Undergraduate Essays

We want to get to know you and to learn more about your passion for public health through the application. One way you can express your interest in public health is through two required essays; a Statement of Interest and Qualifications and a Reflective Essay.

Essay Prompts

Statement of Interest and Qualifications

  • Explain what you hope to gain from majoring in Public Health. Explain how your academic and extracurricular experiences have prepared you for the public health major. Limit to 500 words. 

Reflective Essay

  • Explain how your personal background will bring a unique perspective to the program and contribute to a diverse and inclusive University of Michigan School of Public Health community. Limit to 250 words. 

Essay Writing Tips

The points below are not intended to be answered one by one throughout your essays. Rather, they are meant to help guide you and keep you on track as you write.

Statement of Interest and Qualifications

In this essay, you are encouraged to consider the academic and extracurricular factors that have influenced your decision to study public health. While you can expand on your extracurricular involvement in this section if it is relevant, consider doing so only if it adds new information to your application. Additionally, focus on conveying your understanding of the field of public health. Below are some questions to ask yourself as you write your statement of interest and qualifications:

  • What has prepared you to be successful as a public health student? 
  • What has made you want to study public health at this point in your academic career? 
  • What do you understand about the field of public health so far, and what do you hope to learn through the undergraduate program?
  • Is the information that I’m sharing through my essay providing new context to the reader that they haven’t already learned about in other parts of my application?

Reflective Essay

In the reflective essay, you are encouraged to share the personal motivators that have shaped your interest in studying public health. This essay gives you the opportunity to share the non-academic components of yourself as an applicant, as well as how you would contribute to a diverse and inclusive community at the School of Public Health. Consider the following:

  • Are there any social identities that have impacted your decision to pursue public health?
  • Have certain relationships in your life contributed to your interest in the field?
  • How do your personal values and beliefs connect to the field of public health?