Admissions FAQs: HSPop MPH

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We hope UW Health Systems and Population Health Master of Public Health (MPH) applicants are able to find answers to their questions here. Frequently asked questions are organized by topics.


Admission application deadlines and details can be found on the Health Systems and Population Health MPH admissions page.

Why do I have to submit applications through two separate application portals?

HSPop MPH program applicants must submit applications to both the UW Graduate School and SOPHAS.

The Schools of Public Health Application System (SOPHAS) is used by many public health schools in the nation. The UW School of Public Health requires that all MPH programs use this application portal. Most application materials will be submitted to SOPHAS.

As a public university, however, the UW must adhere to state law for student and applicant records, and the UW Graduate School is also required to have an application for each and every applicant in our application system. This will serve as a supplemental application.

How many students begin the program each year?

Around 40 students are in each cohort.

Does the program accept transfer credits?

The program may accept up to six transfer credits that have not been applied to a previous graduate degree. A total of 63 course credits are required to complete the Health Systems and Population Health MPH degree. It is also possible to waive out of certain courses or to replace them with advanced courses because of previous experience. This cannot be guaranteed beforehand, and arrangements are coordinated once the student is enrolled in the program.

Are GRE scores required?

The GRE is no longer required.

Submission of GRE scores is optional for students who feel that their scores are a better representation of their current academic preparedness for the program than their transcripts.

See the Health Systems and Population Health MPH admissions webpage for details.

What happens if an applicant misses the application deadline?

Late applications will be accepted through the end of the next business day following the deadline.

We understand that applicants occasionally experience difficulties beyond their control. If an applicant is unable to submit their application by the deadline, they should NOT contact the UW Graduate Admissions. They should email us ( about their situation, and we will work with them to help resolve it.

Which MPH concentration should applicants select?

Applicants who know their dominant interests are in one of the three concentrations should select it when applying. Noting the concentration better ensures that their application will be reviewed by faculty with similar interests.

The generalist option is for applicants whose focus is not in one of the two formal concentrations. Generalist is an excellent choice for students who want to individualize a course of study by choosing from the wide selection of courses offered by the UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health (HSPop) and the School of Public Health (SPH).

If admitted students change preference for concentration during their course of study, they may petition to switch to a different concentration.

Please Note: Apply to only ONE concentration. DO NOT submit multiple applications for different concentrations in a single application cycle.

Should applicants apply to more than one concentration in this MPH program?

No. Please apply to only ONE concentration. Admitted students do have the option to switch concentrations after they’re admitted to the program.

DO NOT submit multiple applications for different concentrations during in a single application cycle.

Can applicants defer acceptance to the next year?

Admission deferrals are only allowed for students who were accepted in a dual program at UW.

If applicants receive an offer of admission and are unable to attend, they will need to reapply for a future term. The process is simplified for those re-applying because only a few application items need renewal: a revised statement of purpose, current resume or curriculum vitae (CV), and one new letter of recommendation.

While admission is not guaranteed, most applicants who receive an offer are competitive again in the following year.

Does the MPH program require post-baccalaureate work experience before applying?

Applicants are not required to have post-baccalaureate work experience, and some students who just completed an undergraduate degree are admitted each year. In those situations, applicants usually have an undergraduate degree in public health or a related field, along with internships and other experiences that have informed their decision to apply to the Health Systems and Population Health MPH program.

Additional experience does strengthen an application and can also enhance students’ experiences in the programs.

Most accepted applicants have at least two or three years of relevant work and volunteer experience.

What is the process for applying for a concurrent degree, such as a M.D.?

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 our MPH program.

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Can graduate non-matriculated (GNM) students take Health Systems and Population Health MPH courses?

It may be possible to take certain courses as a non-matriculated student. Read the information on graduate non-matriculated (GNM), and contact the MPH program coordinator ( to discuss options.

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Neither the HSPop department nor the UW School of Public Health have the capacity to provide campus tours. However, you can find in-person and virtual tours on the UW’s campus tours page.

For information on sitting in on a class, view the Health Systems and Population Health MPH contact page.

Program Information

More detailed information about the Health Systems and Population Health MPH program is in the about and program experience section of our website.

Can students complete this MPH program part-time?

The MPH program is intended to be completed in 2 years in a full-time format. It is sometimes possible to extend this period, due to unforeseeable circumstances, but applicants who need more flexible study should consider the UW Online Master of Public Health (MPH).

Does the department offer other MPH programs?

The UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health (HSPop) within the School of Public Health also offers two additional Master of Public Health (MPH) programs. All of our MPH programs train students for influential careers as leaders in public health practice and research, health promotion, and/or health policy.

Beyond our department, the UW School of Public Health offers several other MPH programs.

How does an MPH differ from an M.S. degree?

The Health Systems and Population Health Master of Science is pursued by some of the more research-oriented HSPop students. It also offers an optional clinical pathway available to students in certain fellowship programs.

Health Systems and Population Health M.S. students are mentored by many of the same faculty. However, the M.S. degree does not require the public health practicum and has fewer public health course requirements. These differences leave more time to pursue advanced research courses.

Cost and Financial Support

Please find costs and financial support information on the Health Services MPH cost and aid page.

International and Undocumented Applicants

We welcome applications from international and/or undocumented applicants. Learn more about the details and requirements on the UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health (HSPop) website.