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Master of Public Health in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice


The Master of Public Health in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice is one of several Master of Public Health degree programs offered by the UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health. Because the COPHP degree program has a unique philosophy and approach, the admission process is slightly different than for other MPH programs at the UW. Be sure to carefully review the steps below before you begin your application.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Admissions to the autumn 2022 cohort have closed. Reach out to if you have any questions. Please do not contact Graduate Admissions. 

We also encourage all applicants to attend a webinar or drop in to the Weekly COPHP Admissions Office Hour on Wednesdays from 12 to 1 p.m. PT to learn more.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or its equivalent from a foreign institution
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for the last graded 60 semester credits or 90 graded quarter credits
  • At least two years of post-college work experience (strongly recommended)
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for applicants whose native language is not English

Application Materials

  • UW Graduate School online application and fee
    • The School of Public Health offers an application fee waiver. Read the policy and deadlines to see if you qualify.
  • Unofficial transcripts from every college or university attended
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if English is not your native language)
  • Supplemental Self-Identification Form (optional)
  • GRE scores not required

Application Steps

To apply to the COPHP program, you’ll submit your application materials online through the UW Graduate School application website. We recommend you begin your application early in order to complete all requirements on time.

Step One: Research the Program

Decide if the COPHP program is right for you. Learn as much as you can about our problem-based learning method and program expectations. In particular, please read the Academic Experience page closely. The COPHP progream generally doesn't accept applicants who are still enrolled in a bachelor’s degree unless they meet one of the following criterion:

  • A nontraditional path to college or graduate school, with full-time work experience in public health
  • Exceptional academic performance with significant public health experience during undergraduate training

Contact or visit us. If you're considering applying, we strongly recommend that you contact us or attend a webinar first so we can talk with you more about the program. 

Step Two: Prepare to Apply

Get transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended. Download unofficial transcripts or scan printed copies.

Update your resume or curriculum vitae.

Write your personal statement. Choose a public health problem you are passionate about. In a statement of 750–1,000 words, describe how you would like to contribute to its solution, and why you believe the COPHP program is the right place to further develop the skills you’ll need to tackle this or related public health problems. Please provide a clear explanation of why you're applying to the COPHP program specifically, and how our rigorous, unique program will prepare you to reach your career goals.

The COPHP program is strongly committed to equity and inclusion, and we strive to have each cohort represent the diversity and experiences of the communities we serve. Your response should highlight aspects of your personal history, professional experience/training, and personal values that have led to your interest in the problem and that reflect a commitment to equity and diversity.

Please treat this as a formal opportunity to demonstrate your ability to write persuasively and concisely, at a level required for graduate coursework. If applicable, please use your personal statement to explain any circumstances why you don't meet the minimum requirements of the UW Graduate School.

Complete the Supplemental Self-Identification Form (optional). The COPHP program welcomes applicants across differences of ideas, history, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, gender identification, national origin, race and ethnicity. In order to track the effectiveness of our recruiting efforts and ensure that we consider the needs of all our students, please consider responding to the questions in the optional COPHP Supplemental Self-Identification Form.

If you choose to complete the form, download it, enter your responses and save it. You can then upload the completed form in the appropriate section of the online application.

Identify people who will write letters of recommendation for you. Three letters of recommendation are required to apply. Make sure to choose people who can speak to your potential for a career in public health practice. Please provide at least one academic reference or a letter from a person who can comment on your performance in a learning environment. 

Apply for an application fee waiver if you qualify. The University of Washington grants fee waivers to McNair Scholars, PPIA Fellows and to applicants on the basis of financial need. See this page for more information and the application instructions. The Department of Health Systems and Population Health offers fee waivers to AmeriCorps alumni, Peace Corps alumni, veterans and applicants from among other programs. See our policy for more information and the application form. Applicants must request a fee waiver prior to submitting their application for admission. 

Step Three: Apply Online

Start your online application to the UW Graduate School.

Select "Health Services (MPH – Community-Oriented Public Health Practice)” for the program name.

Designate the people who have agreed to write your letters of recommendation. Each of these people will be sent an email directing them to a secure website where they will submit their letters.

Indicate if you want to be considered for the Ortega Fund. If you'd like to be considered for this award, check the appropriate box in the Graduate School application.  

Upload all required documents.

Pay the nonrefundable application fee and submit your application.

After you've submitted your application, you can check on its status by logging into the application page.

Please note: Students wishing to be considered for COPHP student scholarships (via the HSEED Award and Sigolene Ortega Fund): Awards are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 

International Applicants

International applicants must meet all admission requirements for the program. You are considered an international applicant if you are not a U.S. citizen, immigrant or permanent resident. 

The COPHP program welcomes applicants from developing countries who are interested in learning the problem-based learning (PBL) approach in order to teach using PBL in their home countries. However, no funding is available; applicants should seek sponsorship from a university or government ministry in their native country.

Visa Status

International students must have a visa status that allows for academic study at the University of Washington. If you’re admitted to the COPHP program and plan to attend on an F-1 or J-1 visa, you must study full time — at least 10 credits per quarter — to maintain your visa status. For more information, review the citizenship and visa status section of the Graduate School application process page, and contact Graduate Enrollment Management Services at if you have any questions.

English Language Proficiency

International applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. The UW Graduate School’s Memo 8 describes several ways you can do this. Test scores must be sent directly to the UW by the Educational Testing Service using institution code 4854.  Only scores less than two years old will be accepted.

More Information

International Applicant Information

Visa Information for F-1 Students and J-1 Exchange Visitors

Undocumented Applicants

The COPHP program welcomes applications from undocumented individuals. The Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) offers application guidance and resources. The Leadership Without Borders Center provides resources for undocumented students at the University of Washington, including information on financial aid and scholarships. 

Deferral Policy

Applicants may defer an offer of admission one time, for one academic year. Deferral requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and must be submitted in writing via email to