International Applicants

International students are an important part of the University of Michigan School of Public Heatlh community, providing valuable perspectives and contributions. To comply with the federal laws, applicants who are not United States citizens or permanent residents must complete additional steps when applying to a program at Michigan Public Health. As a result, it is extremely important for international applicants to submit their applications early in the admission cycle.

Eligibility and Transcripts-For MPH and MHSA Applicants

*At this time, Michigan Public Health's online Master of Public Health (MPH) in Population and Health Sciences can only be offered to admitted United States citizens and residents.

All applicants to our Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) degree programs must have a U.S. bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution. If your degree is from a non-U.S. college or school, the institution must be recognized and approved by the Ministry of Education or commission responsible for higher education in the country where the degree was earned.

Applicants with transcripts from an international institution (non-U.S. university, college, or school) must submit a World Education Services (WES) ICAP Course-by-Course evaluation of academic records from institutions outside the U.S. and English-speaking Canada (if applicable). More information on reporting your Foreign and French-Canadian Transcripts is available on the SOPHAS website.

Michigan Public Health and SOPHAS only accept electronic foreign evaluations from WES. Paper WES evaluations are not accepted. SOPHAS applicants receive a WES discount when sending their report to SOPHAS (which the school will receive).  If you have questions regarding your evaluation report or degree equivalency, please contact WES directly.

SOPHAS considers English Canadian transcripts non-foreign. They will verify those transcripts without a WES. Canadian transcripts in French must submit the WES evaluation to SOPHAS.

For MPH and MHSA Applicants

You qualify for an exemption from taking an English proficiency examination if one of the following criteria are met:

  • You are a native speaker of English.
  • You are an applicant from Puerto Rico.
  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only. Undergraduate degree requirements must be completed before the start of classes at U-M.
  • You completed all of your graduate education and earned a graduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only. Graduate degree requirements must be completed before the start of classes at U-M.
  • You are a current U-M student.

Does not meet an English proficiency exemption:

  • A one-year graduate degree.
  • If you completed a Master’s degree that was strictly research and no academic classes. This type of Master’s degree is generally awarded at a non-U.S. institution.

Examples of meeting the English Proficiency Exemption criteria:

  • You completed the last three years of your undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and earned a Master’s degree that was one and one-half years in duration at the University of London.
  • You completed the last two years of your undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne and in addition, earned a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

An example of not meeting the English Proficiency Exemption criteria:

  • You completed two years of an undergraduate degree program at an overseas institution where the medium of instruction is a language other than English. You then transferred to an institution where all classes are taught exclusively in English and earned a degree from that institution.

Language test scores are valid two years from the test date. The official scores must be received from the testing agency no later than the graduate program application deadline.  *School and department admissions reserve the right to contact applicants to request additional proficiency support (i.e., interviews, writing samples, and tests for exempt non-resident applicants). 

Test of English Foreign Language (TOEFL): Applicants must submit an official TOEFL score to BOTH the University of Michigan Institution Code (1839) and the SOPHAS code (5688).

  • The minimum acceptable TOEFL score required for admission is 100 Internet-based (iBT, including ITP Plus and TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition).

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Official IELTS scores are sent electronically to SOPHAS and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

  • The minimum requirement is 7.0

However, applicants may still be required to have their English proficiency evaluated before registration. Re-evaluation of English proficiency may also be required before registration if the TOEFL score is below 100 Internet-based.

Information and applications for TOEFL may be obtained online or by contacting TOEFL/TSE Services-Princeton

Obtaining a Visa

To enter the United States, international students must obtain a passport from their government and a visa from a United States Consulate. To apply for a visa, students will need their passport and either a Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) for a student F visa or a Form DS 2019 (formerly IAP-66) for an Exchange Visitor J visa. Other documents, such as evidence of adequate financial support, English proficiency, and previous academic records, may be required.

Canadian citizens do not need a passport and visa stamp to enter the U.S. However, they must have a Form I-20 or DS 2019 (formerly IAP-66) in their possession when they approach the U.S. border. All students seeking F-1 or J-1 visa status must pay a SEVIS fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security before applying for a visa and requesting entrance to the U.S.

Students coming to the U.S. enter with one of the two following visas:

  1. Student Visa (F-1 status): Students coming to the U.S. specifically for study usually apply for this visa. To obtain this visa, the student takes the Form I-20 to the U.S. Consulate. Students with F-1 status must be enrolled for a full course of study during the academic year. They must obtain permission from the International Center and/or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to accept off-campus employment. The accompanying spouse or child of an F-1 student enters the U.S. on an F-2 visa and may not seek employment.
  2. Exchange Visitor (J-1 status): This visa is intended chiefly for exchange professors and postdoctoral scholars. However, it is appropriate for certain students, particularly those sponsored by agencies, foundations, or their home governments. It is only granted upon the presentation of a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility (Form IAP-66). Exchange visitors may accept employment on or off campus only with permission from their sponsors (usually the International Center). The accompanying spouse or child of a J-1 Exchange Visitor enters the U.S. with a J-2 visa, which may, in some cases, permit employment with approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. It is important to note that in many cases, an Exchange Visitor must leave the U.S. at the conclusion of the program, may not change to certain visa statuses, and may not be eligible for an Immigrant Visa until a two-year home country residence has been completed.

Immigration Process for Newly Admitted International Students Outside the U.S.

Here is the text inside the above image about the Immigration Process for Newly Admitted International Students Outside the U.S.:

  • The University of Michigan School of Public Health Recruitment and Admissions Team confirms academic department admission decisions.
  • Admitted student accepts admission offer in Wolverine Access and create a uniqname.
  • Incoming students will receive an email notification regarding the I-20 process. Email to officially start the process and obtain the link to their assigned Dropbox. (mid-March).
  • Incoming students upload all required documents to their assigned Dropbox account. Upon review of the provided documentation, once the uploaded documents are approved, the Recruitment and Admission team will create a ticket and forward the documents to the International Center. The approximate time for this step is about two weeks.
  • After receiving the ticket and required documentation, the International Center will process I-20 within three weeks. After the I-20 is ready to be downloaded in M-Passport, the International Center will send an email notification to the student. From there, incoming students will be able to access their I-20 via M-Passport. This page includes key information for incoming international students.
  • Incoming students who don't have an active F-1 or J-1 visa pay the SEVIS fee and make a visa appointment using the SEVIS number. Each I-20 includes the SEVIS number. Students then attend the visa appointment and make travel arrangements.  
  • Students arrive on campus by the “reporting date” (I-20 start date) indicated on the I-20.
  • Student completes the Mandatory Immigration Check-in.

For MPH and MHSA Applicants: Non-U.S. applicants who have been admitted to the School of Public Health and accepted the admission offer must certify that sufficient funds are available for one year of study at the University of Michigan. U.S. federal law requires that the University of Michigan obtain proof of financial resources (exclusive of travel expenses) to cover university fees, books and supplies, living expenses, and health insurance for yourself and your dependents, if applicable, during the entire course of your program of study including non-enrolled vacation periods.


The actual length and cost of programs may vary because of 1) deficiencies in English language and/or academic preparation, 2) the scheduling and availability of courses, and 3) any extra coursework required by the department. 

If you are having your tuition paid by a sponsor, please make sure your sponsor(s) is aware of the two-year length of the MPH/MHSA programs and that their commitment and support are for the potential duration of the program and not just the initial I-20 request. If your sponsor's funding suddenly becomes unavailable, we cannot guarantee emergency funding as a school, which could jeopardize your ability to register for courses and your visa status for your program. It is your responsibility to confirm that your sponsor is aware of the financial responsibility of funding a two-year MPH/MHSA degree.

If you obtain a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) or Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) position, you must provide a copy of the offer of employment letter from that unit.  View information on possible sources of aid.  

International students and their accompanying dependents are required to have health/hospitalization and accident insurance coverage during their enrollment. If you intend to bring dependents to the U.S., you must certify sufficient funding support for all dependents. Health insurance must also be paid for dependents.

Eligibility and Transcripts for MS and Ph.D. Applicants

Students applying to residential Master of Science (MS) or doctoral (PhD) degree programs should refer to the University of Michigan's Rackham Graduate School website for information on how to apply. Please pay special attention to the transcripts and Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions and Tests webpages for clear instructions related to the required documents for review and the English proficiency requirements. If you have specific requirement questions, contact your department program coordinator.

MS and PhD Applicants: Please refer to the Rackham Graduate School website.

STEM OPT Eligibility

Our Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, and Nutritional Sciences programs are STEM OPT eligible. However, our Health Management and Policy and Health Behavior and Health Education programs are not STEM OPT eligible.

To learn more, view a full list of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security STEM OPT eligible degree programs or visit our International Center.

Useful Resources for International Students