PhD Public Health Sciences Application Instructions | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Application Information

Our doctoral program provides the nation and the world with some of the profession’s best scholars, teachers and researchers, and as such, is highly competitive. We review all applications holistically, assessing an individual’s overall preparation for rigorous doctoral study.

All of our applicants must meet the admissions requirements of the Graduate School at Washington University as well as the requirements of the Brown School PhD Program.

The application deadline is December 1. Most admission decisions are announced on a case-by-case basis in February and March.

Application requirements include:

  • A clear personal statement demonstrating interest in research and scholarship
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Master's degree in relevant discipline
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty and colleagues
  • CV
  • Writing sample from your master’s program or professional portfolio
  • GRE scores (NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the GRE is currently optional for applicants.)
  • In some cases, TOEFL scores are needed.

Testing Information


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is typically required for all applicants to our doctoral programs, but due to COVID-19, the GRE is optional .

Applicants should supply test results for all sections, verbal, quantitative and analytical. We will consider the higher set of scores for an applicant who sits for the examination more than once. GRE test scores for exams taken within the last five years will be accepted.

Applicants are strongly advised to sit for the examination no later than November 1 to allow sufficient time for their scores to reach us by the December 1 program deadline. Applications with missing GRE scores cannot be reviewed.

For more information on the GRE, visit The SOPHAS GRE code for Washington University in St. Louis is: 3867.


Preferred minimum scores: TOEFL: 100 iBT (600 pbt; 250 cbt) | IELTS: 7.0 overall band score

International applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency by providing an official score report from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS). Test scores are valid for two years. 

Please self-report your test scores in the relevant section of the SOPHAS application; official scores must be verified by the testing agency before your application can be considered complete.

Official TOEFL Scores can be electronically sent to SOPHAS and attached to your application. Visit to request scores sent to SOPHAS in Massachusetts, code #5688.

Additional instruction can be found here.

Exemption from this requirement applies to the following:

  • International applicants whose native language is English. Native language is defined as the language one grew up speaking in one’s family, community and nation. We will grant a waiver to citizens of the following countries: Australia, Cameroon, Commonwealth Caribbean nations, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.
  • International applicants who have studied in full-time undergraduate status for three years or more in an English-medium academic program in any of the above countries, or in Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa or the United States.

Note: Students who have studied in English in other countries are not exempt from the English language proficiency requirement.

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