Health Behavior Admissions FAQs

Questions about the Application

Can I apply for spring or summer admission?

No, the Department of Health Behavior accepts applications for admission during the fall term only.

Will application materials be accepted late?

No. All application materials must be received by the UNC Graduate School’s deadline.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit the SOPHAS application in a timely manner. Meeting the posted SOPHAS   deadline ensures that the applicant will receive a link to their personal supplemental UNC application via email in time to submit that application by the UNC Graduate School’s final deadline. No exceptions will be made unless there is proof of a technical error on our end.

Why can’t I create a UNC Graduate School application on my own?

The SOPHAS and UNC Graduate School applications are linked. You will receive a link to our graduate school application in an email sent to you from UNC Graduate Admissions after you submit the SOPHAS application. The link, which is generated by our university IT Services, will take you to your individualized application in our system, and that application  includes information from your SOPHAS application.

However, if you try to access the graduate school’s application before submitting the SOPHAS application and receiving the individualized link, health behavior will not appear as an option for department or program on the UNC application.

The linked-applications process prevents the creation of duplicate accounts and applications.

When will I receive the link to the UNC Graduate School application?

Applicants typically receive the link by email within one or two business days, but it can take up to three to five business days depending on the volume of applications received and the time of year.

If you submit an application near a holiday, you may experience some delay in receiving the link due to holiday closures. Please plan accordingly.

I am having technical difficulties with the application. What should I do?

Please use the embedded help tools in each application system. For the UNC Graduate School application, the help links take you to UNC’s IT resources.  You can opt to send a message, call in, or receive help via chat. Chat may not be available at all times.

My transcripts and/or letters of recommendations have not been received, can I submit my application?

Yes. You can submit the application with these items pending. In fact, we recommend requesting that your transcripts be sent to SOPHAS and supplying contact information for your recommenders as soon as possible and proceeding with your application.

You should also check your application periodically after submission to make sure the transcripts and recommendations are received in a timely matter.

Do I need to resubmit official transcripts and letters of recommendation in the UNC Graduate School application?

You will not resubmit letters of recommendation.

But you will be asked to upload unofficial transcripts in the UNC Graduate School application.

Can I send my GRE Scores or official transcripts to the Department of Health Behavior or to the Gillings School?

No. Please do not send scores or transcripts to the department or school.

SOPHAS and the graduate school need your GRE Scores. Use the SOPHAS code: 0311, which will route your scores to both SOPHAS and the UNC Graduate School. If you use the UNC Graduate School code (5816), scores will not be delivered to SOPHAS.

Send official transcripts to SOPHAS and upload unofficial transcript in UNC Graduate School application. If your university does not offer unofficial transcripts, you can[DM2]  upload a scanned copy of an official transcript.

Are fee waivers available?

Please check the links below for information about SOPHAS fee waivers and UNC Graduate School waivers. No fee waivers are available at the department level.

SOPHAS fee waiver
UNC Graduate School fee waiver

Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes, but fees per application still apply.

How many students enroll each year?

On average, we enroll 40-45 MPH students, seven to ten PhD students, and four to six MSPH-to-PhD students each year.

Do I need a faculty sponsor or advising match?

MPH admissions are not contingent upon an advising match. Enrolling students are assigned an adviser based on the student’s interests. Assignments are made during the summer before beginning the first semester of the program.

A faculty advising match is required for admission to the doctoral (PhD and MSPH-to-PhD) programs.

Are interviews required?

There are no required interviews for applicants to the MPH program in Health Behavior.

Those applying to the PhD or MSPH-to-PhD may be asked to complete a Skype interview before a decision is rendered[DM3] .

I would like to upload an updated transcript, resume, or other application document. Can I send it to the department before a decision is made?

Applicants can add additional documents to their UNC Graduate School application after submitting it. If you need to do so, contact Student Services at

Any updated GRE scores must come with an official score report sent using code: 0311.

When can I expect a decision?

Doctoral admissions decisions are sent out by mid-March.

For the MPH program, admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. We notify students as decisions are made. This may be any time between late January and mid-March.

Applications are not reviewed until they are completed in both SOPHAS and the UNC Graduate School application systems and all required materials have been received.

I took the MCAT, can I submit these scores in lieu of the GRE?

The Department of Health Behavior does accept MCAT scores in lieu of the GRE. No other exams are accepted as alternatives.

If I’m not accepted into the MSPH-to-PhD program, can my application be considered for the MPH program?

No, the department does not transfer applications. MSPH-to-PhD students are admitted into the doctoral program, not the master’s program. If applicants want to be considered for both programs, they must apply to both.

Questions About Health Behavior Programs

 Can I transfer from another graduate program?

No, students must start and complete the program in sequence. Some credits may be eligible for transfer but all students must complete the departmental and Gillings School’s core curricula.

Can I enroll as a part-time student?

No, all of our programs are full-time residential degree programs. Due to the timing of classes and frequency of course offerings, a part-time schedule is not conducive to timely degree completion.

Do you have an online or distance education program?

No, all of the Department of Health Behavior’s degree programs are residential, but the Gillings School has launched an online MPH@UNC.


Additional admissions questions?
If your questions aren't answered on this page, try the Gillings Program Search, or contact Student Services.