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Admissions Criteria

Acceptance to the Department of Epidemiology is very competitive. No one criterion forms either a minimum or a guarantee of admission.  The Admissions Committee looks for a range of indicators of high aptitude, achievement and interest in epidemiology, usually including research (or public health work) experience in the health sciences or related fields, and indications that you have researched the field of epidemiology and the Department and its faculty carefully. Meeting all the criteria does not guarantee admission due to the limited space in the Department.

  1. Previous Degree Requirements
    • For MS or MPH: Minimum of health-related bachelor’s or higher degree. (Related fields include mathematics and the quantitaive social sciences.)

    • For PhD: Candidates are considered for admission into the PhD program who meet the following requirements:
      • Health-related masters, including fields listed under MS/MPH.
      • Are a current MD student planning to earn concurrent MD/PhD.
      • Applicants who do not meet the requirements for the PhD above and below should apply for an MS/MPH degree and then, if desired, apply to the PhD while in the MS/MPH program. This procedure will add about one year to the total time required to earn a PhD because all the master's credits from this department will apply directly to the PhD in this department.
      • Applicants with a health related doctorate should apply to the MS or MPH first.

  2. Grades
    • Undergraduate grades of A's and B's, with special emphasis on A or A- grades in quantitative courses.
    • Mostly A's at the graduate level (if applicable), especially in epidemiologic methods and other quantitative courses, if taken.

  3. GRE Requirements
    • GRE general test scores are required for all applicants except terminal MS/MPH applicants who hold a U.S. MD, DDS, DO, PhD, ScD or equivalent doctorate, and MPH applicants enrolled in the UW MD program. (Applicants with other doctorates must provide GRE scores.)
    • GRE's in the top 25th to 20th percentile or above.
    • The GRE is only valid for 5 years from the test date to the date GRE processes your order. If your GRE is old, please retake it.
    • Visit www.gre.org for more information and registration.

  4. Work or Research experience in Health Sciences
    • The Department considers work/research experience in the health sciences as part of the admissions review.
      • Experience in quantitative health-related social sciences is also applicable.
      • Research experience is preferred.
      • For applicants without professional health-sciences-related work experience, undergraduate or volunteer health sciences research experience is strongly preferred.

  5. Letters of Recomendation
    • Three or more recent letters of reference from professors or other doctoral-level health science supervisors who know your work reasonably well, and which demonstrate your exceptional potential for training and career in epidemiology.
    • At least one (preferably two) should come from a professor or equivalent academic source. At least one letter evaluating your research experience is especially helpful.
    • Letters from academicians in unrelated fields receive considerably less weight than letters from relevant academic or professional sources.
    • Letters from recommenders holding a doctorate (or non-US equivalent) carry more weight than letters from sources without such credentials. A reference from an MPH-level individual could be a 4th reference.
    • Do not send letters from relatives, other students or non-professional acquaintances.

  6. Statement of Purpose: The Admissions Commitee looks for the following information and qualities:
    • Well written, including excellent organization and style.
    • Reasons for your interest in Epidemiology.
    • Indication of a a good understanding of the field of epidemiology.
    • Demonstration of a well-researched knowledge of the Department and its faculty.
    • Summary of qualifications.
    • Description of your health sciences work experience and/or student research experience.
    • Description of interest areas within epidemiology and how they relate to research interests of 1-4 specific core or adjunct faculty. See Faculty Reasearch Interests.
    • How you plan to use epidemiology in your career.
    • Limit your statement to 2 single-spaced pages.

  7. Disadvantage/Diversity Statement: The University of Washington and the Department actively seek and welcome students from diverse backgrounds. If you wish to have factors such as varied cultural experiences, educational or socioeconomically disadvantaged background or disability included in the review of your application, write a brief statement not to exceed one single-spaced page. The statement should address the ways those experiences have affected the development of your special interests, career plans, future goals, and how you may have overcome various obstacles.

  8. English Test Requirements (International Students, U.S. permanent residents and citizens without bachelor's entirely in English.)
    • Holders of a bachelor’s degree from Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tabago, the United Kingdom, or the U.S. are not required to provide an English test score or other documents.
    • If you hold a bachelor's degree entirely in English from a country not listed above, you must provide a letter from the registrar of the institution to the UW Graduate School certifying the institution uses only English as the language of instruction.
    • If you hold a masters or doctorate from the U.S. or one of the countries listed above, an English test is not required.
    • Minimum TOEFL: 92 (iBT), Minimum IELTS: 7.0, or Minimum PTE: 65.
    • The TOEFL/IELTS/PTE are only valid for 2 years from the test date to the date the offical score is received by Graduate Admissions.
    • If your GRE verbal or writing score is below the 25th percentile, a current TOEFL/IELTS/PTE is strongly recommended from non-native English speakers to improve admission prospects even if it is not required.
    • Visit www.toefl.org, www.ielts.org, or www.pearsonpte.com for more information and registration.
    • More Information

  9. Detailed Application Requirements


  10. Specialized Requirements in addition to the above

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This page was last updated on October 30, 2012