As part of UWM’s long-term strategic planning, several UWM schools and colleges are being realigned. The process is underway and will be effective July 1, 2023. Learn more about how the realignment will affect the Zilber School of Public Health.


Which degrees are offered at UWM’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health?

We now offer:

  • Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health
  • Master’s of Public Health with five tracks (Biostatistics, Community & Behavioral Health Promotion, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, and Public Health Policy)
  • Master’s of Science in Biostatistics
  • PhD in Public Health with concentrations in Biostatistics and Community & Behavioral Health Promotion
  • PhD in Environmental Health Sciences
  • PhD in Epidemiology
  • Two graduate certificates in Maternal and Child Health and Interprofessional Public & Population Health 
Is the Zilber School accredited?

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health has attained national accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) for a 5-year period (the maximum that is allowed on an initial accreditation), making the Zilber School the first accredited school of public health in Wisconsin.

Accreditation by CEPH is a very rigorous process in which peer institutions judge whether an applicant has met standards in more than 20 areas, including curriculum, research, community engagement, faculty and student recruitment, and retention. The Zilber School now joins a select group of 66 schools of public health accredited by CEPH in the world (61 in the U.S., two in Canada, one in Mexico, one in Puerto Rico, and one in Taiwan).

I already have completed coursework. Can I transfer credits?

Undergraduate credits or credits completed in high school will be evaluated by an advisor. Please contact the undergraduate advising team at for undergrad transfer questions

Graduate transfers can contact our graduate advisor at with transfer questions.


Can I apply online?

Yes. Graduate students should utilize SOPHAS for their applications. Undergraduate students should apply directly through UWM.

Is there Spring admission for any of the Zilber School of Public Health academic programs?

Undergraduate students can enroll to start in either Spring or Fall at the Zilber School of Public Health.

Masters of Public Health students (with the exception of students in the Epidemiology track) can apply to start in Fall or Spring at the Zilber School of Public Health. MPH in Epidemiology students can only start in Fall.

Public Health MS and PhD programs do not currently offer Spring admission. If you are interested in beginning study with us earlier than the fall semester, please contact us at to discuss some options for doing so.

What is the deadline to apply? Do you accept applicants on a rolling basis?

You can find information on how and when to apply for our academic programs on our admissions page.

How many students are accepted into your program each year?

For the MPH program, our goal is to maintain a selectivity rate of 65% , and we have consistently met this goal from year to year.

Regarding the PhD programs, we don’t have a set number of slots available. Students are reviewed for quality and alignment of current research foci of our Public Health faculty. The numbers of students offered admittance varies annually.

The BSPH is a new program and the undergrad admittance qualifications are the same as UWM. There is no cap on the number of students admitted into our undergraduate program.

Can I apply to more than one MPH track?

Applicants can and are encouraged to apply for more than one MPH track. Applicants who want to apply for more than one track must submit two separate sets of short answers via the SOPHAS application. Upon admittance to more than one track, the applicant must choose. You do not need to submit a new application for each track. Use the SOPHAS format to complete the questions for each track of interest.

Can I waive the GRE? Are other exams accepted in lieu of the GRE?

Applicants may request a GRE waiver or substitution through the Admission Coordinator, in the following situations:

  • Holding a terminal degree (e.g., PhD, JD, PharmD, MD); please note that terminal degrees from foreign institutions must be post-baccalaureate.
  • Completion of an alternative standardized test (e.g., MCAT, GMAT).

Please note that a waiver must be requested and granted by admissions staff at the Zilber School of Public Health and all requests are handled on a case by case basis. Contact regarding GRE waivers and substitutions.

What are GRE score requirements?

Although no longer required for the MPH, we do not have minimum scores requirements. However, the average GRE scores and percentiles for admitted applicants in each academic program are as follows:

Master’s of Public Health

  • Quantitative: 148 (40%)
  • Verbal: 153 (64%)

Environmental Health Sciences PhD

  • Quantitative: 151 (50%)
  • Verbal: 157 (74%)

Community & Behavioral Health Promotion PhD

  • Quantitative: 154 (63%)
  • Verbal: 153 (59%)[/expand]

What if I can’t take the GRE due to COVID-19?

English language proficiency rules still apply as set forth by the graduate school.

I am an international student. Is the TOEFL (English proficiency) exam required?

The Center for International Education processes international admissions to support UWM’s graduate programs. View requirements here.

Are there minimum GPA requirements?

The UWM Graduate School requires a minimum 2.75 GPA for admission. See exception criteria here. Note that a GPA above 2.75 does not guarantee admission, as GPA is only one part of the whole application.

Working Professionals

Is it possible for a full-time working professional to earn a degree at the Zilber School of Public Health?

Yes, it is possible for a full-time working professional to earn a graduate degree at the Zilber School of Public Health. However, it is important to note that not all courses are available in the evening, and therefore students will have to take some courses during day time hours. The faculty and staff strongly recommend continued enrollment in at least two classes per semester (Fall and Spring). Note that Graduate School policy requires completion in seven years for a Master’s degree and ten years for a doctoral degree. The PhD in Public Health allows part-time enrollment in the Community & Behavioral Health Promotion track. The Environmental Health Sciences PhD program requires a full-time lab component, so it is not possible to earn this degree on a part-time basis.

Can the MPH field experience be completed at a student’s current workplace?

A field placement at the student’s workplace is possible, but it must follow the criteria listed in the field experience handbook. In addition, students can take PH 790 credits over two consecutive semesters to reduce the number of hours per week, and in some cases, students with professional public health experience qualify for reduced field placement hours.

Other Field Experience

How does the field experience placement work? I want to do my placement at a specific site, in a specific area, or focusing on a specific issue.

Both the undergraduate and MPH program have required field experiences as part of the curriculum. Beyond these experiences, internships, job opportunities, and other valuable experiences are shared with students from advisors and instructors.

As an MPH student am I in charge of finding my own field experience placement site?

Students attend a required workshop to learn about the course and procedures. They work with their faculty advisors, Community Engagement Coordinator and the course instructor to find a placement. The faculty and staff make suggestions and reach out to organizations that have hosted Field Experience students in the past. They also make new connections based on a student’s interest. A student is welcome to initiate contact with a potential site based on previous/current work experience and existing connections, and would let the Community Engagement Coordinator know first. Being proactive is important to ensure a smooth beginning at the organization.

As an MPH student is the Field Experience a paid internship?

Generally, students are not paid for their Field Experience. Students must pay regular tuition and fees for field experience credits. The field experience requires four credits of coursework, therefore if all credits are completed during the summer term, students are eligible to apply for financial aid. View current tuition costs.

Are there any opportunities to gain practical experience and connect with community groups? Are there opportunities to learn about Public Health outside of the classroom?

Besides PH 790 Field Experience (required for MPH students), some classes include practical components. The Graduate School offers travel grant funding to attend statewide and national conferences when a student is presenting, and the Public Health Graduate Student Association (PHGSA) offers travel grants to attend conferences, as well.

Financial Information

How much does the program cost?

The BSPH length is dependent on the student. Typically a new student spends 4 years as a full-time student.

MPH students usually enroll full-time over two years, which includes two Fall semesters, two Spring semesters, and one Summer semester, or part-time, which includes two classes per semester (Fall and Spring) for four years and sometimes Summer electives or Field Experience credits to shorten the part-time plan of study.

View current tuition costs.

Are full-time students able to have a job during the program?

BSPH students can work. Advisors typically suggest less than 15 hours a week at the beginning of the program. Some students work more, but it is suggested to work on scheduling with an advisor to support academic success.

Most of our MPH students work a part-time job that offers flexibility to accommodate their class schedule.

Which funding opportunities are available to graduate students?

There are several scholarships available to MPH students. These scholarships, are awarded based on a merit and financial need. Awards vary in amount and quantity annually. Additionally, there is a $10,000 Chancellor’s Award and limited, competitive opportunities for PA, TA & RA positions for PhD students. PhD students are also encouraged to pursue independent research funding.

Visit the Graduate School Types of Funding page for information on additional funding resources including fellowships, assistantships, loans, and on-campus employment.

How do applicants/current students apply for funding opportunities?

Graduate students are automatically considered for scholarships and funding when you apply by the priority deadline for admission to the Zilber School of Public Health.

Some opportunities, like the Graduate School Fellowships, may require supplemental application materials, so read directions carefully. Please visit the Graduate School Types of Funding page for additional funding resources.