Advice on How to Optimize Your Application Package for the Master in Public Health

Academic Performance

Students admitted to the program often exceed the minimum required grade point average (GPA) required to apply to the program and/or have a strong background (professional, volunteerism) clearly related to one of the MPH streams.

Admission Requirements

All MPH students are required to take the introductory statistics and epidemiology graduate-level courses offered by the School of Epidemiology and Public Health (SEPH) in their first term. Previous training in these areas is a prerequisite. This can be achieved by either:

(a) evidence of successful completion of undergraduate training in these areas, OR

(b) successful completion of the SEPH Summer Institute offered in August.

In their letter of intent, it must be explicitly articulated how the perquisites have been, or will be, met. Applicants who fail to meet these requirements by the start of the first term (September) may have their offer of admission revoked.

Letter of Intent

You must complete the MPH letter of intent (PDF).

The MPH program has four areas of concentration:

  • public health practice
  • public health policy
  • population health risk assessment
  • global health

To support our planning activities, candidates should articulate their preferred area of concentration.
Students make final decisions about their intended stream after their acceptance into their program and through discussions with their faculty advisor.

Preferences for areas of concentration do not influence decisions about a candidate’s dossier – this information is solely for planning purposes.

We encourage applicants to provide a clear and concise statement about how their interests align with the intent of the MPH program and how the MPH program will support their learning and professional goals.

It may also be helpful for candidates to articulate how previous experience (e.g. academic, volunteer, or work background) aligns with their interest in the program. Together, this information allows the committee to better assess the fit and match between candidates and what the MPH can offer.

Candidates applying to the MPH + option should indicate which language they are interested in improving. Note that language testing will be conducted before classes commence in the fall to determine level and placement.

Applicants should indicate how they meet, or will meet, course requirements (see above).

Fit of The Candidate’s Undergraduate or Professional Degree to the Program

Note, there are no preferred undergraduate or professional degrees from which we recruit students. However, if their academic training is in a completely different field, candidates are encouraged to include in their letter of intent a description of what has brought them to be interested in the MPH program and why they are a good fit for the program.


Experience is important too. In their resume/CV candidates should identify any professional or volunteer activities they have accomplished that aligns with the MPH program goals and objectives.

Letters of Reference

Two types of referees are preferred.

  • Professors or academics with whom the candidate has had meaningful interactions are good referee choices.
  • Employers and professional contacts in the public health field with whom the candidate has had a meaningful relationship are also good choices.

Letters from family, friends, or employers in a completely unrelated field are less convincing and relevant.

Language Proficiency

If your first language is neither English nor French, you must provide proof of proficiency in the language. Currently, English is the main language of instruction in the MPH program.


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