Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Program in Public Health

How To Apply

How do I apply to the Northwestern Program in Public Health?

You can apply for the MPH and MS via SOPHAS. Applicants to the MD/MPH program should apply through The Graduate School.

To apply to the MPH or MS program you will need copies of all your undergraduate transcripts. Your official transcipts should be sent to SOPHAS to verify what you have entered on your application. In addition, you will need to have your GRE scores reported to Northwestern. The code is 6981.  If you have attended post-secondary schools outside of the US/Canada, your transcipts must be sent for evaluation to 

You will also need the names, titles, telephone numbers and email addresses of three individuals who will provide letters of recommendation (applicants to the MD/MPH program need two letters or recommendation) and who can speak to your ability to do graduate level work and/or your interest in public health. You will need a resume to upload into the SOPHAS application and you will complete a section of the application that asks about your work experience.

When is your application deadline?

The application deadline for Summer Quarter is March 1 for domestic applicants and January 15 for international applicants. All full-time programs, as well as the part-time MS, begin in Summer Quarter.

The deadline for applications for the part-time MPH program beginning in Fall Quarter is June 1. 

The MD/MPH application deadline is May 1.

Verification of your SOPHAS application takes time; plan to submit your application for verification at least 4 weeks before the application deadline.

What are the general application requirements?

In order for your application to be considered complete, you must submit the following through SOPHAS:

1.            Statement of Purpose and Objectives

2.            GRE or MCAT scores (waived for holders of doctoral degrees awarded by institutions in the US or Canada)

3.            3 Letters of Reference

4.            CV/Resume

5.            Official transcripts/mark sheets from all post-secondary institutions (non-US credentials must be evaluated by World Education Services)

6.            Completed SOPHAS application

Where do I send my application materials?

All applications should be submitted electronically through SOPHAS ( You can also submit your application materials to the following address:

P.O. Box 9111
Watertown, MA 02471-9111

What are the GRE & TOEFL designation codes for Northwestern Program in Public Health?

Applicants should report their GRE general test using ETS designation code 6981.  We do not have any departmental codes.

International students: Visit to request scores sent to SOPHAS in Massachusetts, code #5688
Your scores will take 10-12 business days from the date you make the request to post on your SOPHAS application.

What test scores are required and what are the minimum test score requirements?

Northwestern applicants are required to submit official GRE test scores. Official scores must be taken no more than five years before the intended quarter of entry and must come directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). For example, to be considered valid for Fall 2018 admission, GRE scores must be no older than September 2013. The GRE may be waived for applicants with earned doctoral degrees (MD, DDS, PhD, DPT, PharmD, etc) from the US or Canada.

Ideally, applicants to the MPH program should score at or above the 50th percentile in the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the GRE.  Ideally, applicants to the MS program should score at or above the 40th percentile in Verbal Reasoning and at or above the 67th percentile in Quantitative Reasoning.

Are other test scores accepted in lieu of the GRE?

Applicants may submit MCAT scores in lieu of the GRE. The USMLE is not accepted by Northwestern as a substitute for the GRE. Applicants may designate SOPHAS as a recipient of MCAT scores.

Are there interviews as part of the application selection process?

Some applicants may be invited to interview in person or by telephone as part of the application process.

I am an international student. Are there different test score requirements?

The TOEFL or IELTS test is required for all applicants who have not received a degree from an institution where English was the language of instruction. The minimum TOEFL score is 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, or 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL. The minimum IELTS score is 7.0.

Can international medical graduates submit the results from the USMLE?

No, international applicants must submit GRE scores.

What are the requirements for foreign transcripts?

SOPHAS Applicants who will be submitting documentation from post-secondary institutions outside of the United States and/or English-language institutions in Canada need to have their documents evaluated by World Education Services (WES). Please note that evaluations from WES will allow our reviewers to better understand the educational system in which you studied, which may be beneficial for your application review.

I am an international applicant who has been admitted. Will I need a visa to attend?

If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., you can apply for either an F-1 or a J-1 visa. All full-time, admitted students are eligible for the F-1 visa, as long as they are proficient in English and can show proof of funding for at least the first year of study. Most Northwestern University international students have this visa status. However, some students may also be eligible for a J-1 student visa. You can learn more from the Northwestern International Office.