Program Details

Minimum Credit Hours

Application Cycle
Fall; Spring

Application Deadline

Spring admission – October 10, 2023

Fall admission – Preferred Deadline is December 12, 2023; Final deadline is May 14, 2024

Expected Duration
2 Years

Learning Environment

Dual Degree Options Available

How To Apply


See More

Application Deadline: See above
Fee: $95
(The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC-Chapel Hill Programs.)

I. Complete Online Application
Application Steps:

1. All UNC Gillings applications for graduate-level programs fall under the purview of the UNC Graduate School. Accordingly, you will apply to UNC Gillings via the Graduate School Application, and UNC Gillings programs will make admissions recommendations to the UNC Graduate School for final approval.

Once a recommendation is finalized, you will receive notice via email from the UNC Graduate School. Throughout the process, most of your questions can be answered by your program contact.

NOTE: To be considered for UNC Graduate School scholarships, apply before priority deadline.

2. Faculty Interest(s)/mentor(s)

Please list faculty with whom you’d like to work.

3. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

4. Area(s) of interest

  • ESE focuses on three interdisciplinary fields of study: Air Quality and Atmospheric Processes, Human Exposure and Health Effects and Sustainable Water Resources. Please select Air, Health, or Water as your primary research interest. Select all applicable areas of interest from the dropdown.


5. Educational history

    • Please upload a copy of your most recent transcript(s), including your current term grades, if applicable. (If grades are not yet available, send them to the UNC Gillings program contact as soon as they become available.) Be sure the transcript reflects the name of the institution and any degrees you received.
    • We advise that you order two copies of your transcript(s) to be sent to you.
      • If you are admitted and choose to enroll, UNC will require official transcript(s) showing degree(s) awarded.

6. Community standards

You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

7. Upload your personal statement.

The statement is a critical piece of the admissions process. We will evaluate both the content of the statement and your writing skills in considering your application. The statement should not exceed two pages in length. All applicants should select a primary area of Air, Health or Water, review our six focus areas, and include a ranked list of your preference in your personal statement: Master’s applicants should include a discussion of personal goals and research interests. All applicants who have specific interests in lab, field, and/or computational research should indicate these interests in their statements. All statements should include the names of ESE faculty with whom the applicant would like to work. Please visit the ‘Department Research’ link on our departmental website toolbar for more information.

  • Contaminant sources, fate and transport;
  • Design and analysis of engineered systems;
  • Exposure biology, biomarkers and mechanisms of disease;
  • Global environmental health;
  • Impacts and mitigation of climate change; and
  • Policy, decision-making and risk analysis.

8. Upload your resume or CV.

9. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf. We encourage references from professors or teachers (or teaching assistants) or work/research supervisors who have worked directly and closely with you and who can speak about you with specificity.

  • 3 (academic and/or professional; academic preferred)

10. Report test scores.

    • GRE scores are neither required nor typically recommended for applicants to the Master of Science in Public Health program.
    • International applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS standardized test scores. Code 5816 routes to UNC. TOEFL/IELTS scores must be no more than two years old.

11. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

  • Applicants should preview all documents uploaded into the application system to ensure that all documents are legible for committee review.

12. Pay the Graduate School application fee.

13. Track your progress.

You will be able to track status through the Graduate School application. Once a decision is made, you will receive an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.

II. Costs and Funding (Separate From The Admissions Process)

1. Check out our Costs and Funding page.

2. Note priority deadline to be eligible for UNC Graduate School scholarships and fellowships. Departments will decide which applicants to nominate. No additional application required.

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

4. Department funding:

  • Our department contacts incoming students regarding funding opportunities.
  • We consider all applicants for funding.

III. Application Review Process

1. SPH application review:

No interview required.

Department recommendation will be sent to The Graduate School for final approval.

2. UNC Graduate School application review and final decision:

The UNC Graduate School reviews all admissions recommendations made by programs. Once final decisions have been made, the Graduate School will send you an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.

3. NOTE: Financial aid is separate from the admissions process. For more information, please refer to our School’s Costs and Funding page and/or UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA) website.

Admissions Information

Who Should Apply
Students interested in research-based master’s degree and either doctoral study or advanced practice in environmental sciences and engineering.

Prior Degree Required
Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate science, math or engineering field.

Required Prerequisites

Undergraduate G.P.A.
Incoming students had a mean undergraduate GPA of 3.4

Letters of Recommendation Required
3 (academic and/or professional; at least one academic)

Not Required


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

During and After The Program

For more information on our curriculum and graduate school/career outcomes, please visit the catalog.

ESE Course Competencies Mapped to ESE Degrees


Gillings Admissions

Jennifer Moore
Academic Coordinator

Jason West
Director of Graduate Studies


Contact your Academic Coordinator.
Assistant to Chair: Rhoda Cerny
Looking for someone else?

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