Illini Union

Community Health:

Master of Public Health

Assess community needs. Develop innovative solutions. Implement impactful programs and policies. Focus on prevention. Build stronger, healthier communities.

Application Requirements

Summary of Application requirements*

campus street with students crossing

*Application requirements for the MPH portion of joint degree programs including MPH-MBA, MPH-MUP, and MPH-PhD are same as the MPH program.

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.

Official Transcripts

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. 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.

Personal Statement

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 Master of Public Health-related experience including volunteer time, paid work, internships, coursework, and pertinent training
  • Share unique personal qualities, characteristics, and/or skills you believe will enable you to be successful in the program.
  • If desired, share information to explain anything unusual in your transcripts or resume

Helpful Resources:

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 teambuilding 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.

Guidelines for writing letters of recommendation

(Applicants may share these guidelines with their letter writers).

Letter conventions

  • 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)

Beginning with the Fall 2021 application cycle, 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, the scores may provide helpful supporting information in some cases. 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.

Helpful Resources:


English Language Proficiency

If you are from a non-English speaking country, you are required to show English Proficiency as measured by the TOEFL or IEFLTS exams. Our graduate college requires a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 103 or greater (IELTS > 7.5) for full status admission. Detailed requirements for the TOEFL/IELTS (including exemption information) are outlined here.

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 visa requirement information and detailed statement of the financial resources that will enable you to live in the US for the duration of your studies at the University of Illinois. You will find the Declaration and Certification of Finances form and related information here.

See additional information regarding international applicant requirements.

Contact Information

  • MPH Program
  • Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
  • 1206 S. Fourth Street
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • Phone: 217-300-0330
  • Email:

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