Summary of Application requirements*
- Minimum GPA of 3.0
- Official Transcripts^
- Academic Statement of Purpose
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
- Additional Requirements for International Applicants can be found below
Grade Point Average (GPA)
All applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA (out of 4.0 GPA) to apply to the MPH program. GPA is calculated from the last 60 hours (approximately two years) of undergraduate coursework.
MPH Program: Transcripts must show courses completed, grades, degree completed, and date of graduation. If you are in process of completing your degree, and expect to do so before you would enter the University of Illinois, have the current transcript sent now. After your degree is completed, you must arrange for another transcript to be sent directly to the University. Official transcripts are required to be sent directly to SOPHAS from all U.S. and English-speaking Canadian institutions.*
^BS-MPH applicants are able to submit Unofficial Transcripts. More details are on the How to Apply: BS-MPH page.
*See the International Student Requirements section below for more detail.
Academic Statement of Purpose
This statement is a very important part of your application. In a 1-2-page statement (1.5 spacing), please respond to the following prompts:
- Why are you interested in the MPH program at the University of Illinois?
- How will the education and skills you gain from the MPH program help you meet your academic and professional career goals?
- Describe any previous Public Health-related experience including volunteer time, paid work, internships, coursework, etc. and how these experiences impacted your desire to earn an MPH
- Share any unique personal qualities, characteristics, and/or skills that will enable you to be successful in the program
- Share information to explain anything unusual in your transcripts or resume (if needed)
Letters of Recommendation
This program requires 3 letters of recommendation with at least 1 letter* from an academic professional (e.g. professor or instructor) who can attest to your capability to pursue graduate studies. The other letters may come from academic or professional sources who can speak to your educational endeavors, work history, internship experience, and/or use educational, communication, or health promotion; for MPH-Epi use quantitative, analytical or research team building and leadership skills.
*Individuals who received a degree 2 or more years ago may submit a professional reference in place of an academic reference if desired.
- Use your institutional letterhead to write the letter. If letterhead is not available, include a heading with your contact information
- Date and hand-sign the letter
- Letters have no stated minimum or maximum length, but one to two pages is typical
Contents of the letter
We seek letter writers’ opinion on the following:
- How long and in what capacity you have known the student
- Details of your assessment of the student’s abilities
- Academic ability or professional skills
- Personality traits
- Knowledge and suitability for the field of public health
- Special attributes and assets, illuminating the strengths and weaknesses of the student
- Overall potential of the student
- A summary of the strength of your recommendation (e.g., “Ms. Jones is among the top 5% or 10% or 20% of students with whom I have worked,”)
Graduate Records Examination (GRE)
GRE scores are no longer required to submit your application to the MPH program. However, your application must demonstrate sufficient academic/quantitative preparedness to be considered for admission to the program. Your prior coursework, volunteer and/or work experiences, and recommendations are just a few of the items the admissions committee will review to gauge your preparedness for graduate studies.
Although the GRE scores are not required, applicants that have taken the GRE and feel their scores would benefit their application are encouraged to submit the scores. If you would like to submit scores, we recommend you scan your official score report as a PDF file and attach it to your application. You do not need to submit official scores through ETS.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT REQUIREMENTS
English Language Proficiency
International students must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language scores, with the minimum for full status admission: 103 (TOEFL - IBT) or 7.5 (IELTS). Scores cannot be more than 2 years old. DUOLINGO is also being accepted.
If you attended a foreign school or earned your degree outside of the United States, you must have your foreign coursework evaluated by the World Educational Services (WES). SOPHAS will only accept evaluations obtained directly from WES. If a student studied abroad or participated in an exchange program through a U.S. institution, WES is not needed for that coursework. It is only needed if a degree was earned or if a foreign university was their primary school.
Statement of Financial Resources
Upon being offered admission, if you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you need to provide the University Admissions Officer with a copy of your passport (also any dependents) and proof of funding. You will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to cover the estimated expenses for admitted students as described in the Declaration and Certification of Finances form. You may subtract the amount you have been awarded in scholarship funds for ONE year.