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Online Master of Public Health


The Online MPH program is designed for working professionals who want to become leaders in public health. A new class of about 30 students starts the program each fall and spring.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Starting with the fall 2023 application cycle, you'll apply to the Online MPH program using SOPHAS, the common application for public health programs, along with a supplemental application in the UW Graduate School application system.

Before applying, carefully review our minimum admission requirements and confirm your eligibility. Below, you can review the application materials and step-by-step instructions.

We're now accepting applications for rolling admissions to fall 2023 on a space-available basis. Please email to confirm availability if applying after March 15, 2023.

Fall 2023 applicants who applied by January, 17, 2023, will receive an admissions decision by the end of February. Applicants who applied by February 12, 2023, will receive a decision by mid-March.

The application deadline for spring 2024 is October 15, 2023. The SOPHAS applications for spring and fall 2024 will open mid-August 2023.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 graded semester credits or the last 90 graded quarter credits (students with less than a 3.0 GPA will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Two or more years of professional experience, preferably related to public health. This can include volunteer work and be non-continuous (e.g., six months here, 12 months there). It’s the experience that counts, not the employment.
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for applicants whose native language is not English

You must also be able to attend the two required multi-day sessions at our location in downtown Seattle. For more information, see Program Format.

International applicants should confirm their eligibility before applying; see details below.

Application Steps

To apply to the Online MPH program, you'll use SOPHAS, along with a supplemental application in the UW Graduate School application system. We recommend you begin your application early in order to complete all requirements on time.

Step One: Research the Program

Decide if the Online MPH program is right for you. Learn as much as you can about our focus, format and program expectations. Review our Academic Experience pages for more information.

Attend an information session. We highly recommend that prospective applicants attend one of our monthly virtual sessions on Zoom to learn about the program’s format, curriculum, admissions, career outlook and more.

Contact us. You can reach the Online MPH program’s marketing and recruitment specialist via email, or book an advising appointment.

Step Two: Prepare to Apply

Review the application materials listed below. Draft your written materials, designate people to write your letters of recommendation and apply for fee waivers early.

The School of Public Health’s Application FAQs page also addresses questions about SOPHAS.

Step Three: Apply Online 

Complete the UW Graduate School application AND the SOPHAS application. You must complete both to be considered for admission. You may do this in any order, but you won't be able to submit either application until the two are linked.

UW Graduate School Application Instructions

Go to the UW Graduate School application website and follow the prompts for new or returning applicants. Complete the following sections:

  • Profile
  • Select your graduate program
    • Health Services (MPH – Online Degree Program)
  • Review requirements and deadlines
  • Report prior schools attended
  • Upload unofficial transcripts (PDF)
  • Enter SOPHAS application number
  • Verify personal data

Pay the nonrefundable fee ($85) or request a waiver. Read about the UW Graduate School application fee waivers and the Department of Health Systems and Population Health application fee waiver to learn if you qualify. You must request a fee waiver prior to submitting your application, at least seven days before the application deadline. If you pay the fee waiver, you won't be reimbursed.

Submit your application.

SOPHAS Application Instructions 

You'll electronically submit or report the materials below through SOPHAS. Information and materials reported in the Personal Information, Academic History and Supporting Information sections are shared among all SOPHAS applications. Only materials submitted through the Program Materials section are unique to the program application.

Go to the SOPHAS website and create a login ID and password. Complete the general sections: 

  • Personal Information 
    • Profile and demographic information
  • Academic History 
    • Enter high schools and colleges attended
    • Transcripts
      • Manual entry
      • Order official transcripts
    • Standardized test scores
      • GRE (optional)
      • English language proficiency (if required)
  • Supporting Information 
    • Letters of recommendation
    • CV/resume

Add the Online MPH program to your application:

  • Under Program Materials, click Add a Program
  • On the Add Programs page, locate the section titled University of Washington School of Public Health
  • Click the + icon (left column) to add Health Services Online MPH (choose Autumn or Spring)
  • Click My Application (top left)

Complete the Program Materials section:

  • UW Graduate School application ID number
  • Questions required by UW School of Public Health
    • Statement of purpose
    • Personal history statement
    • Equity, diversity and anti-racism statement
  • Questions required by the Online MPH program
    • MyGrad Application ID
    • Online MPH interest question
    • Academic history question
  • Optional Questions
  • Documents

To request a fee waiver, click your name in the upper right corner of the application, then select Fee Waiver Form. Visit the SOPHAS Fees and Fee Waivers page to learn if you qualify. Pay the nonrefundable fee ($145 for the first program and $55 for each additional program).

Submit your application.

Application Materials: Definitions and Requirements

Application Fee Waivers

Visit the following pages to learn about qualifications and instructions:

UW Graduate School Fee Waivers: You're required to pay a nonrefundable fee of $85 for each application to the University of Washington School of Public Health. You'll submit payment online via the admissions application.

If you're eligible for a fee waiver, you must must request the waiver prior to submitting your application, at least seven days before the application deadline. If granted, someone from the program will pay the fee for you. DON'T pay the nonrefundable fee until you hear back from the program.

You'll need to determine your eligibility for a Graduate School fee waiver before applying for a Department of Health Systems and Population Health fee waiver

SOPHAS Fee Waivers: SOPHAS charges $145 for the first program you apply to and $55 for each additional program. Beginning at the start of the cycle, a limited number of fee waivers are provided to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.

Transcript Requirements

UW Graduate School Application: Unofficial Transcripts

Download unofficial transcripts or scan printed copies from each college or university you have attended. Then, upload these unofficial transcripts to the UW Graduate School application.

You may omit transcripts that are redundant or irrelevant to this degree, such as minor transcripts for coursework that isn't applicable to this program.

The UW will only request official transcripts when an offer of admission is accepted.

SOPHAS Application: Official Transcripts and Manual Entry

The SOPHAS application requires that you:

  1. Order official transcripts from each collegiate level institution attended (Section: Academic History, Colleges Attended)
  2. Manually enter all coursework exactly as it's listed on your official college level transcripts (Section: Academic History, Transcript Entry). This process takes a significant amount of time, and you should plan to enter this information as early as possible.

Alternative to manual entry: We understand the accessibility issues posed by this requirement. Therefore, if this is the only program you're applying to, you may add only one course to the transcript entry section, and then upload unofficial transcripts later in the application (Section: Program Materials, Documents).

This alternative option is unique to the Health Services MPH, MPH in COPHP and Online MPH programs from the Department of Health Systems and Population Health. It doesn't include other programs from the School of Public Health or other universities. The documents you upload under Program Materials are only viewed by the specific program you uploaded them to.

Someone from SOPHAS might reach out to let you know that your manual transcript entry is incomplete. DON'T bypass SOPHAS’ transcript entry section if you plan to apply to any other programs.

Letters of Recommendation

You must list three recommendation requests from former employers, supervisors, mentors, academic advisors, professors or anyone else familiar with your potential for leadership in public health and/or your academic preparedness for graduate school.

These letters should address the general topic of your suitability for the training provided by the program and should mention how long recommenders have known you and in what context.

Each request requires:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Due date
  • Personal message to the recommender (limit: 500 words)

After you submit the requests, each person listed will receive an email that directs them to a secure website where they'll submit their letters.

You can submit your application to the program before all your letters of recommendation have been entered. You'll be able to return to the online application to monitor if your letters have been submitted. You should be in contact with each recommender to make sure their letters are submitted by the application deadline.

Standardized Tests/GRE (Optional)

The GRE isn't required. However, if you feel that your GRE scores better represent your academic preparedness for the program than your undergraduate transcripts, you may include the scores.

Questions Required by the UW School of Public Health 

Statement of Purpose 

Your Statement of Purpose (750 words max) is intended to give you the opportunity to describe your education, prior work/volunteer experience and/or professional career goals. Your statement needs to include:

  • Why you're interested in public health and your career goals
  • Your reasons for pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and why you're interested in attending the UW School of Public Health
  • The skills you hope to gain by obtaining an MPH

Personal History Statement

The Personal History Statement (500 words max) gives you the opportunity to provide a narrative about your lived experiences, obstacles you may have overcome and how these have guided you toward public health. This statement should not be the same as your Statement of Purpose.

Your Personal History Statement can include information about who you are as a person; your family or cultural background; socioeconomic conditions; and experiences growing up, including successes, challenges and moments of learning and growth. This question isn't intended to ask you to share personal information you aren't comfortable providing.

Equity, Justice and Anti-Racism Statement

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are core values of the UW School of Public Health. We're committed to a future that is free of health inequities and promotes the highest level of wellness for the communities we serve. We strive to cultivate a public health workforce that embodies humility, respect and leadership.

We further seek to create a community that is inclusive of underrepresented populations and in service to underserved communities. The school is committed to becoming anti-racist and adopting anti-racism principles in the classroom and our work. Completion of this MPH application attests that you're informed of these commitments and expectations of students who attend the UW School of Public Health (You can review additional details provided on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion page.)

In your statement (350 words max), describe how you might contribute to these efforts and/or learn and grow in the areas of EDI and anti-racism during your time at the UW and in your public health work after graduation.

Questions Required by the Online MPH Program

Application ID

To be considered for admission, you must complete both the UW Graduate School application and the SOPHAS application.

Both application portals will provide:

  • Unique application ID numbers for every program you apply to
  • Prompts to link the two applications:
    • Add SOPHAS application ID to UW Graduate School application
    • Add UW Graduate School application ID to SOPHAS application

You may do this in any order, but neither application is complete until the two are linked.

Online MPH Interest Question

The Online MPH program is designed to be completed in 18 months on a full-time basis, with an estimated 30–35 hours of academic work per week.* Please explain what specifically attracts you to this unique program (online/hybrid vs. in-residence format, focus on leadership, curriculum, etc.) and address how you intend to balance it with your job or other commitments. (1,000 characters max)

*The Online MPH program will also offer a 27-month part-time track starting in the fall of 2023.

Academic History Question

Describe your preparation for the writing and quantitative demands of the program. Please also address any academic challenges you've experienced, for instance if your GPA does not meet the minimum requirement (below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale). (1,000 characters max)

´╗┐HSEED and Public Health Leadership Promise Award Application (Optional)

The Health Services Excellence, Equity and Distinction (HSEED) Award offers a $5,000 package to one incoming student with funds distributed over a nine-month period. Before starting your application, learn about the HSEED Award and eligibility criteria.  

The Public Health Leadership Promise Award offers up to $3,000 to incoming students who demonstrate leadership potential in public health.

Those applying to the HSEED Award will automatically be considered for the Leadership Award. Your submission will be used for both awards; you aren't required to submit a second essay.

For the HSEED Award, describe how you're eligible for the HSEED Award based on eligibility criteria.

For the Public Health Leadership Promise Award, describe your understanding of leadership, provide up to three specific examples of leadership experience and summarize your public health leadership goals. (2,500 characters max)

International Applicants

The Online MPH program only accepts applications from students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents or who have or will obtain a non-student visa that allows them to study in the U.S.: H-4 (dependent of H1B work visa), dependents of H2B visa holders, etc.

The Online MPH program does not sponsor visas. Students who require an international student visa (e.g., F-1, J-1) are not eligible to apply to this program because the program requires students to attend at least two of three in-person sessions in Seattle. Applicants on an F-2 visa may be eligible — see information for F-2 applicants on the Graduate School’s Admission FAQs page. 

International applicants must meet all application requirements for the program. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. If required, please submit TOEFL scores. Only scores less than two years old at the time of the application deadline will be accepted. Scores must be sent directly to UW by the Educational Testing Service using institution code 4854. As of July 2021, the Graduate School will also accept International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test scores, with 6.5 as the minimum required score and 7.0 as the recommended score.

For more information on applying as an international student, see the Graduate School's International Applicant Information page.

Undocumented Applicants

The Online MPH program welcomes applications from undocumented individuals. The Office of Graduate Student Equity & Excellence (GSEE) offers application guidance and resources. The Leadership Without Borders Center provides resources for undocumented students at the University of Washington, including information on financial aid and scholarships. 

Graduate Nonmatriculated Students

If you aren't sure yet whether you want to pursue the Online MPH degree, you might consider enrolling first as a graduate nonmatriculated (GNM) student. GNM status allows you to take a limited number of courses to find out if the program is right for you.

Although GNM status does not guarantee admission to the Online MPH program, you may apply up to 12 credits toward degree requirements if you later apply and are admitted to the Online MPH program.

To apply to be a GNM student, you must submit an online application through the Graduate School during the regular application period. Choose:

Application Type: Graduate Non-Matriculated

Program Name: Health Systems and Population Health (MPH – Online Degree Program)

You can start as a GNM student any quarter. Below are the deadlines to apply for GNM status in order to start the following quarter. 

Program Schedule 20222023

To Begin Apply By
Autumn Quarter 2022 August 29, 2022
Winter Quarter 2023 December 5, 2022
Spring Quarter 2023 February 27, 2023
Summer Quarter 2023 May 22, 2023

For more information, see the Department of Health Systems and Population Health's Graduate Nonmatriculated and Nonmatriculated Status page or contact us to discuss your options.