How to Apply to the MPH Program

Please review these detailed instructions and requirements for applying to the University of Iowa Master of Public Health Program.

If you are an prospective undergraduate, please refer to the How to Apply page for the Undergraduate to MPH program (Undergraduate to Grad).


You are eligible to apply to the MPH Program if you have met the following requirements:

  • You must have earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.
  • You must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0.
  • GRE preferences: The MPH Program considers someone who is at or above the national average to be a strongly competitive applicant. National averages are: verbal 151 and quantitative 152. If you took the exam prior to August 1, 2011, the national average was: verbal 467 and quantitative 591. The following scores may be substituted for the GRE: MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, DAT, GMAT, VCAT. Due to the closure of GRE test centers because of COVID-19, submission of the GRE is optional for summer and fall 2020 applicants. 
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students except permanent residents or those who have earned a degree from an accredited institution in the US, Canada (except Quebec), Australia, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom. The minimum recommended scores are 100 for TOEFL and 7.0 for IELTS.

Application Deadlines

Student Type Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester
US Citizens April 15 N/A April 15
International Applicants April 15 N/A April 15
Combined Degree Applicants (MD/MPH, PharmD/MPH, DVM/MPH, JD/MPH) April 15 November 1 April 15
Practicing Veterinarians March 1
Undergrad to Grad February 1 N/A February 1

Scholarship preference for applicants who apply by March 1.

Application Requirements

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

Step 1: SOPHAS or SOPHAS Express (MD/MPH, PharmD/MPH, JD/MPH) Application

SOPHAS requirements: All applicants except for students who have already been admitted to the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Law, or Pharmacy) must apply through SOPHAS at You will be required to:

  • Complete an application
  • Domestic transcripts:
    • Provide official transcripts showing all previous undergraduate, graduate, and professional work.
    • Send your transcripts to both SOPHAS and to our Graduate Admissions Office.
    • If you are still working toward a degree at the time of application, send your transcripts to SOPHAS, but wait until your degree is conferred to send your transcript to our Graduate Admissions Office.
    • UI transcripts must be sent to SOPHAS, but do not need to be sent to the UI Graduate Admissions Office.
  • International transcripts:
    • International transcripts should be evaluated by World Education Service (WES) and submitted to SOPHAS. They do not need to be sent separately to the University of Iowa unless requested.
    • International applicants must have the equivalent of a U.S baccalaureate degree to be considered for admission.
  • Provide official GRE scores (the University of Iowa SOPHAS GRE code is 0658). The following scores may be substituted for the GRE: MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, DAT, GMAT, VCAT. Due to the closure of GRE test centers because of COVID-19, submission of the GRE is optional for summer and fall 2020 applicants. 
    • Please note: GRE and MCAT scores can be sent directly to SOPHAS; other standardized test will need to have an unofficial copy uploaded, and the official copy must be sent to the University of Iowa Graduate Admissions Office
  • 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 in application on SOPHAS. We recommend letters of reference from your academic experiences, but we also accept professional references.
  • Upload your resume or CV
  • Write a personal statement. In your statement, please address the following questions (1,500-word limit):
    • Students must choose and apply to one Program of Study or combined degree within the MPH Program. Which are you applying to and why?
    • How does the required coursework for the Program of Study you are pursuing match up with what you hope to learn and achieve throughout the program?
    • In detail, please describe: your exposure to, training in, and/or work experiences within public health?
    • How does the MPH degree relate to your career goals?
  • International applicants must provide their TOEFL scores.

SOPHAS Express requirements: For students who have been admitted to the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Pharmacy or Law, you must apply through SOPHAS Express. If you are in one of these professional programs at another institution, you must apply through SOPHAS to the MPH for Professionals Program. Contact Lexie Just ( with questions.

  • Complete the application
  • Submit names and email address for 3 letter writers
  • Upload personal statement
  • Upload resume or cv
  • Upload unofficial standardized test scores (MCAT, PCAT, or LSAT) and unofficial transcripts

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 supplemental University of Iowa fee. 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 Lexie Just. This page was last reviewed on March 23, 2020.