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.

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. Most admission decisions are announced on a case-by-case basis in February and March.

PhD 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.

English Language Proficiency Scores

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. The Duolingo English Test may be used as an alternative for students unable to access the TOEFL or IELTS.

Official scores must be verified by the testing agency before your application can be considered complete. Official TOEFL scores must be sent electronically to SOPHAS using TOEFL code 5688. Official IELTS scores must be sent electronically to Washington University in St. Louis Graduate Admissions.

Minimum scores:

  • TOEFL iBT - Preferred: 100; Required: 90
  • IELTS - Preferred: 7.0; Required: 6.5 
  • Duolingo English Test - Required: 115

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, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • International applicants who have 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 the above criteria for exemption must provide required test scores.

Foreign Transcripts

Applicants who have earned a degree outside of the U.S. must provide a course-by-course foreign credential evaluation completed by a U.S.-based evaluation service.

SOPHAS allows applicants to request foreign transcript evaluation from World Education Services (WES). The electronic WES ICAP course-by-course evaluation can be requested directly through the SOPHAS application.

If an applicant is unable to obtain a WES evaluation, they may seek an alternative foreign credential evaluation report from another NACES® member organization such as Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or Foundation for International Services (FIS). The alternative evaluation may be uploaded to the SOPHAS application by the applicant as a supplemental document, or sent directly to the Brown School.

Additional information about foreign transcripts and the SOPHAS application can be found here. Applicants should request foreign credential evaluation as early as possible. Services can take several weeks to process transcripts once received.

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