Skip to main content


The Department of Population Health Sciences accepts students from a wide range of disciplines. The PhD in Population Health Sciences is a STEM designated field and eligible for STEM OPT Extension for international students (CIP Code 26.1311).

All application materials must be submitted by the deadline. Late applications will not be accepted. Please be sure to read all the application requirements below and upload all documents to your online application PRIOR to submitting your application. Once an application is submitted information and documentation cannot be changed.

The Department of Population Health Sciences only accepts applications submitted to the Graduate School.

Fall 2024 Admissions Deadline
International Applications December 15, 2023
Domestic Applications January 15, 2024

*Applications received after the deadline will only be reviewed if sponsored by a PHS faculty member. 


    • Unofficial transcripts of undergraduate and graduate coursework. Official transcripts will be required upon admission into the program.
    • For international students, demonstration of English proficiency. Approved tests and required test scores are set by the Office of Graduate Admission.
    • A current Curriculum Vitae
    • Three letters of recommendation from individuals with knowledge of the applicant’s potential for success in a doctoral program
    • Research Statement (refer to Research Statement tab for additional details)
    • The non-refundable graduate application fee is $55 for domestic applicants and $65 for international applicants. The application fee must be paid in order to consider your application complete. Eligible applicants can request an application fee waiver (refer to Application Fee tab for additional details) 

    The Department of Population Health Science utilizes a holistic admission review process. The Graduate Entrance Exam (GRE) is NOT required (submitting scores is optional). 

    Admission to the PhD in Population Health Sciences will require:

    • Meet admission requirements as set by the Graduate School at the University of Utah 
      • Graduate applicants to the University of Utah are students who have completed the equivalent of a U.S. four-year Bachelor’s degree at either a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an institution recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education in their home country.
      • At least a 3.0 or higher undergraduate weighted mean GPA on a 4.0 scale. If the undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, applicants must have received a post-baccalaureate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or above.
      • International GPAs are evaluated by the Office of Admission and converted to a 4.0 scale.

    Prerequisites will vary based on program emphasis and an applicant's educational background.

    • It is recommended that all applicants have previous research experience.
    • Applicants applying for an emphasis in either Clinical and Translational Epidemiology or Health Systems Research are required to have passed a graduate-level biostatistics course with a B grade or better. It is also recommended that applicants have experience in STATA statistical computing.
    • Biostatistics emphasis applicants are required to have passed with a B grade or better Calculus III (or three semesters of calculus) and Linear Algebra.

    As part of your application, you must upload a research statement. Please write a paragraph for each question below. The statement should be no more than two pages maximum (~250 words per question) and single spaced.

    1. Describe your academic background, research or professional experiences (e.g., team work, interdisciplinary projects), and achievements so far.
    2. Your purposes and objectives (career goals) in pursuing graduate study in PHS and how will admission to this interdisciplinary program will help you obtain your career goals.
    3. Please identify which emphasis you are interested in (biostatistics, clinical and translational epidemiology, or health systems research). Describe how the selected emphasis will help you address a population health or health system problem or another challenge you would like to address as part of your studies.
    4. Identify 1-3 faculty members within the School of Medicine (at least 1 in the PHS department), whom you would be interested in as a faculty mentor. For each faculty member listed, please write 3-5 sentences to describe how this faculty member can help you achieve your research and/or career goals.
      • Applicants do not need to have any prior communication with a faculty member for them to be identified as a faculty of interest. Due to the high volume of admission applications, it is not possible for faculty to always be able to communicate with applicants.
      • This information will help the PHS admission committee match applicants to faculty with available funding. Applicants are not expected to know which faculty has available funding. Applicants are not expected to secure funding before admission to the program, this is part of the department's admission process. Information provided in the research statement will allow the admission committee to consider all possible options.  

    The non-refundable graduate application fee is $55 for domestic applicants and $65 for international applicants. The application fee must be paid in order to consider your application complete.

    Applicants can request an application fee waive before submitting your application by emailing In the email request, please indicate the emphasis you are applying for and include your current CV and unofficial transcripts. To be eligible for an application fee waiver, applicants much have a cumulative undergraduate GPA above 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and clear research experience stated on their CV. 

    Once an application is submitted, the application waiver cannot be applied. Please ensure your application includes the application fee waiver code before submitting your application. Applicants that have already have paid the application fee will not receive a refunded.

    Requests for application fee waivers must be made by the following dates:

    • International applications: Friday, December 15, 2023 by 4:00 PM MST
    • Domestic applications: Friday, January 12, 2023 by 4:00 PM MST


    1. Applications are due by the posted deadline. Applicants should ensure that all letters of recommendation, transcripts, and English language test scores have been received. Applicants may check their application progress by visiting the link emailed to you upon application submission.  

      Applicants can send a reminder to an online recommendation provider, by clicking "Edit" next the recommendation status and clicking on the "Send Reminder" button . This will automatically generate a reminder email, along with the link to upload.

    2. Applications will be reviewed by the Admission Committee starting in early January. Top applicants will receive a request for an interview sometime in February. 
    3. Applicants will be notified no later than April 15.

    Funding Opportunities

    Funding opportunities are available on an individual basis for both domestica and international students. The majority of admitted students receive full funding. Funding is through the University of Utah’s Graduate School’s Tuition Benefit Program (TBP). The TBP offers eligible students a full tuition waiver, subsidized health insurance, and a yearly stipend based on employment as a Graduate Research Assistant (RA) or Graduate Assistant – Research Focus (GR). The department does not offer Teaching Assistant positions. Students in the PHS program are paid through positions in research groups.

    Funding Restrictions 

    Due to TBP restrictions, applicants who already hold a PhD or clinical doctorate such as PharmD, DPT, DNP, DDS, or MD are ineligible to participate in the TBP. These applicants will not be considered for financial support.

    International applicant with a PhD or clinical doctorate will not be consider for admission unless they are self-funded and can provide the financial documentation required for the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility. An I-20 is the immigration document required to apply for a F-1 student visa. The I-20 verifies that international students have been admitted to the university and that students will have adequate funding to cover the costs of their education in the United States.

    The Department of Population Health Sciences will not be able to offer international students who already hold a PhD or clinical doctorate financial support. This unfortunately means the department cannot meet the funding requirement to support a F-1 student visa for those internationals students who hold a PhD or clinical doctorate. The University of Utah has set a priority to fund individuals without previous doctoral education, which applies to both domestic and international students.

    Education Team

    Marcie Leek, MPA

    Academic Program Manager

    Maureen Murtaugh, PhD

    Director of Graduate Studies