How to Apply to Community and Behavioral Health

Please review these detailed instructions and requirements for applying to the University of Iowa Department of Community and Behavioral Health.

Admission Requirements

The department bases admissions decisions on:

  • An applicant’s academic potential as demonstrated through grade point average, test scores and academic and personal 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.

PhD in Community and Behavioral Health

  • You must have earned a graduate degree in a related field.
  • You must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.4.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who achieve at least a GRE verbal score of 154 and quantitative score of 150 and a writing score of 4. Scores must be less than five years old.
  • Students whose native language is not English must score at least 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, or 100 Internet-based on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); or 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with no subscore lower than 6.0.

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for fall semester enrollment is Jan. 15.  Applications are not accepted for spring semester, and applications for summer are not encouraged.

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 at 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 undergraduate 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
  • Provide official GRE scores (the University of Iowa SOPHAS GRE code is 0658). Scores must be less than 5 years old.
  • International Applicants must provide TOEFL scores.
  • Provide Three (3) Letters of Reference. These letters are submitted by your letter writers through SOPHAS. Detailed instructions on how these letters are submitted can be found here.  We recommend letters of reference from your academic experiences, but we also accept professional references.
  • Upload your resume or CV
  • Provide your master’s thesis (for Ph.D. applicants only. Applicants who did not complete a thesis should submit a sample of scholarly writing).
  • 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.

Questions or comments? Contact Torrie Malichky. This page was last reviewed on November 30, 2016.