Applying to the Gillings School
Each program at the Gillings School of Global Public Health has a different set of application expectations and application deadlines.

Important Dates

All Applications Open: Aug. 17, 2020
If you are interested in the online MPH program, you may request more information or submit an application at the MPH@UNC website.
SOPHAS Deadline (for HB and MCH doctoral programs): Dec. 1, 2020
Graduate School Priority Application Deadline for Funding Consideration: Dec. 15, 2020
MPH SOPHAS Deadline: Feb. 1, 2021
MPH Application Deadline: Feb. 9, 2021
Please check final application deadlines for your specific program on The Graduate School website.

Students in front of the Gillings School

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill will typically apply to the major of their choice during the fall or spring of their sophomore year. In addition, all majors require that students meet certain prerequisites prior to applying. These prerequisites, along with other course specific details, can be found in the UNC-Chapel Hill Undergraduate Bulletin. We encourage students to meet with their adviser and contact their department prior to applying.

Master of Public Health (MPH) Students

If you are applying to the MPH program, you must first apply to SOPHAS. Once you submit your application, you will be provided with a link to the UNC Graduate School. The individualized link created by the SOPHAS application must be in place in order to start the UNC Graduate School’s application.

Recent graduates holding a PHLSA sign.
Students study together looking at a laptop and pointing to the screen.

Online MPH Students

The Online MPH program has its own application.

All other Master's Students
(MSPH, MS, MSCR, MSEE and MHA)

Interested students must apply through the UNC Graduate School.

Students interested in the MSPH program in Maternal and Child Health must first apply to SOPHAS.

MSPH-PhD students applying to Maternal and Child Health or Health Behavior must first apply to SOPHAS. (See Doctoral Students block below.)

Doctoral Students (Maternal and Child Health and Health Behavior ONLY)

If you are applying to the PhD program in either Maternal and Child Health or Health Behavior, you must first apply to SOPHAS. Once you submit your application, you will be provided with a link to the UNC Graduate School. The individualized link created by the SOPHAS application must be in place in order to start the UNC Graduate School’s application.

All other Doctoral Students

Interested students must apply through the UNC Graduate School.

Students smile at the camera at the Schoolwide Welcome Day.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am submitting my application to a Gillings School graduate program through SOPHAS. Why am I also expected to apply directly to UNC-Chapel Hill and pay another fee?

At UNC-Chapel Hill, applicants interested in graduate programs apply and are admitted through The UNC Graduate School rather than to specific departments or schools. The UNC Graduate School charges its own application fee.

Can you give me an idea of general criteria used to review applications to the Gillings School’s graduate programs?

Use the GPS to find specific details on each program’s criteria and expectations for applicants. Our admissions committees review each application using some or all of the following criteria:

  • Academics (academic performance and test scores)
  • Work experience
  • Research experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

Prospective graduate students also should review The Graduate School’s admissions criteria.

What should I include in my personal statement?

  • Answer questions requested in the program’s personal statement prompt.
  • Clearly define your career goals.
  • Demonstrate that you understand what the program offers and demands.
  • Provide details of any experience relevant to your program of interest.
  • Highlight strengths and experiences that extend beyond your grades and test scores.
  • If you can identify weaknesses in your application, admissions committee members likely will be able to identify them, too. Address weaknesses directly by explaining extenuating circumstances as appropriate or providing evidence that your skill levels are reflected more accurately by some other assessment. These details may be included in your statement of interest.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?

You should submit a mix of academic and professional recommendation letters.

  • Recommendations should come from professional or academic sources best qualified to evaluate the applicant’s potential as a graduate student.
  • Avoid soliciting letters from family friends, other students or employees you supervise.

When will I hear that I’ve been admitted to the program?

The UNC Graduate School notifies students of their admissions decisions and the timeline varies between each program. Please contact your student services manager for more information about your program.

I’m interested in transferring from another institution to one of your programs. Is that feasible? And if so, how?

All prospective students, including those with previous college credits in related degree programs, must complete an application as a new student. Individual departments may or may not accept credits earned at another institution. Such decisions typically are based on a review of course syllabi by the program director.

Do your programs accept transfer credits?

Master’s students may transfer up to 20 percent of the credits required for a degree. Credit transfers must be approved by the UNC program in which you are enrolled and by the UNC Graduate School.

Does the Online Master of Public Health program have a different application? Where can I find more information about the online MPH program?

Yes, the Online Master of Public Health program  has a different application portal. Visit the sign-up page to apply.

Prospective graduate students for the Online MPH can also request information using the online form or learn more about the program by visiting the program website.