How to Apply

Admission to Iowa’s undergraduate public health majors is selective.

There are two ways to join the major: through Direct Admission or Standard Admission.

At this time, you can only start the major in the fall semester, through one of the following processes.

Direct Admission – for students coming directly out of high school only

Direct admission is designed for students applying to the University of Iowa as first-year students for the fall semester. If you meet the high school course requirements and present an ACT composite score of 26 or higher (or a combined SAT critical reading and math score of 1170 or higher) and a high school g.p.a. of at least 3.60, you will be strongly considered for direct admission to the college. Applicants who do not meet these criteria but present strong academic records will also be carefully considered.

Apply to the College of Public Health now by visiting the First-Year Student Application Process page, which also details application deadlines, fees, and how to send your test scores to us.

Students granted direct admission to the college are eligible to apply for College of Public Health first-year scholarships. The scholarship application process is competitive and is based on high school record and short essay responses. More information about first-year scholarships available from the College of Public Health can be found at the Iowa Scholarship Portal.

If you are not admitted to the College of Public Health through Direct Admission, but still want to study public health, don’t worry!

Students who are denied direct admission may file a petition for Denial of Admission to the College of Public Health.

First-year students not admitted directly to the College of Public Health may be admitted to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as a public health interest student and can gain admission to the major through the standard admissions process during their first year.

Standard Admission – For High School, Current UI, and Transfer Students

ALL students at the University of Iowa are eligible to apply to the public health major if they have satisfied the prerequisites below; you do not need to be a public health interest student to apply for standard admission. However, you MUST apply for the major in order to be admitted, you may not just simply declare the major without applying through standard admission. Admission into the public health major is for fall semesters only.

In order to apply, students interested in admission to the College of Public Health must complete the online application for current UI students changing colleges by February 1.

You MUST meet the following requirements by the end of the semester in which you intend to apply:

  • completion of at least 12 s.h. at the University of Iowa;
  • completion of CPH:1400 Fundamentals of Public Health or CPH:2099 Fundamentals of Public Health with a grade of B or higher;
  • completion of CPH:1600 Public Health Science: Inquiry and Investigation in Public Health with a grade of B- or higher; and
  • a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 2.75 in all courses taken at the University of Iowa and in all college-level course work attempted.

Please note that you can take CPH:1400 and CPH:1600 during the same semester that you are applying for the major, you don’t have to have the classes completed before submitting your application.

Students who are denied standard admission may for Denial of Admission to the College of Public Health.

A special note for transfer students: Applications by transfer students for direct admission to the public health major are not being accepted at this time. Transfer students interested in applying to the public health major should declare a public health interest in CLAS and apply through standard admission after completing the prerequisites. Please contact Katie McCullough (katie-mccullough@uiowa.edu) for more information.


Questions or comments? Contact Katie McCullough. This page was last reviewed on August 28, 2017.