Core Disciplines of Public Health Graduate Certificate Application Requirements

  • Application for Graduate Certificate Study at Michigan State University (with associated application fee)
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university*
  • Official transcripts from each post-secondary university attended, including MSU
    • All applicants with previous/current enrollment at MSU must request official MSU transcripts to be sent to our office, as our admissions committee does not have access to view MSU enrollment.
    • 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.
    • 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.
      • Official transcripts and diplomas not issued in English must 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.
      • For applicants with transcripts issued by higher education institutions in mainland China: Please be aware that, in lieu of requesting transcripts directly from your institution, you may submit an official degree conferral verification report from the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) and a transcript verification report from the China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC).
    • Via mail to: Master of Public Health, Division of Public Health, Michigan State University, 130 East 2nd Street, Suite 202, 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.
      • International transcripts must be submitted via mail.
    • Electronically: through the use of a secure transcript service such as AVOW (powered by Parchment) or eSCRIP-SAFE directly to MSU Office of Admissions (
      • International transcripts will not be accepted electronically.
      • All electronic official MSU transcripts are to be submitted to


  • 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
    • Applicants input the e-mail addresses of their recommenders within the application. The system then sends the letter-writer an e-mail with instructions on how they can upload their letter directly to the application.
    • Letters of recommendation must be submitted directly to the application by the letter-writer or through a secure letter service such as Interfolio. Letters uploaded by applicants will not be accepted.
  • 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 on the application to graduate study under the "Personal Statement" section.
  • 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 to the application as a PDF or Word document.
  • 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 on the application to graduate study under the "Academic Statement" section.

*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. 
    • Applicants must contact the testing center to request official test scores to be sent to Michigan State University using the institution code: 1465.

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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