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School of Public Health
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MS Program in Health Services


The MS in Health Services is designed to offer advanced research methods and skills to candidates who have some experience in health fields and who want to assume positions of greater responsibility in public health. The program is often chosen by physicians and postdoctoral fellows, or undertaken as the first step toward a doctorate in Health Services or a related field.

International applicant qualifications and requirements: Information for undocumented applicants:


The submission deadline for the MS program is December 1.
  • Late submissions will be accepted through end of the next business day
  • Applicants requesting an application fee-waiver must not submit their application until they receive approval from the UW Graduate School. Please notify the program if you have not received approval prior to the deadline.

Admissions Criteria

Successful applications to the MS Program usually meet the following criteria:

  • good match between the training goals of applicants and the MS program
  • progression between past and present training and/or experience and attainment of the MS
  • at least 2-3 years of public health-related work experience
  • prior experience in health-related research
  • good recommendation letters, transcripts, and at least 50th-percentile GRE scores in all 3 categories
  • strong quantitative abilities

Most applicants to the MS should have an advanced degree, such as an MD or PhD, or they might intend to pursue a doctoral degree in Health Services or a related field in the future. MS applicants who are not already post-docs should have GRE scores and grades that are exceptionally strong.

At the University of Washington, diversity is integral to excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status or genetic information.

Required Application Materials

  • UW Graduate School online application and fee
  • Unofficial transcripts from every college or university where you have earned a degree or taken relevant coursework
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores (if applicable)
  • Personal statement (optional)
  • Proof of English language proficiency if English is not your native language. If you are required to provide test scores as proof of English language proficiency (see details on this page), you will need to enter your test scores in the online application.

Application Steps

Step One: Prepare to Apply

Obtain transcripts from each college or university where you have earned a degree or taken relevant coursework. Download unofficial transcripts or scan printed copies.

Update your resume or curriculum vitae.

Write your statement of purpose. The statement of purpose should be approximately 700-1000 words, double-spaced. It should include a description of the applicant's professional background, career goals, and the educational objectives which he/she expects to meet through the program. An applicant should be sure to include a description of his or her work experience in health care or related fields. The admissions committee places particular importance on well-specified and realistic career objectives.

Write your personal statement (optional). The Department of Health Services welcomes students who have varied cultural experiences, and who will therefore contribute to the intellectual and social enrichment of the MS Program. If you wish to have these factors included in the review of your application, please provide a statement concerning your personal history, family background, and influences on your intellectual development. This statement should include cultural and educational opportunities (or the lack thereof), social and economic disadvantages that you may have had to overcome, and the ways in which these experiences affected you.

Identify people who are willing to write letters of recommendation for you. You will need to submit three letters of recommendation as part of your application, preferably from former supervisors and teachers. One should be from a current supervisor. The recommendation letters should address the general topic of an applicant's suitability for the training provided by the program, and should mention how long recommenders have known the applicant and in what context.

Applicants will be asked to designate recommenders in the online application. The online application will then send specific instructions to each recommender. Applicants will be able to return to the online application to check whether the application system has received the recommendations.

Applicants are expected to be in contact with each recommender to make sure that the recommendations are sent to the online application system by the due dates.

Take the GRE if needed. You must submit GRE scores with your application, unless you have earned a doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, JD, DDS, MD, or related degree) from an accredited U.S. school.

While the programs do not have specific expectations about GRE scores, successful applicants usually achieve at least 50% in each of the categories. The programs will accept "old" GRE scores, so long as they are still available from the Educational Testing Service.

Have official GRE scores reported directly to the University of Washington (institution code 4854). You will also be asked to self-report your GRE scores.

Faculty Contact:

An in-person or telephone interview with one or more faculty in the program is highly recommended. Faculty may be contacted directly.

Step Two: Apply

Start your online application to the UW Graduate School. You can save your application and come back to it at any time to continue working on it.

Select "Health Services (MS)" as the program name.

Upload all required documents.

Designate the people who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you. Each of these people will be sent an email directing them to a secure website where they will submit their letters.

Pay the nonrefundable application fee and submit your application.


Answers to common questions are available on our FAQ page. Applicants may also contact the MS Student Recruitment Specialist: