The PhD program in Global Health Sciences admits a new student cohort every other year. Admissions are now open for the next cohort to begin in September 2021.

Admissions Criteria

Applicants must have the following qualifications to apply:

  • A master’s degree or terminal professional degree with at least a 3.0 GPA
  • At least two years of experience working in global health and/or with underserved populations
  • Prior exposure to scientific research

The program places a very high value on the diversity of students who matriculate and reviews all applicants in a holistic manner. Applicants who come from traditionally underrepresented populations and students who have faced hardships are encouraged to apply. See our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Education statement.

How to Apply

Submit the following required materials to the UCSF Graduate Division online application, where you will find more detailed instructions:

  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions you attended: Upload to your application all transcripts from each institution you attended, even if you did not receive a degree. Transcripts from non-US institutions also must be sent to the World Education Services (WES) for Course-by-Course Credential Evaluation. This credential evaluation must be completed and submitted to the program before the application deadline.
  • Three letters of recommendation: All recommendations must be submitted electronically via the UCSF application. Contact your recommenders to ensure they receive the automated email request (in case it goes to a junk or spam folder) and they submit their letters before the deadline. You can monitor the status of your recommendations on your application.
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae: Summarize your education, professional experience, publications, languages spoken, honors and awards, local and international experience, extracurricular interests, and special skills.
  • Statement of Purpose (2-page limit): Address your reasons for applying to the UCSF PhD program in Global Health Sciences, describe why you chose the field of global health for your doctorate, and describe your professional and academic goals.
  • Application fee: U.S. citizens or permanent residents may qualify for an application fee waiver. See guidelines on Application Fee Waivers to determine eligibility for this exemption. To request the waiver, select the “application fee waiver” option in the payment area of the online application.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores: If you are a non-native English speaker, you must demonstrate English proficiency in one of two ways:
    1. Submit TOEFL or IELTS scores that are no more than two years old. Please submit official scores to UCSF’s institutional code 4840 and email a copy of your score report to [email protected]. The program accepts the following minimum scores based on the type of test:

      Paper-based TOEFL: 550

      Computer-based TOEFL: 213

      Internet-based TOEFL iBT: 80

      IELTS: 7

    2. Submit an official transcript showing you completed at least one year of study at an accredited college or university in the United States with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Optional GRE scores: Scores will be accepted, but are not mandatory.

Student Success and Wellness

Success in graduate school requires care and attention to all aspects of your life: health and wellness, community, career development, personal and professional relationships, and security and safety. UCSF is committed to providing a full range of resources and services to help you succeed. Learn more about these resources by visiting our Student Success website.

Student Disability Services (SDS) is available to assist you in obtaining the services and accommodations you require to ensure equal access to all aspects of the UCSF experience. Early communication with the relevant administrators is critical to successful partnership in arranging accommodations. SDS will coordinate communications and procedures with you and the graduate faculty and programs. Please visit the SDS website and review their information sheet to learn more.