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MS and PhD in Environmental Health Sciences Admissions Criteria

Quick Overview

  • Bachelor's degree required for MS applicants
  • Master's degree in Environmental Health Science or similar field required for PhD applicants
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Official GRE or MCAT scores (Due to issues related to the COVID 19 outbreak, the GRE/MCAT requirement is waived for secondary and final application deadlines for Fall 2020 admissions.)​
  • At least one course in college biology
  • At least one course in calculus
  • Inorganic/general chemistry
  • Organic chemistry is recommended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • Writing sample
  • Mission and values statement
  • Resilience statement (optional)
  • Research statement (PhD applicants only)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants

More Information

Academic Background

MS applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

PhD applicants must have a Masters degree in Environmental Health Science (or a related field) or have a health-related professional doctorate.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for a competitive applicant. GPA is calculated based on the last 60 undergraduate units, or if the applicant has 12 or more graduate units, the GPA will be based on graduate units.

A competitive applicant to the MS/PhD Environmental Health Sciences will generally have a strong background in chemistry, biology, and math, including:

  • At least one course in college biology
  • At least one course in calculus
  • Inorganic/general chemistry
  • Organic chemistry is recommended

Applicants will need to send official transcripts from any college or university attended to SOPHAS at PO Box 9111; Watertown, MA 02471.

GRE Scores (Due to issues related to the COVID 19 outbreak, the GRE/MCAT requirement is waived for secondary and final application deadlines for Fall 2020 admissions.)​

Applicants must submit official scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). GRE scores should be reported to the University of Arizona College of Public Health/SOPHAS code #4253, which routes scores directly to SOPHAS. For more information about the GRE, visit the GRE website.

GRE Exceptions (Due to issues related to the COVID 19 outbreak, the GRE/MCAT requirement is waived for secondary and final application deadlines for Fall 2020 admissions.)​

GRE test scores are not required for applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a prior doctoral degree from a US institution
  • Foreign medical graduates who have ECFMG certification
  • MPH or MS graduates from the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must provide a minimum of three letters of recommendation from academic advisors, professors, supervisors, mentors or anyone who knows the student in a professional context and is familiar with the applicant's academic and/or professional ability. Letters are submitted electronically to SOPHAS.

Resume or CV

Applicants are asked to submit a resume or CV outlining their academic and professional experience and achievements.

Statement of Purpose and Objectives

The statement of purpose and objectives (maximum of 1500 words) should include:

  • Clear presentation of personal goals and a clearly expressed understanding of and commitment to the field of environmental health or industrial hygiene.
  • Describe your specific research and/or occupational interests, the background that will help you address these interests, weaknesses in your application, hurdles you have overcome and the future you envision as an industrial hygienist or environmental health scientist.

Please note that some schools of public health use software to detect plagiarism in statements of purpose. It is important to ensure that an applicant’s statement is written in their own words and, when appropriate, that quotations and citations/references are used for a direct quote.

    Research Statement

    PhD applicants must provide a statement of research/practice interest (max of 500 words / 2500 characters). Please describe the specific content area in which you propose to focus your doctoral work; why this area is of interest to you; and identify faculty members at the College of Public Health whose research interests align with yours and with whom you would like to work.  You do not need to include hypotheses, measures, or data analysis methods, etc.

    Faculty Advisor

    One of the most important pieces of an application to a doctoral program at the College of Public Health is finding a faculty advisor whose research interests and areas of expertise align with your interests.  Through the admissions process, the College of Public Health seeks to ensure that we have sufficient faculty with relevant research experience to effectively mentor you through your doctoral program and your dissertation.

    Please research the faculty in this program and outline which faculty members you hope to work with in your Research Statement (see above).  Given that faculty commitments change from year to year, we strongly recommend that you list at least two faculty with whom you would like to work.  Although you are welcome to contact specific faculty to discuss our program and your goals, it is not necessary for you to communicate with faculty before or during the application process.

    Writing Sample

    The writing sample may be a paper, article, or report written for work or school that demonstrates the applicant's writing and research abilities.

    Mission and Values Statement

    In 250 words or less (1,250 characters), please describe how you would embrace and support the Mission and the Values of the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

    • Our Mission:  The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is dedicated to promoting the health of individuals and communities in the southwest and globally with an emphasis on achieving health equity through excellence in education, research, and service.
    • Our Values:  The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health acts with respect and integrity to continuously advance health and well-being for all through knowledge, collaboration, empowerment, advocacy and sustainability. Our core values are: Fairness, Trust, Equity, Social Justice, Excellence, Innovation, Commitment, Collegiality, Diversity, Open Communication, Participation, Consensus, and Enhancement.

    Resilience Statement (Optional)

    If you have not addressed this elsewhere in your application, please describe any obstacles you have had to overcome or failures you have experienced; how you showed resilience; and what you learned from the experience. 250 words or less (1250 characters).

    TOEFL/IELTS Scores for International Applicants

    All international applicants are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. A TOEFL iBT score of 79 or higher is required. Please see more information, including when the TOEFL/IELTS requirement is waived, for international applicants.

    Other Factors

    Experience in a health, safety or environmental related field, voluntary or paid, strengthens all applications.

    Further Information

    For more information about the MS/PhD in Environmental Health Sciences, please visit the MS/PhD Environmental Health Science page. If you have additional questions, please contact our Director of Admissions, at coph-admit@email.arizona.edu or (520) 626-3201.

    The University of Arizona