Admissions: Health Services Ph.D.

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The UW Health Services Ph.D. program attracts and welcomes strong scholars from varied backgrounds with a passion for research. We aim to match each incoming student with funding and strong mentorship.

Autumn 2024: Health Services Ph.D. Application Timeline

Application Opens: September 1, 2023
Application Deadline: December 15, 2023
Applicants Notified: Mid-February 2024

Admissions FAQs

Application Steps

All applications are submitted online through the UW Graduate School system. Details on the process are below.

Step One: Research the Program

Review Our Website

Learn as much as you can about our focus, format, and program expectations to consider if the program is right for you.

Meet Eligibility Criteria

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

  • High academic standing
    • Graduate GPA of 3.7 or higher
    • Undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • A bachelor’s, master’s, or professional degree in a field related to health services and public health
  • Research experience and publications
  • Strong service orientation
  • Unique and diverse background and experiences

International and/or Undocumented Applicants

We welcome international and/or undocumented applicants. To learn more about applying to the University of Washington and available financial options, visit our department’s student resources page.

Attend an Information Session

We highly recommend that prospective applicants attend one of our monthly Zoom webinars. An advisor will give a presentation on the program curriculum, admissions, career outlook, etc., followed by question-and-answer time.

Learn More

Contact Us or Schedule an Advising Appointment

For questions about the program and the application process, please contact us. To schedule a more in-depth advising appointment.

Advising Appointment

Interview Faculty

An in-person or telephone interview with one or more faculty in the program is highly recommended BEFORE applying. We encourage you to contact faculty directly. One way you may determine faculty who share your training interests is by viewing the faculty bios on the department website. In looking at these, you may find your best fit is and learn more about current research activities and opportunities for student involvement.

When you apply to the program, please list all faculty contacts in the appropriate section of the Ph.D. application.


Step Two: Prepare to Apply

Draft written materials, obtain unofficial transcripts, designate people to write letters of recommendation, and apply early for fee waivers.

Request Unofficial Transcripts

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

UW will request official transcripts when an offer of admission is made (international applicants) or accepted (domestic applicants).

Update Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Make sure your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) are up to date.

Statement of Purpose

Length: 2-3 pages, single spaced

Describe your professional background, career goals, and the educational objectives you expect to meet through the program. Be sure to include a description of your work experience in health care or related fields.

The admissions committee places particular importance on well-specified and realistic career objectives.

Personal Statement

Length: 1-2 pages, single spaced

The University of Washington is committed to excellence through diversity, and our program’s curriculum promotes an understanding of how social inequities and racism, generated by power and privilege, undermine health. We welcome students who have varied cultural experiences, and who will contribute to the intellectual and social enrichment of the doctoral program.

Describe your personal history, family background, and influences on your intellectual development that reflect your commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

You may include social, cultural, economic, and educational opportunities, or disadvantages that you have overcome, and the ways in which these experiences have affected you.

This statement is not intended to ask you to share personal information you are not comfortable providing.

Areas of Interest

Length: 20-word limit

Please respond with a comma-separated list, such as “social determinants of health, health policy, Latina health, immigrant and refugee health, payment reform.”

Letters of Recommendation

Number Required: 3

Identify three people who are willing to write letters of recommendation for you. Recommenders should be familiar with your academic goals and your potential for achieving those goals.

In the UW Graduate School online application portal, applicants will designate recommenders by entering their names and email addresses. 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 of their letter writers to make sure they have submitted their letters of recommendations to the online application system by the due date.

Supplemental Self-Identification Form (optional)

The Health Services Ph.D. program welcomes applicants across differences of ideas, history, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, gender identification, national origin, race and ethnicity. For the program to track the effectiveness of our recruiting efforts and ensure that we consider the needs of all our students, we appreciate feedback. Please consider responding to the questions in the optional Ph.D. Supplemental Self-Identification Form.

If you choose to complete the form, download it, enter your responses, and save it. You can then upload the completed form in the appropriate section of the online application.

Download Form

GRE Scores (optional)

The GRE is no longer required! However, if applicants think their GRE scores are a better representation of academic preparedness for the program than their transcripts, they may include their GRE scores.

Applicants who choose to submit GRE scores must self-report them in the online application with the UW Graduate School AND have scores sent directly to UW from the Educational Testing Service using the UW institutional code. Scores from the testing services must arrive by the application deadline to be considered.

UW Institution Code: 4854

Proof of English Language Proficiency (select students)

Applicants whose first language is not English might need to share proof of English language proficiency. Test scores must be sent directly to the UW by the Educational Testing Service using the UW institution code. Only scores less than two years old will be accepted.

UW Institution Code: 4854

Request a Fee Waiver (optional)

You should request an application fee waiver as soon as possible.

You can request a fee waiver from the UW Graduate School or UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health.

If you requested an application fee waiver, DO NOT submit your application until you receive approval or denial for the fee waiver. You cannot get reimbursed after paying the application fee. Contact us if you have not heard about your fee waiver and need to submit your application.

Fee Waiver Info


Award Amount: Up to $5,000

Please note: All Ph.D. applicants who are eligible and submit a complete UW Graduate School application to the program will be considered. There is no formal application process or essay.

The UW Department of Health Systems and Population Health (HSPop) is committed to increasing the number of health professionals from diverse communities in the field of public health. The Health Systems Excellence, Equity, and Distinction (HSEED) Award provides $5,000 tuition support to outstanding students from each of our academic programs.

HSEED Eligibility Criteria

Step Three: Apply Online

Start your online application through the UW Graduate School. You can save your application and come back to it at any time to continue working on it. Do not submit your application before applying or receiving your fee waiver.

Start Here

Application Sections and Materials

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