How to Apply

Prospective applicants should note that application materials must be sent to two (2) separate offices:

The following documents should be sent directly to the UHM Graduate Division for admission to the University:

Graduate Division
Student Services Office
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
2540 Maile Way, Spalding 354
Honolulu, HI 96822

  • Graduate Admissions Application
  • Application fee
  • An official transcript sent directly from each institution attended
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores

International applicants must also submit:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Complete information on financial status

The Graduate Division will forward the applicant’s file to the department once the above application materials have been received and evaluated by their office.

Please submit the following directly to the Office of Public Health Studies for admission to the Program:

Office of Public Health Student Academic Services
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
1960 East West Road, Biomed D-204
Honolulu, HI 96822

  • Public Health application (available as a download on the Admissions page)
  • Statement of Objectives
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation, including the Letter of Recommendation Form. Your recommender should sign the seal of the envelope. (Note: Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health applicants must include one letter from Indigenous community in which the applicant has an established history of service)

PhD in Public Health (Community-Based and Translational Research) Applicants must also submit:

  • Writing sample that demonstrate aptitude for scholarly writing.

Applications and all supporting documents must be received by the appropriate deadline. Arrangements to take the GRE and TOEFL, if required, should be made well in advance so that the scores are received before the application deadline. International applicants should write for application materials as far in advance as possible since they are required to submit additional documents and international mail service requires more time.

Please retain a copy of your application for your records. Once submitted, application materials (which includes the public health application and statement of objectives, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and test scores) are not released except for the purpose of admission and cannot be returned or photocopied for the applicant.

Application Deadlines

U.S. and international applicants to the department have from October 1 to December 1 to submit an application for the fall semester. Priority consideration will be given to those with completed applications submitted by the deadline. The program cannot guarantee that applications received or completed after the December 1st deadline will be reviewed for admissions, as late applications are considered on a space available basis. In addition, late applicants have fewer opportunities for financial assistance from the program.

After December 1, interested applicants are advised to contact the program to ascertain whether space is available in their selected area of specialization before submitting an application. Please note that application fees are nonrefundable and nontransferrable so prospective applicants should contact the department before submitting a late application.

Application Fee

In addition to the application materials and supporting documents, applicants are required to submit an application fee of $100. No application fee waivers or deferments are granted.

Applicants may pay by credit card, check or money order. Payment by check or money order must be in U. S. dollars, drawn on a U. S. bank, and made payable to the “University of Hawai‘i.” Include your full name and date of birth on the check or money order. Do not send cash. This fee is nonrefundable and nontransferable. Note: an application submitted without the appropriate application fee will not be processed.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE General Test is required for all applicants. Both the score and the percentile on each of the verbal, quantitative and analytic sections of the examination will be evaluated. The GRE General Test may be waived for master's degree (MPH or MS) applicants who hold an advanced degree (e.g., master, doctoral, or professional degree) from an accredited U.S. institution. A written request must be submitted by the applicant. Requests to waive the GRE requirement should be made early in the application process to ensure that there is no delay in the application review if the request is denied. The waiver request must accompany the department’s application and the applicant’s resume must be included.

The GRE General Test is required for all doctoral applicants (no test substitutions or waivers).

GRE scores that are more than five years old and/or photocopies of the Examinee Score Report are not acceptable. Please direct ETS to forward the official GRE General Test scores to the university (Institution Code: 4867; Department Code: 0616).

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Most applicants whose native language is not English are required to take TOEFL. An applicant is exempt from the test if he or she has earned a bachelor’s or advanced degree within the last five years at a regionally accredited or recognized institution in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore or United Kingdom.

Applications for admission will not be processed until official TOEFL results have been received. TOEFL scores that are more than two years old and/or photocopies of the Examinee Score Report are not acceptable. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score for master’s degree applicants is 550 (213 for the computer-based test, 79-80 for the Internet-based test) and 600 (250 for the computer-based test, 100 for the Internet-based test) for doctoral degree applicants. Direct the Educational Test Service (ETS) to forward the official TOEFL score report to the Graduate Division, University of Hawai‘i (Institution Code: 4867; Department Code: 50).

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score reports may be submitted in lieu of the TOEFL. An IELTS overall score of 6 or higher is required for master's degree applicants and a score of 7 or higher is required for doctoral applicants. Applicants should contact the nearest British Council/Embassy/Consulate or IDP Education Australia Office in their country for the nearest testing center. It is advised that applicants also check the IELTS website for the most up-to-date information for testing centers.

English Language Institute (ELI)

The ELI program is only for students admitted to a degree program at the University of Hawai‘i. Prior to registration, all non-native speakers of English must be evaluated by the institute. Based on this evaluation, the ELI provides suitable instruction for those whose English fails to meet the standards determined by the University to be sufficient for the pursuit of full-time studies. Students in ELI training take a reduced academic load and should expect to make proportionately slower progress in regular University studies. This should be carefully considered by students whose time or financial support is limited.


A current transcript from each college or university attended (including any study abroad or exchange programs, summer programs, non-degree work and extension programs) must be submitted directly from each post-secondary school attended to the Graduate Division. Applicants who are still in U. S. undergraduate programs must submit transcripts after the first quarter or semester of their senior year. Note: Transcripts are not required for course work completed at any of the University of Hawai‘i campuses. The Graduate Division will obtain UH transcripts on behalf of applicants.

Writing Samples

PhD in Public Health (Community-Based and Translational Research) applicants must submit writing samples that demonstrate aptitude for scholarly writing (e. g., literature review, a report of a needs assessment or evaluation project, a master's thesis, or a published article on a public health topic). If no examples of your academic or scholarly writing are currently available, the applicant should write a paper as though he/she would submit it for publication in a professional journal. The writing sample should:

  • demonstrate conceptual and analytic skills
  • use appropriate and consistent citation and referencing format
  • demonstrate writing ability

Foreign Academic Documents

All international applicants are required to submit one transcript or academic record from each institution of higher education attended, including any study abroad or exchange programs, summer programs, and non-degree work and extension programs. Applicants may submit unofficial copies of transcripts while applying for admission, however, admitted students are required to submit official transcripts in order to enroll at UHM. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution to the Graduate Division. If submitting with your application, transcripts must be received in institution-sealed envelopes. See for details.

Financial Statement

International applicants need to show proof of sufficient funding to cover all educational and living expenses, including expenses for any accompanying spouse or children. Upon admission to UHM, only international applicants with proof of funding will receive visa documents.

Medical Clearance for New Students

All new students must have the University’s Confidential Health Form reviewed by University Health Services Mānoa (UHSM) before students will be allowed to register. In addition, a tuberculin skin test and/or chest x-ray performed within one year of university enrollment must be submitted as verification that the student is free from active tuberculosis infection. A completed immunization record, which includes proof of disease history or protection by two (2) immunizations against measles, is required as well.