How to Apply to the Ph.D. in Community and Behavioral Health

Please review these detailed instructions and requirements for applying to the Ph.D. program in Community and Behavioral Health. The application portal will open early fall semester each year. (Note: MPH in Community and Behavioral Health applicants should review the MPH admissions page.)

Admission Requirements

The department bases admissions decisions on:

  • An applicant’s academic potential as demonstrated through grade point average, as well as academic and professional references
  • An applicant’s motivation and interest in an area of community and behavioral health as demonstrated by prior experience and the statement of purpose. In addition, Ph.D. admissions decisions are strongly affected by an applicant’s fit with the research interests of the Community and Behavioral Health faculty.
  • Preference is given to applicants who contact a primary faculty member by December 1, 2024, to discuss interests.

PhD in Community and Behavioral Health

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for fall semester enrollment is Jan. 15.  Applications are not accepted for spring or summer semesters.

Application Requirements

A complete application and therefore one that will be reviewed by the admissions committee consists of the following 2 steps.

Step 1: Schools of Public Health (SOPHAS) Application

All domestic and international applicants must apply through SOPHAS. You will be required to:

  • Complete an application
  • Provide official transcripts showing all previous undergraduate, graduate, and professional work with grades and degrees. If you are still working towards your degree at the time of application, you will be required to send in your transcripts twice: once to SOPHAS at the time of application and a second time to our Graduate Admissions Office once your graduate degree is conferred by your current institution.
    • A note for International Students: SOPHAS only accepts WES-evaluated transcripts. However, the University of Iowa does NOT accept WES evaluated transcripts. Therefore, you MUST send a separate official transcript to University of Iowa Office of International Graduate Admissions. Please click here for the address
  • International Applicants must provide TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores.
  • Provide Three (3) Letters of Reference. These letters are submitted by your letter writers through SOPHAS. We recommend letters of reference from your academic experiences, but we also accept professional references.
  • Upload your resume or CV
  • Applicants must provide a writing sample, such as a thesis, major paper, or research paper for which they are the sole author or explain their role in a multi-author writing sample.
  • Write a personal statement. Please address the following questions in a two- to three-page essay, typed and double-spaced. Provide equal time to each question, and in your answers use as much detail as possible, and use specific examples:
    • Describe your specific areas of interest within Community and Behavioral Health.
    • Which primary faculty members in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health do you think most closely share your areas of interest?
    • What previous experiences have influenced your decision to pursue a degree in Community and Behavioral Health?
    • How do you see yourself using this degree in the five years following graduation?

Step 2: Set up UI account and pay supplemental University of Iowa fee

  • Once you have submitted all your materials to SOPHAS and your transcripts have been verified, you will receive an email from the University of Iowa which will provide you with detailed instructions on setting up a University of Iowa account and paying the $60 supplemental University of Iowa fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants). Your application will be reviewed once this step is complete.
  • All students (except those whose undergraduate degree was conferred at the University of Iowa), will need to send their final transcript (showing degree conferral) to the Office of Graduate admissions.