Application Components

Applicants to our MPH, MS, PhD and DrPH will apply using SOPHAS. Applicants to the Executive MHA/MPH, Full-Time and Part-Time MHA programs can submit a HAMPCAS application instead. The Executive MHA/MPH program will be listed as Exec MPH. Applications must be submitted by the scheduled deadline. Materials must be sent directly to SOPHAS or HAMPCAS unless otherwise stated.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants will need to submit letters of recommendation from three (3) individuals. Letters should address your academic and research abilities, including your capacity to work independently as well as your ability to comprehend, digest, and assimilate new knowledge. The email address for each recommender must be a professional email address (e.g., with a “.edu” extension or company-related domain). If such an email address is not possible, the student must provide a written explanation to the Mailman School of Public Health Admissions Team, for permission to utilize a non-professional email address for the reference. 

Students who have received a degree in the past 5 years are: required to provide at least 1 academic reference from faculty at that institution and encouraged to provide at least 2 academic references. Students more than 5 years away from their most recent degree are encouraged to provide at least 1 academic reference.

Standardized Test Scores

In effort to support our applicants during the CoVid-19 Pandemic, standardized test scores for applications submitted for Fall 2024 are optional for all master’s degree programs. For other programs please confirm requirements by checking our website and individual department pages for detailed information on the application and/or department requirements. Applicants will need to present evidence of quantitative and analytical writing ability. To demonstrate this ability, candidates must complete all questions under the Quantitative & Analytical Assessment section within the application. You will find these questions under the Program Materials section under the Questions tab.

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health will continue our holistic application review process. The admissions committee will make no assumptions if a standardized test score is omitted from an application, but inclusion of a good score may improve the overall application of a candidate with deficiencies in some areas. Applicants with no evidence of quantitative or writing coursework are encouraged to submit test scores. If you plan on submitting your test scores, please use the codes below.

  • GRE: have ETS send scores to SOPHAS using code 2159, HAMCAPS using code 0047
  • MCAT: have AAMC send scores to SOPHAS using code "SOPHAS" be sure to include your AAMC ID#
  • Other test scores GMAT, LSAT, or DAT send official scores directly to Mailman School of Public Health

Statement of Purpose

Please submit a Statement of Purpose of no more than 500 words*. Your statement should address:

  • Why are you applying to the Mailman School of Public Health?
  • What interests you about the department and degree you are applying to at the Mailman School of Public Health?
  • How do you hope to use your education from the Mailman School of Public Health to achieve your long-term career goals?

*Department of Health Policy and Management applicants may submit a Statement of Purpose of up to 1000 words. 

CV or Resume

Please send an up-to-date CV/resume that includes:

  • Educational degrees
  • Employment
  • Experiences (especially those related to public health)
  • Professional skills and accomplishments
  • Volunteer activities
  • Awards

Transcripts (Domestic & English Canada)

If you completed your studies in the U.S. or English speaking Canada, an official transcript from all previous institutions must be sent directly to SOPHAS. All other applicants please refer to the "International Students" section.

International Students

Foreign Evaluation: WES Course-by-Course Evaluation

Applicants who have completed their studies outside of the U.S. and English Canada must request a WES course-by-course evaluation and have it sent directly to SOPHAS or HAMPCAS.

  • Refer to the SOPHAS or HAMPCAS sections on connecting evaluations to your application.

English Proficiency: TOEFL or IELTS Scores

Applicants who obtained their bachelor's degree in a country where the primary language of instruction was not English must submit one of the following:

  • TOEFL: Required score minimum is 100 (or 600 paper based). Scores must be forwarded directly from ETS. SOPHAS applicants use Institutional Code 5688. HAMPCAS applicants use Institution Code #B589.
  • IELTS: Required score minimum is 7.5. If submitting IELTS, please have them sent directly to SOPHAS. We do not accept unofficial copies of IELTS Test Report Forms from applicants. An institution code is NOT required. 
    • IELTS Taken in a Test Center: Inform your IELTS test center that you wish to send your results to SOPHAS. You can do this during the test booking process by selecting SOPHAS or asking your test center to select SOPHAS after you receive your results. IELTS results are sent to SOPHAS electronically. If you take your IELTS test in the USA and want to send your result to SOPHAS after your test date, submit this online form.
    • IELTS Online: Send your results to SOPHAS using the IELTS test taker portal. You can send your IELTS results to as many organizations as you wish with no additional fee. IELTS Online results are provided in an electronic format.
  • Duolingo: Required score minimum is 135. If submitting Duolingo, please have them sent directly to our Office of AdmissionsLearn more about Duolingo here.

TOEFL/IELTS waivers: Waivers are seldom granted

The Admissions committee will only consider waiver requests for those with expired test scores. Requests without expired test scores will not be considered.

  • Process: You must submit an email request after the submission of your application to You must submit your expired test scores along with your reason for your request stating the reason for your request and strong evidence of speaking, reading, writing, and listening in English. Please note it is within the committee’s discretion to determine whether the standardized test waiver should be granted. The applicant will receive email notification of either the approval of the waiver request or a request that the applicant submit official scores after your completed application has been reviewed. 

Have more questions? Refer to our FAQS for International Students.

Writing Sample - Doctoral Applicants Only

A writing sample may be required. For additional details, please log into your SOPHAS application to view the document tab, located in the program tab.

Addendum - Optional

This section is a space to inform the committee of something you weren't able to state elsewhere on the application. Some example topics include highlighting an additional reason the applicant is an excellent candidate or to address a low GPA. The addendum can be added in the "Other" attachment section of the application.