Application Information: Public Health Sciences PhD

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

The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis admits one PhD cohort each year for the fall semester. The application deadline is December 1. Admission decisions are announced in February and March.

Applicants must have a master’s degree in public health or a related discipline.

Applications must be submitted through SOPHAS – the centralized application service for public health. You must designate the PhD in Public Health Sciences under Washington University in St. Louis – Brown School Public Health Programs within the SOPHAS portal.

Please review the SOPHAS instructions and refer to them throughout the application process. It is your responsibility to monitor the status of your application in the SOPHAS portal. Once your application becomes “Complete” in SOPHAS, it can take up to four weeks for the SOPHAS verification process to be completed. Please submit all materials well in advance of deadlines to allow for timely processing. We will review your file once your SOPHAS application is verified and all application requirements have been received.

Application Requirements:

  • SOPHAS Application and Fee
  • Official Academic Transcripts (verified by SOPHAS)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose and Objectives
  • Writing Sample

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is NOT required and will not be considered.

The SOPHAS application fee is $145 for the first program applied to and $55 for each additional program. The Brown School does not charge an additional supplemental fee. We encourage applicants to review the SOPHAS Fee Assistance Program to determine their eligibility for a financial- or service-based fee waiver. The Brown School is not able to provide application fee waivers for the SOPHAS application.

Demonstration of English Language Proficiency

International applicants whose native language is not English must provide proof of language proficiency through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS).

Test scores are valid for two years.  Applicants must meet minimum score requirements and submit official score reports directly to SOPHAS.

  • TOEFL iBT: minimum composite score of 90 required; score of 100 preferred. Applicants must request that ETS release official TOEFL iBT test results to SOPHAS TOEFL code 5688.
  • IELTS: minimum overall band score of 6.5 required; score of 7.0 preferred. Applicants must provide a Test Report Form (TRF) number in the application and request that IELTS release official test results to SOPHAS.

Additional instruction for submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores electronically to SOPHAS can be found here.

Applicants who are unable to access the TOEFL iBT or IELTS may utilize the Duolingo English Test as an alternative (minimum score of 115 required; score of 125 preferred). Applicants must request that Duolingo share certified test results with Washington University in St. Louis – Brown School (Graduate Program).

EXEMPTIONS: International students meeting any of the following criteria are exempt from the English proficiency requirement:

  • Applicant is a citizen of Australia, Cameroon, Commonwealth Caribbean nations, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Zambia, or Zimbabwe.
  • Applicant has completed three or more years of study in an English-medium academic program at a university in any of the above countries, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, or the United States.

International applicants not meeting any of the above criteria for exemption must provide test scores.

Foreign Transcripts

SOPHAS only accepts foreign transcript evaluation reports from World Education Services (WES). The electronic WES Course-by-Course evaluation must be submitted directly to SOPHAS.

Applicants who cannot obtain a WES evaluation may seek foreign credential evaluation from another NACES®  member organization, such as Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or Foundation for International Services (FIS). The official evaluation report must be sent directly to the Brown School.

Additional information about foreign transcripts and documenting foreign coursework in the SOPHAS application can be found here.

Please note that foreign transcript evaluation services typically take three to six weeks. Applicants should request a foreign credential evaluation report as early as possible in advance of deadlines to allow for processing time.

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