Graduate Admissions

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Global and Community Health’s graduate programs. This page contains information for those interested in applying to the following:

Please see the following pages for admission to our other degree programs, including:

Common Admissions Questions

Where do I apply for one of the graduate programs listed above?

Those interested in Mason’s MPH (including the online MPH in Public Health Practice), MS in Global Health, or the Certificate in Public Health will apply through SOPHAS.

What is SOPHAS?

SOPHAS is an online application system where prospective public health graduate students can apply to multiple accredited schools using the same transcripts, letters of recommendation, and resume.

What are the application requirements?

When applying to SOPHAS, you must include:

  • Official U.S./Canadian transcripts from ALL schools attended
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of Purpose and Objectives
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • WES evaluation for foreign transcripts

Is the GRE required?

No, the GRE is not required for any of our graduate programs. Do not submit GRE scores to SOPHAS or to Mason, as they will not be reviewed.

Mason says I need two letters of recommendation, but SOPHAS wants three. What do I do?

Mason only needs 2 letters of recommendation, but SOPHAS will not move an application forward in the verification process unless 2 letters of recommendation are completed and a third is at least requested. If you are only applying to Mason or other schools that need two letters, you must still request a third. The third request can be to anybody (including yourself, but not to the same email address that you use for SOPHAS), and do not do anything with the request. All letter of recommendation requests are sent through the SOPHAS system.

What are the international application requirements?

In addition to the requirements listed above, international students must submit:

  • World Education Services (WES) ICAP course-by-course evaluation of academic records from institutions outside of the U.S. and English-speaking Canada.
  • English proficiency test scores for applicants who attended post-secondary institutions outside of the U.S., Canada (excluding the province of Quebec), Commonwealth Caribbean, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia,  New Zealand, or some other English-speaking countries.

Read more about international student requirements.

I live and work in the US; can the English language proficiency exam be waived?

Proficiency in English is required for all non-native English speakers regardless of current residence. Applicants who have earned a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree from a fully accredited university in the United States, Canada (excluding province of Quebec), United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Caribbean Commonwealth, New Zealand, or other English-speaking countries are considered to have met that standard.

All other applicants are required to take an English proficiency examination and meet minimum scores set by Mason in order to be considered for admission. Read more about the university’s English proficiency requirements.

What should I write in my MPH Statement of Purpose and Objectives?

The statement of purpose and objectives is your opportunity to speak directly to the faculty reviewers of the MPH program at George Mason University. Please clearly and directly address the following: 

  • Why are you applying to Mason’s MPH program, and the concentration you chose?
  • How will earning an MPH help you achieve your professional goals?
  • What have you learned from successes and/or challenges in your past educational, professional, and/or personal experiences? Please use specific examples, as applicable.

What should I write in my MS in Global Health Statement of Purpose and Objectives?

The MS in Global Health is a research-focused degree. Students admitted to this program will write an original thesis with support from a GCH faculty member. Please clearly and directly address the following: 

  • Which 1-2 Global and Community Health faculty members who do research of consequence on global health would you like to work with? What research do they do that interests you, and why? (See which faculty will accept MS students.)
  • How will earning an MS in Global Health help you achieve your academic and/or professional goals?
  • What have you learned from successes and/or challenges in your past educational, professional, and/or personal experiences? Please use specific examples, as applicable.

Can I apply to more than one MPH concentration? Can I apply to the MPH and the MS in Global Health?

All applicants can only apply to ONE program in SOPHAS per cycle.

I’m having trouble sending my transcripts to SOPHAS. Can I send them to Mason instead?

All application materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, must be uploaded to SOPHAS. SOPHAS customer service can assist applicants with issues using the system.

Can the SOPHAS application fee be waived?

SOPHAS has a limited number of application fee waivers depending on circumstance (e.g., current AmeriCorps/Peace Corps volunteer, low income, living in a certain country). Apply early to ensure you get the waiver if you are eligible. Read more about the SOPHAS fee waiver.

In addition, the George Mason University College of Public Health may offer secondary fee waivers. Email to inquire about the waiver.

What happens after I submit my application to SOPHAS?

After you submit your application to SOPHAS, and all components of the application are complete (e.g., no missing transcripts), they will “verify” it. We only look at applications that are verified. After verification, you will receive an email with a link and instructions to the supplemental application. It’s not an automatic process, but know that the supplemental application email will be sent in the order in which applications are verified. The supplemental application is the domicile questionnaire – it tells us if you will receive in-state or out-of-state tuition. Once that is completed, you will receive an email indicating that your application is compete and “ready for review” – where it gets sent to faculty reviewers. This process can take 3-6 weeks.

Is there any funding available to admitted students?

Funding at the master’s level is very limited. The Department of Global and Community Health receives a limited number of Graduate Research Assistantships each year. The GRA application comes out in late spring and is sent to all current and admitted students.

Visit the Financing Your Degree webpage at This is Public Health for tips and tricks to obtaining a scholarship and a list of external funding sources for prospective students of public health.

What are the tuition and fees?

Review our Tuition and Fees webpage for more information.