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School of Public Health
MS Program in Health Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

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.

Please refer to our Admissions page for complete application instructions.
The MS program 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.
Yes, it is highly recommended to contact faculty members during the admissions process to request an informational interview. Faculty may be contacted 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 our Admissions page 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 hservms@uw.edu, 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.
Unfortunately, GRE scores submitted past the December 1 deadline will be too late for consideration. The admissions committee reviews applications soon after the deadline. If you were to apply without GRE scores, the competitiveness of your application would be significantly reduced and/or considered incomplete.

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.

The MS 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. Internationally-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 MS program will not accept the GMAT in lieu of the GRE.

Please refer to our Admissions page for complete application instructions.
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.

Waitlist

If spaces open up for students from the waitlist, 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. If spaces open up for students from the waitlist, offers are made in order, starting with the highest ranked candidate. If you do not know your rank on the waitlist, please contact the Student Services Counselor (hservms@uw.edu).
This varies from cycle to cycle. Your chance of receiving an offer of admission depends in part upon your rank in the waitlist.
No, it is not possible to influence your position on the waitlist. 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 Student Services Counselor (hservms@uw.edu).

Eligibility

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 MS program focuses mainly on population health and healthcare in the United States, many international applicants may wish to consider other MS programs within our School, such as 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.
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 MS 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 Student Services Counselor at hservms@uw.edu to discuss your options.

Program Information

Up to 40 new students are admitted, with the majority admitted to the MPH program.
The MS 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 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 email 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 MS 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.

Visiting

We would be delighted to have you visit. Please contact our Marketing and Student Recruitment Specialist for assistance.

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.

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. Note that faculty who have off-site offices may wish to meet there and should be able to provide directions.

Each year, accepted MS applicants are invited to a prospective student days event, which typically occurs in March or early April.

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.
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.

Health Services course schedules can be found at this link.