Why UCSF Master’s in Global Health?

Who Should Apply

The Master of Science in Global Health program looks for students with leadership potential, experience working with underserved populations, and a strong academic record. The rigorous, one-year program emphasizes scholarship, evidence-based analysis, and critical thinking. You must be prepared to engage in an experiential project (capstone research), either in the US or another country during one quarter of the program. Because the field of global health is vast, you will benefit from entering the master’s program with a specific area of study and interest (e.g., women's health, infectious diseases, environmental studies).

UCSF is a health sciences campus and welcomes students from all academic and professional backgrounds. You will need to demonstrate how your academic discipline and career goals are relevant to global health. The program prefers students who have a clear idea of how the degree will fit into their career trajectory and a strong commitment to addressing global health issues.

Admissions Criteria

You must have the following qualifications to apply:

  • Bachelor's degree, or the equivalent from an accredited institution, with at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Completion of at least one college-level course in each of the following areas, with at least a B grade: 1) mathematics (e.g., calculus, algebra, statistics), 2) general biology, 3) health-related science (e.g., nutrition, microbiology, anatomy, physiology), or a second biology course
  • English proficiency for non-native speakers

How to Apply

To be eligible for admission, submit the following materials via the UCSF Graduate Division online application by the application deadline.

  • Three letters of recommendation: The letters should address your academic strengths, personal qualities, and accomplishments, as well as how the MS degree will contribute to your career growth. At least one letter should be from someone familiar with your academic strengths and weaknesses. All recommendations must be written on official letterhead and submitted electronically via the UCSF application. Contact your recommenders to ensure they receive the automated email request (in case it goes to a junk or spam folder) and they submit their letters before the deadline. You can monitor the status of your recommendations on your application.
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae (no more than 3 pages): Summarize your education, professional experience, publications, languages spoken, honors and awards, local and international experience, extracurricular interests, and special skills.
  • Personal statement (short responses): Address your reasons for applying, prior global health experience with underserved populations (local or international), personal expectations of the program, and global health career goals. If your GPA is less than 3.0, please thoroughly explain the circumstances here.
  • Transcripts from all academic institutions you attended: Upload to your application all transcripts from each institution you attended, even if you did not receive a degree. Transcripts from non-US institutions also must be sent to the World Education Services (WES) for a Course-by-Course Credential Evaluation. This credential evaluation must be completed and submitted to the program before the application deadline.
  • Application fee: U.S. citizens or permanent residents may qualify for an application fee waiver. See guidelines on Application Fee Waivers to determine your eligibility for this exemption. To request the waiver, select the “application fee waiver” option in the payment area of the online application.
  • Test scores: Graduate-level tests are not required for entry to this program, but if you have taken the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, or GMAT, we ask you to self-report your scores and email a copy of your score report to [email protected].
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores: If you are a non-native English speaker, you must demonstrate English proficiency in one of two ways:
    1. Submit TOEFL or IELTS scores that are no more than two years old. Please submit official scores to UCSF’s institutional code 4840 and email a copy of your score report to [email protected]. The program accepts the following minimum scores based on the type of test:

      Paper-based TOEFL: 550

      Computer-based TOEFL: 213

      Internet-based TOEFL iBT: 80

      IELTS: 7

    2. Submit an official transcript showing you completed at least one year of study at an accredited college or university in the United States with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Student Success and Wellness

Success in graduate school requires care and attention to all aspects of your life: health and wellness, community, career development, personal and professional relationships, and security and safety. UCSF is committed to providing a full range of resources and services to help you succeed. Learn more about these resources by visiting our Student Success website.

Student Disability Services (SDS) is available to assist you in obtaining the services and accommodations you require to ensure equal access to all aspects of the UCSF experience. Early communication with the relevant administrators is critical to successful partnership in arranging accommodations. SDS will coordinate communications and procedures with you and the graduate faculty and programs. Please visit the SDS website and review their information sheet to learn more.


September 15, 2019
Application opens for 2020-21 academic year

December 1, 2019
Priority deadline

January 31, 2020
Application deadline

September 2020
Admitted students begin courses

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