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MPH Admissions

How to Apply

Students applying for the MPH program (part-time and full-time) use SOPHAS – The Centralized Application Service for Public Health .This common application for most accredited public health schools/programs requires:

  • Statement of purpose and objectives (personal statement)
  • Letters of recommendation from two faculty members, instructors, employers or supervisors or other professionals who can address your interest in public health and/or your ability to do graduate level work. You will be asked for three names but your file will be marked "complete" after two letters are received.
  • World Education Services ICAP Course-by-Course evaluation of academic records from institutions outside the U.S. and English-speaking Canada
  • Standardized test scores are optional (GRE: have ETS send scores to SOPHAS using GRE SOPHAS code 6981; MCAT: have AAMC send scores to SOPHAS)

After your SOPHAS application is submitted to Northwestern, you will receive an email from  The Graduate School Admission ( with the subject line "Northwestern University (TGS) Application - Action Required." The email will contain a unique link to verify your personal information with CollegeNET, our graduate school admissions portal. Please respond to that email as soon as possible to facilitate Northwestern’s communications with you. Please add to your list of "safe senders" and monitor your email account frequently to avoid missing important messages from Northwestern.

Some applicants may be invited to interview in person or by telephone as part of the application process. We make a holistic review of every application. Strong applicants have the following attributes:

  • A baccalaureate or professional degree awarded no later than the first day of graduate classes. (See Academic Calendar for more information).
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • A minimum of two years full-time, professional work experience in health care, public health, or medically related research OR three years of medical or dental school in the US or Canada. A GPA of 3.5 or higher may be substituted for professional work experience. 
  • GPA in math/statistics and humanities demonstrating verbal and quantitative reasoning ability. GRE Scores may be submitted for review by applicants who have concerns about the strength of their academic record as a measure of their verbal and quantitative reasoning abilities. Test results should not be more than five years old.
  • An undergraduate-level course in calculus or statistics is required for admission to the epidemiology and data science concentrations.

Application Deadlines

  • Nov. 15: Deadline for applicants seeking early decision (priority)
  • Jan. 15: Deadline for summer start (full-time and part-time MPH)
  • May 1: Deadline for fall start (part-time MPH)

It is recommended that applicants submit via SOPHAS three to four weeks ahead of the deadline to allow time for verification. Applications will not be reviewed until verified by SOPHAS. Applicants will be notified by email when the application goes under review at Northwestern.

Priority in admissions will be given to those who apply by Nov. 15.

International Applicants

For foreign medical graduates, a minimum of one year of residency or fellowship training in the United States or Canada prior to matriculation is highly desirable.

If your native language is not English, you must certify your proficiency in the English language in one of the following ways:

  • Provide official scores for either the TOEFL or IELTS exam. The test must be taken no more than two years before the desired quarter of entry. For the TOEFL, you must score 600 or higher on the paper-based test, 250 or higher on the computer-based test or 100 or higher on the internet-based test. For the IELTS, you must receive a score of 7.0 or higher. Visit the TOEFL site to request your scores be sent to SOPHAS in Massachusetts, code 5688. Your scores will take 10 to 12 business days from the date you make the request to post on your SOPHAS.
  • Provide official transcripts verifying an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution or equivalent, where the language of instruction is English.
  • Provide official transcripts verifying a graduate degree from an accredited institution where the language of instruction is English.

SOPHAS applicants who will be submitting documentation from post-secondary institutions outside of the United States and/or English-language institutions in Canada must have their documents evaluated by WES. Please note that evaluations from WES will allow our reviewers to better understand the educational system in which you studied, which may be beneficial for your application review.

If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you can apply for either an F-1 or a J-1 visa. All full-time, admitted students are eligible for the F-1 visa, as long as they are proficient in English and can show proof of funding for at least the first year of study. Most Northwestern University international students have this visa status. However, some students may also be eligible for a J-1 student visa. You can learn more from the Northwestern International Office.

Tuition & Financial Aid

A complete breakdown of our tuition and fees is available from Student Financial Services.

Financial Aid

Financial aid can come from a variety of sources. Some departments have training grants that cover a fellow’s tuition. Some part-time students are eligible for tuition reimbursement through their employers. To supplement other aid, many students borrow through one or more of the federal educational loan programs and work at part-time jobs at Northwestern and in the community. Eligibility for most financial aid requires U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. Financial aid applications can be obtained by visiting Student Financial Services.


Each year, we offer partial tuition scholarships. There is no separate application for these scholarships. When you complete your application, you will be considered for the scholarship and notified if one has been awarded to you shortly after you are offered admission to the program.

  • Full-time (one-year) student scholarships: up to $20,000
  • Part-time student scholarships: up to $20,000 per year, up to three years
  • MD/MPH dual-degree students: refer to Student Financial Services for current tuition surcharge

For further questions, contact