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School of Public Health
PhD Program in Health Services

Application Process

Admission priority is given to applicants with:

  • high academic standing - a graduate GPA of 3.7 or higher, and an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • GRE scores generally in or above the 80th percentile (in all three categories). GRE scores should be no older than 5 years.
  • a bachelor, master, or professional degree in a field related to health services and public health.
  • research experience and publications.

We consider all applicants who apply, however, those who meet the above qualifications are more competitive.

International Applicants:

The UW requirements for TOEFL and other English language proficiency tests are available here.

A list of FAQs for international applicants is available here.

Overview of the Application Process

All programs in the Department of Health Services use the UW Graduate School online application.

After creating a user profile and selecting a program, you'll be given specific instructions on how to complete each element of the application. Once you've completed each required element, you'll be able to pay the application fee online and submit your application.

Please read the section below to get an overview of the materials you'll need to assemble.

When you are ready, go to to begin the online application.

The deadline for application to the program is December 15.

International applicant qualifications and requirements: Information for undocumented applicants:

General Questions:

For general questions about the program and the application process, please contact the PhD Student Services Counselor:     206-616-2979

Faculty Contact:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty before making application, and should list those contacts in the appropriate section of the PhD application. Applicants should contact PhD Program faculty whose research relates to their own research interests and to discuss how our program could provide appropriate training and mentorship in health services research, given the applicant's background and goals.


General Steps to Complete an Application:

(Additional steps may be requested as you begin to assemble the application.)

Choose a Program:

In the program list, the option is listed as "Health Services (PhD)"

Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages):

The statement of purpose 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.

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 Doctoral 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. This statement can be separate from the goal statement described above, or can be incorporated into it.

Transcripts and Prior Schools:

The UW online application requires applicants to submit unofficial transcripts for each institution of higher learning which they attended or received a degree.

Official transcripts will only be requested when an offer of admission is made (international applicants) or accepted (domestic applicants.)

Prior schools and minor transcripts for course-work that have no relevance to the degree can be omitted.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

(The PhD program in Health Services requires all applicants to submit GRE scores.)

Have GRE scores reported directly to the University of Washington through the Educational Testing Service. The University's institutional code is 4854.

You will also be asked to self-report your GRE scores

English Language Proficiency

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.


(The PhD program in Health Services requires all applicants to have recommendations submitted using the evaluation form in the UW Grad School online system.)

Three recommendations are required. Recommendations should be requested of individuals who are familiar with your academic goals and your potential for achieving those goals.

Applicants will be asked to designate recommenders in the UW Grad School 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.

Current CV:

A current resume or CV should be submitted with the application.