Public Health


Learn more about Public Health by Selecting options below


Public health is the science and art of creating healthy communities through education, research and promotion of healthy lifestyles. In public health, the focus is on health promotion and disease/injury prevention, in contrast to the medical model of care, which focuses more heavily upon diagnosing and treating illnesses and conditions after they occur.

Public health professionals analyze and develop programs that protect the health of individuals, families and communities in the United States and abroad. The United States is placing a high priority on building up the nation's public health workforce.

A career in public health opens the door to diverse opportunities in a variety of sectors such as federal, private and non-governmental organizations. Because of their "big picture" perspective, public health experts play a key role in emergency preparedness and response. This may be why public health has become such a growing field in recent years.

*CSUF offers a Public Health Program at the Graduate Level (Master's Degree).  For more information on CSUF's MPH Program, please click here

Additional Resources


  • SOPHAS WebsiteOpens in new window
  • SOPHAS works with 42 out of 50 CEPH (Council on Education for Public Health) accredited schools of public health and public health programs.
  • We cannot stress this enough, apply as EARLY as possible!
  • SOPHAS has a verification process that can take up to 4 weeks
    • Once two recommendations and all transcripts from US colleges and universities you have attended have been received, your application will be put in a queue for verification
    • Don’t wait for test scores, letter of evaluation and transcripts in order to submit your application
      • Submit your application as soon as you have entered all required information. Documents, recommendations and test scores will be added to your application after they are received. The institutions can see your application as soon as you e-submit it and may wish to begin processing your application right away.

*Note: CSUF's MPH Program does not use SOPHAS.

Cost and Fee Structure

The fee structure for SOPHAS is

  • One Designation $120
  • Two Designations $165
  • Three Designations $210
  • Four Designations $255
  • Five designations $300

Each additional designation above five is an additional $45

There is a fee waiver program and waivers issued on a first come, first served basis. The fee waiver request will need to be made prior to e-submitting your application.

SOPHAS grants fee waivers based on financial need for Peace Corps Volunteers, McNair Scholars, Gates Millennium Scholars Program, AmeriCorps, U.S. and International. Please visit the SOPHAS websiteOpens in new window for further information on fee waivers.


  • Each institution has unique deadlines. For SOPHAS programs, the deadline is the date by which you should submit your application and all required documents should be received.
    • Your application is considered complete when it is submitted, paid, and SOPHAS has received all US transcripts and at least two letters of evaluation
    • Please also factor in verification time (it can take up to 4 weeks). This means that all materials should arrive at SOPHAS at least 4 weeks prior to your earliest deadline.

What You Need to Submit


  • Required original transcripts from every US institutions including study abroad coursework and AP credit
  • Needs to come from Registrar’s office. If the transcript notates “Student Copy” SOPHAS will not accept the transcript
  • Need to print Transcript Request Form(s) to send to Registrar’s office for immediate delivery to SOPHAS. The form will generate as you enter intuitional information in your SOPHAS application.
  • Many institutions require another set of official transcripts after you are accepted. Check with institution directly to see if they accept hand-delivered sealed transcripts or need them to come directly from the registrar’s office.

Personal Statements

  • Students will need to compose a statement of purpose and objectives which is a require portion of your application
  • You should personalized your essay for each institution and tailor it to each institution’s needs
  • Personal statements have a character limit of 1500 characters, including spaces, line breaks, etc.

Test Scores

  • Request scores be sent to individual institutions base on the test confirmation
  • Each program accepts/requires different exams so check with each institution directly as to their individual requirements

Letters of Evaluation

  • Requires two letters for verification
  • SOPHAS requires a minimum of three letters but may enter up to five
  • Schools of public health give weight to the following types of recommenders in order of highest to lowest priority:
    • Academic references- previous or current academic instructors or preceptors
      • They are the preferred type
    • Professional reference- previous or current employersPersonal reference- friends, family colleagues, etc.
      • These types of references are not encouraged and should be used in extenuating circumstances only
      • Please note that faith-based schools may accept references from clergy

  On your application

    • You can delete a recommender on your app as long as they haven’t submitted it
    • Committee letters cannot be accepted.
    • If you wish to send a specific letter to only one of your designated schools but not others, you much contact the admissions office of that institution to make such arrangements. SOPHAS would not be able to help in this situation.
    • SOPHAS does not accept mailed, faxed or e-mailed letters. Letters need to be uploaded electronically
    • Please note that due to SOPHAS guidelines the Health Professions Advising office cannot submit letters of evaluation for SOPHAS applicants. Each of your letter writers will have to upload their individual letter to SOPHAS directly.
    • Link to frequently asked questions.

After You Submit

  • After you submit your application no changes can be made. You can only add additional institutions to your application
  • You can check your application status often by logging into your application and checking its status in the “My Status” section.

Participating Institutions

See a listing of the participating institutionsOpens in new window .

Four programs in California

  1. Loma Linda University of Public Health
  2. San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health
  3. UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health
  4. University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health

Contact Information/Website

The SOPHAS websiteOpens in new window  has many resources posted for its users. Please take a moment to explore the site to become familiar to the application process.