Division of
Public Health

College of Human Medicine

Applying to the Master of Public Health (MPH) as an International Applicant

Thank you for your interest in Michigan State University’s (MSU) Master of Public Health program!  The diversity brought to MSU’s courses and campus by international students is so important.  The university feels privileged to accommodate so many international students every year.

Please note: due to the online nature of the MPH program, international applicants are unable to obtain through our program the I-20 necessary for a student visa to study in the United States. International applicants must be able to complete our program from their home country unless they are currently in the United States with an unrestricted visa. Please contact the Office for International Students and Scholars for more information on visa restrictions and online learning.

Office for International Students and Scholars
(517) 353-1720

Residents of Canada: Michigan State University is unable to offer online-only programs to residents of Canada.  Residents of Canada are unable to apply for MSU's MPH program.  For more information, please visit https://esp.msu.edu/stateauth.asp or call the MPH office. 

MasterCard Foundation Scholarship: This scholarship will not cover the cost of completing online programs.  Applicants who are reliant on this scholarship cannot apply to the Master of Public Health degree as it is an online-only degree program.  Applicants who are reliant on this scholarship may search for on-campus programs by visiting the Academic Programs Catalog.  Please contact the individual programs directly to ensure their on-campus presence.

Please contact mcfs@msu.edu for more information.


International applicants can find more information on the Graduate School website, https://grad.msu.edu/internationalapplicants.


Unfortunately, the Master of Public Health program is not offering any scholarships or assistantships at this time.  Please access the resources below to research different funding opportunities.  Please note: international applicants are not eligible to apply for federal financial aid.

The Graduate School: https://grad.msu.edu/funding

Office for International Students and Scholars: http://oiss.isp.msu.edu/students/financial.htm

The Office of Financial Aid:https://finaid.msu.edu/internat.asp

Master of Public Health Application Requirements

International applicants are encouraged to have all application materials submitted at least four months prior to the specified deadline of the semester for which they are applying.

* International undergraduates may submit an application to the MPH program, however, it is not recommended. Admission decisions are contingent upon receiving official, degree-granting transcripts. The applicant’s degree must be granted within three consecutive semesters of the semester for which they applied.  International applicants who do apply prior to degree conferral will be expected to submit official transcripts twice: once for application review by the MPH Admissions Committee, and once after their degree has been granted.


Additional Requirements for International Applicants

 Application Deadlines



Classes Begin

Application Deadlines

Recommended Application Deadlines for International Applicants


Late August

May 31, 11:59p.m.

January 31, 11:59p.m.



September 30, 11:59p.m.   

May 31, 11:59p.m.



February 28, 11:59p.m.

October 31, 11:59p.m.


 Application Steps

1.  Submit the Appropriate Application

Applicants access the MSU Application for Graduate Study, complete the application, and pay the application fee.

  • For questions regarding financial hardship and application fees, applicants should reference the Graduate School website, https://grad.msu.edu/application-fee-waiver. Please note: the Master of Public Health does not pay application fees for prospective students.

It is imperative applicants provide a valid e-mail address as decision letters are sent via e-mail.

An MSU applicant ID number is provided after submission of the appropriate application. This is needed for submission of application requirements specific to the Master of Public Health program.


2.  Create a Login to the Graduate Application Portal

Applicants create a login to the graduate application portal following the directions received by e-mail. The applicant ID number (provided with submission of an MSU application) is required.

Applicants who have submitted their application and have not received an e-mail with instructions regarding their applicant portal, should contact the university’s Office of Admissions at (517) 355-8332. The Office of Admissions should also be contacted if difficulties with the applicant portal arise during the application process.


3.  Submit Application Materials Required by the Master of Public Health Degree Program

Applicants must submit the following materials using the graduate application portal:  

Three Letters of recommendation

  • Recommendation letters must come from academic or professional references. The Admissions Committee does not accept letters written from personal references.
    • The Admissions Committee encourages applicants to request letters from multiple sources if possible.  Although this is not a requirement, as the Admissions Committee understands this may not always be possible, they prefer not to see all three letters of recommendation come from the same place of employment or the same academic program.
  • Letters of recommendation from academic or professional references must be submitted on the organization's letterhead.  References who cannot obtain official letterhead should reach out to the MPH program office at mph_generalinformation@hc.msu.edu.
  • Recommendation letters must be written within one year of the date of application.
  • The Admissions Committee looks for letters of recommendation that address the following topics:
    • The applicant’s academic or professional capabilities
    • The applicant’s leadership skills
    • The applicant’s work ethic
    • The applicant’s ability to successfully complete graduate level work
    • The applicant’s personal qualities consistent with professionalism and teamwork
    • Any significant actions or accomplishments
  • Letters of recommendation must be submitted directly to the applicant's portal by the letter writer or through a secure letter service such as Interfolio. Letters uploaded by applicants will not be accepted.
    • Applicants input the e-mail addresses of their recommenders within their portal.  The system then sends the letter writer an e-mail with instructions on how they can upload their letter directly to the applicant's portal.

Personal statement 

  • The personal statement should be a concise, well-written document discussing the applicant's interest in public health and how their experiences (personal and professional) have influenced that interest. It is recommended that applicants discuss how their career goals align with public health and their pursuit of an MPH.
  • The personal statement does not have to be submitted on the university application. If the applicant does not submit their personal statement on the university application, it must be uploaded to their applicant portal.
  • The personal statement has no minimum length requirement.

Resume or CV 

  • The Admissions Committee highly recommends applicants include volunteer experience on their resume.

Academic statement (not required)

  • Applicants are provided the opportunity to submit an academic statement if they feel they have experienced an academic situation that they would like to explain to the Admissions Committee. This option is highly recommended if an applicant has a less than a 3.0 GPA, individual semesters with poor performance, multiple withdrawals, less than preferable standardized graduate or professional school test scores, etc.   

Test scores form a standardized graduate or professional school test

  • Test scores cannot be more than five years old.
  • Examples of test scores accepted: GRE, GMAT, MCAT, DAT, LSAT, etc.
  • Scores above the 50th percentile preferred.
  • To upload test scores, applicants may take a screenshot from the official testing website and upload it to their applicant portal as a PDF document.
    • The screenshot must include the applicant's full name, test date, overall score, and all subset scores.
    • Applicants may also request their scores to be sent directly to MSU by using the institution code 1465.
  • A waiver may be requested for this requirement if an applicant has a previously conferred graduate or professional degree.  The waiver request form can be downloaded here: MPH Waiver Request Form.  Applicants upload the completed waiver request under the file type "Test Score" in their applicant portal.


Applicants must submit the following materials directly to the MPH program or the MSU Office of Admissions:

Official transcripts directly from the institution   

  • Via mail to: Admission and Enrollment Management Office, Master of Public Health, Division of Public Health, Michigan State University, 200 East 1st Street, Flint, MI 48502
    • Hard copy transcripts must arrive to our office in an envelope sealed by the institution's registrar. Transcripts that have been opened by the student are deemed unofficial and will not be accepted.
  • Electronically: through the use of a secure transcript service such as AVOW (powered by Parchment) or eSCRIP-SAFE directly to MSU Office of Admissions (admis@msu.edu).
  • International transcripts:
    • May only be requested to be sent via mail.  Electronic international transcripts will not be accepted.
      • Official transcripts and diplomas must arrive in envelopes sealed officially by the issuing institution.
    • Some international institutions only issue original transcripts and diplomas to the student one time.  Applicants should NOT send their original transcripts or diplomas to the Office of Admissions as they cannot be returned to the applicant.  Applicants should contact the MPH office (MPH_GeneralInformation@hc.msu.edu) to discuss their options in this situation.
    • Official transcripts and diplomas not issued in English should be accompanied by an official, word-for-word, English translation.
    • An attested copy of the diploma must also be requested directly from the institution.
    • Michigan State University does not accept WES evaluations or any other report from a credential evaluation agency in lieu of official sealed transcripts from the applicant's institution.
    • Transcripts issued by higher education institutions in mainland China require an official verification report from the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) (www.cdgdc.edu.cn). This official verification report must come to the MSU Office of Admissions in an official sealed, unopened envelope from the CDGDC – the applicant is not to open the official sealed envelope as that will make the transcripts unacceptable.

Michigan State University
Office of Admissions
426 Auditorium Road, Room 250
East Lansing, MI 48824

International applicants must request official English language proficiency test scores be sent using the institution code: 1465.

  • Test scores cannot be more than five years old.
  • Examples of test scores accepted: TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB, MSUELT, PTE A.
  • University test score minimums for English language proficiency scores can be found here, https://grad.msu.edu/sites/default/files/content/apply/ENGLISH%20LANGUAGE%20PROFICIENCY.pdf.
  • A waiver for the English language proficiency test requirement may be requested for situations defined by the Graduate School.  The waiver request form can be downloaded here: MPH Waiver Request Form.  There is no guarantee waiver requests will be approved except in the following circumstances:
    • International applicants who earned their bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution.
    • International applicants who earned a master’s degree at an AAU institution on a U.S. campus (http://www.aau.edu/about/default.aspx?id=16710).  In this case previous English language proficiency test scores are helpful but not required.
    • Applicants may contact us with questions regarding specific situations. 

Application Status

Questions regarding application status are to be directed through the application portal e-messaging system. 

Direct any questions or issues with the application portal to the Office of Admissions at (517) 355-8332.




MPH Degree

small degreeThank you for your interest in the online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Michigan State University. All of the courses offered within this degree are all delivered in an online learning environment. There are no on-campus courses offered as part of the MPH degree.

Apply Today!

State Authorization: Distance Education Restrictions Based on Permanent Residence

Michigan State University is obligated to comply with existing state laws regarding distance education (programs/departments offering courses delivered exclusively online). State laws regarding distance education vary state-by-state, and even program-by-program within a state. The Master of Public Health offered through the College of Human Medicine’s Division of Public Health at Michigan State University requires a practicum experience that constitutes a physical presence in some states, therefore restricting enrollment in our program to residents of those states.

Prior to applying, please visit, https://esp.msu.edu/StateSummary.pdf, for the most up-to-date approved and restricted states.  For more information, please visit MSU's State Authorization website, https://reg.msu.edu/ROInfo/StateAuthInfo.aspx.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Contact Us:

Online Master of
Public Health Degree Office

200 East 1st Street
Flint, MI 48502
(810) 600-5601
(810) 600-5699

CHM Student Resolution Advocate