Department of Health Metrics Sciences

Master of Science in Health Metrics Sciences

In this unique master’s degree, students develop quantitative, data science, and research skills, alongside an understanding of the health metrics concepts, methods, and data sources required to meet the challenge of measuring and improving the health of the world’s population. Graduates will have mastered the technical skills and contextual knowledge required to produce, interpret, and effectively communicate health metrics estimates and research across a diversity of settings. In this way, the MS in Health Metrics Sciences trains the next generation of leaders and scientists in the expanding field of health metrics and launches careers in helping all people to live long lives in full health.

Highlights of the program include: 

  • A rich, interdisciplinary curriculum 
  • Access to a large, global network of renowned professors and scientists 
  • An engaging capstone experience in preparation for your career following graduation
  • The flexibility to complete the degree in one year (full time) or three years (part time).
Information session, recorded on October 10, 2023. Webinar slides can be viewed and downloaded here.

More Information


The curriculum for the Master of Science in Health Metrics Sciences is rich and interdisciplinary. It is as follows:

    Health metrics courses (6 credits) – both of the following:

  • HMS 510: Principles of Health Metrics (3 credits [A])
  • HMS 530: Global Burden of Disease: Methods and Results (3 credits [Sp])
    Statistics series (minimum 8 credits) – both of the following:

  • BIOST 517: Applied Biostatistics I (4 credits [A])
  • BIOST 518: Applied Biostatistics II (4 credits [W])
  • *BIOST 517 and BIOST 518 is the most common way students fulfill this requirement, however students may alternatively fulfill this requirement by completing SOC 504, 505, and 506 or by completing POL S 501 and 503, if their schedules allow.

    Demography, Economics, or Epidemiology – one of the following:

  • SOC/CSDE 513: Demography and Ecology (3 credits [Au])
  • HMS 512: Mortality Analysis for Health Metrics Sciences (3 credits [Sp])
  • SOC/CS&SS/CSDE 533: Research Methods in Demography (3 credits [W])
  • HMS 540: Health Economics and Health Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries (3 credits [Sp in odd-numbered years])
  • EPI 512: Epidemiologic Methods I (4 credits [A]) AND EPI 513: Epidemiologic Methods II ( 4 credits [W])
    Data science courses (9 credits) – all of the following:

  • HMS 520: Introduction to Programming, Version Control, and Data Wrangling for Health Metrics Sciences (3 credits [A])
  • CS&SS 569: Visualizing Data (4 credits [W])
  • BIOST 546: Machine Learning for Biomedical and Public Health Big Data (3 credits [W])
    Seminar & Capstone (9 credits) – all of the following

  • HMS 592: Health Metrics Sciences Seminar (1 credit x 3 [A/W/Sp])
  • HMS 594: Health Metrics Sciences Capstone I (2 credits [Sp])
  • HMS 595: Health Metrics Sciences Capstone II (4 credits [Su])
    In addition, students will take at least one quantitative methods elective and one topical elective. Students can choose from a pre-approved list of courses or propose an alternative to meet this requirement.


Tuition and Funding

Tuition rates vary by credit between 2-6 credits and for 19 credits and above. There is a flat rate for between 7-18 credits.
In 2022, we estimate that students will be responsible for the following in tuition costs:

  • Full-time Washington State residents (1 year): $23,969
  • Full-time non-Washington State residents (1 year): $41,812

This program can also be pursued on a part-time basis. Because this may look different for every student, we recommend that applicants formulate their own estimates based on the detailed breakdown of tuition costs available through the Graduate Tuition Dashboard. Select “Health Metrics Sciences” from the graduate program drop-down menu.

The University of Washington provides many resources for students seeking out funding opportunities:

  • International Student Services (ISS): provides information about financial assistance for international students.
  • UW Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS): offers individual and drop-in appointments for admitted and current graduate students. GFIS also hosts a robust funding blog (with the option subscribe to an email listserv).
  • UW Graduate School Office of Fellowships and Awards: compiles information about fellowship opportunities and awards.
  • UW Office of Student Financial Aid: financial aid counselors are available to discuss options for graduate students.
  • HMS does not offer research assistantships (RA) or teaching assistantships (TA) for MS students. These positions may be available in other departments however and generally cover tuition with a stipend and benefits. RA and TA positions tend to require full-time enrollment. While these opportunities are competitive, some students secure RA or TA positions throughout their time at UW. Departments often share information about these opportunities and they are usually posted on the UW employment website. Some students seek funding from entities external to UW. We do not endorse any content found on these external websites, but students may find the following resources helpful:,, and



Requirements: In addition to the admission requirements established by the Graduate School, requirements include holding a Bachelor’s degree (or master’s degree, graduate doctoral degree, or professional degree) from an accredited college or university in the US or the equivalent from a foreign institution. Admission priority will be given to applicants who have graduated with high academic standing and demonstrated quantitative aptitude as evidenced by their previous coursework. For applicants with relevant work experience, evidence of their quantitative aptitude based on this work experience will be considered alongside quantitative aptitude as evidenced by previous coursework. In most cases, successful applicants will have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3 in their undergraduate studies, however mitigating circumstance will be considered.

For students who have not completed a degree in an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) will also be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Please review the guidelines for language proficiency from the Graduate School here.

Selection of applicants will also be based on a statement of purpose consistent with the degree program and two strong letters of support from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic potential.



What does the department look for in a strong MS applicant?
Strong applicants for this MS degree program will have demonstrated analytical aptitude, quantitative aptitude, and a stated interest in:

  • Health data/metrics, data science, and quantitative methods;
  • Public health, global health, population health, and health inequalities;
  • Measuring health at the population level—seeking to describe levels, trends, and relationships among health outcomes, risk factors, and systems;
  • Generating knowledge that can be used to promote health and reduce health disparities;
  • A collaborative and interdisciplinary educational environment.

Analytical skills include logical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving, while quantitative skills include mathematics, statistics, and numerical literacy. Aptitude in each of these areas can be demonstrated in a number of ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Strong academic performance in quantitative courses or coursework requiring strong analytical skills
  • Work experience in analytical or quantitative environments
  • Volunteer or other experience with analytical or quantitative research

Are GRE scores accepted or required?
No, we do not require or accept GRE scores. GRE scores have been shown to be a poor indicator of performance in graduate school and the cost associated with taking the test disadvantages many applicants.

Can my application fee be waived?
Fee waivers can be requested from the Graduate School here. If you are an international applicant and have questions about your eligibility, please contact the Graduate School directly. A small number or waivers are also available here on a first come, first served basis for applicants who do not qualify for Graduate School waivers but demonstrate need. In order for department waivers to be awarded, applicants must have completed their application (with the exception of recommendations, which can be submitted later). It may take 1-2 weeks for these waivers to be processed.

What is the relationship between the MS in Health Metrics Sciences and the PhD in Global Health–Metrics Track?
While a several classes overlap between the two programs, the curriculum of each is unique. Admission to each program is separate and there is no defined pathway from the MS to the PhD.

Can students complete the MS program online?
Except for extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, this program is designed to be in-person. Students must attend classes in person in Seattle.

Can students be admitted to begin coursework in winter, spring, or summer quarters?
Because of the structure of the MS curriculum, admission is only available for autumn quarter.

Do students need to submit transcripts in English for the application?
Unofficial transcripts are required at the application stage, while admitted students who choose to enroll must provide official copies upon enrollment. In light of this, unofficial English translations should accompany any non-English language unofficial transcripts at the application stage and official translations, as described here, must accompany the official transcript upon enrollment.

Can I speak with a current MS student?
Yes! Contact to be connected with a current student.