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. See below for application deadlines and response dates.

  Deadline to Apply Applicant Response Due
Early Decision December 10, 2020 February 15, 2021
Regular Decision January 15, 2021 April 15, 2021
Final Decision March 1, 2021 April 15, 2021

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. After the Final Decision deadline, applications may be accepted on a space-available basis. 

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 graded 60 semester credits or 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

Application Materials

  • UW Graduate School online application and fee
  • Unofficial transcripts from every college or university attended
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Faculty interview
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if English is not your native language)
  • Supplemental Self-Identification Form (optional)
  • GRE scores not required

Application Steps

To apply to the COPHP program, you’ll submit your application materials online through the UW Graduate School application website. We recommend you begin your application early in order to complete all requirements on time.

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 Academic Experience page closely.

Contact or visit us. If you're considering applying, we strongly recommend that you contact us first, so we can talk with you more about the program. We also strongly recommend that you visit a COPHP 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.

Write your personal statement. Choose a public health problem you are passionate about. In a statement of 750–1,000 words, describe how you would like to contribute to its solution, and why you believe the COPHP program is the right place to further develop the skills you’ll need to tackle this or related public health problems.

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. Your response should highlight aspects of your personal history, professional experience/training, and personal values that have led to your interest in the problem, and that reflect a commitment to equity and diversity.

Please treat this as a formal opportunity to demonstrate your ability to write persuasively and concisely, at a level required for graduate coursework.

Complete the Supplemental Self-Identification Form (optional). The COPHP program welcomes applicants across differences of ideas, history, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, gender identification, national origin, race and ethnicity. In order to track the effectiveness of our recruiting efforts and ensure that we consider the needs of all our students, please consider responding to the questions in the optional COPHP Supplemental Self-Identification Form.

If you choose to complete the form, download it, enter your responses and save it. You can then upload the completed form in the appropriate section of the online application.

Identify people who will write letters of recommendation for you. Three letters of recommendation are required to apply. Consider asking current or former employers or supervisors or former teachers. Make sure you choose people who can speak to your potential for a career in public health practice. You'll need their email addresses for the Graduate School application. 

Complete a prospective student interview with a COPHP faculty member. A phone or in-person interview with faculty is required. Contact to make arrangements. Because faculty schedules tend to fill up closer to the application deadline, please be sure to allow plenty of time for scheduling.

Apply for an application fee waiver if you qualify. The University of Washington grants fee waivers to McNair Scholars, PPIA Fellows and to applicants on the basis of financial need. See this page for more information and the application instructions. The Department of Health Services offers fee waivers to AmeriCorps alumni, Peace Corps alumni, veterans and applicants from among other programs. See our policy for more information and the application form. Applicants must request a fee waiver prior to submitting their application for admission. 

Step Three: Apply Online

Start your online application to the UW Graduate School.

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

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.

Indicate if you want to be considered for the Ortega Fund. If you'd like to be considered for this $500 award, check the appropriate box in the Graduate School application. Submit the separate scholarship application by 11:59 p.m. on December 10, 2019. 

Upload all required documents.

Pay the nonrefundable application fee and submit your application.

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

Please note: Students wishing to be considered for COPHP student scholarships (via the HSEED Award and Sigolene Ortega Fund) should apply during the Early Decision round of applications because award decisions will be made following the Early Decision deadline. Awards are allocated on a first come, first served basis, and all funds may be distributed prior to the Regular and Final Decision deadlines. 

International Applicants

International applicants must meet all admission requirements for the program. You are considered an international applicant if you are not a U.S. citizen, immigrant or permanent resident. 

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

Visa Status

International students must have a visa status that allows for academic study at the University of Washington. If you’re admitted to the COPHP program and plan to attend on an F-1 or J-1 visa, you must study full time — at least 10 credits per quarter — to maintain your visa status. For more information, review the citizenship and visa status section of the Graduate School application process page, and contact Graduate Enrollment Management Services at if you have any questions.

English Language Proficiency

International applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. The UW Graduate School’s Memo 8 describes several ways you can do this. Test scores must be sent directly to the UW by the Educational Testing Service using institution code 4854.  Only scores less than two years old will be accepted.

More Information

International Applicant Information

Visa Information for F-1 Students and J-1 Exchange Visitors

Undocumented Applicants

The COPHP program welcomes applications from undocumented individuals. The Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) offers application guidance and resources. The Leadership Without Borders Center provides resources for undocumented students at the University of Washington, including information on financial aid and scholarships. 

Deferral Policy

Applicants may defer an offer of admission one time, for one academic year. Deferral requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and must be submitted in writing via email to