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Frequently Asked Questions

Are GRE Scores Required to apply to UIC SPH?

No. All graduate programs at the school are test optional. Generally, students only choose to submit test scores if they are concerned about weaknesses within their application, such as low previous GPAs. For PhD programs, an application without test scores may be deemed less competitive if coursework and/or experience does not adequately show evidence of a quantitative skill set.

For applicants choosing not to submit test scores, there are two additional essay questions within the SOPHAS application.

What is the minimum GPA requirement for applying to Master of Public Health programs?

Admitted students typically have at least a combined undergraduate/graduate grade point average of 3.00 (A = 4.00). However, every applicant is given a holistic evaluation of their application. As such, applicants with less than a 3.0/4.0 are encouraged to apply if they believe that their application is strong in other areas. In addition, each division has specific requirements regarding (GPA). Please see divisional websites for these specific admission requirements.

Does UIC require a supplemental application and fee?

Yes, there is a supplemental application with the UIC Office of Graduate Admissions. It includes completing a brief application (personal information, previous schools attended, etc.) and a $70 supplemental fee. Please keep in mind that the UIC Supplemental Application is required in combination with the SOPHAS application.

Do you have a word limit or specific questions for the personal statement?

Other than the SOPHAS word limit, no. It is generally recommended to keep the statement to 500-800 words and to focus on why you are interested in the program, how the concentration is an appropriate fit, and how the degree fits with your future career goals. Ideally, you can tie that in with your personal lived experiences. For students applying to research focused programs, the personal statement should also address potential research interests.

Does the school admit students in the spring semester?

In general, the majority of our degree programs (with the exception of four programs) admit students in the fall semester only. The four degree programs that allow a Spring admission are the following:

  • MPH in Health Policy and Administration online program
  • MPH in Public Health Informatics online program
  • MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences program
  • MS in Clinical and Translational Science program

Please note that international students can only be admitted in the spring semester under special circumstances. If you are interested in one of the above four programs for a Spring term and you are an international student, you must contact the department and ask for permission to apply for the spring semester.

If you are interested in applying for one of the above programs, you must submit your application to SOPHAS no later than October 1st. The SOPHAS application reopens each year in mid-August. If you are interested in applying for admission to any other degree program other than the four listed above, then the next enrollment date would be for the next Fall term.

Do you allow students to take courses as a credit non-degree student?

We do offer a range of fully online graduate certificate programs. These are sets of online classes in specific study areas.

For general non-degree courses, applications are accepted on a case-by-case basis only. For details, contact us as

Are your programs STEM designated?

The Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Epidemiology and Biostatistics are the only programs at the school that are currently STEM designated.

Do I need to identify a research mentor or reach out to faculty members before applying for a PhD?

No. Applicants can contact faculty members in their areas of research interest, but it is not required. Instead, applicants should include their potential research interests in their statement of purpose and the program will route their applications to the appropriate faculty accordingly.

For applicants interested in research, we recommend exploring our Faculty Expert Guide.

Is there funding for your graduate programs?

Yes, the school offers a wide range of funding opportunities. Those include federal financial aid, scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships. Full information can be found here. Any exact offer of funding varies by student and would come from the program or school following admission.