Skip to main content
block W logo University of Washington
School of Public Health
MPH Program in Health Services

Frequently Asked Questions


Applicants who know that their dominant interests are in one of the three concentrations should select it when applying. This better ensures that their application will be reviewed by faculty with similar interests.

The generalist option is for applicants whose focus is not in one of the 3 formal concentrations. It is an excellent choice for students who want to individualize a course of study by choosing from the wide selection of courses offered by the Department of Health Services and the School of Public Health.

Applicants who select the generalist option may still choose to pursue a concentration once admitted to the Department, and applicants who've chosen a concentration may transfer to another or become generalists if their interests change.
No. The School of Public Health at the University of Washington is currently not participating in the SOPHAS common application service.
The online application asks for uploaded unofficial transcripts. One transcript sent directly from your degree-granting school to Graduate Admissions will be required if you're offered admission and accept the offer.
The programs may accept a limited number of transfer credits that have not been applied to a previous graduate degree. It is also possible to waive out of certain courses, or to replace them with advanced courses, because of previous experience. This cannot be guaranteed beforehand, and arrangements are coordinated once the student is enrolled in the program.
Applicants interested in MPH Concurrent Degree Programs should in most cases apply first to the other program. If accepted, students should work with that program to determine the appropriate time to subsequently apply to the MPH program.
Yes, you may contact faculty members during the admissions process to request an informational interview. We recommend applicants contact faculty directly. Although not required, many applicants find this a useful way to learn about the program. You may browse faculty research interests here, and contact faculty with similar interests to learn more about current research activities and opportunities for student involvement.

If you complete an interview with a faculty member, he or she may submit a Prospective Student Interview Form to the Admission Review Committee to be used in application review. Please be sure to list all faculty contacts in the "faculty contacts" section of the application.

Admissions Timeline

Applications are due December 1. Late submissions will be accepted through the end of the next business day. See Admissions Process for additional information.
Late applications will be accepted through the end of the next business day following the deadline.

We understand that applicants occasionally experience difficulties beyond their control. If you are unable to submit your application by the deadline, please do NOT contact Graduate Admissions; please send a note about your situation to, and we will work with you to help resolve the situation.
Most applicants will learn about their status via email no later than mid-March.
We must receive GRE scores (the general test) no later than December 15.

You may submit your application at any time up until the December 1 deadline. GRE scores are submitted to the University of Washington, code 4854, where they are matched with your electronic application. Applications that go to review without GRE scores will be considered less competitive.

The MPH program will accept "old" GRE scores if they are still available from the Educational Testing Service. If your GRE scores will expire soon, your best strategy if you do not wish to retake the test is to ask ETS to submit your scores to the University of Washington. These stay in the UW system for at least a full year to be matched to a future application.

The GRE is not required for those who have earned a doctoral degree in the United States from an accredited institution of higher learning. Foreign-educated physicians and dentists who are employed as physicians and dentists in the United States also do not normally need to submit GRE scores.

The MPH Program will not accept the GMAT in lieu of the GRE.
Our programs do not defer enrollment, except for applicants admitted to a concurrent program who begin that program in their first year. Other applicants must reapply, but the process is simplified because only a few application items need renewal (a revised statement of purpose, current CV, and one new letter of recommendation). Admission is not guaranteed, but most applicants who've received an offer are competitive again in the following year.


If spaces open up for students from the wait-list, applicants will be notified one by one, not all at once. All applicants will receive a final decision prior to April 15.
We will attempt to let you know your admission status as soon as possible, but please keep us posted if you have not heard from us in a timely fashion and need a faster response, and we can attempt to expedite the process.
Enrollment restrictions limit our ability to accept all qualified applicants. However, your application was favorably reviewed, and we would like to offer you admission to the program, if space permits.
Yes, wait-lists are constructed separately for each concentration, and applicants are ranked within the concentration to which they applied. If spaces open up for students from the wait-list, offers are made in order, starting with the highest ranked candidate. If you do not know your rank on the wait-list, please contact the Program Coordinator (
This varies from cycle to cycle. Your chance of receiving an offer of admission depends in part upon your rank in the wait-list.
No, it is not possible to influence your position on the wait-list. We ask that you please refrain from sending additional materials, as the Admissions Committee meets only once and will not have an occasion to review additional materials. If you are ultimately denied admission to the program and have additional questions about how to strengthen your application to re-apply the following year, please contact the Program Coordinator (


Successful applications to the MPH programs usually meet the following criteria:
  • Show a good match between the training goals of applicants and the program to which they are applying, demonstrating that they have reviewed the literature and have (when possible) contacted one of more of our faculty to discuss their applications.
  • Demonstrate a progression between past and present training and/or experience and attainment of the MPH or MS. Goal statements should clearly address how an MPH degree will advance applicants' professional goals.
  • Are submitted, (with some exceptions), after applicants have at least two or three years of public health-related work experience. Public health internships and similar work at the undergraduate level also count as relevant experience.
  • Are supported by good recommendation letters, transcripts, and GRE scores. The minimum grade point average which is acceptable to the Graduate School is 3.0, a "B" average. The program will consider applicants with an average which is somewhat lower than this, but the applicant should have other exceptional qualifications, such as strong GRE scores, to be competitive.
The MPH programs does not have specific expectations about GRE scores, but successful applicants usually achieve at least 50% in each of the categories. Scores significantly below this threshold will usually make an applicant uncompetitive unless strong grades in relevant undergraduate courses counterbalance the low score(s) and indicate ability to do quantitative work and to write well.

Because biostatistics and epidemiology are core courses for the MPH and the MS, the faculty want students to perform well in quantitative work. A review course in algebra or statistics may be desirable for applicants who need to bolster or refresh their skills in this area.

We accept applications from international applicants. Because we do not have standard forms of financial assistance, international students should be prepared to cover their educational costs. International students are eligible for research assistant (RA) and some teaching assistant (TA) positions on campus, but securing these cannot be anticipated or guaranteed. Because our MPH program focuses mainly on population health and healthcare in the United States, many international applicants should consider other MPH Programs within our School, such as the one in Epidemiology or in Global Health.

The UW Graduate School offers an extensive list of FAQ's for international students.

Financial aid information can be found at this link.
We accept applications from undocumented applicants. The Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) offers application guidance and resources.

Information about Leadership Without Borders can be found at this link.
Applicants are not required to have post-baccalaureate work experience, and some are admitted each year who have just finished an undergraduate degree, typically in public health or a related field that has given them internships and other experiences that have informed their decision to apply to the MPH program. However, additional experience does strengthen an application, and it can also enhance students' experiences in the programs. Most accepted applicants have at least 2 or 3 years of relevant work and volunteer experience, and their average age at entry is about 27.
It may be possible to take certain courses as a non-matriculated student. Read the information on GNM/NM registration and contact the MPH Program Coordinator at to discuss your options.

Program Information

Up to 40 new students are admitted each year.
The MPH program is intended to be completed in 2 years. It is sometimes possible to extend this period, due to unforeseeable circumstances, but applicants who need more flexible study should consider the Online Executive MPH Program.
The Master of Science in Health Services is pursued by some of our more research-oriented students. It also offers an optional clinical pathway available to students in certain fellowship programs.

MS students are in the same courses as MPH students and are mentored by many of the same faculty. However, the MS does not require the public health practicum, and has fewer public health course requirements. These differences leave more time to pursue advanced research courses.

Financial Information

Most students finance their studies with a combination of student loans and work opportunities on campus. Some students find research assistant (RA) positions, generally after the first two quarters of study. A few teaching assistant (TA) positions for a single quarter are also available. In terms of fellowships or scholarships, the School of Public Health offers up to six $10,000 Master's Fellowship Awards, and we offer one $5,000 HSEED award per year. Other sources of funding include a few awards associated with particular areas of study such as maternal and child health or tobacco studies.
Each enrolled student becomes a member of an e-mail distribution list, to which a broadly-based assortment of opportunities are posted, both on campus and at off-site locations where some of our faculty work, such as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Applicants who are offered admission are also welcome to contact faculty with whom they might like to work to learn of upcoming openings they may have.

Current RA and TA positions in our department are listed here.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used by the University of Washington in making its financial aid awards to students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Most typically, our graduate students qualify for educational loans or for work-study. A few academically outstanding and financially needy under-represented students may also qualify for other forms of aid, for which the FAFSA is required, such as partial tuition waivers. For priority consideration, applicants should submit the FAFSA before January 15.

Applicants can complete the FAFSA electronically.

The MPH program does not have a separate financial aid application. If you have additional questions about financial aid, please refer to this page, and contact them directly if your questions are not answered.


We would be delighted to have you visit. Although we don't offer tours specific to Health Services, the University of Washington offers tours of the campus at large. If interested, please visit this link to view the options.

We encourage visitors to schedule appointments with faculty directly. One way you may determine faculty who share your research or practice interests is by viewing the faculty bios on the web. Another way you may determine this is by reviewing our concentrations. Applicants who encounter problems may write to for assistance.

Accepted MPH applicants are annually invited to a prospective student days event, which typically occurs in March or early April.

The Department of Health Services is in the H-wing of the Magnuson Health Sciences Building. Please visit this link for a building map, directions to the nearest parking lot, and directions to the Department. Note that faculty who have off-site offices may wish to meet there and should be able to provide directions.
The protocol for sitting in on courses is to email the instructor beforehand to ask for permission. Most faculty welcome prospective students in the classroom, but they want to anticipate the visits.

Courses schedules can be found at this link.