cophp admissions

The Master of Public Health in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice is one of several Master of Public Health degree programs offered by the UW Department of Health Services. Because the COPHP degree program has a unique philosophy and approach, the admission process is slightly different than for other MPH programs at the UW. Be sure to carefully review the steps below before you begin your application.

Application Dates and Deadlines

A new cohort for this program begins every fall. Applications for the 2016 cohort are now closed. Applications for the 2017 cohort will open in October 2016. See below for application deadlines and response dates.

Deadline to Apply Applicant Response Due
Early Decision* December 1, 2016 February 15, 2017
Regular Decision* January 15, 2017 April 1, 2017
Space-Available Basis March 1, 2017 April 15, 2017

*The Early Decision round is designed for applicants who have made the COPHP program one of their top choices and are willing to commit to the program earlier. The Regular Decision round is designed for applicants who are applying to a larger number of graduate programs and need longer to make their choice.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or its equivalent from a foreign institution
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 graded semester credits or the last 90 graded quarter credits
  • At least two years of post-college work experience
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for applicants whose native language is not English

Required Application Materials

  • UW Graduate School online application and fee
  • Unofficial transcripts from every college or university attended
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Statement of personal history
  • GRE test scores
  • TOEFL scores (if English is not your native language)

Application Steps

To apply to the COPHP program, please submit your application online through the UW Graduate School application website. We recommend you begin your application early because multiple steps are required.

Step One: Research the Program

Decide if the COPHP program is right for you. Learn as much as you can about our problem-based learning method and program expectations. In particular, please read the Program Overview page closely.

Contact or visit us. If you're considering applying, please contact us so we can answer any questions you may have about the program. We strongly recommend that you visit a PBL class session if you live in the Seattle area or are able to travel to campus.

Step Two: Prepare to Apply

Get transcripts from each college or university you've attended. Download unofficial transcripts or scan printed copies.

Update your resume or curriculum vitae.

Find people who will write letters of recommendation for you. Three letters of recommendation are needed to apply. Consider getting recommendations from current or former employers, supervisors or teachers. Make sure you choose people who can speak to your potential for a career in public health practice. You will need your recommenders' email addresses for the Graduate School application.

Write your statement of purpose. In a statement of 750–1,000 words, summarize your relevant experience and training and describe your reasons for pursuing a master's in public health. How will the COPHP program and its problem-based learning approach help you reach your professional goals?

Write your statement of personal history. The COPHP program is strongly committed to equity and inclusion, and we strive to have each cohort represent the diversity and experiences of the communities we serve. This statement of 750–1,000 words should highlight aspects of your personal history that reflect a commitment to equity and diversity. Such information may include details regarding:

  • Your family and/or community
  • Your potential to contribute to public health through first-hand understanding of the barriers faced by women, people of color, ethnic minorities, refugees, veterans and other members of groups underrepresented and underserved by traditional policies and institutions
  • Your demonstrated achievement in overcoming barriers, which may include economic, social or educational disadvantage

Take the GRE. GRE scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service using institution code 4854 for the University of Washington. Scores cannot be more than five years old at the time of the application deadline.

Step Three: Apply Online

Start your online application to the UW Graduate School. You can save your in-process application and come back to it any time to continue working on it.

Select "Health Services (MPH – Community-Oriented Public Health Practice) for the program name.

Upload all required documents.

Designate the people who have agreed to write your letters of recommendation. Each of these people will be sent an email directing them to a secure website where they will submit their letters.

If you would like to be considered for a $500 Ortega Fund award, check the appropriate box in the online application, and submit the separate award application by 1/15/17.

Pay the nonrefundable application fee.

After you've submitted your application, you can check on its status by logging into the application page.

International Students

International applicants must meet all application requirements for the program. You are considered an international applicant if you are not a U.S. citizen, immigrant or green card holder. International students must have a visa status that allows academic study at the University of Washington. For more information, see the UW Graduate School's International Applicant Information page.

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. If required, please submit TOEFL scores. Only scores less than two years old at the time of the application deadline will be accepted. Scores must be sent directly to the UW by the Educational Testing Service using institution code 4854.

The COPHP program welcomes applicants from developing countries who are interested in learning the problem-based learning approach in order to teach using PBL in their home country. However, there is no funding available; applicants should seek sponsorship from a university or government ministry in their native country.


We are happy to answer your questions and provide more information about the UW Master of Public Health in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice program.