay should be approximately 500 words in length (3,000 character limit). It should provide a brief description of how your personal or academic background and experiences will bring a unique perspective to the program and contribute to a diverse and inclusive U-M SPH community. Please also discuss and explain any unusual patterns or anomalies in your academic or professional record (for example, gaps in work or education, or a poor semester performance).  This essay will be pasted into the Additional Questions section of our programs.

Quantitative Experiences Statement

In an effort to get a better understanding of your abilities, we require a statement for all graduate-level applicants as part of the application process. 

This short essay (limited to 500 words) asks you to summarize the strength of your analytical and quantitative skills by addressing the following (if applicable):

  1. Discuss specific details and examples of relevant research, work, volunteer, or professional experiences that involved analytical and/or quantitative skills and tasks. You may also incorporate instances where you worked with data.
  2. If you have experience with quantitative or qualitative data, describe how you used it to solve a complex problem and include how you communicated your findings. 


The information provided will contribute to our holistic review process. If you have a limited background with analytics or quantitative work, we encourage you to reach out to our Recruitment and Admissions Team at sph-inquiries@umich.edu or the Program Coordinator in the department to which you're applying. Our staff are happy to help you determine a way to demonstrate your quantitative history and provide recommendations regarding appropriate next steps. 

Resume or CV (Recommended)

Applicants may upload a resume or CV directly to SOPHAS via their online application. No cover letter is required.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required as part of the application process. You should select a recommender who can discuss your ability to academically succeed and contribute to the public health profession. Review this helpful article regarding letters of recommendation.

Depending on your background and specific situation, consider the following references:

  • Faculty in your major of study
  • An employer or supervisor
  • Academic advisor
  • Professional mentor from a relevant volunteer or professional experience.A friend or relative is not an appropriate selection for a graduate school recommendation. Faculty reviewers like to see letters on official letterhead along with a full signature including the writer’s company or professional affiliation, job title, and contact information. 

PROCESSING REMINDERS

Be sure to make your evaluators aware that they will be required to submit evaluations directly to SOPHAS. You will be responsible for inputting their contact information and SOPHAS will initiate contact to obtain their recommendations. More information about recommendations can be found in the SOPHAS Applicant Help Center

Standardized Tests

Michigan Public Health does not require and does not review GRE or other standardized test scores for admission to any master's or doctoral programs. Applications will be reviewed holistically based on required application components. Please contact our admissions staff at sph-inquiries@umich.edu if you have questions.