How to Apply

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

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 who will start in 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 EBRW+M 1230*/CR+M 1170** or higher) and a high school g.p.a. of at least 3.60, you will be directly admitted to the college as a public health major. Applicants who meet course requirements and either the test score or GPA requirement also will be carefully considered.

* combined evidence-based reading & writing and math SAT score for test taken after March 1, 2016
**combined critical reading and math SAT score for tests taken prior to March 1, 2016

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, you may file a petition for 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.

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 May 1 (for fall semester starts) or December 1 (for spring semester starts).

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 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 file an appeal for 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 Margaret Chorazy (margaret-chorazy@uiowa.edu) for more information.


Questions or comments? Contact Margaret Chorazy. This page was last reviewed on October 16, 2019.