Program Details

Minimum Credit Hours

Application Cycle


The MPH Health Equity and Social Justice concentration is not a STEM-designated degree under the approved categories from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Priority Deadline (For Fall Graduate School Fellowship Consideration)
SOPHAS must be submitted by December 1, 2024. The UNC Graduate School supplemental application must be submitted by December 10, 2024.

Final Deadline
SOPHAS must be submitted by February 1, 2025. The UNC Graduate School supplemental application must be submitted by February 11, 2025.

Expected Duration
2 Years

Learning Environment

Dual Degree Options Available
Please visit our MPH Dual Degrees page for more information.

Admissions Information

Health Equity and Social Justice Concentration Preferences

Preference for one or two years of work experience and some coursework and/or exposure to equity issues in public health.

Minimum Graduate Admissions Requirements

The minimum requirements are:

  • a bachelor’s degree (based on a four-year curriculum) completed before graduate study begins or its international equivalent with an accredited institution
  • an average grade of B (cumulative GPA 3.0) or better

Along with these minimal requirements, admission decisions are based on a number of factors, including academic degrees and record, written statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and relevant work, service and experience. All admission recommendations are made by each individual program or department.

Letters of Recommendation Required

3 academic and/or professional

Faculty-Student Match Required

Not Required

Interviews Required

Not Required

Visit Opportunities

Learn about opportunities to connect with faculty, staff, and current students virtually and in person.

More About the Health Equity and Social Justice Concentration

Learn more about the MPH Health Equity and Social Justice concentration here.

How To Apply

Application to UNC is a two-step process. Please apply separately to (1) SOPHAS and (2) The Graduate School supplemental application. Applications submitted to SOPHAS must be verified through the SOPHAS system. Applicants will then receive an email from UNC within a few business days with instructions for completing the UNC Graduate School supplemental application. Components of the SOPHAS application will be exported to the Graduate School application system, but applicants will still be asked to answer residency and honor code questions, and upload an unofficial copy of transcript(s). Applications are not reviewed until both SOPHAS and the UNC Graduate School supplemental applications are submitted.

Applicants pay related fees to both SOPHAS and The UNC Graduate School.

SOPHAS charges $145 for the first program you apply to and $55 for each additional program. Information on SOPHAS Fee Waiver Requests

The UNC Graduate School application fee is $95. Information on UNC Graduate School Fee Waiver Requests

The MPH Program allows applicants to apply to up to two concentrations in their application. This is completely optional and best suited for applicants whose interests and

The MPH Program allows applicants to apply to up to two concentrations in their application. Given that each residential concentration is limited in size and has unique preferences in the review process, applying to two concentrations maximizes an applicant’s consideration for admission. Public health is an interdisciplinary field and applicants often have interests and career goals that align with more than one concentration. Applicants for whom this is true are encouraged to designate a first and second concentration in their application, addressing both in their statement of purpose. An applicant will only be reviewed by their second concentration if they are denied by their first concentration.

I. Complete online SOPHAS application
More Information

Start SOPHAS Application

1. See SOPHAS website for complete checklist of SOPHAS steps as not all are listed here.

2. Applicants will enter all coursework information into SOPHAS and submit an official transcript to SOPHAS.
Admitted students who choose to enroll at UNC Gillings will be required to submit another official transcript showing degree awarded to the UNC Graduate School. Applicants who attended a foreign school or earned their degree outside of the United States must submit a course-by-course evaluation through World Evaluation Services (WES) along with their transcript to SOPHAS. A WES evaluated transcript is not an acceptable substitute for an official transcript.

3. Upload a statement of purpose.

Please respond to each of the following four prompts within one narrative response, not to exceed 1500 words. You may draw on the widest range of materials/experiences for your reflection.​

  1. Why are you interested in pursuing a Master of Public Health degree and how will this prepare you for your career?​
  2. How have your previous work, volunteer, and lived experiences led you to apply to the MPH?
  3. Economic, political and social factors contribute to differences in health outcomes within and between countries. How will you apply your public health training to address these factors in order to reduce variability in health outcomes?
  4. Please explain why you are interested in applying to your first concentration and second concentration (if applicable).​

Optional: (Please do not exceed 500 words): Please provide any additional context or information that might be helpful to the admissions committee’s review of your application.

4. Provide the names and contact information for 3 recommenders. SOPHAS will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf:

  • 3 academic and/or professional letters of recommendations are required.

5. Report test scores, if applicable, to SOPHAS.

GRE scores are neither required nor reviewed for applicants to the Master of Public Health program.

International applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS standardized test scores. Two requests are needed for TOEFL/IELTS scores; one to be sent to SOPHAS and a second to be sent to UNC. Code 5688 routes to SOPHAS only, and code 5816 routes to UNC. TOEFL/IELTS scores must be no more than two years old.

6. Send official transcripts from every institution attended directly to SOPHAS. Do not mail these to UNC.

Once admitted, students who choose to enroll at UNC Gillings will be required to submit an official transcript to the UNC Graduate School showing degree awarded.

7. Check SOPHAS portal to track progress.
Applicants should check the SOPHAS portal to ensure that all required documents have been received by SOPHAS.

8. Do NOT apply to UNC Gillings via The Graduate School application until receiving an email with instructions for accessing the supplemental application.

II. Complete UNC Graduate School supplemental application
The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC Chapel Hill programs.
More Information

1. Once the SOPHAS application has been received by UNC, an email with instructions for completing the UNC Graduate School supplemental application will be sent to the applicant. This usually takes a few business days.

Although the Graduate School application will import some information from SOPHAS, applicants will be asked to answer residency and honor code questions, upload a copy of their unofficial transcript(s) and pay the application fee. Applicants only need to provide required information and should not change the program/degree information. This  supplemental application usually requires less than 30 minutes to complete.

2. Applicants do NOT need to enter recommender information, upload a CV/resume or add a personal statement to the UNC Graduate School supplemental application as this information is provided through the SOPHAS application.

III. Application review process
More Information

1. Concentration(s) review the application and recommend a decision:
Time-to-decision varies. Applicants who choose to apply to two concentrations will be required to rank them as first and second. An applicant will only be reviewed by their second concentration if they are denied by their first concentration. Concentrations make recommendations to the UNC Graduate School for admitting and denying applicants. Final decisions are rendered by the UNC Graduate School.

2. UNC Graduate School reviews concentration recommendations and renders a final decision:
UNC will not render a decision until both the SOPHAS and UNC Graduate School applications are completed. The UNC Graduate School reviews all admissions recommendations made by programs. Once final decisions have been made, the UNC Graduate School will send the applicant an email instructing them to login to their application portal to see the decision letter.


IV. Costs and funding
More Information

When estimating costs, please visit the UNC Cashier’s Office and use the Graduate and Professional Program Tuition and Fees link. Please note that the tuition and fees of graduate programs at Gillings vary from other graduate programs at UNC.

Gillings departments and concentrations consider both domestic and international applicants for funding. Please see below for helpful tips and resources:

1. Applicants are encouraged to apply before the priority deadline to be eligible for UNC Graduate School scholarships and fellowships. Departments and concentrations will decide which applicants to nominate. No additional application is required.

2. Please refer to our School’s Costs and Funding page and/or UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA) website.

3. Apply for FEDERAL financial aid by March 1 (please verify this date via FAFSA). If you have been admitted and completed the FAFSA form by their deadline, the UNC Office of Scholarship and Student Aid will create a financial aid package for you.

4. Departments and concentrations contact admitted students regarding award packages throughout the admissions cycle, but most commonly in March. Occasionally, additional funding will become available later in the cycle and students may hear in April, or possibly into the summer months.

5. Admitted students are encouraged to consider applying for assistantships across the UNC campus. Many assistantships provide tuition assistance, student fees, health insurance, and a stipend. Many student positions at Gillings are posted here. The UNC Graduate School also provides resources for funding, including a listserv for incoming and current students, here.


Contact our admissions team at


Contact your Academic Coordinator.
Who is my Academic Coordinator?

Assistant to Chair: Rhoda Cerny
Looking for someone else?
MPH@UNC (MPH Online) Only:
Program Coordinator, John Sugg

135 Dauer Drive
166 Rosenau Hall, CB #7431
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7431
(919) 966-1171