Skip to main content

How to Apply – Eligibility & Instructions

Thank you for your interest in our MS and PhD graduate degrees offered through the Department of Population Health Sciences at the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Please be sure to review the variety of classes we offer students seeking our degrees.  We also encourage you to learn more about our faculty and their research interests. You are more than welcome to contact faculty members with whom you share interests.

Graduate admission is a shared process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Be sure to visit the Graduate Program FAQ or read past Web Chats for answers to your Application Questions!


For 2019-2020 admission consideration, all materials must be received by January 15, 2019. Late applications are not accepted.

Admissions Eligibility

Applicants must meet both the departmental admission requirements and the Graduate School admission requirements. The Admissions Committee considers many aspects of the application including grades, GRE scores, quantitative preparation, recommendation letters, statement of purpose, and prior research and/or professional experience.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), although successful applicants generally have G.P.A.s above 3.0.
  2. GRE Scores. GRE scores are required for admission. The scores must be no more than 5 years old at the time of application. For applicants who have completed a doctoral degree, GRE scores are preferred, but we will accept scores from the entrance exam required for the doctoral degree (e.g., MCAT, LSAT).  Use ETS institution code 1846.  For more information on the GRE exam visit
  3. TOEFL scores if needed. Applicants whose native language or language of study were not English must submit official scores from an English proficiency test. You can find further details on the Graduate School website.  Please note that the minimum test scores for our program are higher than those required by the Graduate School. Students can submit scores for the TOEFL or the IELTS exam. Scores must be no more than 5 years old at the start of semester for which you are applying.
    • For the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), a score of 580 (written), 237 (computer-based), or 92 (internet-based) or above is absolutely required. Use ETS institution code 1846. Find information on the TOEFL at
    • For the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), a a score of 7 is required.  Find information on the IELTS at
  4. Quantitative Preparation.
    1. MS/PhD in Population Health applicants
      • At least one semester of advanced quantitative preparation (e.g., calculus, statistics, or other) with a grade of "B" or better is required.
    2. MS/PhD in Epidemiology applicants
      • At least one semester of calculus with a grade of "B" or better is REQUIRED. AP Calculus is acceptable if it meets the UW standards for a “B.” .
      • College level biology is required. Student should have completed UW-Madison Biology 151&152 or the equivalent.

Applications are welcome from students with diverse academic backgrounds. Students who have strong academic preparation in the biological/medical sciences, quantitative analysis, or population health related social sciences are strongly encouraged to apply. Historically, many applicants who have succeeded in our program have come to us with backgrounds in fields as diverse as microbiology, genetics, nutritional sciences, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, environmental sciences, political sciences, business, sociology, education, engineering, psychology, economics, and actuarial science, to name just a few.

How to Apply

Current UW Graduate students should use the following checklist:

All other applicants should use the following link: