Core Disciplines of Public Health Graduate Certificate Application Requirements

  • Application through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS)
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university*
    • MSU does not accept a bachelor's of applied science for this requirement. CURRENTLY ENROLLED Non-MSU undergraduates are welcome to submit an application. Admission decisions are contingent upon receiving official, degree-granting transcripts.
  • Official transcripts from each post-secondary university attended, including MSU
      • Domestic Applicants:
        • Transcripts are only considered official if they are sent directly from the institution's Registrar through a secure transcript service or via the National Student Clearinghouse.  Applicants must request their transcripts be sent.
        • Official transcripts from domestic institutions may be requested electronically or by mail. Please see the submission instructions below for details.
        • Previous/current MSU students must request official MSU transcripts, as our admissions committee does not have access to view MSU enrollment. Please see the submission instructions below for details.
      • Dual Enrollment Applicants:
        • All dual enrollment applicants are still required to submit official MSU transcripts (if they have at least one semester of MSU enrollment).
        • Please contact the MPH office to verify the need to submit official transcripts from outside of MSU.
      • International transcripts:
        • Electronic international transcripts will not be accepted; official transcripts and diplomas must arrive in envelopes sealed officially by the issuing institution.
        • 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.
          • You may send a WES evaluation to SOPHAS, however, you will still be required to submit official transcripts to the MSU Office of Admissions.
    • Domestic Transcripts:
    • International Transcripts:
      • International transcripts must be submitted via mail to:
            Michigan State University Office of Admissions, 426 Auditorium Road, Room 250, East Lansing, MI 48824

        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.


  • 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.
      • If the applicant has a potential letter-writer who may qualify as both a personal and professional/academic reference, they should encourage their letter-writer to omit any discussion of their personal relationship as it has no bearing on the Admissions Committee's decision.  Discussion of personal relationships in a professional or academic recommendation may disqualify the letter from use.
    • 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
  • Personal statement describing interest/experience in the public health discipline and career goals
    • The personal statement should be a concise, well-written document discussing all of the following:
      • the applicant's interest in public health;
      • how their experiences (personal and professional) have influenced that interest;
      • how their career goals align with public health and their pursuit of a graduate certificate in public health; and
      • why they have chosen to apply to the Core Disciplines of Public Health graduate certificate at MSU and how their skills and experience contribute to their candidacy.
    • 500-750 word limit. The Admissions Committee expects personal statements to be of sufficient length to fully understand the applicant's interest and goals in public health.
    • The applicant should submit their personal statement through SOPHAS.
  • Resume or CV
    • A resume/CV is required even if the applicant included previous experience on their university application to graduate study.
    • The Admissions Committee highly recommends applicants include volunteer experience on their resume.
    • The resume is uploaded by the applicant through SOPHAS.
  • Academic statement (optional)
    • 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.
    • The applicant should submit their academic statement through their SOPHAS application.

*Undergraduates are welcome to submit an application. 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.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

  • Official test scores from an English language proficiency exam
    • 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 on the English language proficiency page of the Graduate School website.
    • 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. In this case previous English language proficiency test scores are helpful but not required.
      • Applicants may contact us with questions regarding specific situations. 

MPH Admissions Committee Requirements and Expectations for Application Materials

The MPH Admissions Committee acknowledges that applicants to our MPH program may also concurrently apply to other graduate or professional degree programs (e.g., a graduate degree complimentary to public health, a medical degree, a nursing degree, a law degree, etc.). The Admissions Committee asks that these applicants ensure their application materials (e.g., personal statement, letters of recommendation, etc.) are relevant to public health and graduate education. Please avoid submitting verbatim copies of application materials used to apply to other programs.


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