Admissions: HSPop MPH

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The Master of Public Health (MPH) program in Health Systems and Population Health attracts and welcomes scholars from diverse backgrounds who have a passion for public health practice and research.

All applications are reviewed as part of a holistic admissions process. The admissions committee considers several factors including the applicant’s interest in public health, academic background, letters of recommendation, professional experience, transcripts, career goals, and more.

Biostatistics and epidemiology are core courses for the HSPop MPH program; therefore, it is important that students demonstrate strong prior quantitative performance. Some applicants take additional coursework in algebra or statistics to bolster their preparedness in this area.

Autumn 2025: Application Timeline

Application Opens: September 1
Application Deadline: December 1
Applicants Notified of Admissions Decisions: Mid-February

The program is no longer accepting applications for Autumn 2024 entry.

Admissions FAQs

Application Steps

Students must complete an online application with SOPHAS, a system for applying to public health programs in the United States, AND an application with the UW Graduate School. We recommend beginning the application process early to ensure all requirements are completed on time.

Step One: Research the Program

Review Our Website and Concentrations

Learn as much as you can about our focus, format, and program expectations to consider if the program is right for you.

You can only select ONE concentration and submit ONE application a year to the program. DO NOT apply for multiple concentrations within the program during a single admissions cycle.

Meet Eligibility Criteria

Applicants who meet the following qualifications tend to be more successful in the admissions process:

  • High academic standing (undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher)
  • Degree in a field related to health services and public health
  • Ability to demonstrate a strong connection between past training progression, potential to succeed in the program, and rationale for how the program will contribute to their career development
  • Strong service orientation
  • Unique and diverse background and experiences
  • Awareness of health inequities, their manifestation, and their own role in the system
  • Quantitative readiness

International and/or Undocumented Applicants

We welcome international and/or undocumented applicants. To learn more about applying to the University of Washington and available financial options, visit our department’s student resources page.

Understand Concurrent Degree Options

Applicants interested in MPH concurrent degree programs should (in most cases) apply to the other program first. If accepted to the other program, students work with that program to determine the appropriate time to subsequently apply to the Health Services MPH program.

Concurrent degree options are available for Health Services MPH students with the following UW degrees:

  • Master of Social Work (MSW) from UW School of Social Work
  • Master of Urban Planning (MUP) from UW College of Built Environments
  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) with UW School of Medicine
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA) with UW Evans School of Public Policy & Governance
Learn More

Attend an Information Session

We highly recommend prospective applicants attend one of our monthly information sessions on Zoom which include time for questions and answers at the end.

For many applicants, the online information session is the most efficient way to learn details about the program, research, admissions, etc. while also hearing questions they might not think to ask.

Information Sessions

Questions? Contact Us or Book an Advising Appointment

For questions about the program and the application process, please email us (

Or to schedule a prospective student advising appointment over Zoom, use the link below.

Step Two: Prepare to Apply

Draft written materials, obtain unofficial transcripts, designate people to write letters of recommendation, and apply early for fee waivers.

General Application Materials

Unofficial AND Official Transcripts

Application: SOPHAS and UW Graduate School

Unofficial transcripts are needed for the UW Graduate School, and official transcripts are needed for SOPHAS. You may omit transcripts that are redundant or irrelevant to this degree, such as minor transcripts for coursework that is irrelevant to the program.

Obtain unofficial transcripts from each college or university where you earned a degree or completed relevant coursework. Download unofficial transcripts or scan printed copies. UW will request official transcripts when an offer of admission is made (international applicants) or accepted (domestic applicants).

For SOPHAS applications, you will need to order official transcripts from each collegiate level institution attended. Details can be found on the SOPHAS website.

SOPHAS: Transcripts

List of Coursework (Transcript Entry)

Application: SOPHAS

The SOPHAS application requires applicants both to order official transcripts AND manually enter all coursework exactly as it is listed on official college level transcripts. This process takes a significant amount of time, and we recommend entering this information as early as possible.

Bypass Info

GRE Scores (optional)

Application: SOPHAS

The GRE is no longer required! However, if applicants think their GRE scores are a better representation of academic preparedness for the program than their transcripts, they may include their GRE scores.

If applicants choose to submit GRE scores, they must self-report them in the online application with SOPHAS AND have scores sent directly to SOPHAS from the Educational Testing Service using the institutional code below. Scores from the testing services must arrive by the application deadline to be considered.

UW Institution Code with SOPHAS: 4943


Proof of English Language Proficiency (select students)

Application: SOPHAS and UW Graduate School

Applicants whose first language is not English might need to share proof of English language proficiency. Only scores less than two years old at the time of the application deadline will be accepted.

Test scores must be sent directly to the UW by the Educational Testing Service using the UW institution code.

UW Institution Code: 4854

Letters of Recommendation

Application: SOPHAS

Number Needed: 3

Identify three people who will write letters of recommendation, such as academic advisors, professors, supervisors, or mentors. Recommenders should be familiar with your academic goals and potential for achieving those goals. These letters should address the general topic of your suitability for the program and should mention how recommenders know you and for how long.

Requests for the letters will be sent out via SOPHAS. You will need to provide names, emails, due date, and 500-word personal message to the recommenders. The recommenders will receive an email that directs them to a secure website where they will submit their letters.

You will be able to return to the online application to check whether letters have been submitted. You are expected to be in contact with each recommender to make sure that the letters are submitted by the application deadline (noted at the top of this page).

Please note: These letters are used for all programs you apply to through the online SOPHAS application. If the programs you are applying to include the UW Community-Oriented Public Health Practice Master of Public Health (COPHP MPH) program, one recommender must be an academic reference who can specifically speak to your readiness for graduate school.

Update Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Application: SOPHAS

Make sure your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) are up to date and inclusive of any public health experience you might have, such as conference presentations, publications, mentoring, volunteering, and other unpaid experience.

Request a Fee Waiver (optional)

You can request a fee waiver from SOPHAS as well as the UW Graduate School.

If you requested an application fee waiver, DO NOT submit your application until you receive approval or denial for the fee waiver. You cannot get reimbursed after paying the application fee. Contact us if you have questions about fee waivers.

Learn More

Application IDs

Application: SOPHAS and UW Graduate School

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

Both application portals provide the following:

  • 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 either order, although you will not be able to complete either application until the two are linked.

Essay Prompts Required by the UW School of Public Health

These essays will be viewed by all UW MPH programs that you apply to.

Personal History Statement

Application: SOPHAS

Limit: 500 words max

The Personal History Statement is meant to give you the opportunity to offer a narrative of your lived experiences, and obstacles you may have overcome and how these have guided you towards an interest in 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; your socioeconomic conditions; and your experiences growing up, including successes, challenges, and moments of learning and growth.

Please do not feel compelled to provide personal information you would rather not share.

Write an Equity, Diversity, and Anti-Racism Statement

Application: SOPHAS

Limit: 350 words max

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are core values of the School of Public Health. We seek to create a community of students inclusive of and in service to underrepresented populations.

The School is committed to anti-racism and strives to adopt anti-racist principles both in the classroom and in our work. How would you contribute to these efforts while in the program and in the future as a working professional?

Please review the UW School of Public Health EDI Statement for more information.

Essay Prompts Unique to the Online MPH Program

Statement of Purpose

Application: SOPHAS

Limit: 1,800 characters max (277-360 words)

Your Statement of Purpose is intended to give you the opportunity to describe your education, prior work/volunteer experience, and/or professional career goals and how the HSPop MPH program will help you meet them.

Academic Preparation (optional)

Application: SOPHAS

Limit: 1,000 characters max

Is there anything that is not obvious in your transcript or resume that you would like to share that would indicate preparation for the writing and quantitative demands of the program.

Concurrent Degrees/Fellowships

Application: SOPHAS

Applicants who intend to pursue the MPH as a concurrent degree with another UW program, should indicate which UW program and their current status with respect to that program. (Please enter NA if not applicable)

Applicants currently with UW fellowship, should indicate which UW fellowship and their current status with respect to that program. (Please enter NA if not applicable)

Learn More

HSEED Award (optional)

Application: SOPHAS

Limit: 1,800 characters max

Award Amount: Up to $5,000

The Health Systems Excellence, Equity and Distinction (HSEED) Award offers up to $5,000 to one incoming student with funds distributed over a 9-month period.

Before starting your application, learn about the HSEED Award and eligibility criteria. You will need to describe how you are eligible for the HSEED Award based on the eligibility criteria.

The recipient will be notified before Autumn quarter begins.

HSEED Eligibility Criteria

Step Three: Apply Online

You will need to create accounts with the UW Graduate School AND SOPHAS, a system for applying to public health programs in the United States. You can create accounts in either order, but you will not be able to submit either application until the two are linked.

The UW School of Public Health Application FAQs also address questions about SOPHAS.

UW Application

Create an account with or sign into the UW Graduate School application system and follow the prompts for new or returning applicants.

Start Here

UW Graduate School Application Sections and Materials

SOPHAS Application

SOPHAS Overview: Information and materials reported in the following sections are shared among all SOPHAS applications — Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information.

Materials submitted in the Program Materials section are unique to the Online MPH application.

Start Here

SOPHAS Application Sections and Materials

SOPHAS Manual Transcript Entry Bypass

PLEAE NOTE: The SOPHAS application requires you to both order official transcripts AND manually enter all coursework exactly as it is listed on official college level transcripts. This process takes a significant amount of time, and you should plan to enter this information as early as possible.

We understand the accessibility issues posed by the requirement to manually enter all course work in addition to providing official transcripts. Because of this, we have provided a bypass option for select situations.

You can only use the bypass option if you are applying to the following programs:

  • Community-Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP) MPH
  • Health Systems and Population Health MPH
  • Online MPH

DO NOT use the bypass option if applying to other programs in the department, UW School of Public Health, or other universities.

Bypass for Manual Transcript Entry

You are eligible to bypass the manual entry, IF you are applying to any of the programs listed above in the UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health (HSPop) AND no other programs.

How to Bypass: You can manually add only one course to the transcript entry section and upload unofficial transcripts later in the application (in the Documents section under the Program Materials section).

When using the bypass option, someone from SOPHAS might contact you about your manual transcript entry being incomplete.