Apply to Public Health

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Admission to the Public Health major is selective and the number of majors is limited. There are two steps to becoming a major:

Step 1: Pre-Major Application

Students interested in applying to the major should first pre-major in Public Health. This allows students access to entry-level courses. You may sign up to become a pre-major as early as your freshman year; however, some students sign up during their sophomore year.  

Students should schedule a meeting with Jen Leita to declare the Public Health pre-major.



Step 2: Major Application 

The Public Health program accepts major applications in the spring quarter.  The deadline for submitting applications for admission to begin the Public Health major in Fall 2023 is Friday, April 7 by 5PM.  Students are eligible to apply to the Public Health major once they have completed the following requirements:

  • Successfully declared a Public Health pre-major;
  • Complete at least 75 undergraduate credits or approval from Jen Leita;
  • Complete or concurrent enrollment in two of the following courses:  MATH 114, MATH 240, or CHEM 161;
  • Complete or concurrent enrollment in at least one of the following courses:  HLED 150, HLED 151, HLED 152, HLED 350, or HLED 455.

After completing the above, submit an application package, which includes a major application form, transcripts, current resume, essay, and two letters of recommendation.  The application form and more information regarding the application are available below.

Admission to the Public Health major is space-limited and competitive.  Fulfillment of the requirements does not automatically secure admission to the major.   A 2.50 GPA or higher is preferred when a student applies for the major though other factors, such as a passion for the program, volunteer experience, etc., are also considered.

Public Health pre-majors are notified regarding acceptance into the major before fall quarter registration.  

Grade Requirements

A grade of C or better is required for a student's major courses and supporting courses for majors.

How to Apply to the Public Health Major 

Please send ONE email to with items 1-4 attached.

Letters of reference (item 5) must be emailed directly from your reference to Jen.

1. Complete the Public Health Major Application 


2. Transcripts

Transcripts from all colleges attended showing your previous and current course work are to be included with the application. Your transcripts do not have to be official. Western transcripts can either be saved as a PDF or printed off Web4U and scanned.

3. Current Resume  

Present your education, volunteer and/or work experience, awards, certifications, and hobbies/interests.  

4. Essay  

Explain the following:

  1. Why you are interested in majoring in Public Health
  2. What you see yourself doing in 2-5 years
  3. A description of your experience with community service/volunteer work, highlighting health-related activities. (The essay is to be no longer than 3 typed double-spaced pages, 12 point font. Please make sure your name is at the top of the page.)  

5. Two Letters of Reference  

Include two letters of reference that can speak directly to the following:

  1. Your experience (work or volunteer) in public health activities;
  2. Your motivation, leadership, initiative, and interpersonal skills;
  3. What makes you a strong candidate for training to be a member of the public health profession.

Letters of reference may not be from family and friends.

However, the supervisor from your job or volunteer experience, current or former teachers, etc., could write the reference letter for you. The letters must be emailed directly from your reference to

Students should begin planning ahead with a faculty advisor and Financial Aid once they are accepted into the major.