Graduate Admissions

Let Us Get You Started:


Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Complete a SOPHAS application
  2. The SOPHAS application will be verified by SOPHAS (allow two to four weeks)
  3. Once verified by SOPHAS, the application will be sent to USF and entered into our Graduate University System.
  4. You will receive an email confirming your application has been received by USF and instructions on how to pay the USF Application Processing Fee of $30.
  5. Once the USF fee has been paid, and all required College of Public Health supporting documents received, the application will be forwarded to the admissions committee for review (allow two to four weeks)
  6. Monitor your e-mail for decisions and other communications.

For a full list of deadlines please refer to the information on the application deadlines page.

  1. Official GRE, MCAT or GMAT test scores
  2. TOEFL scores (International Applicants)
  3. Transcripts from all institutions attended
  4. Official WES Evaluation sent directly to SOPHAS(
  5. A minimum of two letters of recommendation (some concentrations require three)
  6. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  7. A paid SOPHAS application fee
  8. Statement of Purpose
  9. Writing Sample (PhD applicants only)
  10. Statement of Public Health experience (DrPH applicants ONLY)
  11. USF supplemental form and application fee. A link will be sent to those applicants with applications verified by SOPHAS and sent into the USF system.



An applicant must have one of the following:

Master’s and Doctoral Degree Test Requirements:

    Please visit the Admissions Test Information page for further details.

    MPH, MSPH, MHA applicants must include a statement of purpose and objectives related to their experience in the field and their interest in obtaining the degree. PhD applicants must include a detailed statement of purpose of less than five pages that describes why you wish to obtain a PhD degree in Public Health.

    DrPH applicants are required to submit a detailed personal statement of less than five pages that describes why you wish to obtain a DrPH degree in Public Health.

    All of the admissions criteria is taken into account, and the applicants are looked at from a holistic standpoint.

    We require TOEFL scores from applicants whose native language is not English or who earned baccalaureate degrees from non-English speaking institutions. See the USF graduate catalog for details on these requirements at (

    Florida state statute Section 1009.21 defines the requirements for a student to be considered an "in-state" resident for tuition purposes. A person may be considered a Florida resident for the purpose of paying taxes, voting or other legal purposes after residing in the state for a designated length of time however, the state statute specifies additional requirements must be met before a student may be classified as "in-state" for tuition purposes. Living in or attending school in Florida will not in itself establish legal residence for tuition purposes.

    Initial Classification

    The initial classification is made by the office admitting you to the University as either an undergraduate, graduate or non-degree seeking student. The classification is based on the information you provided on the application submitted. Failure to provide all relevant information, including copies of required documents, may lead to an initial classification as an "out-of-state" resident. 

    It is your responsibility to check your residency classification when you are admitted to the University of South Florida. 

    If you feel your initial classification is in error, you have until the last day of that term to contact the appropriate admissions office and request re-evaluation. Once you have completed your first term, you may only request reclassification for future terms. 

    Graduate Students: Office of Graduate Admissions 1-813-974-8800


    Continuing students can request a change of residency classification from out-of-state to in-state. If you feel you have become eligible for in-state status, you must submit a Request for Reclassification and additional documentation to the Office of the Registrar. The burden of proof is on you to clearly and convincingly demonstrate you meet the criteria for reclassification.

    Obtaining in-state status can be challenging and requires significant effort on your part to submit supporting documentation. You should allow adequate time to provide this documentation prior to the start of the term for which reclassification is sought; failure to do so may delay a final evaluation of your request or result in a denial.

    Appeal Procedures

    A student may appeal the decision of the Residency Counselor to the University Residency Appeals Committee through the University Registrar, who acts in the capacity of the University Residency Appeals Officer and will communicate the decision. The appeal process includes an opportunity to submit a written appeal for review. The individual is notified of the decision in writing and the reasons the appeal was denied in writing. The decision of the University Registrar is the final decision of the University of South Florida. Any subsequent appeals are made in the Second District Court of Appeals.

    Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting acceptable scores on one of the English proficiency tests listed below. These scores must have been earned within two (2) years of the desired term of entry. Applications submitted with English proficiency scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied.

    Minimum English Proficiency Scores for Admission

    See the USF Catalog admission requirements for details on minimum English proficiency scores at (

    For a list of English speaking countries exempt from the English proficiency examination requirement, please see the International Admissions website:

    Additionally, SOPHAS requires all foreign transcripts to have a course by course evaluation from World Education Services (WES, An exception to the WES evaluation requirement may be made on a case by case basis by Graduate Admissions at the College of Public Health, if WES is unable to evaluate an applicant’s transcripts, and such proof is submitted.  


    Students with undergraduate majors in the health science field tend to be most successful. Additionally, sociology, psychology, and social work are also appropriate for particular concentrations. Business degrees are helpful if the student is interested in Health Administration.

    Some concentrations may require prerequisite coursework. It is suggested that if the student does not have the health science background that they may wish to take some Intro courses to familiarize themselves with Public Health.


    Tuition, Costs, and Fees



    International field experience is a practicum that is open to all College of Public Health students, and is mandatory for students in the Global Health Practice concentration. It is considered an important part of the academic curriculum, serving as a structured and significant educational experience. The International Field Experience takes place in an agency, institution, or community in a developing country, and under the supervision of the Host Country Supervisor and the guidance of the student’s Academic Advisor.

    For more information regarding this program, you may contact:

    Somer Burke, MPH, CPH
    Assistant Director of Experiential Learning
    College of Public Health, Academic and Student Affairs
    University of South Florida

    The College of Public Health offers a variety of Master’s concentrations and certificate programs in an online format to suit the needs of the off-campus student. The following concentrations are available in an online format:

    Online MPH - Master of Public Health

    • Public Health Practice
    • Global Disaster Management, Humanitarian Relief and Homeland Security
    • Epidemiology Online
    • Infection Control
    • Health, Safety & Environment
    • Social Marketing
    • Nutrition and Dietetics

    DrPH – Doctor of Public Health

    • Fall and spring courses are offered fully online, but students are required to come to campus for one week during each summer term.

    Online Graduate Certificates

    • Public Health Generalist
    • Concepts and Tools of Epidemiology
    • Disaster Management
    • Homeland Security
    • Humanitarian Assistance
    • Infection Control
    • Public Health Policy and Programs
    • Social Marketing and Social Change
    • Applied Biostatistics
    • Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
    • Translational Research in Adolescent Behavioral Health
    • Health Safety and Environment

    The University of South Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; Telephone number 404-679-4500, or at to award degrees at the baccalaureate, master’s, specialist and doctoral levels, including the Doctor of Medicine.

    The College of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH), CEPH (800 Eye Street, NW, Suite 202, Washington, D.C. 20001-3710) is an independent agency that is recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit schools of public health. The College received notice dated October 20, 2011 that it has been reaccredited for seven years, through December 31, 2018; this is the maximum possible number of years attainable in a reaccreditation cycle.

    The MSPH in Industrial Hygiene, and Occupational Exposure Science are accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of ABET, 

    The MHA (Master of Health Administration) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education (CAHME),

    Graduate Certificate Programs allow a student to take a concentration in a specific topical area without being admitted to a degree program. Certificates range from 12 to 18 credits to complete, depending on the one selected. By comparison, the MPH requires a minimum of 42 credits. 

    Open to students who have completed a Bachelor degree, Graduate Certificate Programs are designed to meet your continuing professional education needs. Credits taken can apply, if appropriate, to a Masters or PhD degree in Public Health or related disciplines should the student later be admitted to seek a degree. Graduate Certificate program acceptance requires admittance by the Graduate School.

    Graduate and Teaching assistantships are available on a limited basis.